Ten Things To Know About Tisha B'Av `~ ` 9 of Av
August 4-5 2014
1- What is Tisha B'Av
It is a day on the Jewish calendar that is a day of tears, a day of sorrow yet out of this sadness there is knowing that out of sorrow can come joy. For in the mourning of Tisha B'Av there is the message of hope.
Tisha B'Av, the ninth day in the month of Av, is a day of mourning for, the destruction of the Temples in Jerusalem. It is the saddest day on the Jewish calendar because of the incredible series of tragedies which occurred on that date through out Jewish History.
2- What does Tisha B'Av mean
- Tisha means the ninth day of the month
- B' means in
- Av is the 5th month of the year in the Jewish calendar
3- When is Tisha B' Av On the Jewish Calendar
2014 Tisha B' Av falls on August 4. It is important to remember that the Jewish calendar dates of holidays begins at sundown of the night beforehand. Thus at sunset the night before the dates are used. Upcoming dates are for Tisha B' Av are:
Tisha B'Av will occur on the following days of the Gregorian calendar:
2014: August 4-5
2015: July 25-26
2016: August 13-14
2017: July 31-August 1
The period beginning with Shiva Asar B'Tammuz, (17th of Tammuz) and ending in Tisha B'Av, "9th of Av" is known as the period of Bein HaMetzarim (Between the Straits) days of historical trouble and tragedy for the Jewish People.
4- Tears for Tisha B' Av
"A story in the tradition says that when the Romans set fire to the Temple, six angels came down from heaven, lighting on top of the Western Wall. As the violence mounted and the fire intensified, the angels wept. Their tears kept the flames away from that one part of the Temple, which is why the wall survives to this day. Those angels are still there, tradition says, and they are still weeping." (From Constantine's Sword by James Carroll p. 52)
"Judah is gone into exile because of affliction, and because of great servitude; she dwells among the nations, she finds no rest. All her persecutors overtook her within the straits." Lamentations 1:3
5- 17th of Tammuz
A Minor Fast Day
The Three Weeks of Sorrow
The Seventeenth of Tammuz (Hebrew: שבעה עשר בתמוז, Shiv'ah Asar b'Tammuz) is a minor Jewish fast day commemorating the breach of the walls of Jerusalem before the destruction of the Second Temple. Falling on the seventeenth day of the Hebrew month of Tammuz it marks the beginning of the three-week mourning period that leads up to Tisha B'Av. Known as the Three Weeks, in Judaism, a period of sorrow, commemorating the destruction of both the first and second Jewish Temples.
The 15th of Av
6- The Month Of Av
The Hebrew month of Av (or Menachem-Av, the consoler of Av) is the fifth of the twelve months of the Jewish calendar. The name Av literally means "father." It derives from the root which means "to will" or "to desire." Av always has 30 days, and its zodiacal sign is Leo. The month of Av is the month following the month of Tamuz.
The month is often referred
to as Menahem (Comforter) This is either in reference to the divine
Father (av) who comforts His people following the destruction, or to
the Messiah who, tradition says, is to be born on the 9th of Av. The month of Av is one of the months that is not mentioned in the bible (along with Sivan, Nissan and Kislev) to this day the origin of these months still baffle many.
In Hebrew, Av is spelled aleph-bet, the first two letters of the Hebrew alphabet. There is a vast amount of folklore about each of the letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Legend says that they are indestructible, like Judaism itself.
Av is known as a month of the lowest point" of the Jewish calendar (the 9th of Av) as well as the month of the high point of the Jewish calendar for the 15th Of Av is a happy day for it is the day of finding ones predestined soul mate.
Av comes at the same time as the secular months July/August.
AD 70 - SIEGE OF THE THE TEMPLE
On the 9th Of Av
The spies returned and gave an evil report which discouraged the Jewish people and ended with them wandering in the desert.
~ Numbers 14:30 & Numbers 1:1-14:1
7- Tisha B'Av
Historic Day of Calamity
The Western Wall also known as the Wailing Wall and called the "Kotel" in Hebrew, is the one part of the Temple Mount that survived the Roman destruction of the Second Temple and stands to this day in Jerusalem.
1280 BC AV 9 -The sin of the spies caused Hashem to decree that the Children of Israel who left Egypt would not be permitted to enter the land of Israel.
586 BC AV 9 - The first Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians.
70 AD AV 9 - The second Temple was destroyed by King Titus of Rome
135 AD AV 9 - Betar, the last stronghold in the heroic Bar Kochba rebellion, fell to the Romans on the 9 of Av in the year 3893. This was after a 3 year siege. 580,000 Jews starved to death or were killed by the sword. The leader of the rebellion Bar Kochva was killed.
136 AD- Roman Emperor Hadrian established the heathen temple to Jupiter on the site of the Jewish Temple and rebuilt Jerusalem as a pagan city named Aelia Capitolina, and renamed the land as Palestina, to distance its Jewish heritage.
8- Tisha B' Av
1095 - The First Crusade declared.
1244 - Torahs and sacred books are burned in France.
1290 - King Edward I expels all Jews from England, 1290.
1492 - King Ferdinand of Spain issued the expulsion decree, setting Tisha B'Av as the final date by which not a single Jew would be allowed to walk on Spanish soil.
1670- The last Jews left Vienna, following expulsion orders.
1914 - On the eve of Tisha B'Av in Germany declared war on Russia World War I began which began the downward slide to the Holocaust
1942- The first killings started at Treblinka “The first transport of deportees left Malkinia on July 23, in the morning hours. It was loaded with Jews from the Warsaw ghetto.
The liturgy for the Fast of Tish B’ Av is the Book of Lamentations. It begins with the Hebrew word: “Eicha,” translated “How can it be?” or “Alas!”
The Book of Lamentations is read by a low candle light, in a low and mournful voice. Additional lamentations, called kinot, are said at night and also the following day. Kinot are mourning poems or poems describing sad events such as the destruction of the Second Temple, the crusades, and the holocaust.
It is customary to sit on the floor or low stools and to sleep on the floor or without a pillow on Tisha B' Av.
Tisha B' Av is a day of mourning, fasting, tears and prayer. Like Yom Kippur, Tisha B'Av is a major fast day that is observed from sunset to sunset. The ancient rabbis said, "When Av comes in all merriment goes out."
In the evening, the Book of Lamentations (Echah) is chanted. It is a powerful book that laments the loss of the Temple and describes the desolation of Jerusalem and the suffering of the Jewish people. Yet it is customary to end the reading on a note full of hope, by repeating the next to last verse, "Turn us unto Thee, Oh Lord, that we may be turned! Renew our days as of old!"
Interesting to note that many scholars believe that it was Jeremiah who wrote Lamentations and I think important to mention that Jeremiah's birthday falls on . . the 9th of Av.
It is important to remember that if the ninth day of Av falls on a Saturday (Shabbat), the fast is observed on the tenth day of the month of Av.
The Tears of the Exile
Tears For Tisha B'Av
It is told of Napoleon, that upon passing a synagogue during the Ninth of Av, looked inside and saw Jews sitting on the floor and weeping. When he inquired further he was told the Jews were mourning over the destruction of their Holy Temple. “How long ago did this occur?”, he asked. “About 1,500 years ago”. “In that case”, said Napoleon, “there is no doubt that their Temple will be rebuilt. A people capable of crying for so long over its destroyed Temple and Land will eventually find its way home.”
10- A Day Of Hope
The Shabbath following Tisha B'Av is called Shabbat Nachamu - the Sabbath of Comfort, and we read from the 40th chapter of Isaiah that begins, "Comfort ye, My people." It contains a dream of hope and comfort and so the mood changes from the tears of despair to hope.
Tisha B'Av is full of saddness and tears gloom and as we look to the days ahead when Tu B'Av comes we see it is the antidote. For as sad as the 9th of Av is, the 15th of Av is a time of joy and new beginnings.
The period beginning after Tisha B'Av and continuing through the month of Elul is the period of the "shiva d'nechemta," the "seven weeks of being comforted," when we read Haftarot in which the great destiny of the Jewish People is foretold, days of glory and peace. The concluding weeks of the seven week period coincides with the month of Elul, the month of "Teshuvah," "Repentance,"
From the ashes of the destroyed temple will rise an incomparably magnificent edifice. Exile will give birth to redemption. It is a tradition that our redeemer will be born on Tisha B' Av. It is a day of anticipation and hope, for "
One who mourns Jerusalem will merit seeing her happiness."
The Jewish Calendar Continues
Shabbat Nachamu (the Shabbat of Comfort or Consolation) - this is the first Shabbat after Tisha B'Av and is very special. The haftarah read this week begins with the words "nahamu nahamu ami" or "comfort, comfort my people." With this reading, we enter a seven week period of consolation and comfort leading up to Rosh Hashanah.
Tishah B' Av - A Day Of Tears and a Day Of Hope
Eilecha VenaShuva - Chadesh Yameinu KeKedem
Bring us back to you Hashem, and we shall return, renew our days as of old