Tish'a B'Av (The Ninth of Av) which starts at sunset tonight is uaully a day of fasting and mourning for all Jews. A “black day” the saddest in all Jewish History. An anniversary of not just one tragedy, but many, all on the same date. This year the date falls on Shabbat so they will be observing it on the 10th (our Sunday) but tomorrow and Sunday are very special days in the Christian Calendar for us so I writing about it now. Below are 7 major tragedy's that all happened for them on this date.
1313 BC - The spies return from the land of Israel with a bad report.
(See our Old Testament Reading.)
421 - 423 BC The destruction of the first Jerusalem Temple.
On the 9th of Av in either 421 BCE or 423 BCE Nebuchadnezzar’s army plundered The Temple and then set it on fire. The building burned for 24 hours until just after midday on the 10th of Av. (2 Kings 25:8-12).
70 AD - The destruction of the second Jerusalem Temple.
It had stood for more than 400 years. It was destroyed in 70 CE by the Romans. For 3 weeks, battles between the Jews and the Romans raged, and on Tisha Be'Av it culminated in a final battle. (See our Gospel Reading)
1290 - The expulsion of the Jews from England.
In July 1290, a general expulsion of Jews was ordered by King Edward I. He made it clear that by November 1, all Jews had to leave the country or face execution. The edict was announced on Tisha Be’Av. It was enforced until the 1650s.
1492 - The expulsion of the Jews from Spain
On Tisha Be’Av all Jews living in Spain had to make their final decision: Convert to Christianity or leave the country. Those converts caught performing Jewish rituals and ceremonies faced the Inquisition.
1914 – Beginning of World War I
On August 1, 1914 (the 9th of Av), Germany declared war on Russia. The opening salvo’s of WWI had started. Some Rabbis and many historians believe that World War II and its Holocaust was just a continuation of World War I.
1942 - Treblinka death camp begins operating.
Treblinka started operations on Tisha Be’Av and Deportations began from the Warsaw Ghetto.
There are other tragic events linked to Tisha Be’Av like the capture of the city of Beitar by the Romans during the Bar Kokhba rebellion and the plowing of the Temple Mount by the Roman governor Turnus Rufus. But I think the 7 above are the worst. So say a prayer for our Jewish brothers and sisters on Sunday as their nation mourns.