Likelihood of Success

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The Ninth of Av

Posted by Ron Coleman on August 8, 2008

destruction-full.jpg

Jewish tradition teaches that on Tisha B’Av (the Ninth day of the month of Av) , five national calamities occurred:

  1. During the time of Moses, Jews in the desert accepted the slanderous report of the ten spies, and the decree was issued by God forbidding them from entering the Land of Israel. (1312 BCE — traditional Jewish dating)
  2. The First Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians, led by Nebuchadnezzar. 100,000 Jews were slaughtered and millions more exiled. (586 BCE)
  3. The Second Temple was destroyed by the Romans, led by Titus. Traditional sourcest teach that two million Jews died, and another one million were exiled. (70 CE)
  4. The Bar Kochba revolt was crushed by Roman Emperor Hadrian. The city of Betar — the Jews’ last stand against the Romans — was captured and liquidated. Over 100,000 Jews were slaughtered. (135 CE)
  5. The Temple area and its surroundings were plowed under by the Roman general Terentius Rufus. Jerusalem was rebuilt as a pagan city — renamed Aelia Capitolina — and access was forbidden to Jews.

Other grave misfortunes throughout Jewish history occurred on the Ninth of Av, including:

  1. The Spanish Inquisition culminated with the expulsion of Jews from Spain on Tisha B’Av in 1492.
  2. World War One broke out on the eve of Tisha B’Av in 1914 when Germany declared war on Russia. German resentment from the war set the stage for the Holocaust.
  3. On the eve of Tisha B’Av 1942, the mass deportation began of Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto, en route to Treblinka.

More here on the Ninth of Av, which begins Saturday night. Observant Jews will fast (a complete fast — no food, no water) until nightful Sunday night. For us, this is the “hardest” day of the year.

Adapted from last year.

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