Jews worldwide commemorate Tisha B’Av

Considered the saddest day in the Jewish calendar, Jews worldwide remember the destruction of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem, as well as tragedies in Jewish history

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Photo: “The destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem” by Francesco Hayez

 

Jews worldwide will commemorate Tisha B’Av Monday evening into Tuesday evening, the ninth day of the Hebrew month “Av”, a day of mourning in remembrance of the destruction of both the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem.

Observant Jews fast for a 25-hour period of time, the day considered the saddest day in the Jewish tradition. Some religious people will even sleep at the Kotel (the Western Wall) overnight into Sunday. The Book of Lamentations is also read, along with other traditional texts.

Apart from remembering the destruction of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem, the day also commemorates the suffering of the Jewish people through out history. The specific tragedies remembered are Romans destruction of Betar in which over 500,000 Jews were killed during the Bar Kokhva Revolt and the Israelites lack of faith in God when given the promise of the Land of Israel- resulting in a generation of Israelites barred from entering the Land.

Traditional prohibitions on Tish B’Av include no eating, no bathing, no pampering of the body, no sexual relations, no listening to music or dancing and no wearing of leather.

In Israel, all businesses and public transportation are closed, however, many businesses and public transportation will be permitted Tuesday.

At the end of the 25-hour observance, it is traditional to break the fast.

Tisha B’Av this years comes just a week after Israeli archeologists unearthed findings dating back to Babylonian conquest and destruction of the First Temple in Jerusalem. Archeologists uncovered several artifacts from charcoal covered rooms in the City of David dating prior to the siege of Jerusalem at the hands of King Nebuchadnezzar over 2,600 years ago.