is the saddest day on the Jewish calendar, on which we fast, deprive ourselves and pray. It is the culmination of the Three Weeks, a period of time during which we mark the destruction of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.
Tisha B'Av serves as a single day of collective mourning for all the disasters Jews have endured through the centuries. This single day is significant for an entire chronology of disasters in Jewish history that fell on the 9th of Av. These are as follows:
Then they burned the house of God, broke down the wall of Jerusalem, burned all its palaces with fire, and destroyed all its precious possessions. 2 Chronicles 36:19
My eyes fail from weeping;It is this book that Orthodox and Conservative Jews read on the night of Tisha B'Av, while seated on the floor and fasting.
I am churning within.
My heart is poured out in grief
over the destruction of the daughter of my people,
because children and infants faint
in the streets of the city. Lamentations 1:11
70 CE Rome's Destruction of the Second Temple
|Sacking of the Second Temple |
in Jerusalem depicted on
the Arch of Titus, Rome
The Roman Emperor Titus destroyed the Second Temple (which was rebuilt in 516 BC after Cyrus the Great of Persia conquered Babylon and returned the Jews to Israel). This was to put down the Jewish revolt (of which early Christianity was a part). Titus chose theTisha B'Av specifically to add impact to the destruction of the Second Temple on the same day as the first.
Alhambra Edict: http://upload.
Muslim holdings (in green) in Iberia ca. 1000: http://orias.berkeley.
Isaac Abrabanel: http://
Inquisition torturers and victim: http://static.ddmcdn.
Essex Farm Cemetery, Ypres/Ieper: My own personal photograph.
The Warsaw Ghetto surrender photograph is one of the most famous from World War II. It was taken by SS officer Jürgen Stroop who included it in his official report to SS Chief Heinrich Himmler: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/