Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Tisha B'Av Begins Tonight


As Tisha B'Av comes, it is important for us not only to remember the destruction of the Temple and all the other horrible things that have happened on this day, but to pray intently that this will be the last Tisha B'Av that we fast.

It is with more than prayer that we will rebuild the Temple. This Tisha B'Av the Temple Institute will begin building the sacrificial altar. We must remember, it is not only with prayer, but with action, that our Temple will be rebuilt.

Here is a small article on the fast day, which begins tonight at sundown. For more information on the holiday, especially the differences in Minhag between Sephardim and Ashkenazim on this holiday, I recommend Rabbi Maroof's PDF, which may be accessed here.

A meaningful fast to everyone.


Tisha B'Av: Mourning Destruction, Awaiting Redemption
by Hillel Fendel

( The fast of Tisha B'Av, the "saddest" day in the Jewish calendar, begins Wednesday evening at sundown, and ends Thursday evening.

Its name literally means "the ninth day of [the Jewish month of] Av," the date of some of the gravest tragedies to have befallen the Jewish People. Most notably, both Holy Temples in Jerusalem were destroyed on Tisha B'Av, but the list of calamities on this date includes also the following:

  • G-d decreed, following the Sin of the Spies as recounted in Numbers 13-14, that the Children of Israel would not be allowed to enter the Land of Israel until the entire generation had died out.
  • The fall of Beitar, the last fortress to hold out during the Bar Kochba revolt in the year 135 C.E., to the Romans.
  • A year later, the Temple area was plowed over, marking the last milestone of national Jewish presence in our homeland until the modern era.
  • The Jews of Spain were expelled by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella in 1492.
  • World War I erupted in 1914, setting the stage for World War II and the Holocaust.
  • Mass deportation of Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto to the Treblinka death camp began on Tisha B'Av eve of 1942.
  • The Jews of Gush Katif spent their last legal day in their homes in Tisha B'Av of 2005, and were expelled three days later.

Despite the sadness of the day, the saddest part of the regular daily prayers - tachanun - is not recited, in the anticipation of the final joyous Redemption that will render Tisha B'Av a day of joy.

Many tens of thousands of people spend Tisha B’Av, or parts of it, at the Western Wall – which, together with the Temple Mount, is the sole remnant of the Second Temple.

Visitors spend hours mourning the destruction, the Exile of the Divine Presence and the unredeemed state of the Nation of Israel by reciting and studying the traditional Tisha B’Av lamentations and the Scroll of Eichah (Lamentations).

March Around the Old City
The traditional Women in Green Tisha B'Av March around the Old City will begin at 8 PM with evening prayers and the reading of Eichah, followed at 9:30 by the march towards the New Gate, Damascus Gate, a short ceremony at Lions' Gate, and culminating at Dung Gate near the Western Wall around 11 PM. Thousands of people generally participate in the march.

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