Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Tisha B’Av

Today is Tisha B’Av, thenational day of mourning for the Jewish people, commemorating the destruction of the First and Second Temples, as well as a number of other tragic events. As you can imagine, there is time for some serious reflection today amongst Jews, much like on Yom Kippur. Many restaurants and cafes will be closed today as many people fast and don’t go into work.
As the Talmud puts it:
On the Ninth of Av (Tisha B’Av) it was decreed on our fathers that they would not enter the Land (of Israel), the Temple was destroyed [both] the first time and the second time, Beitar (the stronghold of the Bar Kochba rebellion) was captured, and the city (of Jerusalem) was plowed under.
Because of these tragic events, there is an element of fear about the day, perhaps understandably so when you look at some of the other events that also occurred on this day, including: the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492, the start of World War I, and the beginning of the deportations from the Warsaw Ghetto to Treblinka…
To commemorate these disastrous events, many will pray at the Western Wall, the last remnants of the Second Temple. In Tel Aviv it’s a different matter of course, with some bars and cafes open throughout the fasting period. The City That Never Sleeps remembers and respects this special day, but in its own way, the Tel Aviv way.
Tisha B’Av begins at sundown and continues till the following nightfall. Tisha B’Av also has some additional prohibitions that other fasts in the Jewish calendar don’t: for example, it is forbidden to wear leather shoes or even say “Good Morning”. So if you meet a few sad souls today and they don’t respond to your cheery “Hello”, don’t take it personally!
The fast ends at sundown today, though officially it is forbidden to eat until tomorrow because the Temple continued burning into the tenth day.
The Tisha B'av video that has taken the world by storm! EVERY PERSON NEEDS TO SEE THIS VIDEO: http://www.israelvideonetwork.com/temple-in-the-sand
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