Events of the 9th of Av

Tisha B’Av  (Hebrew: “the Ninth of Av,”) is an annual fast day in Judaism, named for the ninth day (Tisha) of the month of Av in the Hebrew calendar. The fast commemorates the destruction of both the First Temple and Second Temple in Jerusalem, which occurred about 655 years apart, but on the same Hebrew calendar date. Although primarily meant to commemorate the destruction of the Temples, it is also considered appropriate to commemorate other Jewish tragedies that occurred on this day, most notably the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492. Accordingly, the day has been called the “saddest day in Jewish history”.

Tisha B’Av falls in July or August in the western calendar. When the ninth of Av falls on Sabbath (Saturday), the observance is deferred to Sunday the tenth of Av. While the day recalls general tragedies which have befallen the Jewish people over the ages, the day focuses on commemoration of five events: the destruction of the two ancient Temples in Jerusalem, the sin of ten of the twelve scouts sent by Moses who spoke disparagingly about the Promised Land, the razing of Jerusalem following the siege of Jerusalem in 70 CE, and the failure of the Bar Kokhba revolt against the Roman Empire.

  1. The twelve spies sent by Moses to observe the land of Canaan returned from their mission. Only two of the spies, Joshua and Caleb, brought a positive report, while the others spoke disparagingly about the land. The majority report caused the Children of Israel to cry, panic and despair of ever entering the “Promised Land”. For this, they were punished by God that their generation would not enter the land. (See Numbers Ch. 13–14)
  2. The First Temple built by King Solomon and the Kingdom of Judah was destroyed by the Babylonians led by Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BCE (3175 AM) after the siege in 587 and the Judaeans were sent into the Babylonian exile.
  3. The Second Temple built by Ezra and Nehemiah was destroyed by the Romans in August 70 CE (3830 AM), scattering the people of Judea and commencing the Jewish exile from the Holy Land. According to the Talmud in tractate Ta’anit, the destruction of the Second Temple began on the Ninth of Av and the Temple continued to burn throughout the Tenth of Av.
  4. The Romans crushed Bar Kokhba’s revolt and destroyed the city of Betar, killing over 100,000 Jews, on July 8, 132 CE (Av 9, 3892 AM).
  5. Following the Roman siege of Jerusalem, Roman commander Turnus Rufus plowed the site of the Temple and the surrounding area, in 133 CE.
  6. The First Crusade was declared by Pope Urban II on July 20, 1095 (Av 9, 4855 AM), killing 10,000 Jews in its first month and destroying Jewish communities in France and the Rhineland.
  7. The Martyrs of York – 500 Jews died as a result of the rich storming a castle in York England, killing them all on 14 July 1190. (9 Av 4950)
  8. Jews were expelled from England on July 25, 1290 (Av 9, 5050 AM).
  9. Jews were expelled from Spain on August 11, 1492 (Av 9, 5252 AM).
  10. On August 1, 1914 (Av 9, 5674 AM), World War I broke out, causing unprecedented devastation across Europe and set the stage for World War II and the Holocaust.
  11. On the eve of Tisha B’Av 5702 (July 23, 1942), the mass deportation began of Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto, en route to Treblinka.
  12. The Jewish community center in Buenos Aires was bombed, killing 86 and wounding 300 others, on Monday July 18, 1994, in Jewish Calendar, the 10th of Av, 5754. Jewish Cal 1994

Two events on a given day is 1 in 365 days. 3 events on the same day is 1 X 365 X 365 = 133,225. Hence, the odds on these twelve events happening to the same people, the same country, over the centuries on the same day is 1 chance in 15.318 billion times a billion times a billion or:  15,318,685,820,000,000,000,000,000,000!!!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s