Zechariah 7:13 – “Therefore it is come to pass, that as he cried, and they would not hear; so they cried, and I would not hear, saith the LORD of hosts . . .”
According to history, many events considered disastrous by the Jews have occurred on Tish’a B’Av, also called the Ninth of Av, the saddest day in Jewish history.
Tisha B’Av is the culmination of a three-week period of increasing mourning that begins with the Fast of the 17th of Tammuz. During this three-week period, the Scroll of Lamentations is read and prayers are recited during the evening services, and the Torah Scroll cabinet (Ark) is covered by black cloth. In some synagogues the Scroll of Job is read on the morning of Tisha B’Av.
Tisha B’Av primarily commemorates the destruction of the first and second Temples, both of which were destroyed on the ninth of Av. the first Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 B.C. and the second Temple by the Romans in 70 A.D.
Weddings, other celebrations, and cutting the hair are not permitted. From the first to the ninth of Av, most people also refrain from eating meat or drinking wine and from wearing new clothing. These restrictions are very similar to the restrictions observed during Yom Kippur. They are:
• No eating or drinking
• No washing or bathing
• No application of creams or oils
• No wearing of (leather) shoes
• No marital relations
The First Occurrence
• Av 9, 1312 BC – Only two of the twelve spies sent by Moses to observe the land of Canaan, Joshua and Caleb, returned with a positive report. The ten spy report caused the Hebrews to cry, panic, and despair of ever entering their Promised Land. For this, they were punished and Yahweh decreed that their generation would not enter the land and for all future generations this date would become one of crying and misfortune for their descendants, the Jewish people. (Numbers 13:25-14:12, Zechariah 7:3-5, 8:19).
First and Second Temple Destructions
• Av 9, 421 BC – The First Temple built by King Solomon was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar and the Judeans were sent into the Babylonian exile. About 100,000 Jews killed during invasion. Exile of remaining tribes in southern kingdom to Babylon and Persia.
• Av 9, 70 AD – The Second Temple built by Ezra and Nehemiah was destroyed by the Romans on August 4, 70 AD. Over 2,500,000 Jews die as a result of war, famine and disease. Over 1,000,000 Jews exiled to all parts of the Roman Empire. Over 100,000 Jews were sold as slaves by Romans or were killed and tortured in gladiatorial “games” and pagan celebrations.
• Av 9, 71 AD – The Roman army plowed Jerusalem with salt on July 25, 71 AD.
• Av 9, 132 AD – The Romans crushed Bar Kokhba’s revolt and destroyed the city of Betar, killing over 100,000 Jews, on July 8, 132.
• Av 9, 133 AD – Turnus Rufus ploughs the site of the Temple. The Romans build the pagan city of Aelia Capitolina on the site of Jerusalem.
• Av 9, 135 AD – The destruction of Simeon Bar Kokhba’s army on August 5, 135 AD.
• Av 9, 1095 AD – The First Crusade was declared by Pope Urban II on July 20, 1095. The Crusades bring death and destruction to thousands of Jews, totally obliterating many communities in Rhineland and France.
• Av 9, 1190 AD – 500 Jews died as a result of the rich storming a castle in York England on July 14, 1190.
• Av 9, 1290 AD – July 25, 1290 – Jews forced out of England accompanied by pogroms and confiscation of books and property.
• Av 9, 1290 AD – July 21, 1306 – The Jews were expelled from France, again accompanied by pogroms and confiscation of books and property.
• Av 9, 1492 AD – August 11, 1492 – The Inquisition in Spain and Portugal culminates in the expulsion of the Jews from the Iberian Peninsula. Families are separated, many die by drowning, and there is massive loss of property by all.
• Av 9, 1648 AD – On July 18, 1648 Bohdan Zenobi Chmielnicki, the leader of the The Cossacks, a military class of Ukranian-southern Russians, began the massacre of tens of thousands of Polish Jews. This massacre continued 1651.
• Av 9, 1914 AD World War I begins on August 1, 1914. Russia also launches persecutions against the Jews in Eastern Russia on this same day. There were over 400 pogroms immediately following World War I in Hungary, Ukraine, Poland, and Russia.
• Av 9, 1929 AD – Mufti Hajj Amin Al Hussein stirs up riots against Jews at the Wailing Wall, Hebron Massacre ensues.
• Av 9, 1941 AD – On August 2, 1941 SS commander Heinrich Himmler formally received approval from the Nazi Party for “The Final Solution”.
• Av 9, 1942 AD – The mass deportation began of Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto, en route to the Treblinka Concentration Camp, began on the eve of July 23, 1942.
• Av 9, 1989 AD – On August 10, 1989 The Iraqis walked out of the talks with Kuwait, then invaded Kuwait and set fires to the oil wells. This action finally lead to the Gulf War in 1992.
• Av 9, 1994 AD – The Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, Argentina, was bombed killing 86 and wounding 300 others on Monday July 18, 1994. On that same day the twenty-one pieces of Shoemaker-Levi Comet began bombarding the Planet Jupiter!
• Av 9, 2005 AD – Starting at midnight on August 14, 2005, the entry and presence of Israeli citizens in the Gaza Strip is prohibited.
• Av 9, 2006 AD The Lebanon War breaks out. On August 3, 2006, the Vatican sponsored “Rome Peace Conference” put the finishing touches on the “Rome Peace Accord”. This agreement halted the Israeli defensive thrust into Lebanon, and a Hezbollah commando force to abducted two Israeli soldiers.
• Av 9, 2012 AD – The 2012 Olympics were inaugurated in London, England on the evening of July 27, 2012. This date marked the 40th anniversary of the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany, during which eight Palestinian terrorists infiltrated the Munich Olympic village and killed eleven members of the Israel Olympic team.
• Av 9, 2014 AD – On August 5, 2014, Israel commemorated past and present tragedies, especially the destruction of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem and the subsequent exile of the Jews from the Land of Israel.
Av 9, 2015 AD – On July 25th, 2015 the Statue to Satan (Baphomet) was unveiled by the Satanic Temple in Detroit.
Yahweh declared that Tish’a B’Av would be a day of mourning and misfortune. To see these occurrences as simply coincidence would deny His word. Let us pray that Av 9th this year is not yet another day of disaster for our Jewish brothers.