Tisha B’Av is the saddest day every year in the lives of Jews worldwide.
On this day, history has recorded these tragedies happening to the Jewish people. With thanks to “Ohr Somayach” http://ohr.edu/1088
|2448||(1312)||Spies return from 40 days in Israel with evil reports of the Land of Israel. Jewish people cry in despair, give up hope of entering the Land of Israel.|
|3340||(421)||Destruction of First Temple by the Babylonians, under Nebuchadnezar. About 100,000 Jews killed during invasion. Exile of remaining tribes in the southern kingdom to Babylon and Persia.|
|3830||70||Destruction of Second Temple by Romans, under Titus. Over 2,500,000 Jews die as a result of the war, famine and disease. Over 1,000,000 Jews exiled to all parts of the Roman Empire. Over 100,000 Jews sold as slaves by Romans. Jews killed and tortured in gladiatorial “games” and pagan celebrations.|
|3892||132||Bar Kochba revolt crushed. Betar destroyed – over 100,00 killed.|
|3893||133||Turnus Rufus ploughs site of Temple. Romans build the pagan city of Aelia Capitolina on the location of Jerusalem.|
|4855||1095||First Crusade declared by Pope Urban II. 10,000 Jews killed in the first month of Crusade. Crusades bring death and destruction to thousands of Jews, totally obliterate many communities in Rhineland and France.|
|5050||1290||Expulsion of Jews from England, accompanied by pogroms and confiscation of books and property.|
|5252||1492||Inquisition in Spain and Portugal culminates in the expulsion of the Jews from the Iberian Peninsula. Families separated, many die by drowning, massive loss of property.|
|5674||1914||Britain and Russia declare war on Germany. First World War begins. First World War issues unresolved, ultimately causing Second World War and Holocaust. 75% of all Jews in war zones. Jews in armies of all sides – 120,000 Jewish casualties in armies. Over 400 pogroms immediately following the war in Hungary, Ukraine, Poland, and Russia.|
|5702||1942||Deportations from Warsaw Ghetto to the Treblinka concentration camp begin.|
|5749||1989||Iraq walks out of talks with Kuwait.|
|5754||1994||The deadly bombing of the building of the AMIA (the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, Argentina) which killed 86 people and wounded some 300 others.|
As you can see, throughout many centuries, so many tragedies happened on this day.
That cannot be a coincidence. It is G-D letting us know He is in charge, in case we imagine it is otherwise.
In Israel, lifeguards place black signs at the beaches on every Tisha B’av, because many people had drowned when they went for a swim on that particular day.
Credible sources, testify that it is even dangerous to enter the beach, because “it feels as if you are being sucked by the sea, it is as if though the sea wanted to kill you….”
Romans carrying the Menorah taken from the Temple of Jerusalem Tisha B’Av in History
Recently, my Rabbi, the famous Rav Yaacov Weiner, from Israel, taught me the following so I can share it further with Jews and non-Jews alike.
As we know, parents are there to raise and educate their children.
How do we raise our children? We teach them right from wrong, with love, example, and authority.
However, children are natural recidivists, meaning they tend to repeat their mistakes.
There comes the father figure, to guide them and to fix their behavior.
That said, when mistakes happen too many times, the father has to implement some punishment.
Now, to Tisha B’Av.
Tisha, in Hebrew, means the number nine, in this case, the Ninth Day.
B’ in Hebrew, means “of.”
Av or Ab, in Hebrew, means Father.
Thus, Ab or Av, is the Month of The Father.
Rav Weiner explained to me that when ALL greatest tragedies happen on the Ninth of Ab, it means that it is our ABBA, Our Father, who is punishing us, Jews, His Chosen People because He Loves us.
Yes, a Father will punish us for going against the Universal Commandments He has left for us to follow.
Yes, we as His Children, have been misbehaving throughout all the millennia that we have been one with Him.
Even now, in Israel, so many infractions, purposeful violations of His Law are happening, that many among us see how we may be approaching the time of redemption.
G-D gave the Noahide laws to the nations of the world, as He calls them.
Their requirements to access eternal life are infinitely less than what Jews need to oblige by birth.
Nonetheless, the nations of the world are also violating those few Noahide laws.
What is happening currently in the world is not an accident.
G-D is Just.
As The Father, He is allowing it to happen, because we have been abusing Him.
He gave us a beautiful world, which instead of making it blossom, we are intent on destroying by taking the slippery slope of degeneration and so, we are hurting our human soul.
To finalize, I want to stress that the soul we have comes directly and is a part of G-D.
That is why so often, I have advised that one has to keep our bodies pure because they are the temple where our souls are parked.A key element is our children’s education.
A key element is our children’s education.
Parents must be keen in making their job the best possible.
Parenthood is not giving more material things to your children.
Parenthood is about giving values to our children, and taking upon us more work and more effort, by being the vigilantes caring for their proper education, persisting on G-D’s Values.
Right now, at the point where we find ourselves, it is imperative that we correct our direction.
We cannot wait any more years to do so.
Meanwhile, we Jews, pray for forgiveness and for inspiration to be able to follow G-D’s Commandments with love, with diligence, and, ultimately, because He wants us to do so.
Prayer will help.
But prayers must be accompanied by actions.
May G-D watch over Israel and the Jewish people.
May G-D watch over America and the American people.
May G-D watch over the peoples of good will in this, His World.
THANK YOU NOTE B”H
With thankfulness to my inspiring and caring Rav Yaacov Weiner, Dean of the Jerusalem Center for Research: Medicine and Halacha.
He received his rabbinical training at three distinguished educational institutions: Yeshivat Harav Chaim Berlin in New York, the Chevron Yeshiva in Jerusalem and Mosad Harav Kook in Jerusalem, where he was granted rabbinical authority to judge all halachic matters from HaGaon, Harav Bezalel Zolty (z”l), former Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem.
Rav Weiner served as a pulpit rabbi at a Young Israel congregation in Jerusalem and was a Rosh Yeshiva in Dvar Yerushalayim. He was also Rosh Kollel in Beit Shemesh and Rosh Kollel of the Institute of Science and Halacha.
He divides his time between actively pursuing the Center’s goals in Israel, and lecturing around the world on a wide variety of topics in science, technology and Jewish bioethics.
He also serves as a scholar in residence in Jewish communities in North and South America and in Europe, and has delivered papers at professional medical conferences both in Israel and abroad.
Rav Weiner is the author of two books: Ben Yechabed Av (1975) and Ye Shall Surely Heal (1995). He is currently writing the second volume of Ye Shall Surely Heal.
Rav Weiner can be e-mailed directly at [email protected]
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Thank you very much. EB-Team