Biblical Festivals/Holidays

Tisha B’Av

Tisha B’Av

Tisha B’Av, the ninth day in the Hebrew calendar month Av, usually July or August, marks a day of tragedy, sadness, and fasting for the Jewish people.

On this same day in history, a series of calamities are linked in a supernatural way, beyond the realm of coincidence:

1. Traditionally, this is the day the spies sent out by Moses (Moshe) to explore Canaan returned with a false report, believed by the people in spite of Joshua (Y’hoshua) and Caleb’s (Kalev’s) exhortation. For this, they were punished by wandering forty years in the wilderness. However, the rabbis predicted in the Talmud that for crying over the false report, the Jewish people would cry on that day for generations to come.

2. In 586 B.C.E., led by Nebuchadnezzar, the Babylonians destroyed the First Temple. 100,000 Jews perished, and millions were exiled.

3. On the same day 656 years later, in 70 A.D., the Second Temple was destroyed by the Romans, led by Titus. Again, many Jews died and were exiled.

4. Sixty-five years later, in 135 A.D., the Roman Emperor Hadrian crushed the Bar Kochba revolt. The fortress of Beitar, a Jewish stronghold, was liquidated, and over 100,000 Jews were slaughtered.

5. The Roman general Turnus Rufus plowed under the Temple area and its surroundings. Jerusalem was rebuilt as a pagan city named Aelia Capitolina, and access was forbidden to Jews. The land of Israel was renamed from Judea to Palestina, after Israel’s enemy the Philistines.

6. In 1096 Pope Urban II declared the First Crusade. Tens of thousands of Jews were killed, and many Jewish communities were obliterated.

7. In 1290, this day marked the first nation-wide rejection of Jews when the official decree expelling them from England was signed.

8. On the same day in 1492, one of the greatest upheavals in Jewish history occurred when the large Jewish community in Spain was expelled.

9. Jews were first ordered into a ghetto on this date in 1555, when the Jews of Rome were ordered to live in a district near the Tiber.

10. WWI broke out on Tisha B’Av in 1914, when Germany declared war on Russia. German resentment from the war set the stage for the Holocaust.

11. In 1941 on the same day, Reinhard Heydrich was ordered to carry out the “final solution” for the European Jews.

Not all the calamities for the Jews occurred on this day, however history records too many calamities for an entire month of Tisha B’Avs. The important thing to remember on this day is not man’s inhumanity to Jewish people, but Adonai’s preservation of His people in spite of Hasatan’s best attempts. This day is mentioned in Scripture:

“This is what ADONAI Tzva’ot says: ‘The fasts of the fourth, fifth, seventh and tenth months will become joyful and glad occasions and happy festivals for Judah. Therefore, love truth and peace’” (Zechariah [Z’kharyah] 8:19).

The month of Av is the fifth month, and even in the days of Zechariah [Z’kharyah], it was known as a fast. Lamentations [Eikhah] is the megillah traditionally read on this day. It is appropriate, on this day of sad memories, to recall Adonai’s enduring love and faithfulness, giving us hope in any of the Tisha B’Avs we may face in our personal lives.

“Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of Adonai’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. I say to myself, ‘Adonai is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.’ Adonai is good to those whose hope is in Him, to the one who seeks Him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of Adonai” (Lamentations [Eikhah] 3:21-26).

Yeshua is our hope and salvation!

About The Author

Rabbi Amnon Shor

Rabbi Amnon and Rebbetzin Lynette Shor are international conference speakers on prophetic subjects, the Middle East conflict, Biblical holidays, and Jewish cultural life. Rabbi Shor has appeared on many radio and television programs which include CBS, CBN, TBN, and Jewish Voice. He has also worked with Promise Keepers as the international liaison to Israel and the Middle East, and with the Road to Jerusalem Ministry as global spokesman.

Rabbi Amnon Shor, was born in Israel to an orthodox Jewish family. His grandfather Zachariah was a Rabbi in the local synagogue. Rabbi Shor learned the Old Testament and the Jewish Law from early childhood. After his service in the Israeli Army, where he fought the Egyptian Army in the 1973 Yom Kippur War, he set out to see the world working for EL-AL Israel’s Airlines , where he met his wife of 41 years Lynette. They have three children and seven grandchildren.

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