Tomorrow is Tisha B’av, which is the most tragic date in Judaism. Tradition holds that the five main calamities to befall on the Jews happened on this day. It was on this day that the Israelites expressed doubt about God’s promise that Canaan will be delivered to them, the date on which the first and second Temples were destroyed, the first by the Babylonians and the second by Romans, the day when the Bar Kochba revolt was crushed, and the day on which the Temple Mount and surrounding areas were plowed by the Romans.
It was the day on which the First Crusade began, over the course of which many Jews were murdered by Crusaders. The Jews were expelled from England and Spain on Tisha B’av, and it was on this day that Nazi Germany implemented the Final Solution. In short, it is a day of mourning.
Jews fast on this day for 25 hours, from the hour before sunset on the previous day until sunset of Tisha B’av. Expressions of joy are prohibited, and people are encouraged to read the Book of Lamentations.
But this day offers consolation to me of sorts, that we have lived through so much. All who tried to destroy us were themselves destroyed, but we live on as a people, and hopefully we will live on so long as humanity does.
עם ישראל חי