The 9th day of the month of Av commemorates the destruction of the first and second Temples in Jerusalem, as well as many other calamities that have befallen the Jewish people. It is a day of national mourning, but also a day of hope – remembering that we’ve not only survived the millennia but have thrived and returned to our ancestral homeland.
Together, with our friends from Ohr Shalom, we'll share a moving program, evening service, and the reading of Eikha (The Book of Lamentations). Ohr Shalom is located at 2512 3rd Avenue, San Diego, 92103.
Please note, in addition to fasting, it is customary to refrain from wearing leather shoes.
A Tragic Day In Jewish History
Built by King Solomon, the First Temple was the most important place in ancient Judaism. It was destroyed when the Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem in 586 B.C.E. The Second Temple was built on the site of the First Temple, completed in 516 B.C.E. and eventually destroyed, this time during the Roman siege of Jerusalem in 70 C.E. The destruction of the two Temples took place on the same day – the ninth of Av - about 656 years apart. These two events were so tragic that the ancient rabbis declared the anniversary of the Temples’ destruction a day of mourning. This is the origin ofTisha B'Av.
The day also commemorates other tragedies which occurred on the same day, including the Roman massacre of over 100,000 Jews at Betar in 132 CE. Coincidentally, the ninth of Av is the day that Jews were expelled from England in 1290, as well as the day that King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella expelled the Jews from Spain in 1492 and, most recently, the destruction of European Jewry in the Holocaust. As you can see, the ninth of Av has not been a good day for the Jewish people.
The Book of Lamentations which mourns the destruction of Jerusalem during the Tisha B’Av service, followed by the kinnot, a series of liturgical dirges which lament the loss of the Temple and Jerusalem.