|The Ninth of Av its meaning and restrictions|
On Tisha, in English the Ninth B'Av, five national calamities occurred. It is a traditional day of mourning and fasting.
â€¢ During the time of Moses, Jews in the desert accepted the slanderous report of the 10 Spies, and the decree was issued forbidding them from entering the Land of Israel.
â€¢ The First Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians, led by Nebuchadnezzar. 100,000 Jews were slaughtered and millions more exiled.
â€¢ The Second Temple was destroyed by the Romans, led by Titus. Some two million Jews died, and another one million were exiled.
â€¢ The Bar Kochba revolt was crushed by Roman Emperor Hadrian. The city of Betar â€“ the Jews' last stand against the Romans â€“ was captured and liquidated. Over 100,000 Jews were slaughtered.
â€¢ The Temple area and its surroundings were plowed under by the Roman general Turnus Rufus. Jerusalem was rebuilt as a pagan city â€“ renamed Aelia Capitolina â€“ and access was forbidden to Jews.
Other grave misfortunes throughout Jewish history occurred on the Ninth of Av, including:
â€¢ The Spanish Inquisition culminated with the expulsion of Jews from Spain on Tisha B'Av in 1492.
â€¢ World War One broke out on the eve of Tisha B'Av in 1914 when Germany declared war on Russia. German resentment from the war set the stage for the Holocaust.
â€¢ On the eve of Tisha B'Av 1942, the mass deportation began of Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto, en route to Treblinka.
Restrictions on Tisha B'Av
â€¢ No eating or drinking until nightfall the following evening.
Pregnant and nursing women are also required to fast. If one suspects it could be harmful to the baby or mother, a rabbi should be consulted. Others who are old, weak, or ill should consult with a rabbi. Medicine may be taken on Tisha B'Av, preferably without water.
â€¢ Any bathing or washing, except for removing specific dirt. Upon rising in the morning, before prayers, or after using the bathroom, one washes only the fingers. Anointing oneself for pleasure. Deodorant is permitted.
Supplied by Aish.com
(Issue July/August 2009)