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Friday, Menachem Av 8, 5782 / August 5, 2022


As mentioned yesterday, because Tisha B’Av (9th of Av) falls on Shabbat, the fast begins Saturday night and ends Sunday night.   


Tisha B'Av is the saddest day in the Hebrew calendar.  On Tisha B'Av, we mourn the destruction of the First & Second Holy Temples.  Both were destroyed on the 9th of Av - 490 years apart. 


The story in Genesis (32:25) about the angel who wrestled with Jacob all night, causing Jacob to limp, occurred on the night of Tisha B’Av. This was a hint of the many unfortunate things which will happen to Jacob’s descendants on that day, throughout the generations. In addition to the destruction of the Temples, many other tragic events took place on this day.  Here are a few:


*  The story with the spies who brought back a negative report after exploring the Promised Land, took place on Tisha B’Av.  As a result, the Jewish people refused to go to Israel.  G-d then decreed that every male, over the age of twenty at that time, would die in the desert and not enter into the Promised Land.  Due to this tragic event Jews spent forty years in the desert.     


* On Tisha B’Av the Romans decreed that the site where the Temple stood be plowed and desecrated.


* The city of Betar, from where Bar Kochba fiercely fought the Romans, fell on Tisha B’Av.  According to the Talmud, many hundreds of thousands of Jews were killed there.


*  On Tisha B’Av, in the year 5252 (1492) Jews were expelled from Spain.


Saturday night in synagogue, after the evening service, we sit on the floor or on a low stool and listen to the reciting of the Book of Lamentations (Eicha), in which the prophet Jeremiah laments the destruction of the Temple and the city of Jerusalem.


Due to the fast, the Sunday morning prayer is recited without the Tallit and Tefillin.  Instead, we wear the Tallit and Tefillin for the afternoon (Mincha) prayer.


The Talmud says, "Whoever mourns for Jerusalem and the Temples will ultimately merit to partake in its rebuilding and rejoicing!"


Q.  Why is the Book of Lamentations, which is read on Tisha B'Av, not required to be written on parchment like the Megila of Esther (Scroll of Esther), which recalls the miracle of Purim?


A.  Purim is a permanent holiday, which will be celebrated even after the coming of Moshiach. Thus, the story of Purim is recorded on parchment like the rest of the Torah.  However, Tisha B'Av which deals with the destruction of the Temple is only temporary. When Moshiach will come and the Holy Temple will be rebuilt, Tisha B’Av will be transformed into a festive holiday. May it be speedily in our days. AMEN.



 Montreal candle lighting time: 7:59 / Shabbat ends: 9:06