Some area synagogues this weekend will mark one of the saddest days on the Jewish calendar with a fasting period that starts at sunset today and ends at sundown tomorrow.
Jews will be in mourning over the tragic events that happened on Tisha B Av, or the ninth day of the Jewish month of Av, particularly remembering the destruction of the temples in Jerusalem and the city itself in ancient times.
We have special services during this period. We read the book of lamentations and recite special prayers to commemorate many tragedies, including a prayer for the victims of the Holocaust, said Evan Rubin, Cantor at Congregation Etz Chayim.
The destruction of the First Temple in Jerusalem occurred in 586 B.C., by King Nebuchadnezzar, and the second one was destroyed by Titus in 70 A.D.
Jews believe many sad things have historically happened on Tisha B Av, the same day on which it was decreed that Israelites should wander through the wilderness for 40 years.
In 1290, King Edward I signed the decree expelling Jews from England on the same day; they were not readmitted until the 17th century. And in 1492, more than 150,000 Jews were expelled from Spain under the command of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella.
Other tragedies that are said to have occurred on this day of mourning include the fall of Betar, a Jewish stronghold during the rebellion against Rome, in 135 A.D. The assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand also occurred on the ninth of Av in 1914, which led to the start of World War I.
Tisha B Av, Jews believe, is especially linked to the concept of sensitive and thoughtful speech, traditionally a time of introspection when Jews examine their relationships with each other.
Mourning practices to mark the ninth day of the Jewish month of Av include: no haircuts, no attending weddings, no attendance at parties, no eating meat, drinking wine, seating in comfortable chairs, bathing, or having sexual relations.
Tisha B Av services will be held at 8 tonight and at 9 a.m. tomorrow at Temple B nai Israel, 2727 Kenwood Blvd, and at Congregation Etz Chayim, 3853 Woodley Rd., where services will start at 6 tonight and continue through the weekend, including a 1 p.m. program in the library tomorrow.
Contact Karamagi Rujumba at:firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6064.