Monday, July 31, 2017

The 'Nine Days' of Av, 2017

On the Hebrew calendar, tomorrow is the 9th day of the Hebrew month of Av. That means that tomorrow will be the last of the first nine days of Av. 

In Judaism, these first nine days of Av are called, 'the nine days'.

These nine days culminate with a 24+ hour fast on Tisha B'Av--the ninth of Av. We fast on the Ninth of Av because that is a day of national tragedy for the Jewish people. 

For example, on Tisha B’Av both Jewish Temples in Jerusalem were destroyed. They were destroyed more than 400 years apart. But their destruction took place on the same calendar date, the ninth of Av.

Other Jewish Tisha B’Av tragedies include:

-133 CE: The Roman governor of Israel ordered the site of the Holy Temple be ploughed under;

-1095: The First Crusade began, in which an estimated 10,000 Jews lost their lives in the first month;

-1290: The Jewish communities of England were expelled, making England essentially Jew-free for more than 350 years;

-1492: Queen Isabella of Spain issued her edict that the Jewish population be expelled from Spain; her edict  inaugurated the Spanish Inquisition;

1942: The deportations from the Warsaw Ghetto to the death camp at Treblinka commenced'';

1994: The Argentine Jewish community center in Buenos Aires was bombed, killing 85 people and wounding approximately 300 more.

(These dates from Avner Zarmi, “The Most Calamitous Date of the Jewish Year”, pjmedia, July 30,  2017)

Our Oral Law, the Talmud, adds more detail to Jewish calamities that fell on the 9th of Av. You'll find these details in tractate Taanit, (26a-26b).

These dates of calamity are not limited to the 9th Day of Av. In our Jewish tradition, all of the days from the beginning of Av to the 9th Day are days of special 'negative' significance. These 9 days are considered by many to be a period with significant calamitous potential.

This year, both in Israel and around the world, we can see how clearly the ‘9 Days’ are not ‘propitious’. This year, the ‘9 Days’ began July 24, 2017. They will culminate tomorrow with the 9th of the 9 Days, Tisha B’Av.

Read the headlines below. They come from this year's '9 days'. These headlines tell a tale of danger for Jews:

-Simon Kent, “Anti-Semitic Attacks in UK Soar Amid Warnings of Spread in ‘Hatred and Anger’”, breitbart, July 27, 2017;

-Adam Shaw, “Palestinian UN Envoy Refuses to Condemn Slaughter of Israeli Family: ‘Do Not Expect All Palestinians to Be Angels’”, breitbart, July 25, 2017;

- Christine  Douglass-Williams, “World Council of Churches again defends Palestinian jihadists over Israel”, jihadwatch, July 29, 2017;

-Joel Pollak, “California Imam Prays for Allah to ‘Annihilate’ Jews in Public Sermon”, breitbart, July 24, 2017;

-Robert Spencer, “Catholic Churches in Jerusalem blame Israel for Muslim violence, deny Biblical roots of Temple Mount”, jihadwatch, July 24, 2017;

-Daniel Siryoti, et al, “Jordanian protesters demand end to peace treaty with Israel”, israelhayom, July 30, 2017;

-Erez Linn, “Anti-Semitic incidents in Britain at record high, new report finds”, israelhayom, July 28, 2017;

-Daniel Siryoti, et al, “Police on high alert in Jerusalem as Palestinians call for 'day of rage'”, israelhayom, July 27, 2017;

-“Amid crisis, Israel dismantles Temple Mount metal detectors”, israelhayom, July 25, 2017;

-Trey Sanchez, “Palestine Wants No Security at Temple Mount, Calls to ‘Defend’ Site Against Israel”, absolutetruth, July 26, 2017;

-Benny Avni, “Malice on the Mount: The hate behind the latest Mideast crisis”, newyorkpost, July 24, 2017;

-Lior Akerman, “The Al-Aksa intifada”, jerusalempost, July 27, 2017;

-Michael Laitman, “Who is sovereign on Temple Mount?”, jerusalempost, July 26, 2017;

-Taamara Zieve, “UK watchdog: record number of anti-Semitic incidents in first half of year”, jerusalempost, July 27, 2017;

-Ben Lynfield, “PLO official: removal of metal detectors doesn’t solve Temple  Mount crisis”, Jerusalempost, July 26, 2017;

-Jeremy Sharon, “Temple Mount is ‘for Muslims and Palestinians only’”, jerusalempost, July 26, 2017;

-Dov Lieber, “At the Temple Mount, it’s not about metal detectors, it’s about sovereignty”, timesofisrael, July 26, 2017;

-“ Hamas declares Temple Mount ‘victory,’ calls new ‘day of rage’”, timesofisrael, July 26, 2017;

-“ ‘Intensify’ struggle over Temple Mount, Fatah urges”, timesofisrael, July 26, 2017;

-“ Protesters at Israeli Embassy in US slam Temple Mount security measures”, israelhayom, July 30, 2017;

-“ 'Removal of metal detectors puts all Jews at risk'”, arutzsheva, July 25, 2017;

-“ Hotovely: Security on Temple Mount meant to save lives”, arutzsheva, July 26, 2017;

-Shimon Cohen, “Israel's policemen are 'sitting ducks' on the Temple Mount”, arutz sheva, July 26, 2017;

-Gary Willig, “Did State Department copy old reports to whitewash PA?”, arutzsheva, July 26, 2017;

-Eldad Benari, “UN chief urges Israel to show 'restraint'”, arutzsheva, July 27, 2017;

-“Abbas wants to fan the flames”, arutzsheva, July 27, 2017;

-Tal Polon, “PA officials: We defeated Israel over Al-Aqsa”, arutzsheva, July 27, 2017

Israel does not live in peace. Jews everywhere are under pressure. Those who wish to destroy us rise against us. They hate us. They call repeatedly for a Day of Rage against us. 

That is the Tisha B'Av-2017 story these headlines tell us. It is a story of Jews surrounded by hate. It's a story that has been unchanged for more than 2,500 years.

If you choose to remember any of these headlines from the 9 Days of 2017, it should be this one headline: Fred Menachem, “Why the Temple Mount crisis is calling me home, to Israel/ I often turned my back on Shabbat, yet I now seek it” , jerusalempost, July 30, 2017. 

We should remember this headline because it reminds us to Whom we owe our survival--to the One Above, the One who gifted Shabbat to us, the One who protects Israel. 

If you remember anything today, remember the 9 Days. Remember the tragedies of Tisha B’Avs past. Remember the hate that clings to Tisha B'Av today. Most important of all, remember who will Redeem us. 

You don't believe you should turn  to G-d? Fine. Go to the UN. Go to the EU Parliament. Go to US Democrats. See how they will protect you.

Turn to HaShem, our G-d. There's no one else out there who will protect you. No one.

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