Rabbi Dovid Saks
529 Wyoming Ave.
Scranton, PA 18509
108 N. Abington Rd.
Clarks Summit, PA 18411
Tisha B’Av - Ninth day of Av
The fifth month of the Hebrew calendar year is Av. The ninth day of this
month is a day of fasting, mourning and prayer to G-d. This fast, as does
Yom Kippur, begins at sundown and ends the next night.
Why the Ninth of Av
After the exodus from Egypt, the Jews sent 12 spies to scout the land of Israel. Upon returning, 10 spies gave a terrifying report about the land. They said it would be impossible to conquer and settle the land.
A great debate ensued. The people, overcome by emotion and tears decided not to follow Moshe into the Land of Israel. This occurred on the Ninth day of Av.
For this great sin, G-d decreed that that generation - the males who were from the ages of 20 - 60 when they left Egypt - would not be allowed to enter into Israel and had to wander in the desert for forty years. Only the next generation entered the land.
In addition, since on that day the nation shed tears for naught, G-d decreed that in the future, on the Ninth of Av, He would give the people a reason to grieve. It is not coincidental that many major calamities that befell the Jewish people throughout our history occurred on the Ninth day of Av.
The Land of Israel was settled by the Jews under the leadership of Joshua and eventually the Kingdom of David was established. King David began preparations to build a Temple to G-d, while his son Solomon actually erected the Temple.
The Temple was the most holy place of worship. The presence of G-d was continuously revealed in the Temple. All who came, Jew and gentile alike, were spiritually inspired.
The Temple consisted of two enormous stone edifices with a huge courtyard and was encompassed by a wall. The Temple stood on Mount Moriah.
The only place where animal, bird, meal and incense offerings were allowed to be offered was in the Temple on its two Altars. A seven branched golden candelabra was lit there each evening.
Men from the Priestly Kohain family were permitted to perform the various services in the Temple; men from the Levite family guarded the Temple and sang and played music each day in the Temple.
However, the Jewish people committed great sins and G-d sent prophets to warn them that if they did not change their ways they would be exiled from Israel and the Temple would be destroyed.
This prophesy came to pass on the Ninth of Av in the year 463 BCE. After 410 years of existence the Temple was set ablaze by the officer Nevuzraden who acted upon the orders of Nevuchadnetzar the King of Babylon. Many Jews were killed and the nation was exiled.
During the 70 year exile from the Land of Israel, the Babylonian Empire was conquered by the Persian Empire, and it was during this time that the Purim story took place.
In the year 353 BCE, Ezra the Scribe was granted permission from the King of Persia to lead the Jews back to Israel, and begin construction of the Temple. It took 4 years to complete and throughout its existence it was remodeled a number of times. Its final and most complete renovation was done by King Herod, with the permission of the Rabbis. The remnants of this Temple can be seen in Jerusalem today.
During the period of the second Temple not all Jews returned to Israel. A large population of Jews remained in exile and migrated into other countries.
The Chanukah miracle occurred during the existence of the second Temple.
For many years Israel was governed by the Selucids and Romans. While under the rule of Rome, the people revolted and a great war with the Romans began. After three years of war, under the leadership of Titus, the Romans breached the walls of Jerusalem and sacked the city. On the Ninth