Monday, July 23, 2007

Tisha B'Av

Tisha B'Av began tonight at sundown, and as this is the first time I have ever done anything for it, I wanted to blog about it. Since this was one of the many Jewish holidays I didn't know much about growing up, I'll start from the beginning. The 10th day of the month of Av (Tisha B'Av) is one of the most somber days in the Jewish calendar. Originally designated to commemorate the destruction of the first and second temple (and the subsequent exile of the Jewish people from Jerusalem), a number of tragedies have since happened on/near this day throughout history:

1) The destruction of the First Temple on the 7th or 10th of Av in 586 BCE by Nebuchadnezzar (king of Babylonia)

2) The second Temple was destroyed on the 10th (70 C.E. by Titus)

3)The capture of Bethar, which marked the final defeat of Bar Kokhba's rebellion against the Romans, and the razing of Jerusalem by the Romans

4) The edict of King Edward I compelling the Jews of England to leave the country was signed in 1290,

5) The Jews were expelled from Spain in 1492

6) World War I broke out in 1914

7) The bombing of the Israeli Embassy in Argentina in 1994 by Iranian-backed Hezbollah

It's a bit scary that so many destructive historical events happened then. Likewise, it's fairly depressing to be reminded that in so many stages of history our people have been hated, abused, expelled from one place or another, shattered as a people. So we fast, use the day for introspection, mourn for the tragedies of history. And from what I've found so far, there's also a note of hope, a realization that no matter how much we've suffered, we're still here. We're still alive and kicking. And with Israel's declaration of independence in 1948, we are regathered from exile with a state again. To quote another country song, "That's something to be proud of."

1 comment:

Crazy Guns said...

Please balance this blog out with some NON tragedy holiday blogs. One that I wouldn't know was happening. I don't know....History and Jews is so depressing. It's like listening to fat people talk about how everyone shits on them. I would just like to know if there was a time when SOMEONE hooked a Jew up with something good and you guys were like "We will remember this day FOREVER."

I mean being proud to be a survivor is not bad....please don't get me wrong. I totally respect that...hey...one of my best friends is Jewish. But shit dude...if something FUCKED UP happened on this day....don't celebrate it. Celebrate the day you came together and did something about it (that is scarey cause I wrote that sentence and heard your voice in my head).

A list of possible black holidays:

Hurricane Katrina Day
Martin Luther King got shot Day
Free Mumia Day
First Slave Ship Day
Jim Crow Day
Willie Lynch Day
Malcolm X got shot day

Shit. I watch a movie like "Rosewood" I'm mad at white people. I'll have to ask how you guys do that so well.