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What happened on the Ninth of Av?

What happened on the Ninth of Av?

A Historical Overview


The 9th of Av, Tisha b'Av, commemorates a list of catastrophes so severe it's clearly a day specially cursed by G‑d.

Picture this: The year is 1313 BCE. The Israelites are in the desert, recently having experienced the miraculous Exodus, and are now poised to enter the Promised Land. But first they dispatch a reconnaissance mission to assist in formulating a prudent battle strategy. The spies return on the eighth day of Av and report that the land is unconquerable. That night, the 9th of Av, the people cry. They insist that they'd rather go backThe Jews were shocked to realize that their Second Temple was destroyed the same day as the first to Egypt than be slaughtered by the Canaanites. G‑d is highly displeased by this public demonstration of distrust in His power, and consequently that generation of Israelites never enters the Holy Land. Only their children have that privilege, after wandering in the desert for another 38 years.

The First Temple was also destroyed on the 9th of Av (423 BCE). Five centuries later (in 69 CE), as the Romans drew closer to the Second Temple, ready to torch it, the Jews were shocked to realize that their Second Temple was destroyed the same day as the first.

When the Jews rebelled against Roman rule, they believed that their leader, Simon bar Kochba, would fulfill their messianic longings. But their hopes were cruelly dashed in 133 CE as the Jewish rebels were brutally butchered in the final battle at Betar. The date of the massacre? Of course—the 9th of Av!

One year after their conquest of Betar, the Romans plowed over the Temple Mount, our nation's holiest site.

The Jews were expelled from England in 1290 CE on, you guessed it, Tisha b'Av. In 1492, the Golden Age of Spain came to a close when Queen Isabella and her husband Ferdinand ordered that the Jews be banished from the land. The edict of expulsion was signed on March 31, 1492, and the Jews were given exactly four months to put their affairs in order and leave the country. The Hebrew date on which no Jew was allowed any longer to remain in the land where he had enjoyed welcome and prosperity? Oh, by now you know it—the 9th of Av.

The Jews were expelled from England in 1290 CE on, you guessed it, Tisha b'AvReady for just one more? World War II and the Holocaust, historians conclude, was actually the long drawn-out conclusion of World War I that began in 1914. And yes, amazingly enough, Germany declared war on Russia, effectively catapulting the First World War into motion, on the 9th of Av, Tisha b'Av.

What do you make of all this? Jews see this as another confirmation of the deeply held conviction that history isn't haphazard; events – even terrible ones – are part of a Divine plan and have spiritual meaning. The message of time is that everything has a rational purpose, even though we don't understand it.

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Discussion (57)
April 6, 2014
Respond to Anonymous
The pages you reference have no source citations, so are unhelpful.

In the Trial of Major War Criminals, Nuremberg, 14 November 1945-1 October 1946; (International Military Tribunal; Nuremberg, 1947), I found in Volume 1, (pp. 265-266): "On 24 January 1939 Heydrich, the Chief of the Security Police and SD, was charged with furthering the emigration and evacuation of Jews from Germany, and on 31 July 1941, with bringing about a complete solution of the Jewish - problem in German-dominated Europe."

You may access the entire trial record online.

In 1941, Erev Tisha B'Av - as you noted - was the night of 2 August (Shabbos) and Tisha B'Av was 3 August (Sunday).

In the quote above, Himmler (y'mach shmo) is not mentioned. It is possible that he was "at work" on a Sunday, and so signed a document.

If you know of a source that mentions such a document signed by Himmler on 2 August 41, please cite the actual source, as I have done.
Jay E. Simkin
April 5, 2014
Your question
Yes Jay, the Himmler/Tisha B'Av connection, is noted in quite a few places. If you do a google search using the terms "Himmler Tisha B'Av", you will see all the web pages listed. God seems to have put a pretty heavy curse, on Tisha B'Av. The wikipedia list, for Tisha B'Av, is actually, horrific. Unbelievable. And it does list the Himmler connection, also.
April 2, 2014
This is for "Anonymous". What is your source for the statement that, "SS commanded Heinrich..."? Please cite a book (which in turn cites the specific document), a newspaper/magazine article (which in turn cites the specific document), or the Nurnberg Trial Record (Trials of Major German War Criminals, with Volume and Page numbers, etc.).

The Wannsee Conference was a well-known event. I do not rule out that there was some earlier authorization. I'd like to see the document. I read German. Those, who met at Wannsee, approved a plan to murder every Jew, upon whom the Nazis could lay hands..
Jay E. Simkin
April 2, 2014
The Final Solution was in fact decided on Tisha B'Av
On August 2nd, 1941, (Av 9, 5701 AM), SS commander Heinrich Himmler received approval from the Nazi party for "The Final Solution". One year later, to the day, the plan was formally implemented. The final solution was the almost completely successful plan to murder all the Jews in Europe. Almost 50% of the Jews on the face of the earth were captured and killed at that time.
March 17, 2014
"The Final Solution" was not decided on Tisha B'AV
Nazi officials met at a house in Wannsee (pronounced "Vahnzay"), a Berlin suburb on 20 January 1942 (2 Shvat 5702). These officials planned the murder of all Jews in Nazi-held Europe. The month of Av never occurs in the solar calendar month of January.

On Tisha B'Av 1942 (22-23 July 1942), the Nazis began to transport Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto to the murder facility at Treblinka. By Rosh Hashanah (21 September 1942) some 250,000-300,000 Jews had been sent to Treblinka. Almost all were murdered within 24 hours of arrival.

Be advised: the term "extermination" should NEVER be used when discussing a genocide. "Extermination" is done to harmful insects. The term "slaughter" should never be used in connection with a genocide. "Slaughter" is how animals are killed. The use of such terms is intensely disrespectful to the victims. There is only one word in English to describe what befalls the victims of a genocidal regime: "murder"!
Jay E. Simkin
March 17, 2014
Final solution
Yes Wesley Isaacs on 1942AD
March 11, 2014
Final soloution.
It is my understanding that the paperwork implementing the Nazi final solution, beginning the holocaust for the Jews was signed on the 9th of Av also. Can anyone confirm or discount this?
Wesley Isaacs
August 4, 2013
Very accurate - the Jew is the proof to the world that G-d exists, and rules over the events of history.
Heimie Steiner
July 16, 2013
Strength of G-d. A Global Event
A global event dedicated to the strength of G-d occurs every Shabbat ,every Jewish holiday and every day . Just pick up a Jewish prayer book and you will see we praise the strength of G-d 3times a day, on a global level, as we are a nation spread all over the world.
Sharon, Ma
July 16, 2013
expulsion Gush Katif 2005
Let's not forget that over eight hundred families were expelled from Gush Katif, on day after the Ninth of Av 2005. It was originally was planned for the Ninth of Av but was postponed for the day after. I am a former resident of Gush Katif.
Alan B
Beit Shemesh
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