Religious : : Religious Committee Report

Tisha B’Av begins on the evening of July 31 and continues throughout the day August 1. Tisha B’Av, literally the 9th of Av, is regarded as the saddest day on the Jewish calendar. As we know both the First and Second Temples were destroyed on Tisha B’Av (587 BCE and 70 CE respectively) but other tragedies also occurred on the 9th of Av, or so close to Tisha B’Av they are considered to have happened on that date.

Moses sent out the twelve spies to check out the land of Canaan and when they returned on Tisha B’Av only two of the twelve spies, Joshua and Caleb, had positive reports. The other ten were so negative that the people despaired and even expressed a desire to return to Egypt. Because of their lack of faith G-d decreed that for all generations this date would become a day of crying and misfortune for their descendants.
Our exile from the Holy Land began when the Second Temple was destroyed.
The Romans crushed the Bar Kochba revolt and destroyed the city of Betar, killing 580,000 civilians in 135 CE. Roman commander Turnus Rufus then plowed the site of the Temple and the surrounding area.

There are other calamities associated with Tisha BîAv.
The First Crusade officially began in 1096 with 10,000 Jews killed in its first month and Jewish communities in France and the Rhineland destroyed.
Jews are expelled from England in 1290, from France in 1306 and from Spain in 1492.
Germany entered World War I in 1914.
SS Commander Himmler formally received approval from the Nazi Party for ìThe Final Solutionî in 1941.
The mass deportation of Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto to Treblinka begins in 1942.

Additionally on the 10th of Av in 1994 the AMIA bombing of the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires occurred killing 85 and injuring 300.

Tisha B’Av is observed with a fast and the same restrictions as on Yom Kippur. We also sit on low stools or on the floor as we do when sitting shiva. We read Eicha (Lamentations) during the evening service. Let’ pray that we have seen the end of tragedies befall our people.

While this day of gloom is upcoming, let us not forget the glorious day that we have recently celebrated. June 5, 2017 was the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the Six Day War. Beginning at 7:30 am local time, the Israeli Air Force destroyed the air force of Egypt in less than two hours. This set the tone for the entire war and was instrumental in a surrounded Israel defeating Egypt, Jordan and Syria. This military victory enabled the unification of Jerusalem under Jewish control for the first time in 2000 years and gave the nation of Israel defensible borders for the first time since the country was founded.

On this note, we wish y’all a fun summer. (That is our SOUTHERN California accent speaking.)

Sandy Shapiro and Arnold Miller