Wednesday, August 1, 2007

The 9th Day of Av - a late note

re the 9th Day of Av, this appeared in my home mail in the JTS weekly commentary.

Five misfortunes befell our ancestors . . . on the ninth of Av . . . On the ninth of Av it was decreed that our ancestors should not enter the promised land, the Temple was destroyed the first and second time, Bethar was captured and Jerusalem was ploughed up (M Ta'anit 4:6)...

... Throughout history, this list has expanded to include the expulsion of Jews from England (1290) and Spain (1492); the beginning of the extermination of Jews in Treblinka and the Warsaw Ghetto (1942); the bombing of the Asociación Mutua Israelita in Argentina (1994); and just last year the war between Israel and Lebanon eerily coincided with this period of mourning.

Rabbi Wolf offers the story of a Bible which came out of Spain in the 15th century and is now in the JTS library containing on its last page a note on the dating of the expulsion from Spain. He concludes with: "Their lesson through the pages of the Mishah was that the sorrow may fade, but relevance must never cease. We must continue to commemorate."

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