July 16, 2013, - 2:05 pm

Tisha B’Av: Jewish Fast Marks Historic Day of Tragedies

By Debbie Schlussel

Today is Tisha B’Av, meaning the Ninth of Av, a Jewish fast day which marks tragedies that happened on this day throughout Jewish history, primarily the day of the destruction of both of the Jewish Temples in Jerusalem, the eternal Jewish capital.


To my fellow Jewish friends and readers who are fasting today, I wish you an easy fast. To my gentile readers, Jewish fasts are not the wimpy Ramadan BS. We do not eat or drink for 25 hours, and it’s harder on a day like today, given that it’s 92 degrees where I live, today, and more like 102 degrees with the humidity/on the heat index. But unlike Muslims, we don’t whine about it or complain or demand that you stop eating and drinking and shove our religion in your face like the religion of Nidal Malik Hasan and the 9/11 hijackers does. We chose this, so it’s on us and we don’t seek to impose this on anyone else or demand special treatment. We also don’t ask the TSA to send out special messages to the world demanding they acquiesce to our every demand (the way the TSA did for Muslims during this Ramadan festival of increased terrrorism).

Tisha B’Av marks the end of three weeks (and nine days within those three weeks) of deprivation, sacrifice, and mourning in the Jewish religion (though, since most Jews are JINOs–Jews In Name Only–few Jews observe that). The fast began at sundown last night and ends tonight at nightfall. During the fast, we do not eat, drink, take showers, etc. Jewish fasts also mean absolutely no eating, drinking, bathing (no showers), shaving, haircuts, laundry, washing, swimming, make-up wearing, sex, wearing of leather shoes, music, or entertainment.

As I’ve previously noted, Tisha B’Av is a day on which five major tragedies occurred to the Jewish people. It marks the destruction of the Jewish Temples–both of them and many other tragedies in Jewish history, which all occurred on this day in the Jewish calendar. On Tisha B’Av in 1492, the Jews were officially expelled from Spain. Tisha B’Av 1914 (August 1, 1914) was the day World War I broke out, setting the stage for World War II and the Holocaust. On the eve of Tisha B’Av 1942, the Nazis’ mass deportation of Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto began. Most were sent to their deaths at the Treblinka Nazi death camp. Just after Tisha B’Av 1994 concluded, Hezbollah and Iran bombed the Jewish community center of Buenos Aires (Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina), Argentina, killing 86 and wounding at least 300 others.

In 1942, many American Catholic priests and Christian ministers participated in the holiday, fasting along with their Jewish-American friends, as then reported in TIME Magazine.

More on Tisha B’Av at Judaism 101 and My Jewish Learning.

Tags: , , , , , ,

18 Responses

Today on Tisha B’Av:

#Jew-hating Europeans decreed Israel must not recognize Judea and Samaria and “east” Jerusalem as part of sovereign Israel in future EU-Israel agreements. Yup, official apartheid against Jews. The evil decree actually goes into effect July 19th but was announced today. Europe finds the only “occupation” to be officially repugnant is Jews living in the cradle of their homeland, including their eternal capital! They would NEVER do this to any other nation in the world. Hey, its all the Joos’ fault!

#The cowardly and gutless Israel Police, trampling over Israeli laws guaranteeing freedom of access to holy places and freedom of religious worship, have out of fear of Arab rioting, banned Jews from ascending the Temple Mount on Tisha B’Av.

The list of tragedies Jews mourn never seems to be at an end and some of them are are entirely self-inflicted!

NormanF on July 16, 2013 at 2:15 pm

Thanks Norman,
Europe just can’t help herself apparently neither can Shimon Peres.

Ramadan Bombathon on July 16, 2013 at 2:51 pm

I can’t help but notice that the Muslim Ramadan observance is very close to the date of the Jewish observance of Tisha B’av. Of course, several Muslim practices are actually derived from Jewish practices, such as, for example, circumcision, the prohibition of pork, and fasts. Does anyone know if Ramadan is another such derivative from the Jewish practices on Tisha B’av, especially as to the timing?

Ralph Adamo on July 16, 2013 at 5:28 pm

Ralph, the time of Ramadan is different from year to year relative to both the Jewish and secular calendars. This is because Islam follows a strict lunar calendar. It is just a coincidence that it happens to be close to Tisha B’Av this year. When I first became aware of Ramadan, it was happening in the fall and has been getting earlier every year since. As far as I know, there is no other relationship with Jewish practice. Hope this helps.

Petunia on July 16, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    Thanks, Petunia, for the insights. It looks like I was correct about Ramadan being derived from Jewish practices, but I had the wrong event, as Ramadan falling near Tisha B’av this year was strictly a coincidence. I did some research on the Internet and according to one source, Ramadan is actually derived from Yom Kippur, and has no association with Tish B’av. Muhammad, who was in close contact with the Jewish tribes of Arabia (ancestors of today’s Yemenite Jews), derived the names for the principal observances of Islam from Hebrew or Aramaic terms that were in common use among the Jews.

    The fast of Ramadan is known as the sawm (identical to the sound of the Hebrew word for a fast, tzom). And Ramadan actually took the place of an earlier practice, a single-day fast known in Arabic as the Ashura. The Koran (2:183-187) refers to “the fast as it was prescribed for those before you” and was intended to adopt the Jewish custom of fasting on the Day of Atonement. The Arabic word Ashura is similar to the Hebrew word Asor, the tenth, the term used in the Bible (Leviticus 16:29) to designate the date of Yom Kippur (the tenth day of the seventh month).

    Ralph Adamo on July 16, 2013 at 8:55 pm

      Very interesting Ralph. Thanks.

      skzion on July 16, 2013 at 9:39 pm

        Of course, the fact that many of the Muslim practices were derived from Jewish practices proves, in this particular case, that imitation isn’t necessarily the sincerest form of flattery. If the Muslims were to truly emulate Jewish values, there might actually be peace. To paraphrase Golda Meir, there will be peace with and among the Muslims when they love their children more than they hate non-Muslims.

        Ralph Adamo on July 17, 2013 at 12:01 am

Best Possible Wishes, Gracious Hostess

Jack on July 16, 2013 at 5:51 pm

These are not coincidences but signs from God. Beginning next year, the 4 blood red moons (full eclipses) in 2014 and 2015 fall on Passover and Sukkot. In the past, when these eclipses have occurred on these Jewish feast days (the last set occurred in 1967 and 1968), there were important events that happened to the Jews (the last 4 blood red moons with the Jewish holidays before 1967 were in 1949 – 1950 and 1492 – 1493 I believe). The first blood red moon in 2014 occurs on April 15, 2014. Is this a sign to the USA?

Concerned Citizen on July 16, 2013 at 7:53 pm

Concerned Citizen,

Past Three Blood Moons:

In 1492: Jews were tortured by the Roman CatholicChurch, murdered, burned, etc. and finally run out of Spain because they wouldnot convert to Catholicism.

In 1948: This was just after the Holocaust. Jewsreunited in Israel and David Ben-Gurion announced the birth of the State ofIsrael. Harry Truman recognized the State of Israel 11 minutes later.

In 1967: Jerusalem was united to the State of Israel.

Coming Four Blood Moons:

1. On 4-15-14, Eclipse of the Moon coincides with Passover.

2. On 10-8-14, Eclipse of the Moon coincides with Sukkot.

On 3-20-15, Eclipse of the Sun coincides with Adar 29 and Nissan 1on the Jewish calendar.

3. On 4-4-15, Eclipse of Moon coincides with Passover.

The messages are directed to Israel and the world.

As goes Israel, so goes the World... on July 16, 2013 at 8:03 pm

Here is number 4

4. On 9-28-15, Eclipse of Moon coincides with Sukkot

As goes Israel, so goes the World... on July 16, 2013 at 8:05 pm

Petunia is correct. It’s just happenstance that Tisha B’av falls within Ramadan this year. The Hebrew calendar is a hybrid solar/lunar following a 19-year cycle with corrections as required made even to that to keep holidays within their proper season. The Islamic calendar is far less sophisticated, not just in the tendency for Ramadan to drift through the year, but in its lack of precision. Even today some disputed which day marked the first day of Ramadan.

It’s also happenstance that Chanukah comes during the Christmas season, as the two holidays are unrelated. This year we’ll experience something we’ve never encountered, as the 8 days includes the celebration of …. Thanksgiving!

Raymond in DC on July 16, 2013 at 9:05 pm

Ramadan fasts are a joke – they just flip AM and PM. In fact, there have been stories every year about how Muslims gain weight as a result of that month – they fast from dawn to dusk, and gorge from dusk to dawn.

Hope all the real fasting people here have it easy for the next 25 hours. Incidentally, why 25 hours instead of 24?

Infidel on July 17, 2013 at 5:39 am

You can’t have sex on Tisha B’Av either? I thought that was OK for all Jewish holidays? Being sexually intimate with your spouse is such a great mitzva

Vivian on July 17, 2013 at 11:34 am

My heart goes to you. You fast to fulfill a religious duty and to ask for G-d’s mercy. The moslems “Fast” for bragging nothing else Mam. To pretend to bwe Machos.

As a Christian, my company one day arranged for plant demonstration in Ohio. It was on Good Friday. I did not mention anything about that. I travelled, attended the experiment and on our way back we stopped for lunch at one of the restaurants. I told the waitress that I will not be eating anything that she should take care of theothers. She kept proding me to have at least a gless of water. I told her to relax and if I need anything I will call on her. She was uncomfortable with this and kept prodding me again and again to have a glass of water atleast. When I kept decling, one of the party asked me outright; Are you an Orhtodox? I said yes.
He turned around to the waitress and told her; leave him alone he is not going to eat or drink untill sun set.

In Egypt, the Law now prohibits on any one – Moslem or not – to eat or drink in public during the month of Ramadan because he would be enticing other to break their fasting. BS. You want to read something funny; In one of the companies where I worked I had two Moslem Colleagues; they used to ask me to order drinks presumably for myself but they drank them. The canteen man was smart. He stpped asking me what Iwant he brought the orders the way they always wanted it to be.

G. R. Scharoubim on July 17, 2013 at 9:10 pm

Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. If that is forgotten, there really is no point to it all.

Worry01 on July 18, 2013 at 6:58 am

Barack Obama must be directing John Kerry to abuse Israel’s complete ownership of their own land. Is this because Obama is an Islamist? The four blood red moons may be a harbinger of war for Israel on Tisha B’Av. Is it not interesting that the same day that Tisha B’Av falls on in 2014, on the Gregorian calendar is also Barack Obama’s official birthday, August 4. Is Obama likely to try to make for himself a birthday present to encourage some nation to do something violent on his B’ day?
If so thank you ahead of time God of Israel for helping America
get rid of BHO.

Dennis Richardson on May 8, 2014 at 12:23 am


Steve Fletcher on May 24, 2014 at 12:34 am

Leave a Reply

* denotes required field