Tisha B’Av,"The Ninth of Av," is a fast day that commemorates the destruction of the two Jerusalem Temples.
This year it starts at sundown, Monday, August 8, and ends at sundown, Tuesday, August 9, 2011. Join together with us and Jewish people all over the world in humbling ourselves before God, and asking for his mercy and healing.
Many other calamities have befallen the Jewish people on this day:
587 BCE (3338)- The First Temple is destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians.
70 CE (3830)- The Second Temple is destroyed by Titus and the Romans.
135 CE (3895) - The Romans defeat Bar Kochba, and Emperor Hadrian turns Jerusalem into a Roman city.
1290 (5050) - King Edward I of England signs an edict expelling all Jews from England.
1492 (5252) - The Alhambra Decree takes effect, expelling the Jews from Spain and from all Spanish territories.
1914 (5674) - World War I begins when Germany declares war on Russia
1940 (5700) - Himmler presents his plan for the "Final Solution" to the Jewish problem to the Nazi Party.
1942 (5702) - Nazis begin deporting Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto.
Sources: Aish.com and "Jewish Literacy," by Rabbi Joseph Telushkin.
Family University 2008 is Jacksonville's 12th family day of learning, sponsored by the Martin J. Gottlieb Day School and Jacksonville Jewish Federation. This program provides the opportunity for our community to study, discuss and explore Jewish concepts and to celebrate our heritage in all of its rich diversity.
Learners of all ages from throughout our entire Jewish community are encouraged to BRING ISRAEL HOME by participating in a variety of age-appropriate learning sessions designed for all levels of interest.From exploring fundamental principles at the heart of the Israeli-Arab conflict or learning about the origins of modern Hebrew to learning how to help your teen connect with Israel or creating a mizrach to point the way to Jerusalem, Family University offers something for everyone.
Children from pre-school through 5th grade will enjoy a day full of innovative programming that will include exploring an archeological dig, visiting a kibbutz, shopping in a shuk, Israeli dancing, and much more. Snacks will be provided. Middle and high school age students will spend their time off-site participating in a morning long mitzvah project.
Following the morning sessions, families will reunite for a special Israeli Dance performance by Nitzanim, a dance group from Atlanta comprised completely of teenagers. If you wish, you can round out the day with an hour of open Israeli dancing led by local dance instructor, Charlie Dyer.
In my teachings this weekend, I mentioned that the Bible teaches history primarily through the stories of specific individual's lives. I also said that this method is still being used by modern Jewish historians, and gave as examples some of the articles that appeared in the latest issue of the American Jewish Historical Society magazine.
If you would like to read that magazine online, you can follow the link below:
By Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post Monday, September 25, 2006; A21
Strange doings in Virginia. George Allen, former governor, one-term senator, son of a famous football coach and in the midst of a heated battle for reelection, has just been outed as a Jew. An odd turn of events, given that his having Jewish origins has nothing to do with anything in the campaign and that Allen himself was oblivious to the fact until his 83-year-old mother revealed to him last month the secret she had kept concealed for 60 years.
Our recent Shabbat discussions about the celebration of Holidays can fit into a greater Jewish tradition: How to deal with customs vs. laws. You might enjoy reading the article below from the Jewish Encyclopedia, in order to see how Rabbinic Judaism processes such controversies. Happy reading!
An old and general usage, or a religious practise, not based on any particular Biblical passage, and which has, through the force of long observance, become as sacred and binding as laws instituted by the proper authorities."Custom always precedes law" (Soferim xiv. 18). This is true not only of the Talmudic laws prescribed by the Rabbis, but also of many Biblical institutions. Many statutes and commandments, civil, moral, and ecclesiastical, found on the pages of Scripture undoubtedly had their origin in the customs of the people, which, however, became modified and fixed by being inscribed on the sacred books. Some of the customs, as, for instance, circumcision, or the prohibition of eating blood or of eating the "sinew which shrank," may date back to patriarchal days; others, again, may have a later or perhaps a foreign origin.
You can listen to a wonderful interview with Joel Marcus, a Jewish Christian scholar, whose out-of-print book, "Jesus and the Holocaust" is one of the best contemplations on Jesus and the Jewish people.