The Temple Institute: Fast Day Events Include Temple March and Gush Katif Memorials



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Fast Day Events Include Temple March and Gush Katif Memorials

reprinted from Arutz 7
10 Av 5768, 11 August 08 01:07

by Elana Eden and Baruch Gordon

( During the first nine days of the Hebrew month of Av, the time of mourning and fasting for the destruction of Jerusalem's ancient temples and other national calamities, several groups commemorated tragedies old and new.

On Saturday night, thousands joined the grassroots movement Women for Israel's Tomorrow (Women in Green) in their annual march along Jerusalem's Old City walls. The group's leaders declared that all of Israel must remain in Jewish hands. Marchers read the biblical Book of Lamentations as is customary on the Ninth of Av, the 24-hr. fast which began the same night.

Also Saturday night, thirty families from the now-desolate Homesh recited the Book of Lamentations at the site of the former community. The group has set as its goal the rebuilding of the town of Homesh as a first step in rectifying the damage of Ariel Sharon's 2005 Disengagement Plan, in which Israel demolished 25 of its own towns with the stated purpose of improving its security situation.

An event organizer at Homesh told those gathered:

"Jerusalem and Samaria were always connected: in the time of the Temples, during their destruction, and in 1967, when both areas were liberated. So too today, those who destroyed the Jewish towns of northern Samaria wish to divide Jerusalem, and those who strive to return to Homesh are struggling to strengthen the Holy City." The emotional service in Homesh, which mourned the destruction of Jerusalem in ancient times, was heightened by the destroyed surroundings, leaving many in tears.

On Sunday, several hundred Jews ascended the Temple Mount in several groups. Rabbi Chaim Richman of the Temple Institute led an early-morning group to tour the mount and noted the Moslem reaction to the presence of Jews there. He said, "When the Moslems see groups of Jews touring the mount, they realize that we haven't given up on it."

Rabbi Richman elaborated on the importance of visiting the Temple Mount. "Visiting the Temple Mount is crucial for the Jewish experience as well. The common understanding amongst Jews is that we mourn for the Temple during the nine days of Av. It is almost as if we do that, then we don't have to think about the Temple for the rest of the year. But, when you ascend the Temple Mount, you see with your own eyes the destruction continuing and you connect in a deep way."

Only certain areas of the Temple Mount are permitted to visit according to Jewish Law.

The Council of Young Israel Rabbis in Israel held an evening of commemoration and solidarity for Gush Katif at Jerusalem's Great Synagogue on Thursday.

Anita Tucker, an English-speaking farmer and 29-year resident of Gush Katif, said, "These three years have been much more difficult than the rocketsÉ it's hard to believe, but it was much more difficult."

Since being expelled from their homes, many families from Gush Katif now live in trailer homes and remain unemployed. The Young Israel event raised funds for Gush Katif expellees and Sderot residents who cannot afford dental work or children's school supplies.

The Messiah Will be Born On This Fast Day When Temples Fell

reprinted from Arutz 7
9 Av 5768, 10 August 08 08:00

by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

( Jews around the world are joining those in Israel Sunday to mark the Ninth of the Hebrew month of Av fast day, the day of mourning for the fall of the First and Second Temples. Jerusalem police have closed all entrances to the Old City to vehicular traffic in anticipation of a large number of worshippers to the Western Wall (Kotel).

The prayer area of the holy site was filled with visitors after the end of the Sabbath, when the fast day already had begun at sundown. It ends Sunday night at approximately 8 p.m., depending on one's location.

The Bible records the Ninth of Av as the date of the destruction of the First Temple. Tradition teaches that the date is so heavily marked by tragedy, that the destruction of the Second Temple fell on the same date. Different opinions cite the year as between 68 and 70 in the Common Era (CE).

On the Ninth of Av, Betar, the last fortress to hold out against the Romans during the Bar Kochba revolt, fell in 132 CE and over 100,000 Jews were killed. In 1492, Spain ordered the expulsion of all Jews by the Ninth of Av. In 1914, Germany declared war on Russia on the Ninth of Av (August 1) opening World War I.

Although the Roman Empire destroyed the Second Temple, Jewish tradition teaches that the underlying reason for the destruction was the practice of Jews speaking ill of each other (loshon hara) and spreading "senseless hatred" (sinat chinam).

The day of mourning also is being remembered as the period when the modern Israeli government three summers ago carried out the Disengagement program, which involved the forced expulsion of more than 9,000 Jews from their homes in northern Samaria and the Jewish Gaza region. The government, headed at the time by former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and his deputy Ehud Olmert, sent in soldiers and police, many of them dressed in black uniforms and riot gear, followed by bulldozers that destroyed Jewish homes.

The demolished sites, including the synagogues that remained standing, were handed over to the Palestinian Authority (PA). Within minutes, the over 20 Jewish houses of worship were in flames.

Terrorists immediately took over the grounds and began setting up training bases while the expulsion victims were deported to hotel rooms and other temporary housing.

Tisha B'Av is observed as a day of morning, and Jews sit on low stools until midday (approximately 12:45 p.m.) and refrain from greeting one another.

Eicha, the Book of Lamentations, is recited in synagogues around the world in the evening and, according to some traditions, also on the morning of Tisha B'Av. It was written by the prophet Jeremiah, who warned Jews to repent to prevent the fall of Jerusalem, which he prophesized. His advice not only was ignored, but he also was imprisoned for stating views that threatened the king's power.

Torah sages also teach that the Messiah will be born on Tisha B'Av as a sign that there is yet redemption in all the destruction.

Fast of Tisha B'Av Widely Observed

reprinted from Arutz 7
9 Av 5768, 10 August 08

( Hundreds of thousands of Israelis, secular and observant, began the annual Fast of Tisha B'Av (Ninth of Av) Saturday night. The fast ends Sunday night around 8 p.m., depending on location.

Laws on the day of mourning of the destruction of the First and Second Temples include prohibition of washing, wearing leather sandals and establishing marital relations. It is preferable to sit on the ground or on a low stool until midday (approximately 12:45 p.m.) as a sign of mourning.



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