Mourning Holiday: the 9th of Ab

Monday, April 20, 2009

Numerous fast days commemorate the destruction of the two Jewish temples. The are a number of days throughout the calendar that are linked with the destruction of the temples, as well as other disasters that marked the saga of Judaism. The most solemn of these days is the 9th of the lunar month of Ab. It usually coincides with late July or early August. It is a day of fasting beginning in the evening and until the evening of the following day.

As it is in late July and early August, it means that days are longer. Some Jewish communities really suffer. The further North you go, the longer the day extends. People in certain parts of Russia and Scandinavia find themselves fasting until eleven at night, and it is really difficult.

This day, the 9th of Ab, commemorates not only the destruction of the two Jewish temples, but all sorts of other misfortunes, whether it took place on that day or another day. It is as if things were concentrated into one day that would be a conglomerate of difficult Jewish memories.