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Tomorrow evening starts Tisha beAv, the biggest of the minor fast days (the only other 25 hour fast besides Yom Kippur). The main reason we fast is to mourn the loss of the temple. Both the first and the second temple were destroyed on this date (the first by the Babylonians in 586 BCE; the second by the Romans in 70 CE). Also supposedly on that day the tewlve spies/scouts returned who had entered Canaan and brought back a negative report which caused the Israelites to wander in the desert for fourty year (Numbers 13:1-14:45).

There are also people who connect many other more or less recent ocurrences with this date. I am always sceptical about numbers and have checked a few (chronological order). Online date converters do not take into account the Gregorian Reformation therefor dates before 1752 have not been checked and are reported as I find them somewhere on the web.

  • The expulsion of the Jews from France. The edict was issued in April 1182 and they had to leave in July (no exact dates given in Wikipedia, but July can be Av).
  • The expulsion of the Jews from England. The edict was issued on 18 July 1290. This date is supposed to be Tisha beAv.
  • Another expulsion of the Jews from France. All Jews were arrested on 22 July 1306 which is supposed to be the day after Tisha B’Av.
  • The expulsion of the Jews from Spain. The Alhambra decree was issued on 31 March 1492 (far away from Av) that all Jews have to leave Spain until 31 July 1492. Judaism 101 claims 31 July 1492 was Tisha beAv. My rabbinate claims 2 August 1492 was Tisha beAv which would make the date of the expulsion 7th of Av. I don’t know.
  • Start of first world war. The war started on 28 July 1914 (5 Av 5674) with Austria-Hungary’s declaration of war against Serbia. Tisha beAv was August 1st, the day when Germany declared war against Russia.
  • Reichskristallnacht. Though tragic, this happened on 9 November 1938 which is definitely nowhere near the month Av (which is always in July/August).
  • Something related to Nazis. The first plans to exterminate all Jews were discussed mid-1941, first small-scale "tests" were conducted end of 1941 and some camps build. The official plan was decided at the Wannsee conference on 20 January 1942 (definitely not in Av). Himmler ordered on 19 April 1942 (not in Av) to start the "re-settlement" of all Jews from the Reich. The deportation of the Warsaw Ghetto inhabitants started on 22 July 1942, the first train to Treblinka left on 23 Juli 1942 (Tisha beAv).
  • First Gulf war. I have found the curious statement "Iraq walks out of talks with Kuwait 1989" but couldn’t match it to anything.
  • AMIA Bombing (Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, Argentina). This happened on 18 July 1994 which was 10 of Av 5754.
  • 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. The attacks happened on 11 September 2001 which was 23 Elul 5761 (not Av).
  • Disengagement from Gaza. The evacuation started on 15 August 2005 which was 10 Av 5765. This is not a coincidence, the date was intentionally pushed back to avoid conflict with the three weeks of mourning ending on Tisha beAv.

Tell me if you hear about more (real or fake) events conneted to Tisha beAv.