Judaism’s Saddest Day

By Ellen Bernstein
July 16, 2021

People think me quite strange when I say that I love Tisha B’Av, the Jewish holiday which falls in the middle of summer when the days are long and the heat often unbearable. How could I love this holiday which is considered the saddest day of the Jewish year? Many people would opt to expunge this day from the holiday cycle altogether.

Tisha B’Av is a day of grieving, of destruction and loss—a mournful lament. Tisha b’Av, literally the 9th of the month of Av, commemorates the great catastrophe, the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple, the center of the world for the Jewish people. There were two Temples in Jerusalem—each supposedly destroyed on the 9th of Av—hundreds of years apart.

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