The Ninth of Av – Tish’a B’Av :: By Jeff Van Hatten

Zechariah 7:13 – “Therefore it is come to pass, that as he cried, and they would not hear; so they cried, and I would not hear, saith the LORD of hosts.”

According to history, many events considered disastrous by the Jews have occurred on the Ninth of Av, also called Tish’a B’Av, the saddest day in Jewish history.

The date for Tish’a B’Av 2021 is Sunday, July 18, in the Hebrew Year 5781.

Tish’a B’Av begins at sunset Saturday, July 17, and ends at sunset Sunday, July 18.

Tish’a B’Av is the culmination of a three-week period of increasing mourning that begins with the Fast of the 17th of Tammuz. During this three-week period, the Scroll of Lamentations is read, prayers are recited during the evening services, and the Torah Scroll cabinet (Ark) is covered by black cloth. In some synagogues, the Scroll of Job is read on the morning of Tish’a B’Av.

Tish’a B’Av primarily commemorates the destruction of the first and second Temples, both of which were destroyed on the ninth of Av. The first Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC, and the second Temple by the Romans in 70 AD.

The First Occurrence

  • Av 9, 1312 BC – Only two of the twelve spies sent by Moses to observe the land of Canaan, Joshua and Caleb, returned with a positive report. The ten-spy report caused the Hebrews to cry, panic, and despair of ever entering their Promised Land. For this, they were punished, and Yahweh decreed that their generation would not enter the land and that for all future generations, this date would become one of crying and misfortune for their descendants, the Jewish people (Numbers 13:25-14:12, Zechariah 7:3-5, 8:19).

First and Second Temple Destructions

  • Av 9, 586 BC – The First Temple built by King Solomon was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, and the Judeans were sent into Babylonian exile. About 100,000 Jews were killed during the invasion. The remaining tribes in the southern kingdom were exiled to Babylon and Persia.
  • Av 9, 70 AD – The Second Temple built by Ezra and Nehemiah was destroyed by the Romans on August 4, 70 AD. Over 2,500,000 Jews died as a result of war, famine and disease. Over 1,000,000 Jews were exiled to all parts of the Roman Empire. Over 100,000 Jews were sold as slaves by Romans or were killed and tortured in gladiatorial “games” and pagan celebrations.

Subsequent Happenings on or Around Tish’a B’av

  • Av 9, 71 AD – The Roman army plowed Jerusalem with salt on July 25, 71 AD.
  • Av 9, 132 AD – The Romans crushed Bar Kokhba’s revolt and destroyed the city of Betar, killing over 100,000 Jews on July 8, 132.
  • Av 9, 133 AD – July 29, 133. Turnus Rufus ploughed the site of the Temple. The Romans build the pagan city of Aelia Capitolina on the site of Jerusalem.
  • Av 9, 135 AD – The destruction of Simeon Bar Kokhba’s army on August 5, 135 AD.
  • Av 9, 1095 AD – The First Crusade was declared by Pope Urban II on July 20, 1095. The Crusades brought death and destruction to thousands of Jews, totally obliterating many communities in Rhineland and France.
  • Av 9, 1190 AD – 500 Jews died as a result of the rich storming a castle in York, England, on July 14, 1190.
  • Av 9, 1290 AD – July 25, 1290 – Jews forced out of England accompanied by pogroms and confiscation of books and property.
  • Av 9, 1306 AD – July 22, 1306 – The Jews were expelled from France again, accompanied by pogroms and confiscation of books and property.
  • Av 9, 1492 AD – August 11, 1492 – The Inquisition in Spain and Portugal culminated in the expulsion of the Jews from the Iberian Peninsula. Families were separated, many died by drowning, and there was massive loss of property by all.
  • Av 9, 1648 AD – On July 18, 1648, Bohdan Zenobi Chmielnicki, the leader of the Cossacks, a military class of Ukrainian-southern Russians, began the massacre of tens of thousands of Polish Jews. This massacre continued until 1651.
  • Av 9, 1914 AD — World War I begins on August 1, 1914. Russia also launched persecutions against the Jews in Eastern Russia on this same day. There were over 400 pogroms immediately following World War I in Hungary, Ukraine, Poland, and Russia.
  • Av 9, 1929 AD – August 15, 1929. Mufti Hajj Amin Al Hussein stirred up riots against Jews at the Wailing Wall; Hebron Massacre ensues.
  • Av 9, 1941 AD – On August 2, 1941, SS commander Heinrich Himmler formally received approval from the Nazi Party for “The Final Solution.”
  • Av 9, 1942 AD – The mass deportation began of Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto, en route to the Treblinka Concentration Camp; began on the eve of July 23, 1942.
  • Av 9, 1989 AD – On August 10, 1989, the Iraqis walked out of the talks with Kuwait, then invaded Kuwait and set fires to the oil wells. This action finally led to the Gulf War in 1992.
  • Av 9, 1994 AD – The Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, Argentina, was bombed, killing 86 and wounding 300 others on Monday, July 18, 1994. On that same day, the twenty-one pieces of Shoemaker-Levi Comet began bombarding the Planet Jupiter!
  • Av 9, 2005 AD – Starting at midnight on August 14, 2005, the entry and presence of Israeli citizens in the Gaza Strip is prohibited.
  • Av 9, 2006 AD — The Lebanon War breaks out. On August 3, 2006, the Vatican sponsored the “Rome Peace Conference” and put the finishing touches on the “Rome Peace Accord.” This agreement halted the Israeli defensive thrust into Lebanon, and a Hezbollah commando force abducted two Israeli soldiers.
  • Av 9, 2012 AD – The 2012 Olympics were inaugurated in London, England, on the evening of July 27, 2012. This date marked the 40th anniversary of the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany, during which eight Palestinian terrorists infiltrated the Munich Olympic village and killed eleven members of the Israel Olympic team.
  • Av 9, 2014 AD – On August 5, 2014, Israel commemorated past and present tragedies, especially the destruction of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem and the subsequent exile of the Jews from the Land of Israel.
  • Av 9, 2015 AD – On July 25, 2015, the Statue to Satan (Baphomet) was unveiled by the Satanic Temple in Detroit.
  • Av 9, 2016 AD – August 14, 2016. The Islamic Movement in Israel called for a mass ascent of Muslims to the Al Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount, and many Arabs violently rioted. The Olympics in Rio were rife with anti-Semitic incidents.
  • Av 9, 2017 AD – August 1, 2017. Muslims escalated a war for the Temple Mount following the capitulation by the Israeli government over security measures on the Temple Mount and the Western Wall, or Kotel.
  • Av 9, 2018AD – July 10, 2018. Marchers of the Faithful Movement on Tish’a B’Av 2018 were attacked with stones and other dangerous objects by Arab Islamic rioters. On the night of this year’s Tu B’Av, a completely red lunar eclipse appeared in the heavens above Israel.
  • Av 9, 2019 AD – August 11, 2019. Palestinian Muslims shouted at Israeli security forces (unseen) in the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem. At least five vehicles were damaged in attacks by Jerusalem Arabs hurling stones between the start of Tish’a B’Av (which began with the fall of darkness on Saturday evening) and Sunday at 12 noon. An 18-year-old Jewish boy was seriously wounded Sunday morning when he was attacked by an Arab terrorist on Hagai Street in Jerusalem.
  • Av 9, 2020 AD – July 30, 2020. Protests against the Israeli government due to the Covid-19 lockdowns continued unabated. Hamas views Israel’s intentions to extend its sovereignty over parts of the Jordan Valley, Judea and Samaria as a declaration of war.


Yahweh declared that Tish’a B’Av would be a day of mourning and misfortune. To see these occurrences as simply coincidence would deny His word. Let us pray that Av 9th this year is not yet another day of disaster for our Jewish brothers.