Q. I have heard that the 9th of Av has been a day in Israel’s past where many historic events have happened. The 9th of Av falls on July 28 this year. In light of all the military action in Syria and Lebanon [Hezbollah] and Gaza do you feel this could be another important day coming up for Israel?
A. Several major catastrophes have befallen Israel on the 9th of Av, also called Tisha b’Av, throughout history. These include the destruction of both the first and second Temples. As a result it has become a solemn fast day among religious Jews everywhere, but especially in Israel. This year it begins at evening time on Saturday July 28 and ends at evening time on Sunday July 29.
Of course there’s no way of knowing in advance whether another terrible event will take place on the 9th of Av this year. But with the events in Syria approaching a crisis point it certainly is possible. Syrian President Assad has promised to set the entire Middle East afire if any foreign nation dares to interfere with Syria’s internal strife, and several other countries have begun to disregard that warning. As his situation gets more desperate, the risks to Israel become greater.