Five Calamities [of the Ninth of Av]
According to the Mishnah (Taanit 4:6), five specific events occurred on the ninth of Av that warrant fasting:
- The twelve spies sent by Moses to observe the land of Canaan returned from their mission. Only two of the spies, Joshua and Caleb, brought a positive report, while the others spoke disparagingly about the land. The majority report caused the Children of Israel to cry, panic and despair of ever entering the “Promised Land“. For this, they were punished by God that their generation would not enter the land. Because of the Israelites' lack of faith, God decreed that for all generations this date would become one of crying and misfortune for their descendants, the Jewish people. (See Numbers Ch. 13–14)
- The First Temple built by King Solomon and the Kingdom of Judah was destroyed by the Babylonians led by Nebuchadnezzar on July 11, 422 BCE (in Jewish Calendar av 9, 3338) and the Judeans were sent into the Babylonian exile.
- The Second Temple built by Ezra and Nehemiah was destroyed by [Titus] on August 2, 70 CE (in Jewish Calendar av 9, 3828), scattering the people of Judea and commencing the Jewish exile from the Holy Land. According to the Talmud in tractate Ta'anit, the destruction of the Second Temple began on the Ninth of Av and the Temple continued to burn throughout the Tenth of Av.
- The Romans crushed Bar Kokhba's revolt and destroyed the city of Betar, killing over 100,000 Jews, on July 8, 13 CE (in Jewish Calendar av 9, 3892).
- Following the Roman siege of Jerusalem, Roman commander Turnus Rufus plowed the site of the Temple and the surrounding area, in 13 CE.
2011 dates: sunset August 8th – nightfall August 9th, via Wikipedia