On Tuesday, June 25, Jews/Messianics began a three-week period of remembrance that represents catastrophic destruction as well as renewal in Israel’s history, leading up to Tisha B’Av on July 16. Av is the fifth Jewish spiritual month, and Tisha represents the ninth day of that month. It is observed as a fast day, and the Books of Lamentations and Job are read.
This time of reflection represents great tragedies in Israel’s history that happened either on or during this time. Three of the greatest of these tragedies were the destruction of the two Temples in Jerusalem on the same day 656 years apart (586 B.C.E. and 70 C.E.) and the death of 100,000 Jews in 135 C.E., 65 years later, by the Romans and the plowing of the temple site.
Other calamities have been:
The 12 men who spied out the Promised Land in Numbers 13, 10 returning with a fearful report that resulted in their wilderness wandering another 40 years.
The expulsion of Jews over the years on this date from France, Germany, England, Spain and Warsaw ghettos to Treblinka.
Heinrich Himmler receiving Nazi approval to begin “The Final Solution,” resulting in half the Jewish world population being captured or killed.
The Buenos Aires bombing of a Jewish community center that killed 85 and injured 300.
And other catastrophes too numerous to be included here.
Is it any wonder that these three weeks leading up to Tish B’Av continue to be a time of prayer for the Father’s protection? With the Middle East nearing the “tipping point,” it is our hope and prayer that Israel will escape harm and danger during this time.
The reflections of these past tragedies are always softened by the realization that the Father has continued to bless the Jewish people to not just survive, but also with the resilience to become their own nation.
Psalms 122:6 reminds again us to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem; they shall prosper that love thee.”
Maureen A. Minick