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Tisha B’Av: The Arch of Titus – an alternative view

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I am writing this piece in the run up to Tisha B’Av (the ninth of Av)the saddest day in the Jewish calendar. The Talmud relates five major catastrophes which occurred on that day from the evil report about the land of Israel brought back to Moses by the spies in the wilderness to the destruction of the two temples and the end of the Bar Kochba revolt. Jewish tradition has linked that day to subsequent tragedies in Jewish history from the First Crusade to the expulsion of the Jews from England, France and Spain to the outbreak of the First World War and even, by extreme nationalists, to the implementation of the withdrawal from Gaza (sic).

The historical evidence linking these events to the ninth of Av is actually quite flimsy. Sometimes the event itself did not happen so suddenly. When for instance did the First World War break out? when Gavrilo Princip assassinated the Archduke Franz Ferdinand in June 1914? or when Austria declared war on Serbia? or Germany on Russia? or Britain on Germany? The same points can be made regarding the expulsions where the actual dates themselves are not so certain. When did an expulsion happen when the decree was promulgated? when it was announced? or over the several days it was implemented? Even with the destruction of the First temple there is uncertainty; the Books of Kings and........

© The Times of Israel (Blogs)

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