Jews expelled for praying on Temple mourning day

Aerial southern view of the Temple Mount (Andrew Shiva)


Jews who attempted to pray at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound were expelled today:

14 August 2016

Hundreds of Jews visited Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque compound on Tisha B’av, a religious day of mourning, with several expelled for praying, a right restricted to Muslims, police said Sunday.

Over 300 Jews entered the site during morning visiting hours, according to Jewish activists and the Waqf — the Jordanian foundation that oversees the site.

More were expected in the afternoon, when Tisha B’av, which commemorates the destruction of the two ancient temples at the site, nears its end.

The expulsion is not really a surprise as Jews are normally legally restricted from that. Anyway, here is some information about what the Jews are observing today:

The Fast of the 9th of Av (Tisha B’Av), the day of mourning for the destruction of the First and Second Holy Temples in Jerusalem, begins on Saturday night this year at the end of the Sabbath and lasts until Sunday night.

Although this year the 9th falls on the Sabbath itself, Jewish law precludes mourning on the weekly day of rest and so the fast is moved forward, while the Sabbath is celebrated with customary joy until sunset, dusk serving as an intermediate period when it is forbidden to eat as well as evince signs of mourning. …

The Ninth of Av is a date marked by tragedy in Jewish history. On this day:

  • The Jews in the desert wept in fear after hearing the report of the spies, and G-d decreed, as recounted in Numbers 13-14, that they would not be allowed to enter the Land of Israel until that entire generation had died out. Our sages say that G-d’s words were a prophecy: “You cried for nothing, and I will give you a reason to cry for generations to come.”
  • Beitar, the last fortress to hold out during the Bar Kochba revolt in the year 135 C.E., fell to the Romans and over 100,000 Jews were slain.
  • A year later, the Temple area was plowed over, marking the last milestone of national Jewish presence in the Promised Land until the modern era.
  • The cruel expulsion of the Jews of Spain by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella in 1492 achieved its goal.
  • World War I erupted in 1914, causing untold suffering to the Jews of Europe and Palestine and setting the stage for World War II and the Holocaust.
  • Mass deportation of Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto to the Treblinka death camp began, in 1942.
  • There is a more recent tragedy. The Jews of Gush Katif spent their last legal day in their homes in Tisha B’Av of 2005, and were expelled three days later. The “Disengagement” the forced expulsion of more than 9,000 Jews from their homes in northern Samaria and the Jewish Gaza region, was carried out by a government, headed by then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and his deputy Ehud Olmert, who sent in soldiers and police, many of them dressed in black uniforms and riot gear, followed by bulldozers that destroyed the Jewish homes.

Twenty synagogues, however, were handed over to the Palestinian Authority (PA) and within minutes, went up in flames. …

How prophetic that the Talmudic Sages said that while the First Temple was destroyed due to the sins of idol worship, murder and immorality, the Second Temple fell due to the senseless hatred (sinat chinam) of one Jew for another.

And despite the 2000-year-old fast and palpable longing for the Temple to be rebuilt on Judaism’s holiest site on Mount Moriah, UNESCO and the EU are entertaining proposals to recognize it as a Muslim site, ignoring all of the above. …

Still, our Torah sages also teach that the Messiah will be born on Tisha B’Av and the saddest part of the regular daily prayers – tachanun – is not recited, in the anticipation of the final joyous Redemption that will render Tisha B’Av a day of joy. An old Jerusalem custom was to whitewash the walls of one’s home in the afternoon of the fast, in preparation for the Messiah’s expected arrival.

May we merit greeting the Messiah and be privileged to rebuild the Temple speedily in our time.

So, various Jews believe that the Messiah will come on Tisha B’Av. And on this day they mourn the loss of their two temples.

Av (or Ab) is the fifth month of the Hebrew calendar (to see the months for the entire year, check out the free online booklet Should You Observe God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays?).

So, many believe that the Jewish fast of this day is mentioned in the Bible in the following verse:

19 “Thus says the Lord of hosts:

‘The fast of the fourth month,
The fast of the fifth,
The fast of the seventh,
And the fast of the tenth,
Shall be joy and gladness and cheerful feasts
For the house of Judah.
Therefore love truth and peace.’ (Zechariah 8:19)

The Jewish Encyclopedia notes:

Besides the Day of Atonement, which is the only fast-day prescribed by the Mosaic law (Lev. xvi. 29; see Atonement, Day of), there were established after the Captivity four regular fast-days in commemoration of the various sad events that had befallen the nation during that period (Zech. viii. 19; comp. vii. 3-5). These were the fast of the fourth month (Tammuz), of the fifth month (Ab), of the seventh month (Tishri), and of the tenth month (Ṭebet). (Greenstone JH, Hirsch EG, Hirschfeld H. FASTING AND FAST-DAYS. The Jewish Encyclopedia of 1906. accessed 08/14/16)


The Fall of Jerusalem.

Day set aside by tradition for fasting and mourning, to commemorate the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple by the Chaldeans (586 B.C.) and by the Romans (70); a movable fast falling approximately in the beginning of August of the Gregorian calendar. In II Kings, xxv. 8, 9 it is stated that the Temple was burned on the seventh day of the fifth month; in Jer. xxxix. 8 no exact date is given; while in Jer. lii. 12 the tenth day of the fifth month is assigned as the date. In connection with the fall of Jerusalem three other fast-days were established at the same time as the Ninth Day of Ab: these were the Tenth of Tebet, when the siege began; the Seventeenth of Tammuz, when the first breach was made in the wall; and the Third of Tishri, the day when Gedaliah was assassinated (II Kings, xxv. 25; Jer. xli. 2). From Zech. vii. 5, viii. 19 it appears that after the erection of the Second Temple the custom of keeping these fast-days was discontinued. Since the destruction of Jerusalem and of the Second Temple by the Romans, the four fast-days have again been observed. It has indeed been suggested that the sacredness of the day is due to its being the anniversary of the fall of Bethar at the end of the Bar Kokba war, thus making it a national rather than a religious ceremony.

Waning Significance.

In the long period which is reflected in Talmudic literature the observance of the Ninth Day of Ab assumed a character of constantly growing sadness and asceticism. Still it seems that, about the end of the second century or at the beginning of the third, the celebration of the day had lost much of its gloom. Judah ha-Nasi was in favor of abolishing it altogether or, according to another version, of lessening its severity when the feast has been postponed from Saturday to Sunday (Meg. 5b). A tendency to a less ascetic construction is also noticeable in the Talmudic explanation of Zech. viii. 19—namely, that the four fast-days would become feast-days during times of peace; on which Rashi remarks: “Peace means when the oppression of the Jews on account of their religion shall have ceased” (R. H. 18b). The growing strictness in the observance of mourning customs in connection with the Ninth Day of Ab is especially marked in post-Talmudic times, and particularly in the darkest period of Jewish life, from the fifteenth century to the eighteenth. ( Landsberg M, Kohler K. AB, NINETH DAY OF. The Jewish Encyclopedia of 1906. accessed 08/14/16)

We will see if this date may have future significance.

It may be of interest to note that although the second temple was destroyed in 70 A.D. not everything was obliterated.

Some of its stones were seemingly used as the foundation stone as well as the original walls of what seems to have been the first Christian church building:

The Judeo-Christians probably built their church, at that time called a synagogue, sometime in the decade after 73 A.D. For its construction, they could have used some of the magnificent ashlars from Herod’s destroyed citadel, not far away. Or perhaps they used the stones from the ruins of the Temple itself…with the intention of transferring some elements of the Holy Temple to a site becoming a new Mt. Zion (Zion III).

If that is so, the event may in fact be referred to in one of the apocryphal Odes of Solomon composed about 100 A.D. by a rival sectarian Judeo-Christian group. The fourth ode begins:

“No man can pervert your holy place, 0 God, nor can he change it, and put it in another place, because [he has] no power over it. Your sanctuary you designed before you made special places.” (Charlesworth, Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, p. 736.)

Was this passage in condemnation of the effort of the Judeo-Christians who built the synagogue on Mt. Zion to transfer some of the holiness of the destroyed Temple to their place of worship on the new Mt. Zion by constructing it in part with stones from that Temple?

From this time on, the western hill of Jerusalem was referred to by Christians as Mt. Zion (Zion III). Very few places in Jerusalem can point to such an enduring tradition as Zion’s claim to be the seat of the primitive church. No other place has raised a serious rival claim…

By this time the Judeo-Christian synagogue on Mt. Zion had become known as the Church of the Apostles. It became known as the Church of the Apostles not only because the apostles returned there after witnessing Christ’s post-resurrection ascent to heaven, but also because the building was built, as we have seen, under the leadership of Simon son of Kleophas. Kleophas was known as a brother of Joseph of Nazareth, therefore Simon was a cousin of Jesus. Simon was later considered one of the apostles, outside the circle of the 12. For this reason, the house of worship built by Simon could rightfully be called the Church of the Apostles.

(Pixner B. Church of the Apostles Found on Mt. Zion. Biblical Archaeology Review, May/June 1990: 16-35,60)

It may be that the above building may have a prophetic role. Details about that building, including some photographs my wife and I took related to it, are found in the article Church of God on Jerusalem’s Western Hill.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Why is a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem Not Required? Although people like Timothy LaHaye teach a third Jewish temple is required, who is ‘the temple of God” in the New Testament? Does the Bible require a rebuilt Jewish Temple? Here is a related item in the Spanish language ¿Por qué no se requiere un templo judío en Jerusalén? Here is a link to a sermon titled The Temple, Prophecy, and the Work.
The Red Heifer, Jewish Beliefs, and the End of the World The Temple Institute is watching a ‘red heifer.’ Why might this be important in the sequence of end time events? Here is a related link in the Spanish language Novilla roja descubierta en EE.UU. e Instituto del Templo está interesado en ella. Here is a related video in English The Red Heifer and the End of the World.
Church of God on Jerusalem’s Western Hill Could this building, often referred to as the Cenacle, which is located on a Mount Zion, possibly have been the oldest actual Christian church building?
Does the ‘Cenacle’ deal have prophetic ramifications? After a 20 year negotiation, the Church of Rome has negotiated the right to have Catholic mass in the building known as the Cenacle. It is in the area where the Church of God on Jerusalem’s Western Hill once stood. This is believed to be the location of the earliest Christian church building. How does the Bible define the ‘temple of God’ in the New Testament? Could this be the area where the ‘man of sin’ will sit in the “temple of God’ that Bible prophecy discusses in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4? This is a YouTube video.
The ‘Peace Deal’ of Daniel 9:27 This prophecy could give up to 3 1/2 years advance notice of the coming Great Tribulation. Will most ignore or misunderstand its fulfillment? Here is a link to a related sermon video Daniel 9:27 and the Start of the Great Tribulation.
Jerusalem: Past, Present, and Future What does the Bible say about Jerusalem and its future? Is Jerusalem going to be divided and eliminated? Is Jesus returning to the area of Jerusalem? There is also a related YouTube video you can watch titled Jerusalem To be divided and eliminated.
Who is the Man of Sin of 2 Thessalonians 2? Is this the King of the North, the ten-horned beast of Revelation 13:1-11, or the two-horned Beast of Revelation 13:12-16? Some rely on traditions, but what does the Bible teach? Here is a related link in Spanish/español: ¿Quién es el Hombre de Pecado de 2 Tesalonicenses 2? Here is a version in Mandarin: 主编: 谁是’大罪人’?Here is a link to a related YouTube video, in English, titled Who is the Man of Sin?
Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God.
Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel Are the Americans, Canadians, English, Scottish, Welsh, Australians, Anglo (non-Dutch) Southern Africans, and New Zealanders descendants of Joseph? Where are the lost ten-tribes of Israel? Who are the lost tribes of Israel? What will happen to Jerusalem and the Jews in Israel? Will God punish the U.S.A., Canada, United Kingdom, and other Anglo nations? Why might God allow them to be punished first? Here is a link to the Spanish version of this article: Anglo-América & las Tribus Perdidas de Israel.

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