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08/05/2022 01:48:49 PM


Congratulazioni agli italiani per aver vinto la Coppa del Mondo.

Well, I’m not really a soccer fan. But I was intrigued: how many of these players for Italy have Jewish blood?

You see, I was reminded that when I was in high school, I was given the book The Jews of Ancient Rome, by Prof. Harry Leon.   He described how there had been, since ancient times, a significant Jewish community in Rome, whose numbers were considerably increased by captives who were marched into Rome after the destruction of the Temple in the year 70. It is a reasonable assumption that many of these Jews intermarried and assimilated over the years into Italian society.

So, the calamity of Tish`a be’av is not only the destruction of the Temple, and the carnage in Jerusalem, but also those many Jews who, though they survived the destruction, were lost to our people after having been dispersed.

In addition to the destruction of our 2 Temples, many terrible events happened to our people on the 9th of Av.

-In 132, many Jewish soldiers were killed at the battle where Betar was destroyed.

-In 135, the area of the Temple was ploughed by the Romans, and Jerusalem renamed in Latin Aelia Capotalina.

-In 1095, the first Crusade was announced in 1290, Jews were expelled from England.

-In 1492, the expulsion from Spain

-In 1914, Germany declared war on Russia, thus leading to WWI, which in turn led to WWII and the holocaust.

-In 1942, inhabitants of Warsaw ghetto deported to Treblinka.

-In 1994, bombing of Community Centre in Buenos Aires.

In his powerful Kinah that we say on Tish`a be’av morning, Rabbi Kalonymous ben Judah (11th century) wrote concerning the crusades: “their massacre weighs no less than the burning of the house of God.”

And yet, the Tish`a be’av prayers end on a hopeful, positive note, quoting the Prophet Zechariah: “My cities shall again overflow with prosperity, and the Lord will comfort Zion... and make her wilderness like and gladness shall be found in her, thanksgiving and the voice of song.” 

Shabbat shalom; have an easy and meaningful fast.

Sun, April 2 2023 11 Nisan 5783