top of page

A Bad Day for Israel: Ninth of Av

What do the ten spies that entered Canaan, the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, and current events have in common? The date. Today is August 5th on the Gregorian calendar. But in Israel the date is the Ninth of Av, or Tisha B’Av in Hebrew. This day (beginning at sundown last night) is one of the most significant dates in all of history, one that most of us knows nothing about. The Ninth of Av is the culmination of three weeks of mourning for the Jewish people and with the events happening in the Middle East right now, it’s one that Christians should take notice of. Most of us are aware that Israel has been under siege for several weeks now by the terrorists in control of Gaza. The Israelis have endured weeks of missiles indiscriminately fired at their population by cowards who hide behind women and children and use schools and hospitals as launch pads and weapons storage. But what does this have to do with the Ninth of Av? Before we can truly understand this, we need to explore the concept of time. In Western Culture we have a Greek/Roman concept of time, that is, that time is linear, one thing happens after another and so on. But the Hebrew mindset is not the same. They view time as cyclical, or more like a spiral, events come around again and again, perhaps in different manifestations but similar in nature. (for more on this idea see We can see this with the Ninth of Av. The spies that were sent into Canaan (Numbers 13) came back with a bad report of the land, which caused Yahweh to curse the Hebrews to spend 39 more years in the desert and never see the Land. This happened on the Ninth of Av. Both Holy Temples, the one built by King Solomon and the Second Tem