The saddest day

What is the saddest day in the Jewish year?

April 4, 2013 14:03
3 minute read.
THE DESTRUCTION of the Temple of Jerusalem, depicted in an oil painting by Francesco Hayez

temple destruction521. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)


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What is the saddest day in the Jewish year? The ancient Hebrew calendar, as found in the books of the Torah, actually has no “sad” days, no days of mourning. All the sacred days mentioned are times of celebration, days of joy (with the exception of Yom Kippur, which is a day of solemnity and self-affliction – but still not a day of mourning). Sadness only comes into Judaism with the destruction of the First Temple, when Tisha Be’av was designated as a day of mourning, along with three other fast days connected to the fall of Jerusalem in 586 BCE.

Furthermore, unlike the days of celebration described in the Torah, those days of mourning are not intended to last forever. As the prophet said, “Thus said the Lord of Hosts, ‘The fast of the fourth month, the fast of the fifth month, the fast of the seventh month, and the fast of the 10th month shall become occasions for joy and gladness, happy festivals for the House of Judah’” (Zechariah 8:19).


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