‘THE DESTRUCTION of the Temple of Jerusalem,’ Francesco Hayez, 1867.
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
This Friday begins the period of “nine days” that concludes with Tisha Be’av, the most important of the days of mourning observed by fasting in the traditional Jewish calendar.Tisha Be’av is often termed “the black fast,” as opposed to Yom Kippur which is “the white fast.” Indeed, the only thing they share in common is the fasting. But fasting on Yom Kippur is meant to lead to a feeling of otherworldliness, of spiritual uplift, of cleansing and renewal. Fasting on Tisha Be’av is intended to lead to greater sadness, deep mourning and a sense of identification with suffering.