Friday, July 27, 2012

Munich Olympics Massacre and the 9th of Av

One of the reasons that the 9th of the Jewish month of Av is a significant fast day is that so many tragedies happened then:

Five misfortunes befell our fathers ... on the ninth of Av. ...On the ninth of Av it was decreed that our fathers should not enter the [Promised] Land, the Temple was destroyed the first and second time, Bethar was captured and the city [Jerusalem] was ploughed up. -Mishnah Ta'anit 4:6

This sort of coincidence is very common in Judaism.  Each date has its "mazal," luck significance.

In my family the weekend of the attack and murder by Arab terrorists at the Munich Olympics of Israeli athletes coincides with a family tragedy.  My father's cousin and wife were killed in a car accident.  They left two young teenage orphans.

For me the date is a time of personal mourning, not just national.  Each date has multiple significance....


Eliyahu S. said...

The traditional consolation offered to Jewish mourners translates as, "May the Ineffable* comfort you among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem, and may your sorrows not be added to." The real cause of all our sorrows stems from a lack of a Holy Temple to restore our spiritual balance. So, too, as all our sorrows reflect back from the same source in the past, they also seem to intertwine and mingle in the present.

* I'm going to avoid a lengthy discussion of the meaning of "Hamakom" as one of the Divine Names.

Batya said...

Eliyahu, a strange thought just hit my mind after I read your comment. It's about "makom," which could be "place." Considering that most Jews worship the kotel, which isn't really "haMakom," I wonder if the "mail is transferred."