Tisha B’Av means the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av and is traditionally a day of fasting to remember the destruction of the Temples in Jerusalem.
On the ninth of Av in 586 B.C.E. the Babylonians destroyed the Temple. The Temple was rebuilt. 655 years after the first destruction the Romans destroyed it again on the same date, the ninth of Av, in 70 C.E.
There have been several other calamities that have happened to us on the ninth of Av. In 1096 the first crusade was launched and thousands of Jewish people were murdered. On Tisha B’Av in 1290 King Edward I expelled the Jewish people from England. Sixteen years later, in 1306, France did the same thing. In 1492 King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella expelled the Jewish people from Spain on Tisha B’Av. It was at the same time Christopher Columbus left for the New World.
While the Old World was closing itself off from Judaism, Adonai was opening up a whole new continent where religious freedom would eventually be granted to the Jewish people. Today on Tisha B'Av the book of Lamentations is read in the synagogue.
Originally from: Jewish Discoveries by Jeff Zaremsky, page 152, which contains a total of 22 fascinating chapters of biblical history and lessons plus 25 rich Jewish tradition sections, and 27 powerful testimonies, with over 40 beautifully rendered professional works of art all on over 300 jam packed pages. You can own this treasure by visiting Jewish Discoveries.