One day, when I was in the fifth grade, my teacher walked into class, holding a large book.

Flipping through the pages, he said he wanted to show us a picture.

“It’s called the Arch of Titus,” he told us. “It’s in Rome.”

As the book was passed from student to student, my teacher asked us to look closely at the top of the Arch.

He explained that the Arch was built to celebrate the destruction of Jerusalem at the hands of Emperor 70 A.D.

Carved onto the top of the Arch, Jews being taken into captivity are depicted.

And the conquering Romans mocked the captured Jews by calling out: “Hierosolyma est perdita” (“Jerusalem is lost”).

Then he asked us, “Do you know who, today, mourns the collapse of the Roman Empire?”

He answered his own question: “No one. The great Roman Empire no longer exists. It’s just a piece of ancient history. No one cries for its demise.”

He then talked to us about the meaning of Tisha B’Av, the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av, where Jews around the world mourn the destruction of Jerusalem.

“So you see, children, the Romans mocked us, but it is the Roman Empire that is lost. And we survived.”

Today is the Ninth of Av, and Jewish communities gather to mourn the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple, which stood on the Temple Mount.

And other events:

Jerusalem and the first Temple were also destroyed by the Babylonians on the Ninth of Av, in 586 B.C.

Jews were forced into exile from England in 1290 on the Ninth of Av.

In 1492, the Jews were expelled from Spain on…the Ninth of Av.

And, Germany declared war on Russia in 1914, on August 1, which fell on the Ninth of Av, starting WWI, which can be seen as the beginning of events that led to WWII and the Holocaust.

The Temple Mount has been very much in the news recently, with the so-called Palestinians trying to create havoc in Jerusalem. After two Arab-Israeli Druze border policemen were killed by terrorists, Israel installed metal detectors and security cameras on the Temple Mount, where Arabs built the Al Aqsa mosque in 705. The Muslims were given control of the Temple Mount by the Israeli government after the Six-Day War in 1967, and the Muslim religious leaders, the Waqf, do not allow non-Muslims to pray there, and they forbid Christian visitors from having any religious symbols, including the wearing of crosses.

After the Arab world reacted with horror and hysteria to the idea that the Israeli government would put security measures in place, the Israelis backed down, and metal detectors and cameras were removed.

As reported by Breitbart, Arab media cartoons now mock Israeli capitulation over Temple Mount metal detectors.

The Arabs can mock, start another intifada, and try to claim Jewish land as their own. As history shows, they will not succeed.

Archaeologists Find Destruction Left by Babylonian Conquest of Jerusalem

Israelis gather in Jerusalem’s Old City after weeks of tensions over Temple Mount

This section is for comments from's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Tammy agrees with or endorses any particular comment just because she lets it stand.
7 Comments | Leave a comment
  1. VelvetHammer says:

    Shifra: As always, thanks for these lessons you share with us from time to time. Always interesting and valuable reads.

  2. MACVEL says:

    Shifra, didn’t the Expulsion (2005) occur on the 9th of Av?

    • Shifra says:

      MACVEL, I assume you are referring to the forced evacuation of Israelis who lived in Gaza by the Israeli government in 2005? I just looked it up, the evacuations started on August 13, and looks like the Ninth of Av fell that year on… August 13. Good catch!

  3. Kitten says:

    Shifra, as always, what a great read about Jewish history. Dates are very important and significant in the Jewish faith. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob promised the land of Israel to the Jewish people, His people. King David purchased the land where Jerusalem stands. In my mind, that settles it. I hate that the Israeli government backed down from security measures at the Temple Mount, but it doesn’t change the fact that Israel and the Jewish people will be there long after their enemies are ancient history.

  4. Maynard says:

    Thanks, Shifra. A reminder of our place in the long trek of history is especially valuable in this era of extreme immediacy. And the extent to which the Israelis coddle the demands of the Religion of the Perpetually Offended is so strange that I suspect most Americans don’t believe it’s real. Of course, to be fair, we must remember how the Jordanians bent over backwards to respect Jewish and Christian history and practices when they controlled this turf (1948-1967). Not.

  5. Americanvln1 says:

    Should have trashed those idols huh? Bummer.

You must be logged in to post a comment.