Tisha B’Av begins tonight, the 15th of July, 2013 which corresponds to the ninth of Av. It is the anniversary of the destruction of both the First Temple (586 BCE) and the Second Temple (70 CE) in Jerusalem. Although they occurred about 655 years apart they occurred on the same day in the Hebrew calendar. Other Jewish tragedies are also remembered on Tisha b’Av- the day has been called the “saddest day in Jewish history”. We read the Book of Eicha which was written by the prophet Jeremiah, and other calamities are commemorated by reading kinnot (poetry of sorrow).
Jeremiah 8:13 – 9:23
This is a series of some of Jeremiah’s gloomiest prophecies. Doom, invasion, siege, famine, starvation, devastation, death, lament, cruelty are the theme of this haftarah. The dirge is unrelieved by words of comfort. These words reflect the emotion of Tisha b’Av The image chosen for Tisha b’Av is based on a woodcut by the Shoah artist Miklos Adler. Miklos Adler was a Hungarian Concentration camp survivor who depicted the autrocities of the Shoah. He was born in 1909 and died in 1965 in Israel.He painted,drew and did woodcuts.His woodcuts can be seen in a powerful haggadah called “The Survivor’s Haggadah”
The picture I drew is based on one of his haggadah woodcuts. It shows Jews waiting at a train station, looking at smoke in the form of faces rising out of crematoria chimney stacks.
If you have comments or reflections on Tisha B’Av or the imagery please post your ideas.I would love to hear from you.