Yehuda Lave is an author, journalist, psychologist, rabbi, spiritual
teacher, and coach, with degrees in business, psychology and Jewish Law.
He works with people from all walks of life and helps them in their
search for greater happiness, meaning, business advice on saving money,
and spiritual engagement.
Tish'a B'Av for Hebrew Year 5782 begins at sundown on Saturday, 6 August 2022, and ends at nightfall on Sunday, 7 August 2022
Tisha B’Av (Hebrew: תשעה באב or ט׳ באב, "the Ninth of Av,") is an annual fast day in Judaism, named for the ninth day (Tisha) of the month of Av in the Hebrew calendar. The fast commemorates the destruction of both the First Temple and Second Temple in Jerusalem, which occurred about 655 years apart, but on the same Hebrew calendar date. Tisha B’Av is never observed on Shabbat. If the 9th of Av falls on a Saturday, the fast is postponed until the 10th of Av.
stones from the Western Wall of the Temple Mount (Jerusalem, Israel),
knocked onto the street below by Roman battering rams in 70 CE
According to the Mishnah (Taanit 4:6), five specific events occurred on the ninth of Av that warrant fasting:
The Twelve Spies sent by Moses to observe the land of Canaan returned from their mission. Only two of the spies, Joshua and Caleb, brought a positive report, while the others spoke disparagingly about the land. The majority report caused the Children of Israel to cry, panic and despair of ever entering the "Promised Land". For this, they were punished by God that their generation would not enter the land. The midrash
quotes God as saying about this event, "You cried before me
pointlessly, I will fix for you [this day as a day of] crying for the
generations", alluding to the future misfortunes which occurred on the same date.
The Romans subsequently crushed Bar Kokhba's revolt and destroyed the city of Betar, killing over 500,000 Jewish civilians (approximately 580,000) on August 4, 135 CE.
Following the Bar Kokhba revolt, Roman commander Quintus Tineius Rufus plowed the site of the Temple in Jerusalem and the surrounding area, in 135 CE.
time, Tisha B'Av has come to be a Jewish day of mourning, not only for
these events, but also for later tragedies which occurred on or near the
9th of Av. References to some of these events appear in liturgy
composed for Tisha B'Av (see below).
Germany entered World War I on August 1–2, 1914 (Av 9–10, AM 5674), which caused massive upheaval in European Jewry and whose aftermath led to the Holocaust.
On August 2, 1941 (Av 9, AM 5701), SS commander Heinrich Himmler formally received approval from the Nazi Party for "The Final Solution." As a result, the Holocaust began during which almost one third of the world's Jewish population perished.
While the Holocaust
spanned a number of years, most religious communities use Tisha B'Av to
mourn its 6,000,000 Jewish victims, in addition to or instead of the
secular Holocaust Memorial Days. On Tisha B'Av, communities which otherwise do not modify the traditional prayer liturgy have added the recitation of special kinnot related to the Holocaust.
In connection with the fall of Jerusalem, three other fast-days were established at the same time as the Ninth Day of Av: these were the Tenth of Tevet, when the siege of Jerusalem by the Babylonians began; the Seventeenth of Tammuz, when the first breach was made in the wall by the Romans; and the Third of Tishrei, known as the Fast of Gedaliah, the day when Gedaliah was assassinated in the time of the Babylonians following the destruction of the First Temple. The three weeks leading up to Tisha B'Av are known as The Three Weeks, while the nine days leading up to Tisha B'Av are known as The Nine Days.
Laws and customs
Tisha B'Av falls in July or August in the Gregorian calendar. When Tisha B'Av falls on Shabbat (Saturday), it then is known as a nidche
("delayed") in Hebrew and the observance of Tisha B'Av then takes place
on the following day (that is, Sunday). This last occurred in 2019, and
it will next occur in 2022. No outward signs of mourning intrude upon
the normal Sabbath, although normal Sabbath eating and drinking end just
before sunset Saturday evening, rather than nightfall.
The fast lasts about 25 hours, beginning just before sunset on
the preceding evening lasting until nightfall the next day. In addition
to fasting, other pleasurable activities are also forbidden.
Tisha B'Av bears a similar stringent nature to that of Yom Kippur.
In addition to the length of the fast which lasts about 25 hours,
beginning just before sunset on the eve of Tisha B'Av and ends at
nightfall the following day, Tisha B'Av also shares the following five
No eating or drinking;
No washing or bathing;
No application of creams or oils;
No wearing of (leather) shoes;
No marital (sexual) relations.
These restrictions are waived in the case of health issues but a competent posek, a rabbi who decides Jewish Law,
must be consulted. For example, those who are seriously ill will be
allowed to eat and drink. On other fast days almost any medical
condition may justify breaking the fast; in practice, since many cases
differ, consultation with a rabbi is often necessary.Ritual washing up to the knuckles is permitted. Washing to cleanse dirt or mud from one's body is also permitted.
Reading kinnot at the Western Wall
Study of the Tanakh
is forbidden on Tisha B'Av (as it is considered a spiritually enjoyable
activity), except for the study of distressing texts such as the Book of Lamentations, the Book of Job, portions of Jeremiah and chapters of the Talmud that discuss the laws of mourning and those that discuss the destruction of the Temple.
In synagogue, prior to the commencement of the evening services, the parochet (which normally covers and adorns the Torah Ark) is removed or drawn aside, lasting until the Mincha prayer service.
According to the Rema it is customary to sit on low stools or on the floor, as is done during shiva, from the meal immediately before the fast (the seudah hamafseket) until midday (chatzot hayom)
of the fast itself. It is customary to eat a hard boiled egg dipped in
ashes, and a piece of bread dipped into ashes, during this pre-fast
meal. The Beit Yosef rules that the custom to sit low to the ground extends past mid-day, until one prays Mincha (the afternoon prayer).
If possible, work is avoided during this period. Electric lighting may be turned off or dimmed, and kinnot
recited by candlelight. Some sleep on the floor or modify their normal
sleeping routine, by sleeping without a pillow (or with one fewer pillow
than usual), for instance. People refrain from greeting each other or
sending gifts on this day. Old prayer-books and Torah scrolls are often
buried on this day.
The custom is to not put on tefillin for morning services (Shacharit) of Tisha b'Av, and not a talit, rather only wear the personal talit kattan without a blessing. At Mincha services tzitzit and tefilin are worn, with proper blessings prior to donning them.
End of fast
the fast ends at nightfall, according to tradition the First Temple
continued burning throughout the night and for most of the following
day, the tenth of Av. It is therefore customary to maintain all restrictions of the nine days through midday (chatzos) of the following day.
When Tisha B'Av falls on a Saturday, and is therefore observed on
Sunday, the 10th of Av, it is not necessary to wait until midday Monday
to end restrictions of the nine days. However, one refrains from
involvement in activity that would be considered "joyous", such as
eating meat, drinking wine, listening to music, and saying the
"shehecheyonu" blessing, until Monday morning. One can wash laundry and
shave immediately after the end of a delayed tisha b'av.
When Tisha B'Av begins on Saturday night, the Havdalah ritual is postponed by 24 hours, as one could not drink the accompanying wine. One says Attah Chonantanu in the Saturday night Shemoneh Esrei prayer, and/or says Baruch Hamavdil, thus ending Shabbat. A blessing is
made on the candle Saturday night. After Tisha B'Av ends on Sunday
evening, the Havdalah ceremony is performed with wine (without candle or
Three are Rabbi Yehuda Glick, famous temple mount activist, and
former Israel Mk, and then Robert Weinger, the world's greatest shofar
blower and seller of Shofars, and myself after we had gone to the 12
gates of the Temple Mount in 2020 to blow the shofar to ask G-d to heal
the world from the Pandemic. It was a highlight to my experience in
living in Israel and I put it on my blog each day to remember.
The articles that I include each day are those that I find
interesting, so I feel you will find them interesting as well. I don't
always agree with all the points of each article but found them
interesting or important to share with you, my readers, and friends. It
is cathartic for me to share my thoughts and frustrations with you about
life in general and in Israel. As a Rabbi, I try to teach and share the
Torah of the G-d of Israel as a modern Orthodox Rabbi. I never intend
to offend anyone but sometimes people are offended and I apologize in
advance for any mistakes. The most important psychological principle
I have learned is that once someone's mind is made up, they don't want
to be bothered with the facts, so, like Rabbi Akiva, I drip water (Torah
is compared to water) on their made-up minds and hope that some of what
I have share sinks in. Love Rabbi Yehuda Lave.
This week's Torah reading begins the oration by our teacher Moshe during the final months of his life. In this oration, he reviews the 40 years of sojourn of the Jewish people in the Sinai desert, and prophecies regarding their future, first in the Land of Israel. and then throughout succeeding history. e Torah tells us that Moshe began his speech when the Jewish people were located between certain landmarks in the desert of Sinai. Rashi, following the ideas of the Midrash, explains that the locations that were identified were not meant to be specific geographic localities, but, rather, they were intended to highlight events that occurred to the Jewish people during their 40 years in the Sinai desert.
We have a rule that while there is a myriad of interpretations to the eternal words and depth of the narrative verses as written in the Torah, the Talmud cautions us that while we should always be aware of what the Torah really means, the simple explanation of the words is also primary to our understanding of its values and message.
The listing of these geographic locations where Moshe begins his oration to the Jewish people is an intrinsic value by itself. Moshe wants us to realize when and where, and under what circumstances, the message to the Jewish people is being delivered, by describing the place from which he is speaking, and giving it context and background. All statements, no matter how profound and eternal, must be understood within the context of place and time.
It is difficult to communicate any message to a generation that is living miraculously in a barren desert. The audience must require great imagination be able to deal with promises and issues concerning a country that they have never yet seen. It is also very difficult to speak to people about the future, which is always so uncertain, and, to a great extent, mysterious. But Moshe’s oration addresses both concerns.
He wants the listener to know that he is speaking from the desert, but that his message is also for the future of the Jewish people in the Land of Israel. And Moshe also looks far into the future, warning them of destruction and exile, horrendous events, but yet the eventual redemption and hope. It is the greatness of Moshe that he is able to speak in the present from an identifiable geographic location, and, yet project a message that will last for thousands of years, valid and vital wherever one finds oneself on this planet. This is what makes Moshe the greatest of all prophets of the Jewish people, in all areas of life and faith, and for all eternity.
Rabbi Berel Wein
How Mother’s Milk Inspired The Newest Superfood
This Israeli startup finds key ingredients in nature that are also found in breast milk
The ingredients that make mother’s milk the best possible thing for a baby will now be available for grownups.
Israeli food tech startup Maolac uses an algorithm that matches the key proteins in breast milk with alternative sources found in mushrooms, algae, and plants.
Everything that baby benefits from — protection against illness, anti-inflammatory qualities, and nutrition — will be utilized in a superfood for adults, Maya Ashkenazi Otmazgin, and biomedical engineer and the CEO for Maolac, tells NoCamels.
“We created an algorithm that can actually look at all the proteins inside breast milk and mix and match the key proteins responsible for different functionalities and then find them in alternative sources in nature, like mushrooms, algae, and plants,” she says.
Maolac is also said to be the first company in the world to identify and extract functional proteins from bovine colostrum, a nutrient-rich milky fluid that comes from the udder of cows in the first four to five days after giving birth, which is 95 percent equivalent to those found in breast milk, according to the firm.
Extra milk from calves– as much as 20 liters per cow — is thrown away after getting a certain amount from each one. “If we look for it, we will see 5 billion liters of bovine colostrum that the dairy industry does not use,” Ashkenazi Otmazgin says.
“The idea of transforming the first, nutrient-rich milk of cows that have just given birth into a source for human protein is a stroke of pure genius. Billions of liters of bovine colostrum are discarded each year. Maolac takes this waste and creates a product of huge potential benefit to millions at a time when the world is desperately searching for new sustainable sources of protein. The company is a perfect example of the circular economy in action,” said Jon Medved, CEO of OurCrowd, which has invested in the company.
Otmagazin had the idea to create a superfood using nutritional ingredients found in breast milk while experiencing “the magic” of nursing her first child. She realized she wanted to harness the benefits of that breast milk for adults.
“I told myself – this is the ultimate superfood for mammals,” she says in a conversation with NoCamels during a short break between a hectic day of meetings. “There are different functionalities that breast milk can provide for a small human being and I realized we could leverage all the goodness to create something new inspired by a formulation that created the human species and actually brought us to where we are,” she says.
In 2018, Ashkenazi Otmazgin joined forces with Eli Lerner and immunity expert Dr. Ariel Orbach to form a food tech startup. The company just raised a $3.2 million seed funding round led by active crowdfunding platform OurCrowd with participation from The Kitchen FoodTech Hub founded by the Strauss Group, The Food Tech Lab, VentureIsrael, NEOME, and Mediterranean Towers Ventures.
Studies have shown that there are numerous benefits to breastfeeding a baby that both protect against illness and positively impact health and child development. According to the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, USA, breast milk provides abundant and easily absorbed nutritional components, antioxidants, enzymes, immune properties, and live antibodies from the mother that attack germs and protect the baby from illness.
Maolac’s technology relies on a bio-convergence platform for the discovery of proteins based on machine learning and natural language processing search algorithms. The company identified more than 1,5000 known bio-active proteins in human breast milk and over 400 homolog proteins in bovine colostrum, and have since created thousands of human functional milk protein mixtures using similar ingredients found in plants and mushrooms, and other sources found in nature.
Ashkenazi Otmazgin stresses that the alternative sources must come from nature. “We don’t make them in a lab or genetically modify our mixtures.”
Maolac’s active ingredients work like breast milk to directly target specific body function, traveling through the bloodstream or gut to produce higher overall efficacy at lower dosages, a statement from Maolac said.
One of the ingredients has anti-inflammatory properties and is part of the first Maolac product line for humans. It will target athletes to reduce muscle strain and improve recovery time. The product will also target the elderly to support living and improved mobility. It will form the basis for the next generation of gut health solutions for humans and pets to help prevent severe cases of gut inflammation.
The second ingredient will be a part of products creating the next generation of probiotics, according to Otmazgin. It will contribute to a better digestive system to reduce inconvenience due to stress in the gut, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), or other conditions
Maolac will use the seed funding they just raised to build a state-of-the-art facility that will feature small-scale production capabilities. The facility will also be able to create analytics and samples for customers and clinical trials.
Ashkenazi Otmazgin tells NoCamels that the startup is in advanced discussions on joint development agreements with several leading Israeli companies in the food and supplements markets. It is also in talks with several of the world’s leading dairy protein producers and global dairy, ingredient, and supplement companies.
“We have several contracts on the table with potential global manufacturers that will produce for us. Our intention is to go global,” says Ashkenazi Otmazgin, citing both the US and Europe.
“We want to be the next generation of smart ingredient companies that create precision proteins for the food supplements and cosmetics industries with a portfolio of products with different functionalities,” says Ashkenazi Ashkenazi Otmazgin, “We want to bring active ingredients in small doses that won’t have an influence on taste, texture, or colors of existing food products, so people will love to consume those products.”
Ashkenazi Otmazgin also admits that in the future, the company will go to other markets, like the baby formula market. “Not full formula, but functional ingredients for the industry,” she adds.
For now, though, the focus is breast milk.
“There are so many companies that work in the alternative space and don’t look at breast milk — there is something quite repulsive when you talk about it. But adults can take real advantage of it,” she says.
Moriah's bat mitzvah at the New Western Wall Heritage foundation
“He (Jacob) spent the night there…and lay down in that place. He dreamt… A ladder was set earthward and its top reached heavenward; and … angels of G-d were ascending and descending on it…G-d was standing over him, and He said “I am Hashem, G-d of Abraham, you forefather and G-d of Isaac. The ground upon which you are lying, to you I will give it and… your descendants… Jacob arose from his sleep and said “Surely G-d is present in this place…and he took the stone… and set it up as a pillar…and he named the place Bethel (Beit El) (Genesis 28:11-19)”.
Today, we will be exploring a real treasure! Although one of the most climatic and consequential events in the Bible took place here, few tourists ever visit. You shall soon see, however, why this site is not to be missed!
Beit El is initially mentioned when Abraham and his household first entered the land of Israel. G-d had told him to leave his homeland and go to the land “Which I will show you (Genesis 12:1)”. After arriving in Israel from Haran (part of modern-day Turkey) he journeyed southwards, eventually arriving in Beit El where he pitched his tent temporarily and set up an altar to Hashem (G-d) and invoked Hashem by name (Genesis 12-8).
Eventually, Abraham traveled further south, ultimately settling in Beer Sheva (often spelled Beersheba). Two generations later, Abraham’s grandson Jacob fled Beersheba (click here to see article) to get away from his murderous brother Esau, returning to Haran to find a wife (Rebecca did not want her son to marry a local Canaanite, so his father Isaac instructed him to return to Haran to get married). On the way, the sun set when Jacob had arrived to Beit El, so he spent the night there out in the open.
Why does the Bible make a specific mention of the sun setting (Genesis 28:10)? According to Jewish sources, Jacob was praying there to G-d when he heard Angels having a discussion. Jacob then realized that he was standing in a very holy site connected with heaven. However, with a long journey ahead of him and several hours ahead in the day, he was about to leave when G-d caused the sun to set early, so Jacob would spend the night there and G-d would reveal Himself in a dream (the spot was especially conducive to higher levels of prophecies).
Jacob then took stones from the site, placing them around himself to protect him from wild animals. According to Jewish sources, it was exactly 12 stones, representing the 12 sons he would have who would make up the tribes of Israel. While he slept, the stones combined into one big stone (the one he was using as a pillow) which signified that all 12 of his sons would be righteous and follow in his ways.
Later, a Canaanite city-state emerged at Beit El with its own King. Joshua and his army defeated them upon entering Israel, and the land fell within the territory of Ephraim.
Hundreds of years later, after King Solomon died, the Kingdom split in two and Beit El found itself in the Northern Kingdom of Israel.
The Kingdom of Israel was to be ruled by the (initially) righteous Jeroboam with his capital in Samaria, while the southern Kingdom continued to be ruled by Solomon’s son Rehoboam with Jerusalem as its capital.
Unfortunately, power quickly got to Jeroboam’s head, and he made some fateful decisions. When the Temple stands, all Jews are obliged to travel to Jerusalem at least three times a year: Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkot. Jeroboam was worried that when his subjects (all of whom were Jewish) would go to Jerusalem, their hearts would turn towards the ruler of Judah, and they would begin to see him as only a secondary king and eventually overthrow him. He therefore decided to set up new places of worship, complete with Golden calves, in Beit El and Dan ( 1 Kings 12:28-29). He even made up his own holidays and declared himself a priest, burning incense to the calves in Beit El. Ultimately, these misguided fears brought the Kingdom of Israel to spiritual ruin. This, according to Jewish sources, is the reason the northern Kingdom was exiled 133 years earlier than the more righteous southern kingdom of Judah. Ultimately, his descendants continued in his wicked ways and were eradicated from the face of the earth (1 Kings 13:33-34) with Jeroboam having no portion in the World to Come.
A few hundred years later, the righteous King Josiah of Judah destroyed this “High place” of Beit-El (2 Kings 23:15). Soon after, Babylonia conquered Israel and destroyed Beit El.
The Persians who conquered the Babylonian empire 70 years later rebuilt Beit El, and when the Greek forces of Alexander the Great conquered the land from them in 332 BCE, the city continued to grow. In the second century BCE when the Hellenists (Greek) forces fought the famous Jewish rebels known as the Maccabees, they fortified the city, though ultimately the Maccabees were successful and expelled the Greeks from Israel, thus re-establishing Jewish sovereignty for the next 80 years in all of Israel (The Jewish holiday of Chanukah is connected to these events).
In the 1100s, the Crusaders built a chapel on this site. When the Muslims expelled the Crusaders, they built a mosque here as well.
Between 1948-67 Jordan controlled this land, and when Israel liberated Judea and Samaria (West Bank) they re-established a Jewish settlement here. Today, the population is about 6200, with many new houses being built.
Today, Beit El has much to offer to tourists of all ages! On your next trip, let us plan on visiting this treasure together!
(All images are public domain or leased by the author)
How deep is the sand in the Sahara desert? What's underneath? Is it a gradual transition, or is it like pure sand poured directly onto some previous flat surface?
The Sahara, which means desert in Arabic, is the largest non-polar desert in the world and covers all of North Africa over more than 9,000,000 km².
Although the Sahara is famous for its sand dunes, most of its surface is made up of a hamada or rocky plateau.
The legendary dune fields of the Sahara cover only about 15% of the total surface of the desert and are mainly located in the central-northern region. In the dunes of Algeria and Libya, the thickness of the sand varies because the dunes can accumulate up to several hundred meters in height and then change according to the movement of the sand.
The desert expanse is dominated by rocky and arid expanses with hills and arid valleys.
What many don't realize is that the Sahara was once a fertile region that supported thriving human communities. A core study has revealed that the ancient climate of North Africa underwent rapid desertification and climate change that transformed the region from a humid subtropical landscape that had been for thousands of years to a desert in "a few years". (geologically speaking). This happened around 4200 BC.
When the climate started to change, the Sahara region became arid and the vegetation died. With nothing to hold the soil down, the action of the wind was able to remove all the fine sediment until only sand, rocks and bedrock remained.
The climate change from the central Holocene to today was initiated by changes in Earth's orbit and by the tilt of the Earth's axis. About 9,000 years ago, the Earth's tilt was 24.14 degrees, compared to today's 23.45 degrees, and perihelion (the point in Earth's orbit closest to the Sun) occurred at the end of July, compared to the beginning of January today. At this time, the northern hemisphere received more summer sun, which amplified the African and Indian summer monsoon.
However, changes in the Earth's orbit occurred gradually, while the evolution of North Africa's climate and vegetation was abrupt. German researcher Claussen and his colleagues believe that various feedback mechanisms within Earth's climate system amplified and modified the effects of orbital changes. By modeling the impact of climate, oceans and vegetation, both separately and in various combinations, the researchers concluded that the oceans played only a minor role in the desertification of the Sahara.
The valley of Wadi El Hitan, (valley of the whales) in Egypt, contains the fossil remains of an extinct suborder of whales. Clearly, the valley was part of a shallow sea basin 40 to 50 million years ago. Desertification has helped both to preserve and to reveal an enormous mass of fossils.