Skip to content

Newsletter 07/16/2010

Weekly E-Mail News

Congregation Beth Shalom

Location: 308 South B Street
Mailing address: c/o 200 West Washington
Fairfield, Iowa  52556



Shabbat Services & Potluck at Hirshberg’s 7:00 p.m., Friday, July 16 (5 Av )

Everyone is warmly invited to celebrate Shabbat this Friday evening at the Hirshberg‘s, 1000 Walton Road, Fairfield 472-4016.

Please come welcome Rabbi Alan and Chaya Green. Rabbi Alan is senior rabbi at Shaarey Zedek, Winnipeg, MB Canada. Chaya was instrumental in founding Congregation Beth Shalom.

Salad Potluck at 7:00 pm; ideas:

  • green salad
  • pasta salad
  • fruit salad
  • or bring your own dinner

Drinks, dessert and paper products will be provided. Please RSVP to Julie Blum 472-3757 or e-mail so we can have enough to serve everyone!

The condensed outdoor service will begin about 8:15 (indoors if it rains!), led by Rabbi Green, assisted by Cantor Haim Menashehoff.
Directions to Hirshberg’s: From Highway 1 ( 2nd Ave) in Fairfield, turn East on Kirkwood Avenue, (by Everbodies Grocery Store) which , after crossing G Street, curves left and becomes Pleasant Plain Road (without signage).  The next street on the right (at the bottom of the hill) is Walton Road.  Turn right on Walton.  Immediately, the first driveway on the right is the Hirshberg’s.  Turn into the drive and park (without blocking the driveway) and come in!

Shabbat Candle Lighting Times for Fairfield

Shabbat (candle lighting) begins at 8:20 p.m. Friday, July 16; Shabbat ends (Havdallah begins) Saturday, 9:26 p.m. in Fairfield.

9th of Av –  July 20, 2010

A Historical Overview from the Chabad Perspective

The 9th of Av, Tisha b’Av, commemorates a list of catastrophes so severe it’s clearly a day specially cursed by G‑d.

Picture this: The year is 1313 BCE. The Israelites are in the desert, recently having experienced the miraculous Exodus, and are now poised to enter the Promised Land. But first they dispatch a reconnaissance mission to assist in formulating a prudent battle strategy. The spies return on the eighth day of Av and report that the land is unconquerable. That night, the 9th of Av, the people cry. They insist that they’d rather go back to Egypt than be slaughtered by the Canaanites. G‑d is highly displeased by this public demonstration of distrust in His power, and consequently that generation of Israelites never enters the Holy Land. Only their children have that privilege, after wandering in the desert for another 38 years.

The First Temple was also destroyed on the 9th of Av (423 BCE). Five centuries later (in 69 CE), as the Romans drew closer to the Second Temple, ready to torch it, the Jews were shocked to realize that their Second Temple was destroyed the same day as the first.

When the Jews rebelled against Roman rule, they believed that their leader, Simon bar Kochba, would fulfill their messianic longings. But their hopes were cruelly dashed in 133 CE as the Jewish rebels were brutally butchered in the final battle at Betar. The date of the massacre? Of course—the 9th of Av!

One year after their conquest of Betar, the Romans plowed over the Temple Mount, our nation’s holiest site.

The Jews were expelled from England in 1290 CE on, you guessed it, Tisha b’Av. In 1492, the Golden Age of Spain came to a close when Queen Isabella and her husband Ferdinand ordered that the Jews be banished from the land. The edict of expulsion was signed on March 31, 1492, and the Jews were given exactly four months to put their affairs in order and leave the country. The Hebrew date on which no Jew was allowed any longer to remain in the land where he had enjoyed welcome and prosperity? Oh, by now you know it—the 9th of Av.

The Jews were expelled from England in 1290 CE on, you guessed it, Tisha b’AvReady for just one more? World War II and the Holocaust, historians conclude, was actually the long drawn-out conclusion of World War I that began in 1914. And yes, amazingly enough, the First World War also began, on the Hebrew calendar, on the 9th of Av, Tisha b’Av.

What do you make of all this? Jews see this as another confirmation of the deeply held conviction that history isn’t haphazard; events – even terrible ones – are part of a Divine plan and have spiritual meaning. The message of time is that everything has a rational purpose, even though we don’t understand it.


Observances for Tisha B ‘Av –  July 20, 2010

As part of our mourning for the destruction of the Temple and the exile of Israel, we abstain from many pleasurable activities on the night and day of Av 9—starting with sundown on the eve of the day before, and concluding with the following nightfall (click here for exact times in your location).

Specifically, we don’t:

  • We abstain from many pleasurable activities on the night and day of Av 9 Eat or drink. All adults – even pregnant and nursing women – fast on this day. One who is ill should consult with a rabbi. An ill person who is not fasting should refrain from eating delicacies and should eat only that which is absolutely necessary for his physical well-being.
  • Wear leather footwear, or footwear that contains any leather (even if it is only a leather sole).
  • Sit on a normal-height chair until midday. (“Halachic” midday is the halfway point between sunrise and sunset; click here for the exact time for your location.)
  • Bathe or wash oneself—”even to insert a finger in cold water.”
    One who becomes soiled may rinse the affected area with cold water.
    It is permitted to wash up after using the restroom.
    When preparing food – for children, or for the post-fast meal – one may wash the food, even if it also, incidentally, washes the hands.
    When ritually washing the hands in the morning, the water should be poured on the fingers only until the knuckle joints.
  • Apply ointment, lotions or creams.
    It is permissible, however, to bathe a baby and apply ointments to his skin.
  • Engage in marital relations or any form of intimacy.
  • Send gifts, or even greet another with the customary “hello” or “how are you doing?”
  • Engage in outings, trips or similar pleasurable activities.
  • Wear fine festive clothing.
  • Study Torah, because “the commandments of G‑d are upright, causing the heart to rejoice” (Psalms 19:9). It is, however, permitted – and encouraged – to study sections of the Torah which discuss the laws of mourning, the destruction of the Temples, and the tragedies which befell the Jewish people throughout our history. This prohibition actually begins at midday of the day before Tisha b’Av.

“One who mourns Jerusalem will merit to see her happiness, as the verse (Isaiah 66:10) promises: ‘Rejoice with her greatly, all who mourn for her'”—Talmud Taanit 30b.