Ninth of Ab a Black Letter Day
Minsk Synagogue I Cornerstone Is Dedicated at Chapel
Still Stands, Red
NEW YORK—The demolition of
the ancient Minsk synagogue, re-
ported recently, was denied in a
letter to the New York Herald
Tribune by a correspondent of the
Novosti Press Agency in the
The letter to the Tribune, from
Boris Ustinov, claimed that the
synagogue has not been closed
"for a single day." He writes that
the ancient building is located in
an older section of Minsk, and that
because neighborhood residents
are moving to better sections of
the city, synagogue leaders also
seek to relocate the building.
Services will continue in the
old building, Ustinov claims,
until a new building can be
• found in the newer section of
Despite the denial, editors of
the Tribune insist the tearing down
of the synagogue began without
warning while congregants were at
It defends its sources as highly
reliable and points out that the
Novosti agency acts as an apologist
for the USSR, "particularly on
stories relating to the status of
German Jews of the 18th century observing the Ninth of Ab,
praying in the synagogue, eating the last meal before the fast and
sleeping in the synagogue.
* • •
stroyed the Messiah was born to
By DR. HELEN HIRSCH
restore the Land of Israel. Proph- Bnai Moshe Library Open
(Standard Feature Syndicate)
Cong. Bnai Moshe will keep its
There are a few days in the ecy has been fulfilled, with na-
Jewish year set aside to recall tional freedom regained. Only such library open during, July and Au-
tragic events in Jewish history. a commemoration could "trans- gust 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday
The crief of these black letter form our mourning into rejoicing through Thursday and 9:30 a.m.
day is Tisha b'Ab—the ninth of Ab and comfort and gladden us from to 12:30 p.m. Sunday. The public
—which has a strange, tradition- our agony" (Jeremiah 31:12).
There is no event in Jewry's
long and rugged history that has
been so exhaustively discussed as
the destruction of the First Tem-
ple by King Nebuchadnezzer in 586
BCE and 656 years later, in 70 CE,
the Second War of Independence
valiantly fought by Bar Kochba
and Rabbi Akiba and which ended
with the tragic fall of Bethar—on
the ninth of Ab.
It was a tragic coincidence, that
King Edward I of England exiled
all Jews from the British Kingdom
in 1292—on the ninth of Ab; and
only 200 years later, in 1492, on
the ninth of Ab, all Jews were
banned from Spain by a cruel de-
cree issued by King Ferdinand
and Queen Isabella.
This year Tisha b'Ab falls on
Sunday. July 19. As a sign of
mourning, tallis and teffilin are
not worn during religious services.
The curtain is removed from the
Ark, the worshipers sit on the
floor or on low benches, chanting
the Book of Lamentations in the
evening service. Its authorship is
ascribed to the Prophet Jeremiah
who foretold and witnessed the
downfall of the Jewish State.
In the morning Kinnoth (dirges)
are intoned lamenting the destruc-
tion of both Temples and the pass-
ing of the religious and national
life of which the two Temples
were the symbol and embodiment.
The closing sections of the kin-
noth are invocations to Zion ex-
pressing Israel's undying longing
for the Holy Land.
The greatest names of Jewish
poets are among the immortal kin-
noth singers—Eleazar Kalir (6th
century); Solomon Ibn Gabirol
(1021-1058); Rabbi Meir of Rothen-
burg (1213-1293); Yehuda Halevi
(1095-1145) and others. Halevi's
"Ode to Zion" is one of the great-
est lyrics in Jewish literature, and
Rabbi Meir's "Dirge on the Burn-
ing of Hebrew Books" in Paris in
1244, rivals it in the depth of
The Sabbath preceding Tisha
b'Ab is called Sabbath Chazon and
the Sabbath following, Sabbath
Nahamus, because the Haftorahs
on both days begin with Isaiah 1
and 40 respectively and the words
"Hear, 0 Heavens" ("a message
Viceroy is scientifically made
of arraignment") and "Comfort ye,
comfort ye, my people" ("a mes-
to taste the way you'd like a
sage of comfort").
filter cigarette to taste.
According to tradition, on the
very day the first Temple was de-
The cornerstone of the new Hebrew Memorial Chapel, 26640
Greenfield, Oak Park, dedicated by Mr. and Mrs. Abe Miller and
family in memory of their son and brother, Morris Miller, who died
in World War II. Miller, owner of the Miller Laundry Machinery
Co., has been an active board member and worker for the Hebrew
Benevolent Society almost 20 years. A plaque commemorating
the dedications is above the cornerstone.
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