Today is Tisha B'Av, the saddest date in the Jewish calendar. So we're taking a day off from humor and instead reflecting on the loss of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and imagining what it would be like when it is rebuilt.
Although Tisha B'Av commemorates the destruction of both Temples, the main historical sources are in dispute about exactly when the Temples were destroyed. Some say the first Temple was destroyed either on the seventh or the 10th of Av in 586 B.C.E. by Nebuchadnezzar (king of Babylonia), and the second Temple was destroyed on the 10th (70 C.E. by Titus).
The rabbinic authorities decided to mark the ninth as the official date of remembering their destruction. Over the centuries many other tragic events happened--or were traditionally said to have happened--on this date.
These include the capture of Betar, which marked the final defeat of Bar Kokhba's rebellion against the Romans, and the razing of Jerusalem by the Romans. The edict of King Edward I compelling the Jews of England to leave the country was signed on the ninth of Av in 1290, the Jews were expelled from Spain on that day in 1492, and World War I broke out in 1914.
The sadness and mourning that Jews feel on this day are reflected in the various practices of Tisha B'Av, including abstaining from joyous activities like study of Torah, from eating and drinking, from sexual activity, and from wearing leather.
With Jews around the world focusing on the First and Second Temples, a new Holy Temple Visitor's Center is preparing to open its doors in the Old City of Jerusalem.
As Yoni Kempinski wrote in Arutz Sheva,
The new exhibition includes a highly advanced, state of the art presentation of the Temple-ready sacred vessels created by the Institute, garments of the High Priest, oil-paintings depicting aspects of the Divine service of the Holy Temple and model of the Holy Temple Complex.
Visitors will also be able to see a scaled-down stone altar, made in accordance with Torah law, transportable and completely ready for use on the Temple Mount.Here is a video walkthrough of the new center.
(A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS: THE VIDEO IS NOT VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY. YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.)