Today In Fact, 18 July

Nelson Mandela would make a good Jew.

The Jewish calendar uses a Luni-solar system and so Tisha B’av falls on this day only every 17 years. Tisha B’av is a day of mourning and sorrows for Jews. In 1918 on this day, Jews the world over fasted, refrained from bathing, took off their shoes and abstained from sex. Most observant Jews do not even sit on chairs on this day but if they should sit, they sit on the floor. Gifts are not given and greetings are not shared on this day.

Historians place this day as the day of destruction of the first and the second temples in Jerusalem as well as many other disasters and horrors against Jews. In 1290 on this day, King Edward I expelled Jews from England. In 1925, Adolf Hitler published Mein Kampf.

There is though a small glimmer of light. On this day in 1918, a baby boy was born in Mveso in the Eastern Cape into the clan of the bees, the Madiba. Roihlahla means trouble and it is fitting that a boy named trouble be born on Tisha B’av.

– Posted by Douglas Racionzer (