Monday, December 9, 2013

August 4, 2014: Tisha B'Av and President Obama's Birthday

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 (Canaan is modern day Palestine/Israel). In the Bible, God 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.

In history, the 9th of Av, or Tisha B'Av, has been a significant date of tragedy for the people of Israel.  This coming year, the 9th of Av will fall on August 4 and 5, 2014.  August 4, is also President Barack Obama's birthday.  For a list of significant events on the 9th of Av, please see the following table:

Hebrew Year
Common Year
2448 (1313) Spies return from 40 days in Israel with evil reports of the Land of Israel. Jewish people cry in despair, give up hope of entering the Land of Israel.
3340 (421) Destruction of First Temple by the Babylonians, under Nebuchadnezar. About 100,000 Jews killed during invasion. Exile of remaining tribes in southern kingdom to Babylon and Persia.
3830 70 Destruction of Second Temple by Romans, under Titus. Over 2,500,000 Jews die as a result of war, famine and disease. Over 1,000,000 Jews exiled to all parts of the Roman Empire. Over 100,000 Jews sold as slaves by Romans. Jews killed and tortured in gladiatorial "games" and pagan celebrations.
3892 132 Bar Kochba revolt crushed. Betar destroyed - over 100,00 killed.
3893 133 Turnus Rufus ploughs site of Temple. Romans build pagan city of Aelia Capitolina on site of Jerusalem.
4855 1095 First Crusade declared by Pope Urban II. 10,000 Jews killed in first month of Crusade. Crusades bring death and destruction to thousands of Jews, totally obliterate many communities in Rhineland and France.
5050 1290 Expulsion of Jews from England, accompanied by pogroms and confiscation of books and property.
5252 1492 Inquisition in Spain and Portugal culminates in the expulsion of the Jews from the Iberian Peninsula. Families separated, many die by drowning, massive loss of property.
5674 1914 Britain and Russia declare war on Germany. First World War begins. First World War issues unresolved, ultimately causing Second World War and Holocaust. 75% of all Jews in war zones. Jews in armies of all sides - 120,000 Jewish casualties in armies. Over 400 pogroms immediately following war in Hungary, Ukraine, Poland and Russia.
5702 1942 Deportations from Warsaw Ghetto to the Treblinka concentration camp begin.
5749 1989 Iraq walks out of talks with Kuwait.
5754 1994 The deadly bombing the building of the AMIA (the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, Argentina) which killed 86 people and wounded some 300 others.

What is interesting to consider further, is that Passover will coincide with a lunar eclipse, which is another event of peculiar interest to the Jewish faith, as it is discussed in their holy text.  It is also an event of rare occurrence (2014 will be the eight time since the year 1 AD) that has corresponded with major events in the history of Israel and people of the Jewish faith; most recently, the founding of Israel.  Please read more about that here.

This coming August 4, 2014, will also begin the first of seven planned tributes to World War I in Britain, as declared by David Cameron on October 11, 2012, or 10/11/12.  As you can see from the table above, World War I will have begun exactly 100 years earlier, on the 9th Day of Av, in the year 1914.
  • David = 4+1+4+9+4 = 22
  • Cameron = 3+1+4+5+9+6+5 = 33
  • David Cameron = 22+33 = 55
For more on this historical date, and the tragedies it has endured, please watch the following YouTube video, and read this article about the destruction of the temples.


  1. Excellent article. Thank you for putting this together. Do you have a new link for the video, which now shows unavailable?

  2. Thank you for notifying me about the video expiring. I will look for a replacement and correct the problem. Also, you're very welcome and thank you for reading.


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