|Jewish men sitting on the ground at the "Wailing Wall" (circa 1935)|
The ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av -- Tisha B'Av -- is the day in the Hebrew calendar when great calamities befell the Jewish people, including the destruction of both Temples in Jerusalem, the fall of the fortress Beitar in the Jewish rebellion against Rome in 136 CE, and the expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1492. The day is commemorated with fasting, prayers and the reading of Lamentations. In Jerusalem, thousands pray at the Kotel, the Western Wall.
|"Devout Jewish women" at the Wall (circa|
1900). One of the two women on the left
is wearing a traditional Arab embroidered
dress. We suggest that the two women
in the black cloaks were companions
or care-givers to the Jewish women.
View another photo of devout women here
The American Colony photographers frequently focused their cameras on the worshipers at the "Wailing Place of the Jews." The Colony founders who came to Jerusalem in 1881 were devout Christians who saw the return of the Jews to the Holy Land as a sign of messianic times.
Of the dozens of pictures at the Kotel there are several of elderly men and women sitting on the ground or on low stools, customs of mourning practiced on Tisha B'Av.
|"A Jewish beggar reading at the Wailing Wall" (circa 1920). |
Note others sitting on the ground. The day is almost
certainly Tisha B'Av and he is probably reading the
book of Lamentations.
|Jews straining to see the Western Wall|
|"Jews' wailing place without mourners.|
Deserted during 1929 riots."
See another view here