On Wednesday, July 26, late in the evening, a prayer written by Rabbi Yitzhak HaLevi Herzog was recited at the archaeological excavation site at the former Miła 18 Street. The prayer was led by the Chief Rabbi of Poland, Michael Schudrich.
It was a prayer on the occasion of the fast of Tisha B’Av, a very important and sad Jewish holiday, celebrated annually in Judaism. The holiday commemorates the destruction of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem. The first event took place in 586 BCE, when the armies of King Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon entered Jerusalem. On his order, the First Jerusalem Temple, the royal palace and residential houses were burnt down. In 70 CE the Second Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans.
Over the next centuries, on the day of Tisha B’Av, there were other tragic events in the history of the Jewish nation. In 135 CE during the famous Bar-Kokhba uprising, the Romans captured the city of Betar. The expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1492 also continued on this day. On July 22, 1942, about 6,250 people were forcibly transported by train to their deaths in the Treblinka camp.
That day, after the evening prayer in the synagogue, the Book of Lamentations and mourning prayers are read. Only selected portions of the Torah can be read on this day. There is an absolute fast throughout the day and a number of other religious prohibitions.