Tisha B’Av, often called Israel’s saddest day of the year, is a day of mourning in the Jewish calendar that commemorates some of the tragic events that have occurred in Jewish history.

Primarily, Tisha B’Av commemorates the destruction of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem in the 7th century B.C.E. and the 1st century C.E. The catastrophic loss of Temple and land is reflected annually in the observances of Tisha B’Av. In addition to the destruction of the Temples, the 9th of Av, 1492, marked the last day according to the edict of expulsion that Jews were allowed to live as Jews in Spain. The expulsion of the Jews from Spain brought an end to more than 700 years of residence in the area and the most populous Jewish community of the Medieval period. This was also a community that was one of the most accomplished and successful in all of Jewish history, and the expulsion of the Jews from Spain was considered to be a tragic event of great magnitude in its time.