Monday, July 19, 2010

Titus at the gate

Soon Israel goes into collective mourning.
Restaurants and places of entertainment will be closed tonight.
Tomorrow the stock market will not open.
Observant Jews (at least those whose health permits fasting in this heat) will not drink or eat from 7:42 p.m. Monday until 8:15 p.m. Tuesday.
All this is to remember the calamities that befell the Jewish People over the past several thousand years on this very day, the 9th of Av, Tisha B'Av.

Chief among them is the destruction of the First Temple in 586 B.C.E. and of the Second Temple in 70 C.E.

This diorama in the museum of Hechal Shlomo shows details of how the Roman troops commanded by Titus, son of Emperor Vespasian, storm the city walls of Jerusalem in the year 70.
The figures and war machines are all in miniature, so please click the photos to understand the detail.
See the siege tower and the catapult?

The battering ram battered the gates.
Actually the Romans worked from February until August, breaching the first wall and the second wall, and finally entering the city in order to burn and raze the Temple.

Josephus writes that during that siege of Jerusalem General Titus, at one point, crucified 500 or more Jews a day. So many Jews were crucified outside the walls that "there was not enough room for the crosses and not enough crosses for the bodies" (Wars of the Jews 5:11.1).
Sigh . . .
All this happened 1,940 years ago but it is still part of our world, for That's MyWorld Tuesday.
Someone wiser than me once said that Jews have memory, not history.
(For less gruesome pictures, please see my posts about Tisha B'Av at the Western Wall and reading Jeremiah's Lamentations by candlelight.)


GreensboroDailyPhoto said...

I think you have a little bit of "journalist" in you. From pony rides to attending mass to visiting museums, you stay busy. These museum shots are so informative. I could stay all day!

one planet said...

we all need a place which we belong to

VP said...

As you wrote, something good is going on with the 'Romans' at their arch of Titus these days...

Birgitta "foto CHIP" said...

Very informative post :)

jeannette said...

How is Tisha B'Av called in English, do you know?
Lest we not forget, we do need to mourn sometimes...

J Bar said...

They look terrific.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

Petrea said...

I think memory and history are one, but we'd best write it down and continue to repeat it lest we forget it.

Luna Miranda said...

the diorama is awesome. thanks for sharing this bit of history with us--very interesting.

Pietro said...

Very fine post, Dina.
I wonder where we were 1940 years ago and where we'll be in the year 3950.

Kay said...

That is an awful, awful history. I just keep wondering how humans can do this to each other... without end.

Dina said...

Jan, at least now I have the blog as an excuse for having fun "covering" events and places.

One planet, "a place which we belong to"--I love this wording! So very true!

VP, I really wonder where it all will lead.

Birgitta, shalom and thank you.

Jeannette, I think it's just Tisha B'Av in English too, or maybe The 9th of Av.
To mourn, yes. Nowadays, the day has added another reason for mourning and introspection, especially among seculars; and that is the brokenness within modern Israeli society.

J Bar, yep. My grandsons would love to play with those toy soldiers, I bet.

Petrea, I was thinking back to what Yossi Goldman wrote:
"Jews never had history. We have memory. History can become a book, a museum, and forgotten antiquities. Memory is alive. And memory guarantees our future."

Luna Miranda, yes, I marvel at the diorama also. There are others at the museum of other historical events. I'll try to post some soon.

Pietro, you are optimistic. Often I wonder if the world will survive the next half century even.

Kay, I have no answer to that. Real humans, like you for instance, will never be able to understand such evils that are beyond our rational comprehension.

Ania said...

That's a great way to post about history on a photo blog.

BraCom (Bram) said...

Beautiful series

Regards, Bram

Seen on My World Tuesday

Turquoise Diaries said...

Lovely post Dina. I definitely learn something new...

B SQUARED said...

All the more reason for a strong, secure Israel.

Pietro said...

I agree, Dina. But with "where we were 1940 years ago and where we'll be in the year 3950"
I meant "we" as single souls: you Dina, I Pietro, etc...

spacedlaw said...

That is cynical, I think they have history too.