Ottawa, July 27, 2012 — The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, issued the following statement to mark Tisha B’Av:
Tomorrow at sundown begins Tisha B’Av – an annual fast day in the Jewish religion. Named for the ninth day, Tisha, of the Hebrew month of Av, Tisha B’Av commemorates, primarily, the destruction of the First and Second Temples.
In 586 BCE, the First Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar, who slaughtered and exiled Jews from their homeland. Later, in 70 CE, the Second Temple was destroyed by Titus and the Romans, and again, Jews were murdered or exiled. Several other tragedies have befallen the Jewish people on the same calendar date over many centuries.
As a commemoration of Jewish suffering and tragedy, Tisha B’Av has been called the ‘saddest day in Jewish history’ and is a time of mourning and reflection marked by prayer and fasting.
For all Canadians, this solemn day provides an opportunity to learn more about the Jewish faith and the history of the Jewish people.
As Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, I join the Jewish community in remembrance as they observe Tisha B’Av.