The Shmooze

And on The Ninth Day, They Prayed

By Anne Cohen

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Yesterday evening marked the beginning of Tisha B’Av, the annual fast day which commemorates the destruction of the First and Second Temples and the subsequent exile of the Jews from the Holy Land.

Regarded as the saddest day in the Jewish calendars, all pleasurable activities are forbidden. As in a period of mourning, there is no eating, no drinking, no bathing, no leather shoes, and no sexual activity.

Once all that’s ruled out, what is there left to do? Well, the thousands of Jews who spent the night at the Western Wall in Jerusalem last night provided the answer: prayer — and a little shut-eye.

Splayed out in rows or curled up in corners, the faithful grabbed 40 winks where they could:


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