Tisha B’Av: A Day of Mourning

This Thursday, we fasted and mourned for Tisha B’Av- a Jewish fast on the 9th day of the month of Av that commemorates the numerous disasters in Jewish history, but most prominently the destruction of both the first and second Beit Hamikdash. Tisha B’Av follows a similar structure as Yom Kippur: a sunset to nightfall duration, no washing or bathing, no leather shoes, and a couple others restrictions. In addition, there are some customs that discourage from learning Tanach, as on a day of mourning, one should not draw joy from Torah study.

Given what we are mourning, I thought it would be appropriate to take a look at some paintings of Jerusalem and the Kotel.

In this Gitty Fuchs painting, the viewer sees a simple but elegant depiction of the Kotel. Painted in cool blue tones, the painting evokes a sense of melancholy and yearning. If you read our recent blog post on the Kotel, you’ll remember that the massive stones at the bottom of the Kotel are part of the original walls before the destruction.


Here, Yossi Bitton uses an almost hidden multi-colored palate depicting the outer walls of Jerusalem with some of the residences along the walls of the Old City. The walls and buildings are primarily painted with realistic colors, like beige and green, but Bitton utilizes hints of pink, red, blue, and purple to breath life in to the hill. If you can close your eyes, try to imagine this area overrun with either Babaloynian soldiers or Roman soldiers, preparing to lay siege to the city and bring it to ruins.