New Testament

Mark 10:13-16

13 Now people were bringing little children to him for him to touch, but the disciples scolded those who brought them. 14 But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to me and do not try to stop them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 I tell you the truth, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.” 16 After he took the children in his arms, he placed his hands on them and blessed them.



On the day when R. Eleazar b. ‘Azariah was appointed head of the academy, he began his discourse by saying: Ye are standing this day all of you … your little ones, your wives, the men came to listen, the women came to receive a reward for their journey, but why did the little ones come? That a reward may be given to those who bring them. From this the young daughters of Israel learnt the practice of coming to the Synagogue so that a reward may be granted to those who bring them while they would [in due course] also receive their reward.

The reader on the Ninth of Ab says, ‘Blessed … the true Judge’. Some place the Torah scroll on the ground in a black wrapping and say, The crown is fallen from our head. The reading and the lamentations are carried out as with a man whose dead lies before him. Some change their [customary] places [in the Synagogue]; others descend from their benches, and all of them roll in ashes and do not greet one another throughout the night and also throughout the day until the people have finished their lamentations. During the recital of the lamentations it is forbidden to speak [any irrelevant] word, or to go outside [the Synagogue], lest one’s mind be diverted from the mourning; and it is obvious that no conversation with a Gentile is permitted.