According to legend, Napoleon was riding through the streets of Paris one evening when he ordered his carriage driver to stop. Passing by a synagogue and glancing in the window, he had witnessed an entire congregation of Jews sitting on the floor by candlelight and raising their voices in cries of sorrow.
Napoleon sent his aide to investigate, and was informed that it was the ninth day of the month of Av, when the Jews were mourn the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem.
“How long ago was it destroyed?” asked the Emperor.
“Over 1700 years ago,” he was told.
“1700 years and they’re still mourning!” exclaimed Napoleon. “Such a nation will endure forever and will rise to power again.”