Tisha B’Av, observed on the 9th (tishah) of the Hebrew month of Av, is a day of mourning the destruction of both old Temples in Jerusalem. Tisha B’Av 2020 will start on the evening of Wednesday, 29 July, and finishes on the evening of Thursday, 30 July.
What is Tisha B’Av?
Tisha B’Av, the ninth day of the Jewish month of Av, is a fast day, ordinarily known as the saddest day in the Jewish calendar. It is the culmination of the Three Weeks, a timeframe during which we mark the destruction of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.
Tisha B’av (The Ninth of Av) is a day of mourning and fasting. The holiday celebrates different tragedies that came upon the Jewish individuals throughout history, especially the destruction of the two temples in 586 BCE and 70 CE. It is believed that a significant number of the tragedies recollected on Tisha B’Av happened on this date. Tisha B’av is the culmination of three weeks of mourning.
It remembers the destruction of both the First and Second Jewish Temples in Jerusalem, the first by the Babylonians, around 587 BCE, and the second by the Romans in 70 CE. In any case, the fast has likewise become related to different tragedies that have occurred through the span of Jewish history.
Tisha B’Av requires some indistinguishable forbiddances from Yom Kippur, including eating or drinking, washing, blessing the body with oil, wearing leather shoes, and so on. Nonetheless, Tisha B’Av doesn’t carry indistinguishable preclusions from Shabbat. The day is seen by reciting the book of Lamentations and discussing mourners’ prayers while sitting on the ground or stools. As a day of mourning, one is relied upon to abstain from smiling, laughing, or chatting idly.
What Happened on Tisha B’Av (9 Av)?
1313 BCE: The spies came back from the Promised Land with frightening reports, and the Israelites shied away from the possibility of entering the land. G‑d proclaimed that they would hence meander in the desert for 40 years.
Both Holy Temples in Jerusalem were decimated on this date. The First Temple was scorched by the Babylonians in 423 BCE and the Second Temple fell to the Romans in 70 CE, releasing a time of experiencing which our country has never completely recouped.
The Bar Kochba revolt against the Romans in 133 CE finished in defeat: The Jews of Betar were butchered on the ninth of Av and the Temple Mount was plowed one year later on a similar date.
Later on in our history, a lot more tragedies occurred on this day, including the 1290 removal of England’s Jews and the 1492 expulsion of all Jews from Spain.
How Tisha B’Av Is Celebrated
The fast starts at sunset of the eighth of Av and finishes up at sunset the next night (postponed by one day when 9 Av is on Shabbat). During this time, we don’t
- eat or drink
- wear leather footwear
- wash or bathe ourselves (washing just until the knuckle when commanded by Halachah)
- apply ointments or creams
- take part in marital relations or any type of intimacy
- sit on a normal-height chair until chatzot (when the sun has arrived at its zenith)
- study Torah (aside from the “sad” parts that manage the destruction of the Temples, and so forth.)
- send gifts, or even greet each other (you may react to greetings)
- take part in outings, trips or comparative pleasurable activities
- wear fine, festive clothing
Traditions of Tisha B’Av
Numerous Jews over the world observe the religious holiday of Tisha B’Av by fasting, praying, and reading Bible passages identified with the destruction of the First Temple by the Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BC.
Religious Jews have kept Tisha B’Av for centuries as a day of common mourning for the destruction of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem.
The Second Temple was destroyed by the Romans under Titus, who burned it in 70 AD.
For Jews, the ninth day of the month of Av additionally recognizes numerous tragedies in Jewish history, extending from God declaring that the Israelites would meander in the desert for 40 years to Jews being removed by the declaration from England in 1290 and from Spain in 1492.
The Orthodox Jewish association Chabad positions Tisha B’Av as “the saddest day on the Jewish calendar,” much more serious than Yom Kippur.
The Fast of Av starts at nightfall the earlier day and goes on for over 24 hours.