Tisha B'Av

Data/Images/tisha_bav_s.jpgTisha B'Av (Hebrew: תשעה באב‎ or ט׳ באב, "the Ninth of Av,") is an annual fast day in Judaism, named for the ninth day (Tisha) of the month of Av in the Hebrew calendar, It is a fast day that commemorates two of the saddest events in Jewish history that both occurred on the ninth of Av — the destruction in 586 BCE of the First Temple, originally built by King Solomon, and destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE. Other calamities throughout Jewish history are said to have taken place on Tisha B'Av, including King Edward I's edict compelling the Jews to leave England (1290) and the Jewish expulsion from Spain in 1492.

The Book of Lamentations is traditionally read, followed by the kinnot, a series of liturgical lamentations. In Sephardic communities, it is also customary to read the Book of Job.

Tisha B'Av bears similar stringencies to those of Yom Kippur. In addition to the length of the fast which lasts about 25 hours, beginning at sunset on the eve of Tisha B'Av and ends at nightfall the following day, Tisha B'Av also shares the following five prohibitions:

  • No eating or drinking
  • No washing or bathing
  • No application of creams or oils
  • No wearing of leather shoes
  • No marital relations

Torah study is forbidden on Tisha B'av (as it is considered a spiritually enjoyable activity), except for the study of distressing texts such as the Book of Lamentations, the Book of Job, portions of Jeremiah and chapters of the Talmud that discuss the laws of mourning.

In addition, mourning customs similar to those applicable to the shiva period immediately following the death of a close relative are traditionally followed for at least part of the day, including sitting on low stools, refraining from work, and not greeting others.

© Makor 011 - Belgrade Jewish Cultural Forum 2014 | designed & produced by MASSVision, powered by cMASS