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Tisha b'Av

08/08/2019 03:36:40 PM




Tisha B’Av is a national day of mourning for the destruction of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, and other tragedies.  We refrain from physical pleasures - eating, drinking, bathing, intimate relations, and the use of lotions - to mark the day as a day of mourning.


This year, Tisha B’Av falls on Shabbat, and so we push the fast off by one day. The fast will begin on Saturday night, August 10 at sundown - 8:09 PM. This is a little unusual because it is still Shabbat as we begin to fast. For those joining us at the Shaar for Tisha B’Av on Saturday night, here is the procedure:


Saturday Mincha services will take place at 7:00 PM. Following Mincha, we will have a small Se'udah Mafseket, final meal, before the fast. This will be a light meal, so if you plan to fast on Tisha B’Av, I suggest you eat something at home beforehand, to make sure you’ve had enough to eat. We will conclude the meal before the fast begins at 8:09 PM, and then will spend some time studying some ideas related to the themes of the day, as wait for nightfall. At 9:00 PM, as Shabbat concludes, we will pray Ma’ariv. At this point we will don our non-leather shoes for Tisha B’av. If you’ll be able to, it is preferable to bring these shoes to the synagogue on Friday before Shabbat begins. The Ma’ariv service will include the reading of the book of Eicha (Lamentations).


On Sunday morning, Shacharit will begin at 8:30 AM. Tallit and Tefillin are not worn at Shacharit. The regular Shacharit service will be followed by the recitation of many Kinnot, liturgical poems of mourning and lamentation related to the tragic events of the destruction of the Temple, as well as many other tragedies that have befallen the Jewish people throughout history. The Kinnot recitation will last about an hour.


Over the course of the day of Tisha B’av, it is appropriate to read somber books, or study topics related to the themes of the day. It is also a day to focus on improving our interpersonal relationships. According to Jewish tradition, the Temple was destroyed because of hatred between Jews. This is a day to rededicate ourselves to Jewish unity, and to the ethic of compassion and kindness. May we merit to see a rebuilt Jerusalem, with peace for Israel and all nations.

Saturday, December 5, 2020 19 Kislev 5781