9th Day Of Av

Tisha b'Av תשעה באב
It is not enough to hope for redemption, we must be the catalyst for it.
- author unknown

9th Day of Av

Literally the 'ninth day of Av', Tisha b'Av is a major fast day and day of mourning and takes place on the ninth of the Hebrew month of Av.

While Tisha B'Av primarily commemorates the destruction of both the first and second Temples, both of which were destroyed on the ninth of Av - the first by the Babylonians in 586BCE and the second by the Romans in 70CE - it also commemorates many other tragedies of the Jewish people, many of which occurred on this day including:

  • The Golden Calf in 1312 BC
  • The failure of the "Ten Spies"
  • The destruction of the First Temple in 586 BC
  • The destruction of the Second Temple in 70 AD
  • The crashing of the Bar Kokhba Rebellion in 135 AD
  • The pogroms of the First Crusade in 1096
  • The expulsion of the Jews from Britain in 1290
  • The expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492
  • The eruption of WWI in 1914
  • The end of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in May 1943

In synagogue, the Book of Lamentations, Eicha, is read and mourning prayers are recited. Tisha B'Av is never observed on Shabbat [which is never a day of mourning] so, if the 9th of Av falls on a Saturday, the fast is postponed until the 10th of Av.

Traditional observance of Tisha B'Av is similar to that of Yom Kippur including a 25-hour fast and the prohibition of bathing, anointing, sexual relations and the wearing of leather shoes. While work is not prohibited, it is discouraged. In the evening when the the Book of Lamentations is chanted in the synagogue. It is traditional that, from evening until noon mourning rituals are observed including sitting on the floor.