Tisha B'Av

Tisha B'Av Quick Facts - US

AKA NameFast of the ninth of Av
HashtagsCompiled on#TishaBAv
2024 DateAugust 12, 2024
2025 DateAugust 3, 2025

Tisha B'Av

Tisha B'Av in

Tisha B'Av History

Tisha B'Av (Hebrew: תשעה באב), which translates to the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av, is a day of mourning for the Jewish community. It commemorates various tragic events in Jewish history, most notably the destruction of both the First Temple by the Babylonians in 586 BCE and the Second Temple by the Romans in 70 CE. The Observance also recognizes tragic occurrences such as the expulsion of Jews from England in 1290 and from Spain in 1492.

In America, Tisha B'Av carries unique historical significance as it underscores the importance of religious freedom for the Jewish community. The founding principles of the United States, such as freedom of religion, provided refuge for Jews to practice their faith without fear of persecution. Observing Tisha B'Av in America serves as a reminder to be grateful for the liberties granted to religious minorities, while also acknowledging the difficult history of the Jewish people.

The observance of Tisha B'Av in America typically involves fasting, prayer, and the study of Jewish texts. Fasting starts from the beginning of the ninth day of Av and lasts for about 25 hours. During this period, engaging in rejoicing activities such as listening to music, wearing festive clothes, or indulging in luxurious activities is avoided. Instead, the Jewish community spends the day in reflection and sorrow. The Talmud dictates the exact timing of Tisha B'Av, which does not differ in America compared to other countries and thus usually occurs in July or August of the Gregorian calendar.

Tisha B'Av facts

  • As a symbol of mourning, many synagogues are dimly lit during this day and the Torah scrolls are often draped in black.
  • According to Jewish tradition, the Messiah is destined to be born on Tisha B'Av, bringing redemption and rebuilding the Holy Temple.
  • Some Jews refrain from certain activities like cutting hair, shaving, and listening to music during the three weeks from the 17th of Tammuz to Tisha B'Av.
  • On Tisha B'Av, healthy Orthodox Jews, and some Traditional Jews, refrain from eating and drinking (even water), washing, bathing, shaving or wearing cosmetics, wearing leather shoes, engaging in sexual relations and studying Torah.
  • In synagogues services typically read from the book of Lamentations and mourning prayers are recited. The ark (cabinet where the Torah is kept) is draped in black.
  • Tisha B'Av is never observed on Shabbat. If the 9th of Av falls on a Saturday, the fast is postponed until the 10th of Av.

Top things to do in the US for Tisha B'Av

  • Listen to a Kaddish prayer (prayer for the Dead). One popular one is Kaddisch found on YouTube.
  • Mourn over tragedies which occurred in the last hundred years- such as 9/11, typhoons, hurricanes, earthquakes, terrorist attacks, atom bombs, starvation and famine. Consider donating to a charity that serves the victims of such tragedies.
  • Attend a Synagogue Tisha B'Av service
  • Fast or do a body cleanse. It is known that fasting has a beneficial effect on the body.
  • Read the book of Lamentations. It poetically reflects on the destruction of Jerusalem.

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