Tisha B'Av

Tisha B'Av Quick Facts - IL

AKA NameFast of the ninth of Av
HashtagsCompiled on#TishaBAv
2024 Date12 August 2024
2025 Date3 August 2025

Tisha B'Av

Tisha B'Av History

Tisha B'Av, or the Ninth of Av, is a day of mourning and fasting observed by Jews worldwide to commemorate various tragedies that have befallen the Jewish people throughout history. Primarily, it marks the destruction of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem – events that changed the course of Jewish history. The day has since become a symbol of Jewish suffering and endurance, with several other significant historical events coinciding with Tisha B'Av, such as the expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1492 and the outbreak of World War I in 1914.

In Israel, Tisha B'Av holds special significance given the historical and emotional ties to the land and its ancient capital, Jerusalem. The Western Wall, which is a remnant of the Second Temple and the holiest site in Judaism, becomes the focal point for thousands of Israelis and Jewish visitors who gather to pray and mourn the destruction. Furthermore, the observance of Tisha B'Av has played a significant role in shaping Israeli policy, particularly in relation to religious sites and Jewish settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The observance of Tisha B'Av in Israel includes several customs designed to express grief and humility. In addition to fasting for approximately 25 hours, individuals may also avoid wearing leather shoes and engaging in leisure activities. On the actual day, it is customary for people to sit on the floor or low chairs, as a sign of mourning, and to read from the Book of Lamentations. Tisha B'Av usually falls in the Hebrew month of Av, which coincides with July or August in the Gregorian calendar. Tisha B'Av is observed on July 26th.

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.
  • Tisha B'Av is also connected to the failure of the Bar Kochba Revolt against the Roman Empire (132-136 CE). This revolt led to the death of thousands of Jews and the destruction of Jerusalem.
  • In 1492, on Tisha B'Av, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain issued the Alhambra Decree, expelling all Jews from Spain.

Top things to do in Israel 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.
  • Join a walk around the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem, which is an annual tradition to commemorate the destruction of the city.
  • Visit the City of David, an archaeological site in Jerusalem that contains several important discoveries related to the First Temple period. Some visitors choose to explore the site on or before Tisha B'Av to better connect with Jerusalem's ancient history.

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