Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Tisha b'Av

Tonight, at sunset, the saddest day on the Jewish calendar begins. Known as the Fast of the 9th of Av (Tisha b'Av), the observances of the day are very similar to Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar. In addition to fasting (no food or drink) for a 25 hour period from sundown Wednesday to nightfall on Thursday, additional restrictions include refraining from washing, using lotions, wearing leather shoes and marital relations.

Aside from the synagogue service, there are two major distinctions between Yom Kippur and Tisha b'Av: 1. Work (creative labor) is permitted on Tisha b’Av, and 2. Tisha b’Av’s customs are mourning oriented, while Yom Kippur’s observances have a more joyous tone as we celebrate our anticipated absolution from sin via the suppression of our physical needs. After all, on Yom Kippur we are compared to angels (which is also why we wear white).

Like the 17th of Tammuz, there are five events commemorated on Tisha b'Av (Mishna Taanit 4:6).

1. God’s decree that the Israelites would wander in the wilderness for 40 years.

2. The destruction of the First Temple.

3. The destruction of the Second Temple.

4. The end of the Bar Kochba revolt, when the Romans destroyed the city of Betar.

5. The city of Jerusalem was plowed over by Turnus Rufus, a Roman general.

Click here for later events on this date.

This Treat is posted annually in honor of Tisha b’Av.

Copyright © 2020 NJOP. All rights reserved.

No comments: