What is Tisha B’av?
Tisha B’av (The Ninth of Av) is a day of mourning and fasting. The holiday commemorates various tragedies that befell the Jewish people throughout history, particularly the destruction of the two temples in 586 BCE and 70 CE. It is believed that many of the tragedies remembered on Tisha B’Av actually occurred on this date. Tisha B’av is the culmination of a three-week period of mourning.
How is Tisha B’av observed?
Tisha B’Av requires some of the same prohibitions as Yom Kippur, including eating or drinking, bathing, anointing the body with oil, wearing leather shoes, etc. However, Tisha B’Av does not carry the same prohibitions as Shabbat. The day is observed by chanting the book of Lamentations and reciting mourners’ prayers, while sitting on the ground or on stools. As a day of mourning, one is expected to refrain from smiling, laughing, or chatting idly.
What kinds of foods are eaten on Tisha B’av?
Like Yom Kippur, there is a pre-fast meal and a break-fast meal for Tisha B’Av, with no food or drink allowed during the holiday. The pre-fast meal is known as seudah ha-mafaseket (literally, “meal of separation” or “concluding meal”). Traditionally, the pre-fast meal contains only bread, water, and a hard-boiled egg dipped in ashes, to symbolize the destruction that is mourned. The break-fast meal usually consists of light, dairy foods. Some Jews also refrain from eating red meat or chicken and drinking wine on the 9 days leading up to Tisha B’av. This restriction is in place to acknowledge the tragic destruction of the Second Temple, and to reinforce the solemn nature of the nine days.
What is the proper greeting for Tisha B’av?
It is customary to avoid greeting people on Tisha B’av, due to the solemn nature of the day.
When is Tisha B’av?
Tisha B’av is observed on the 9th of the month of Av.
Tisha B’av occurs on the following dates:
Jewish Year 5781: Sunset July 17, 2021 – Nightfall July 18, 2021
Jewish Year 5782: Sunset August 5, 2022 – Nightfall August 6, 2022
Jewish Year 5783: Sunset July 26, 2023 – Nightfall July 27, 2023
Jewish Year 5784: Sunset August 12, 2024 – Nightfall August 13, 2024
Jewish Year 5785: Sunset August 2, 2025 – Nightfall August 3, 2025
Jewish Year 5786: Sunset July 22, 2026 – Nightfall July 23, 2026
Jewish Year 5787: Sunset August 11, 2027 – Nightfall August 12, 2027
Jewish Year 5788: Sunset July 31, 2028 – Nightfall August 1, 2028
Jewish Year 5789: Sunset July 20, 2029 – Nightfall July 21, 2029
Jewish Year 5790: Sunset August 7, 2030 – Nightfall August 8, 2030