Tisha B’Av: Sundown July 19, 2010

Destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans (1850 painting by David Roberts)

Destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans (1850 painting by David Roberts)

In Hebrew, Tisha B’Av means “the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av” and it typically occurs in late July or mid-August. In 2010, the holiday starts at sundown July 19.

Tisha B’Av Commemorate the Destruction of the Two Temples:

  1. The First Temple built by King Solomon, which was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 B.C.E.
  2. The Second Temple built on the same site as the first that was completed in 516 B.C.E, which was destroyed by the Roman siege of Jerusalem in 70 C.E.

Both temple destructions took place on the 9th of Av, approximately 656 years apart.

Also of note, the ninth of Av is also the day the Jews were expelled from England in 1290 and the day King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella expelled Jews from Spain in 1492. Therefore, this Jewish holiday is a day of mourning.

Customs on Tisha B’Av:

  • Typically, you fast completely from food and water on this day.
  • Observant Jews also refrain from bathing, wearing make-up, wearing leather shoes, and sexual relations.
  • You aren’t supposed to greet each other at the synagogue, since this is a day of mourning.
  • Passages from the book of Lamentations are read during the evening service.

Morning Scripture Readings:

Deuteronomy 4:25-40; Jeremiah 8:13-9:23

Evening Scripture Readings:

Exodus 32:11-14, 34:1-10; Isaiah 55:6-56:8

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