Tisha B'Av | Reconstructing Judaism
Tisha B'Av

The fast day of Tisha B’Av, the ninth day of the month of Av, is an annual day of mourning marking the destruction of the Second Temple. Over time, Tisha B’Av became the central day of mourning on the Jewish calendar. Later generations layered their tragedies onto it. Associations grew to include not only the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE, but also the destruction of the First Temple in 586 BCE, the final crushing of the Bar Kochba rebellion against Roman rule in the Land of Israel in 135 CE, the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492 and the Chmielnicki pogroms of 1648 in the Ukraine. Each of these events was of historical importance, and each involved enormous suffering and death for Jews. Traditionally Eykha, the Book of Lamentations found in the Bible, is chanted on Tisha B’Av. It records the horrors inflicted on the Israelites in 586 BCE, when the Babylonians conquered the land and destroyed the First Temple.1

  • 1. Adapted from <em>A Guide to Jewish Practice, Volume 2—Shabbat and Holidays</em>

Related Resources

This excerpt from the Guide to Jewish Practice examines the history and evolution of Tisha B'Av

Tisha B'Av

This excerpt from The Guide to Jewish Practice delves into the holiday's meaning and message. 

The tone of Tisha B’Av shifts in the afternoon, allowing for the mourning to begin abating. The afternoon service includes words of consolation. Rabbinic tradition teaches that the Messiah will be born on this saddest of days, a message that we can interpret as a vision of hope and peace arising from the ashes. The survival of the Jewish people despite these tragedies permits us to end our fast and return to everyday life. When the personal or communal observance of Tisha B’Av is compressed into a shorter period than a full day, it is worthwhile to consider how to bring this hopeful vision into that observance. —B.P.This excerpt from The Guide to Jewish Practice explains the practices associated with Tisha B'Av.

As the fast day of Tisha B'Av approaches, Rabbi Jacob Staub asks: why do we harp on sorrowful events that occurred so many centuries ago? The answer lies in the nature of grief.

Tisha B'Av, Death and Mourning

As the mournful day of Tisha B'Av arrives, Rabbi Jacob Staub reflects on the value of embracing our sorrows. 

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