saddest day on the Jewish calendar, the ninth of Av, is tomorrow.*


(*)This year the 9th of Av is Shabbat so the fast is
observed from sundown Saturday until nightfall on Sunday. Havdallah, the
ceremony concluding Shabbat, is postponed until Sunday evening.

The restrictions 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, additional restrictions include refraining from
washing, using lotions, wearing leather shoes and marital relations. 

Aside from the differences in synagogue service, there are two major
distinctions between the two days: 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, we are compared on Yom Kippur to angels (which is
also why we wear white).

 Like the 17th of Tammuz,
there are five events commemorated on Tisha b’Av (Mishnah Ta’anit 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 city of Jerusalem was plowed over by
Turnus Rufus, a Roman general.

5. The end of the Bar Kochba revolt, when
the Romans destroyed the city of Betar (see below).

Click here for
later events on this date 

*This Treat was last posted on August 4, 2014.

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