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Tisha B'Av 5782

This year, the observance of Tisha B'Av will be pushed off and begin Saturday night, August 6. Read more details about how to observe Tisha B'Av. 

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Tisha B'Av

As part of our mourning for the destruction of the Beit HaMikdash and the exile of the Jewish people, we abstain from many pleasurable activities on the night and day of the 9th of Av.

Starting at 8:13pm Saturday and concluding at 8:47pm on Sunday, we abstain from eating or drinking. All adults – even pregnant and nursing women – fast on this day. One who is ill, or a pregnant woman who feels excessive weakness, should consult the rabbi. An ill person who is not fasting should refrain from eating delicacies and should eat only that which is absolutely necessary for his physical wellbeing.

In addition, we don't:

  • Wear leather footwear, or footwear that contains any leather (even if it is only a leather sole).

  • Sit on a normal-height chair until halachic midday 1:15pm 

  • Bathe or wash oneself—"even to insert a finger in cold water."
    Exceptions:
    One who becomes soiled may rinse the affected area with cold water.
    It is permitted to wash up after using the restroom.
    When preparing food – for children, or for the post-fast meal – one may wash the food, even if it also, incidentally, washes the hands.
    When ritually washing the hands in the morning, the water should be poured on the fingers only until the knuckle joints.

  • Apply ointment, lotions, or creams.
    It is permissible, however, to bathe a baby and apply ointments to his skin.

  • Engage in marital relations or any form of intimacy.

  • Send gifts, or even greet another with the customary "hello" or "how are you doing?"

  • Engage in outings, trips, or similar pleasurable activities.

  • Wear fine festive clothing.

  • Study Torah, because "the commandments of G-d are upright, causing the heart to rejoice," (Psalms 19:9). It is, however, permitted – and encouraged – to study sections of the Torah which discuss the laws of mourning, the destruction of the Temples, and the tragedies which befell the Jewish people throughout our history. 

"One who mourns Jerusalem will merit to see her happiness, as the verse [Isaiah 66:10] promises: 'Rejoice with her greatly, all who mourn for her'"—Talmud Taanit 30b.

If any of these practices pose a problem for you and you don’t want to compromise the spirit of this period, please contact the rabbi for advice on how to resolve the issue.