Sign In Forgot Password

Tisha B'Av


Sunday, August 11: Tisha B'Av (observed)

  • Location for all Sunday events: 454 Fort Washington Avenue, Apt. 63
  • Shacharit: 9:00 AM
  • Learning Sessions, 10:30 AM - 1:30 PM
    • 10:30: Nissa Mai, "Gendered God, Gendered Pain"
    • 11:30: Maddie Richer, "Is There Any Agony Like Mine?"
    • 12:30: Jamie Weisbach, TBA
  • Minchah: 1:35 PM
  • Fast ends: 8:45 PM

Tisha B'Av Food Drive

As we prepare for and observe the fast of Tisha B'Av, please join FTJC in supporting the kosher food pantry at the JCC of Washington Heights & Inwood by donating non-perishable canned or packaged food, unopened and unexpired, with kosher symbols. (No junk food, please!) Donations may be brought to all Tisha B'Av services on Saturday night and Sunday.

The Nine Days

The Three Weeks from 17 Tammuz to 9 Av culminate in mourning the destruction of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem, as well as other catastrophes that have befallen the Jewish People.

The Nine Days begin with Rosh Chodesh Av (Friday August 2) and continue through Tisha B'Av. To carry us into an atmosphere of mourning, traditional practices for the Nine Days include:  avoiding public celebrations, concerts, and haircuts; refraining from luxuries such as meat, wine, shaving, new clothes, and laundry (except for children's needs). The restrictions on meat and wine are suspended on Shabbat.

Tisha B'Av - Fast of the Ninth of Av

This year Tisha B'Av falls on a Shabbat, so its observance is deferred to Saturday night August 10 and Sunday August 11. 

Traditional practices for Tisha B'Av include: refraining from eating, drinking, sexual relations, oils and perfumes, bathing (except minimal washing to remove dirt or after using the toilet), studying Torah (except for books like Lamentations and Job), wearing leather shoes, and greeting one another (especially with the word "shalom"). These restrictions begin at sunset (8:00 PM) except for wearing of leather shoes, which is permitted until nightfall (8:46 PM). Prayer services are conducted in a quiet undertone without singing. 

Fasting on Tisha B'Av is a mitzvah for all Jews over the age of b'nei mitzvah who are able to do so. Those who have a medical condition that prevents fasting at all should eat and/or drink as needed. Those who are able to fast for at least part of the day should continue for as long as they can, then should eat and/or drink as needed.

At 9:00 PM on Saturday night, we gather in the Hebrew Tabernacle's Social Hall for Ma'ariv (evening prayers), the reading of Eichah (Lamentations), and chanting of Kinot (dirge poems). We may run out of Eichah books, so we encourage you to bring your own if you have a copy. A number of mini-flashlights will be provided. The space will be cleared for sitting on the floor. Those unable to sit on the bare floor are encouraged to bring a small cushion, or to sit on the chairs that will be available.

On Sunday, tallit and tefillin are not worn at Shacharit (9:00 AM), but are worn at Minchah (1:35 PM), as the liturgical mood begins to shift toward consolation.  This year, we are offering learning sessions between Shacharit and Minchah.

Other practices that could enhance one's observance of Tisha B'Av might include: Fasting until the time for Minchah (1:35 PM); reading upsetting parts of the Bible (Lamentations, Job, prophetic rebukes) or rabbinic literature on the destruction of the Temples; reading books or watching films about other tragedies in Jewish history; reflecting on the role of our own misdeeds and "sinat chinam" (gratuitous hatred) in contributing to our suffering; and turning our minds toward teshuvah (return, repentance) as we approach the High Holidays just seven weeks away.

The restrictions on meat and wine normally continue until midday on the following day, the 10th of Av, because tradition holds that the Temple ruins still smoldered until then. However, this year, because the observance of Tisha B'Av has been deferred by a day, the restrictions on meat and wine continue only through the night (until the morning of Monday August 12).

Questions? Feel free to e-mail Rabbi Guy.

Tue, February 25 2020 30 Shevat 5780