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Tisha B’Av 2010 In USA

Posted by on Jul 20, 2010 | 1 Comment

Tisha B’Av is also called “The Ninth of Av”. Tisha B’Av is an annual fast day in Judaism. In the United States, many Jewish people observe Tisha B’Av is the ninth day of the month of Av in the Jewish calendar. The fast remembers the destruction of both the First Temple and Second Temple in Jerusalem which happened before about 656 years, so the day has been called the “saddest day in Jewish history”. In this current year, Tisha B’Av will occur on sunset July 19, 2010 to nightfall July 20, 2010 (Jewish Year 5770).

Tisha B’Av is a sad day that follows other major disasters and tragedies that concerned Jewish people during history including the expulsion of the Jewish people from England in 1290 and from Spain in 1492, with the mass deportation of Jewish people from the Warsaw Ghetto during World War II. This day falls on the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av, which usually comes in late July or mid-August on the secular calendar. When the ninth of Av falls on Saturday, the observance is delayed to Sunday the tenth.

What do Jewish people do on Tisha B’Av?

Tisha B'Av 2010 In USA

In United States, many Jewish people follow various restrictions during Tisha B’Av including,

  • No eating or drinking
  • Avoiding washing, bathing, shaving or wearing cosmetics
  • Avoiding certain types of work
  • Not wearing leather shoes
  • No marital relations

Many traditional mourning practices are observed like refraining from smiling and laughing. Those who observe Tisha B’Av are permitted to learn only certain portions of the Torah and Talmud on Tisha B’Av. The book of Lamentations is read and mourning prayers are recited in the synagogue. The ark (cabinet where the Torah is kept) is draped in black.

The people who observe Tisha B’Av are given chance to sit exams at other dates, on the proviso that certain requirements are met by some universities or learning centers. A program for observing Tisha B’Av is also provided by Jewish centers. People who are unwell, they are exempted from fasting on the day.

About Tisha B’Av:

Tisha B'Av 2010 In USA

Tisha B’Av is not a national public holiday of the United States. But some Jewish organizations may be closed or have restricted opening hours.

On the previous day, the Tisha B’Av begins during the sunset and lasts for more than 24 hours. It is the culmination of a three-week period of mourning. The parties like weddings and other are normally not allowed. People refrain from cutting their hair during this period. It is usual to refrain from activities like eating meat or drinking wine except on the Shabbat from the first to the ninth day of Av.

On this day, fasting, lamentation and prayer are considered the destruction of the First and Second Temples of Jerusalem. Even after they rebuilt the First Temple By burning after the Babylonians destroyed it in 586 BCE, the Jewish people still continued the fast day. The Romans destroyed the Second Temple it in 70 CE and this marked the start of a long exile period for Jewish people. These are two of five sad events or calamities that happened on the ninth day of the month of Av.

Five main tragedies that occurred on this day:

  • G-d told the Children of Israel that the oldest generation would not enter the Land.
  • The First Temple built by King Solomon was destroyed by Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BCE.
  • The Second Temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE.
  • The city of Betar was captured and thousands of Jews were killed in 135 CE.
  • The Roman emperor made a pagan temple on the site of the Temple and rebuilt Jerusalem as a pagan city in 136 CE

Tisha B’av:

Monday, July 19 2010

  • Shacharis 6:30am
  • First Meal (Dairy Meal in preparation for the fast)
  • Bentsch and take a 10-15 break
  • Seudah Hamafsekes (the traditional final meal before fast consisting of Bread, Ashes, & Egg)
  • Fast Begins 8:25pm
  • Mincha/Maariv – Followed by reading of Megillas Eichah and Kinos- 8:15pm

Tuesday, July 20 2010

  • Shacharis including Kinos: No Talis or Tefilin at 6:30am
  • Video Presentation: “God on Trial” at 5:30pm
  • Mincha with Talis and Tefillin 7:55pm
  • Reflections on the Video with Rabbi Hess
  • Maariv 8:50pm
  • Fast Ends 8:59pm

The irony of sad the irrelevance of a day such as Tisha B’Av (this year, from sundown Monday evening through Tuesday evening) to most Jews today is striking. If Tisha B’Av brought the Biblical model of Judaism, centered as it was on the Temple cult to an end, it also marks the emergence, phoenix-like, of Rabbinic Judaism, a system that has sustained the Jewish people for almost 2000 years. In the 21st century, the de facto reality of a tiny minority of Jews who, even under the broadest definition, follow rabbinic law (halacha) and defer to rabbinic authority makes it clear that the paradigm has shifted once again. To be sure, contours are unclear and leadership is fragmented, but the next era, a post-Rabbinic one, is already underway.

Tisha B’Av is easy to make a case for its observance based on the value that continues to be placed on the commemoration of events that form part of our sacred history, such as the Exodus from Egypt and the victory of the Maccabees. Equally relevant is Tisha B’Av as an opportunity for reflection on the perpetuation of immoral and unethical behaviors that were said to have caused the destruction (baseless hatred, for example). Yet, Tisha B’Av is more than a Memorial Day and quite different from Yom Kippur.

While critics might be quick to dismiss the following approach as coddling the narcissism of contemporary Jews, in our experience as traditionally observant, highly educated, passionately committed liberal Jews, teaching and reaching “unaffiliated” or “disaffected” Jews on opposite coasts, a radical acceptance of today’s reality has led us to a new paradigm for revitalizing and re-imagining a vibrant Jewish future.

This paradigm is the successor to the rabbinic paradigm of prohibited (“asur”) and permitted (“mutar”), which itself was the successor to the Biblical paradigm of impure (“tamay”) and pure (“tahor”). Based on our work, our successes and our struggles and our experiences with those who are seeking, we propose a new paradigm, that of established (keva) and intentional (kavannah).

The new paradigm of keva and kavannah reflects the tension between tradition and innovation, objectivity and subjectivity, and between the communal and the individual. These dualities serve as shorthand for a value system that determines the behavior of individuals and groups of Jews i.e., the annual observance of Tisha B’Av among rabbinic Jews is made meaningful within the larger context of a commitment to a legal system (halacha) that has established certain rules. For the majority of contemporary Jews, however, unless it can be made personally meaningful in some way, Tisha B’Av won’t matter. Whereas a rabbinic Jew would need to know what was permitted and what was prohibited in the observance of Tisha B’Av, a post-rabbinic Jew asks “what was the intention of those who shaped Tisha B’Av?” and “Is there any way to make their intentions more meaningful to us by reimagining the rituals of Tisha B’Av rather than observing them just because it was always done this way?”

In this spirit, we ask the painful questions about what is being destroyed and bring curiosity to all that is emerging. And this Tisha B’Av, we are asking our communities to do the same.

Rabbi Adina Lewittes is founder of Sha’ar Communities; Rachel Brodie is founder of Jewish Milestones. They are collaborating on a book about the issues raised in this piece, tentatively titled, “Intentional Judaism.”

Dates for Tisha B’Av 2010-2015:

  • Jewish Year sunset 5770: July 19, 2010 – nightfall July 20, 2010
  • Jewish Year sunset 5771:sunset August 8, 2011 – nightfall August 9, 2011
  • Jewish Year sunset 5772:sunset July 27, 2012 – nightfall July 28, 2012
  • Jewish Year sunset 5773:sunset July 15, 2013 – nightfall July 16, 2013
  • Jewish Year sunset 5774:sunset August 4, 2014 – nightfall August 5, 2014
  • Jewish Year sunset 5775:sunset July 24, 2015 – nightfall July 25, 2015

Video of Tisha B’Av from Youtube:


1 comment

  1. Jean Connolly says:

    Would you please tell me at what synagogue the services listed in this article occurred? Thank you.

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