Tisha B'Av Date in the current year: August 13, 2016

Tisha B'Av Tisha B'Av (the Ninth of Av) is a day of mourning and fast day in Judaism. This day commemorates the destruction of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem by the Babylonians and the Romans accordingly and subsequent exile of the Jewish people from the Holy Land.

Tisha B'Av also commemorates other calamities that befell the Jewish people on the same day. For example, in 135 CE, 500,000 Jews were massacred by the Romans at Betar fortress. In 1290, King Edward I exiled the Jews from England. In 1492, Jews were expelled from Spain on the 9th day of the month of Av.

The fast begins at sunset on the eve of Tisha B'Av and ends at nightfall the following day lasting for approximately 25 hours. When it falls on Saturday (Shabbat) its observance takes place on Sunday instead. There are five main prohibitions. On this day, it is prohibited to:

  1. Eat and drink.
  2. Wash or bathe (with the exception of ritual washing up to the knuckles and washing to cleanse mud or dirt from the body).
  3. Apply oils or creams to the skin.
  4. Wear leather shoes.
  5. Have sex.

In addition to these prohibitions, all enjoyable activity is forbidden. It is even prohibited to study the Torah as it is considered a spiritually pleasurable activity. Although it is allowed to study distressing religious texts such as the Book of Job and the Book of Lamentations. Work is not prohibited, but is discouraged.

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Tisha B'Av, the Ninth of Av, day of mourning, Jewish festivals, religious festivals, major fast