Monday, June 5th 2023   |

Tisha B’Av

OP-ED: How Nathan Fielder’s HBO show ‘The Rehearsal’ made me appreciate Tisha B’Av


(JTA) — Ah, summertime. A season to take a plunge in a mountain lake, read a trashy novel on the beach and reenact a historical tragedy through a month-long pageant of self-denial and fasting.

Wait, what?

If you don’t associate summer with performances of communal grief, you may not be familiar with Tisha B’Av. The Jewish fast day, which began last night and continues until sundown, is a...

Israeli Jews make Tisha B’Av Temple Mount pilgrimage amid tension heightened by Gaza military offensive

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Sirens sounded near Jerusalem on Sunday as rockets fired from Gaza flooded into Israel, retaliation against a military offensive targeting the Islamic Jihad terrorist group.

But near the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City, other sounds prevailed: loud singing by Jewish men who ascended to it in honor of a day of mourning despite the fact that doing so has triggered conflicts before; stern warnings by police...


The first tragedy to befall the Jewish People on Tishah b’Av was God’s decision that the generation that departed Egyptian slavery would wander the wilderness for forty years (Taanit 4:6).  That harsh (if precisely calibrated) punishment was imposed in response to the faithless, defeatist report of the Israelite spies who, after 40 days of reconnaissance, still despaired of Israel’s ability to conquer the Promised Land. This, despite God’s repeated assurances...

OP-ED: I helped organize the Washington rally against anti-Semitism. It wasn’t perfect, but it was necessary.


(JTA) — When Nazi tanks surrounded Warsaw, my father related in a rare moment of frustration, the Jews were in shul arguing over who should get “shishi” (the honor of being called up third to the Torah).

It was a story I thought about often on Sunday, on Tisha B’Av. The day marks the destruction of our Temple in Jerusalem and the beginning of exile, the day our...

On Tisha B’Av, mourning incomparable loss, working on increased unity


– Why is Tisha B’Av the saddest day of the Jewish year?

Eerily, not only were both of the holy temples in Jerusalem destroyed on the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av (the first one, built by King Solomon, was demolished by the Babylonians in 586 BCE, and the second, a gift of King Herod, by the Romans in 70 C.E.), but a...

OU to host two live kinot sessions for Tisha B’Av

This year the Orthodox Union (OU)  will not only focus its Tisha B’Av programming on the traditional themes surrounding the destruction of both temples and other historical tragedies, but will also mourn the recent worldwide tragedies that have affected the Jewish community.

The OU will hold the first of two annual Tisha B’Av programs on Sunday, July 18 at 1:00 a.m.CDT live from the Seymour...



In mournful remembrance of the destruction of the Temple, it is customary to leave part of a wall in one’s home conspicuously unfinished: unplastered, unpainted, unpaneled, etc. An unfinished area of one square “cubit” is prescribed (OH 560:1… a cubit is generally calculated as between 18 and 22 inches). Some provide such a one-square-cubit area painted black. These memorials are referred to as “Zecher L’Churban”...

The Last Paper


For 30 years I have been writing a “Musings” column of roughly two hundred words each week for The Jewish Week. In time these columns went out electronically as well, titled “Off The Pulpit” and now appear in the Times of Israel. The Jewish Week is going digital, so this will be the final column to appear in an actual “paper.”

This week leads up to...



On the Ninth of Av, we fast to recall the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. We customarily refrain from eating meat even on the Tenth of Av… when the ruins of the Temple continued to smolder. For this reason, Rabbi Yochanan considered 10 Av the more suitable day for national mourning (Ta’anit 29A). The meaning of this protracted process of grieving is suggested by...

A holiday marking one societal rupture, Tisha B’Av spurs Jewish creativity amid another


(JTA) — For many observant Jews, the mourning over the destruction of the two ancient Temples in Jerusalem on the fast of Tisha B’Av actually begins three weeks earlier with the onset of a period of mourning during which it’s customary to avoid joyful activities like weddings and music.

But with much of the world already in a state of mourning as the coronavirus pandemic continues its...