Saturday, September 19th 2020   |

Tisha B’Av

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...

Most Jews don’t know much about Tisha B’Av. That gives us educators a huge opportunity.


PALO ALTO, Calif. (JTA) — As a child, I always looked forward to Tisha B’Av, as weird as that may sound.

It was the one night a year that we were allowed to put the sofa cushions on the floor, and after three weeks with no television, we were finally allowed to watch programs about the meaning of the day. We didn’t mind the boring talking heads...

Tisha B’Av begins at sundown Wednesday

Tisha B’Av, known as the saddest day on the Jewish calendar, commences at sundown Wednesday and ends an hour after sundown on Thursday evening. The holiday also known as “the Ninth of Av” is a major fast day and commemorates the destruction of both the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem approximately 656 years apart. It is the conclusion of the “Three Weeks” that began with the fast of the...

Jews allowed to visit Temple Mount on Tisha B’Av after initial ban

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Jews were permitted to visit the Temple Mount following clashes between Muslim worshippers and Israeli security forces.

Jewish visitors initially had been banned from the site on Sunday, the day of the fast of the 9th of Av, or Tisha B’Av, which marks the day on the Jewish calendar that both Holy Temples, which stood on the site, were destroyed,

Sunday also is the start of the...



In certain games of chance, the number seven is considered particularly lucky. Throughout the Hebrew Bible, the number seven is a recurring feature. God rests on the seventh day, the culmination of creation. Noah brings seven pairs of pure animals onto the Ark. The Menorah at the heart of the Tabernacle (and, later, Temple) had seven branches.

The seventh year is marked as a Sabbatical; seven...

How Tisha B’Av can help us understand the refugee experience


NEW YORK (JTA) — For many Jews, Tisha b’Av is centered around mourning the destruction of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem. But that interpretation misses out on an important lesson that is made more relevant by recent events, Rabbi David Seidenberg argues.

With the release of a new translation of the Book of Lamentations, the main text read on the annual fast day, the Massachusetts-based...

Marking Tisha B’Av during a long, hot summer


(JTA) — As the fast day of Tisha b’Av approaches, the summer heat and humidity is rising.

That got me thinking: Does the solemn day have the stuff to raise our consciousness as well?

Tisha b’Av — this year it begins on the evening of Saturday, August 13 — marks the destruction of the First and Second Temples, as well as other tragedies that have befallen the Jewish people. Traditionally, it’s a time to...

OP-ED: Learning to argue on Tisha B’Av


JERUSALEM (JTA) — As we approach Tisha B’Av, the State of Israel is at war. The day’s commemoration of sorrow and pain, and urgent calls for introspection and reflection, couldn’t be coming at a more needed time.

On Tisha B’Av we take upon ourselves the burden, and the grace, of our connection to all Jews past, present and future, in times of suffering, as in times of...