The Nine Days

Time to Mourn

“When the month of Av enters, we reduce our joy…” (Ta’anit 26b)

Tonight (Tuesday evening) begins the new Hebrew month of Av. The first nine days of the month are a sad time in the Jewish calendar as we mourn the destruction of both the First and Second Temples. The mourning culminates in the Ninth of Av (Tisha b’Av) which is a sad day of fasting and prayer.

During the nine days of mourning leading up to Tisha b’Av, there are certain things we don’t do, including:

– Listen to music (prohibited for the entire three weeks before Tisha b’Av) 

– Eat meat or drink wine (except on Shabbat or certain celebratory meals)

– Wash clothing (except for a baby’s) 

– Swim or bathe for pleasure

– Remodel a home

– Plant trees to be used for shade or fragrance (as opposed to fruit trees)

– Buy new clothing

May this be the last year we mourn our Temples’ destruction, and may the Messiah come soon so that next Tisha b’Av will be a time of feasting and joy!

Image: “Destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem” by Francesco Hayez, 1867

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