• Tisha B’Av ~ The Ninth of Av ~ תשעה באב

    Click Tisha B’av Guide_2014 for a printable version of this brochure.


    Schedule of Prayer Services

    Monday, August 4, 2014

    Mincha:…………………………………. 6:00 pm
    Fast Begins ……..………………………. 7:59 pm
    Maariv & Chanting of Eicha ………. 8:30 pm

    Tuesday, August 5, 2014

    Tisha B’Av Shacharit …………………. 8:00 am
    Tisha B’Av Mincha/Maariv ……….. 6:00 pm
    Fast Ends ……………………………….. 8:40 pm

    Tisha B’Av Observances


    Erev Tisha B’av (Afternoon): The custom is to eat a final meal after mincha and before sunset. Many treat this meal like the meal of a shiva house, usually eating cold hard-boiled eggs. Some also eat while seated low or on the ground. Many have the tradition to dip a portion of bread in ashes in memory of Jerusalem.

    Eating and Drinking: After 7:59 pm Monday night, August 4th, all eating and drinking is forbidden. This includes rinsing the mouth and brushing teeth, except in a case of great distress.

    Swallowing medicinal capsules, tablets or liquid medicine without water is definitely permitted.

    The ill or elderly, as well as pregnant and nursing women are required to fast if they’re strong and healthy or unless a doctor says they may not.

    Boys up to twelve years old and girls up to eleven are not required to fast the entire day.  Those not required to fast should eat only what is needed to preserve their health.


    Bathing and Washing: All bathing for pleasure is prohibited even in cold water including the hands, face and feet.  Ritual washing upon waking, after using the bathroom, touching covered parts of the body or before praying is permitted

    One may wash dirty or sullied portions of the body (including cleaning the eyes), and if necessary may use soap or warm water to remove dirt or odors. Washing for cooking or for medical reasons is permitted.


    Anointing: The use of fragrances, alcohols, cream, ointment, perfume, etc. is not permitted. Any of the above needed for medical reasons is allowed.


     Marital Relations: Spousal intimacy is not permitted on Tisha B’Av.


    Wearing Leather Shoes: Wearing shoes made of leather is prohibited. Shoes made of cloth, rubber or plastic are permitted. Many do not wear any leather including that which is merely adornments or decorative (like belts, yarmulkes or leather accents on athletic shoes).


     Learning Torah: Since the study of Torah is consoling, it is prohibited to learn topics other than those relevant to Tisha B’Av or mourning. For example, one may learn Lamentations with Midrash and commentaries that deal with tragedy or destruction, the third chapter of Moed Katan (which deals with mourning), the story of the destruction (in Gittin 56b-58a, Sanhedrin 104, and in Josephus), and the halachot of Tisha B’Av and mourning.


    Additional Restrictions: Many try to express the grief of the day by depriving themselves of some comfort in sleep. Some reduce the number of pillows, some sleep on the floor. Pregnant women, the elderly and the ill are exempt.

    Sitting on a normal chair is forbidden until midday. One may sit on a low bench or chair, or on a cushion on the floor.


    Greeting someone with “good morning” or other similar greeting is prohibited.

    The custom is to refrain until midday from any time-consuming work that diverts one from mourning. In a case of financial loss, some concessions may be made: contact the Rabbi for more information.


     Prayer: Ashkenazim do not wear tefillin at Shacharit, nor is a blessing made on tzitzit. At Mincha, tefillin is worn and those who wear a tallit gadol make the blessing then.


    The Day After Tisha B’Av:  Sources in the Talmud and Shulchan Aruch (as well as the historian Josephus) relate that the Temple’s destruction started on the Ninth of Av but continued through the Tenth of Av.

    Therefore, we are encouraged to refrain from meat or alcohol on the 10th of Av as well. Ashkenazi Jewry observe these restrictions until midday on the 10th of Av.  There are authorities who permit one to cut one’s hair and do laundry immediately after the fast, however, common custom is to refrain from these activities until midday on the 10th of Av, as well. This includes the prohibition of music, haircuts, meat and wine, laundering and bathing.


    The Talmud teaches us “Anyone who mourns over Jerusalem will merit seeing it  in its joy.” May we merit seeing a rebuilt Jerusalem full of joy and peace.