The views and opinions expressed on the website are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Niagara Foundation, its staff, other authors, members, partners, or sponsors.
By Jasmin Rojo, Communications Intern
July 25, 2015
This past Saturday, July 25, was Tisha B’av. Tisha B’av occurs in July or August and celebrates a day of commemoration to the many tragedies experienced from the Jewish people. It is also a day of mourning in recognition to those who have lost their lives in terrible calamities, such as the Holocaust, and a day to pay tribute to the destruction of the First and Second Jewish Temples.
Tisha B’av is defined as the fast of the ninth day of Av, the fifth month of the Jewish year. Typically, people abstain from eating on this day, along with bathing, washing, and wearing cosmetics. The day before Tisha B’av, it is customary to eat a final meal consisting of bread, eggs, and water before sunset.
One of the most important aspects of Tisha B’av is the remembrance of the First and Second Temples. The destruction of the First Temple by the Babylonians in 586 BCE and the destruction of the Second Temple by the Romans in 70 CE both occurred on the ninth day of Av. Both temples were significant structures for the Jewish community and are considered among the “five calamities,” tragic events in Jewish history that stipulate fasting on this day.
Today, Tisha B’av is not universally celebrated; however, Jewish people continue to follow the customs in the United States.