Tisha B’Av, the ninth of the Hebrew month of Av, begins this Saturday night, August 9, and runs until nightfall, August 10. The Jewish people observe Tisha B’Av in mourning of the destruction of the Temple, which tradition says put the children of Israel into exile — until today.
The traditional laws of Tisha B’Av are:
1. No eating or drinking;
2. No wearing leather shoes;
3. No bathing;
4. No marital relations;
Other customs include:
1. Sitting on the floor or a low stool (at least until midday when the mood lightens a bit);
2. No Torah study, except for passages dealing with the destruction of the Temple or the laws of mourning;
3. No tefilin until Minchah, the afternoon prayer service (usually worn in the morning service).
We also read Eicha, the Book of Lamentations, and recite kinot, which puts us in the mood of the day and recounts the destruction and tragedies of the Jewish people over the generations.