Tischa beAv

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Le neuf Ab. Painted by Maurycy Trębacz.  From the collections of the National Library of Israel
Le neuf Ab. Painted by Maurycy Trębacz. From the collections of the National Library of Israel

The 9th Av ( Hebrew תשעה באב tischʿa beAv or Tisha BʾAv ) is the ninth day of the month Aw of the Jewish calendar . It is a Jewish day of fasting and mourning, on which the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple is commemorated, and marks the climax and conclusion of the three weeks of mourning .

Meaning and process

According to rabbinical tradition ( Mishnah Traktat Taʿanit 4,6) the destruction of the 1st and 2nd temples as well as the destruction of Bethar in the Bar Kochba uprising (132–135 AD) took place at Tisha beAv. Likewise, on the 9th of Av, God passed judgment on the Jewish ancestors after the sin of the golden calf . On the 9th of Av the "plowing" of the city of Jerusalem by the Romans also happened .

The 9th of Av is the only public long fast day next to Yom Kippur . It lasts 25 hours, from sunset the night before to the appearance of the stars the next day.

In the synagogue service , lamentations and special Kinot (funeral songs) are read , among other things . To understand the background to the destruction of the Second Temple, the Talmudic tale of Kamza and Bar-Kamza is used .

According to the Jerusalem Talmud (Berachot 2: 4) the Messiah is also to be born on the 9th Av.

The five accidents

Stones torn from the western wall of the Temple Mount by Roman soldiers in AD 70

According to the Mishnah (Treatise Taʿanit 4: 6), five calamities occurred on the ninth Av that justify fasting:

  1. It was announced to the people of Israel in the desert that they still had 40 years to wander. The episode is reported in Numbers 13. There is no date, but according to Jewish tradition, the event took place on Aw 9.
  2. Solomon's Temple (The First Temple) and the Kingdom of Judah were founded in 586 BC. Destroyed by the Babylonians under King Nebuchadnezzar , and the Judeans were imprisoned and exiled to Babylon .
  3. The second temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD.
  4. The Bar Kochba uprising against Rome failed, Shimʿon bar Kochba was killed in AD 135 and the city of Betar was conquered.
  5. The city of Jerusalem was plowed (razed to the ground) in 136 AD .

The Ta'anit tract says that the destruction began on Av 9th and ended on Av 10th.

Other world events

( Jewish calendar / Gregorian calendar )

  • AD 3892/132. Bar Kochba revolt put down. Betar destroyed - over 100,000 people killed.
  • 3893/133 AD Turnus Rufus plowed the area of ​​the temple. Romans built the pagan city of Aelia Capitolina on the ruins of Jerusalem.
  • 4855/1099 AD. Pope Urban II declared the First Crusade in 1095. 10,000 Jews were killed in the first month of the crusade, Mainz, Speyer, Cologne. The crusade brought death and destruction to thousands of Jews, and the total annihilation of many communities in the Rhineland and France. In Jerusalem around 1099.
  • 5050/1290 AD. Expulsion of Jews from England, accompanied by pogroms and confiscation of books and property.
  • 5252/1492 AD Inquisition in Spain and Portugal culminated in the expulsion of the Jews from the Iberian Peninsula with the Alhambra Edict . Families separated, many died from drowning, massive land loss. This began the exile of the Sephardim to North Africa, among other places. On August 3, the morning after expiration of expulsion, extended from July 31, Columbus sailed for America.
  • 5674/1914 AD Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia . The First World War began. 75 percent of all Jews in war zones. 120,000 Jewish dead in the armies. Over 400 pogroms in Hungary, Ukraine, Poland and Russia immediately after the war.
  • 5702/1942 AD. Deportations from the Warsaw ghetto to the Treblinka extermination camp began.
  • AD 5754/1994 Bomb attack on the AMIA (the Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires, Argentina) that killed 86 people and injured more than 300.

Details on fasting and the daily routine

On the 9th of Aw one begins to fast the evening before. The same rules apply to the 9th Aw as to the Day of Atonement : You are not allowed to eat or drink, you are not allowed to bathe or anoint your body, wear leather shoes and do not have sexual intercourse.

One does not say hello on Aw 9 either. The “last meal before fasting” ( Seʿuda Mafseket ) is generally a hard-boiled egg - considered a sign of mourning - that has been dipped in ashes, reminiscent of the ashes left from the temple. This “last meal before fasting” is also eaten by oneself, without the usual table community - a strong symbol of mourning, because the communal ceremonial is generally strongly emphasized in Jewish life.

You go to the synagogue at night, and after the evening prayer you sit on the floor or on a low stool. And in a weak light - the  curtain and blankets are missing in the Torah shrine and Bima  - the lamentations are read aloud, the author of which is believed to be Jeremiah , the prophet of destruction. This is followed by more funeral chants, the kinot, which various poets wrote in the Middle Ages. The congregation listens to these lectures in silence; the service ends with some comforting verses from the prophets (Zech. 1).

Then you get up and leave the synagogue without a greeting. After the end of the day on the 9th of Aw, the fast is broken with a milk dish. Until the afternoon of the 10th Aw, people refrain from having their hair cut, shaving, eating meat and drinking wine, or getting married.

If the 9th Av falls on a Shabbat , the fast is postponed for one day. It then begins at the exit from Shabbat. In such a case, at the end of the next day, i. H. on Av 10th, eat meat and drink wine, and marrying is also allowed.

Tischa beAv in the Gregorian calendar

The day always begins on the evening before the specified date.

Jewish year Gregorian date
5779 11th August 2019
5780 July 30, 2020
5781 July 18, 2021
5782 August 7, 2022
5783 July 27, 2023


  • Ismar Elbogen : The Jewish worship service in its historical development (= writings of the Society for the Promotion of the Science of Judaism , Vol. 21). 3rd improved edition. Kauffmann, Frankfurt am Main 1931 (on the liturgical development).
  • Sylvie Anne Goldberg: Tish'a be-Av. In: Dan Diner (Ed.): Encyclopedia of Jewish History and Culture (EJGK). Volume 6: Ta-Z. Metzler, Stuttgart / Weimar 2015, ISBN 978-3-476-02506-7 , pp. 108–111.

Web links

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