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What Is Tisha b' Av?

Updated: Aug 8, 2022

What Is Tisha B’Av?

Tisha B’Av, the 9th day of the month of Av (August 6-7, 2022), is the saddest day on the Jewish calendar, on which the Jewish people observe total fasting for a full day, deprive themselves and pray. It is the culmination of the Three Weeks, a period of time which marked the destruction of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.

What Happened on 9 Av?

1313 BCE: The spies returned from the Promised Land with frightening reports, and the Israelites balked at the prospect of entering the land. G‑d decreed that they would therefore wander in the desert for 40 years.

Both Holy Temples in Jerusalem were destroyed on this date. The First Temple was burned by the Babylonians in 423 BCE and the Second Temple fell to the Romans in 70 CE, unleashing a period of suffering from which our nation has never fully recovered.

The Bar Kochba revolt against the Romans in 133 CE ended in defeat: The Jews of Betar were butchered on the 9th of Av and the Temple Mount was plowed one year later on the same date.

Later on in our history, many more tragedies happened on this day, including the 1290 expulsion of England’s Jews and the 1492 banishment of all Jews from Spain.

How 9 Av Is Observed?

The Talmud teaches us that if the Romans had realized how many blessings are also received for the nations through the Temple, they would never have destroyed it. Thanks, for example, that at Sukkot 70 bulls were sacrificed for peace for the nations.

Because Noahides do realize this, they mourn over the destruction of the Temple.

Noahides who also wish to fast may keep a half fast. That is, to abstain from eating and/or drinking for a short period of the day - say, after sunrise until 12 noon.

Noahides may read these traditional readings for Tish’a B’Av from the Tanach (Hebrew Bible):

– the Book of Lamentations (written by Jeremiah)

– the Book of Job

Everyone can and certainly should increase in deeds of goodness and kindness for others, especially in giving donations to proper charities (which are not in conflict with Torah laws or morals).

It is also important to pray to G-d for the coming of Moshiach (the Messiah) and the building of the Third Beis Hamikdash (the Holy Temple), since it will bring great blessings to the whole world in the Messianic Era.

It was for this reason that Rabbi Akiva did not weep but laughed when the Temple was destroyed.

He explained to his friends that as long as the prophecy of destruction (Micah 3:12) [of Jerusalem] was not fulfilled he was concerned that the prophecy of redemption would not be fulfilled either. But when he saw that the destruction had indeed taken place, he was sure that the prophecy of Zechariah (8:4) [concerning the rebuilding of the Temple] will also be fulfilled.

The Jewish scholars tell us, that one of the most important questions asked by the Heavenly court is whether we have been looking forward to the redemption, to the Messiah and the rebuilding of the holy Temple.

Let us look forward to the rebuilding of the third Temple, for it will be a place of worship for all nations. Isaiah 56:7

Brought By Angelique Sijbolts


Angelique Sijbolts is one of the main writers for the Noahide Academy. She has been an observant Noahide for many years. She studies Torah with Rabbi Perets every week. Angelique invests much of her time in editing video-lectures for the Rabbis of the Academy and contributes in administrating the Academy's website in English and Dutch. She lives in the north of the Netherlands. Married and mother of two sons. She works as a teacher in a school with students with special needs. And is a Hebrew Teacher for the levels beginners en intermediate. She likes to walk, to read and play the piano.



Article by Yoel Schukmann


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