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How to Follow Jewish Customs During Tisha B’Av

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Tisha B’Av, also known as the “the Ninth of Av,” is one of the fasting days in Judaism. Fasting is done to commemorate the destruction of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem. This Jewish holiday falls on the ninth day (Tisha) of the month of Av in Hebrew calendar. Fasting on Tisha B’Av lasts for about 25 hours starting from sunset on the night of Tisha B’Av and and concluding at nightfall the following day.

  • Follow the five main prohibitions of Tisha B’Av. These prohibitions are similar to those observed during Yom Kippur:

- Complete fasting is required on this day. You are prohibited to eat and drink for 25 hours.

- You are not permitted to bathe or even wash.

- Do not apply perfumes, creams or lotions and oil.

- You are prohibited from wearing any footwear made of leather.

- Couples are refrained from having any physical contact or sexual intercourse.

  • Reading of Torah is forbidden during Tisha B’Av. However, one can read the Book of Lamentations, Book of Job, chapters of the Talmud on laws of mourning, and some part of the Book of Jeremiah.
  • Refrain from working during Tisha B’Av.
  • Avoid greeting friends or sending gifts on this day.
  • Avoid sitting on a chair until Mincha on Tisha B’Av. It is customary to sit on the floor or in a low stool.
  • Kinot is said in the morning of Tisha B’Av. Recite the Book of Lamentations on the evening of Ma’ariv service.

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