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Order of the Day

Order of the Day

A step-by-step guide to Tisha B’Av observance

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Note: Special rules and certain variations apply if Tisha B’Av falls on Shabbat or Sunday. Click here for the details.

Afternoon of the 8th of Av

The restriction against studying Torah—other than sections that discuss the destruction of the Temples or other sad topics—commences at midday on the eve of the fast. With few exceptions, the prohibition continues until the end of the fast.

Tachanun (penitential prayer) is omitted from the afternoon prayer, as well as from all of the Tisha B’Av prayers.1

Shortly before the fast begins, we eat a “separation meal.” The final meal consists of a hard-boiled egg and a piece of bread dipped in ashesThis somber meal is not very plentiful—it follows a larger meal eaten a bit earlier. This final meal is eaten while sitting on the floor or a low stool. It consists of a piece of bread and a hard-boiled egg dipped in ashes, a symbol of mourning. (No zimmun is conducted when reciting the Grace After Meals.)

With sundown, all the laws of Tisha B’Av take effect.

Tisha B’Av Eve

In the synagogue, the curtain is removed from the ark, and the lights are dimmed. After the evening prayers, the book of Lamentations (Eichah) is read. The leader reads aloud, and the congregation reads along in an undertone. In some communities (not Chabad), Lamentations is read by the leader from a parchment scroll.2

Lamentations is followed by the recitation of a few brief kinot (elegies) and the “V’Atah Kadosh” paragraph, followed by kaddish (minus the stanza beginning “Titkabel”3—which is also omitted from the kaddish recited at the end of the morning prayers).

Tisha B’Av Morning

When ritually washing the hands in the morning, pour water on your fingers only until the knuckle joints. While your fingers are still moist, you may wipe your eyes with them. It is not permitted to rinse out one’s mouth—or brush one’s teeth—until after the fast.

Considering that we don’t wear leather footwear on this day, the blessing “Who provided me with all my needs,” which primarily thanks G‑d for providing us with shoes, is omitted from the morning blessings.Tefillin are referred to as our “glory,” and on the Ninth of Av our glory is absent

Tallit and tefillin are not worn during the morning services. Tefillin are referred to as our “glory,” and on the Ninth of Av our glory is absent. Tzitzit are worn the entire day.

Those who follow Sephardic tradition insert the “Aneinu” passage in the Amidah. The priestly blessing is omitted from the cantor’s repetition.

The Torah reading in the morning is Deuteronomy 4:25–40, which speaks of the destruction of the Land of Israel. A chapter from Jeremiah (8:13–9:23), which also speaks of the destruction, is read as the haftorah.

After the morning prayers, it is customary to read the kinot elegies. The service then concludes with “Uva L’Tziyon” (omitting its second verse, “And this is My covenant”4) and “Aleinu.” The Song of the Day and “Ein K’Elokeinu” are omitted.

Work is permitted on Tisha B’Av, but discouraged. On this day, one’s focus should be on mourning and repentance. If one must work, it should preferably begin after midday.

It is customary to give extra charity on every fast day.

Tisha B’Av Afternoon

It is customary to wait until midday before starting the food preparations for the post-fast meal. The intensity of the mourning lessens in the afternoon, as is evident from the relaxing of certain restrictions.

After midday, it is once again permitted to sit on chairs and benches of regular height.Many have the custom to clean the house and wash the floors in anticipation of the Redemption

Many communities have the custom to clean the house and wash the floors after midday, in anticipation of the Redemption which we await.

In the synagogue, the ark’s curtain is restored to its place before the afternoon prayers.

Men don their tallit and tefillin for the afternoon prayers. Before starting the afternoon prayers, it is customary to say those prayers omitted from the conclusion of the morning services.

The Torah is read before the Amidah. The reading is Exodus 32:11–14 and 34:1–10, which discusses how, in the aftermath of the Golden Calf incident, Moses successfully interceded on the Israelites’ behalf and attained forgiveness for their sin. After the afternoon Torah reading, the special fast-day haftorah, Isaiah 55:6–56:8, is read.

The sections of “Nachem” and “Aneinu” are added to the Amidah. (Note: “Aneinu” is recited only by those who are actually fasting.)

Post–Tisha B’Av

Before breaking the fast, one should perform netilat yadayim, this time covering the entire hand with water, but without reciting the blessing.

The Temple was set ablaze on the afternoon of the 9th of Av, and burned through the 10th. Therefore, the restrictions of the Nine Days (such as not eating meat, swimming, or laundering clothing) extend until midday of the 10th of Av.

However, if Tisha B’Av falls on a Thursday—in which case the 10th falls on Friday—one may wash and cut one’s hair on Friday morning in honor of the Shabbat.

FOOTNOTES
1.

This is because there is a verse (Lamentations 1:15) that refers to the Ninth of Av as moed, a word that can also mean “a festival.” This is a reflection of the idea that Tisha B’Av is the birthday of Moshiach, and contains the potential to be a great holiday—a potential that will be realized with the coming of Moshiach.

2.

In some communities that read Lamentations from a parchment scroll, the reader recites the blessing al mikra megillah beforehand.
Levush writes that the prevalent custom to not read Lamentations from a parchment scroll is based on the fact that such scrolls were rare. Scribes did not customarily inscribe this scroll, as an expression of the yearning and great anticipation for the time when the Ninth of Av will be transformed into a day of rejoicing and happiness.

3.

Omitted because it is a petition that our prayers be accepted. We read in Lamentations (3:8) that “my prayer has been shut out”—so how can we petition G‑d to accept our prayers if they have been shut out?

4.

This verse is omitted because we are forbidden to study Torah—G‑d’s covenant—on Tisha B’Av. Also, so that it does not appear as if we were establishing a covenant with G‑d over the destruction.

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Discussion (36)
September 22, 2014
To Anonymous
No, one may resume wearing leather at the conclusion of the fast.
Mrs. Chana Benjaminson
mychabad.org
August 15, 2014
The fasting on Tisha B'av is specific to the day. The day is inherently a day of repentance, fasting, and asking Hashem to bring Moshiach,

If for whatever reason one was not able to fast (medical, etc) there is no need to fast on another day though giving extra tzedaka is always appropriate...

Yisroel Cotlar
Cary
August 13, 2014
Can you fast another day if you could not fast on Tisha B'Av?
Can you fast another day if you could not fast on Tisha B'Av?
Anonymous
Johannesburg
August 5, 2014
To Marlene
Exact times vary from city to city and town to town, to find times for your current location please see chabad.org/143790
Chabad.org Staff
August 5, 2014
What time does the fast end EST
Marlene Rubenstein
DC
August 5, 2014
May this be our last Tisha B'Av. Repent and love all Jews.
Ahava
Ahava
VA
August 5, 2014
Does restriction on leather shoes extend until mi-day on the 10th as well?
Anonymous
PA
August 5, 2014
9th of 'Av can't change
#Bob. Many have asked your question. Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik of blessed memory, lists three reasons why the 9th of Av is a very important day. 1) We mourn not for something that happened millennia ago, but for tragedies that, in our unique historical consciousness, we relive today. 2) We observe not only in mourning, but also so pray that what happened twice before, should not, G-d forbid happen again. 3) We observe because we cannot understand why our people continue to suffer so much tragedy. The 9th of Av represents not only the destruction of the Holy Temples, but also the many other tragedies that have taken place over our very long history.
For more discussion, please see the "Koren Mesorat Harav Kinot" published in 2010 which goes into much greater detail.
Philip
August 4, 2014
We should rejoice, by thinking of the future.
Rabbi: When I was a child, I had a dream in which I was encircled and lifted up by grapevines which had fruit. My father asked the late Rabbi Schneerson the meaning of the dream, and he said that it means I am personally witnessing and helping bring about Age of Moshiach.

Another mystical person, who was not Jewish, but had the ability to see things before they happened said the same thing about me, and about the future.

I am not orthodox, but I was born Jewish, and I will always be Jewish, I am a monotheist. I don't always know what G-D wants from me, but I feel that we should all be rejoicing in some way, because of the inevitable future, instead of feeling down at all. My favorite prayer is "I will to will the will of G-D, I will to do the will of G-D'. That is my favorite prayer, because G-D is a Never Ending Mysterious Power. And so, this year, I am not fasting. I feel it is important to be ready to fight for our human rights as Jewish people to have personal freedom.
Anonymous
Here.
August 4, 2014
Tisha B'Av
May everyone have an easy fast and speedily and soon our Holy Temple be rebuilt. And may our brothers and sisters in Israel be safe and strengthened.
Anonymous
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