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The Nine Days and Tisha B'Av 5783

07/13/2023 05:39:05 PM


As the month of Av approaches here are some reminders and schedule items:

The Nine Days

Beginning Tuesday night July 18th, we will transition from the "three weeks" to the "nine days." The conceptual difference between the two is that while during the three weeks we refrain from celebratory and musical events that are beyond the typical daily routine, during the nine days we diminish even simple everyday pleasures. In the words of the Mishna, ממעטין בשמחה, we consciously diminish our joy. The premise of this practice is that it is difficult to enter the state of mourning on Tisha B'Av without preparation. Through creating a palpable sense of difference-from-routine in the days leading up, we are able to begin the reading of Eicha on the night of Tisha B'Av already emotionally open to its words.

Here are the basic laws & customs of the nine days. Please do not hesitate to ask questions as they arise!

(1) We do not eat meat or drink wine, other than on Shabbat. Regarding Havdalah on Saturday night it is preferable to either give the cup of wine or grape juice to a minor, or to use a "significant beverage" such as beer. If neither of these options is readily available, the person reciting Havdalah should drink the wine or grape juice as normal. 

(2) As has been true since the 17th of Tammuz, we do not attend parties or celebrations during the nine days.

(3) We shower with cool (not warm) water and only for the time necessary to satisfy the needs of basic hygiene. Friday afternoon is an exception to this rule.

(4) We do not swim for pleasure during the nine days. (Instructional swimming and exrecise are exempted until the beginning of the week in which Tisha B'Av actually falls).

(5) We continue to not cut our hair, and if at all possible, we do not shave.

(6) We withhold from ourselves the luxury of wearing new or even freshly laundered outer garments, except for on Shabbat. Please note that the Halacha gives us a little bit of a break regarding freshly laundered garments, defining "freshly laundered" in a very literal way. Clothing worn for even a few minutes before the nine days began is no longer defined as "freshly laundered."

(7) We do not wash clothing during the nine days, even though we are not intending to wear that clothing until after Tisha B'Av. (Children's clothing that must be washed is exempted.)

(8) Though we normally extend the practices of the nine days until midday on the 10th of Av, this does not apply when the 10th of Av is Friday. The one exception is that we do not eat meat on the night following Tisha B'Av (Thursday, July 27).

Tisha B'Av

Wednesday, July 26

Erev Tisha B'Av

On Wednesday, we will be davening Mincha at 6:00 PM to enable us to eat the Seudah HaMafseket (the ritual final meal) before the fast begins. The Seudah must conclude by sundown at 7:59 PM.

Tisha B'Av Evening (2 Locations) 

There will be two venues for Ma'ariv & Eicha, each beginning at 8:20 PM

  1. BDJ Social Hall - with introductory comments from Rav Yosef
  2. Schwarzberg Backyard. Feel free to bring blankets, chairs, and/or flashlights. Men and women will each be reading chapters of Eicha.


Thursday, July 27

Tisha B'Av Morning

On Tisha B'Av morning, we will have two Minyanim for Shacharit and Kinot. 

6:30 AM - 8:00 AM: in the BDJ Beit Midrash, with Rav Yosef

8:30 AM - 1:00 PM: At Beth Jacob for the Annual BDJ-YICC-BJ-KI Shacharit & Kinnot. The Kinnot will be introduced and explained by lay people, educators, and Rabbis of our community. Alex Fax and Gail Katz will each be introducing a Kinnah this year. During the last hour of the program we will view Devorah's Hope, a film produced by Project Witness and BIG productions, which tells the story of a devoted brother and sister’s resilience and drive to live during the years of the Shoah. See flyer here for full details.


Tisha B'Av Afternoon (2 Times / Locations)

6:30 PM: Annual Mincha/Learning/Maariv together with Temple Beth Am and IKAR. This year in Nili & Ethan Isenberg's home and backyard. As in past years, there will be a BDJ minyan for Mincha and Ma'ariv. (Please remember Tallit and Tefillin for Mincha.) The shiur this year will be taught by Rav Yosef, titled "To the Martyrs Go the Spoils."


7:30 PM: Mincha at BDJ (with tallit and tefillin), followed by Divrei Torah with Josh Sharfman

8:20 PM: Ma'ariv (both locations)

8:29 PM: Fast Ends

Mon, June 17 2024 11 Sivan 5784