Today is February 16, 2020 -
Tish’a B’Av is observed on 9th day of the month of Av (Aug. 10-11, 2019). Considered the saddest day of the year, Tish’a B’Av commemorates the destruction of both Holy Temples. The First Temple was burned on this day by the Babylonians in 423 BCE and the Second Temple fell to the Romans on this day in 70 CE. Many other tragic events in Jewish history occurred on this date, including being expelled from England in 1290 and from Spain in 1492.
To honor these past tragedies, we fast from the sunset of the 8th of Av until nightfall the following night. We refrain from many activities, including eating or drinking, wearing leather shoes, washing ourselves, sending gifts, or partaking in outings or other pleasurable events.
Prior to sundown on 8 Av, we eat a seudah hamafseket meal consisting of bread a hard-boiled egg dipped in ashes, and water. The meal is eaten alone on a low stool. Services are held in dimmed lighting without tallit and tefillion. Torah study is limited to topics that are sad or deal with the Temples’ destruction. Tallit and tefillin are worn during afternoon prayers.