Suggestions on How To Observe Tisha B’Av
Posted by ishtov on July 22, 2007
Disclaimer: I’m not a rabbi and I have no business giving people religious advice.
With that said, allow me to dish out some unsolicited thoughts on Tisha B’av. The Ninth of Av is the most sorrowful day of the year for us. On this day, both the first Temple and the Second Temple were destroyed.
According to the Talmud, the first Temple was destroyed because the people were committing the transgressions of idolatry, adultery, and murder. The second Temple was destroyed because of the transgression of hatred without cause. From this we learn that hatred without cause is as bad as idolatry, adultery, and murder combined.
In any case, on this day God allowed the Temple to be destroyed twice, and from what I understand the Spanish Inquisition started on this day as well. Because of the destruction of the Temple, we mourn on this day. Traditionally this is done by fasting.
But we should also have in mind that God is not with us during this time of the year. I don’t mean that God completely removes His presence from our lives. I just mean that we don’t enjoy the same level of Divine protection that we usually do. This is just my opinion of course, and I could be wrong. But I would advise people not to take any unnecessary risks on Tisha B’Av.
For example, if you were thinking about taking up bungee jumping, wait a few days. That risky new business venture you’re about to kick off, hold off for now. In fact from what I understand, there are people who don’t go swimming for the three weeks leading up to Tisha B’Av.
I’ll go a step further and suggest that part of the reason that Israel’s war against Hezbo went so bad last year may have been because they undertook it during this time of year.