Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Coming Back Slowly

It has been a long, difficult year--but it is drawing to a close and with the help of Hashem the next one will be better. As we enter into the days before Tisha B'Av we let go of things that we do purely for enjoyment. There are different minhags for various levels of observance.

For the night and day of Tisha B'Av (sundown on 09 August to nightfall 10 August, 2008), we abstain from eating and drinking, bathing, the wearing of leather footwear, and marital relations. It is customary to sit on the floor or on a low seat until after mid-day. Torah study is restricted to laws of mourning, passages describing the destruction of the Temple, and the like. The tefillin are worn only during the afternoon Minchah prayers. You should consult a Halachic authority for more specific guidance. There are many sites with full information for observance of the fast and special rules, such as Chabad or Aish, but you are best served by speaking with your local Rabbi.

In Jerusalem there are many places that offer study classes during the fast day. On Motsaei Shabbos (09 August) there will be the traditional walk around the walls of the old city. Unfortunately what should be an evening of commemoration and mourning is being turned into a circus, thanks to the xians. Their total lack of knowledge and respect is an affront. For them Tisha B'Av has no meaning, and their loud, lewd presence is a reminder that after all, they are only idolaters.

May we see the coming of Meshiach soon, so that the idolaters may be removed from Hashem's Holy Land.

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