12 Facts Every Jew Should Know About the 9 Days – Chabad.org

Posted By on July 19, 2020

1. They Are the First Nine Days ofAv

Known as the Nine Days, the first nine daysof Av are a time of heightened mourning. At this time, the Jewish nation mournsthe calamities that befell our people during the destruction of the two HolyTemples, which happened nearly 500 years apart at the same time of year.

More About theNine Days

This period of mourning begins, in smallermeasure, nearly two weeks earlier on the fast of the 17th of Avthe day thewalls of Jerusalem were breached by the Roman invaders. Known as the ThreeWeeks or bein hametzarim (betweenthe straits), we observe this period by avoiding haircuts, purchasing newclothing, holding or attending weddings, and enjoying music.

More About theThree Weeks

The last of the nine days is the fast of 9 Av,known in Hebrew as Tisha BAvthe saddest day on the Jewish calendar, when bothHoly Temples were burned. But some of the mourning practices (more on thosebelow) continue all the way until midday of Av 10.

What Is TishaBAv?

During the entire three-week period, many are careful to avoid any activities that may be dangerous, with even morecaution during these final nine days. This includes walking alone in a secludedplace, participating in dangerous sports, and even scheduling surgery that canbe delayed until a different time.

More About Why and How We Avoid Danger at This Time

For the duration of this period we do notbathe for pleasure or launder clothing (except for a babys)even clothes thatwill not be worn during the Nine Daysor wear freshly laundered outer layers.Those who wish to change their clothes daily should prepare a number ofgarments and briefly don each of them before the onset of the Nine Days. It isthen permitted to wear these non-freshly laundered garments.

Like mourners during shiva for a beloved family member, we do not eat meat (includingpoultry) or drink wine during this period, aside from Shabbat. If possible, even the havdalahwine or grape juice should be given to a childyounger than bar/bat mitzvahageto drink.

The exceptions to this rule are meat andwine enjoyed as part of a meal that celebrates a mitzvah, such as acircumcision, bar mitzvah, or the completion of a tractate of the Talmud.

Some people make it a point to celebratethe completion of a tractate of Talmud, known as a siyum, which creates a loophole for eating meat. However, thereare many who follow the practice of the students of the Baal Shem Tov, and areparticular to participate in a siyumduring the Nine Days, but nevertheless refrain from eating meat afterward.

Read:Why Make a SiyumDuring the Nine Days?

Rabbi Isaac LuriaAshkenazi, known as Ari HaKadosh("The Holy Lion") passed away on Av 5, 1572 CE. It was he whoproclaimed, In these times, we are allowed and duty-bound to reveal thiswisdom, opening the door to the integration of the teachings of Kabbalahuntilthen the province of a select few in each generationinto mainstream Judaism.His special day is a bright spot in an otherwise bleak period.

More About the HolyAri

There are various stages within the Nine Days,and the sadness increases as we get closer to the destruction. Thus the week of9 Av is more stringent than the days before it. TheSephardic custom, for example, is to observe the stringencies regarding bathingonly in the week of Tisha BAv.

Things further intensify on the 7th ofAv, the day the destroyers entered the Temple complex. And then on theafternoon before 9 Av, we begin many of the practices of the fast day itself,such as desisting from most Torah study.

Read the Procedure ofthe Day Before Tisha BAv

The Shabbat before the Ninth of Avis called Shabbat Chazon (Shabbat of Vision) after the opening words of thedays reading from the prophets (haftarah),the third of a series known as The Three of Rebuke.On this Shabbat, say the Chassidic masters, each individual is granted a visionof the Third Temple.

On this day, many of the mourning practicesare suspended, and we may drink wine and eat meat. In some communities, peopledo not dress up for Shabbat as usual, and the prayers are sung to sad tunes.The Chassidic custom, however, is to desist from all public displays ofmourning. In fact, the Rebbe encouraged us to celebrate with extra festivity toshow that we are not mourning at this time.

More AboutShabbat Chazon

Rather than just sitting with sadness for ourhistory of loss and destruction, this is a time to focus on internal growth andintense preparation for the joy that will yet come. The Midrash tells us thatGd instructed the prophet Ezekiel: The study of theTorahs [design of the Holy Temple] can be equated to its construction. Go tellthem to study the form of the Temple. As a reward for their study and theiroccupation with it, I will consider it as if they actually built it. Throughthis study, a person fulfills his obligation to build the Temple.

Start Learning Aboutthe Holy Temple Here

The Shabbat after the Nine Days is known asShabbat Nachamu, the Shabbat of comfort, since that weeks haftarah begins with the words nachamu,nachamu ami (Comfort, you shall comfort My nation). This is the first ofthe series of readings known as The Seven of Consolation read in the sevenweeks between the Ninth of Av and Rosh Hashanah.

Watch: Isaiahs DoubleVision

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12 Facts Every Jew Should Know About the 9 Days - Chabad.org

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