Photo: The Western Wall, Jerusalem by Ronan Shenhav / CC BY-NC 2.0

August 10 – August 11, 2019 Tisha B’Av

We send our prayers to our Jewish brothers and sisters and ask for their prayers. They will celebrate the annual fast day of Tisha B’Av beginning at sundown on Saturday, August 10th. It is the ninth day of the month of Av in the Hebrew calendar.

At sunset, Jews have traditionally gathered in synagogues to read the Book of Lamentations. Besides fasting, those observing the holiday abstain from additional pleasures: washing, shaving, applying lotions or creams, wearing leather shoes, and marital relations. Until midday, they sit on the floor or on low stools.

This is a Jewish holy day of remembrance and it commemorates the destruction of both the first and second Temples in Jerusalem in the years 586 BCE and 70 CE.   In these days of dangerous tension between Israelis and Palestinians over the Temple Mount, tension exacerbated by the move of the U.S. Embassy, we join in prayer for mutual understanding and peace.

In 2019, many liberal Jewish organizations adapted their celebration of Tisha B’Av. They called for protest gatherings outside immigration facilities to denounce the treatment of immigrants and refugees by the U.S. Administration. They liken the destruction of communities and families taking place to the destruction of the Jerusalem temples. Nearly 60 vigils across the U.S., with the hashtag #CloseTheCamps, took place. We stand with them in the call for just and humane treatment of immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers.