Thursday, July 23, 2015

Pre-Tisha B'Av notes

I intend to republish these notes, copied from previous posts, annually, adding new notes as I learn more.

In 2015, the observance of Tisha B'Av (postponed by one day to avoid Shabbat/Sabbath) begins this coming Saturday night, at sundown. I strongly advise those healthy enough to fast for 25 hours to:
  1. start eliminating coffee, tea, and chocolate as soon as possible--if you're going to have a caffeine withdrawal headache, you'll want to have it before the fast;
  2. avoid salty food all day Saturday, especially at your pre-fast meal, since salty (and, for some people, very sweet) food may make you thirsty.
  3. drink plenty of water all day Saturday--we have one friend who drinks a cup of water every half hour before a fast day--and;
  4. eat your pre-fast meal on Saturday early enough before sundown to get to Minchah/Afternoon Service at synagogue, if possible, or to pray Minchah at home.  [Sorry--I don't know the rules for Seudah Shlishit/the traditional Third Sabbath Meal when Shabbat goes right into Tisha B'Av.  Please enlighten me in the comments, if you can.  Thanks!]

Those with access to the Internet on Tisha B'Av may want to register for the Orthodox Union's Tisha B'Av webcast.

Notes, as promised:

Tuesday, August 9, 2011/Tisha B'Av update: It's a good thing that they announced at our local synagogue that we'd be having a Mincha (Afternoon) Service just before the beginning of Tisha B'Av, because I'd completely forgotten--again!--that one is supposed to eat one's final pre-fast meal (seudat hamafseket?) before davvenning/praying Minchah and almost davvenned Minchah at the office, as usual! So I'm adding this note to my pre-Nine-Days prep. post as a reminder for next year and future years.

Um, never mind--I'm copying and pasting those Tisha B'Av Minchah notes here, so that I don't miss them:

Good thing I just checked Minchah in our OU/Koren-Lookstein/Soloveitchik Kinnot--I see that the Shir shel Yom/Psalm of the Day gets moved from the end of Shacharit to the beginning of Minchah/Afternoon Service, after one puts on tallit and tefillin (which are also moved to Minchah). And don't forget the following changes in the Amidah prayer of Minchah: 
  • add the Nachem paragraph to the V'liY'rushalayim brachah/blessing in the Amidah at Minchah, and say the Tisha B'Av version of the chatimah (closing) of that brachah.
  • add Aneinu to the Sh'ma Koleinu brachah.
[Sat., July 13, 2013, 10:52 PM note:  The best way to avoid errors seems to be to davven (pray) using a Kinnot (dirges) book, if possible.]

I see that Rabbi Gil Student mentions checking the back (or front) of one's Kinnot book for the laws of Tisha B'Av. The OU/Koren-Lookstein/Soloveitchik Kinnot has a nice round-up of laws regarding not only Tisha B'Av, but also the Three Weeks in general, the Nine Days in particular, and the day before Tisha B'Av specifically.

Learning on Tisha B’Av (TUESDAY, JULY 20, 2010)
The rabbis established limits to what Biblical and/or Rabbinic texts we're allowed to study on Tisha B'Av, lest we derive too much pleasure from our studies. (You can read about those limits, and other information about Tisha B'Av, here.) Me, I spent some time cracking my teeth trying to learn Psalm 137, Al Naharot Bavel--By the Waters of Babylon, which seemed an appropriately mournful thing to study. You can find it here, though, in the Hebrew, most of the punctuation is in the wrong place.


  • Mechon Hadar, 190 Amsterdam Ave., New York, NY

Join Us in the Beit Midrash

On Sunday, July 26th we will be commemorating Tisha B'Av in partnership with Kehilat Hadar.

9-11 am:      Shaharit and Kinnot
11-1:30 pm: Appropriate learning for the day 
  • "I Am the Man Who Has Seen Affliction": Exploring Eikhah 3 with Rabbi Shai Held
  • Responding to Tragedy: The Eish Kodesh on overcoming suffering or yielding to it with Dena Weiss
1:40 pm:      Minhah

At 3:30 Summer Faculty member Raffi Magarik will be teaching on Silence and Speech in the Presence of Suffering at Drisha located at 37 West 65th Street. 

For Tisha B'Av programming taking place on Saturday night, we invite you to join Kehilat Hadar for Arvit and Eicha at 9:30 pm. Services will be taking place at the Solomon Schechter School of Manhattan: 805 Columbus Ave. For more information please click here.

Please note that it is customary not to greet people on Tisha B'Av, so please do not be offended if people don't say hello. It is also customary to sit on the floor or low stools. You are invited to bring a pillow or mat to sit on if you wish. Finally, we have some siddurim, but if you can bring your own, that would help.

To hear a dvar Torah written by Dena Weiss, click here.

  • Drisha, 37 W. 65th St., New York, NY

Prepare for 
Tisha B'Av
with our
Online Learning


Tisha B’Av Program

Co-sponsored by Drisha and Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School
10:15am – Study and Recitation of Kinnot (Poems of Lamentation)led by David Silber, Wendy Amsellem, Daniel Reifman, and Drisha/YCT/Nishma students
1:00pm – Questions From the Long Night: Selections from the Responsa of Rav Ephrayim Oshrywith Dov Linzer (YCT)
2:15pm – Rabbi Akiva and an Ethic of Painwith Wendy Amsellem (Drisha)
3:30pm – Silence and Speech in the Presence of Sufferingwith Raphael Magarik (Mechon Hadar)
4:45pm – Perceiving Tragedy Through the Lens of the Book of Eicha
with David Silber (Drisha)
Our Tisha B’Av program is coed and all are welcome to attend.



Anonymous Woodrow/Conservadox said...

The (modern Orthodox) shul I went to in Pittsburgh had an early mincha and suggested that people eat afterwards, instead of having the usual mincha-maariv combination.

I almost was in NYC (and probably Mechon Hadar) with you- but the moving company wanted to move my furniture Friday so I was stuck in Pgh (which is still a great improvement over being stuck in the last place I lived, where I really did everything myself but the mincha/maariv at the very end of the fast).

Mon Jul 27, 01:34:00 PM 2015  

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