Tisha B’Av, the ninth day of the month of Av, is from the evening of Wednesday, July 29, through Friday, July 30, this year. It commemorates the destructions in Jerusalem of the First Temple by the Babylonians in 586 BCE and the Second Temple by the Romans in 70 CE, as well as a number of other tragedies that occurred on this date throughout Jewish history, including the expulsion from Spain in 1492. 

Tisha B’Av is observed as a full fast day (sundown on July 29 to nightfall on July 30). Observances include special readings at the evening service: Eichah (the book of Lamentations) and kinot (songs of mourning about the historic Jewish tragedies commemorated on this date), during which some congregations sit on the floor with the lights dimmed. At the morning service, the Torah and Haftarah readings (Deuteronomy 4:25-40 and Jeremiah 8:13-9:23) both describe divine punishment for transgressions by the Jewish people, but also forgiveness for repentance; there are further kinot at the morning service, and some congregations repeat the reading of Eichah. Although study, which is meant to be joyful, is forbidden on Tisha B’Av, work is not; therefore, prohibitions on the use of technology that some denominations observe on Shabbat and other major holidays are not applicable on Tisha B’Av. 

Several Cincinnati Jewish organizations have learning sessions on the meaning of the holiday: Golf Manor Synagogue is offering classes on the layers of meaning in the kinot and on the laws pertaining to Tisha B’Av, and the Jewish Community Relations Council and Mayerson JCC are jointly hosting a program on Jewish resilience centered around Tisha B’Av.

The following congregations shared their schedule of Tisha B’Av services and readings with The American Israelite; for in-person services, the current practices of each congregation apply (pre-registration online, social distancing, etc.)

Erev Tisha B’Av

Wednesday, July 29

• Erev Tisha B’Av service

7-8 p.m.

Beth Israel Congregation, Hamilton, online

• Evening service with reading of Eichah

Time TBA

Golf Manor Synagogue, both in-person and online

    • Eichah

9-10 p.m.

Adath Israel Congregation, online

• Erev Tisha B’Av service with reading of Eichah

9-10 p.m.

Northern Hills Synagogue, both outdoor service and live-streamed

• Eichah

10-11 p.m.

Sha’arei Torah, online

Thurs., July 30

Tisha B’Av

• Morning service with first and last kinot

Time TBA

Golf Manor Synagogue

• Morning service with reading of Eichah

8-9 a.m.

Adath Israel Congregation, online

• Tisha B’Av morning service

8-9 a.m.

Northern Hills Synagogue, online

• Kinot program

10:15 or 10:30 (TBA)

Cincinnati Kollel, Congregation Zichron Eliezer, Golf Manor Synagogue, and Sha’arei Torah, online

• Final reflections on Tisha B’av following evening service (7 p.m.)

7:30 p.m.

Adath Israel Congregation, online

If we have not included information about your synagogue’s observance of Tisha B’Av, please send information about events to The American Israelite: editor@americanisraelite.com.


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