By Aish UK
From the time the Jews wandered through the wilderness following the Exodus from Egypt the 9th of Av has been a day of sadness and mourning for the Jewish people.
Whilst tt is a day spent recalling all tragedies to befall the Jewish nation there is a particular focus on five specific events.
Continuing down the years we find other calamities that have occured on this day. The First Crusade was launched on the 9th of Av in 1096. Explusions of Jews from France, England and Spain were enacted. The liquidation of the Warsaw Ghetto commenced on the 9th of Av in 1942)
On the day of the 9th of Av people observe a selection of mourning customs. These include
People traditionally sit on the floor or on low stools, and Torah study is forbidden save the sections that relate to the destruction of the Temples and other related texts.
In light of the fast, the evening before the 9th of Av involves a Seuda Hamafseket. Consisting of bread, water and an egg dipped in ashes. This should be a muted meal, eaten alone.
The Synagoge services on the 9th of Av include Kinnot and a reading of the Book of Lamentations (Eicha). Tefillin are not worn in the morning.
The majority of mourning practices end at nightfall. Due to the fact the Temple kept on burning until the 10th of Av people refrain from haircuts, washing clothes, bathing, haircuts, shaving and eating meat and drinking wine until midday of the 10th of Av.
- May 15th 2012