Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The 9th of Av - תשעה באב

Tonight began the fast of תשעה באב, which commemorates the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. For many people, it is also an occasion to remember other evils that befell the Jewish people and humanity as a whole. We wish those observing this day an easy fast.


james said...

and a fast easy

John said...

How popular is it amongst Jews to observe this fast day? Do a lot of people fast?

Amos said...

Dear Aussie John,

Needless to say, all observant Jews fast on the 9th of Av, failing special circumstances. But I assume you are asking about the "rest" (in quotation marks because obviously this is not a homogeneous group). I think the majority of this group, i.e., people who do not identify themselves as religious (dati) or orthodox, does not observe the fast. There are, however, many people, among whom I include myself, who do fast partly because of the religious obligation and partly because of the meaning they derive from commemorating the destruction of the past and present in this manner. It is common to recite Eikha (Lamentations) on this day.