Since the destruction of the Second Temple, Jews have observed Tisha B’Av (meaning ninth of Av) as the day of mourning over their loss. The practice began after the destruction of the First Temple by the Babylonians and was reestablished in 71 A.D, for the first and second temples were destroyed on the same day, 655 years apart. The observance falls in July or August of the Gregorian calendar.
This year it is on July 28, so the observance is deferred until Sunday July 29. On Tisha B’Av, the Torah is draped in black. There is fasting and mourning with various rituals and the reading of the book of Lamentations and Jewish poetry called kinnot. In some Jewish communities the book of Job is read. Orthodox Jews believe that Tisha B’Av will be kept until the Messiah comes, at which time it will become a celebration.
(Friday Church News Notes, July 27, 2012, www.wayoflife.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)
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