Tisha B’Av, the 9th day of the month of Av (August 10-11, 2019), is the saddest day on the Jewish calendar. The Jewish people fast, deprive themselves, and pray. It is the culmination of the Three Weeks, a period of time during which they mark the destruction of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.
Other Disasters that Happened on TishA b’Av:
1313 BCE: The spies returned from the Promised Land with frightening reports, and the Israelites balked at the prospect of entering the land. G‑d decreed that they would therefore wander in the desert for 40 years.
Both Holy Temples in Jerusalem were destroyed on this date. The First Temple was burned by the Babylonians in 423 BCE and the Second Temple fell to the Romans in 70 CE, unleashing a period of suffering from which our nation has never fully recovered.
The Bar Kochba revolt against the Romans in 133 CE ended in defeat: The Jews of Betar were butchered on the 9th of Av and the Temple Mount was plowed one year later on the same date.
1290 expulsion of England’s Jews and the 1492 banishment of all Jews from Spain.
How the 9th of Av Is Observed:
The fast begins at sunset on the 8th of Av (August 10th) and concludes at nightfall the following night. During this time, the Jewish people will not eat or drink, wear leather footwear, bathe, use any creams, and more. They will not even study the Torah (except for any sad portions that deal with the destruction of the Temples, etc.)
There is a foreboding for many Jewish people on this day that something evil will occur.