Hope Amid Tears

Tisha B’Av is observed with mourning and contemplation “Tisha B’Av is an appointed day when you relate to Hashem [God] by discovering how far you are from him,” said Rabbi Aaron Kahn, a director of the Advanced Institute of Talmudic Studies at New York City’s Yeshiva University. “Relating to Him gives us the opportunity to… Read More

Historical Overview

Throughout Jewish history, an array of tragic events fell on the ninth day of the Hebrew calendar month of Av. 1312 B.C.E.: According to Jewish tradition, 10 of the 12 spies returned from Israel with malicious reports about the land and its inhabitants, and the Israelites fell into despair

Ways And Customs

Traditionally, Tisha B’Av, the saddest day of the Jewish calendar, is observed in several ways: At the end of the afternoon prior to Tisha B’Av, one eats the Se’udah Hamafsekes, a meal of bread, water and a hard-boiled egg dipped in ashes. Beginning at sundown, one must refrain from consuming food and drink until the following… Read More

The Mortar of Sadness

Toby Brookes is decidedly undecided about Tisha B’Av. The product of modern Orthodox day schools and summer camps, Mrs. Brookes has vivid childhood recollections of this traditional mourning day. As a girl at summer camp, she fasted. She read from Eicha, the graphic and terrifying Book of Lamentations, and even joined other campers in re-enacting… Read More

Nine Facts On Holiday Of Tisha B’Av

The following are nine things you should know about Tisha B’Av, the final holiday of the Jewish year: 1. Tisha B’Av means “ninth [day] in [the month of] Av.” 2. The holiday begins at sunset on Wednesday, July 17, and ends the following evening. 3. The day marks a number of tragedies in Jewish history… Read More

Laws Of Mourning

Tisha B’Av marks the culmination of a three-week mourning period that begins on the fast of the 17th day of Tamuz—when Jerusalem’s walls were breached by Rome—and intensifies during the final nine days. During the three weeks, marriages are not held and observant Jews refrain from listening to music, dancing, pleasure trips, hair cutting, shaving… Read More

Find Out More

Here are some resources for learning more about Tu B’Shevat and Jewish environmentalism. “To Till and to Tend: A Guide to Jewish Environmental Study and Action,” published in 1994 by the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life, 443 Park Avenue South, New York, N.Y. 10016-7322. Phone (212) 684-6950. An overview of Jewish environmental issues,… Read More

How To Make A Simple Tu B’Shevat Seder

Winter is a funny time to celebrate Tu B’shevat, the Jewish Arbor Day. Bare branches still silhouette the sky; white obscures green, and the earth seems to shiver instead of blossom. In Israel, of course, the rainy season has passed and the first buds begin to appear around Tu B’shevat, the fifteenth of the Hebrew… Read More

Tu B’Shevat Resource List

The Never-Ending Greenness – Woldman, Neil Something Different – Konigsberg, Rachael Ha-etz Ha-nadiv (The Giving Tree) – in Hebrew VIDEO Trees for Tomorrow and Tomorrow VIDEO Grandpa’s Tree List of Jewish Holiday Resources Available at the Aaron H. Leibtag Resource Center of the Center for Jewish Education 5800 Park Heights Avenue (410) 578-6943

Did You Know?

Amazing environmental facts How long do you think it takes paper to decompose? 2-5 months Orange peel? 6 months Plastic bag? 10-20 years Shoes? 24-40 years