Tisha B'Av (lit. the Ninth of Av) is a day of fasting in memory of the destruction of the First and Second Temples, beginning on the evening before the ninth of Av, at the end of the Three Weeks period between it and the fast of the Seventeenth of Tammuz.
The laws of mourning on Tisha B'Av are more severe than the rest of the fasts and include five other customs of self-deprivation in addition to mourning the destruction and reciting the Book of Lamentations.
According to Jewish tradition, five tragic events befell the Jewish people on Tisha B'Av: It was decreed that our ancestors not enter the Holy Land; the destruction of the First and Second Temples; Beitar, the last stronghold of Bar Kochba's revolt, was destroyed; and the city of Jerusalem was plowed under.
Times for the fast of Tisha B'Av 2022 (via Chabad.org)
The beginning of the fast: 19:36 The end of the fast: 19:59
The beginning of the fast: 19:34 The end of the fast: 20:01
New York City
The beginning of the fast: 20:12 The end of the fast: 20:58
The beginning of the fast: 20:39 The end of the fast: 21:27
The beginning of the fast: 19:00 The end of the fast: 19:27
The beginning of the fast: 19:37 The end of the fast: 20:02
The beginning of the fast: 19:35 The end of the fast: 19:59
The beginning of the fast: 19:33 The end of the fast: 20:01
The beginning of the fast: 19:35 The end of the fast: 20:01
The beginning of the fast: 19:32 The end of the fast: 20:00
The beginning of the fast: 19:37 The end of the fast: 20:00
The beginning of the fast: 19:29 The end of the fast: 19:55
The days of mourning for the destruction are meant for national and individual introspection. Jewish tradition states that anyone who observes them faithfully will merit to witness the return of the Temple.
Rabbi Zalman Baruch Melamed:
Tisha B'Av, the day of the destruction of the First and Second Temples, is the day when we must concentrate and look at what we are missing. Let us not forget or ignore the pain of the people of Israel at this time. Most of the people of Israel are abroad, our people are scattered and separated among the nations, across all lands. Most Jews living abroad are very far from any Jewish education, far from any connection to the Jewish people. The Jewish spark that is deep in the heart of every Jew is covered and invisible. Assimilation is growing and terrible - every Jew who leaves his people creates an empty space, and every Jew who marries a gentile is a painful loss. Our people are torn apart and the tears are very painful.
Although past persecutions have ceased and discrimination against Jews around the world has diminished, but it is not possible to say that the danger of a resurgence of persecution has completely passed. We remember the terrible Holocaust perpetrated by the cultured peoples of Europe, by the German Nazis and their allies. The danger of the resurgence of antisemitic hatred, and its dire consequences, has not gone away.
No less and severe and difficult and painful is the spiritual condition of the nation. The low spiritual condition is the cause of the physical danger. Holocaust scholars prove that assimilators played a key role in the development of hatred of Jews. The entry of assimilated Jews into the lives of the Gentiles agitated and increased their hatred. Believers know that spiritual decline is the cause of all the troubles that have come upon the people of Israel. Therefore, unfortunately, even today there is something to mourn, regret, cry, and hurt, even when coming to the Western Wall at this time.
Laws of Tisha B'av - Rabbi Oded Miller:
This year the fast of Tisha B'Av falls on a Saturday night. In this situation, there are some laws that are important to know.
1. There are testimonies in which it is customary not to study Torah as early as midnight on the eve of Tisha B'Av, but in practice we study Torah as usual this year.
2. When the fast begins in the middle of the week, it is commenced with a minimal meal of an egg and bread, each dipped in ashes, eaten alone and sitting on the floor. As customs of mourning are forbidden on Shabbat, the last meal will be the traditional third meal on Shabbat, and it may be eaten as a regular meal with all manner of dishes.
3. When do the laws of fasting and mourning begin? The only thing that starts already at sunset, is the ban on eating and drinking. The meal should be finished by this time, and it is advisable to brush your teeth with a brush and mouthwash to remove food debris. Whoever knows that brushing will cause bleeding from the gums may rinse without brushing.
All other mourning customs begin when Shabbat ends. We recite a brief prayer to separate Shabbat from weekdays (an abridged version of the Havdalah prayer) and change to clothes of mourning, including removing leather shoes. The evening prayer should be delayed to allow the congregation time to transition.
4. How do you end Shabbat when Saturday night is the night of a fast?
The Havdalah prayer may be recited normally, but with the key difference that one cannot say the blessings over wine. The blessing over wine is therefore recited at the end of the fast.
The blessing over the candles must be recited before reading Lamentations. It is commonly recited by a congregant who has prepared a candle for this purpose in the synagogue, and thus exempts the entire congregation.
If a household has members who do not go to synagogue, the head of the household should recite the blessing for them before the evening prayer.
5. Is it permissible to wash the dishes left over from Shabbat?
If they are needed immediately, as for small children, or if flies are settling in dirty dishes, they can be washed immediately. If needed for the meal after the fast, they may be washed from midday on. If not needed until after the fast, they should be left until after the fast, in order not to distract one from the practices of the day.
In any case, since it is forbidden to bathe on Tisha B'Av, which is pleasant for the body, the dishes should be washed in cold water, and some people also say to wash dishes with gloves.
6. After the fast, we recite Havdalah, skipping the verses of consolation at the beginning of the prayer. A cup of wine is used, not because of Tisha B'av but due to it having been omitted after Shabbat. Only the one reciting the blessing should drink from the wine for this purpose.
A woman whose husband has not yet returned from synagogue may recite the blessings herself and drink.
If someone has a dispensation not to fast, they must recite Havdalah before eating in accordance with the relevant laws.
In conclusion - what does Tisha B'Av look like on Saturday night?
• Torah study goes on as usual during Shabbat.
• At the third meal, eat as usual, in an atmosphere of anticipation and prayer for the building of Jerusalem, and finish it and brush your teeth before sunset.
• At the end of Shabbat, say an abridged Havdalah, and change clothes and shoes and begin to practice the other mourning customs of Tisha B'av. The blessing over fire must be recited before Lamentations, and it is best to do so at home instead of at the synagogue.
• After the fast, say Havdalah over wine, omitting candle and incense.
• A woman who is waiting for her husband can drink water before the Havdalah, and if it is difficult for her to wait - she can say Havdalah herself.
As mentioned, Tisha B'Av is a day when we not only avoid distractions, we actively seek to internalize the tragedies of the day. With God's help, we will see the end of these practices with the rebuilding of the third Holy Temple, speedily and in our days.