Monday, August 8, 2011

The eve of Tish'a beAb

Tish'a beAb, our national day of mourning, begins tonight, Monday August 8th. We begin the fast at 7:55 PM.

This evening, around 7:00PM we do the Seuda Mafseket, the last meal before the day-long fast.

This is, virtually, 'a mourners meal' and consists generally of bread, eggs, lentils and water. In our community many families serve rice with lentils (adas polo). There are many other variations, according to each family's traditions.

What make this meal special is:

1. We abstain from eating two different 'dishes', to show a mood of austerity, consuming only what is needed to endure the fast.

2. The ancient custom is that everyone eats in solitude, with no zimun, sitting on the floor or on a low chair, like mourners do.

For Arbit, we chant the prayers with a sad tune, starting with 'al neharot babel, the Psalm of the mourners for the Bet haMikdash. In many Sephardic communities the Shema Israel is said with a sad intonation, instead of using the regular ta'amim.

Then, we read Megilat Ekha, the book of Lamentations written by the Prophet Yrmiyahu in the aftermath of the destruction of the first Temple.

Then, we recite the Kinot. The Kinot are poems which describe the different tragedies that we endured on Tish'a beAb throughout our history.

At the end of the Kinot, sitting on the floor, with all lights dimmed, we declare with sadness: "Listen, oh our brothers of the house of we count ... 1943 years from the destruction of our Bet haMikdash...."

The fast ends tomorrow, Tuesday August 9th at 8:42 PM (some end it at 8:35PM).
May we all have an easy and meaningful fast.
May this year be the last year of mourning for our Bet haMikdash!

See HERE all our community Minyanim, services and activities for Tisha beAb.

Read HERE "What happened on Tish'a beAb?"

Read HERE "Restrictions on Tish'a beAb" (part 1)

Read HERE "Restrictions on Tish'a beAb" (part 2)

Read HERE "Rules for the day of Fasting"