Tishah B’Av, which means the “Ninth of Av”, refers to a traditional day of mourning the destruction of both ancient Temples in Jerusalem. Reform Judaism, however, has never assigned a central religious role to the ancient Temple. Therefore, mourning the destruction of the Temple in such an elaborate fashion did not seem meaningful. More recently, in Reform Judaism Tishah B’Av has been transformed into a day to remember many Jewish tragedies that have occurred throughout history. If the 9th of Av falls on a Saturday, the fast is postponed until the 10th of Av.
Tisha B’av is August 10 – 11 this year.
Tu B’Av (the 15th of the month of Av) arrives shortly after the mourning period that leads to Tishah B’Av, the date on which the First and Second Holy Temples were destroyed.
Throughout much of Jewish history, Tu B’Av, a rabbinic holiday,was not well known and became more popular upon the establishment of the State of Israel. It is regarded as a “Jewish Valentine’s Day” and is considered opportune for dating, romance, engagements, and marriage. Tu B’Av is a regular workday, and the only special observances that are mandated are the changes to daily prayers, as on other holidays. Still, it is also a day on which celebrations are held in Israel throughout the different sectors of society.
Tu B’av is August 15 – 16 this year.