Tisha B’Av, the 9th of Av, is a fast day commemorating many disasters that have happened on that day in Jewish history, including the destruction of the First Temple in 586 B.C.E., the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 C.E. and the expulsion from Spain in 1492.
The restrictions are similar to those on Yom Kippur: no eating or drinking; no bathing, shaving or wearing makeup; no wearing leather shoes; and no studying Torah. We read the Book of Lamentations and recite mourning prayers in synagogue, where the ark is draped in black. Tallitot and tefillin are not worn during the morning service.
Tisha B’Av and its fast start at 8:38 p.m. Monday, July 31, and end at 9:13 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 1. Many synagogues are holding Erev Tisha B’Av services, including Lamentations and special kinot (elegies), at or about 8:40 p.m. July 31, then Shacharit services with kinot the next morning and the concluding Maariv service at or about 8:40 p.m. Aug. 1.
Among the Atlanta-area highlights (all are free unless otherwise noted):
SUNDAY, JULY 30
Family observance. The Kehilla in Sandy Springs, 5075 Roswell Road, offers crafts, sundaes, and a dramatic presentation of the story of Kamtzah and Bar Kamtzah, a dispute the Talmud presents as the cause of the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans. Admission is $7 for one child, $10 for two or $12 for three or more; www.thekehilla.org/sundae-family-sunday.
MONDAY, JULY 31
AIPAC service. Ken Stein speaks about the 1967 war at 7:30 p.m., after a reception at 7 and before an Erev Tisha B’Av service at 8:30, at Congregation B’nai Torah, 700 Mount Vernon Highway, Sandy Springs; www.aipac.org/bnaitorah or 678-254-2627.
Joint service. Ahavath Achim Synagogue joins The Temple, 1589 Peachtree St., Midtown, for a service with music, Lamentations, meditation and conversation at 8:30 p.m. after refreshments at 7:30; www.aasynagogue.org or www.the-temple.org.
Erev Tisha B’Av. Congregation Beth Shalom 5303 Winters Chapel Road, Dunwoody, reads Lamentations and sings songs of Jerusalem’s glory during a service at 8:40 p.m.; www.bethshalomatlanta.org or 770-399-5300.
Lamentations. Young Israel of Toco Hills, 2056 LaVista Road, holds a women-only reading of Lamentations at 9:45 p.m.; www.yith.org or 404-315-1417.
Kinah discussion. Rabbi Michael Broyde speaks about one of the kinot at 9:45 p.m. after the reading of Lamentations at New Toco Shul, 2003 LaVista Road, Toco Hills, in a program with Congregation Netzach Israel and Chevra Ahavas Yisrael; newtocoshul.com or 770-765-7485.
TUESDAY, AUG. 1
Expulsion. Rabbi Binyomin Friedman speaks about “The Three Expulsions From Spain” around 10:45 a.m. during the 9 a.m. Shacharit/kinot service at Congregation Ariel, 5237 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody; www.congariel.org or 770-390-9071.
Child care. Congregation Beth Jacob, 1855 LaVista Road, Toco Hills, offers care for children ages 2 to 10 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for $9 per hour or $40 for the day. Sign up by 5 p.m. July 30; www.bethjacobatlanta.org/3weeks#.
Movie. New Toco Shul, 2003 LaVista Road, Toco Hills, shows “The Last Days,” in which five Holocaust survivors tell their stories, at 11:30 a.m.; newtocoshul.com or 770-765-7485.
Learn without lunch. Rabbi Adam Starr leads a discussion on “Seeking Meaning in Tragedy” at noon at Young Israel of Toco Hills, 2056 LaVista Road; www.yith.org or 404-315-1417.
Discussion. Rabbi Yossi New speaks before Mincha on “Who Do We Blame? The Enemy or Ourselves” at 12:45 p.m. at New Toco Shul, 2003 LaVista Road, Toco Hills; newtocoshul.com or 770-765-7485.
Afternoon programming. Congregation Beth Jacob, 1855 LaVista Road, Toco Hills, offers special presentations and videos from 1 to 7:15 p.m.; www.bethjacobatlanta.org or 404-633-0551.
Movie. New Toco Shul, 2003 LaVista Road, Toco Hills, shows “Defiance,” about the Bielski partisans during World War II, at 3 p.m.; newtocoshul.com or 770-765-7485.
Movies. Young Israel of Toco Hills, 2056 LaVista Road, shows the Natalie Portman film “A Tale of Love and Darkness” at 3 p.m. and the Ukraine World War II film “No Place on Earth” at 5 p.m.; www.yith.org or 404-315-1417.
Videos. Congregation Ner Hamizrach, 1858 LaVista Road, Toco Hills, offers video presentations at 4 and 6 p.m.; www.nerhamizrach.org or 404-315-9020.
Panel discussion. Rabbi Don Seeman facilitates a discussion involving Elie Livnat (his Yom Kippur War experiences), Rabbi Yehuda Boroosan (his escape from Iran), Martin Solomon (family Holocaust stories) and Reuven Formey (race and conversion in America) at 5:30 p.m. at the Chevra Ahavas Yisrael sanctuary at Torah Day School, 1985 LaVista Road, Toco Hills; newtocoshul.com or 770-765-7485.
Observance. The Kehilla in Sandy Springs, 5075 Roswell Road, provides programming at 6 p.m. before Mincha and Maariv services at 8; www.thekehilla.org or 404-913-6131.
Lecture. Young Israel of Toco Hills, 2056 LaVista Road, hosts its annual lecture, featuring Emory professor Deborah Lipstadt on the topic “Contemporary Anti-Semitism: An Update,” at 7 p.m.; www.yith.org or 404-315-1417.
Lecture. Rabbi Moshe Goldfeder speaks on “Redeeming Israel Among the Nations: Legal Response to the BDS Movement” at 7 p.m. at the Chevra Ahavas Yisrael sanctuary at Torah Day School, 1985 LaVista Road, Toco Hills; newtocoshul.com or 770-765-7485.