Man prays at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. (Shutterstock) (Shutterstock)
praying western wall

Whenever Tisha b’Av falls on Shabbat and is thereby postponed, we are treated to a Divine “wink” of sorts and merit to experience a ”taste” of the Messianic era.

By: Rabbi Ari Enkin, Rabbinic Director, United with Israel

In just a few days the Jewish community will observe Tisha b’Av, the day on which we commemorate the destruction of the two Temples that once stood on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and the subsequent exile of the Jewish people from their land.

As with all Jewish holidays, Tisha b’Av begins the night before, at sundown, as per the Hebrew lunar calendar. Tisha b’Av literally means “the 9th day of [the Hebrew month] of Av.” What is very unique about Tisha b’Av ithis year is that it falls on Shabbat!

Since fasting is forbidden on Shabbat (except for Yom Kippur), the fast is postponed and observed a day later, on the 10th day of Av.

Eating on the 9th of Av is something that is virtually taboo. Tisha b’Av is the most serious of all fast days, second only to Yom Kippur. Although no one should risk his or her health in any way, we are obligated to make heroic efforts to fast on Tisha b’Av regardless of any level of discomfort.

However, when the 9th of Av falls on Shabbat, we eat meat, drink wine and celebrate Shabbat, as we do each week. In such cases, Tisha b’Av is all but forgotten on the day it was truly intended to be observed!

So too, in the Messianic era, Tisha b’Av will cease to be observed. When the Messiah comes, the third and final Temple will be rebuilt and the mourning of Tisha b’Av will be a thing of the past.

The rabbis teach that until that time, whenever Tisha b’Av falls on Shabbat and is thereby postponed, we are treated to a Divine “wink” of sorts and merit to experience a ”taste” of the Messianic era.

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