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Friday, Menachem Av 8, 5779 / August 9, 2019


This Shabbat is the 9th day of the Hebrew month Menachem Av.


If it wasn’t on Shabbat is would have been a fast day – the fast of Tisha B’Av. However, because it is forbidden to fast on Shabbat, except for Yom Kippur when it falls on Shabbat, the fast is postponed  to Sunday.


The fast of Tisha B’Av this year begins Shabbat night through Sunday. However, the fast doesn’t begin when Shabbat is out, rather at sundown. In Montreal the fast begins Saturday night at 8:09 and ends Sunday at 8:50 pm. Check your local time for when the fast begins and ends.


Tisha B’Av is when the two Holy Temples were burnt down. The Second Temple was destroyed about five hundred years after the first Temple.


The first Temple, which King Solomon built stood for 410 years. The second Temple, built by Ezra the Scribe, with the return of the first exile, stood for 420 years.


As in every year, on the Shabbat before Tisha B’Av, we read Parshat Devarim. In this Parsha Moshe reprimands the Jewish people for the sin of the spies, which resulted in their spending 40 years in the desert, instead of going into the Promised Land right away. There is a connection between the story of the spies and the destruction of the Temples, which took place about a thousand years later.


When the spies came back and gave the Jewish people a negative report about the land, the people refused to go into the land. The Torah tells us that, “They cried that night.”


Which night was, “that night”? It was the night of Tisha B’Av – the 9 th of Av. Due to their crying and refusing to go into the Promised Land, that night was designated for the unfortunate event when Jews lost the Temple and were driven out of the Holy Land. As our sages say, “Good days bring good things and bad days bring negative things”. It is up to us to make every day a good day, through the performance of good deeds, which are everlasting.


Q. Why do we fast Yom Kippur when it falls on Shabbat and yet not on Tisha B’Av?


A. Shabbat and Yom Kippur are both Biblical commandments found in the Torah. Thus, the mitzvah of fasting on Yom Kippur can push away the mitzvah of eating on Shabbat. But fasting on Tisha B’Av is a rabbinical decree so it cannot do away with a Torah mitzvah.




Montreal candle lighting time: 7:53 / Shabbat ends: 9:00


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