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Newsletter 07/25/2012

Congregation Beth Shalom

Weekly News and Updates, July 25, 2012


Shabbat Services, Friday, July 27 (8 Av) at 8:00 p.m.

Shabbat Candle Lighting Times for Fairfield

Shabbat (candle lighting) begins at 8:11 p.m. on Friday, July 27. Shabbat ends (Havdalah begins) Saturday, 9:24 p.m. in Fairfield.

Tisha B’Av (Ninth of Av) this Saturday and Sunday

Note: Tisha B’Av, the 9th of Av, in the Hebrew calendar, falls on Shabbat, July 28 in 2012.  See below WHEN TISHA B’AV FALLS ON SHABBAT*)

What happened on the Ninth of Av? A Historical Overview

Submitted by Chabad of Iowa City & Jewish Resource Center of Iowa, Des Moines

The 9th of Av, Tisha b’Av, commemorates a list of catastrophes so severe it’s clearly a day specially cursed by G‑d.

Picture this: The year is 1313 BCE. The Israelites are in the desert, recently having experienced the miraculous Exodus, and are now poised to enter the Promised Land. But first they dispatch a reconnaissance mission to assist in formulating a prudent battle strategy. The spies return on the eighth day of Av and report that the land is unconquerable. That night, the 9th of Av, the people cry. They insist that they’d rather go back to Egypt than be slaughtered by the Canaanites. G‑d is highly displeased by this public demonstration of distrust in His power, and consequently that generation of Israelites never enters the Holy Land. Only their children have that privilege, after wandering in the desert for another 38 years.

The First Temple was also destroyed on the 9th of Av (423 BCE). Five centuries later (in 69 CE), as the Romans drew closer to the Second Temple, ready to torch it, the Jews were shocked to realize that their Second Temple was destroyed the same day as the first.

When the Jews rebelled against Roman rule, they believed that their leader, Simon bar Kochba, would fulfill their messianic longings. But their hopes were cruelly dashed in 133 CE as the Jewish rebels were brutally butchered in the final battle at Betar. The date of the massacre? Of course—the 9th of Av!

One year after their conquest of Betar, the Romans plowed over the Temple Mount, our nation’s holiest site.

The Jews were expelled from England in 1290 CE on,..

For entire article:

How is Tisha B’Av (Ninth of Av) Observed?

by Rabbi Shraga Simmons

During the afternoon prior to Tisha B’Av, it is customary to eat a full meal in preparation for the fast.

At the end of the afternoon, we eat the Seudah Hamaf-seket — a meal consisting only of bread, water, and a hard-boiled egg.

The egg has two symbols: The round shape reminds us of a sign of the cycle of life. Also, the egg is the only food which gets harder the more it is cooked — a symbol of the Jewish people’s ability to withstand persecution.

Food eaten at the Seudah Hamaf-seket is dipped in ashes, symbolic of mourning. The meal should preferably be eaten alone, while seated on the ground in mourner’s fashion.

When the afternoon prior to Tisha B’Av occurs on Shabbat, there is no Seudah Hamaf-seket with eggs and ashes. Rather, the regular Shabbat “third meal” is eaten, albeit without guests and fanfare.

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Upon sundown, Satuday, July 28, the laws of Tisha B’Av commence — consisting of the following expressions of mourning:

1. No eating or drinking until nightfall the following evening.

  • Pregnant and nursing women are also required to fast. If one suspects it could be harmful to the baby or mother, a rabbi should be consulted.
  • A woman within 30 days after birth need not fast.
  • Others who are old, weak, or ill should consult with a rabbi. (MB 554:11)
  • Medicine may be taken on Tisha B’Av, preferably without water.
  • In case of great discomfort, the mouth may be rinsed with water. Great care should be taken not to swallow anything. (MB 567:11)


  • The Book of Eicha (Lamentations), Jeremiah’s poetic lament over the destruction of Jerusalem and the First Temple, is read both at night and during the day.
  • Following both the night and day service, special “Kinot” (elegies) are recited.
  • In the morning, the Torah portion of Deuteronomy 4:25-40 is read, containing the prophecy regarding Israel’s future iniquity and exile. This is followed by the Haftorah from Jeremiah (8:13, 9:1-23) describing the desolation of Zion.
  • In the afternoon, Exodus 32:11-14 is read. This is followed by the Haftorah from Isaiah 55-56.
  • Since Tallis and Tefillin represent glory and decoration, they are not worn at Shacharit. Rather, they are worn at Mincha, as certain mourning restrictions are lifted.
  • Birkat Kohanim is said only at Mincha, not at Shacharit.
  • Prayers for comforting Zion and “Aneinu” are inserted into the Amidah prayer at Mincha.
  • Shortly after the fast is broken, it is customary to say Kiddush Lavana. 


For a full treatment of this topic, see: When Tisha B’Av falls on Shabbat or Sunday. Here is a brief overview of the special conditions that apply:

  • The fast is pushed off until Saturday night/Sunday.
  • All other prohibitions of Tisha B’Av (washing, learning Torah, leather shoes, etc.) are permitted on Shabbat itself, except for marital relations.
  • Seudah Shlishit has none of the restrictions of Seudah Hamaf-seket, and may include meat and wine. However, the mood should be somber, should not include invited guests, and eating must stop before sundown.
  • Havdallah on Saturday night is recited only over a candle, without wine or spices. On Sunday night, Havdallah is then said over wine.

with thanks to Rabbi Moshe Lazerus


Klezmer in Fairfield? Duo Controverso – An Intimate Musical Feast in Fairfield, August 1

Duo Controverso – An Intimate Musical Feast with Kurt and Annette Bjorling

This world class clarinet and harp duo will present interpretation and improvisations on East-European Jewish klezmer music , plus a potpourri of other styles – jazz, Greek, calypso, renaissance, baroque and more. Don ‘t miss this rare opportunity to enter into an intimate musical world of wide expressive range, of quiet intensity and ecstatic energy. Wednesday, August 1st at 8 p.m. – Mainstay Inn, 300 N. Main St. – $5 at the door.

Kurt ‘s connection to Fairfield is through Matt Jaffey, local klezmer violinist, who studied with Kurt for a number of years. Matt first found out about Kurt when he appeared on a PBS special on klezmer with violinist Itzhak Perlman.

For more details, go to and click on “see more ” in the description section. For questions, contact