You are enjoying the fun of summer when -- plunk! -- there's a day of mourning. This year, the ninth of Av, the day both Temples were destroyed, falls early in the summer. The fast starts at sunset on July 17 and continues until sunset on July 18.
There are some things that are traditionally prohibited on Tisha B'Av:
Wearing leather shoes
Greeting each other
The Western Wall
Although both Temples were destroyed, one wall was left: the western wall of the outer courtyard. Our rabbis say that this wall is referred to in the "Song of Songs." They say this indicates to us that this wall will never be destroyed. It has become the central symbol for Jewish unity. Do you want to take a peek at the wall? Or even put a note with a prayer on it in one of the cracks? You can do that from your computer.
Go to: www.aish.com and click on Wall Camera. You'll see a real-time picture of the Wall.
Questions for Thought
Think about the answers to these. Maybe your family can help.
What do Tisha B'Av and Yom Kippur have in common that the other Jewish fast days do not?
Why aren't we supposed to wear leather shoes?