This week marks two holy days observed by our Jewish and Muslim friends and neighbors.
Tisha B’av begins at sunset Wednesday, July 26 and is observed until sunset on Thursday, July 27. It occurs on the Ninth of Av on the Jewish calendar, which is the day of remembrance of the destruction of the Temples and other disasters in Jewish history.
During the course of the centuries, a number of tragedies have clustered around this day, from the expulsions of the Jews from England and Spain to more localized disasters. Tisha B’Av is therefore observed as a day of communal mourning, which is expressed through fasting and the abstention from pleasurable activities and extraneous diversions.
As with Yom Kippur, it is a solemn day and therefore it is inappropriate to say “Happy Tisha B’Av.”
However, there are some Hebrew words that might be helpful to know if you interact with Jewish friends and neighbors during this time:
Tisha B’Av (tee-SHAH b’AHV) or (TISH-ah Bahv) – The Ninth of Av, on which the destruction of the Temples and other disasters in Jewish history are remembered.
Av (AHV) – The eleventh month of the Jewish year.
Megillat Eicha (meh-gee-LAHT AY-khah) – the Scroll of Lamentations, is read on Tisha B’Av.
Tzom (TZOHM) – a fast. The fast for Tisha B’Av is from sunset to sunset. Those who keep the fast refrain from eating, drinking, sexual activity, anointing, wearing leather shoes, and studying Torah. It is similar to the fast for Yom Kippur. Just as on that day, children and people who are sick or pregnant should not fast.
Beit Hamikdash (BAYT ha-mik-DAHSH) – The Holy Temple. The first Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BCE. The second was destroyed in 70 CE by the Romans.
The Kotel (KOH-tel) – The Western Wall, a retaining wall that is all that remains of the Second Temple. Jews do not refer to it as the “wailing wall,” but as the Western Wall or the Kotel.
The link below gives a detailed explanation of the Muslim Holy Day of Ashura, observed this Friday, July 28th and usually marked on the tenth day of the month of Muharram on the Islamic Calendar.
You will find it interesting to see the emphasis of the Sunni Muslims on the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and the Shia Muslims’ emphasis on the death of Imam Hussein.
Learning about the religion and observances of our Muslim brothers and sisters will inspire our gracious wishes towards them for a most meaningful Holy Ashura.
Muharram Quotes, Greetings and Messages
1. Wishing you a blessed Islamic year!
2. May this Islamic year find you in the best of faith and health.
3. May God allow you to enter this new year in faith and security.
4. May we be closer to God in this new Islamic year.
5. Hope you get everything you wish for in this new year.
I also found this beautiful greeting you can use and edit as you wish:
Have a blessed Muharram! On the auspicious day of Muharram, may Allah bless you with health, wealth, peace and happiness! Wishing you and your family a New Year full of peace, happiness, and abundance of all. May Allah bless you throughout the new year.
This blog post is the expressed opinion of its writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Tysons Interfaith or its members.