NINE DAYS, period of mourning from the first of *Av until noon after the fast of the Ninth of *Av commemorating the destruction of the *Temple. The period is also called Bein ha-Meẓarim ("In Stress") and actually starts previously with the fast of *Tammuz (see *Three Weeks, The). However, from the first of Av onward, the mourning becomes more severe, and strictly observant Jews, especially in the Ashkenazi rite: (1) abstain from meat and wine except on the Sabbath; (2) recite special dirges of lamentation (kinot), as well as Psalm 137 ("By the rivers of Babylon") and Psalm 79 (also recited during *Tikkun Ḥaẓot) every noon and midnight; and (3) refrain from wearing new or festive clothing. Even on the Sabbath some wear ordinary weekday clothes. Others, especially Sephardim, observe these rules of mourning only during the week in which the Ninth of Av falls (See: Maim. Yad, Ta'an. 5:6). This is in accordance with the Mishnah which ordains that during that week one should not cut one's hair or wash clothes (except on the Thursday in honor of the coming Sabbath; Ta'an. 4:7).
Sh. Ar, OḤ 551:1–18; 552:1–12; J.T. Lewinski (ed.), Sefer ha-Mo'adim, 7 (1957), 268–361; Eisenstein, Dinim, 1, 38–39.
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.