Tisha B'Av, The 9th of Av begins at sundown on Aug. 4.
Tisha B'Av commemorates a list of catastrophes so severe it's clearly a day specially cursed by G-d.
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.
The Jews were expelled from England in 1290 CE
In 1492, Queen Isabella and her husband Ferdinand ordered that Jews be banished from the land.
My husband reminds me that other bad things in the world happened during Av (August)
August 1864 - American Civil War
1914: World War I
August 1 Outbreak of war - Germany declares war on Russia
August 3 Germany declares war on France
August 4 Germany invades neutral Belgium
August 4 Britain declares war on Germany
August 14 Battle of the Frontiers begins
August 17-19 Russia invades East Prussia
August 23 Japan declares war on Germany
August 23 Austria-Hungary invades Russian Poland (Galicia
August 2011: "BlackBerry riots" because people used mobile devices and social media to organise riots in London.
The color peach aka salmon, pinky peach, or whatever you want to call it, has caught my eye for several years. I keep buying T-shirts and blouses in peachy colors and I even have a pair of matching pants (one can never have enough peach clothes).
Peach is trending on Pinterest. It's seen in wall colors, peach nails, lips, flowers, peach bridesmaids dresses, paint colors and, wait for it, hair. Lauren Conrad streaked her hair peach based on her website votes.
Before we got our laminated floors downstairs, I purchased a steam mop "the last mop you'll every buy," so the ad said. You got it, it was an infomercial on late night TV. It is sanitary, the mop heads are washable. It's wonderful on lineoleum, but not so great on laminated floors. In some places, it soaks in and is causing problems.
Over the past 2 years, I bought different roller mops and refill heads. The problem is all stores don't carry the same heads, so I've had to get new mop sticks, and then I can't get the head on. Problem.
A couple weeks ago, I reluctantly joined the Swiffer users. I didn't want to because "everyone was doing it." I really like the way it works, except for the throwaway pads that are not so environmentally friendly.
One of my teammates solved that problem for me. She makes washable hand knit swiffer covers.
The Hebrew month of Av begins at sundown on Sunday night, July 27.
The Nine Days
The period commencing with Rosh Chodesh Av is called the "Nine Days." During this time, a stricter level of mourning is observed, in accordance with the Talmudic dictum (Ta'anit 26): "When the month of Av begins, we reduce our joy."
(1) We avoid purchasing any items that bring great joy.
(2) We suspend home improvements, or the planting of trees and flowers.
(3) We avoid litigation with non-Jews, since fortune is inauspicious at this time.
(4) We abstain from the consumption of meat (including poultry) and wine. These foods are symbolic of the Temple service, and are generally expressions of celebration and joy.
•On Shabbat, meat and wine are permitted. This applies also to any other seuduat mitzvah -- for example, at a Brit Milah or at the completion of a tractate of Talmud.
•Wine from Havdallah should be given to a child to drink.
(5) We refrain from wearing newly laundered garments, or laundering any clothes.
•If the "freshness" has been taken out of a garment prior to the Nine Days, it may be worn.
•Fresh clothes may be worn for Shabbat.
•The clothing of small children, which gets soiled frequently, may be laundered during the Nine Days.
•Clothes may not be laundered even if done in preparation for after Tisha B'Av, or even if done by a non-Jew.
(6) We do not bathe for pleasure.
•It is permitted to bathe in order to remove dirt or perspiration, or for medical reasons. This may be done only in cool water.
•Furthermore, the body should be washed in parts, rather than all at one time.
•Bathing in warm water is permitted on Friday in honor of Shabbat.