So recently I was answering a question about why we don't say selichos on Tisha B'av,and I answered basicaly saying that the purpose on Tisha B'av isn't to ask for forgiveness, rather it is for mourning(which I have heard in multiple speeches).

Then someone by the name of Daniel came along and disagreed with me. So my question is as follows:
What exactly is the purpose of Tisha B'av? Are we just mourning over all the tragedies, or are we trying to do teshuva so that tragedies like the ones we mourn on Tisha B'av don't happen again?(Sources and/or explanations would be nice, but are not necessary.)

  • 1
    IIRC, Siddur Rav Amram Ga'on stated that we DO say Selichot on Tish'a B'Av. I'll try to place link to source, tomorrow.
    – DanF
    Jul 26, 2015 at 23:46
  • @DanF maybe he's referring to one of the kinks we say that is basically saying how we understand it is our fault for all these happening Jul 27, 2015 at 1:55

1 Answer 1


Rav S.R. Hirsch, in ch. 33 of Horeb, paragraph 240, writes that the purpose of all fast days is teshuva. This teshuva is achieved through, among other things mourning, which R' Hirsch describes as

the expression of one's sorrow and remorse. While on the one hand mourning testifies to our being linked with the destiny of Israel, it should also help in driving away self-gratification and all its hateful consequences by making conscious, through the ruin of Israel's ancient state... of the frailty of a personality based entirely upon the ego, be it ever so rich. Mourning should therefore contribute towards the sealing-up of that other source of sin, self-seeking.

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