1

Are there any changes in davening or daily practice on the 20th of Av?

The Gemara lists the date as among those which marked the donation of wood to the Temple by particular families. The 20th seems to have evolved into a slightly more significant date because of the nature of this particular donation.

There were nine days in the year when wood was donated to the Beis HaMikdash, yet the donation of the 20th of Av showed a greater measure of ahavas Yisrael and Jewish unity than the other days. The reason for this: The Gemara relates that after the 15th of Av, the rays of the summer sun are weaker and no new trees were felled to be used for the altar as they would not be dry enough. (Taanis 31a)

According to this, the family which donated wood on the 20th of Av had to take the wood from their existing stock of fire-wood — they gave away their own wood for they could not hew any new wood for the altar. They donated their wood so that other Jews, poor Jews, even past sinners (Heaven forefend) would be able to offer their sacrifices on the altar. Furthermore, it was done in a joyous manner, since they set the day as a holiday. How great was their ahavas Yisrael!

If there is some important object lesson here and the day was one of (at least family/local) celebration, is there any change in davening or in practice? To a lesser degree, is there anyone who can trace himself to this family who then has a tradition of a particular celebration or such in commemoration?

  • Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/94313/9682 – DonielF Jul 30 '18 at 16:44
  • Toward an answer: I was in a Sephardic synagogue that described itself as Jerusalemite on the sabbath before 20 Av this year. People were chatting after mincha and from what one of them said I inferred that they have some ritual or prayer for the day that's forty days before Rosh Hashana. Alas, I no longer recall what he said. But maybe this info will help someone find an answer. – msh210 Jul 30 '18 at 19:10
  • @msh210 Do you mean the Shabbat the 19th (so the 20th was Sunday)? If so, did they say tzidkatcha? – rosends Jul 30 '18 at 21:04
  • No, Sunday was the 17th this year. – msh210 Jul 30 '18 at 21:22
  • The Luach Dvar B'Itoh which tends to bring every minor custom mentions the Korban, but brings no practical application for today. – Danny Schoemann Jul 31 '18 at 10:50

You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .