Tisha B’Av, the 9th day of the Hebrew month of Av (tisha means 9 in Hebrew), is a day for mourning the loss of the ancient Temples in Jerusalem. According to Jewish tradition, both of the Temples were destroyed on that day: the first in 586 BCE and the second in 70 AD. For many centuries, the Temples were the center of Jewish life, and where people came to pray on the holidays of Sukkot, Passover and Shavuot.

There are many Tisha B’Av traditions: fasting, not wearing leather, not swimming, and sitting on low stools or on the floor. In the synagogue, we read a section of the Bible called Eicha (Lamentations) which deals with the destruction of the Temples. Although historians question whether the two Temples were actually destroyed on this date, Tisha B’Av has become a symbol of Jewish suffering and loss. Over the centuries, other tragic events have come to be commemorated on this day, including the Crusades, the expulsion of the Jews from Spain, and the Holocaust. In modern times, Tisha B’Av has become a day to reflect on the suffering that still occurs in our world.

Books are a way to make the concept more accessible to children, and Tisha B'Av: A Jerusalem Journey belongs to a series of photo books that allow kids to travel to Israel via the page. Israeli kids observe the holiday of Tisha B'Av by visiting an archaeological dig at the Temple Mount. There, they participate in their own dig.

Get a copy of Tisha B'Av: A Jerusalem Journey for your favorite young readers.