Laws Of Tish'ah B'av
1. On the evening [of Tish'ah B'av], we enter the synagogue and remove our
shoes (as was mentioned in the previous chapter) (1). It is customary to
remove the curtain hanging in front of the Ark (where the Torah scrolls are
kept), as [alluded to by one of the interpretations of Lamentations 2:17
as:] "He rent His regal garment" (2). Only one candle (or light) should be
lit in front of the one who leads the prayer service.
The evening service should be recited slowly, in a tearful tone, like a
person in mourning. The prayer "Nachem" is not added [to the Shemoneh
Esreh] until the afternoon service on the following day.
After the Shemoneh Esreh [is completed], the full Kaddish including the
passage beginning with the word "Tiskabel" is recited. We then sit on the
ground, and light only enough candles (or lights) to be able to read the
"Book of Lamentations" ("Eichah") and the dirges ("Kinos").
"Eichah" and the "Kinos" should also be read slowly, in a tearful tone,
pausing slightly between each verse, and slightly longer between each
chapter. At the beginning of each chapter of "Eicha", [the reader] should
raise his voice slightly (3), and he should recite the concluding verse of
each chapter in a loud voice. When he reaches [the second to the last
verse, beginning with the word] "Hashiveinu", the congregation should
recite it aloud. [The reader] should then conclude the reading, and the
congregation again recites "Hashiveinu" aloud, followed by the reader.
Afterwards, the passage "Attah Kadosh" is recited, and then the full
Kaddish, this time without the passage "Tiskabel," because [it is a request
that G-d accept our prayers, and] "Eichah" [3:8] states: "He shuts out my
prayer." Similarly, this passage is not recited in the Kaddish at the
conclusion of the morning service.
A person who is praying alone, because he doesn't have a minyan, should
also recite "Eichah" and the "Kinos."
(1) According to the Maharil, one's shoes should be removed before leaving
the house to go to the synagogue (Mishna Berura 553:5).
(2) The verse says "bitzah imrasoh" which literally means: "He carried out
His word"; however, the Aramaic translation adopts the other meaning of
"bitzah," which means "split" or "cut."
(3) So that each chapter is read in a louder voice than the previous one.