This is a period time where we are in active mourning for the loss of the two Temples (Batei Mikdash). Therefore, the restrictions that apply when a person is mourning for a loved one apply here as well. Just as they do during the Sefira period between Pesach and Shavous where we are mourning the loss of Rabbi Akiva’s talmidim.
The first temple was destroyed because of baseless hatred, the second temple was destroyed because we weren’t learning for the sake of heaven but, instead we were learning for the sake of intellectual stimulation.
The 17th of Tammuz commemorates the breaching of the walls around Jerusalem.
9th of Av through midday of the 10th is the commemoration of the destruction of the Two Temples
- Haircuts if you are Ashkenazi (European descent) you may not cut your hair from the 17th of Tammuz until midday on the 10th of Av. Sefardim just do this from the week of the 9th of av.
- Music and dancing- one should not listen to music of any kind, unless its background music which you are not listening to for the music.
- Swimming – You are not allowed to swim during the nine days.
- No meat or wine unless it is for a seudas mitzvah
- Showering- One is not allowed to shower during the nine days except for Shabbos. One should wash one body part at a time with lukewarm water. Sefardim keep this only the actual week of Tisha B Av.
- Laundry – Ashkenazim do not do laundry during the nine days, sefardim keep this only the week of Tisha B Av.
- Clean Clothes- One is not allowed to wear freshly laundered clothes except for underclothes during the nine days.
- One should not make the bracha of Shechiyanu at all during this time, except for shabbos. If one must make the bracha, it should be done on shabbos.
We have a strong tradition that the third temple will be rebuilt on Tisha B’av. One should always believe that Mashiach should come at any moment, but one must live their lives normally at the same time.