863. Maariv on Tisha b’Av

123:5 During the twilight period (bein hashmashos), one is forbidden to do anything that is forbidden on Tisha b’Av itself. Therefore leather shoes must be removed before twilight.

124:1 In the evening, we go to shul and remove our leather shoes, as was described in the previous chapter. (Mishnah Brurah 553:5 cites an opinion that shoes should be removed going to shul. The most important thing is that it’s done before twilight.) The practice is to remove the curtain of the Ark as per (the Aramaic reading of) Eicha 2:17, “He has torn His regal garment.” One only lights one candle in front of the shaliach tzibbur, who recites the maariv service slowly and mournfully. One does not recite Nachem in Shemoneh Esrei until mincha the following afternoon.

After Shemoneh Esrei, the shaliach tzibbur recites full kaddish, with the line “Tiskabeil.” We sit on the ground and light only enough lights to be able to read the Book of Eicha (Lamentations) and to recite the kinos (elegies). (One may sit on a small cushion on the floor – MB 559:11.) Eicha and kinos are also recited slowly and mournfully. We pause slightly between each verse of Eicha, and slightly longer between each chapter. Each chapter is read a little bit louder; the last verse of each chapter is recited in a loud voice. When the reader reaches the penultimate verse, Eicha 5:21, “Restore us…,” the congregation recites it out loud. The reader then concludes the Book and the congregation repeats “Restore us…” out loud, followed by the reader. We then recite “v’Atah Kadosh…” (“And You, holy…”) and full kaddish without Tiskabeil. This is because this line asks that G-d accept our prayer, while Eicha 3:8 says, “He shuts out my prayer.” Similarly, we omit this line in the shacharis service the next day but we do recite Tiskabeil at mincha. One who is davening alone without a minyan still reads Eicha and recites the kinos.