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Halachot of Tisha B'Av

On Tisha B'Av we are prohibited to eat and drink, learn Torah, wash ourselves (even in cold water) or apply lotions for pleasurable purposes, have marital relations and wear shoes with leather.

MAARIV – Since this year Tisha B’Av is postponed and observed on Saturday night and Sunday, we will have an early mincha (6:00pm) on Shabbat. Following the end of Shabbat (8:48 p.m.) people should recite “baruch hamavdil bein kodesh l’chol,” change clothes and shoes and then come to shul for Maariv (9:10 p.m.). At shul we will remove the parochet from the Aron HaKodesh, dim the lighting, and sit on the floor or on low stools. Maariv is recited in a low and subdued voice; followed by the bracha of “borei me’orei ha’eish,” Eichah and Kinnot. (We do not recite Havdala on wine until Sunday night).

SHACHARIT - When waking up in the morning, we wash our hands up to the end of the knuckles, recite the bracha of "al netilat yadayim," as well as all of the other appropriate morning brachot. 

There will be three minyanim for shacharit at K.I.N.S. – 7:00, 7:45 and 8:30 a.m. with the latter minyan having an option of traditional kinnot, or the more extensive “Kinnot and Commentary.” Tallit and tefillin are not worn until midday (12:56 p.m.), however, a tallit katan, is worn - but without a bracha. Following Torah reading (Deut. 4:25-40), the Haftarah is read (Jeremiah 8:13-9:23) with the melody of Eichah and then kinnot. (At the end of shacharit, we do not say the "shir shel yom"). At midday (12:56 p.m.) one can sit in regular chairs. 

MINCHA – At K.I.N.S. there will be two minyanim for mincha – 1:40 and 7:35 p.m. Prior to the first, the parochet will be returned to the Aron. Tallit and tefillin are worn at mincha and some have the custom to repeat the shema while wearing tefillin. Davening begins with the shir shel yom followed by mincha and Torah reading/Haftarah.

MAARIV – A regular weekday maariv is recited. Since this year, Tisha B’Av is postponed (a “nidche”) the custom at K.I.N.S. is to conclude the fast as we would the other minor fasts - 30 minutes after sunset (8:27 p.m.). At maariv we recite havdala over wine (but no "besamim") and then “kiddush levana.” (Some maintain that we should eat before saying "kiddush levana").

 

ADDITIONAL LAWS of TISHA B’AV DAY

1. While Torah learning is generally prohibited on Tisha B’Av, one may study Eicha with its midrash and commentaries; portions of Nevi’im that deal with tragedy or destruction; the third chapter of Moed Katan (which deals with mourning); the story of the destruction of the Temples (Gittin 56b-58a, Sanhedrin 104, and in Josephus), and the halachot of Tisha B'Av and mourning.

2. Greeting someone with "shalom aleichem" and the like is prohibited. If one is greeted by another, one should answer softly and, if possible, inform the person of the prohibition.

3. The custom is that until midday we refrain from any time-consuming work that diverts one’s attention from the mourning of the day.

4. The use of lotions for medicinal purposes is permitted, as is the use of unscented deodorants.

5. If a person becomes dirty, washing is permitted to remove the dirt. Similarly, after using the bathroom, one can wash one’s hands for hygienic purposes. 

6. Because this is a postponed fast, pregnant and nursing woman, as well as those who are ill (not even seriously ill), may break their fast as soon as they feel the slightest discomfort [Biur Halacha 559:9 s.v. V’aino mashlim ta’anito”; Shvut Yaakov 3:37]. According to Rav Nebenzahl and others, pregnant and nursing mothers should not fast at all [Shulchan Shlomo Refuah vol. 3, page 115; Responsa of HaRav Nebenzahl to Machon Puah].

7. AFTER THE FAST: Unlike other years, because this is a postponed fast, immediately after the fast, bathing, washing clothes and haircuts (and according to some, music) are permitted. However, because the day had been a day of mourning, eating meat and drinking wine - foods associated with simcha remain prohibited until Monday morning [Shulchan Aruch 558].

 

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When Tisha B'Av Falls on Shabbat

 

This year, because Tisha B’Av falls on Shabbat, the fast is postponed until Motzei Shabbat and Sunday. As a result, the laws governing the fast day and its various customs are somewhat different than in a regular year. The following is a list of differences:

 

1. On Shabbat, because it is the 9th of Av, there are those who rule that a person should not learn Pirkei Avot, since it is not among the things permitted to be studied on a fast day [Rama, Shulchan Aruch 553:2]. However, the Mishna Berura, based upon the ruling of the Taz, disagrees and permits any type of Torah study on Shabbat [ibid, note 10].

 

2. Unlike any other Tisha B’Av eve, in deference to Shabbat, meat and wine are permitted, even at Seudah Shlishit [Shulchan Aruch 552:10]. Furthermore, one is allowed to eat that meal with others [Mishna Berura ibid, note 23] and zemirot are permitted to be sung as well [Igrot Moshe Orech Chaim 4:112:1. However, one must be careful to finish eating by sunset [7:58p.m.].

 

3. There is a debate as to when we must remove our leather shoes. The basis of this is whether doing so after sunset and before “tzait hakochavim” would be considered preparing on Shabbat for the next day. The classic position was that people would go to shul wearing their shoes and remove them after “borchu” of maariv [Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 125:1]. However, for shuls that daven a later maariv, shoes may be changed at home immediately after Shabbat and before maariv (see #4 below).

 

4. It is prohibited to bring to kinot books or any other items needed for Tisha B’Av night to shul, until Shabbat is completely over [8:48 p.m.]. Therefore, the custom has developed in many communities to have people recite “baruch hamavdil bein kodesh l’chol” at home with the end of Shabbat, change to non-leather shoes and Tisha B’av appropriate clothing, and only then travel to shul for maariv (driving would then, also be permitted. Congregation K.I.N.S. will be following this custom and is davening maariv at 9:10p.m.

 

5. Because this is a postponed fast, pregnant and nursing woman, as well as those who are ill (not even seriously ill), may break their fast as soon as they feel the slightest discomfort [Biur Halacha 559:9 s.v. V’aino mashlim ta’anito”; Shvut Yaakov 3:37]. According to Rav Nebenzahl and others, pregnant and nursing mothers should not fast at all [Shulchan Shlomo Refuah vol. 3, page 115; Responsa of HaRav Nebenzahl to Machon Puah].

 

6. Motzaei Shabbat, prior to reading Eicha, we recite the bracha of “borei m’orei ha’aish”. The rest of havdalah (the blessings of “borei pri hagafen” and “hamavdil” are recited Sunday night after maariv) 

 

7. AFTER THE FAST: Unlike other years, because the fast is postponed, on Sunday night immediately after the fast, bathing, washing clothes and haircuts are permitted. However, because the day had been a day of mourning, eating meat and drinking wine which are foods associated with simcha remain prohibited until Monday morning [Shulchan Aruch 558].

Sun, September 15 2019 15 Elul 5779