Halachos for Thursday,  June 20 , 2013




1) The twenty one day period between the 17th of Tamuz (the day the walls of Yerushalayim were breached) and the 9th of Av (the day the Bais HaMikdash was set afire) is known as "Bein Hametzorim, between the straits", a reference to their being between two significant calamities.


This time period is more commonly referred to simply as "the Three Weeks".


2) This solemn period in the Jewish calendar is a time for reflection of our relationship to one another, especially as it relates to "Sinas Chinam, baseless hatred", the sin that brought about the destruction of the Bais Hamikdash, the sin which the Talmud states is equal in severity to transgressing the three cardinal sins of idol worship, murder and sexual depravity.

(Talmud Yoma 9b) 




The Netziv, HaRav Naftali Tzvi Yehuda Berlin (in Shu"t Mayshiv Davar Vol.1 Siman 44) 

famously expounds upon this "baseless hatred" and explains that it was not just a hatred towards people for petty iniquities, rather it included a hatred for any Jew who practiced their "Avodas Hashem" in a different manner than them .


If one saw another Jew relying on a Halachic leniency which was accepted in that person's community, but wasn't relied upon in their own circles, instead of accepting that "Eilu V'Eilu Divrei Elokim Chaim" (See Talmud Eruvin 13b) 

, that person was deemed a heretic and was baselessly hated to the point that people were attacked or even killed for being different!

(See the Teshuva at length where he bemoans the reality of this "Sinas Chinam", of not accepting different legitimate views or ways of serving Hashem , being "alive and well" and  the cause of the Galus extending for so long, unfortunately.  See also the Netziv's commentary on the Torah, Ha'amek Davar Bamidbar, 15:41, Vayikra 19:2 and Devarim 10:12) 



All Jews who long for the arrival of Mashiach and the rebuilding of the Bais Hamikdash - and the Jewish nation- to its former glory, should try and rectify themselves during this period, especially in this crucial area of Sinas Chinam.






Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh,  June 21 , 2013

Double Portion L'Kavod Shabbos Kodesh



Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh


1) Swimming in a pool or lake is permitted during the 'three weeks' until Rosh Chodesh Av, at which time it is customary to refrain from swimming until after Tisha B'Av. 


2) When swimming in the 'three weeks' extra care should be taken to avoid dangerous activity as this time period is predisposed to Sakana, danger.

 (See Halichos Shlomo; Bein Hametzorim Perek 14, Dvar Halacha 7)



Halachos for Shabbos Kodesh


1) Weddings are not celebrated for the duration of the 'three weeks'. 

(See Rama Siman 551:2)


It is, however, permitted for a boy and a girl to become engaged for marriage during the entire 'three weeks', and they may even prepare a "Tenaim" or engagement Seudah, without music and dancing, until Rosh Chodesh Av.

(Mishna Berura Siman 551 S"K 19)


2) From Rosh Chodesh Av until after Tisha B'Av no engagement Seudah may be held, but a simple "Tenaim writing ceremony" with light refreshments may be served.

(Mishna Berura Siman 551 S"K 16. Care should be taken not to clap or sing too lively lest it lead to dancing which is forbidden. See Halichos Shlomo; Bein Hametzorim Perek 14, Dvar Halacha 6)

Halachos for Sunday, June 23, 2013

1) The Mishna (Ta'anis 26a) states "Mishenichnas Av M'Ma'atin B'Simcha, When [the month of] Av enters we diminish [our expressions of] Simcha.

Some Poskim go so far as to say that not only must we diminish our Simcha, we must refrain from it altogether. (Mogen Avrohom based on the opinion of Tosefos, quoted in Mishna Berura Siman 551 S"K 1)

2) Of course this does not mean we should be despondent, as a Jew should never be despondent, rather it means we must feel the pain and sadness of the Churban, the destruction of the holy temple, and do our part to try and hasten the Geulah. 

While davening and learning and during the performance of Mitzvos we are still obligated to do it with Simcha. (See Halichos Shlomo; Bein Hametzorim Perek 14:Orchos Halacha footnote 11 at length, where he writes that even on Tisha B'Av itself we must be joyous with the knowledge of 'Ashreinu Mah Tov Chelkeinu', how fortunate we are to belong to the Jewish nation etc.)

Halachos for Monday, June 24, 2013


1) One who has a court case with a non-Jew should avoid it taking place during the month of Av when our Mazel is weakened.(Shulchan Aruch Siman 551:1 based on Talmud Ta'anis 29b)



2)The court case should be pushed off until Rosh Chodesh Elul or at least until after Tisha B'Av (the optimal time, if possible, for such a court case is in the month of Adar when our Mazel is strongest.)(See Talmud ibid. and Mishna Berura Siman 551 S"K 2)



Halachos for Tuesday, June 25, 2013


1) We mentioned the Mishna (Ta'anis 26a) that states "Mishenichnas Av M'Ma'atin B'Simcha, When [the month of] Av enters we diminish [our expressions of] Simcha.


Until when does this diminishing Simcha continue, and at what point to we begin increasing the Simcha?


The Mogen Avrohom (quoted in Mishna Berura Siman 551 S"K 2)maintains that the entire month of Av, until Rosh Chodesh Elul, is a time for diminished Simcha.


The Korban Nesanel (Ta'anis Perek 4 os 5 based on his understanding of the Zohar Parashas Yisro, quoted in Sha'ar HaTziyun Siman 551 Os 2) maintains that immediately after Tisha B'Av we once again start increasing our Simcha.


2) The Chasam Sofer (in his commentary to the Shulchan Aruch Siman 551:1) rules like the Korban Nesanel that the Simcha should only diminish until right after Tisha B'Av passes, or at most until the 15th day of Av, "Tu B'Av", a holiday, a day of Simcha unparalleled in the Jewish calendar (as is stated in the very same Mishna Ta'anis 26b) which surely causes the sadness of "Bein Hametzorim" to pass and the joy to once again begin anew.


He then writes, based on the Talmud Yerushalmi, that the month of Av is actually split into two parts; from Rosh Chodesh until Tisha B'Av is called Chodesh Av (and is the sad portion) and from after Tisha B'Av until Elul is called Chodesh Meachem [Av] (and is the joyous part of the month).


Interestingly, when dating his Teshuvos (responsa), the Chasam Sofer often followed the aforementioned formula, and many Teshuvos written between Rosh Chodesh and Tisha B'Av were dated as written in "Av" (e.g. Even HaEzer Siman 92) whereas many written post Tisha B'Av were dated as written in "Menachem" (e.g. Yoreh Deah Siman42) or as "Menachem Av" (e.g. Even HaEzer Siman 95)


The prevalent custom amongst Klal Yisroel is to refer to the entire month as "Menachem Av".



Halachos for Wednesday, June 26, 2013


1)  severity of the prohibitions of the 'three weeks' increase for the last 'nine days' from Rosh Chodesh Menachem Av through Tisha B'Av, and increase even further for the actual week in which Tisha B'Av falls. (See Shulchan Aruch Siman 551: 2 and 3)


During the nine days we do not eat meat or poultry, and we don't drink wine. (See Mishna Berura Siman 551 S"K 58 and Aruch HaShulchan Siman 551:24. This includes minors; See Mishna Berura S"K 70)


However, if someone is ill (this includes a mother of a newborn or similarly ill individual) and meat will make them feel better, he/she may eat meat. However, If possible, the ill person should abstain from meat from the 7th of Av (the day the idol worshippers entered the Heichal of the Bais HaMikdash) until after Tisha B'Av.(See Mishna Berura Siman 551 S"K 61)


The prohibition against eating meat does not apply on Shabbos or at a Seudas Mitzvah (e.g. Bris, Pidyon Haben, and Siyum on a tractate of Talmud) (Rama Siman 551:10 and Mishna Berura S"K 73. We will discuss more details pertaining to "Seudas Mitzvah" tomorrow B'Ezras Hashem)


2) There is a discussion in the Poskim whether one may eat leftover meat and meat dishes from Shabbos on Motzaei Shabbos and Sunday. The prevalent custom, based on the consensus of most contemporary Poskim is to be stringent with this. (See Aruch Hashulchan Siman 551:24 and Birchei Yosef Siman 551:6 and Sha'arei Teshuva Siman 551 Os 29)


Regarding the cup of wine at Havdalah, according to many Poskim it is best to have a child drink it (This child must be old enough to understand that you are being Motzaei him with the Bracha of HaGafen but not too old that he comprehends how to mourn the Churban, and thus cannot drink wine either. Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal and other Poskim maintained that such a child is hard to find and thus rule that it is always best to drink it yourself even if a child is available). (See Rama Siman 551:10 and Mishna Berura S"K 70)


If no child is available, the one who recited Havdalah may drink it.(ibid.)



Halachos for Thursday, June 27, 2013



1) At a "Seudas Mitzvah" during the 'nine days' meat and wine (during the meal as well as for Birchas Hamazon) is permitted.(Rama Siman 551:10 and Mishna Berura S"K 72 and 75)


The allowance is not just for the one celebrating the "Simcha" but also for his wife, children as well as for his friends and any other man or woman who would otherwise have been invited to the meal had it not been during the 'nine days' as well. (See Mishna Berura S"K 73)


2) One who attends the Seudas Mitzvah just in order to eat meat and drink wine, but has no particular closeness or friendship to the one making the Simcha has transgressed a sin by eating meat or drinking wine. (Mogen Avrohom in the name of the MaHaril, quoted in Mishna Berura Siman 551 S"K 76)


Only while actually in attendance at  the Seudas Mitzvah is the meat and wine permitted; meat and wine sent from the Seudah to someone's home is prohibited. (Mishna Berura S"K 75)


Once the actual week of Tisha B'Av arrives, only ten of the guests (besides the ones making the Simcha) may eat meat and drink wine, while the rest of the attendees must eat non-meat and wine items. (Rama ibid. and Mishna Berura S"K 77)


Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh, June 28, 2013

(Double Portion L'Kavod Shabbos Kodesh)



Halachos for Erev Shabos Kodesh



1) A meal in conjunction with a Siyum upon completing a Masechta (tractate of Mishna or Talmud) is considered a Seudas Mitzvah and may contain meat and wine when celebrated during the 'nine days'. (Rama Siman 551:10)


2) If one would not otherwise have finished the Masechta he was learning in time for a Siyum in the 'nine days' he should not increase or decrease his speed of learning in order to have it "conveniently" fall out in time for a meat meal in the 'nine days'.(Mishna Berura Siman 551 S"K 73)


Likewise, if one would usually not make a Siyum with a meal for finishing whatever it is he finished, had it not been in the 'nine days', he should not make it during the 'nine days' either. (ibid.)


Halachos for Shabbos Kodesh 


1) Even those who did not finish the Masechta or even learn any part of it together with the one making the Siyum, may participate in the meal and partake of the meat and wine, provided that they would have participated in the meal had it taken place at a different time of year as well. (ibid. See also Biur Halacha Dibur Hamaschil V'Siyum Maseches where he brings a more stringent opinion from Rav Yaakov Emden Zatzal regarding who may be on the Siyum guest list during the 'nine days')


2) Like any Seudas Mitzvah, once the week of Tisha B'Av arrives, only ten of the guests (besides the ones making the Siyum) may eat meat and drink wine, while the rest of the attendees must eat non-meat and wine items. (Rama ibid. and Mishna Berura S"K 77)


Halachos for Sunday, June 30, 2013


1) A Seudas Bar Mitzvah is considered a Seudas Mitzvah and a meat meal may be served at the Bar Mitzvah celebration during the 'nine days'.


If, however, the meal is taking place on a day other than the actual day on which the boy turns thirteen years of age, it may only be considered a Seudas Mitzvah, according to some Poskim, if the boy gives a speech with Torah content(See Chayei Adam Klal 133:16 and Mogen Avraham Siman 225:4 quoting the Yam Shel Shlomo Bava Kama Perek 5 Siman 37)


In the week in which Tisha B'Av falls, if it isn't the boy's actual thirteenth birthday, a Seudas Bar Mitvah should not be scheduled, rather it should be postponed until after Tisha B'av.(Ruling of Harav Chaim Kanievsky Shlita quoted in Sefer Yad B'Bein Hametzorim page 86 footnote 17)


2) Many people have the custom to make a Seudah on the eve before a baby's Bris. This is referred to as a "Vacht Nacht Seudah". (See Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Siman 163:8)


Some Poskim(Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Siman 122:8) prohibit serving meat and wine at such a Seudah that takes place during the 'nine days', while some(See Sha'arei Teshuva Siman 551:33) allow it, besides for the actual week in which Tisha B'av falls out.


The Shvus Yaakov (Vol. 3 Siman 36, quoted in Sha'rei Teshuva above) allows only one item (either meat or wine) at such a Seuda, in order that there at least some sort of a remembrance of the Churban Bais HaMikdash.)


Halachos for Monday, July 1, 2013


1) It is prohibited to launder clothing, or even to wear freshly laundered clothing or use freshly laundered linen, tablecloths and towels, during the nine days, except for on Shabbos. (Shulchan Aruch and Rama Siman 551:3)


2) It is similarly prohibited to give clothing to a non-Jewish dry cleaner or Laundromat (or a non-Jewish housekeeper) in this time period, even if the clothing isn't needed for the nine days, and will only be picked up and worn after Tisha B'Av. Clothing that is needed for very small children, may be laundered in small loads, as needed.(Rama ibid. and Mishna Berura S"K 83)


If a Jew owns a dry cleaners or a Laundromat, he may clean clothing of non-Jews during the nine days, if his Parnassah depends on it. (See Mishna Berura Siman 551 S"K 42)


Halachos for Tuesday, July 2, 2013


1) It is the accepted custom to prohibit showering the entire body at once in the regular manner during the nine days, even with cold water, besides for a shower on Erev Shabbos. (Rama Siman 551:16 and Mishna Berura S"K 94)


2) If one is unable to go nine days without a shower, as is the case for most people nowadays, certainly in the United States where most people shower daily, there are various leniencies discussed by the Poskim. Some allow showering without soap & shampoo. Some Poskim allow only cold showers (or at least not as hot as one is accustomed to).


Halachos for Wednesday, July 3, 2013


1) Obviously, for medical reasons regular hot showers are permitted during the 'nine days'.


 Thus, pregnant women, mothers of newborns, and other frail people may shower as necessary. (See Sha'ar HaTziyun Siman 551 os 94. According to many Poskim, one who is extremely sweaty may also shower, with cold water, to freshen up without shampoo and soap, as this isn't considered washing for pleasure. See Aruch Hashulchan Siman 551:38 and  Igros Moshe Even HaEzer Vol. 4 Siman 84:4)


2) One who has the custom to immerse in a Mikvah every day, without fail, may immerse in a Mikvah during the 'nine days' provided the water is not hot. (See Aruch HaShulchan Siman 551:35)


Likewise, one who has the custom to immerse in a Mikvah each Erev Shabbos, without fail, may do so on Erev Shabbos Chazon as well, provided the water is not hot. (Mishna Berura Siman 551 S"K 95 and Sha'ar HaTziyun os 98)


For Halacha L'Ma'aseh, as always, a Rav must be consulted.


Halachos for Thursday, July 4, 2013



1) It is prohibited to sew any new clothing or shoes in the 'nine days', including socks and similar garments. (Shulchan Aruch Siman 551:7 and Mishna Berura S"K 46.)


New shoes may also not be worn in the 'nine days'. (Mishna Berura S"K 47)


2) An article of clothing that ripped during the nine days may be mended and worn, as the prohibition against sewing clothing is only applicable to making new clothing. Similarly, if a button fell off a shirt or any other article of clothing, it may be sewn on during the nine days. (See Kaf HaChaim Siman 551:115)


Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh, July 5, 2013

(Double Portion L'Kavod Shabbos Kodesh)


Halachos for Erev  Shabbos Kodesh


1) One should not purchase new eyeglass frames during the nine days unless they are necessary for seeing properly. Similarly, one may purchase new lenses for their current frames if the prescription has increased, and is thus necessary for improved vision.


2) It is permissible, in the 'nine days' to tie Tzitzis strings onto the four cornered garment for the first time, thus making them useable for the Mitzvah, as this isn't considered creating a garment. (Ruling of HaRav Nisim Karelitz Shlita, quoted in Sefer Yad B'bein Hametzorim page 77)


Halachos for Shabbos Kodesh


1) As we mentioned, the severity of the mourning during Bein Hametzorim increases as it progresses; 'the three weeks' bring with them certain limitations, the 'nine days' bring additional restrictions and 'Shavua Shechal Bo, the actual week in which Tisha B'Av falls has the most stringent Halachos.


In a year when Tisha B'Av falls out on Shabbos  and thus the fast is observed on the following day, Sunday, do we say that there is no 'Shavua Shechal Bo' at all (as is the case when Tisha B'Av actually falls out on Sunday. See Mishna Berura Siman 551 S"K 38) or on the contrary do we deem the entire preceding week as 'Shavua Shechal Bo'?


2) The Shulchan Aruch (Siman 551:4) in the first opinion rules that there is no 'Shavua Shechal Bo' and none of its stringencies apply that year. (As although the ninth of Av was on Shabbos we treat the day we observe it, Sunday the 10th of Av, as if it was the 9th. See also Shulchan Aruch Siman 554:19 where he rules like this opinion as well, removing all prohibitions of Tisha B'Av when it falls out on Shabbos and transferring them to the following day.)


However, in the second opinion he rules that the entire preceding week is treated as 'Shavua Shechal Bo' (as although we don't observe the fast on the 9th, due to its being Shabbos, it is still deemed Tisha B'Av) with the exception of Thursday and Friday which due to Kavod Shabbos we don't give them a stringent status. (The Rama in Siman 554:19 rules like this opinion and prohibits marital relations on this Shabbos, as only public displays of mourning were postponed to the following day, but otherwise the 9thretains its status as Tisha B'Av. See Mishna Berura Siman 554 S"K 40 regarding if and when we rule like the Shulchan Aruch or the Rama in this situation. See also Shu"t Avnei Nezer Orach Chaim Siman 426 for a lengthier discussion of this Machlokes.)


For Halacha L'Ma'aseh as to whether 'Shavua Shechal Bo' applies to Sunday through Wednesday, the 3rd through the 6th of Av, a Rav should be consulted.



Halachos for Sunday, July 7 2013


1) When Shabbos Chazon falls out on Erev Tisha B'Av (as it does this year), it is permitted to eat meat and drink wine at all three meals. (Shulchan Aruch Siman 552:10)


However, the third meal (Seuda Shlishis/Seudah Hamafsekes) must be finished [with Birchas Hamazon] ample time before sunset, as the fast begins at sunset , unlike other Shabassos where one may extend his Seudah Shlishis beyond Sunset and it is still considered Shabbos as long as Birchas Hamazon was not recited.(See Mishna Berura S"K 24).


2) It is permissible to sing Zemiros at all the Seudos of Shabbos, even for those who don't usually sing Zemiros every Shabbos. (See Shu"t Igros Moshe Orach Chaim Vol. 4 Siman 112:1)


One may eat and/or drink at the Seudah Shlishis in order to have strength to fast on Tisha B'Av; however it's best not to verbalize this intention, as that would be "Hachana", preparing on Shabbos for after Shabbos.




Halachos for Monday, July 8 2013  


NOTE: The following halachos ar e not applicable this year, as Tisha B'Av  

falls on a Tuesday. We are just reviewing them in order to have a complete study of Hilchos Tisha B'Av as they may apply.



1) When the ninth of Av falls out on Shabbos and thus the fast of Tisha B'Av is observed on Sunday, according to the Shulchan Aruch(Siman 554:19) none of the restrictions of Tisha B'Av are applicable on Shabbos, and thus marital relations are permitted on Shabbos.


However, the Rama (ibid.) rules that marital relations, as well as washing the hands and face with hot water, are forbidden on this Shabbos as only public displays of mourning are forbidden on Shabbos. (See Mishna Berura S"K 39)


The prevalent custom [amongst Ashkenazim] is to be stringent like the Rama's ruling, except if that Friday night is the Leil Tevilah, the night the woman immerses in the Mikvah, in which case most Poskim rely on the Shulchan Aruch's ruling and permit it. (See Mishna Berura Siman 554 S"K 40)



2) When Tisha B'Av is on Sunday, Havdalah is not recited on Motzaei Shabbos over a cup of wine, nor is the Bracha recited on the Besamim, as that is a pleasurable thing to do and thus not appropriate for Tisha B'Av. (Shulchan Aruch Siman 556:1 and Mishna Berura S"K 1. See also Aruch HaShulchan Siman 556:1)

However, we do light the Havdalah candle and recite the blessing of "Borei Me'Orei Ha'Aish", preferably before the reading of Megilas Eicha commences. (ibid.)


On Motzaei Tisha B'Av (Sunday night) Havdalah is recited over a cup of wine. Only the Bracha of Hagafen and Havdalah are recited but not the Pesukim usually said before the Bracha on Motzaei Shabbos (Hinei Kel Yeshuasi...) and not the Bracha over Besamim or fire, as those are recited only on Motzaei Shabbos. (Shulchan Aruch Siman 556:1)

"Ata Chonantanu" is recited in the Bracha of Ata Chonen in Shemona Esrei of Ma'ariv on Motzaei Shabbos that is Tisha B'Av, as it is every week.

Women who do not daven Ma'ariv should be reminded to say "Baruch Hamavdil Bein Kodesh L'Chol" before doing any Melachos on Motzaei Shabbos. (Mishna Berura Siman 556 S"K 2)




Halachos for Tuesday, July 9 2013


1) When Erev Tisha B'Av is on Shabbos, as it is this year, according to some Poskim it is prohibited to learn Torah (besides for specific topics which are allowed on Tisha B'Av, which we will discuss more in detail in a few days B'Ezras Hashem) after Chatzos (Halachic midday) as it is on a regular weekday  Erev Tisha B'Av; this would include studying Pirkei Avos. (See Rama Siman 553:2)


Before Chatzos all agree that it is permitted to learn all Torah topics. (See Mishna Berura Siman 553 S"K 9)


2) Other Poskim maintain that it is permitted to learn the entire Shabbos. (See Mishna Berura Siman 553 S"K 8 where he quotes many Poskim, including the MaHarshal and the Gaon of Vilna who rule this way and consider it a "superfluous stringency" to not learn.)


Reading Shnayim Mikra V'echad Targum ,the required reading of each week's Parasha twice and its Targum once, is permitted.(Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Siman 125:4)



1) When Tisha B'Av falls on Motzaei Shabbos (or on Friday night, and is thus postponed until Motzaei Shabbos, as it is this year), the Seudah Shlishis must be over before sunset. (Rama Siman 552:10)


Additionally, all the other restrictions of Tisha B'Av, besides wearing leather shoes, must be observed immediately at sunset.(Rama Siman 593:2 and Chayei Adam Klal 136:1)


The leather shoes are not removed until after "Barchu" of Ma'ariv is recited, besides for the Ba'al Tefilah who removes his shoes before Barchu, after reciting 'Baruch Hamavdil Bein Kodesh L'Chol'. (Rama ibid. and Mishna Berura S"K 7. See also Shemiras Shabbos Kehilchaso Perek 28 footnote 179 where he quotes another option from HaRav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal)


2) When the leather shoes are removed after 'Barchu' care should be taken not to touch the shoes, to avoid having to wash the hands before continuing Ma'ariv. If they were touched, the hands should be rubbed on the table, wall or another hard surface. (See Mishna Berura Siman 553 S"K 6)




Halachos for Wednesday, July 10 2013


1) During Ma'ariv on Motzaei Shabbos that is Tisha B'Av, the Tefilah of "Vi'Hi Noam" which is usually precedes the Tefilah of "V'Ata Kadosh" is not recited, as it was primarily composed to commemorate the building of the Mishkan, the forerunner of the Bais HaMikdash, thus we don't say it on the anniversary of its destruction. (Shulchan Aruch Siman 559:2 and Mishna Berura S"K 7)


2) Additionally, the Tefilah of "La'Menatzeach B'neginos" which is recited in many Shuls each Motzaei Shabbos is not recited, nor is the Tefilah of "Veyiten Lecha" recited on Motzaei Shabbos that is Tisha B'Av. (Rama Siman 559:2)



Halachos for Thurday, July 11 2013


1) There are five main things that bring a person enjoyment, and are therefore prohibited on Tisha B'Av:

2) The five things are:


1.            Eating /Drinking (this includes brushing teeth and rinsing the mouth with water, unlike other fasts where this is permitted)

2.            Washing one's body [or hands or face] for pleasure, even in cold water (Washing the hands upon waking and after using the bathroom is permitted, but only the fingers, until the knuckles of the hands should be washed)

3.            Smearing soap, oil, lotion, cream etc. for pleasure. (If necessary for medical or health reasons, it isn't prohibited. Likewise, deodorant may be used to prevent or eliminate odors, according to many Poskim. This is not the case on Yom Kippur, when deoderant is indeed prohibited)

4.            Wearing leather shoes (Even if only part of the shoe is leather)

5.            Marital relations (It is best to be stringent and avoid sharing a bed or even touching one's spouse on Tisha B'Av, as by Niddah. See Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 124:12 and Mishna Berura  Siman 554 S"K 37)


2) On Tisha B'Av it is forbidden to learn Torah since learning Torah brings happiness, as the Posuk states Pekudei Hashem Yesharim, Mesamchei Lev (Tehilim 19) and on Tisha B'Av all Jews assume the status of mourners, and thus are prohibited from doing activities that bring happiness.


 It is, however, permitted to learn certain sad topics that remind us of our bitter Galus ,e.g. Certain parts of Sefer Yirmiyahu, Midrash Eicha, the Agaddah in the fifth Perek of Gittin (Starting from 56b ) or the Talmud Yerushalmi at the end of tractate Ta'anis that deals with the Churban etc. (See Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah Siman 384:4)

Even when learning these permitted topics, they should not be learned B'Iyun, with too much depth, rather just enough to understand and internalize what is being learned. (See Mishna Berura Siman 554:5)


The prohibition to learn begins on Erev Tisha B'Av after Chatzos. However, one may learn the permitted topics B'Iyun on Erev Tisha B'Av, as only on Tisha B'Av itself do we limit the depth allowed.(See Halichos Shlomo Perek 15:1. Regarding when Erev Tisha B'Av is on Shabbos, see Halachos of this past Sunday.)




Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh, July 12 2013

(Double Portion L’Kavod Shabbos Kodesh)


Halachos For Erev Shabbos Kodesh


1) Smoking cigarettes/Cigars is prohibited on Tisha B'Av. Some authorities allow it after Chatzos (Halachic midday) if done privately. (Many contemporary Poskim prohibit smoking altogether, even the rest of the year. See Q&A#542   regarding the Halachic status of smoking)

2) Non leather shoes that are very comfortable (such as cozy slippers, air sneakers, crocs, etc.), although M'Ikar Hadin they may be worn on Tisha B'Av, and indeed it is the prevalent custom in the USA to be lenient with this, there is valid Halachic room for stringency to avoid wearing them.


Halachos for Shabbos Kodesh


1) The Chazon Ish and other Gedolei Yisroel would not wear any shoes on Tisha B'Av and spent the day in socks or with very thin footwear so that they would "feel the floor". (See Halichos Shlomo Perek 15:4. Rav Moshe Sternbuch shlita and Rav Nisim Karelitz shlita also rule that a Yerei Shomayim, a G-d fearing person, should avoid shoes that are worn all year round for comfort, even if they aren't leather)


2) Even those who are more lenient on Yom Kippur and wear comfortable non-leather shoes should try and be more stringent on Tisha B'Av as we try to minimize comforts on Tisha B'Av as much as possible. (Halichos Shlomo Perek 15 footnote 5 quoting the Sha'arei Teshuva Siman 554:11 and footnotes Orchos Halacha there 19-21)


For Halacha L'Ma'aseh, as always, a Rav must be consulted.



Halachos for Sunday, July 14 2013


1) On Tisha B'Av it is customary to limit one's pleasures as much as possible. Some people have the custom to sleep with a stone under their pillow to make their sleep uncomfortable.

Many people simply sleep with one pillow less than they are accustomed to.

Each person can do whatever it is they feel would minimize their personal comfort, and thus satisfy the spirit of Aveilus. ( Shulchan Aruch and Rama Siman 551:2. See also Toras Moshe from the Chasam Sofer Bereishis 28:11 where he writes that the day that Yaakov Avinu slept on the stone(s) was Tisha B'Av)


From nightfall of Tisha B'Av until Chatzos (Halachic midday)we do not sit on chairs that are higher than 3 Tefachim (between 9 and 12 inches depending on whose measurements you follow, though the Chazon Ish and the Steipler were not stringent with the exact measurement in this case, and just sat on a low stool).

Some have the custom to sit on the floor; they should place something, like a towel, between themselves and the floor. (See Shulchan AruchSiman 559:3 and Mishna Berura S"K 10 and Sha'arei Teshuva Os 2)


Though sitting on regular chairs is permitted after Chatzos, the other prohibitions of Tisha B'Av (eating, washing etc.) are prohibited all day until the emergence of three stars on Motzaei Tisha B'Av.

2) Tefillin is not donned at Shacharis on Tisha B'Av, rather they are worn at Mincha. (See Shulchan Aruch Siman 551:1)


The special Bracha of "Nacheim" which asks Hashem to comfort us from our state of mourning, is inserted into the Bracha of "V'LiRushalayimIrcha" in the Shemona Esrei of Mincha. It should be said with deep Kavanah(concentration) (Shulchan Aruch Siman 557:1)


Halachos for Monday, July 15 2013

1) Kiddush Levana is recited after Ma'ariv on Motzaei TishaB'Av, but should only be recited after breaking the fast and changing into regular shoes. 

Women do not say Kiddush Levana (ever).

It is proper to say Kiddush Levana with a large Minyan(B'Rov Am Hadras Melech), but B'Dieved it may be recited with just another person there or even alone if no one is around. 

2) All the Halachos of the nine days (meat, wine, music,cutting hair etc.) are in effect until after midday of the tenth of Av. One who abstains from the above for the entire day (even past midday) is blessed. (Shulchan Aruch and Rama Siman 558:1 and Sha'arei Teshuva Os 2)


[When Tisha B'Av falls out on Thursday, it is permitted to do laundry immediately after the fast is over, and no need to wait until after Chatzos on Friday. Haircuts, too, are permissible if it will be difficult to wait until Friday. Eating meat, wine, listening to music, however, is still prohibited until after Chatzos on Erev Shabbos. (Mishna Berura Siman 558 S"K 3)]

It is proper to refrain from marital relations on the night of the tenth of Av, unless that is the night of Tevilah. (Mishna berura Siman 558 S"K 2)


[When Tisha B'Av falls out on Shabbos  and is thus pushed off until Sunday, all the prohibitions of the nine days, with the exception of meat and wine, are permitted immediately on Sunday night, Motzaei Tisha B'Av . (Rama Siman 558:1)

Meat and wine is permitted on Monday morning. (ibid.)]



Halachos for Tuesday, July 16 2013

1) After the conclusion of Shacharis and Kinos on Tisha B'Av morning it is customary to visit a Jewish cemetery and stand at least four Amos away from the actual graves and recite prayers and request that Hashem have mercy on us in the merit of the Neshamos, souls, of the deceased.(Rama Siman 559:10 and Mishna Berura S"K 41)


If no Jewish cemetery is nearby, standing outside of a non-Jewish cemetery also suffices, as it reminds us that we are "lifeless" in our mourning. (Mishna Berura ibid.)

This visit to the cemetery should be alone or with one more person, but not with a group, as that will be considered a "trip" which is forbidden lest it lead to levity and lightheadedness and our minds forgetting about the Churban Bais HaMikdash. (Mishna Berura ibid. based on Shulchan Aruch Siman 554:21)


If this visit to the cemetery will necessitate wearing leather shoes, it is best to forgo the visit.(Mishna Berura ibid.)


2) No preparations should be made for the post Tisha B'Av meal until after Chatzos (Halachic midday) on Tisha B'Av day. (Shulchan Aruch Siman 559:10)


The house should not be cleaned up nor should the beds be made up before Chatzos on Tisha B'Av day.(See Aruch HaShulchan Siman 554:21)



Added  July 2020:

1) The final meal before the fast begins, is referred to as “ Seudah Hamafsekes”.


Only  bread and one cooked dish should be eaten at this meal. (Shulchan Aruch Siman 552)

 Many have the custom to eat bread and a hard-boiled egg, which is a food of mourners. (See Shulchan Aruch Siman 552:6)

The custom is to dip the bread into ashes as a symbol of mourning the Churban. (Shulchan Aruch ibid.)

Some have the mihag  when eating the bread and ashes to to pronounce "“This is the Tisha B'Av meal” when they eat this meal (Mishna Brurah  Siman 552 S”K 16)


2) After the Seudah Hamafsekes, it is still permissible to eat and drink until sunset, unless one explicitly accepted verbally [and according to some Poskim,even mentally] that he wants to begin his fast already. (See Shulchan Aruch and Rama Siman 553:1)

The Mishna Berura (Siman 553 S”K 2) suggests explicitly saying, or thinking, that he does not intend to begin fasting until sunset.


Three adult men should not eat together at the Seudas Hamafsekes,  as  to avoid being obligated in a zimun. 


However, If they did eat together they still do not recite the zimun at the conclusion of this meal, and each one should recite Brchas Hamazon on their own.. ( See Shulchan Aruch Siman 552:8 and Mishna Berura S”K 19)







This concludes our studying the Halachos of Bein Hametzorim.

May it be the will of Hashem that we not need to review these Halachos ever again, and instead may we all learn, from our teacher Mashiach Tzidkeinu, the "practical" Halachos of how to build the Bais Hamikdash and how to bring Karbanos.


לשנה הבאה בירושלים הבנויה