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Tisha B'Av Halachot


By Rabbi Zevi Saunders

This year we commence fasting from sunset on Shabbat. We do not eat a Seuda Hamafseket.

However, all the other restrictions only take effect when Shabbat ends. Havdallah is delayed until Sunday evening. However, we still make the blessing over a flame. Those who are not fasting or not completing the fast should make havdallah when they are ready to eat. The brocho on spices is not said at all.

Only those who are healthy enough should be fasting. MEDICATIONS SHOULD BE TAKEN AS NORMAL UNLESS A DOCTOR HAS SAID IT’S OK TO MISS A DAY. If one needs one can take it with less than 38 cc of water. Swallowing medication does not invalidate the fast as it's not considered a food item.

In addition, we also refrain from washing our bodies, anointing ourselves with oils and perfumes including wearing makeup, engaging in marital relations and wearing leather footwear. However, if one becomes dirty one can wash that part even with soap. Rabbi Shachter has ruled that people can continue regularly washing and sanitizing their hands as often as they do on a regular day. Deodorant may be applied as usual.

We sit on low Chairs. However, there is absolutely no need to injure oneself by sitting low or cause yourself pain or potentially cause oneself issues further down the line. An alternative solution would be to put something uncomfortable under one’s seat. This restriction is lifted at Chatzos (1:27 PM)

We do not greet each other on Tisha Bov.

Jewelry including nice timepieces should not be worn on Tisha B'ov. This is the same for both men and women. Wedding bands may be worn.

Eicha and Kinnot can be recited without a minyan. Eicha should be said at night and repeated during the day. No blessing is recited on it.

Tallis and Tefillin are not worn in the morning but are donned in the afternoon for Mincha.

Tachanun is omitted all day. Lamnatsaiach is also omitted. We omit the verse' v ani zos brisi' in uvoh l'tzion in the morning after ashrei.

One should not do anything that takes one’s mind away from the state of morning for a prolonged period of time. This can include listening to the radio watching television or indeed reading a book at least until midday. I understand that morning on Tisha b'ov is not easy as we don’t really appreciate what we are missing and what we are mourning about. However, in the same way as people go and visit people during shiva and just sit there and just show that they care and show that they are supporting the people through the tragedy, that’s how we should view this day to Hashem. We want to show Him that we feel for Him in what He's missing in the world without His holy Temple. The Temple was the focal point for belief in Hashem and for his blessings to enter this world. Without the Temple the world has descended into atheism or at least not true belief in Hashem.

All restrictions on haircuts, shaving, eating meat, drinking wine and swimming are lifted at chatzos on Monday (1:27). May we merit to see with our very own eyes the coming of moshiach and the rebuilding of the Beis Hamikdash.



Thu, February 22 2024 13 Adar I 5784