Halachos of Tishah B’Av
- Someone that tested positive and is quarantined, if he has no
or light symptoms, a Rav should be asked.
- Eicha, Kinos. People not going to Shul should say them at home.
It is best to say fewer with Kavono rather than lots with.
- Lights.Theirminhag is to reducetheamount oflight based on the
Medrash Eicha: “Hashem said to the Malachim, ‘When a human
king is in mourning, he extinguishesthe lanterns;I do this too’”.
This implies that it applies only to Shul but not home. Some
opinions argueit applies to homes too, based onthe Verse: “In darkness
- Today, the universal minhag is not to do “work”, at least until
“chatzos” to ensure that we don’t lose focus of the mourning.
Conducting business for profit is included in the prohibition.One
is only permitted in case of possible loss, for children or a sick.
- Work which does not take up time is allowed, since it does not
distractfromtheaveilus.Accordingly,one may send a single email
if it is. Still, any G-d-fearing person should avoid everything and
- Grocery store. One may open his store to sell staples such as
bread, milk, and the like for children and others who are not
fasting, as well asfor afterthefast.
- Tishah B’Av day camp. One may organize a Tishah B’Av day
camp for local children, even for pay. This is not a problem of
business on Tishah B’Av since it is a necessity, as it makes fasting
and aveilus much easier on theparents.
- Other than construction or other loud work, one may have a
non- Jew do melachah for himeven in hishouse.
- One may not ask someone else how he is doing on Tishah B’Av.
Similarly, onemay notsay “Good morning”. One may wish “Mazel
tov” on a simchah since that is just a brochoh. One may alsowish
- One may answer “Hello” on the phone since that is not a greeting
as much as a way of answering the phone. Justmake sure notto
say “Sholom”on thephone.
- For the same reason that we do not greet people, one may also
not send someone a gift. One may, however, send food to a
friend or neighborfor afterthe fast.
Sitting on the Floor
- On Tishah B’Av night and Tishah B’Av day until Mincha [or
chatzos], we sit on the floor in Shul. One who finds it difficult
to sit on the floor may place a cushion underneath himself
or sit on a low bench.
- The sick or the elderly or the pregnant, that cannot sit on a
low seat may sit at a regular chair.
- The person who does hagbaha of the Sefer Torah and the
sandek at a bris may sit on a regular chair.
- Some poskim hold that sitting on the steps in front of the
aron or bimah is considered sitting on the floor. However,
others point out that the Maharil specifically sat on the floor.
- Bus. When traveling on a bus or train one does not need to
stand throughout the ride since his intent in sitting is for
safety reasons and not for pleasure or comfort.
- The Knesses Hagedolah forbids smoking on Tishah B’Av. The
Mishnah Brura writes that one may smoke after Chaztzos, but
he says that there are Acharonim who are meikel. Thus, if
someone is used to smoking and it would be difficult for him
notto, hemay bemeikel after chatzos in private.
- Pregnant and nursing women fast on Tishah B’Av as they do
on Yom Kippur. Many poskim in Eretz Yisroel rule that in hot
places, a pregnant woman, whether in the beginning of her
pregnancy [after 40 days] or the end, may eat and drink.
Even so, if she can fast until the morning, it is proper to do
so. If she is parched and needs to drink in the middle of the
night, she may. Each woman should ask her own shailah.
- Nursing women fast. If they feel weak or dizzyorthattheyare
not producing enough milk, they do not need to continue to
- If a nursing woman’s baby sometimestakesformula,she can
nurse him less and supplement with some formula. If her
baby does not take formula,she is not obligated to try to give
it to him to fast since mother’s milk is better for a baby’s
health. Thus, in such a case, ifshe is weak or the like, she may
Recently Gave Birth
- The Mechaber holds that a woman within 30 days of giving
birth does not need to fast. The Rama says within seven
days; but after that, she must fast, even if she feels she
needs to eat, unless she is in great pain or somewhat ill, in
which casefasting is potentially dangerous ( ד” י ב “מ .(However,
the Aruch Hashulchan ( ח ” ס (writes that the Rama’s words
were for his day, but in today’s weaker generation, a woman
within 30 days of giving birth should not fast at all. Each
woman should ask her own shailah.
- A woman who miscarried, lo aleinu, at least 40 days after
conception has the status of a woman who gave birth for
- A person who is weak or in pain may eat on Tishah B’Av, even
if he is not in danger.A person with somewhat of a fever should
certainly not fast, nor should individuals with diabetes, high
blood pressure, or the like. Chazal did not decree a fast for
someone who is ill.
- Covid. Someone who is, lo aleinu, sick or tested positive is
forbidden to fast, not even with Shiurim.
- Even if he doesn’t have a fever, if he feels weak due to the
virus fromChina or hassymptoms ofthe flu – e.g., painsin the
muscles, bones, chest, head, etc. – he should not fast at all and
has amitzvah to eat anddrink.
- If someone experiences loss of taste or smell should stop
fasting as it is affecting his immune system.
- One who takes pills daily for health reasons may take his pills
with some bitter water, e.g., strong tea and it’s not considered
breaking the fast.
- One may not wash himself on Tishah B’Av, even with cold
water. Onlywashing for pleasure isforbidden; if one’s body or
hands are dirty, he may wash them to get rid of the dirt. If
necessary, he may use soap.
- Netilas yodayim after waking up or using the bathroom is
- Due to the pandemic, frequent handwashing is necessary these
days. Thus, one may wash his hands with soap since it is not for
pleasure, butfor health. Thisissimilarto thehalachah about dirty
- Someone whoisilland iswashing to eatmaywashhisentirehand
since he is not doing so for pleasure. The same istrue for a Kohein
washing for Birkas Kohanim. The Poskim explain the difference
between these instances and netilas yodayim in the morning.
- When cooking on Tishah B’Av, one may wash vegetables or
utensils as needed even if his hands will get wet since that is
not washing for pleasure. Some are careful to wear gloves, but
thatisjust a chumra.
- Onemay not go to themikveh on Tishah B’Av even if hegoes
- If one smells he may use deodorant and/or perfume.
- Creamsmay beusedformedicalpurposes butnottomoisturize
or soften the skin.
- Hand sanitizer. Use of hand sanitizer is permitted as it is not for
pleasure. Sanitizer should be applied to the whole hand.
- One should notusemakeuporlipstick,except for a kallah within
30 days of her wedding.
- Only shoes made of leather or containing leather may not be
worn. Shoes made of wood, fabric, or rubber may be worn.
- Nevertheless, there is a dispute among the poskim whether
one may wear any comfortable shoes. Therefore, one who is
machmir not to wear them will receive a brochoh
- Crocs. Women’s Crocs, which are made to also be worn
outside like regular shoes, should preferably not be worn.
Also, if someone wears regular Crocs outdoors throughout
the year, it isimproper for him to wearthem on Tishah B’Av.
One who only wears them at home, may wear them on
Motzei Tishah B’Av
- We say Kiddush Levanah on Motzei Tishah B’Av. This is
because Moshiach ben Dovid is born on Motzei Tishah B’Av,
so we “inform the moon” and Klal Yisroel that they are going
to be renewed.
- One should wear his regular shoes and eat prior to saying
Kiddush Levanah since one should only greet the Shechinah
when happy,smells good, and is wearing nice clothing.
10th of Av in aRegular Year
- The Beis Hamikdash caught fire on the 9th of Av, toward
evening, and it burned through shkiyah of the 10th. Therefore,
certain aspects of aveilus apply on the 10th
. Although the Beis
Hamikdash burned mostly on the 10th
, Chazal instituted
aveilus primarily on the 9th since that was when the tragedy
- TheMechaber writes that it is proper to abstain from meat
andwine on the night and day ofthe 10th
- The Rama mentions that some people only practice aveilus until
chatzos of the 10th
. The minhag is to not wash, cut hair, or do
laundry until chatzos.Other practices of theNine Days, e.g., not
mending clothes, not wearing fresh clothes, and not listening to
music, are also followed until chatzos ofthe 10th
10th of Av on Friday
- This year [5780/2020], Tishah B’Av falls on Thursday and the
10th falls on Erev Shabbos. The Mishnah Berurah writes that
when Tishah B’Av falls on a Thursday and the 10th is Erev
Shabbos, “all of this may be done in honor of Shabbos”. The
- Laundry. The Aruch Hashulchan says: laundry in a year like this
may be done on the morning of the 10th but not the eve. But
Most Poskim argue as Ezra decreed that laundry should be
done on Thursday to leave Friday available for Shabbos
preparations. Therefore, one may do his laundry after the
- Washing,haircuts.One may take a haircut and shower after the
- Meat, wine. One should refrain from eating meat and drinking
wine until Friday chatzos, even when it falls on Erev Shabbos.
- Listeningtomusic. Onemaynotlistentomusicuntilchatzos,just
like a regular year since listening to music does not contribute
to the honor of Shabbos.
By Rabbi Fridmann * firstname.lastname@example.org * 305.985.3461
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