Laws of Tisha B'Av
are many complex laws regarding Tisha B'Av, and a competent authority
should be consulted with any questions.
begins just before sundown, until the following evening, as on Yom
Kippur, differentiating it from other fasts that begin
at sunrise. The rules for observing Tisha B'Av are similar to
those of Yom Kippur and the
restrictions are more severe than on any other fast day.
B'Av, the following acts are forbidden:
girls over Bar/Bat Mitzvah are required to fast the entire day. Boys
under 13 years of age and girls under 12 need not fast the entire day
and there are various opinions as to whether they should fast part of
and nursing women are required to fast on Tisha B'Av. If a pregnant
or nursing woman feels that fasting may have an ill effect on her, a
rabbi should be consulted. A small headache or minor discomfort is no
reason not to fast.
during the first seven days after childbirth may not fast on Tisha
B'Av. During the first thirty days after childbirth, she need not
are permitted to eat on Tisha B'Av should not indulge or eat
more than necessary to sustain their health. Also, those who are eating
on Tisha B'Av should do so in private.
various opinions about smoking on Tisha B'Av. It is accepted
practice that those who smoke do so ONLY after midday, in private. (There
are other opinions, who forbid even this; there are others who say smoking
is permitted even before midday, and publicly.)
wash your mouth with water only if not doing so would cause great distress.
Mouthwash on Tisha B'Av is a no-no. (On other fast days, rinsing
with water is permissible if not doing so would cause even a little
discomfort). It is important to make sure that you do not swallow any
water during rinsing and it is therefore recommended that you rinse
while bending over.
capsules, bitter medicines or bitter liquids without water is permissible.
B'Av, bathing or washing any part of the body for pleasure - even the
hands or face is prohibited. One may not even place one's finger in
water, cold or warm.
If you must
wash your hands or any other part of your body because they are dirty
or stained, you may wash only that part.
may be done in the following circumstances, but only until the joints
at the end of the fingers:
arising in the morning.
leaving the bathroom.
touching covered portions of the body.
after drying their hands, pass the moist hands over their eyes. This
may be done only if the hands are not moist enough to wet another object.
If there is crust around your eyes, you may wash it off).
not place a container of cool water against your face in order to cool
off. However, you may place a cool empty vessel, or a cool fruit, etc.,
against your face.
B'Av you may not apply any type of soap, body oil, perfume, hair
tonic, cream, etc. It makes no difference if the application is solid
of deodorant, however, is permitted (and recommended).
for medical purposes is permitted. If in doubt, a rabbi should be consulted.
We are not
allowed to wear shoes made of leather on Tisha B'Av, even if
it is only partially of leather. Shoes made of cloth, rubber, plastic
and wood are permitted. You may wear leather shoes for medical reasons
(i.e. where other permissible shoes would not be adequate). If in doubt,
a rabbi should be consulted.
is more stringent than on Yom Kippur. Since learning Torah
is considered Simcha (joy), Torah study, with the exception
of those portions concerning mourning, or the destruction of the Bait
Hamikdash, is forbidden on Tishah B'Av.
topics may be studied on Tisha B'Av:
(Book of Job).
parts of Neviim (prophets) that discuss tragedies of the Jews.
(Book of Lamentations).
Eilu Megalchin (Chap. III, Tractate Moed Katan).
Story of Kamtzah Bar Kamtzah (Tractate Gittin 55b-58a).
104 a, b.
of Tisha B'Av.
Koreh may prepare the reading for Tisha B'Av.
It is prohibited
to greet someone on Tisha B'Av. It is preferable to refrain from
any type of greeting, including "hello" or " good morning," as well
as a greeting that includes "Shalom."
does greets you on Tisha B'Av you should answer in a low voice,
to indicate that Shealas Shalom (greeting)
is forbidden and not to arouse resentment.
Prohibitions on Tisha B'Av
is prohibited on Tisha B'Av, unless the gift can be considered
in the category of Tzedaka (charity).
Sitting on a chair or an object 3 tefochim (approximately 12" ) or higher
is forbidden until midday Tisha B'Av beginning at Mincha.
It is forbidden
to do any act or engage in any activity that would distract you from
the required attitude or mourning on Tisha B'Av. Therefore, it
is forbidden to take a pleasure walk or trip on Tisha B'Av. Any
form of frivolity or cheerfulness is forbidden.
thing that is prohibited because it distracts from the "spirit of the
fast" is work or business. Any work - skilled or unskilled that takes
time should be postponed until after midday. Work that does not take
time, such as tying a shoe or turning on lights, may be done any time
on Tisha B'Av.
if possible, should be postponed until after Tisha B'Av. If this
is not feasible, the work should be done after midday.
try to avoid any business transactions during the entire day of Tisha
B'Av. lf this is not possible, try to put off working at least until
works on Tisha B'Av where prohibited, "will not see a blessing
from that work."
Tisha B'Av falls
on a Shabbat or Sunday
Tisha B'Av falls on a Shabbat,
the fast day is postponed till Sunday.
We do not
have a Seuda HaMafseket
(see below). We do not say the customary Havdala at the end
of Shabbat. On Motzoei Shabbat after nightfall, before
the reading of Megilat Eichah, the Bracha - Borei Me'Orei
Ho'aish is said upon seeing candlelight. Havdalah is recited
Sunday evening, after the Tisha B'Av fast is over.
NOTE: The same rules apply
falls on a Sunday. We do NOT have a Seuda
HaMafseket (see below).