By July 9, 2018 Read More →

Rav Shai Finklestein – Laws of Tisha b’Av that falls on Shabbat and is Postponed to Sunday 

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The Laws of Tisha b’Av that falls on Shabbat and is Postponed to Sunday 

Bathing/Showering on Erev Shabbat: 

 It is permitted to bathe/shower on the eve of Shabbat Hazon, even for those who are stringent and do not bathe/shower during the days preceding Tisha b’Av. Sephardi custom permits bathing/showering as usual; Ashkenazi custom permits bathing/showering in a manner in which one does not derive pleasure but one need not suffer.  

 Shabbat Meals and Learning Torah: 

 The halachic principle that there is no mourning on Shabbat, applies even when Tisha b’Av falls on Shabbat (and the fast is postponed to Sunday) and, therefore, on Shabbat one may eat meat and drink wine, even to the degree of a feast of King Solomon. Similarly, it is permitted to sing zmirot on Shabbat as there is no mourning on Shabbat. Learning Torah on Shabbat is permitted as usual. 

 Seudah Shlishit: 

 One may eat Seudah Shlishit as on every Shabbat, however, there is a disagreement among the poskim regarding whether one may eat meat and drink wine or even whether one must eat meat and drink wine. The Mishna Berura ruled (552, 23) that one may eat Seudah Shlishit as usual and may not specifically refrain from eating meat because then it will appear like an observance of mourning on Shabbat. In Igrot Moshe (O”C section 4, subsection 112) the ruling is that even one who does not generally eat meat and drink wine at Seudah Shlishit throughout the year may eat meat and drink wine at this particular Seudah Shlishit. One must, however, stop eating before sunset (shki’ah) and this does not represent a contradiction to the status of Shabbat as there is no essential Shabbat requirement to continue to eat after sunset. Similarly, one should refrain from singing joyous songs after sunset.  

 Twilight – From Sunset until Dark (Emergence of the Stars – Tzait HaKochavim): 

 The twilight period is deemed an intermediate period in that on the one hand it is still considered Shabbat yet on the other hand the obligations of Tisha b’Av have already commenced. From a halachic perspective, we are in doubt whether this period is considered day or night (bein hashmashot). There is a mitzvah of adding to Shabbat (Tosefet Shabbat) at the onset of Shabbat as well as at the conclusion of Shabbat. Consequently, the minutes immediately after tzait hakochavim constitute a period during which both Shabbat and the prohibitions of the fast coexist. Accordingly, during this period. one does not yet commence the overt mourning customs of Tisha b’Av, but does refrain from activities whose absence would not necessarily be perceived as indicating mourning, including: eating, drinking, washing, and anointing. Nevertheless, one who uses the restroom during the bein hashmashot period washes hands as usual as refraining from washing hands would constitute observing a mourning practice on Shabbat.  

 Only after the emergence of three medium-sized stars (tzait hakochavim) plus an additional few minutes of Tosefet Shabbat does one recite “Hamavdil Bein Kodesh l’Chol (“He who distinguishes between Holy and mundane”) and then change from Shabbat clothes to everyday clothes (one should change into clothes that were worn during the preceding week as we refrain from wearing freshly-laundered clothes) and change from leather to non-leather shoes. Some have the custom to remove their leather shoes immediately after shki’ah because they assert that doing so does not affect the honor of Shabbat as there is no requirement to wear shoes on Shabbat altogether, however, if the shoe removal would be perceived as a mourning custom it should not be done. The prevailing custom is to not remove/change shoes until after the Shabbat has concluded. 

 Maariv and Havdala: 

 It is customary to delay maariv in order to allow time for the necessary preparations for Tisha b’Av. 

In Shemoneh Esrei one inserts the usual havdala of “Ata Chonatanu” and some opinions suggest that women should also be sure to daven maariv in order to say havdala. A woman who does not daven maariv fulfills the obligation of havdala by saying “Baruch hamavdil”. 

On motzaei Shabbat we say the bracha on the havdala candle as it is an acknowledgement of the creation of fire on motzaei Shabbat and is not dependent on making a bracha on wine. The custom is to make the bracha on the candle at the end of maariv before the reading of Eicha. 

No bracha is recited on b’samim because the smelling of b’samim is intended to ease the pain of the neshama yeteira as it departs on motzaei Shabbat and on Tisha b’Av it is not appropriate to mitigate pain. 

 One who is ill and must eat on Tisha b’Av must make havdala before eating, and it is best if the havdala is made on a beverage that is considered “mashkeh medinah” (preferably an alcoholic beverage such as beer) or coffee or grape juice which is not considered a joyous beverage. If there is a minor present it is best that the minor drink the havdala beverage rather than the person who is ill. However, a minor who eats on Tisha b’Av need not make or hear havdala. 

Pregnant women and nursing mothers are obligated to fast on Tisha b’Av. However, a postponed fast has a less stringent status so if a pregnant woman or a nursing mother feels weak or has a health concern, even if they are not technically ill, they are relieved of the obligation to fast. (Biur Halacha 559, 9; Kaf Hachaim 75). 

 Conclusion of the Fast: 

 Before eating or drinking, havdala must be recited over a cup of wine (or other qualifying beverage), including the bracha on the wine and the bracha of hamavdil (the preliminary verses are not recited). 

It is customary to say kiddush l’vana after maariv at the end of the fast. 

The mourning customs cease at the end of the fast and immediately after tzait hakochavim it is permitted to cut hair, wash clothes, and bathe/shower in hot water. Many opinions hold, however, that one should refrain from eating neat and drinking wine on the night after the fast, because, having spent the day observing the fast, it is not appropriate to immediately thereafter rejoice with meat and wine (Rem”a 598, 1; Mishna Berura 4-5; Rav Eliahu Hilchot Chagim 29,9). Others permit eating meat and drinking wine immediately after the end of the fast (Rav Chaim Vital, Pri Chadash, Torat HaMoadim 11, 8). 

 With the blessings of the “Consoler of Zion and Builder of Jerusalem” 

 Shai Finkelstein 

Rav Kehillat Nitzanim    

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