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[15] Summary of The Laws of Tisha B’Av

Tisha B'Av Laws
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Tisha B’Av 5783/2023 is on Wednesday, July 26 & Thursday, July 27

1. Eating and drinking is not allowed for all over the ages of bar/bat mitzvah from 8:23pm Wednesday evening until 9:04pm Thursday night.

  • Someone suffering from a minor ailment (e.g. a headache or a cold) is still required to fast. One who is substantially ill, must eat and drink.

  • Pregnant or nursing women (from 30 days after birth) should try to fast as long as they can. Only when they feel weak should they break their fast.

  • Elderly people should try and fast but if there is a risk to their health they must eat and drink.

  • Health is of utmost importance so please contact me if you have a question in this regard.

2. Washing of body, face, and hands. The exceptions are as follows:

  • One can wash off dirt.

  • After using the bathroom up to the knuckles (or where soiled).

  • The morning Netilat Yadayim may be done up to the knuckles.

  • One who is very particular and will feel very uncomfortable until they wash their face may use a damp cloth to wipe their face.

3. Anointing

  • Makeup is not used on Tisha B’Av.

4. Marital Relations

5. Wearing leather shoes

6. Torah study - Because the words of the Torah bring us joy.

  • Exceptions: Sections of Torah that deal with the destruction and mourning such as Eicha, Midrash Eicha, Book of Job, the prophecies of destruction in Jeremiah, the last chapter in Talmud Moed Katan, and the section in Talmud Gittin dealing with the destruction.

7. Other Minhagim (customs):

  • One’s sleep should be a little less comfortable, so the custom is to use one less pillow than usual.

  • Those in good health sit on the floor (or within 10 inches of it) until Chatzot (Halachic midday) at 1:27pm.

  • We do not greet each other in the normal fashion.

  • Tallit and Tefillin are not worn during Shacharit but rather at Mincha.

The Talmud (Taanit 30b) teaches us: "כל המתאבל על ירושלים זוכה ורואה בשמחתה"

“Anyone who mourns over Jerusalem will merit seeing it in its joy.”


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