When Tisha B’Av Falls on Shabbos and Some Basic Halachos


by Rabbi Yair Hoffman for 5tjt.com

“Can we take those pre-fasting pills on Shabbos or is that considered hachanah?”

“Do I really bring my Tishah B’Av shoes to shul on Friday?”

“Is it true my cholent pot must remain unwashed until Sunday afternoon?”

“Is it really a two-part Havdallah where the al ha’eish is on motzaei Shabbos and the ha’gafen is on Sunday night?”

“Can we listen to music immediately on Sunday night?”

These questions and more are being posed to Rabbis throughout this entire week.

The reason is that the date of this upcoming Shabbos is the ninth of Av. Since it falls on Shabbos, the fast is delayed and only begins at sundown on Shabbos day (8:17 p.m. in New York, 2015). It is observed throughout Sunday, the 10th of Av.

Tishah B’Av falling on Shabbos presents a number of changes from the normal routine, hence the questions above.

Since Shabbos is a special gift, it is forbidden to show open signs of mourning. Therefore, there is no seudah ha’mafsekes – the meal of egg, bread, and ashes, on this Shabbos. And because of the fast, there is also no Havdallah on Saturday night—rather it is recited on Sunday night, except the blessing on the flame. ( It is kind of a two phase havdallah.  The Sunday night havdallah may be made on wine.)

Changes In Davening

When we lein the Torah reading, we recite Moshe Rabbeinu’s lamentation of “How can I bear alone your burdens, troubles, and tasks,” to the tune of Eichah. We do not say Pirkei Avos this week, nor do we say the Tzidkascha Tzedek during Minchah.

Changes In Shul

What about sponsoring a Kiddush this Shabbos? While it may be too late, it is preferable to hold it on another date unless it is readily detectable that one is doing so because of mouring – in which case one may hold it on that Shabbos. Shalosh seudos should be eaten at home and not in shul.

Since Havdallah is in two phases this week, some shuls recite the Borei Me’orei HaEish just before Eichah is read. Others have the custom of reciting the berachah at home.

It is a time to avoid excess socializing or going for walks, etc.
Zemiros, meat, and wine are permitted for all three meals.

Torah Learning

What about the daf yomi? One can learn Torah before chatzos on Shabbos (in New York, 1:01 p.m.) but afterward it is a bit of a debate. One may, however, fulfill the mitzvah of reading the parashah twice in Hebrew and once in Targum.

One may also learn the Gemaras that are permitted to be learned on a regular Tishah B’Av.

Shalosh Seudos

One can drink wine, eat meat, and bentch with a mezuman. One must stop eating and drinking before shekiyah. Mayim acharonim should also be done before sundown.

After Sundown

It is still permitted to wear shoes and sit on chairs after sundown. But once the Borchu of Ma’ariv is recited, these two prohibitions begin as well. There is no melaveh malkah.

Sunday Night

If necessary, one may drink water before the Sunday-night Havdallah, but one may not eat. Meat, wine (except for Havdallah), and music are forbidden until Monday morning. Haircuts and laundry are permitted on Sunday night.

When Havdallah is recited on Sunday night, neither the spices nor the Havdallah candle is used. Only the berachah on wine is recited, followed by the berachah of “HaMavdil Bein Kodesh l’chol.”

General Practices Of Tishah B’Av

Because the loss of the Beis HaMikdash was a national tragedy, the halachos of Tishah B’Av combine the laws of Yom Kippur and the laws of mourning.

Thus, we apply the five inuyim of Yom Kippur:

• No eating or drinking
• No washing
• No anointing
• No wearing leather shoes
• No marital relations (nor on Shabbos Tishah B’Av)

In addition to the Yom Kippur inuyim:

• We are not permitted to study Torah except for the passages that bring us to sadness
• We do not extend greetings to others
• We do not work
• We do not sit on a chair

The latter two, however, may be performed after chatzos (halachic noon).

When one does need to wash hands, such as after going to the restroom, one washes just until the knuckles.
When sleeping at night, one should be less comfortable than one is accustomed to being (S.A. 555:2). Thus, if one generally sleeps with two pillows, one pillow should be removed. A pregnant woman, however, does not have to do this if she will be uncomfortable.

Customs in shul. In shul the custom is to dim the lights, based upon the verse in Eichah (3:6) “He placed me in darkness.” We also remove the curtain from the ark that covers the sefer Torah. This is on account of the Midrash that interprets the verse in Eichah (2:17) “He tore His royal garments.” After Ma’ariv, Eichah is read and then a number of Kinos are recited.
During the day, additional Kinos are recited. It is the custom to recite them until halachic noon, so that one will not come to do work before then (S.A. O.C. 559:3 M.B. 13).
Men do not put on the tallis and tefilla in for Shacharis, but instead put them on in the afternoon for Minchah. This is based upon the Midrash (Vayikra Rabbah 6) that states “Betza imraso—He carried out His words (Eichah 2:17), He threw out His precious cloth: This refers to tallis. Hishlich mi’shamayim eretz tiferes Yisrael—He threw earthward from Heaven the glory of Israel (Eichah 2:1): This refers to tefillin.”

Nine Day Basics  Reviewed by Harav Shmuel Y. Felder shlit”a and Harav Yaakov E. Forchheimer shlit”a and written by R, Shlomi Dickman

The following activities are somewhat restricted during the Nine Days (in addition to the 3 Weeks restrictions): Bathing, eating meat and drinking wine, doing laundry, wearing new, fresh or Shabbos clothing, shopping for clothing, general shopping, sewing new clothing, planting, and construction. Some poskim prohibit cutting nails in the Week of Tisha B’Av. We will discuss several of these restrictions.

General [non-clothing] shopping – Shopping for items that bring simcha, such as silver utensils, should be avoided. However, one may purchase a necessity, such as a new air conditioner, even though it will bring him simcha. Certainly, one may purchase standard non-simcha items needed during the Nine Days, while significant purchases for after the Nine Days should be avoided if possible.

Clothing Shopping – One may not purchase any clothing [except Tisha B’Av shoes for one who doesn’t have any] during the Nine Days. However, if there is an unusual sale taking place, one may purchase clothing. So too, if one is out of town and won’t be able to purchase clothing there after Tisha B’Av, one may go shopping there.

Cutting Nails – Some poskim prohibit cutting in the Week of Tishah B’Av, except for mikva purposes. Even if Tishah B’Av falls out on Shabbos, some poskim prohibit cutting nails that week, except Friday in honor of Shabbos.

Wearing New Clothing – New clothing, even insignificant items like socks, may not be worn. One who only has new clothing should rub it on the ground [that wasn’t recently cleaned].

Wearing Shabbos Clothing – Shabbos clothing may not be worn during the week. If it is necessary for a date, many poskim permit wearing them. For a simcha (Bris etc.) ask a posek.

Wearing Fresh Clothing – One may not wear freshly laundered or pressed clothing on weekdays during the Nine Days. Therefore, clothing needed during the Nine Days should be worn before the Nine Days until they feel worn, [some say this is normally 15-20 minutes]. Another option is to rub the clothing on the floor [that wasn’t recently cleaned]. The is a dispute among the poskim if this applies to clothing worn to absorb sweat, such as underwear and socks.  Fresh bedding and towels should not be used, however a guest arriving during the Nine Days may be given fresh bedding and towels.

Washing and Ironing – Washing and ironing is prohibited (and generally even thru a non-Jew), even if the clothing will not be worn during the Nine Days. All clothing is included, as well as a sheitel. However, one may wash an item that got stained and will be ruined if not cleaned immediately. According to many poskim, spot cleaning is permitted. If all of one’s clothing is dirty and unwearable, according to many poskim it is preferable to wash rather than to buy new clothing. One may sort laundry to wash after Tisha B’Av. Polishing shoes is permitted.

Children’s Clothing – One may wash clothing for young children who cannot keep their clothing clean [other clothing may not be added to the load]. They may be lightly ironed if they are very creased.

Shabbos Clothing on Shabbos – Our custom is to wear freshly laundered [but not new] Shabbos clothing on Shabbos during the Nine Days, even if Shabbos is Tisha B’Av. If one’s clothing needed for Shabbos is at the cleaners, one may pick them up. Fresh bedding should not be used even for Shabbos; a fresh tablecloth may be used.

Sewing – One may not sew new clothing, or significantly alter old clothing. Light sewing (such as sewing a button or a seam that ripped) is permissible.

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