Some Halachos for Tisha B'Av this Year

Here is a short summary of some of the halachos that apply to Shabbos and Sunday. The following has been compiled by Rabbi Dovid Tugendhaft of Nishmas Yisroel in London (with slight editing to make it suitable for Manchester).  

·         There is no special Seuda Hamafsekes before the fast. It is permitted to eat meat, drink wine and sing zemiros even at shalosh seudos.

·         We stop eating and drinking at 9:21 pm.  

·         Havdola is postponed until Sunday night.

·         Motzei Shabbos is at 10:31pm but we will daven maariv slightly later at 10:45pm. 

·         One who is driving to shul after Motzei Shabbos, should say "boruch hamavdil bein kodesh lechol" after 10:31pm before changing their shoes and doing anything forbidden on Shabbos. Women should say it at this time too.

·         People should bring their non-leather shoes and their kinnos to Shul before or after Shabbos. No one should bring them on Shabbos since one may not prepare for after Shabbos. It is also forbidden to change one's shoes before going to Shul for mincha since this is an insult to Shabbos.

·         The brocha over the havdola candle is made before Eicha. Married men should ideally have in mind not to fulfil their obligation at this point and instead make it at home on behalf of their wife and family. Most opinions say a woman who wasn't able to hear it from a man should make it herself.

·         If a man needs to break the fast he should make havdola first, by saying the brocha over grape juice and the brocha of hamavdil.  A woman who is not fasting should also make havdola first.

·         Children do not recite havdola before eating.

·         After the fast goes out on Sunday night one shouldn't eat or drink anything (except water if necessary) until they have heard or made havdola. Only the two brochos "borei pri hagofen" and "hamavdil" are said. The introductory verses are omitted, as are the brochos over the spices and the candle

·         Most of the restrictions of the 9 days are permitted immediately upon completion of the fast Sunday night. Listening to music, meat and wine though (with the exception of havdola wine) remain prohibited until the following morning.



Quick Reminder of some of the general Tisha B'Av Restrictions:

·         Eating and drinking. One can though use a dry toothbrush to clean teeth. In extreme discomfort the mouth can be rinsed with a small amount of liquid, whilst leaning forward to avoid swallowing.

·         Applying oils. Cosmetics are avoided, but deodorant is allowed.

·         Wearing shoes that have any leather in whatsoever is forbidden, whether it is in the sole, the upper part or even just a leather insert which is left permanently in the shoe. 

·         Learning Torah. One may though learn the sad parts dealing with Tisha B'Av or mourning. 

·         Greeting people. When answering the phone say "yes" or something similar rather than "hello". We should even avoid nodding the head as a greeting. If someone says hello to you, it is permitted to respond in order not to appear rude, but only in a low voice. One can ask someone else how they are feeling since this is not considered a greeting. 

·         Working. After midday (1:14pm) one is permitted to work but should avoid becoming so engrossed that one will be distracted from mourning. It is certainly commendable to try and focus on the meaning of the day rather than work even in the afternoon. 

·         One should sit on a low chair until midday. Some say that it should be lower than 30cm but others say that the chair just has to be noticeably lower than usual. Those who are sick or elderly, as well as pregnant women may sit on a regular chair if they find it difficult to sit on a low one.

·         Tallis and Tefillin are worn at mincha instead of shacharis.