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Weekly Halacha

When Tishah b'Av Falls on Sunday

It is fairly uncommon for Erev Tishha b’Av to fall on a Shabbos. When it does, as it does this year, many of the distinctively somber practices of Erev Tishah b’Av are modified or done away with so as not to infringe upon the kavod and oneg of Shabbos:

On Shabbos: If one can occupy himself on Shabbos afternoon studying topics which pertain to Tishah b'Av or to mourning, he should do so[1]. If he cannot, he may study what he does ordinarily[2]. It is customary that Pirkei Avos is not studied on this Shabbos[3].

  • The usual seudah ha-mafsekes restrictions do not apply on Shabbos. At the last meal before the fast—which is seudah shelishis on Shabbos—one may eat meat and drink wine and consume whatever food he desires[4]. One should not, however, state explicitly that he is eating in order to have strength for the fast[5]. Some poskim hold that it is forbidden to swallow a pill that makes it easier to fast since that constitutes preparing on Shabbos for a weekday[6]. Others, however, permit doing so[7].

  • Eating seudah shelishis with family members is permissible. Company, however, should be avoided—unless one usually has company for seudah shelishis[8]. Birkas ha-Mazon may be said with a zimun. Zemiros may be sung, even by one who does not always sing them[9].

  • Eating, drinking, or washing any part of the body is permitted until sunset only[10]. If one recited Birkas ha-Mazon before sunset, he may eat or drink until sunset[11].

  • One may sit on a chair until nightfall (tzeis ha-kochavim[12]).

  • Since it is not proper to wear Shabbos clothes on Tishah b'Av, it is recommended that one change clothes after nightfall, but before Ma'ariv[13]. Baruch ha-mavdil should be recited before changing into weekday clothes[14].

  • No preparations for Tishah b'Av may be made until Shabbos is over. Tishah b'Av shoes or Kinos (unless studied on Shabbos) may not be brought to shul until nightfall, even in an area with an eiruv[15].

Motza'ei Shabbos:

  • Shabbos shoes may not be removed until nightfall. The custom in many places[16] is to remove them after saying Barechu at Ma'ariv. Others remove their shoes after reciting Baruch ha-mavdil but before Barechu, provided that it is already nightfall[17]. This option is advisable for large groups of people (such as a camp) in order to avoid a long break between Barechu and Ma'ariv[18].

  • Atah chonantanu is said in Shemoneh Esrei. Women who do not recite Ma’ariv must remember to recite Baruch ha-mavdil at the conclusion of Shabbos[19].

  • After Ma'ariv but before the reading of Eichah, a candle[20] is lit and Borei me’orei ha-eish is recited. If one forgot or failed to do so, Borei me’orei ha-eish may be recited anytime throughout the night[21].

  • Customarily, Borei me’orei ha-eish is recited by one person for the entire congregation. It is proper, though, that all the listeners sit down while the blessing is recited[22].

  • Preferably, women should listen to Borei me’orei ha-eish recited by a man. If they cannot do so, it is recommended that they recite their own blessing over a candle, but they are not obligated to do so[23].

  • Some permit folding the tallis as on every motza’ei Shabbos[24], while others are stringent[25].

  • Dirty dishes from Shabbos should not be washed until Sunday after chatzos[26], unless they will attract insects, etc.

On Sunday:

  • The rules of fasting for pregnant or nursing women or elderly or weak people are more lenient when Tishah b’Av falls on Shabbos and the fast is deferred until Sunday[27]. One should consult a rav concerning his specific situation.

  • If a bris milah falls on Sunday the tenth of Av, most poskim[28] allow the father, mohel, and sandek to eat a seudas mitzvah after Minchah Gedolah[29]. A minority opinion rules that they should finish their fast[30].

  • Before breaking a fast because of illness[31] or to celebrate a bris milah[32], Havdalah should be recited. Many poskim hold that wine or grape juice may not be drunk and Havdalah should be recited on a Shehakol beverage such as beer, coffee, or tea (with or without milk[33,34] ). Another option is to use wine or grape juice, but have a minor (preferably between the ages of 6-9) drink the wine. Other poskim allow even an adult to drink the minimum amount[35] of wine or grape juice[36].

  • There are various views among the poskim concerning the recitation of Havdalah for women who are not fasting (due to illness, pregnancy, or nursing) [37]. The preferred option is that the woman’s husband (or another man) recites Havdalah[38] and that she or a minor drink the beverage[39]. If that cannot be arranged, most poskim allow her to recite her own Havdalah. [40] If she cannot or will not, there are poskim who permit her to eat without reciting Havdalah[41].

  • Most poskim hold that minors do not need to hear or recite Havdalah before eating[42]. A minority opinion requires them to do so[43].

On Sunday night:

  • After the fast is over, one may not eat until Havdalah is recited. Women should hear Havdalah from their husbands or a neighbor[44]. If it is difficult for a woman to wait for Havdalah, she may drink before Havdalah. If drinking is not sufficient, some poskim allow her to eat without hearing Havdalah while others hold that she should make Havdalah herself[45].

  • Havdalah may be recited over wine or grape juice, and it need not be given to a minor to drink[46].

  • Only the blessings of Borei peri ha-gafen and ha-Mavdil are recited. Borei me’orei ha-eish is not recited, even if one forgot to recite that blessing the previous night[47].

  • When Sunday is the tenth of Av, it is permitted to take a haircut, shave, do laundry, sew, bathe and recite Shehecheyanu immediately after the fast. Meat and wine (other than the wine from Havdalah) should not be consumed until the next morning[48]. Listening to music should be avoided until the next morning[49]. When Sunday is the ninth of Av, all of those activities are forbidden until chatzos on Monday.


1. Chazon Ish, quoted in Orchos Rabbeinu 2:136.

2. Mishnah Berurah 553:10. One may fulfill his obligation of Shenayim Mikra v'Echad Targum.

3. Rama 553:2.

4. O.C. 552:10.

5. Shemiras Shabbos K'hilchasah 28:85.

6. Piskei Teshuvos 553, note 13, quoting Rav S. Davlitsksy. It is also questionable whether or not these pills are considered medicine which may not be taken on Shabbos.

7. See Kol ha-Torah, vol. 61, pg. 59 and vol. 64, pg. 298.

8. Mishnah Berurah 552:23.

9. Igros Moshe, O.C. 4:112-1.

10. Mishnah Berurah 552:24 and Sha’ar ha-Tziyun 22. See Chayei Adam 136:1 and Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 125:1 concerning washing.

11. Sha’ar ha-Tziyun 553:7.

12. Salmas Chayim 4:4-29, quoted in Shemiras Shabbos K'hilchasah 62, note 88.

13. Chazon Ish (quoted in Shemiras Shabbos K'hilchasah 28, note 188); Moadim u'Zemanim 7:256; Shevet ha-Levi 7:77. At the very least, Shabbos clothes should not be worn during the reading of Eichah.

14. Mishnah Berurah 553:7.

15. Shemiras Shabbos K'hilchasah 28:85.

16. Based on Rama 553:2 as explained in Salmas Chayim 1:86.

17. Rav S.Z. Auerbach (quoted in Shemiras Shabbos K'hilchasah 28, note 189); Yechaveh Da’as 5:38; Moadim u'Zemanim 7:256.

18. Rav M. Feinstein (oral ruling, quoted in Halachos of the Three Weeks, pg. 16).

19. Mishnah Berurah 556:2.

20. Some light a single candle while others hold two candles together.

21. Mishnah Berurah 556:1.

22. Halichos Shelomo 3:15, Devar Halachah 21, based on Beiur Halachah 213:1, s.v. al.

23. See Beiur Halachah 296:8, s.v. lo, Igros Moshe, C.M. 2:47-2, and Shemiras Shabbos K'hilchasah 61, note 69, and 62 ,note 98, who debate whether or not women are obligated to recite a blessing over a candle on Motzaei Shabbos.

24. Nitei Gavriel, pg. 115.

25. Luach Devar Yom b'Yomo, quoting the Belzer Rav.

26. Several poskim quoted in Piskei Teshuvos 554:21.

27. Beiur Halachah 559:9, s.v. v’eino. See also Halichos Shelomo 3:16-2 and Yechaveh Da'as 3:40.

28. Chayei Adam 136:7; Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 125:8; Mishnah Berurah 559:37 and Sha’ar ha-Tziyun 39; Igros Moshe, O.C. 4:69-4; Halichos Shelomo 3:15, Orchos Halachah, note 60; Yabia Omer 1:34; Shemiras Shabbos K'hilchasah 62:47.

29. These people, then, should not receive an aliyah at Minchah (Mishnah Berurah 566:20, 21).

30. Aruch ha-Shulchan 559:9, based on Magen Avraham; Kaf ha-Chayim 559:74; Chazon Ish (quoted by Rav C. Kanievsky in Tishah b'Av she'Chal b'Shabbos 8, note 48).

31. Sha'arei Teshuvah 556:1. If all that the sick person needs is a drink of water, Havdalah is not recited (Shevet ha-Levi 8:129).

32. Mishnah Berurah 559:37.

33. Tzitz Eliezer 14:42. Some poskim allow pure orange or apple juice as well.

34. Kaf ha-Chayim 556:9; Rav M. Feinstein (oral ruling, quoted in Halachos of the Three Weeks, pg. 19); Minchas Yitzchak 8:30; Halichos Shelomo 3:16-8; Shevet ha-Levi 7:77.

35. A cheekful, approximately 1.6 fl. oz. Since, however, Al ha-gefen cannot be recited over this amount, this should be followed by eating cake, etc. and the words al ha-gefen v'al peri ha-gefen can be inserted in the Al ha-michyah.

36. Chazon Ish (quoted by Rav C. Kanievsky, Mevakshei Torah, Sivan 5753); Rav Y.Z. Soloveitchik (quoted in Peninei Rabbeinu ha-Griz, pg. 521 and Mevakshei Torah, Sivan 5753); Rav Y.Y. Kanievsky (Orchos Rabbeinu 2:145); Az Nidberu 11:48.

37. The issue: 1) Women, generally, do not recite their own Havdalah, since some Rishonim exempt them from Havdalah altogether; 2) Even men are not required by all poskim to recite Havdalah before eating on a Sunday Tishah b'Av.

38. The husband, then, does not repeat the Havdalah for himself once the fast is over (Shemiras Shabbos K'hilchasah 62:48).

39. Halichos Shelomo 3:16, Orchos Halachah, note 39.

40. Shevet ha-Levi 8:129; Shemiras Shabbos K'hilchasah 62:48; Az Nidberu 11:48; Moadim u'Zemanim 7:255.

41. Kinyan Torah 5:51; Shraga ha-Meir 1:59; Nitei Gavriel, pg. 164.

42. Rav Y.Y. Kanievsky (Orchos Rabbeinu 2:145); Halichos Shelomo 3:16, Devar Halachah 13; Rav Y.S. Elyashiv (quoted in Rivevos Efrayim 3:371); Shemiras Shabbos K'hilchasah 62:45; Moadim u'Zemanim 7:255; Chanoch l'Na'ar 28:10.

43. Maharil Diskin 2:5-72; Divrei Yatziv 2:243; Shevet ha-Levi 7:77. There are conflicting reports as to the opinion of Rav M. Feinstein; see Children in Halachah, pg. 190.

44. Minchas Yitzchak 8:51.

45. See Piskei Teshuvos 556:2 for the various views.

46. Mishnah Berurah 556:3.

47. Mishnah Berurah 556:4.

48. Rama 558:1.

49. See Sha'ar ha-Tziyun 558:4, who is lenient about music for a seudas mitzvah.


Weekly-Halacha, Text Copyright © 2012 by Rabbi Neustadt, Dr. Jeffrey Gross and Torah.org.

Rabbi Neustadt is the Yoshev Rosh of the Vaad Harabbonim of Detroit and the Av Beis Din of the Beis Din Tzedek of Detroit. He could be reached at dneustadt@cordetroit.com


 






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