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Chapter 124:2
Laws Of Tish'ah B'av

2. [On Tish'ah B'av], it is appropriate for a person to sleep less comfortably [than usual] (1). For example, if he is used to sleeping on two pillows, he should use only one. Some people have a custom to sleep on the ground and place a stone beneath their heads as a remembrance of [Jacob's conduct], as [Genesis 28:11] states: "He took from the stones of the place [and arranged them around his head]." [The Sages comment that] he had a vision of the Temple's destruction [on that night], and therefore exclaimed: "How awesome is this place" (ibid.:17) (2). Each person should follow a practice appropriate to his own level (3).


(1) Pregnant women, and people who are weak or sick, are not obligated to make themselves uncomfortable in any way (Mishna Berura 555:7).

(2) On that night, Jacob was sleeping on Mount Moriah, the place upon which the Beit Hamikdash (Temple) would be built in the future.

(3) A person should minimize his comforts and pleasures on Tish'ah B'av to the greatest extent possible (Rama 555:2). Many authorities prohibit smoking on Tish'ah B'av; however, since there are those who permit it, one who is compelled to smoke may do so after midday (halachic "chatzos") in private (See Mishna Berura 555:8).

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