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Chapter 124:3a
Laws Of Tish'ah B'av

3a. We do not wear tefillin in the morning service [of Tish'ah B'av], because tefillin are referred to as "glory" ("Pe'air"). Similarly, we do not wear the "tallis gadol" ("prayer shawl") [usually worn during the morning prayers]. [The latter is implied] by the Targum's rendering of Lamentations 2:17 as "He rent His regal garment." We do wear a "tallis koton" ("Tzitzis"), but do not recite a blessing when donning it (1).

It is proper to arrive at the synagogue slightly earlier than usual. No candles at all should be lit [in front of the chazzan] (2). [As in the evening,] the service should be recited slowly, in a tearful tone.

The Psalm "Mizmor L'Sodah" should be recited. When repeating the Shemoneh Esreh, the chazzan should recite the blessing "Anenu" between the blessings "Go'el Yisrael" and "Rofey Cholei Amo Yisrael", as on other public fast days. The priestly blessing is omitted (3).

After [the repetition of] the Sh'moneh Esreh, the half-Kaddish is recited. Neither "Tachanun" nor the passage "Keil Erech Apayim" is recited, because [Tish'ah B'av] is called a "Mo'ed" (4). A Torah scroll is taken out and three people are called up for the passage beginning "Ki solid bonim" (Deuteronomy 4:25). It is proper that before reciting the blessings, a person who is called up to the Torah should quietly say: "Boruch Dayon Ho'Emes" ("Blessed is the True Judge") (5).

After the Torah reading, we recite half-Kaddish and recite the Haftorah beginning "Osof asifem" (Jeremiah 8:13), using the melody of "Eichah" ("Lamentations"). Afterwards, the Torah scroll is returned and we sit on the ground and recite "kinos" (dirges). One should continue reciting them until close to midday.


(1) If one removed one's tallis koton at night, some maintain that one should say a blessing when one puts it on in the morning (Mishna Berura 555:2).

(2) At Mincha, however, lights may be lit.

(3) This custom is not mentioned in the Mishna Berura.

(4) All the Jewish holidays are called "mo'ed," which literally means "meeting;" one way of explaining this is that it signifies a point in time when we "meet" G-d's presence in a more intimate way than on a regular day. "Tachanun" is never said on a mo'ed or during the afternoon before a mo'ed. The conception of Tish'ah B'av as a mo'ed is borne out by the prophet Zechariah, who writes that ultimately, in the Messianic era, all the fasts will "become days of happiness, rejoicing, and feasts for the House of Judah." As a foretaste of that revelation, even though at present Tish'ah B'av is a day of fasting and mourning, we do not recite "Tachanun."

(5) This custom is not mentioned in the Mishna Berura.

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Halacha-Yomi, Copyright (c) 2002 Project Genesis, Inc.



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