8. Women who must wash food [on Tish'ah B'av] for cooking, may do so [even
though their hands are being placed in water], for their intent is not to
wash [their hands] (1). A person who is journeying [on Tish'ah B'av] for a
purpose associated with a mitzvah, and the only way to get there is to walk
through water, may do so without hesitation, both on his way there and on
the way back. If, however, he is journeying for financial reasons, he may
walk through the water on his way there, but may not return through the
A person whose feet feel weak after he completes a journey, may wash them
with water [on Tish'ah B'av] (3).
(1) As we saw in HY 124:7, washing with water for pleasure is prohibited on
(2) In the case of going for the sake of a mitzvah, the Sages were
concerned that if one would not be allowed to walk through the water on the
return journey (and hence not be able to return home at all that day), one
might decide not to go at all, and miss out on the mitzvah. However, in the
case of travelling to avoid monetary loss or to protect one's property, the
fact that one will not be allowed to walk through the water on the return
journey, will not generally cause one to decide not to go at all (See
Mishna Berura 554:25).
(3) This is permitted because he is not washing his feet for pleasure
("Ta'anug"), but rather to alleviate the pain and strengthen them (Ibid. 26).