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Chapter 124:8
Laws Of Tish'ah B'av

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 water (2).

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 Tish'ah B'av.

(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).

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