Tisha B'Av

& the Three Weeks Halacha

by Rabbi Griffin

“Every generation for which the Temple is not rebuilt, it is as though

the Temple was destroyed for that generation.” Yerushalmi Yoma 1a

The Three Week period of 5783 begins on July 6-July 27

The Fast of the 17th of Tammuz (Thursday July 6, 2023) is from Dawn to Nightfall. (When the fast falls on Shabbat, we observe it the next day). Note: All fasting and prohibitions are lifted for the Sabbath.

During the Three Weeks:

No Weddings

No Music (in any format)

No Shehecheyanu - No purchasing new clothes (or shoes) or wearing clothes that were previously purchased but never worn

No hair cuts; to include all body hair. (Married women and women of marriageable age may shave their legs but it is better to be strict and not do so)

NOTE: During these Three Weeks, do not make any “big life decisions”, avoid any lashon hara and judge people favorably (stay in unity).

During the Nine Days: (July 19-27) Our mourning intensifies.

No construction for a joyful purpose to include home decorating

Avoid any court hearings

We wait to recite Kiddush Levanah until after the 9th of Av

We do not eat meat or drink wine

We do not launder clothes during the Nine days nor do we wear freshly laundered clothes. We also do not

spread fresh linens on the bed or tables.

We do not cut our nails

We do not sew new garments

We do not bathe for pleasure to include swimming. One may sponge bathe. The exception is one who works

in the heat. They may rinse in a shower.

On Shabbat, all forms of mourning are strictly prohibited. We should eat, drink, and rejoice. On Shabbat, we enter the realm of the Olam Haba!

The Havdalah of the 17th of Tammuz Leading into the Fast:

We have the havdalah of Motzei Shabbos  as normal.

The Havdalah of Tisha B’Av

On Motzei Shabbos there will not be a havdalah except for the blessing over the flame. Havdalah, as usual, will be postponed until Sunday night after the fast.

We  partake of a mournful meal of separation usually consisting of a hard boiled egg and piece of bread dipped in ash. 

After nightfall it is forbidden to wear leather shoes or sit on regular chairs.

Husbands and wives should not sleep in the same bed.

It is best for men to sleep on the floor. Women should make their sleep less comfortable. For instance, if they

are accustomed to sleeping with two pillows, they should use only one.

The Fast of Tisha B’Av

Men do not don the Tallit gadol nor Tefillin (we do don the Tallit katan but without a blessing)

We do not sit on normal chairs until Mincha time.

We do not eat or drink

We do not wear leather shoes

We do not wash (one may wash ceremonially in the morning as usual) or anoint ourselves (to include make-up)

Marital relations are prohibited

We do not greet each other to include saying “good morning”

Note: For Mincha we don the Tallit gadol and Tefillin