Printed from chabad.org
All Departments
Jewish Holidays
TheRebbe.org
Jewish.TV - Video
Jewish Audio
News
Kabbalah Online
JewishWoman.org
Kids Zone

The Laws of Mourning

The Laws of Mourning

E-mail

As part of our mourning for the destruction of the Temple and the exile of Israel, we abstain from many pleasurable activities on the night and day of Av 9—starting with sundown on the eve of the day before, and concluding with the following nightfall (click here for the exact times in your location).

Specifically, we don't:

  • We abstain from many pleasurable activities on the night and day of Av 9Eat or drink. All adults – even pregnant and nursing women – fast on this day. One who is ill, or a pregnant woman who feels excessive weakness, should consult with a rabbi. An ill person who is not fasting should refrain from eating delicacies and should eat only that which is absolutely necessary for his physical wellbeing.
  • Wear leather footwear, or footwear that contains any leather (even if it is only a leather sole).
  • Sit on a normal-height chair until midday. ("Halachic" midday is the halfway point between sunrise and sunset; (click here for the exact times in your location.)
  • Bathe or wash oneself—"even to insert a finger in cold water."
    Exceptions:
    One who becomes soiled may rinse the affected area with cold water.
    It is permitted to wash up after using the restroom.
    When preparing food – for children, or for the post-fast meal – one may wash the food, even if it also, incidentally, washes the hands.
    When ritually washing the hands in the morning, the water should be poured on the fingers only until the knuckle joints.
  • Apply ointment, lotions or creams.
    It is permissible, however, to bathe a baby and apply ointments to his skin.
  • Engage in marital relations or any form of intimacy.
  • Send gifts, or even greet another with the customary "hello" or "how are you doing?"
  • Engage in outings, trips or similar pleasurable activities.
  • Wear fine festive clothing.
  • "One who mourns Jerusalem will merit to see her happiness"Study Torah, because "the commandments of G‑d are upright, causing the heart to rejoice" (Psalms 19:9). It is, however, permitted – and encouraged – to study sections of the Torah which discuss the laws of mourning, the destruction of the Temples, and the tragedies which befell the Jewish people throughout our history. This prohibition actually begins at midday of the day before Tisha b'Av.

"One who mourns Jerusalem will merit to see her happiness, as the verse (Isaiah 66:10) promises: 'Rejoice with her greatly, all who mourn for her'"—Talmud Taanit 30b.

© Copyright, all rights reserved. If you enjoyed this article, we encourage you to distribute it further, provided that you comply with Chabad.org's copyright policy.
E-mail
1000 characters remaining
Email me when new comments are posted.
Sort By:
Discussion (9)
December 13, 2013
Re Drinking
For those who have no underlying medical conditions, drinking water or any other liquid is not permitted on a fast day.
Mrs. Chana Benjaminson
mychabad.org
December 13, 2013
drinking
is drinking water allowed during the fast?
Anonymous
July 16, 2013
sleep
Can you sleep on Tish Baav?
Anonymous
July 15, 2013
RE: Smoking
Smoking should indeed be avoided on 9 Av. In case of need, there is room for leniency in privacy after midday.
Menachem Posner
Montreal
July 15, 2013
Smoking
Is smoking permitted on tisha beav (assuming not forbidden throughout the year?)
Anonymous
July 29, 2012
Reading Job
I thought that the reading of the book of Job was to be done on this day?
Joel
Fullerton, CA
August 10, 2011
To Nelson
The reason we do not study Torah is because doing so gives us pleasure, as King David says, "The statutes of the L-rd ... gladden the heart." As the reason we do not study Torah is to avoid gladness, we may study those parts that make us said, such as the prophecies and accounts of the destruction.
Menachem Posner
Montreal, Quebec
jccaspen.com
August 9, 2011
to nelson
We don't learn Torah on this day because learning Torah gives energy to the day - and it is a day of mourning. Same on "Krystallnacht" or Dec. 25 - we do not learn Torah at that time.
Anonymous
LA, CA
August 9, 2011
It is difficult to understand NOT studying Torah as NOT being sourced from the vanity of MAN.
Nelson
Cotopaxi
jccaspen.com
FEATURED ON CHABAD.ORG