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In Melbourne Shabbat begins Fri 5 May 2017 05:10 PM and ends Sat 6 May 2017 06:09 PM
ה' אב ה' אלפים תש"ע
Laws of Tisha B'Av
From the Rabbi’s Desk
Erev Tisha b’Av (8th of Av) (Mon July 19th)
After chatzos (Halachic Midday), one should refrain from learning Torah topics unrelated to the events of Tisha B’Av (Rama, Orach Chayim 553:2), even when this coincides with Shabbos. Others maintain that all learning is permissible on Erev Tisha B’av following chatzos, regardless if it coincides with Shabbos, or not (Mishneh B’rurah Orach Chaim 553:8 and 9).
A large meal enabling one to fast well should be eaten prior to Minchah. After minchah the Seudah Hamafsekes (last meal) is eaten, consisting of a cold hard-boiled egg (customarily dipped in ashes), bread and water, eaten while seated on the ground, away from others. Three men having sat together do not recite Birchas Hamazon B’Zimun.
Tisha B’Av (Tue July 20th)
The laws of Tisha B’Av go into effect at sunset of the 9th day of Av, 5:23pm and end at approximately 45 minutes after sunset the following evening, i.e. 6:08pm.
Eating, drinking, washing one’s body, anointing one’s self, wearing leather shoes and marital relations are forbidden on Tisha B’Av.
Deodorant may be used (R’ Moshe Feinstein, see Sefer Moadei Yeshurun) Nursing mothers, whose fasting may jeopardize the infant, should consult a physician. All other adults in good heath, should fast.
One may not wash any part of his body, except the fingers of both hands up to the knuckles, upon rising in the morning and after using the bathroom. One can use the moist residue to clear his eyes in the morning. Dirt may be removed by using water solely on its locale. One who perspires greatly may use a deodorant.
If possible (excluding people with back problems), one should not sit higher than 30.5cm (12 inches) above the ground until chatzos, Halachic mid-day, which this year is at 12:27 PM.
One’s manner of sleep should be altered on Tisha B’Av night (using fewer pillows, etc) to manifest the discomfort felt over the loss of the Bais Hamikdosh.
Sunbathing is forbidden.
Torah study dealing with subjects other than Tisha B’Av is forbidden. Permitted study includes Sefer Iyov, Yirmiyahu, Gemara Gittin 56b.
Preparations for the meal-after-the-fast should not be made until after chatzos.
Prayers on Tisha B’Av:
Megillas Eicha (Lamentations) is recited on the night of Tisha B’Av, following the recitation of Kinos. The Tallis Katan (tzitzis) is put on in the morning with a Brachah. One should not kiss the tzitzis during the Sh’ma. Tallis and Tfillin are not worn until the minchah. After Shachris, it is customary to visit a Jewish cemetery. The prayer Nacheim is added in the Minchah Shemoneh Esrai in the blessing of Bonai Yerushalayim. Shemoneh Esrai is not repeated if Nacheim is forgotten. One who must eat on Tisha B’Av should recite the Nacheim in Birkat Hamazon before the brochah of U’vnai Yerushalayim. The blessing of the new moon is recited after Maariv, preferably after having changed into shoes.
The Tenth of Av (Wed July 21st)
Since the majority of the Bais Hamikdash actually burned down on the 10th of Av, several restrictions remain until after halachic mid-day of the 10th (12:27 PM). These include the consumption of meat and wine, listening to music, shaving, showering, laundering & haircutting. (Showers may be taken to remove sweat or dirt).