Tisha B’Av by Rabbi Dov Schochet
The Beth Jacob V’Anshei Drildz Congregation
This Shabbos will mark 1,944 years since the destruction of the second Beit Hamikdash and 2,434 years since the destruction of the first. Our continuous mourning is of course also directly linked with our firm belief for the very imminent rebuilding of the third and eternal Beit Hamikdash.
There are various Halachot that are particularly relevant for this year when the actual fast of Tisha (9th of) B’Av gets postponed to Sunday.
1. One of the afflictions of Tisha B’Av is to not wear leather shoes. Typically one would change into non leather shoes (e.g. slippers, crocs, some types of running shoes etc) before evening. However this year the day before Tisha B’Av is a Shabbos. Since there is a rule on Shabbos that one cannot prepare anything on Shabbos for the weekday one may not bring the non-leather shoes to Shul on Shabbos as it would constitute preparation for the weekday.
2. Typically there is no Se’uda Shlishit in Shul on a Shabbat which is the eve of Tisha B’Av. Instead, there would be an early Mincha and one would go home to eat. There is no “Se’uda Hamafseket” in the sense of eating an egg in ash as you would ordinarily have. But you must make sure to finish eating and drinking by 8:40 pm.
3. Havdalah! Since one may not eat or drink from sundown on Shabbos, one would not make the typical Havdalah that they are accustomed to throughout the year. You do recite the Havdala as part of the Shmone Esre during Maariv as you would normally, or say the words “ברוך המבדיל בין קודש לחול”, but there is no Havdalah with a cup of wine. You do recite the Bracha over a Havdalah candle, but no Bracha for the spices (בשמים). Sunday evening, once the fast is over you would recite the Havdalah with a cup of wine, but without any candle or spices (בשמים).
4. While Tisha B’Av is more stringent in receiving exemptions for fasting or allowances to breaking the fast, nonetheless if one has a medical concern they should contact their doctor and Rav to discuss their concern with regards to fasting. If one is for whatever reason permitted to eat, they should not indulge in foods that are not considered a necessity. Likewise one should not go on pleasure trips or other forms of pleasurable excursions on this day. (Although it is a Sunday!)
There are more Halachot that pertain to Tisha B’Av, some of which have been reviewed between Mincha & Maariv during the week. I mentioned a few that where I sensed people would be concerned about.
Wishing you all an easy fast, and may this day be turned into a day of joy and celebration with the ultimate coming of Moshiach Tzidkenu speedily in our days, Amen.