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Tisha B’av & The 3 Weeks 2019

Tisha B’Av - Laws of the 9 Days and Week of Tisha B’Av

Laws of The Nine Days and the week of Tisha B'Av according to Sephardi and Ashkenazi Jews

| 05.08.19 | 12:22
Tisha B’Av - Laws of the 9 Days and Week of Tisha B’Av
1. The custom of Sephardi and Oriental Jews is not to wash up or bathe with hot water during the week that Tisha B'Av falls, but one may bathe with cold water and even soap. Therefore it is permissible for Sephardi and Oriental Jews to bathe in the sea or in a pool during the week that Tisha B'Av falls (and one should be sure that the laws of modesty are upheld in such places), and one should also be careful not to get into places or situations of danger such as when there is no lifeguard around. This is the case all year round, but one should be careful especially during these days).
 
2. Before the week that Tisha B'Av falls, Sephardi and Oriental Jews are allowed to bathe the whole body even with warm water, and even with soap. All the more so one should be lenient with this on the eve of Shabbat ‘Hazon’ in honor of Shabbat.
 
3. Ashkenazim tend to be stricter about not washing the entire body with hot or cold water from the first day of the month of Av, with the first day of the month included in the prohibition. However, if Rosh Chodesh Av falls on a Friday, it is permitted to bathe one’s body in honor of Shabbat. To those accustomed to bathing every Friday eve in honor of Shabbat, they may wash themselves even with hot water and soap.
 
4. Workers returning from their work who are drenched in sweat, and without bathing would feel awful, are allowed to wash up with cold water during the week that Tisha B'Av falls, even according to Ashkenazi custom.
 
5. One who lives in places where these days are hot summer days, such as in Israel and its region, and he is used to bathing his entire body every day, or every few days, and if he doesn’t bathe, he will feel repulsive — may keep the lenient view that allows bathing in cold water even during the week that Tisha B'Av falls. This is also the Ashkenazi custom.
 
6. The custom of the Ashkenazi Jews is to only wash the head, face, hands and feet in cold water on the eve of Shabbat Hazon. If one is used to washing his head, face, hands and feet in warm water every Friday eve, he may do so on the eve of Shabbat Hazon, but without soap.
 
7. Pious individuals who immerse themselves in a mikveh every day throughout the year, may immerse themselves in a cold mikveh during the week that Tisha B'Av falls. If they are unable to immerse themselves in a cold mikveh, they may immerse themselves in a warm mikveh. Similarly, one who immerses himself in a mikveh every Friday eve throughout the year, is allowed to immerse himself in a mikveh on the eve of Shabbat Hazon, including Ashkenazi Jews who are stringent and do not bathe from the first day of Av. They should immerse themselves in a cold mikvah. If they cannot enter a cold mikveh, they can use a hot mikveh.
 
8. One who has to bathe in hot water for medical reasons, may also bathe during the week that Tisha B'Av falls, since he is not doing it for his pleasure.
 
9. The custom in the holy city of Jerusalem is not to eat meat from the beginning of the month of Av until the tenth day of Av, with the the day after Tisha B’Av (10 Av) included in the prohibition. (The custom of Sephardi and Oriental Jews is to be lenient and allow eating meat on the first day of Av, while Ashkenazi Jews are more stringent and do not allow eating meat on this day.) Nevertheless, one is permitted to taste a dish with meat and fat on Friday eve during this period, since it is a virtuous act to taste the dishes in honor of Shabbat. One who is stringent for himself and avoids doing so, will be blessed.
 
10. It is permitted to eat meat and drink wine on the Shabbat before Tisha B'Av. And even if Tisha B'Av fell on Shabbat and was postponed to Sunday — one may eat meat that Shabbat, and drink wine, and may even serve a feast just like the one served by King Solomon during his reign. It is forbidden to refrain from eating meat on this Shabbat.