Tish'a BeAb is our National Day of Mourning. This year, it will be observed from Monday August 8th at night until Tuesday August 9th at night (click HERE to see what tragic events happened to the Jewish people on Tish'a beAb).
Besides fasting (we will deal with the subject of fasting B'H this coming Thursday) there are two categories of 'activities' that are forbidden on Tish'a beAb 1. Activities related to 'Pleasure' and 2. Activities related to joy or which can distract us from the mood of mourning. We abstain from them to express (or awake) an emotional state of grief.
Today we will cover the first category.
WASHING: Same as Yom Kippur, taking a shower, bathing or washing done for pleasure, relax, comfort is forbidden on Tish'a beAb. However, if a part of the body is unclean, one can wash it. Washing our mouth is not permitted on Tish'a beAb. Many rabbis authorize to use baby wipes to clean one's face, hands, etc. because it is not considered washing. We can also wash our hands for Netilat Yadaim, because it is for Mitzva and not for pleasure. The custom, however, is to wash only our fingers.
SIKHA: Using fragrances or creams for pleasure or comfort is no permitted. Medical creams are permitted. Using deodorant is permitted.
LEATHER SHOES: are considered a luxurious item so during Tish'a beAb we don't wear leather shoes. Other leather items, like a belt are permitted.
MARITAL RELATIONS are suspended on Tish'a beAb as if it was Niddah time. If the Mikveh night falls on the eve of Tisha beAb (Monday August 8) it has to be postponed for the next night .
May we all soon rejoice for Binyan Yerushalaym! AMEN
Recommended links to learn more about Tish'a beAb: