Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Prohibitions for Tish'a beAb (Part 2)

Yesterday we explained that besides fasting there are other activities which are forbidden to do on Tish'a beAb because they involve some form of pleasure, which will distract us from attaining the sentiment of grief and mourning which is appropriate for the saddest day of the Jewish calendar (see yesterday's HOTD here). 

That is also the reason why on Tish'a BeAb it is not recommended to work. Working would also divert our minds from the feeling of grief. Refraining from work on Tish'a BeAb, however, is not a formal prohibition, but rather optional. Depending ultimately on one's community tradition and one's financial and professional situation.

What else is forbidden on Tish'a beAb?

LIMUD TORAH: On Tish'a BeAb we don't study Tora, because studying Tora is considered a joyous and pleasurable activity. We only read and study Tora books or texts with a 'sad' content such as the book of Iyob or Ekha, some Psalms, Josephus Flavious, etc.

TEFILIN: We do not use Tefilin in the morning. Tefilin is a signal of honor and pride, a crown in our heads which declares that we are the people of God. In the Mashadi community we use our Talit and Tefilin for Mincha. In Yerushalaim the Sepharadic Minhag is that before one goes to the Synagogue one says the Shema Israel at home with Talit and Tefilin. Other Sepharadim wear Tefilin and Tallit as normal.   

SHE-ELAT SHALOM: We don't greet each other as usual, because our mood is a mourner's mood.

SITTING ON THE FLOOR: Many communities have the custom that during the reading of Megilat Ekha people don't sit on the Synagogue's benches but on the floor, like mourners, while the lights are dimmed, also as an indication of mourning.

Our Chakhamim assured us that those who cry for the destruction of Yerushalaim will have the merit to rejoice with the reconstruction of Yerushalaim, B'H soon, in our days!

Click here to watch a 3D aerial tour of the 1st Bet haMiqdash