Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Prohibitions on Tish'a beAb (Part 1)

 Tish'a beAb is the Jewish National Day of Mourning. This year, it will be observed from Saturday night, July 28th, until Sunday night, July 29th. 

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' .
2. Activities related to joy. 

These actions would distract our hearts from the mood of mourning. This is why we abstain from them on Tish'a BeAb, to express (or awake) an emotional state of grief.

Today we will explain the first category of prohibitions.

Same as Yom Kippur, taking a shower, bathing or washing done for pleasure or comfort is forbidden on Tish'a beAb. However, if a part of the body is unclean, one can wash it. A woman preparing the food for the night after the fast can wash her hands.  

Washing our mouth is not permitted on Tish'a beAb. Except in a situation of great distress, and in such a case one should bend one's head downward so one doesn't swallow any water (Rabbi Obadya Yosef).  

It is permitted to use baby wipes to clean one's face, eyes, hands, etc. because it is not considered washing.  

We can also wash our hands in the morning for Netilat Yadaim, because we do it for a Mitzva and not for pleasure. Our custom, however, is to wash only our fingers.  

Using fragrances or creams for pleasure or comfort is not permitted. Medical creams or oils 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 or a leather Kippa 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 Tish'a beAb --this coming Saturday night--it has to be postponed for the next night .

May we all soon rejoice for Binyan Yerushalaym! AMEN
WATCH: Tish'a BeAb: The Root of Destruction  by Charlie Harary