Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Buying, building and renovating during the three weeks

Yesterday we explained some of the customs that are prevalent among Sephardic and Ashkenazi Jews during the three weeks between the 17th of Tamuz and the 9th of Ab. We mentioned, for example, that according to the Shulhan 'arukh during the three weeks it is appropriate to refrain from reciting the blessing Sheheheyanu for a new fruit or a new garment. 

It is also customary to refrain from buying new clothing after the beginning of the month of Ab, except if the article will be more expensive after Tisha beAb. It is also appropriate to abstain from buying gold or any jewelry from Rosh Hodesh Ab. Except when done as an investment or as a business operation.  

For Sephardim it is permitted to buy, rent or move into a new house until Rosh Chodesh Ab.  Many Sephardim however, will not abstain from buying a new house even after the beginning of the month of Ab. Particularly when the buying or renting of a property is considered more a business deal than a joyous act. Why? Because what it is forbidden during this period of time is any form of superfluous purchasing, building or renovation, i.e., when is done for joy and pleasure. That is not permitted because we are in a time of mourning. But any purchase or operation that is done for a need or as a business it is permitted.  
If one is building his new home he can continue doing so and one does not have to discontinue his work (or the work of the company in charge of building his house) during the nine days. 

One may not paint his home or do any unnecessary renovations in his house or buy any unnecessary new furniture during the nine days. But one can do any reparations or fix anything which needs to be fixed in his house, etc. 

Purchasing something which is meant for a Mitzva is permitted. For example: buying Tefilin or a new book of Tora.   

It is also permitted to buy non-leather shoes to wear them on Tish'a beAb. 

More on the Ashkenazi customs of 
The Three Weeks 
by Rabbi Shraga Simmons, 
from Aish