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Laws of Tisha B’av

There are a number of unique practices this Shabbos due to the fact that it is the ninth of Av and Erev Tisha B’Av.

Ashkenazi custom is to avoid marital relations unless it is the night of the Mikvah or if it could impacts one’s mitzvah of having children.

One eats a regular Shalosh Seudos but must complete eating by sunset (this year sunset takes place at 8:08 PM in Baltimore).

There are differing opinions about learning Torah after midday. Ideally one should study sections that relate to the destruction of the Bais HaMikdash.

One should not go on a walk for pleasure after midday (1:11 PM).

On Tisha Bav one is not supposed to do anything that can be seen as joyful.The following things are therefore forbidden:

– Eating and drinking (If one has any medical concerns please contact me before the fast)

– Intimacy

– Studying Torah that does not pertain to Tisha Bav

– Washing oneself in any way. This includes a prohibition against brushing one’s teeth and putting on deodorant. However, one may wash their fingers upon waking up. If one’s hands become dirty in any way, one can wash whatever part of their hand is dirty. If one wishes to bathe a child or wash dishes and their hands will get wet in the process it is permitted to do so.

On Tisha Bav one may not wear leather shoes. One should not greet others. If one is greeted they may respond.

One must sit on a low stool until Halachic midday, which in Baltimore will be at 1:11 PM on Tisha B’av.

One should not work for the first half of Tisha Bav. Ideally, one should not work the entire day.

There are some who sleep in a less comfortable fashion on the night of Tisha Bav. For example, if they normally sleep with two pillows they sleep with one. If they normally sleep with one pillow they sleep with none. If one can do so, it is a meaningful custom. If it will prevent them from sleeping and they will have a harder time fasting, or they have some condition which will make sleeping (or the next day) extremely uncomfortable, there is no need to do so.

The fast is over at 8:50 PM.

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