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Browse Zemanim: Tisha Be'Ab: Halachot of Tisha Be'Ab

Contributed by: Ezra Mizrahi translated from Shaare Nehama

Hilchot Tisha Be'Ab
1) On Tisha Bee'Ab one is prohibited to eat, drink, wash, anoint, wear leather shoes, or have sexual relations.
2) A person who has fallen ill, may eat on the fast, even if the illness is not even potentially fatal.
3) Those who are not fasting, should not indulge in any extra food, but rather eat what they need.
4) It is worthy to be strict and not smoke on Tisha Bee'Ab.
5) Washing onee's body, even with cold water, is prohibited on Tisha Bee'Ab. In the morning, when making netilat yadayim, one should wash his fingers alone up to his knuckles.
6) However, any washing that is not for onee's comfort, but rather to remove dirt or for a missvah (i.e. Kohanim), is permitted to be done normally. And so, if one is washing dishes, one need not be concerned with wetting onee's whole hand because one is not intending to wash oneself for comfort.
7) One may not wash onee's face. If one has crust around onee's eyes in the morning, after washing onee's fingers for netilat yadayim, and they are still moist, one may pass then over onee's eyes to clean them.
8) Rinsing with mouthwash or brushing teeth is prohibited on Tisha Bee'Ab, unless the need to do so is great, but only on condition that one leans forward into the sink to avoid any liquid from slipping down onee's throat.
9) Learning Torah on Tisha Bee'Ab is prohibited, because learning causes happiness. However, sad or ominous chapters in the Tanach may be studied as can the laws of mourning, which all fall under the dark theme of the day.
10) One does not greet onee's friend on Tisha Bee'Ab. If a person did not know the halacha, and greets his friend, the friend is permitted to return a greeting in a low controlled manner.
11) One should not go out and walk around on Tisha Bee'Ab, for one may forget that it is Tisha Bee'Ab and act in a manner which is not in accordance with the somber mood of the day.
12) In New York, many people do work on Tisha Bee'Ab, and one is permitted to do so. However, one does not see true blessing from any money earned on this day.
13) In the evening and morning of Tisha Bee'Ab, in the Bet Kinesset the qahal sits on the floor. Only the elderly may sit on chairs. However, by Minha time, the qahal returns to sitting on chairs as usual.
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