A Message from the Rabbi
Halachos of the Week
The period from Rosh Chodesh Av (Thursday night, August 4th) through Tisha B’Av (Sunday, August 14th) is known as the “Nine Days.” Due to its proximity to Tisha B’Av, this period carries six customary signs of mourning above and beyond those of the Three Weeks. They are:
1) Construction- this refers to any major construction or decorating in the home which can be postponed until after Tisha B’Av without incurring substantial financial loss. All critical home repairs are obviously permitted.
2) Wine and Meat – consuming these things are prohibited except on the following occasions:
(a) Shabbos during the Nine Days. At Havdala the wine is customarily given to a child (over the age of 6) to drink, but if unavailable, an adult may drink the wine.
(b) When attending a Siyum made at the conclusion of a masechta of Gemara, a masechta of Mishna studied with commentary, or a book of Tanach.
(c) As a guest at a Bris Milah or Pidyon haBen.
3) Laundering- the cleaning of clothing, bed linens, and tablecloths, even by a non-Jew on behalf of a Jew is not permitted. The prohibition is suspended (up to but not including Tisha B’Av) in the following situations:
(a) when all of one’s garments are soiled, then what one requires minimally is permitted.
(b) Children’s clothing
This also includes the tailoring and repairing of clothing, unless one’s income is from tailoring.
4) Wearing Laundered Clothing- freshly laundered clothing, except undergarments, should not be worn during the Nine Days. However, if they were donned prior to this period, even briefly, they may be worn. On Shabbos, freshly cleaned clothing may be worn.
5) Shaving- where an unsightly appearance could be detrimental to one’s profession or business, one can shave during this time, up until the week in which Tisha B’Av falls, otherwise one should refrain.
6) Swimming and Bathing - one should not bath and swim for pleasure during this time. To relieve discomfort, to clean one’s self, and for halachic and health purposes, they are permitted.
May all these prohibitions soon be a thing of the past, with the coming of Moshiach speedily in our days.
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