top of page
The Short Halachos of Tisha B'av
By Rabbi Tzvi Yaakov Stein - TYStein.com
EREV TISHA B’AV
• Even after chatzos (midday) it is better to learn only subjects that are allowed on Tishah B’av.
• It is preferable to learn one’s regular subjects than to sit idle.
• Daily learning like Daf Yomi is allowed.
• After chatzos, no leisure activities (e.g., touring, boating) are allowed.
• Exercise/walking for health purposes is allowed.
• Even children and others that aren’t fasting should eat the seudah.
• Two cooked foods are not allowed to be eaten at the meal. Therefore: Eat an earlier meal in order to be able to eat many different foods. (Bread is not necessary.)
• Later, before sunset, eat a meal with bread.
• This meal should be eaten while sitting on the floor.
• The minhag is to eat an egg.
• The minhag is to dip the bread into ashes.
• Three men shouldn’t eat together to prevent the requirement to make a mezuman.
• Even after saying Birchas HaMazon, eating and drinking is allowed until sunset.
• All the following restrictions start at sunset.
• Medicine in pill form is allowed.
• If liquid is necessary to facilitate swallowing of the medicine, less than an ounce of liquid is allowed.
• If food is necessary for the medicine then an olive’s volume of food is allowed.
• Pregnant women and nursing mothers must fast. Those who are weak should ask a shaila.
• A mother within thirty days of birth doesn’t have to fast.
• It’s more important for a husband to stay home from shul etc. so that the wife can fast.
• In the morning and after using the bathroom, wash only up to the end of the knuckles.
• Washing to remove dirt is allowed.
• Washing hands for food preparation is allowed, although it is preferable to use gloves.
• Washing dishes is only allowed if they are messy or smelly, etc. If gloves are used, it is allowed in all circumstances.
• Smearing ointments is not allowed unless it is for medicinal purposes.
• Deodorant is allowed.
• Bug spray is allowed.
• Mouthwash and brushing teeth are allowed if one is in extreme discomfort.
• It is preferable not to use makeup.
• Children age 6 and under may be bathed. It is preferable to use gloves.
NO LEATHER SHOES
• Shoes which contain a small amount of leather for style are permitted.
• Leather watches, belts, etc., are permitted.
• Crocs, etc., are permitted.
• Leather shoes may be worn if one needs to walk
through the mud or the like and has no other
• Couples may not sleep in the same bed.
• Nor may they make physical contact at night.
• Harchakos do not have to be observed
• One may not inquire “How are you?” and the like.
• It is preferable not to say good morning.
• Inquiring as to how someone’s fast is going is allowed.
• If someone asks “How are you?” etc., one should answer in a solemn manner.
• Wishing Mazal Tov is allowed.
NO LEARNING TORAH
• Torah subjects pertaining to mourning may be learned, but not in depth.
• Churban related subjects may be learned.
• Tehillim may be said after chatzos.
• Tehillim for someone sick can be said at all times of the day.
• Stories of history and of gedolim are permitted.
NO SITTING ON CHAIRS
• After Chatzos, one may sit on a chair.
• The elderly, pregnant women, women during nursing, and the ill may sit on a regular chair.
• Sitting in a car is permitted.
• Height of a chair to sit on should preferably be less than nine inches but less than twelve inches is acceptable.
• One does not make a berachah on Tzitzis in the morning. One should have his tallis katan in mind when saying the berachah on the tallis gadol at Minchah. One who does not wear a tallis gadol should listen to that of one who does.
• Hanging out in the street is not allowed.
• Melachah is not allowed until chatzos (in a manner similar to Chol HaMoed).
• Even after chatzos, one who does melachah will not see berachah from it (unless one maintains
his focus on the Churban while working).
• Housework and food preparation shouldn’t be done until after chatzos.
• Food for Shabbos can be cooked on Thursday. Preferably after chatzos. If the hands will get wet then gloves should be worn.
• One may do so earlier to prevent a loss.
• A non-Jew may do housework.
• One who must do work after chatzos should not forget about the destruction of the beis
hamikdash. This can be accomplished by listening to shiurim or by reading something about the
destruction every half hour or so.
• Smoking and vaping (if ever allowed) should be done in private only after chatzos.
AFTER TISHA B’AV
• Once the fast is over, eating before Ma’ariv is allowed. One eating a meal before Ma’ariv should appoint a shomer or set an alarm.
• The restrictions of the Nine Days apply until midday of the tenth day of Av.
• It is preferable to refrain from marital relations, barring necessity.
• A cool/warm shower is allowed.
• If there’s absolutely no time to do laundry later, laundry can be done.
• Children’s clothing may be washed if necessary.
• If there are no pre-worn clothes, fresh, clean clothes may be worn.
• If one is traveling the next day and needs clothing, laundry may be done in the morning.
• When Tisha B’av falls out on Thursday, laundry for Shabbos may be done immediately after the
fast is over.
• If there won’t be time to get laundry done before Shabbos (for example summer camps or traveling) it can be done by a goy after chatzos on Tisha B’av.
• Other clothing may be added to a load of Shabbos clothing.
• Haircuts are only allowed Thursday night if one won’t have time on Friday.
• On Friday morning all laundry may be done.
• Bathing for Shabbos is allowed on Friday morning if one won’t bathe again before Shabbos.
• Music, meat, and swimming are not allowed until chatzos on Friday.
All The Basic Halachos of Tisha B'av
bottom of page