Tisha B’Av This Year (5782)

1) The final meal before Tisha B’Av is called the seuda hamafsekes and has special requirements. The purpose of the seuda hamafsekes is to experience sorrow and mourning for the destruction of the Beis Hamikdosh. (M.B. 552:1) Therefore, it is prohibited to eat meat or drink wine at this meal. (Although the custom is not to eat meat or drink wine during the Nine Days, during this meal it is prohibited and not merely a custom.) In addition, one may eat only one type of cooked food, so that the meal should not be one of honor and pleasure. (S.A. 551:1 M.B. 11, 17) The custom is for the seuda hamafsekes to consist only of bread, cold hard-boiled eggs and water (Rama 552:5, M.B. 13).
When Tisha B’Av occurs on Shabbos and is postponed until Sunday (as it does this year), the seuda hamafsekes (Shalosh Seudos) does not have the restrictions cited above. One may eat meat and drink wine and his meal may consist of many cooked dishes. (S.A. 552:10) Unlike other Shabbasim, however, he must stop eating before sunset.


2) Learning Torah on Tisha B’Av is prohibited, except for those portions and topics which are relevant to Tisha B’Av and mourning. (S.A. 554:1)
There is a debate amongst the poskim whether one may learn Torah on Shabbos when Tisha B’Av occurs on Shabbos (and is postponed until Sunday). Many poskim maintain that on Shabbos after noon, one may only learn these portions and topics of Torah which are permitted on Tisha B’Av. (See Rama 553:2 and Netai Gavriel page 522) According to these poskim Pirkei Avos is not said. (M.B. 9) Other poskim hold that since eating meat and drinking wine is permissible, learning Torah is also permissible. The Taz concludes that one who conducts himself according to this lenient view (even after noon) is not acting in error. (M.B. 10)


3) When Tisha B’Av occurs on Shabbos and the fast is postponed until Motzei Shabbos, one may not prepare for Tisha B’Av on Shabbos. Therefore, one may not bring copies of Eicha, Kinos or stools to Shul on Shabbos. (Netai Gavriel page 533)


4) When Tisha B’Av occurs on Shabbos, the customary Havdallah is not said on Motzei Shabbos. Rather, on Motzei Shabbos after nightfall, the bracha of borei meorei haeish is said upon seeing candlelight. The bracha should be recited after Maariv before reading Eicha. However, if he forgot to say it before Eicha, he may say it any time during the night. The bracha over besamim is not recited. (See Halachos of the Three Weeks by Rav Shimon Eider page 17)


5) The Gemara tells us that the Beis Hamikdash continued burning until sunset of the tenth of Av. Therefore, the restrictions of the Three Weeks and the Nine Days apply until noon of the tenth of Av. (M.B. 558:5) Therefore, one should not eat meat or drink wine until the noon after Tisha B’Av. Bathing, haircuts, washing clothes and music is also prohibit. (M.B. 2) [Regarding Havdallah, some permit drinking wine while others advise to use beer or chamar medina- for normative halacha, a rav should be consulted.]
Rav Shimon Eider zt”l (Halachos of the Three Weeks page 32) writes the following, “When Tisha B’Av falls on Shabbos and is postponed until Sunday [as is the case this year], eating meat and drinking wine is permissible Monday morning. On Sunday evening, however, it is prohibited … since the day was spent in mourning, it is not proper to assume conduct of simcha (i.e. eating meat and drinking wine) immediately after it is over. Bathing, washing clothing and haircuts are permissible Sunday evening. Music is not permitted until the morning.” Harav Gavriel Zinner shlit”a, however, permits music on Sunday evening as well. (Netai Gavriel page 553)

Losing The Minyan In Middle of Davening

In many areas there are restrictions to have just 10 men gather for davening. One of the situations that can arise when there are just 10 men for the minyan is that it is possible that in middle of the davening you may lose the minyan. Someone might leave to go to work or go to the bathroom. Over the next few days we will discuss the laws of continuing davening without a minyan.
1) If one had a minyan of 10 men and the 10th man left in middle of the davening, as long as there is still 6 men remaining, the chazzan may complete the “topic” that he is in middle of, however, he may not begin a new “topic”. As we shall explain.
2) If one had 10 when he began saying kaddish and people left he may complete the kaddish, assuming 6 still remain. (S.A.55:2)
3) It should be noted that for the 10th man to leave the minyan so that a minyan no longer remains is a sin. (Rama and see Eishel Avraham Botchetch as to whether this applies to kaddish as well.)

4) If one began chazaras hashatz (even the first bracha) with a minyan and the 10th man left in middle, he may complete chazaras hashatz, including the recitation of kedusha, assuming there are still 6 people remaining. (S.A. 55:3 and M.B. 15) He may even recite the full kaddish that is recited after chazaras hashatz (e.g. the full kaddish before Aleinu by Shachris and Mincha). (ibid. Rama) During Shachris where there is an additional half kaddish (following Tachanun), the chazzan may recite that half kaddish as well. (M.B. 10 & 19) [The mourner’s kaddish may not be recited, as we shall discuss in a future email. In addition, one would not be able to start Krias Hatorah without a minyan present.]
5) Although, the chazzan may complete chazzaras hashatz (Halacha 1), kohanim may not recite Birchas Kohanim, as Birchas Kohanim is perceived as a new “topic.” In Israel and for Sefardim even in the Diaspora this is a daily occurrence, in Chutz L’aaretz this would only be relevant on Yomim Tovim. Rather, the chazzan just says the brachos (the same procedure that is done when there are no kohanim present). (M.B. ibid. and Ishei Yisroel page 148)

6) If there was a minyan for the beginning of the silent shemoneh esrei and the 10th man left during the silent shemoneh esrei, the halacha is as follows. During Shachris and Mincha one may not begin chazaras hashatz or recite kaddish. However, during Maariv one may recite the full kaddish before Aleinu, assuming that 6 men remain in shul. (Ishei Yisroel page 149)
7) If there was a minyan for reciting Barchu at the beginning of Maariv and then the 10th man left, they may recite the half kaddish before Shemoneh Esrei, but not the kaddish after shemoneh esrei. (ibid.)

8) If there were 10 men present for Yishtabach or for Ashrei of Mincha (before Shemoneh Esrei) and the 10th man left before kaddish was recited, Kaddish may not be said. (S.A. 55 M.B. 7)
9) If one said Aleinu with a minyan and the 10th man left before the mourner’s kaddish, kaddish is not said. (Ishei Yisroel page 149)

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Halachos Relevant for One Who Remains Awake the Entire Night of Shavuos

  1. Many have the custom to stay up Shavuot night learning torah in anticipation of accepting the Torah on Shavuot. The Mishnah Berurah (494:1) quotes the Arizal who said that one who learns all night on Shavuos will live the next year without being damaged. One reason given for this custom is that Klal Yisroel were sleeping the night before the Torah was given and Hashem had to wake them up in order to accept the Torah. Therefore, we need to rectify this by remaining awake.
  2. Certain brachos may be affected by one staying up all night. I will therefore do my best to clarify the relevant laws and customs for Shavuos morning. [Please note the following laws only apply if one stayed up the entire night. If one slept for a period of time during the night, the laws may be different, and a rabbi should be consulted.]:
  3. Modeh Ani– One need not recite.
  4. Al Netilas Yadayim– The poskim debate whether one should recite it. The Mishnah Berurah (4:28) writes that one should go to the bathroom prior to Davening and he may then say a blessing of Netilas Yadayim. Sefardim wash without a blessing even if they went to the bathroom. (Yalkut Yosef 4:8)
  5. Birchas Hashachar (Except for Elokai Neshama and Hamaavir Sheina)- One must recite.
  6. Elokai Neshama and Hamaavir Sheina– The poskim debate whether to recite them. It is therefore preferable to have someone who slept recite it for the congregation. If there is no one present who slept the custom of Sefardim and Chabad is to recite the brachos. The Aruch Hashulchan (46:13) likewise feels that one may recite these brachos even if one stayed up all night. It is unclear what the Mishnah Berurah would feel about this halacha and a rabbi should be consulted. It may be worthwhile for one who is Sefardic or Chabad to recite it for the whole congregation.
  7. Birchas Hatorah– The poskim debate whether one should recite it. It is therefore preferable that one who slept recite it for the congregation. If there is no one that slept present one does not recite the bracha. If, however, one slept on Erev Shavuos (Shabbos afternoon) one may recite the bracha Shavuos morning. (M.B. 47:28)
  8. Tallis Gadol– A bracha is recited.
  9. Tzitzis (for those that do not wear a Tallis Gadol)- If one wore the pair of tzitzis all night one does not recite a bracha. It is therefore preferable that one who dons the Tallis Gadol to recite the bracha and have in mind to fulfill the obligation for those wearing Tzitzis.