Laws of Tisha B’Av

  • Everyone is required to fast on Tisha B’Av. If a person is weak and may become ill from fasting, a rabbi should be consulted. If fasting is dangerous to your health, you are forbidden to fast.
  • Swallowing capsules or bitter medicine in liquid or tablet form is permitted.
  • We may not wash. If an area of the body becomes dirty, then we may wash that area. You may wash your hands up to the knuckles when you awaken in the morning, after using the bathroom, and before davening.
  • After drying your hands in the morning, you may wipe your eyes and face as long as long as your hands are not very damp.
  • We are forbidden from cohabitation and anointing. We may not wear perfume or cologne. For medical purposes, such as a skin condition, anointing is permissible.
  • We may not wear leather shoes‹even those partially made of leather or covered with leather. If you must wear leather shoes for medical reasons, you should consult a rabbi.
  • On Tisha B’Av, we may only study the subjects of Torah that relate to Tisha B’Av or mourning.
  • We may not greet one another or send gifts on Tisha B’Av. Giving tzedaka is permitted.
  • Until chatzot (halachic mid-day, or 12:49 p.m.), we may not sit on a chair that is 12 inches or higher off the ground.
  • Work that diverts your mind from mourning, or business transactions, are prohibited until chatzot. Housework should also be postponed until then.
  • Preparation for the break-fast meal is done after chatzot.
  • Tallit and tefillin aren¹t worn at Shacharit, but at Mincha instead.
  • In the Shemonah Esrei of Mincha we add the paragraph of “Nachem” to the blessing of “Et Tzemach David” and the paragraph of “Anenu” to the blessing of “Shema Kolenu” as is found in the Siddur.

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