Tisha B'Av Schedule & I'ts Laws & Customs

Shabbat July 17th.

Fast begins: 8:25 PM

Shabbat ends: 9:13 PM

Ma'ariv & Eichah: 9:45 PM

Sunday, July 18

Shacharit (without Talit & Tefillin): 9:00 AM

Midday: 1:01 PM

Minchah (with Talit & Tefillin): 7:30 PM

Fast ends: 8:56 PM

Maariv & Havdallah: 8:56 PM

Shabbat Chazzon 

This Shabbat is known as Shabbat Chazon. It is so called because the opening words of the Haftorah for this Shabbat are “Chazon Yeshayahu, the vision of Isaiah.” Though the theme of the Haftorah is very sad, Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev says that the inner meaning of this Shabbat is that each and every Jew is shown a vision of the Third Temple. The message is: amidst all of the mourning and sadness, we must keep our eye on the goal - to heal the wounds of exile by bringing Moshiach and rebuilding the Third Temple.

Laws and Customs for Tisha B'av

*Limitations on Torah study - From midday on Erev the fast of Tisha B’av, Shabbat, 7/17 at 1:01 PM, we do not learn those areas of Torah that we would not learn on Tisha B’Av itself. This includes virtually all Torah study except for the sad Midrashim which relate to the destruction, Halachah which relates to the fast day, the Book of Jeremiah and similar material. In addition, Pirkei Avot is not said. Note that this applies even though Erev the fast of Tisha B’Av is Shabbat when the laws of mourning generally do not apply.

*Minchah Shabbat afternoon – We will daven Minchah early on Shabbat afternoon after the kiddush at 1:30 PM. That way, people can go home to eat their final meal before coming back to Shul for Ma’ariv at 9:45 PM. 

*The final meal before the fast - For the final meal before the fast, on Shabbat afternoon, 7/17, we may eat whatever we want, including meat and wine. Since it is Shabbat, we do not dip bread or an egg in ashes and we do not sit on the floor. Note that the meal must be concluded before sundown, at 8:25 PM

*The fast begins - The fast begins at sunset (8:25 PM) on Shabbat afternoon, 7/17 Note that other prohibitions, like wearing leather shoes and sitting on a low chair (less than 3 tefachim, handbreadths), do not begin until nightfall at the end of Shabbat, at 9:13 PM.

*Ending Shabbat – We end Shabbat at home at 9:13 PM by saying "Baruch Hamavdil Bein Kodesh Lechol – Blessed is he who separates between the holy and the mundane." We then remove our leather shoes and refrain from sitting on regular chairs. Havdallah is not said. The Brachah on the Havdallah candle is said in Shul. One need not walk to shul, rather one can take a cab or bus - even though Ma’ariv has not yet been prayed.

*Ma’ariv – We will daven Ma’ariv in Shul and read Eichah beginning at 9:45 PM

*The 5 prohibitions – On Tisha B’Av we refrain from eating and drinking, anointing oneself, washing (even the hands), marital relations, and wearing leather shoes.

*Washing Hands - During Tisha B’Av, in the morning upon arising and after we use the bathroom, we only wash our hands up to the connection of the fingers and the palm. The blessing of Al Netilat Yadayim is still said (in the morning).

*Sitting on Chairs - Until Sunday, 7/18, after midday we refrain from sitting on chairs (higher than 3 tefachim).

*Tefillin - Tefillin are not worn at Shacharit on Tisha B’Av. They are, instead worn at Minchah. Therefore, great care should be taken to daven Minchah before Sundown, since Tefillin must be donned before sundown. This is especially true of those that put on Rabbeinu Tam’s Tefillin. They must make sure to finish Minchah and put on their second pair of Tefillin before sundown.

*End of Fast and Havdallah - The fast ends on Sunday night, 7/18, at 8:56 PM. Havdallah is said on a cup of wine (not beer) but we do not use spices or a Havdallah candle. The wine does not need to be given to a child to drink.

*Washing the hands - After the fast, we wash our hands as we would normally do upon awakening, washing each hand up to the wrist three times alternating, but without saying a blessing.

*After the fast - All prohibitions for the 9 Days, including not doing laundry, taking haircuts, eating meat etc, apply until mid-day on the 10th of Av, Monday, July 19 at 1:01 PM.

*Kiddush Levana – Kiddush Levana is said after the fast.

Extra Learning for the Three Weeks 

The Rebbe has emphasized that in addition to mourning the loss of the Temple during the Three Weeks, we need to do positive things during this time in a spirit of working towards the rebuilding of the Third Temple. One thing in particular he suggested is the study of the Laws of the Temple, Beit HaBechirah, from Maimonides’ Mishneh Torah. By studying about the Temple, we can hasten its rebuilding.

You can learn the Laws of the Beit Habehirah here.

Here is a quote from the Rambam’s Laws of the Beit HaBechirah (3:1-2):

The Altar is [to be constructed] in a very precise location, which may never be changed, as it is said (II Chronicles 22:1): "This is the Altar for the burnt offerings of Israel."

Isaac was prepared as a sacrifice on the Temple's [future] site, as it is said (Genesis 22:2): "Go to the land of Moriah," and in Chronicles (II 3:1), it is said: "Then, Solomon began to build the House of the Lord in Jerusalem, on Mt. Moriah, where [the Lord] appeared to David, his father, in the place that David had prepared, in the threshing floor of Ornan, the Jebusite."

It is universally accepted that the place on which David and Solomon built the Altar, the threshing floor of Ornan, is the location where Abraham built the Altar on which he prepared Isaac for sacrifice.

Noah built [an altar] on that location when he left the ark. It was also [the place] of the Altar on which Cain and Abel brought sacrifices. [Similarly,] Adam, the first man, offered a sacrifice there and was created at that very spot, as our Sages said: "Man was created from the place where he [would find] atonement."

In addition: 

It is important to give more Tzedakah than usual during the Three Weeks. Tzedakah is a key element in bringing about the redemption as the prophet Isaiah says, “Zion shall be redeemed with justice and its captives (returned) with Tzedakah.” Even a few extra coins each day (except Shabbat) into a pushka (charity box) is very meaningful.

The Talmud tells us that the Temple was destroyed because of baseless hatred between people. Thus, the remedy for the destruction and the key to rebuilding the Temple is to increase in loving our fellow Jew.

 May we merit to celebrate Tisha B'Av this year together with Moshiach and the rebuilding of our third Holy Temple, AMEN!