02 Aug TISHA BA’AV QUESTIONS
This year Tisha B’Av is nidcheh—it is postponed from Shabbos to Sunday, the Tenth of Av. When do the various prohibitions of the Three Weeks end this year?
Normally, all restrictions of the Three Weeks and the Nine Days remain in place until the tenth of Av at Chatzos (midday) because the Bais Hamikdash continued to be engulfed in flames on the tenth of Av (Rama OC 558:1). This year, since the ninth of Av falls on Shabbos when we may not fast, the fast of Tisha B’Av is postponed to Sunday, the tenth of Av. Sunday evening is the 11th of Av and therefore, the restrictions against taking haircuts, shaving, doing laundry, bathing, swimming, saying Shehecheyanu and sewing are lifted immediately at the end of the fast without waiting until the next day (Mishna Berura 558:4).
Nonetheless, eating meat and drinking wine (which are foods used for celebrations) are only permitted Monday morning after the fast this year, but may not be consumed Sunday evening. Since the day was spent in mourning, it is not proper to resume conduct of simcha (joy) by eating meat and drinking wine immediately after the fast is over (Rama ibid).
It is questionable whether we can play and listen to music Sunday evening, this year. Is music, which is used for simcha, treated like meat and wine, which are restricted at night and not permitted until the morning? Or do we consider music as less significant, and it is permitted immediately after the fast, similar to haircuts, laundry and bathing? (See Kitzur Hilchos Bein HaMetzarim p. 32:3 who prohibits and the sefer Pesach V’Tisha B’Av B’Shabbos p. 154-155 who permits). Rav Schachter, shlit”a paskened that when Tisha B’Av is postponed, playing or listening to music is permitted immediately after the fast ends.
The Mishnah Berurah (O.C. 554:41) rules that saying “Tzafra Tova” “Good Morning” is prohibited on Tisha B’Av, just as greeting one’s friend is by saying “Shalom Aleichem” (Mechaber 554:20). I am attending a Bris on Tisha B’Av. May I say “Mazal Tov” to the baby’s father? If I meet a sick person on Tisha B’Av, may I wish him a “Refuah Shleimah” (a full recovery)? Are these also prohibited forms of greeting?
Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, zt”l rules that Mazal Tov for a recent Simcha may be said on Tisha B’Av since it is considered a blessing and not a greeting (Dirshu M.B. Beiurim and Musofim 554:63 citing Halichos Shlomo Bein HaMitzorim Vol. 15 Orchos Halacha 30). However, if at all possible, one should wait for a different day to express this Mazal Tov (Chut Sheini Vol. 2 p. 327).
Our minhag is to perform a Bris on Tisha B’Av after the Kinos are completed, even if it is before Chatzos (mid-day), because of Zerizim makdimim l’Mitzvos, those who serve Hashem with alacrity, do mitzvos as quickly as possible (Mechaber, Rama 559:7 and Mishna Berurah ibid s.k. 26). Rav Shlomo Zalman was of the opinion that one can certainly say “Mazal Tov” at the Bris even before Chatzos (ibid). Rav Moshe Feinstein, zt”l however rules that the Mazal Tov for the Bris should only be said after Chatzos (Dirshu M.B. ibid citing Shmaitza D’Moshe p. 431) so as not to lose focus that one is in a state of mourning.
Although “Sholom Aleichim” should not be said to an Avel (one who is in mourning), the Gesher HaChaim (21:67:7) permits wishing “Refuah Shleima” to an Avel who is ill, since this is considered a blessing and not a greeting. For the same reason it is permitted on Tisha B’Av to wish a “Refuah Shleima” to a person who is ill (Dirshu M.B. ibid).