13 Jul WOMEN AT A SIYUM
The Rema in 451:10 says that if a person makes a siyum during the nine days he may eat meat. There are a number of reasons for someone to make a siyum during the Nine Days. The Chozeh of Lublin says that the Shulchan Aruch tells us if someone makes a Bris during the Nine Days the attendees are limited to a minyan, whereas there is no restriction to the number of attendees allowed to come for a siyum. The reason for this is that since the Torah was established to be mesaken the Churban, and the Churban happened as a result of the Jews leaving the Torah, the Geulah will come via the Torah so it is fitting that we make siyumim during the Nine Days. A second reason is based on the Chidushei Ha’Rim who explains that since the Churban happened as a result of sinas chinam, making a siyum can be a tikkun. How is this so? Upon making a siyum one makes a Yom Tov for the Rabbanim and spreads happiness with one another which is the opposite of sinas chinam and therefore serves as a tikkun.
May a woman attending a siyum during the Nine Days eat meat and or drink wine? Is she a part of the simcha since she attended, or does she not have the mitzvah of limud HaTorah so she should not be able to participate? The Chayei Adam Vol II 133:67 says that since some women are invited to such meals, they may participate in the event it is her husband, father or son making the siyum. The Mishna Berurah in 551:75 concurs. On the other hand, the Shevet Halevi Vol 6:72 says that women and children should not participate since it has become a zilzul and there are no worries of pikuach nefesh as there are plenty of other foods and drinks they can eat. It would seem from the Shevet Halevi that only the wife of the mesayem may join in.
In Shailos U’Tshuvos Chasam Sofer 157 it states if a sick person needs to eat on Tisha B’Av and he will be satiated with food the size of a date, then it is forbidden for him to eat more than that amount. The Shailos U’Tshuvos Maharil Diskin says that when it comes to other fast days it would be dependent upon whether the tzibbur accepts the fast and therefore the fast would not apply to a sick person. On Tisha B’Av it is a chiyuv, even for a sick person, and he would need to fast to the best of his ability. The Shailos U’Tshuvos Teshuvos Vehanhagos brings in the name of Brisker Rov that even on Tisha B’Av one does not need a doctor to evaluate him and any sick person is not required to fast. The Brisker Rov made sure to visit sick people before Tisha B’Av and tell them they should not fast at all.
If a sick person ate on Tisha BAv can he get an Aliyah during Shacharis or Mincha?
The Tshuvos Chasam Sofer Orach Chaim 157 describes that during Tisha B’Av 5471 the Chasam Sofer became sick and needed to drink. The Chasam Sofer states, “As a result of this, I was worried what would I tell my talmidim when they will want to give me an Aliyah for the kriah of Vayechal.” He was machlit that he could be oleh l’Torah based on the following: The fact that one who is not fasting can’t be oleh is not brought down explicitly anywhere. The fact of the matter is, that one should be able to be oleh as it is a din on the Tzibbur that they should fast, and he is part of the tzibbur. Even if you will say that one holds of the opinion that one who is not fasting the Monday and Thursday after Pesach or Sukkos may not be oleh l’Torah, it is because if one is not fasting it is not a fast day for him since this fast is optional. However, Tisha B’Av is different. Number one, the sick person has a chiyuv to fast and even if he has to break his fast, he may only eat enough for him to survive, but he cannot eat more than that. In addition, he still needs to keep the other inuyim, like not bathing, smearing, and wearing shoes. He is therefore considered as part of the congregation who are fasting. Number two, even if he is so sick that all inuyim are muttar for him he still can get an aliyah as Tisha B’av is a day that we are mechuyav in Krias HaTorah, both in the morning and during Mincha, and even one who is not fasting may get an Aliyah as it is the day that is gorem the kriah, and not the fact that we are fasting. The Chasam Sofer compares it to a person who has to fast a Taanis Chalom on Shabbos, which is docheh the eating and drinking of Shabbos. No one would say that this person may not receive an Aliyah on Shabbos. So too, despite the fact that the person is not fasting since Tisha B’Av is a day of puraniyos, one can get an Aliyah, despite him not fasting.
Based on the second reason, if for some reason the whole tzibbur can’t fast, for instance they are all afflicted with Covid, they would still be eligible to hear and get an Aliyah for Vayechal!
May we all be zocheh to celebrate Tisha B’Av and sing Eichah!