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Guidance for Tisha B'Av

07/15/2021 12:30:23 PM

Jul15

From the Desk

Shalom Friends!
 
Carly and I would like to thank so many of you who reached out to us to share in our joy at celebrating Dovid's Bar Mitzvah! It was particularly special to be with so many of you on Shabbat. After such a difficult year and a half, to be together with so many of you and to experience our synagogue with so many people was very special. Thank you for allowing us to share our joy with you.
 
Throughout the pandemic we have always emphasized that every member is part of our community. This remains so as we begin to hopefully emerge from the pandemic. We continue to look for ways to stay connected to everyone, including those of you who are not yet ready to come back to services and events in our building. When we closed the building last March, I explained that the community is more than the building! At the same time, the Beth Ora building is our communal home and we do look forward to welcoming back more and more of you in the coming weeks and months.
 
We are currently experiencing the saddest time of the Jewish year. We are called on to focus on all that is wrong, to feel sadness at the world's fractures, and to begin to think how our lives can bring more light to a troubled world. Tisha B'Av is on Saturday night and Sunday. We will be streaming our reading of Eichah (Lamentations) and Kinnot (elegies) for those who will not be able to join us at the synagogue. We also are screening Tisha B'Av themed videos in the Hurwitz Lounge from 5:15 PM to 8:15 PM on Sunday.
 
We hope that, when we emerge from Tisha B'Av, we will all be able to experience happier times. Indeed, Shabbat July 24th is known as both the Shabbat of Consolation and T"U B'Av - a day associated with love! In honour of T"U B'Av, we will be hosting our third episode of Ready Steady Cook on Zoom, Thursday, July  22nd at 7:30 PM. Our contestants will be preparing some delicious love-themed desserts and sharing Jewish thoughts on love.
 
There are many more programs and initiatives coming up at Beth Ora and we are beginning to plan the High Holidays which are approaching fast!
 
Please see below for guidance on Tisha B'Av.
 
Wishing you all Shabbat Shalom,
 
Rabbi Knopf and Carly
Dovid, Rachelli, Yehuda and Avrami


Guidance for Tisha B'Av
 
The final Shabbat meal (and Grace After Meals) should be finished a little before the fast begins (8:38 PM). One should rinse one's mouth before saying Grace After Meals.
 
From 8:38 PM on Saturday, we may no longer eat, drink, or wash. However, one who goes to the bathroom before the end of Shabbat (9:25 PM) may wash the entire hands (not just the fingers which is the general Tisha B'Av practice). Similarly, although the practice on the evening and morning of Tisha B'Av is to sit on the floor or a low seat, one may sit on a regular seat until Shabbat has ended.
 
When Shabbat ends, one says the words 'Baruch HaMavdil bein kodesh lechol' (blessed is He Who distinguishes between the holy and the profane). At that time, one changes into weekday clothes and non-leather shoes. 
 
Most of Havdallah is not recited on Saturday night. However, we do say the blessing borei m'orei ha'esh on the fire. We will be saying this in synagogue before the reading of Eichah. At the conclusion of the fast on Sunday evening (9:13 PM), we say the blessing on wine and the blessing of 'Hamavdil bein kodesh lechol'.
 
On Tisha B'Av itself, we do not eat, drink, wash, anoint or have marital relations. We do not sit on a regular chair until 1:00 PM and the general practice is not to greet (one may respond to a greeting in a serious tone), give gifts or do time-consuming work.
 
Eating and drinking are permitted for a person who is sick or an old or weak person who may become ill if he does not eat or drink, even if his illness will not endanger his life (but a mere headache does not allow one to break the fast).
 
Swallowing a bit of water along with a prescribed medication if the medication cannot be swallowed otherwise is permissible but it is preferable to add something to the water to make it bitter. 
 
Washing is permitted for soiled parts of the body; to rinse off any discharge (e.g., in the eye); upon awakening in the morning when the hands are washed three times on each hand, to the knuckles; after bathroom use and/or touching a part of the body that is normally covered - to the knuckles; if one is preparing food for children; medical reasons; preparing for davening, but only until the knuckles; washing dishes after Midday if leaving them unwashed will attract bugs; washing for bread (for those who may eat on Tisha B'Av).
 
Anointing is permitted for:
 
Medical needs (e.g., applying ointment to a skin rash) and to remove a bad odour (e.g., deodorant but not perfume).
 
Leather shoes are permitted for a person who must walk a long distance over stones or mud and no other suitable footwear is available, for medical needs, and for young children.
 
The Tallit and tefillin are not worn at Shacharit. The Tzitzit under the shirt are worn at Shacharit but a blessing is not said on them.
 
A number of restrictions continue until 1:00 PM including bathing, haircuts, washing clothes, meat and wine, and music.

Fri, December 3 2021 29 Kislev 5782