Halacha for Wednesday 1 Av 5780 July 22 2020

The Prohibition to Launder Clothing and Wear Freshly-Laundered Clothing During the Week During Which Tisha Be’av Falls Out and the Law Regarding Garments Intended to Absorb Sweat

The Mishnah in Masechet Ta’anit (26b) states: “During the week during which Tisha Be’av falls out, one may not take a haircut or launder clothing.” The Tur and Maran Ha’Shulchan Aruch rule accordingly. According to the Ashkenazi custom, however, laundering clothes is prohibited beginning from Rosh Chodesh Av.

The Prohibition to Launder Clothing
The prohibition to launder clothing during these days applies even if one does not wish to wear these clothes now and only wishes to leave them and wear them after Tisha Be’av. It is likewise prohibited to launder children’s clothing during these days. Nevertheless, the custom is to rule leniently and permit laundering the clothing of toddlers, ages two or three and under, for they tend to always become soiled. It is preferable not to launder many such garments together and these clothes should be laundered privately (meaning not in front of several people; rather, everyone should do so in their respective homes).

Wearing Freshly-Laundered Clothing
Just as it is prohibited to launder clothing during the week during which Tisha Be’av falls out and according to the Ashkenazi custom beginning from Rosh Chodesh Av, it is likewise prohibited to wear a freshly-laundered garment. Even a garment which was laundered before the week during which Tisha Be’av falls out may not be worn during these days. In a place where it is necessary to change clothing during these days, for instance due to sweating and the like, one may be lenient and wear the freshly-laundered garment for approximately an hour during the days preceding the week during which Tisha Be’av falls out (or before Rosh Chodesh Av according to the Ashkenazi custom); once one wears the garment, it is no longer considered “freshly-laundered” and this garment may be worn during these days. In this way, one may indeed act leniently and prepare several garments to be worn during these days.

Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l writes that if one wishes to prepare clothing on the Shabbat preceding Tisha Be’av in the aforementioned manner (during which time there is a halachic issue of preparing on Shabbat for a weekday), one may nevertheless do so by wearing freshly-laundered clothes on Shabbat eve and on Shabbat morning. One should not wear the clothes one wore on Shabbat night again on Shabbat morning; rather, one should wear other freshly-laundered clothes on Shabbat morning and leave the clothing he wore the night before for the week during which Tisha Be’av falls out. If one needs more clothing for this week, one may remove the clothes one wore on Shabbat morning and take a short afternoon nap; when he awakens from his nap, one should wear other freshly-laundered clothes for Shabbat afternoon Mincha services. In this way, one need not be concerned about the prohibition of preparing on Shabbat for a weekday, for one is benefitting from these clothes on Shabbat as well.

Garments Intended to Absorb Sweat
Garments which are intended to absorb sweat, such as undergarments (i.e. underwear, undershirts, and socks), do not retain the same law as other garments and they may be worn during this week although they are freshly-laundered. (See Chazon Ovadia-Arba Ta’aniyot, page 229 and Chazon Ovadia-Avelut, Volume 2, page 282 for further reference.)   

One Who Has Not Prepared Clothing Before the Week During Which Tisha Be’av Falls Out
We have been asked: What should one do if, for whatever reason, one has forgotten to prepare clothing for the week during which Tisha Be’av falls out? Is there any leniency allowing one to wear a garment that is freshly-laundered? The answer to this question can be found in the Sefer Lechem Ha’Panim quoting Maharash of Lublin who writes that if one leaves the garment on uncovered earth (as opposed to carpet, tiles, parquet, and the like) for a short time, one may wear it during the week during which Tisha Be’av falls out, for it is no longer considered a freshly-laundered garment. Maran Rabbeinu zt”l writes that in a situation where one has forgotten to prepare clothing for this week, one may rely on this opinion and wear clothing after carrying out the above procedure.

Ask the Rabbi


8 Halachot Most Popular

The Eight Levels of Tzedakah

The Rambam (Chapter 10 of Hilchot Matenot Aniyim) writes that there are eight levels included in the Mitzvah of Tzedakah with each one being greater than the other. The highest level of Tzedakah is by helping to support a Jew who lacks his basic needs by providing him with money by means of a gif......

Read Halacha

The Mitzvah of Tzedakah and Donating a Tenth of One’s Earnings

By popular demand, we shall now discuss the topics of Tzedakah and donating a tenth of one’s earnings more broadly based on the words of Maran Ha’Shulchan Aruch and the Poskim and based on what is written in the works of Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l on this topic. Question: ......

Read Halacha

Question: Are those who customarily donate a tenth of their monthly income to Tzedakah permitted to deduct the cost of providing for their children still living at home from the sum of this ten percent?

Answer: We have previously discussed that one must donate a certain amount of Tzedakah annually. It is a “middle” level for one to give a tenth of one’s monthly profits every month. Now let us deal with our question regarding those who donate a tenth of their monthly profits to Tze......

Read Halacha

How Much Tzedakah One Must Donate

The Rambam, Tur, and Maran Ha’Shulchan Aruch write that the amount one should donate for Tzedakah is, if one can afford it, based on the necessities of the needy people. This means that if one is extremely wealthy and can provide for the needs of poor people in one’s city, one should ind......

Read Halacha


The Privilege to Donate Tzedakah

In the previous Halacha, we have discussed how the prophet Yirmeya requested from Hashem that when the wicked wish to donate Tzedakah, he should present them with unworthy people. This means that the Tzedakah funds should go to unworthy causes, such as cheaters and con-artists. As such, the wicked w......

Read Halacha

The Mitzvah of Tzedakah

The Tur (Yoreh De’ah, Chapter 247) writes: “There is a positive Torah commandment for one to donate some of one’s money to charity, based on one’s individual capabilities. In addition to the fact that whoever donates charity fulfills a positive Torah commandment, one who abst......

Read Halacha

Unworthy Individuals

In the previous Halachot, we have explained the primary aspects of the Mitzvah of Tzedakah. If one transgresses any prohibition in the Torah and does not repent, for instance, if one is aware of the prohibition of shaving one’s beard with a razor and he nevertheless does so or one who dese......

Read Halacha

Who is Obligated in the Mitzvah of Tzedakah?

Every member of the Jewish nation must donate Tzedakah. Even a pauper who receives Tzedakah, has no way of earning a livelihood, and only lives off of what others provide him with must give Tzedakah from what others give him. When the Sages of Israel had control over the Jewish nation, the Jewish co......

Read Halacha