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 Customary Order of Rosh Hashanah

It is customary to eat certain symbolic foods during the two nights of Rosh Hashanah which signify good fortune for the entire upcoming year. It is therefore customary to eat black-eyed peas, pumpkin, leek, spinach, dates, pomegranates, apples dipped in honey, and meat of a sheep’s head on the......

Read Halacha

Some Details Regarding the Prayers of the Days of Awe

Anyone who appreciates the loftiness of the Days of Awe customarily tries to recite all prayers of these days with much precision and care. There are many Machzorim on the market containing several versions for various texts, some which can be relied upon and others which cannot be relied upon at al......

Read Halacha

Lighting Candles on Rosh Hashanah and the Issue this Year

The Laws of Candle-Lighting on Rosh Hashanah On the first day of Rosh Hashanah, we customarily light Yom Tov candles before the onset of Yom Tov similar to the way we light them on Erev Shabbat. If the candles were not lit before the onset of Yom Tov, a woman may even light the candles on Yom Tov i......

Read Halacha

Should One Cry on Rosh Hashanah?

Question: What is the proper way to behave during the prayers of Rosh Hashanah: Should one arouse himself to cry during the prayers in order for Hashem to pity us and grant us all of our requests or should one pray amid great joy? Answer: The Mitzvah to be Glad on Rosh Hashanah The Poskim deli......

Read Halacha


Eating and Washing One’s Self Yom Kippur

Some Laws of Yom Kippur All are obligated to fast on Yom Kippur, including pregnant and nursing women. Any woman whose health is at risk due to the fast should consult a prominent Torah scholar who is well-versed in these laws and he should render his ruling whether or not she must fast. One whose ......

Read Halacha

Preparing for the Day of Judgment

During the days preceding Rosh Hashanah, every single member of the Jewish nation must contemplate his/her actions and perform some sort of self-introspection in order to ascertain how one can improve one’s actions and Mitzvah observance so as to guarantee one’s self powerful defenders o......

Read Halacha

One Should Constantly View Himself as Half Innocent and Half Guilty

Our Sages (Kiddushin 40b) teach us that one should always view himself as half innocent and half guilty. If one performs one Mitzvah, one is praiseworthy, for one has tipped the scale to the innocent side. If one transgresses one prohibition, woe unto him, for he has tipped the scale to the guilty s......

Read Halacha

Repenting for Speaking Lashon Hara and Rendering a Mistaken Halachic Ruling

Question: If I have spoken Lashon Hara (evil slander) about my friend, must I confront him and tell him what I have done in order to request his forgiveness? Also, what is the law regarding a rabbi who has ruled stringently on a matter when, in fact, there is actually room for leniency, must he ask ......

Read Halacha