Halacha for Thursday 7 Av 5779 August 8 2019

Havdala on Motza’ei Shabbat Which Coincides with Tisha Be’av and the Laws of an Ill Individual Who Must Eat on Tisha Be’av

On years during which Tisha Be’av falls out on Motza’ei Shabbat, such as this year, 5779, there are three opinions among the Rishonim regarding how Havdala should be recited on a cup of wine on Motza’ei Shabbat.

The first opinion is that of the Geonim who write that one should recite Havdala only at the conclusion of the fast, i.e. Sunday night, before sitting down to eat.

The second opinion is that of the author of the Sefer Ha’Manhig who writes that one should recite Havdala on Motza’ei Shabbat and have a child who is not obligated to fast drink the wine.

The third opinion is that of the Ramban who writes that Havdala is not recited at all, for the Gemara (Berachot 33a) writes that originally Havdala was instituted as part of the Arvit prayer. The, the Jewish nation then became wealthy and our Sages enacted that it be recited over a cup of wine. However, on Tisha Be’av which falls on Motza’ei Shabbat, the entire Jewish nation is considered utterly destitute. The Poskim discuss the varying opinions of the Rishonim at length.

Maran Ha’Shulchan Aruch rules in accordance with the opinion of the Geonim that Havdala should be recited at the conclusion of the fast. We rule in accordance with Maran, whose rulings we have accepted. We therefore customarily recite Havdala at the conclusion of the fast, essentially breaking the fast on wine. Nevertheless, immediately at the onset of the fast on Motza’ei Shabbat, although Havdala is not recited on a cup of wine, one must still recite “Baruch Ha’Mavdil Ben Kodesh Le’Chol” in order to make it permissible to do work.

The “Boreh Minei Besamim” blessing is not recited on a fragrant object at the conclusion of Tisha Be’av, for fragrant objects are not brought to a mourner’s home since they are meant for pleasure. The same applies on Tisha Be’av. Maran Ha’Shulchan Aruch rules likewise.

One must recite the “Boreh Me’orei Ha’esh” blessing on a candle on Motza’ei Shabbat which coincides with Tisha Be’av. It is customary for the rabbi or Chazzan to recite this blessing in the synagogue before the reading of Eicha (although there are those who disagree, see Chazon Ovadia-Arba Ta’aniyot, page 342).

 Women who do not attend synagogue on Motza’ei Shabbat must recite the “Boreh Me’orei Ha’esh” blessing on a candle at home (ibid, page 343).

An ill individual who must eat on Tisha Be’av (as we have discussed above) must first recite Havdala on a cup of wine before eating on Tisha Be’av, for one may not eat after Shabbat has ended until one has performed Havdala. The ill individual must therefore recite Havdala on a cup of wine or grape juice and drink it as one would on any Motza’ei Shabbat. An ill individual reciting Havdala on a cup of wine may do so on behalf of the members of his household as he would on any Motza’ei Shabbat and they will fulfill their obligation of hearing Havdala (although they are fasting and the fast has not yet ended).

Pregnant and nursing women, who, as we have explained, are exempt from fasting on Tisha Be’av this year (5779) since the fast is postponed until Sunday, must likewise recite Havdala on a cup of wine before eating. Since they will not be eating until the day of Tisha Be’av, i.e. Sunday afternoon, they must recite the “Boreh Me’orei Ha’esh” blessing on a candle on the night of Tisha Be’av and then recite Havdala on a cup of wine during the day of Tisha Be’av without reciting a blessing on a fragrant object or a candle. (ibid, page 348)

Ask the Rabbi


8 Halachot Most Popular

A Negligent COVID-19 Patient

Question: If one becomes ill with the Coronavirus due to one’s own negligence to the extent that one becomes bedridden, must this individual recite the “Ha’Gomel” blessing upon recovering? Answer: In the previous Halacha we have explained that one who becomes ill to the po......

Read Halacha

Laws Pertaining to Tisha Be’av

There are five categories of abstinence which must be observed on Tisha Be’av: Eating and drinking, washing one’s self, rubbing one’s body with oils or lotions, wearing leather shoes, and marital relations. Our Sages also prohibited learning Torah on Tisha Be’av, for the word......

Read Halacha

Eating Meat Following Rosh Chodesh Av

The Mishnah in Masechet Ta’anit (26b) tells us that on Erev Tisha Be’av during the last meal one eats before the fast, one may not eat meat, drink wine, or eat two cooked foods, such as rice and an egg. Although the letter of the law dictates that the prohibition to eat meat only applies......

Read Halacha

The “Ha’Gomel” Blessing for One Who Has Recovered from the Coronavirus

Question: If one was sick with the Coronavirus but was not in any life-threatening danger and the illness merely caused one to be bedridden, must one recite the “Ha’Gomel” blessing? Answer: In the previous Halacha we explained that there are four types of people that must recite......

Read Halacha


The Laws of the “Ha’Gomel” Blessing

Our Sages enacted that one who has experienced an event in which there was some danger involved must thank Hashem for the goodness which He has bestowed upon him in front of ten men, as we shall soon explain. The Gemara in Masechet Berachot (54a) states: “Rav Yehuda said in the name of Rav:......

Read Halacha

The Laws of Motza’ei Tisha Be’av and the Tenth of Av

----------------------------- By Popular Request: According to the Sephardic custom, it is permissible to shave, take a haircut, and do laundry immediately at the conclusion of the fast tonight. Ashkenazim customarily rule leniently in this regard. However, this year (5780), when the Tenth of Av fa......

Read Halacha

Eating a Meal on Erev Shabbat

Question: Is one permitted to eat a bread meal after halachic midday on Erev Shabbat (Friday afternoon)? Answer: The Gemara (Gittin 38b) states that there were two wealthy and important families in Jerusalem and both of them sinned to the extent that they were eventually uprooted from the world. ......

Read Halacha

Some Detailed Laws Regarding the Mitzvah of Making a Railing

Approximately two years ago, we have discussed the general parameters of the verse, “And you shall make a railing for your roof and you shall not place blood in your home.” This refers to building a gate or fence around the roof of one’s home so that one does not fall off of it. Th......

Read Halacha