Halacha for Wednesday 3 Av 5777 July 26 2017

Some Laws Which Apply from Rosh Chodesh Av

In the previous Halachot we have explained that one must minimize business transactions which bring about joy from the beginning of the month of Av until the Tenth of Av.

Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l writes that one should refrain from purchasing gold rings and other jewelry during this period, especially when a groom is purchasing these items for his fiancée, since this brings about feelings of joy. We were asked if a salesman who sells jewelry in his store may continue to conduct his business during this time or not. Maran zt”l already discussed this issue and writes that salesmen may sell gold and jewelry during these days since there are way for people to purchase them in a permissible manner, i.e. when this is not being done in the context of a bride and groom. Additionally, there is even more room for leniency based on what the Rama writes (at the end of Chapter 303) that nowadays, jewelry is not as special and rare as it was in previous generations, thus, purchasing them does not cause any unique joy. Thus, although we have written that it is forbidden to purchase jewelry when it gladdens the heart, there is nevertheless room for leniency regarding the salesman.

It is permissible to buy Sefarim (holy books) during this period since this constitutes a Mitzvah and there is no custom forbidding this at all.

Maran zt”l writes that it is permissible to have renovations done to or extend one’s home during this period if the family is large and it is difficult for them to live in such cramped quarters. However, when this is just being done for luxury or aesthetics, one should not renovate the house in any way during this period.

It is likewise permissible to move into a new house during this time, if this is being done out of necessity and not just for comfort or convenience. In this case, it will likewise be permissible to hold the customary “Chanukat Ha’Bayit” during the Nine Days as well by inviting ten men to come to the home and study Torah and reciting the customary texts after which, some light refreshments may be served. The remainder of the housewarming celebrations should be postponed until after Tisha Be’av at which point the owner of the house should wear a new garment and recite the “Shehecheyanu” blessing on it.

Contractors who build houses during this time may carry on with their work since there is a housing shortage in our generation and this does not constitute “a joyous form of building” which is prohibited during this period. There is especially room for leniency in Israel, for building homes in the Land of Israel in order to inhabit it is a great Mitzvah. (Chazon Ovadia-Arba Ta’aniyot, page 168)

Ask the Rabbi


8 Halachot Most Popular

Megillah Reading-The Proper Procedure for One Who Has Missed Hearing a Portion of the Megillah

Every member of the Jewish nation is obligated to read the Megillah on the day of Purim. One must read it during the night and once again the next day, as the verse states, “My G-d, I call out to you during the day and you do not answer; during the night I have no rest.” This verse is wr......

Read Halacha

The Laws of Hearing Parashat Zachor

On the Shabbat preceding Purim, which is this coming Shabbat, after the opening of the Ark immediately following Shacharit prayers, two Sifrei Torah are removed; in the first one, we read the weekly Parasha (which is Parashat Tetzaveh this year, 5777) and in the second one we read the portion of &ld......

Read Halacha

The Laws of Chametz and Kitniyot (Legumes) on Pesach

The Essence of Leavening The Torah (Shemot 13) tells us regarding the holiday of Pesach: “Matzot shall be eaten for seven days; neither leaven nor sourdough shall be seen in all of your borders.” The leaven that the Torah prohibits is produced by the combination of grain-flour and water......

Read Halacha

The Custom of the “Commemoration of the Half-Shekel”-5777

It is customary to donate money before Purim as “a commemoration of the Half-Shekel” which was donated by the entire Jewish nation when the Bet Hamikdash stood. This money is customarily collected on the eve of Purim before reading the Megillah, as our Sages tell us (Megilla 13b) that &l......

Read Halacha


Some Detailed Laws Regarding Kitniyot (Legumes) on Pesach

In the previous Halacha we have briefly discussed the primary laws of Chametz and Kitniyot (legumes) on Pesach. We have explained that according to all communities, legumes such as rice and chick peas are not actual Chametz, for only grain products can be considered Chametz. However, Ashkenazim cust......

Read Halacha

Question: Regarding answering “Amen Yehe Shemeh Rabba Mevarach” during Kaddish, some only answer until “Le’alam Ul’almeh Almaya,” while others include the word “Yitbarach” as well, and yet others answer until “Da’amiran Be’alma”. Which custom is the correct one to follow?

Answer: Firstly, we must point out that those who answer only “Amen Yehe Shemeh Rabba Mevarach Le’alam Ul’almeh Almaya” and do not proceed to recite the word “Yitbarach” are doing so incorrectly, for Maran Ha’Bet Yosef (Chapter 56) quotes the Midrash, &ldquo......

Read Halacha

The Proper Time to Light Chanukah Candles

One should preferably light Chanukah candles immediately when the stars appear in the sky, which is approximately fifteen minutes after sunset during this time of year. Some Ashkenazim, however, customarily light at sunset. The Earliest Possible Time to Light Chanukah Candles Chanukah candles sh......

Read Halacha

The Proper Way to Immerse Vessels in a Mikveh

One must make certain that there is nothing separating between the vessel one is immersing and the waters of the Mikveh. Thus, when one is immersing a vessel, one must hold the vessel loosely, for if one holds it tight, one’s hand will be separating between the vessel and the waters of the Mik......

Read Halacha