Halacha for Sunday 3 Av 5778 July 15 2018

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

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

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, 5778, 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 r......

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

The Laws of the Last Meal Before the Fast of Tisha Be’av This Year (5778)

On Erev Tisha Be’av, our Sages prohibited eating meat and drinking wine during the last meal before the onset of the fast of Tisha Be’av held after halachic midday. They likewise forbade eating two cooked foods during this meal. Nevertheless, this year, 5778, since the fast of Tisha Be&r......

Read Halacha


The Laws of the Beginning of the Fast when Tisha Be’av Falls Coincides With Motza’ei Shabbat

The Baraita in Masechet Ta’anit (30a) states that our Sages prohibited five things on Tisha Be’av: Eating and drinking, washing one’s self, rubbing one’s self with oils or lotions, wearing leather shoes, and marital relations. Our Sages said (Ta’anit 30b): “One......

Read Halacha

Those Who are Obligated and Exempt from the Fast of Tisha Be’av and their Status When Tisha Be’av Falls Out on Motza’ei Shabbat

Someone Ill with a Non-Life-Threatening Illness, An Elderly Person, and a Woman who has Recently Given Birth One who is ill (meaning when one is actually bedridden and the like, even if the illness is not life-threatening) is exempt from fasting on Tisha Be’av. When in doubt about one’s......

Read Halacha

When Av Begins, We Diminish Our Joy

This coming Friday will mark Rosh Chodesh Av. May Hashem soon switch it to a month of joy and celebration. This year, 5778, there are some unique laws we must discuss since the Ninth of Av falls out on Shabbat and the fast is thus postponed until Sunday. The Jewish Nation’s Fortune During ......

Read Halacha

The Laws of Taking Haircuts During the “Three Weeks"

The Customary Prohibition of Haircuts As a result of the mourning observed during the “Three Weeks,” the Ashkenazi custom is to abstain from shaving and taking haircuts beginning from the Seventeenth of Tammuz until the Tenth of Av. The Sephardic Custom Nevertheless, the Sephardic ......

Read Halacha