Halacha for Thursday 29 Tammuz 5779 August 1 2019

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

Taking Haircuts and Shaving During the Omer Period

Abstaining from Taking Haircuts During the Omer It has become customary among the Jewish nation to refrain from taking haircuts during the Omer counting period: According to the Ashkenazi custom, until the 33rd day of the Omer and according to the Sephardic custom, until the morning of the 34th day......

Read Halacha

Praying Barefoot

Question: May one pray while wearing sandals or while one is barefoot? Answer: When one prays, one must prepare one’s environment, clothing, body, and thoughts accordingly, for one will be standing before the King of all kings. Respectable Garments While Praying The Gemara (Shabbat 9b) ......

Read Halacha

Question: How many “Kezayit”s (olive’s volume) of Matzah must one consume during the Pesach Seder?

Answer: One is obligated to eat altogether three “Kezayit”s of Matzah during the Pesach Seder. Every Kezayit amounts to approx. 30 grams of Matzah. Nevertheless, there is room for stringency to eat four or even five “Kezayit”s of Matzah, as we shall now explain. The Order......

Read Halacha

Kissing One’s Parents’ Hands on Shabbat Night- The Students of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai

Question: Should one kiss the hands of one’s parents and receive a blessing from them on Shabbat night and does the same apply equally to one’s father and mother? Answer: The Gemara in Masechet Avodah Zarah (17a) tells us that when Ulah (a sage who lived during the Talmudic era) would......

Read Halacha


Reciting the “Shehecheyanu” Blessing Upon Performing a Mitzvah for the First Time

Question: The custom in our community is that when a young woman reaches the age of Bat Mitzvah, she performs the Mitzvah of separating Challah for the first time and before doing so, she recites the blessing of “Shehecheyanu” as well upon performing this Mitzvah for the first time. Is t......

Read Halacha

Taking a Haircut of the Night of the 34th Day of the Omer This Year (5782)

Tomorrow night and Thursday will mark Lag Ba’Omer (the 33rd day of the Omer) and Friday will be the 34th day of the Omer. Until When Are Haircuts Forbidden? We have already discussed that one may not take a haircut or shave during the period of the counting of the Omer in addition to sever......

Read Halacha

The Pesach Seder-Kadesh

The famous order of the Seder of the eve of Pesach, Kadesh, Urchatz, Karpas, Yachatz, Magid, Rochtza, Motzi, Matzah, Maror, Korech, Shulchan Orech, Tzafun, Barech, Hallel, Nirtzah, was established by the leader of the entire Jewish nation, Rashi. The entire Jewish nation customarily follows this ord......

Read Halacha

Using Holy Names

The Mishnah in Pirkei Avot (Chapter 1, Mishnah 13) states: “He (Hillel) would say: Whoever does not add shall be gathered, whoever does not learn is worthy of death and whoever uses the crown shall pass.” Rabbeinu Ovadia of Bartenura explains the phrase “And whoever uses the cr......

Read Halacha