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

Warming Up a Congealed Food

Question: May one warm up a quiche, meat, or other such foods which contain sauce on an electric hotplate on Shabbat but when they are cold, the sauce is congealed? Answer: We have explained that it is permissible to warm up a food on Shabbat if has already been cooked before Shabbat, for this do......

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, 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 r......

Read Halacha

Adding Water to a Pot of Food on Shabbat

Question: If one sees the Chulent pot drying out on Shabbat, may one add some boiling water to the pot? Answer: Many households customarily leave a pot of Chulent cooking on the electric hotplate (or crockpot) from Friday afternoon until Shabbat morning. Many times, people mistakenly do not put e......

Read Halacha

Warming up Foods on Shabbat- Maran zt”l’s Suggestion

In the previous Halacha, we have discussed that just as it is forbidden to cook on top of an open flame on Shabbat, it is likewise forbidden to cook on top of an electric hotplate. The only distinction between an open flame and an electric hotplate IS regarding a food which was already cooked before......

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

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

Insulation on Shabbat

Question: Is it permissible to cover a pot of food on an electric hotplate with a towel on Shabbat? Answer: Long ago, it was customary to cover a pot of food with (or immerse it in) dirt or sand in order to retain the food’s heat. Heat Increasers vs. Heat Retainers Some would immerse th......

Read Halacha