Rav Moshe Feinstein: The Status Of The Night Of 17 Tammuz – Shaving, Wedding


rav-moshe-feinsteinOn Shiva Asar B’Tammuz,we don’t fast until the morning. Does that mean that the night before is not part of the taanis and the halachos of the Three Weeks don’t start until the morning, or does the Three Weeks start as soon as it becomes night on 17 Tammuz but the actual not eating only begins in the morning?

Rav Moshe Feinstein in Igros Moshe (OC 1:168) says that it is a Machlokes Rishonim. Rav Moshe brings proof from the gemara that the taanis only starts in the morning but he says because of his proof we cannot pasken between the opinions of the rishonim. Nevertheless says Rav Moshe, these issurim of shaving, weddings, and the halachos of the three weeks are not Din but rather Minhagim of Aveilus during a bad period for Am Yisroel, therefore we can be more lenient. Additionally he suggests that maybe even the Rishonim who hold the Taanis starts at night would agree that these things only become forbidden in the morning when the actual fasting begins.

Therefore, Rav Moshe says that in a makom tzorech it is permissible to treat the night of Shiva Asar B’Tammuz as if the three weeks have not started.

{Revach.net/Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. IMHO, it means that if you’re waiting for haircut this evening around 8pm and your turn finally comes around after shkia you can have a seat and be shorn nice and pretty.

  2. rav moshe’s opinion is disputed by most poskim. nonetheless in america many hold one can rely on him.
    however, since it’s onl ???? ????? there is no mitzva to publicize this kula.
    also in eretz yisroel rav elyashiv is of the opinion tha one should not be meikil

  3. Eliezer
    I would be very confident to say that even Reb Elyashiv would have listened to and accepted the opinion of Reb Moshe, the undisputed posek hador for the whole dor until his passing 26 years ago. Therefor unless someone is living in E’Y now and hears a p’sak from the posek hador today, there is nothing wrong with posting Reb Moshe’s psak.

  4. @Eliezer:
    Actually, there is a reason to publicize it – so people won’t see other people treating tonight as being “not the 3 weeks” and look down on them (which is all too common nowadays, but that’s another discussion). R’ Moshe zt”l paskened that it’s okay, so don’t think that someone who is getting a haircut or making a wedding tonight is doing anything wrong.

  5. #3 a. you are wrong their is a mitzva to publicise the kula, it is a mitzva of talmud torah. You may not want to abide by the kula, that is certainly your right however it is tora nontheless.
    b. How close minded do you have to be that R’ Moshe’s opinion, that of one of the greatest poskim of one of the largest kehilos in klal yisroel’s history, is not even worthy of mention?