When Tishah B’av is Postponed to Sunday: Five Halachic Distinctions You Need to Know


.By Rabbi Yonasan Sasportas

Since it is prohibited to fast on Shabbos, in the event that Tishah B’av occurs on Shabbos, we postpone its observance to Sunday. This is known as a Taanis Nidche. Although this concept applies to all fasts, it has special significance on the fast of Tishah B’av. The reason for this is that although the Ninth of Av was selected for mourning the Beis Hamikdash, since it is the day that the destruction began, the Gemara (Taanis 29) tells us that the following day was also tragic due to the fact that the Beis Hamikdash that was set on fire on Tishah B’av, continued burning and was mostly consumed on the following day. The Tenth of Av, which is the day that we observe this fast when it is postponed to Sunday, is therefore an equally appropriate day for mourning.1

The status of a Taanis Nidche is very similar to that of an ordinary fast of Tishah B’av. However, we find certain areas of Halachah that are treated more leniently on this fast. The first leniency concerns one who is performing a Bris Milah for his son on this day, as well as the mother, Sandak, and Mohel of the child, who are all included in the exemption of Baaley Bris2. The Shulchan Aruch (559, 9) rules that since the day of a Bris is considered a holiday for the above-mentioned people, they are not obligated to complete a Taanis Nidche. Instead, they may daven Mincha a half hour after noon, and then proceed to wash and eat, provided that they make Havdalah first3. There is a difference of opinion among the Poskim whether this applies to a Bris that is not being held on the eighth day4. Similarly, one may break his fast in the manner described above, if he is performing a Pidyon Haben on his first born, in the event that the Taanis Nidche occurs on the thirty-first day from the child’s birth5. Care should be taken that those subject to this exemption not eat a festive meal6, and some add that they should not eat together7. Some communities treat a Ta’anis Nidche like a normal fast regarding these Halachos.8

An additional instance where we are lenient on a postponed fast is mentioned in the Shevus Yaakov (3, 37). He permits one who took ill to eat, even if fasting will not pose a danger to his life. He adds that this leniency applies equally to women who are expecting or nursing a baby. His ruling is quoted by many authorities9, although Maharash Halevi (2) and Beis Meir (559) disagree with the second leniency regarding women.

There are additional differences on this Tishah B’av pertaining to Havdalah. The Shulchan Aruch (556) says that Havdalah is not made on Motzoei Shabbos, and is instead postponed to the following night, after the fast, when it is made on a cup of wine10. The brachos over candle and Besamim are omitted. The bracha of Borei Meore Haesh on the candle is instead recited on Motzoei Shabbos, the night of Tishah B’av. It is preferable to say this Brachah before reading Eichah11, but if one forgot he may say it the entire night12. However, since there is a difference of opinion whether a woman may make this Brachah on her own13, some advise her husband to wait to make the Bracha until he comes home so that he can make it on her behalf14.

Although we don’t fast or mourn publicly on the Shabbos when Tishah B’av occurs, the Rema obligates one to observe actions of mourning privately, such as refraining from washing one’s hands with warm water15. In addition, a Rav should be consulted regarding the private matters of a couple16. It is preferable not to go on a walk for leisure this Shabbos17. Eating meat and drinking wine is permitted, even during the third meal of Shabbos immediately prior to Tishah B’av18. It is however not advisable to make a celebration or invite guests for this meal19, unless one is accustomed to doing so regularly on Shabbos20. Although it is generally forbidden to learn Torah on the afternoon preceding Tishah B’av (besides for the topics relating to Tishah B’av), some are lenient when this falls out on Shabbos21, and one may rely on this opinion if needed22.

As in an ordinary year, one should not eat meat or drink wine after the fast of Tishah B’av23. However, although this prohibition also includes the next day in an ordinary year, this year one may eat meat or drink wine the next day24. Most Poskim permit washing clothes25, and taking a haircut26 immediately after the fast of Tishah B’av that was postponed.

1 See Teshuvos Harashba 1, 520.

2 Magen Avraham (M’A) 559, 12, Chayei Adam 136, 7, Mishna Berurah (M”B) 559, 36.

3 M”B 559, 37

4 See Sefer Tishah B’av Shechal Beshabbos P. 118, and Teshuvos Peri Ha’aretz 2, 8.

5 Chayei Adam, Ibid. M”B Ibid, 38.

6 M”A, 11, M”B, 36.

7 See Sefer Tishah B’av Shechal Beshabbos P. 121.

8 Knesses Hagedolah, Aruch Hashulchan.

9 R’ Akiva Eiger 559, 9. Biur Halachah, and Kaf Hachaim.

10 M”B 556, 3.

11 Avudarham, Beis Yosef 556, Taz, M”B.

12 M”B, 1.

13 See Biur Halachah 296, Rivevos Efraim 3, 370, Birchei Yosef 296 and 693, and Yabia Omer 4, 24.

14 Sefer T’B Shechal B’Shabbos, ibid.

15 Taz 554, 9. E”R and M’B 39. See however Kaf Hachaim and Birur Halachah.

16 Rema 554, 19, M’B 40, Sha’ar Hatziyun 46.

17 Birchei Yosef 553.

18 Taanis 29.

19 M”A 14, Eliya Rabba, Chayei Adam.

20 Bechor Shor, M”B.

21 Maharam Lublin 99, Taz.

22 M”B 553, 10.

23 Rema 558, see however Shlah and Birchei Yosef who are lenient.

24 Rema.

25 Zera Emes 1, 82 M”B.

26 Ibid.


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  1. Please correct “Instead, they may daven Mincha a half hour after noon…”. It should say “After chatzos”.