- May one make a wedding on the night of Shiva Asar B’Tammuz?
- Rav Moshe Feinstein zt”l (Igros Moshe I:168) writes that this question would depend on whether we view the fast as starting at night or in the morning. Although we are permitted to eat until the morning, there is a disagreement among Rishonimas to whether we begin reciting the tefillahof Aneinuin Ma’ariv. Rashi and the Rif held that we begin reciting Aneinu in Ma’ariv. This would indicate that, in some respect, the fast has already begun. However, the Baal HaMaor held that Aneinu is not said at night. Since making a wedding during the three weeks is only a matter of custom and not forbidden by rabbinic decree, Rav Moshe writes that if there is a need one may be lenient and follow the ruling of the Baal HaMaor. Furthermore, it is possible that since the reason for the custom is because it is considered an inauspicious time to make weddings, it is possible that even Rashi and the Rif would agree that this period of mourning only begins in the morning with the actual fasting.
Rav Yosef Dov Soloveitchik zt”l disagreed with this ruling of Igros Moshe. He argued that there are three proofs that indicate that the status of the next day’s fast already has begun at night:
- As mentioned before, many Rishonim including Rashi and the Rif held that Aneinu is recited in Ma’ariv. The Baal HaMeor might also agree that the yom hata’anis (fast day) begins at night, and still might hold that one does not recite Aneinu until the morning, since the actual fasting does not begin until the morning.
- If one wishes to accept a fast upon oneself, one does so in the tefillah of Mincha of the preceding day. One cannot accept a fast once night has fallen. This would indicate that although one may still eat the night before a fast, it is considered part of the fast.
- The Ramban (MIlchamos Taanis 3a) writes that one cannot accept to begin the fast early before nightfall. Yet, once one goes to bed, even if they wake up later that night, they may no longer eat. This would indicate that the night is really part of the fast. [If one wishes to wake up and eat later that night, they must have specific intent before they go to sleep that they are not accepting the fast on themselves.]
Based on these considerations, Rav Soloveitchik held that one is not permitted to make a wedding the night of Shiva Asar B’Tammuz.
This teshuvah comes from OU Kosher’s Halacha Yomis dedicated in memory of Rav Chaim Yisroel ben Reb Dov HaLevy Belsky, zt’l, Senior OU Kosher Halachic Consultant (1987-2016). Subscribers can also ask their own questions on Kashrus issues and send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. These questions and their answers may be selected to become one of the Q and A’s on OU Kosher Halacha Yomis.