• The final meal before the fast:

            The Braita (Taanit 29b, and Eruvin 40b) says that our table can be as laden with food as King Solomon’s in his time:

It is taught: when Tisha Ba’av occurs on Shabbat, or when erev Tisha Ba’av occurs on Shabbat – one eats and drinks to satiate his needs, and his table can be as laden with food as that of King Solomon in his time.

The Rishonim disagreed whether it is permissible to eat a meal like Solomon’s (but preferable to be stringent), or whether we need to eat a hearty, big meal in honor of Shabbat, like on every Shabbat. Seemingly, the basis of the argument is whether there is a final meal on this Shabbat, but we need to be careful of mourning in public, or whether there is no halacha regarding a final meal on this Shabbat.

The Mishna Brura (552:23) rules that we eat as usual and it is prohibited to abstain from eating meat, since it looks like mourning. An argument is brought forth as to whether we could eat among friends, and the like. However, it seems that the thrust of his opinion is to be lenient, and one can definitely eat with one’s family and do a zimmun (ibid.).

In the responsa of Igrot Moshe (Orach Chaim 112:1) he adds that it is permissible to eat meat even if one is not used to doing so every Shabbat, and it is also permissible to sing Shabbat songs, even if one is not used to singing at Seudah Shlishit.

  • Completion of the meal:

In Eruvin 41a the Gemarra writes that everyone agrees that we need to finish the meal before shkia. The reason for this is that since the individual ate and drank the entire Shabbat, he is not ‘fasting’ when he ceases eating at shkia. And this is how the Rema ruled the halacha to be (352:10, and it is preferable to also complete the zemirot before shkia).

  • Learning Torah on Shabbat after Chatzot:

The Poskim disagreed on this issue (as a result of the Rema, 544). The Levush wrote that even when Tisha Ba’av occurs on Motzei Shabbat, we have to be stringent and not to learn on Shabbat after Chatzot. On the other hand, in the Knesset Hagedola (Beit Yosef commentary, 552) it is written that it is only forbidden when Tisha Ba’av occurs on Shabbat, but if it occurs on Sunday then we can study Torah the entire Shabbat.

How is it possible to forbid learning on Shabbat, since this is then considered mourning on Shabbat? Apparently, since it is permissible to learn the unpleasant things that happened every Shabbat, no mourning is evident in this. The Chatas (Chatas responsa, Orach Chaim 156) explains, that the concern is not regarding Shabbat, but rather that on Tisha Ba’av itself one should not think about the pleasant Torah thoughts he learned on Shabbat.

Indeed, many Acharonim permitted learning even when Tisha Ba’av occured on Shabbat. And so it is written in the responsa of the Maharam from Lublin (99). The Taz (ibid) also wrote that one who learns on Shabbat – did not lose out, and the Mishna Brura rules thusly (553:10), for indeed a number of Acharonim are lenient and permit learning Torah even when Tisha Ba’av occurs on a weekday.

It stems from the above that the halacha is to be lenient about learning Torah on Shabbat, even after chatzot.

  • Removing shoes:

The Rema (553) writes that one should remove his shoes in the synagogue, after Barchu. Indeed, it turns out that there are several differences from the period of the Rema and our days. One of the differences is that our custom is to wear cloth shoes, and it is not proper to start putting them on after Barchu. A second difference: in general it is not proper to wear Shabbat clothes on Tisha Ba’av. If we limit ourselves to removing our shoes in the synagogue, we find that we say Kinot in Shabbat clothes! Apparently, in the time of the Rema this was not a problem, since the Rema rules (551) that we wear weekday clothes on Shabbat Chazon! However, our custom is to wear Shabbat clothes (according to the Gra) on Shabbat Chazon, and if so, we have a problem with limiting ourselves to only removing our shoes (see Moadim U’Zmanim 7:256).

In light of all the above, we customarily delay the evening prayer by about 15 minutes. On Motzei Shabbat we say “Blessed is he Who separates between holy and secular” (the women also need to be reminded to say this), remove our shoes, change clothes and then go to the synagogue. And so it is written in the responsa of Yechave Daat (5:38), and in Moadim U’Zmanim (ibid) in the name of the Chazon Ish, and so it seems that this is the halacha (and there are those who customarily go barefoot after shkia).

  • Havdala

How do we act this year for havdala? For it is impossible to drink the wine on Motzei Shabbat. In the Shemoneh Esrei we say “You have graced us” however, in regards to havdala we find three opinions among the Rishonim. One opinion is that of the Gaonim (in Tosefot in Pesachim 107a) that we say havadala on Sunday night, i.e. on Motzei Tisha Ba’av. A second opinion is that of the Manhig (Tisha Ba’av 21) who says that we make havdala on Motzei Shabbat and give it to a child to drink. The third opinion is that of Nachmanides (Torat Ha’adam) who says that we do not say havdala at all, since once the commandment of havdala was postponed from Motzei Shabbat, it was postponed entirely.

The Shulchan Aruch ruled that we say havdala on Sunday night, i.e. on Motzei Tisha Ba’av. Indeed, the blessing on the candle should be said on Motzei Shabbat. We usually say the blessing in the synagogue before Eicha, however an individual can say the blessing in his house (after Shabbat is over) for his wife and household (Gaon Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, Shmirat Shabbat K’hilchata 62:98. If he did not make the blessing, he cannot bless on Sunday since fire was created on Motzei Shabbat). He should not bless on the spices at all, since this is not fitting for mourning (Shulchan Aruch ibid).

  • An ill person

An ill person who needs to eat should make havdala for himself (Mishna Brura 559:37), but he should only say havdala when he wants to eat and not immediately on Motzei Shabbat. If he cannot drink he should give it to a small child to drink. If he cannot make havdala, the responsa of the Tzitz Eliezer ruled (14:44) that a healthy person can make havdala for him and the sick person or a child will drink (indeed there is what to discuss here, but in practice when there is a need we can be lenient).

When an ill person makes havdala on Tisha Ba’av it is better to make havdala on Chamar Medina (national beverage – natural juice, coffee, and the like), but it can also be made on grape juice, and many make havdala on wine from the outset (an adult can drink it by himself – Luach Eretz Yisrael; but some give it to a child over age 6).

Children who eat on Tisha Ba’av, customarily eat without making havdala (responsa of Mishna Halachot (7:39).

  • Havdala on Motzei Tisha Ba’av:

On Motzei Tisha Ba’av we make havdala, without the verses ‘Behold! G-d is my salvation, I shall trust’ (but rather we start from ‘Who creates the fruit of the vine’), without a candle and without spices.  Havdala is made on wine like usual and an adult can also drink the wine (there may be a preference to make havdala on grape juice in this case).

A woman whose husband is delayed in prayer – is probably allowed to make havdala for herself, so that she can eat (indeed, in the responsa of Minchat Yitzchak 8:51 he wrote that she should hear it from a neighbor). In any event, she can drink water (and maybe other drinks) even before havdala.

  • Additional prohibitions on Motzei Tisha Ba’av: everything is immediately permissible (laundering, music, haircuts, etc.) except for meat and wine which are prohibited on that evening because of the mourning of the day, but they are permitted immediately the next morning (Monday), and despite this havdala can be made on wine like usual (Mishna Brura 558:3-4, and Shaar Tzion ibid).

A short summary:

            Seudah Shlishit on Shabbat – like regular, including Shabbat songs (and one can learn Torah like usual), but it should be completed before shkia.

We postpone the time of prayers on Motzei Shabbat: when Shabbat is over we say ‘Blessed is He Who separates between holy and secular’, remove our shoes and change to weekday clothes. If there are women who are staying at home and not going to the synagogue, then the blessing on the candle ‘Who creates the illuminations of the fire’ should already be said at home. We do not say havdala.

            In the synagogue: we say ‘You have graced us” in the Shemoneh Esrei. Before reading Eicha, we bless on the candle ‘Who creates the illuminations of the fire’ (the blessing should be made by a person who has not blessed at home).

            Motzei Tisha Ba’av: havdala, without a candle or spices and without the verses of ‘Behold! G-d is my salvation, I shall trust’ (we start with ‘Who creates the fruit of the vine’). Havdala can be made on wine (grape juice may be preferable), and an adult drinks the wine.

Additional prohibitions on Motzei the fast: everything is immediately permissible (laundering, music, haircuts, etc.) except for meat and wine (which, apart from havdala, are prohibited on that evening).

Let us try to connect the holiness of Shabbat to Tisha Ba’av, and to begin the mourning of Tisha Ba’av full of holiness and strength. And G-d willing, from mourning over the destruction of Jerusalem we will merit to speedily see its rebuilding, and all the difficulties which confront the Nation of Israel, will quickly be transformed to happiness and joy.

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