Eating Meat and Drinking Wine during the Nine Days

Why is it forbidden to eat meat during the nine days?

  • Eating meat gives a person pleasure.
  • In order to remember the animal sacrifices that have ceased due to the destruction of the Temple.

Is poultry also forbidden?

Yes.

May one eat food that was cooked together with meat or poultry?

No.

May one eat food that was cooked in a clean fleishig pot?

This is permitted, even if the pot was used for meat in the last twenty-four hours.

May children eat meat?

  • Until the age of three, children should not be restricted at all.
  • For children between the ages of three and six, opinions differ whether they should be restricted. According to some opinions, they may eat poultry but not meat.
  • From the age of six, children should not eat meat or poultry.
  • A child who is frail and would benefit from eating meat does not need to be restricted, irrespective of his age.

May a sick or weak person eat meat?

  • A sick or weak person may eat meat.
  • A healthy person who has a limited diet and is unable to eat dairy foods may eat poultry, or preserved meat that is at least three days old. If possible, he should refrain from eating this from the seventh of Av.

May a pregnant or nursing woman eat meat?

  • A pregnant woman may eat poultry, or preserved meat that is at least three days old. If possible, she should refrain from eating this from the seventh of Av.
  • A woman who has given birth may eat meat during the first thirty days following the birth. She should refrain from the seventh of Av, unless she isn’t feeling well.
  • A nursing mother may eat meat if she feels that refraining will be detrimental to her milk.

May one eat meat on Shabbos?

It is a mitzvah to eat meat on Shabbos, even during the nine days. If a person accepts Shabbos early on Friday afternoon, he may eat meat even before sunset. Similarly, if he is eating meat at seuda shlishis, he may continue even after nightfall.

May children be served their fleishig Shabbos meal on Friday afternoon?

Children who are not yet accustomed to wait until night for their Shabbos meal may be served meat one or two hours before Shabbos (see also question ‎137).

May one taste the fleishig Shabbos food on Friday?

It is a mitzvah to taste the Shabbos food every Friday afternoon to ascertain whether it is well flavored. However, during the nine days, the food may not be swallowed but should be spat out. (A b’racha should not be recited over such tasting.)

May one eat leftover fleishig foods at melaveh malka?

No.

May one eat meat on Rosh Chodesh Av?

No (unless it is Shabbos).

May one eat meat at a seudas mitzvah?

It is permitted to eat meat in honor of the mitzvah. This includes a bris, pidyon haben, siyum, and bar mitzvah on the boy’s birthday.

May one invite any number of guests to such a meal?

  • Before the week of Tisha b’Av, it is permitted to invite whoever one would normally invite to such a celebration. This includes relatives and friends.
  • During the week of Tisha b’Av, only ten men may eat meat, besides the celebrant and his close family. Other guests may participate in the meal, but they must refrain from eating meat.
  • If the simcha occurs on erev Tisha b’Av, the meal must begin before halachic midday.

On completion of which volumes may one make a siyum?

A siyum may be made on completion of any one of the following:

  • A tractate of Talmud Bavli or Talmud Yerushalmi.
  • One of the six orders of the Mishnah.
  • One of the books of the prophets studied in depth.
  • One of the four volumes of the Shulchan Aruch.

May one deliberately hurry or delay the completion of a volume in order to make a siyum during the nine days?

Meat may be served at a siyum only if the volume was studied at the usual pace, and the completion happened to occur during the nine days. If the completion was hurried or delayed, a siyum may be made but meat may not be served. If a person does not usually celebrate a siyum with a meal, he should preferably not serve meat at a siyum during the nine days.

What if a person recited a b’racha on meat during the nine days, and realized his mistake before eating it?

He should eat a minute amount of the meat in order not to recite a b’racha in vain.

May one eat parve sausages etc., which look like meat?

This is permitted, since people are accustomed to seeing such foods and will not suspect him of eating meat.

May a store sell meat to Jews during the nine days?

This is permitted since one may buy meat for Shabbos, for a seudas mitzvah, for sick people, or for after the nine days.

Why is it forbidden to drink wine during the nine days?

  • Drinking wine gives a person much joy.
  • In order to remember the wine libations that have ceased due to the destruction of the Temple.

Is grape juice also forbidden?

Yes.

May wine vinegar be used?

This may be used, since people do not drink it due to its sour taste.

Are other alcoholic drinks forbidden?

  • If the drink does not contain any wine it is permitted.
  • If the drink contains wine, it is permitted only if the taste of wine cannot be detected.
  • According to some opinions, one should refrain from all alcoholic drinks except for a mitzvah or health reasons, since they give a person much joy.

May one eat cooked or baked foods that contain wine?

Although the wine enhances the taste of the food, this is permitted, provided that one cannot detect the actual taste of wine. According to some opinions, one should not add any wine when cooking, in case he inadvertently drinks some of the wine.

May one drink wine on Shabbos?

Yes. Therefore, wine or grape juice may be used for kiddush as usual, and may be served during the meals.

May one drink the wine of havdalah?

There are different customs about this:

  • According to some opinions, the wine should be given to a child between the ages of six and nine. If such a child is not available, the person reciting havdalah should drink the wine himself.
  • According to other opinions, the person reciting havdalah should drink the wine himself.

How much wine should be drunk?

One should drink the majority of a reviyis. If possible, one should drink a complete reviyis in order to recite an after-b’racha.

Should one use grape juice for havdalah rather than wine?

According to some opinions, this is preferable. Indeed, according to these opinions, one is not required to give the cup to a child when using grape juice.

Should one use beer for havdalah rather than wine or grape juice?

No. One may not use beer when wine and grape juice are easily obtainable.

May one drink wine on Rosh Chodesh Av?

No (unless it is Shabbos).

May one drink wine at a seudas mitzvah?

Yes (see question ‎145). This includes the wine used for bensching.

May one drink the wine used at the bris ceremony?

Although this wine is used in honor of the mitzvah, the custom is to give it to a child aged six or above, or to the mother of the baby if she is present. The child or mother should listen to the b’racha that is recited over the wine, and not speak until he/she drinks it. If neither is available, the person reciting the b’racha should drink the wine himself.

What if a person recited a b’racha over wine or grape juice and realized his mistake before drinking it?

He should drink a minute amount in order not to recite a b’racha in vain.

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