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Tish B’Av fast

Question:

Dear Rabbi,

With Tisha B’Av on Sunday, how are we instructed to make havdalah after Shabbat. What about drinking the wine, smelling the spices, the candle? Are there any special instructions?

 

Answer:

Thank you for your question.

You are asking an important question. Making havdalah this week, when Tisha B’av is right after Shabbat, there are a number of changes made in how we make havdalah. First of all, we don’t say the havdalah on Saturday night, because we can’t drink the wine then, as it is a fast. Therefore, we push it off until Sunday night after the fast. Before breaking our fast we will say, only two of the Brachot, Hagafen, and the main Havdalah Blessing (Hamavdil bein kodesh…). The blessing on the candle (Borei Meorei Haesh) is said on the candle Saturday night when a candle is lit, before the reading of Eicha. It is not said on Sunday evening. For those who will not be in the synogouge for the Eicha reading, they should still light a candle and say the bracha at home.

The blessing on the spices is not said this week. We don’t say it on Tisha B’av, because we don’t want to indulge in pleasures on this sad day. On Sunday night we don’t say it because it is only said after the “neshoma yiseira” departs us, which is after Shabbat, therefore this week it isn’t said at all.

As a side point a person that isn’t well and can not fast will make havdalah before eating even if it is on Tisha B’av itself. It is preferable to say it on “chamar medina” such as beer or coffee (but not to hot, so you can drink it quickly), and if there isn’t anything else but wine, it made be said on wine.

May we all merit to mourn the destruction of the holy Temple properly, and merit seeing it’s rebuilding soon.

Sources:

Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim siman 556, including Mishna Berura 1 thru 5, Shevet Halevi 7-77, Shmiras Shabbos Khilchoso 62-44, Halichos Shlomo (Nissan-Av) 16 ftnt. 15, Kovetz Halachos 21-13.

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