Intro: This siman focuses on the restrictions instituted by the Rabbis during the three weeks, which span from 17 Tamuz thru Tisha B’Av. The restrictions progress in severity through three stages – i.e. each additional stage adds new restrictions on top of the existing ones:
1) 17 Tamuz through the end of Tamuz - a.k.a the Three Weeks
2) Rosh Chodesh Av through the end of the week that precedes the week of Tisha B’Av -a.k.a. the Nine Days
3) The week of Tisha B’Av (Heb. ‘Shavua she’chal bo Tisha B’Av’ - i.e. from Sunday of that week until Tisha b’Av itself.
We have chosen to present these restrictions in a chart form, in order to help us learn. I hope this idea is not too “out of the box”! Please realize that this is only a framework. There may be exceptions to almost every category. Please consult a Rav if you think that an exception may apply (or even if you don’t!)
Ed: If the chart does not appear correctly on your email, please open attachment.
Chart for MBY 551:1-18 The Three Weeks, Nine Days and the Week of Tisha B’Av
Note: These halachos follow Ashkenazic munhag. Sephardic custom may vary significantly!
Three Weeks Nine Days Week of Tisha B’Av
Weddings should not be performed during this period, even if a seuda (meal) would not be served. (Engagements, however, may take place until Rosh Chodesh Av, even if a seuda is served. From Rosh Chodesh Av until after Tisha B’Av, engagements may take place. While a seuda may not be served, refreshments such as cakes and the like are permitted.)
From the beginning of the month of Av, simcha (joy) is diminished. Included in the activities that should be curtailed are: Major business deals or purchases that can be postponed, construction or decorating for beauty or pleasure, and planting for pleasure.
Also, if a Jew has a lawsuit with a non-Jew scheduled for this period, he should try to postpone it until the month of Elul or at least until after Tisha B’Av.
During this week, the number of people eating meat at a siyum should be limited to a minyan, aside from the relatives of the person who is making the siyum and those who assist at the meal. Those who normally eat together with the person who is making the siyum (e.g. yeshiva, camp) may also eat meat even if they are numerous. Dancing and Musical instruments are prohibited during the Three Weeks. The halacha states that a mourner during Shloshim may not clean or launder his clothing, nor may he wear freshly laundered garments. Similarly, the minhag is not to clean or launder clothing nor to wear freshly-laundered clothing during the entire Nine Days. For this reason, it is advisable to prepare before the Nine Days by wearing suits, pants, shirts, dresses etc. – even for a short period of time – before the Nine Days. Notes: Undergarments, socks and pajamas which are worn directly on the body may be changed during the Nine Days. Washing children’s diapers and clothing are permissible even in the week in which Tisha B’Av occurs.
Nail-cutting is prohibited only during the week in which Tisha B’Av occurs.
The minhag is to refrain from taking a haircut from 17 Tamuz until after Tisha B’Av. Included in this is removing hair from the head, beard and the rest of the body. Trimming the mustache is permissible if it interferes with one’s eating.
It is similarly prohibited to purchase or to make new garments or shoes during the Nine Days – even though they are not needed until after the Nine Days. Repairing torn garments or shoes, however, is permissible.
If the moon is visible on Motzei Tisha B’Av, the minhag is to perform Kiddush Levana (Sanctification of the New Moon) then (i.e. not earlier in the month.) When Tisha B’Av falls on Thursday, one should wait until Motzei Shabbos.
The minhag is to refrain during the Three Weeks from reciting the bracha Shehecheyanu on new garments, fruit and the like. Many Poskim permit saying Shehecheyanu on Shabbos.
The minhag is to abstain from eating meat and drinking wine during the Nine Days, because one experiences simcha when doing so. Both are permissible on Shabbos or at a Seudas Mitzvah meal, such as a Bris, Pidyon Haben or a Siyum. (Concerning Havdala, some have the minhag to use wine and to give it to a child to drink.)
Since these days are fraught with danger and misfortune, a parent should refrain from striking his child, and a Rebbe his students, during the Three Weeks. During the Nine Days, the minhag is not to bathe even in cold water, when it is done for pleasure. Swimming for pleasure is thus prohibited. If one is dirty or perspired, he may wash or bathe to remove the dirt or perspiration. (If water that is not comfortably warm will suffice to clean, he should use that.) On Erev Shabbos – even Shabbos Chazone – it is permissible to bathe normally if one does so every Erev Shabbos.