- Question: [Monday, 10th Menachem Av 5781]
When Tisha b’Av falls on Motzei Shabbos when is the Paroches and covering of the Bima and Amud, to be removed?
If there is a break between the end of Shabbos and Maariv, then it should be removed before Maariv, as done every year.
Explanation: The Poskim rule that the Paroches is to be removed by Maariv in play of the verse “Betza Imraso” which is recited during Eicha. However, they do not write when this is to be done, and if it is to be done before Maariv or afterwards before Eicha, and seemingly so long as it is done before Eicha it is not a problem. Nonetheless, the widespread custom of world Jewry is to remove it before the start of Maariv, and so is implied from the Levush. This however only applies by a regular year, however in years that Tisha b’Av falls on Motzei Shabbos, it is unclear as to when it is to be removed, and seemingly in previous generations when they were not accustomed to make a break between the leave of Shabbos and Maariv, it was removed either after Barchu, or after Maariv altogether [before Eicha]. Certainly, it may not be removed before the end of Shabbos. However, regarding after Shabbos is over if a break is made in between, seemingly there is room to learn this would follow the same custom as the removal of Shabbos clothing, and hence those who delay the start of Maariv and remove their Shabbos clothing before Maariv should likewise remove the Paroches before the start of Maariv. However, those who do not remove the Shabbos clothing before Maariv, seemingly should also leave the Paroches, and coverings of the Bima and Amud in place until after Shemoneh Esrei, and remove it before the reading of Eicha. Nonetheless, even those who remain in their Shabbos clothing may choose to remove the Paroches before Maariv, after the leave of Shabbos, as is done every year, as the two matters are not fully connected. Practically, the widespread custom today is to simply remove it before Maariv being that in any event there is a break between the leave of Shabbos and Maariv, and even in areas that remain wearing their Shabbos clothing may remove it before Maariv, as in any event it must be removed before the start of Eicha.
Sources: See Rama 559:2; Levush 559:1; Derech Hachaim 134:1; Luach Eretz Yisrael; Kol Hamisabel Aleha 25:6 footnote 21; Nitei Gavriel 94:9