Bathing, anointing, wearing leather shoes, music on a fast day

Bathing, anointing, wearing leather shoes, on a fast day:[1]

It is permitted to bathe, anoint, wear leather shoes, and have marital relations on a fast day other than Tisha B’av.[2] Nevertheless, a Baal Nefesh is to be stringent not to bathe [in hot water[3], if it does not involve a Mitzvah[4]], anoint, or have marital relations on the fast day, just like on the ninth of Av.[5] However, on the night of Tevila one is not to abstain from marital relations with his wife.[6]

When the stringencies begin:[7] These stringencies begin from the night of the fast day, which is from the night of the 17th of Tammuz.

Leather shoes: Leather shoes however may be worn according to all.[8]



May one eat meat and drink wine on the night of a fast?[9]

Some are accustomed not to do so.


May one get a haircut on a fast day?

Yes.[10] However, some Poskim[11] rule that a Baal Nefesh is to be stringent not to get a haircut on a fast day, starting from the night of the fast.

May one do laundry on a fast day?[12]

Yes. However, there is room to learn that a Baal Nefesh should be stringent to avoid doing so.


May one listen to music and dance on a fast day?

Some Poskim[13] rule it is forbidden to listen to music or dance from the night of the fast.

May one go swimming on a fast day?

Yes. However, some Poskim[14] rule that a Baal Nefesh is to be stringent not to go swimming on a fast day, starting from the night of the fast.

May one get married on a fast day?

It is permitted to get married on a fast day.[15] However, some Poskim[16] discourage one from getting married on a fast day, starting from the night of the fast. One may however according to all have the Chuppah take place during the day and arrange the music and dancing for the night.[17] P

May one recite Shehechiyanu on a fast day?

It is permitted to recite the blessing of Shehechiyanu on a fast day.[18]



[1] Michaber 550:2; Tosafus end of 2nd chapter of Taanis

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule the custom today is to prohibit taking a bath on a fast day, with exception to Erev Shabbos. [Bach 550; Levushei Serud 550; Ateres Zekeinim 550, brought in Shaar Hatziyon 550:8] This stringency applies to only hot water. [P”M 550 M”Z 1; Shaar Hatziyon ibid]

[2] The reason: The Sages did not decree against these matters on a regular fast, as majority of the congregation cannot uphold to this. [M”A 550:3 in name of Ran] This means as follows: Originally, the Sages decreed by each of the four fasts that all the five oppressions apply. Thus, in times that fasting is obligatory, such as times of war, all five oppressions must be kept by all fasts. However, today, since it is a time of peace and we only fast due to our accepted custom, it is not necessary to guard the other oppressions, as we never accepted this upon ourselves, due the reason explained in the M”A ibid. [Beis Yosef 550 in name of Ramban; Taz 550:1; Machatzis Hashekel ibid in name of Ran; M”B 550:6]

[3] P”M 550 M”Z 1; Panim Meiros 2:49, brought in Shaareiy Teshuvah 550:2; Shaar Hatziyon ibid

[4] Such as Tevila. See Kesav Sofer 100; Piskeiy Teshuvos 550:6

[5] M”A 550:3; Shlah; Ateres Zekeinim 550; M”B 550:6

[6] M”A ibid; M”B 550:6

[7] Shaar Hatziyon 550:9 in name of Elya Raba in name of Shla; Poskim ibid-just like Tisha B’av; Thus, a Baal Nefesh should begin fasting from the night before, just as on the ninth of Av. However, see Piskeiy Teshuvos 550 footnote 18 that the custom is not to be stringent regarding fasting; See Shaar Hatziyon 565:8

[8] M”A ibid; Shlah ibid

The reason: As this appears like foolishness to the public. [ibid]

[9] Seder Hayom Inyanei Bein Hametzarim; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 550:8; 564:1

[10] Turei Even Rosh Hashanah 18b

[11] Ruach Chaim [Falagi] 566:4

[12] See Piskeiy Teshuvos 550:8 footnote 35

[13] See Biur Halacha 552 “Merosh Chodesh”; Kitzur SHU”A 122:1 “On the 17th of Tamuz and the tenth of Teves it is forbidden”; Even Yisrael [Fisher] 7:28; Piskeiy Teshuvos 550:7

[14] Beir Moshe 3:77 rules it is forbidden to do so [however clearly this prohibition is only for a Baal Nefesh]; Piskeiy Teshuvos 550:6

[15] Rama 550:3; See also Igros Moshe

[16] Peri Hasadeh 4:62; Even Yisrael [Fisher] 7:28; Shraga Hameir 7:145; Even Yisrael 7:28 [permits on Taanis Esther]; See Mateh Efraim 602:5; Piskeiy Teshuvos 550:7

[17] See M”A 696; M”B 696:28; Yabia Omer E.H. 6:7; Igros Moshe 1:168; 4:112; Even Haezer 1:166; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid

[18] P”M 551 A”A 42

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