The nine days-Tisha B’Av:

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2. The nine days-Tisha B’Av:[1]

A. The nine days:

Some Poskim[2] rule that one is to avoid intimacy between Rosh Chodesh Menachem Av and the 11th of Av [not including the 11th of Av]. Other Poskim,[3] however, rule that it is permitted to do so. [Practically, the custom now is to permit intercourse on these days.]


B. Tisha B’Av – The general law:

It is forbidden to have marital relations on Tisha B’Av. 

Must one keep Harchakos during Tisha B’Av?[4] Some Poskim[5] rule that one is not to sleep in the same bed as his wife on the night of Tisha B’Av. This is the proper custom, as a guard against coming to have marital relations.[6] Likewise, one may not touch his wife [affectionately] during this time.[7] However, during the day, one may be lenient [regarding touch].[8] [It goes without saying that the other Harchakos do not have to be kept on Tisha B’Av, even at night. However, some Poskim[9] rule that it is proper to follow all the Harchakos restrictions at night. Furthermore, some[10] write that it is proper to be stringent even during the day, just like the law on Yom Kippur.]



Night: On the night of Tisha B’Av one is not to touch his wife affectionately or sleep with her in the same bed. Some rule that one is to also follow the other Harchakos restrictions at night.

Day: On the day of Tisha B’Av one may be lenient regarding touch, although some rule that one is to be stringent just like during the night, even regarding the Harchakos restrictions.


C. Tisha B’Av that occurs on Shabbos:[11]

When Tisha B’Av occurs on Shabbos, and is pushed off until Sunday, one may not have marital relations on Shabbos.[12]

Night of Mikveh:[13] If Friday night is the night of Mikveh, marital relations is permitted even when Tisha B’Av occurs on Shabbos.[14] [The same applies to any other obligatory Onah, such as if he returned home from travel on that day or will travel out of town on Tisha B’Av.[15]]

Announcing in Shul: Some[16] are accustomed to announce, after prayers, in Shul that all private mourning matters are in effect this Shabbos. Others[17] avoid this announcement.



Is one to follow Harchakos on Shabbos Tisha B’Av?[18]

Some[19] write that Harchakos are to be kept throughout Shabbos until after Tisha B’Av. At the very least, one is to avoid affectionate touch. [According to Admur, and the simple ruling of Shulchan Aruch, there is no need to be stringent regarding Harchakos, as stated above, although one is to avoid affectionate touch and sleeping in the same bed.]


D. Tenth of Menachem Av:[20]

It is proper to avoid marital relations on the night of the 10th of Av [Motzei Tisha B’Av], unless it is the night of Mikveh, or one is traveling the next day or has just arrived home after traveling [or he has a very strong inclination and may come to sin[21]].



May one have marital relations on Motzei Tisha B’Av that was pushed off to Sunday?

Some Poskim[22] write that one is not to have marital relations on Motzei Tisha B’Av, even when it was pushed off to Sunday. Likewise, some[23] write that for health reasons, one is to never have marital relations after a fast. Practically, on the night of Mikveh one may have marital relations at this time.


[1] Michaber 554:1; Taanis 30

[2] Shiyurei K’neses Hagedola 240:1; Or Tzadikim 27:11; Taharas Yisrael 240:11; Piskeiy Teshuvos 240:10

[3] Olas Tamid 240:4; Kaf Hachaim 240:5

[4] Michaber 554:18; Admur 40:8

[5] Hagahos Mordechai on Moed Katan

[6] Michaber ibid; Admur ibid

Stringency or letter of the law: This is stringency, however, from the letter of the law, it is allowed. [Admur 40:8] However, by Yom Kippur it is forbidden from the letter of the law. [Admur 615:1]

[7] M”A 554:19 in name of Darkei Moshe; M”B 554:37

[8] M”A ibid; M”B ibid; Chayeh Adam 135:12; Ben Ish Chaiy Devarim 23

The reason: As on Tisha B’Av the women do not wear nice clothing, and hence there is less worry that something will occur. [Sha’ar HaTziyon 554:44] Some Poskim rule that if one’s wife wears nice clothing one is to be stringent, even during the day, just like the law on Yom Kippur. [Sha’ar HaTziyon 554:44 based on Machatzis Hashekel 554:]

Opinion of Admur: See Admur Kuntrus Acharon 40:2 that, “One should not differentiate between day and night regarding Tisha B’Av as the Poskim did not differentiate in this matter.” However, perhaps this is only in reference to sleeping in the same bed and not with regards to touch.

[9] Ben Ish Chaiy Devarim 23 brought in Kaf Hachaim 554:85; Piskeiy Teshuvos 554:17

[10] Hiskashrus based on Admur 184:6 Kuntrus Acharon 2, “Due to this, it is not similar to Yom Kippur and Tisha B’Av,” thus implying that Chibuk and Nishuk are both forbidden throughout Yom Kippur and Tisha B’Av; Piskeiy Teshuvos 554:17 in name of Az Nidbaru 8:61; See Sha’ar HaTziyon 554:44 based on Machatzis Hashekel 554:19 

[11] 554:19; See Sheyikadesh Atzmo 8:14

[12] Rama ibid

Ruling of Michaber/Sefaradim: The Michaber ibid rules that even marital relations is permitted on Shabbos, and so is the Sefaradi custom. [Moreh Ba’etzba 234; Kaf Hachaim 554:86] However, Rav Yaakov Yosef stated in the name of Pachad Yitzchak and Eretz Chaim that the Sefaradi custom is to be stringent like the Rama against the Michaber, unlike the ruling of the Chida. He writes that it is even forbidden to bath in cold water, unless it is for the need of a Mitzvah.

[13] Sh’lah; Zera Emes 80; M”B 454:40; Many Poskim in Kaf Hachaim 554:88; So concludes Piskeiy Teshuvos 554:17 to be the Rabbinical directive.

Other Opinions: Some Poskim rule that one is to delay Mikveh night until after Tisha B’Av. [Elya Raba 554:19] Some Poskim rule that it is not allowed if his wife is pregnant or nursing, as it is only allowed for Peru Urevu. [Minchas Elazar 5:86; Shevet Halevi 6:70]

[14] The reason: As on the night of Mikveh there is a Mitzvah of Onah. Vetzaruch Iyun from Chasam Sofer who rules that there is no Mitzvah of Onah on Mikveh night, and so is the accepted ruling regarding a woman whose Mikveh night coincides with a Yom Chashash.

[15] Sha’ar Hatziyon 554:46; Toras Chaim Sofer 554:14; Sheyikadesh Atzmo ibid

[16] Darkei Moshe, brought in M”B ibid

[17] See M”B ibid and Sha’ar Hatziyon 45

[18] Piskeiy Teshuvos 554:17 footnote 80

[19] Mahril Diskin 5:67

[20] M”A 558:3 in name of K’neses Hagedola 558 that one who guards his soul is to distance himself from this; M”B 558:2; Kaf Hachaim 558:7; Sheyikadesh Atzmo 8:13

[21] Kaf Hachaim 558:7

[22] Shiyurei K’neses Hagedola on Tur 240; Elya Raba 240:1

[23] Kaf Hachaim 558:7

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