Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Did I Sin This Tisha B'Av?

What a way to start Tisha B'Av, the 9th of the Jewish Month of Av, our day of greatest mourning.  On Tisha b'Av we're not supposed to bathe, launder or put on clean clothes.

When I returned to my sister-in-law's home after hearing the special mournful Eicha, I changed into clean clothes, dried myself off and hung up clothing to dry.  Did you guess correctly?  There was a very powerful rainstorm. 

The walk to the car was long and wet.  We were drenched by the time we got there.  I was glad that my shoes weren't ruined.  I was wearing rubber shower thongs, since leather is forbidden on the Ninth of Av.

I felt like I had just taken a shower.  My clothes were dripping wet, hat to toe.  Although it's forbidden to bathe and change into clean clothes, it was clear that these weren't normal circumstances.  

 Jewish Law is governed by common sense.  I didn't have to stay in wet clothes, just because it's the Ninth of Av. 

And although Tisha B'Av is a twenty-five hour fast like Yom Kippur, those with certain health problems are required to eat.  A good and thorough knowledge of Jewish Law shows this.

Tzom Kal, have an easy fast, if you're permitted to fast.  If you must eat, do it as the rabbi and doctor instruct, but your mind must stay focued onthe day.


Keli Ata said...

Have an easy fast, Batya.

Just my uninformed opinion here, but I don't think you sinned. I was taught that even on Tisha B'Av we must also think of our redemption and when the holy temple will be rebuilt.

So maybe drying off and putting on clean clothes was appropriate. Cleansing of body and soul.

(ducking in case others throw rocks at me)

Batya said...

Thanks, Keli, I agree. It doesn't rain on the 9th of Av in israel, so it was rather humorous to find myself so dripping wet.
We must be realistic about these things.
It's easier to believe that the Holy Temple will be rebuilt than to think that the Arabs will agree to true peace.

Anonymous said...

There is a rule in Torah law, certainly in Rabbinic law:

Anus, Rachmana Patrei

Meaning, if you were forced into a circumstance, you are exempt if the circumstance prevented you from carrying out an obligation.

As an example, this holds true for people who are ill and must eat on a fast day, whether Yom Kippur (Torah obligation) or Tisha B'Av (Rabbinic obligation). Such people are exempt from the Mitzvah of fasting. (They may still be required to eat in small measurements on Yom Kippur and simple foods on Tisha B'Av - ask your rabbi).

It would seem to be true for your clothing situation. Your clothing became reasonably unwearable under no intentional fault of your own.

rickismom said...

No, we CERTAINLY didn't get any rain here! Hope you had an easy fast!

Batya said...

Shy, yes, so true. For an Israeli to be drenched in the rain on Tisha B'Av, very ironic. At least my shoes weren't ruined. I thought the whole thing funny.

Rm, just an hour to go, and I can drink.

Hadassa said...

Did you enjoy the "shower"? It's also important not to enjoy any mandatory or inadvertent actions normally forbidden on Tisha B'Av.

Batya said...

Hadassa, enjoy, no, but scared yes. It wasn't pleasant at all.