The Nine Days

 

Rosh Chodesh Av (the beginning of the month of Av) through Tisha B’Av is the period known as the “Nine Days,” during which the mourning is intensified. The “Nine Days” sensitize us to the depth of sadness necessary to fully relate to the tragedies of Tisha B’Av. To this end, in addition to the prohibitions of the Three Weeks, the rabbis prohibited the following:

1) Buying, making, or wearing new clothing

2) Washing, laundering and cleaning clothes (unless one owns only one set of clothing)

3) Rejoicing and things which lead to rejoicing, such as the planting of trees or the building of a new home

4) Celebrations with music and dancing

* It is, however, permitted to get engaged during the Nine Days, but the engagement celebration must be postponed until after Tisha B’Av

5) Bathing

* This refers to bathing for pleasure, such as in a bubble bath, jacuzzi or taking a long, hot shower. It is permitted to bathe for personal cleanliness.

6) Eating meat and drinking wine

* While meat is generally not eaten, an exception is made for Shabbat or a Seudat Mitzva, a festive meal in celebration of a bris, pidyon ha-ben (redemption of the first born), bar mitzvah or conclusion of the study of a Talmudic tractate. Wine is permitted on Shabbat.