A Little Clarity – Halachic Questions via Text Message – Tisha B’av Edition

Due to the space limitations of a text message, please note that it is particularly important to read carefully, pay close attention to the context of the question, and use the answers as a springboard for further study.

If you would like my phone number to submit questions, please leave a comment and I will send it to you.

Q: My office inadvertently scheduled a full day of appointments on Tisha B’av.  The clients will be upset if I reschedule them – and there will be a long wait until there will be openings in my schedule.  Do I have to reschedule them anyway?

A: While the sages frowned upon the distraction from mourning associated with working on Tisha B’av and it is therefore  ideal to avoid it altogether, it is ultimately a matter of custom and is permitted even before midday especially in circumstances like these that could potentially damage the business.
Q: Does a nursing woman have to fast on Tisha B’av?  Does it matter that I also have to take care of my other young children?
A: Although the Shulchan Aruch rules explicitly that one way Tisha B’av is stricter than the other Rabbinic fasts is that even a nursing woman has to fast, several contemporary authorities allow breaking the fast if her milk supply will be affected or she is weak.  Practically, she should hydrate herself extremely well before the fast begins and fast during the night but if she feels weaker than usual (for a fast day) in the morning, she may eat.
Q: Can you trim your nails during the Nine Days?
A: This is not mentioned by the Talmud nor the Shulchan Aruch as one of the activities forbidden due to mourning during this time but some later authorities have nevertheless prohibited it.  Practically speaking, cutting nails during the nine days is certainly permitted; during the week of the 9 of Av it is permitted in honor of Shabbos (i.e. when 9 of Av is on Shabbos) (MB) and a chumra (stringency) not to on other days of the week (based on the Aruch Hashulchan that writes the custom was to be lenient).


Q: Rice which is totally pareve which was originally cooked in a milchig oven, can I reheat it in a fleishig microwave?

A: If the rice was covered then it is no problem. If not, and the oven was ben yomo (used within 24 hours) or dirty then it can’t be heated up in a milchig (diary) microwave unless you cover it; if it was not ben yomo, then it’s OK even without covering it.

Q: If I used a fleishig nylon spoon to stir something hot (at least yad soledes bo) and pareve in a milchig pot, do I need to kasher anything? Neither was used in the last 24 hrs, and nothing charif was in the pot.

A: Nothing needs to be kashered, and the food is unaffected.

Source: Rabbi Isaacs