Friday, July 05, 2013

Pre-Nine-Days preparation: Links to helpful info

This post was originally published on Thursday, July 8, 2010 at 11:35 AM. I'm keeping it on top until next Tuesday (er, Sunday, July 7, 2013--Rosh Chodesh Av begins at sunset). For newer posts, see below.

[Update, Wednesday, July 18, 2012.  Re-publishing this post at the last minute is getting to be a bad habit.  For those who observe the restrictions of the Nine Days, any preparations will have to be done tomorrow morning and afternoon, since the Nine Days begin at sunset tomorrow.

[Update, Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sorry I forgot to re-publish this sooner. For those who observe the restrictions of the Nine Days, any preparations will have to be done this morning and afternoon, since the Nine Days begin at sunset today.]

[ ¶ ] Rosh Chodesh Av, and the beginning of the Nine Days preceding and including Tisha B'Av/Ninth of Av, begins Sunday after sundown, so those who observe the Nine Days restrictions will probably need to prep after Shabbat/Sabbath or on Sunday before sundown. For your information and assistance, I'm publishing the link to two helpful old posts, my own Pre-Nine-Days prep:  my 10-minutes rule and, linked therein, Elie's Nine-Days.
[ ¶ ]

See also Showering during the Nine Days, by Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik (adapted from lectures), published on the Orthodox Union website.

In addition, see The Laws and Traditions of the Nine Days, also on the OU website.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011/Tisha B'Av update: It's a good thing that they announced at our local synagogue that we'd be having a Mincha (Afternoon) Service just before the beginning of Tisha B'Av, because I'd completely forgotten--again!--that one is supposed to eat one's final pre-fast meal (seudat hamafseket?) before davvenning/praying Minchah and almost davvenned Minchah at the office, as usual! So I'm adding this note to my pre-Nine-Days prep. post as a reminder for next year and future years.

I see that Rabbi Gil Student mentions checking the back (or front) of one's Kinnot book for the laws of Tisha B'Av. The OU/Koren-Lookstein/Soloveitchik Kinnot has a nice round-up of laws regarding not only Tisha B'Av, but also the Three Weeks in general, the Nine Days in particular, and the day before Tisha B'Av specifically.

June 19, 2012 update:  See also my Pre-Nine-Days prep:  my 10-minutes rule and Elie's Nine-Days tips, linked therein.

August 21, 2016 update, before I forget altogether:  No nail clipping/paring during the Nine Days, unless you're a mohel preparing for a bris/ritual circumcision or a woman preparing for immersion in a mikvah.


Blogger rivkayael said...

Typical Sephardi practice only involves mourning during "shavua shechal bo"--the week beginning Sunday that Tisha B'Av falls (so if 9 Av is motzei Shabbat, there is no shavua shechal bo!).

This means that I get to eat all the chicken soup that is left over after this Shabbos :) :)

Thu Jul 08, 07:32:00 PM 2010  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Lucky you!

Here's another interesting minhag/custom that I just heard about today for the first time: Apparently, some folks eat chicken during the Nine Days because "it's not really meat." That actually makes sense, from a biblical perspective--to the best of my recollection, chickens were never sacrificed in the Bet Midrash/Holy Temple, so, if the purpose of avoiding meat is to remind us of the lost sacrifices, avoiding chicken (not to mention duck, goose, and/or turkey, which are also not listed in the Torah/Bible as animals fit for sacrifice) makes no sense.

Fri Jul 09, 12:04:00 AM 2010  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

On the other hand, if the purpose of avoiding fleischigs/b'sari/meat is to avoid luxuries at a time of "national" mourning, you're out of luck.

Fri Jul 09, 11:23:00 AM 2010  
Blogger Miami Al said...

Basically, the "nine days" practice is the practice listed for the week of Tisha B'av, that has become Minhag Ashkenazi to extend for 9 days. I believe that there is a general custom to avoid music AFTER Rosh Chodesh Av and until after noon AFTER Tisha B'av that became the basis for the Ashkenazi Custom of the "three weeks" -- which has no textual basis, it appears to be an effort to tie Tzom Tammuz and Tisha B'av practices closer together by observing the 9 days practices.

The "typical Sephardic practice" is also the practice that jives with the Halachic literature until the past few hundred years when Minhag Ashkenaz turned.

Pretty sure you're not supposed to get hair cuts from Motzei Rosh Chodesh Av until 11 Av, those Ashkenazi practice is to avoid them from Tzom Tammuz until 10 Av except for weird exceptions.

Agreed on the logic behind chicken during nine days, but since chicken has been substituted for meat for at least 1600 years, not sure that that "line" makes sense culturally. That said, we don't often eat meat during the week anyway (health reasons), making this a relatively simple affair.

Sun Jul 31, 05:37:00 PM 2011  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Leave it to us crazy Ashkenazim to come up with yet more restrictions (chumrot?). This is in the same class as the kitniyot nonsense with which I'm stuck as an Ashkenazit, I presume. So the "original" (?) tradition was to practice these restrictions *after* Rosh Chodesh Av? Thanks for the info, Al.

We're not big meat eaters either. We usually can't be bothered scrubbing our sink and pouring boiling water on it switch to meat, and we're not great meat cooks anyway, so we just stay dairy most of the time, and frequently eat vegetarian. So avoiding meat for the Nine Days is no big deal for us.

One old friend of ours follows a tradition (from her family?) that meat and wine are permissible on Shabbat/Sabbath even during the Nine Days. I don't know how widespread that tradition is.

Mon Aug 01, 10:57:00 AM 2011  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Oops--I see that RivkaYael beat you to it re Sefardi practice. Lucky her, eating all the leftover chicken soup. :)

Mon Aug 01, 11:19:00 AM 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having meat and wine on Shabbat Chazon (the Sabbath during the nine days) or Shwartzshabbes (Black Sabbath!) as the German's call it, is universal. I've never heard of anyone avoiding meat/wine on the Sabbath of the nine days, although some Ashkenazim observe certain mourning practices on this day, (especially if Tisha B'Av falls on Shabbos and got moved to Sunday. BTW, the German minhag is to say Av Harachamin ONLY on the Shabbos during the 9 days and on the Shabbos before Shavuos.

Mon Aug 01, 12:02:00 PM 2011  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Thanks for the information concerning meat and wine. We eat meat and drink wine--we keep Kedem's grape juice department in business--so rarely that it's not usually relevant for us.

That's an interesting minhag/custom for Av Harachamim. I can understand why one would say it specifically on the Shabbat before Tisha B'Av, but why specifically on the Shabbat before Shavuot?

Mon Aug 01, 12:47:00 PM 2011  
Anonymous rivkayael said...

You don't have to kasher your sink between meat and milk. Just use two sink racks or plastic tubs to hold your milchig and fleishig things.

Shabbat is shabbat--I think most people eat fleishigs during shabbat of the 9 days.

Tue Aug 02, 09:02:00 PM 2011  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

RivkaYael, our sink "strainer" keeps getting stuck in the "closed" setting, resulting in the sink filling up to a point above the tops of the sink racks, so does just using separate racks still work?

Wed Aug 03, 09:28:00 AM 2011  
Blogger Miami Al said...

Since 9 Days is an extension of the mourning rituals from the week of, there is ZERO custom of not eating meat on Shabbat. You are supposed to eat meat/drink wine on Shabbat by all custom.

Shira, unless you are cooking in your sink, you really can't treif things up. If you rarely eat meat, don't pour hot soup down the sink, and throw a mat/rack down before washing meat equipment.

You do NOT need to kasher each time to use a single sink.

Wed Aug 03, 07:35:00 PM 2011  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

So we really don't have to boil out the sink between meat and dairy, or vice versa? That should simplify kashrut keeping considerably. Thanks, RivkaYael and Miami Al!

I'll keep in mind that meat and wine are customary on Shabbat even during the Nine Days. Thanks, all, for the correction.

Thu Aug 04, 09:59:00 AM 2011  
Blogger Miami Al said...

Look, last time I had one sink I was in my early 20s, holding a pot above the bottom to clean it wasn't a big deal, it might be more for you.

But you are making yourself crazy all the time.

The flavor is not "absorbed" unless it gets to a certain temperature. You still want to be stringent in keeping your stuff separated, both out of Ashkenazi Minhag AND the convenience of knowing what is what. However, even if you make the bottom of the sink treif and use two mats+dish racks, you shouldn't have much in the way of accidental issues because it's not that hot.

Get a book on keeping a Kosher kitchen, one that targets BTs/non-observant Jews, not something crazy targeting Yeshiva students.

Thu Aug 04, 01:19:00 PM 2011  
Anonymous rivkayael said...

As long as you don't pour fleishig soup straight from the pot (on the fire) onto milchig dishes in the sink, you are fine. Backed up water cannot transmit taam lishvach (good taste), which is the only kind that can treif up stuff. You wouldn't drink the stuff. If you really want to be paranoid, soap everything before leaving it in the sink and you should be ok.

By the way--R' Kahn covered all of this last year :)

Thu Aug 04, 06:44:00 PM 2011  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

"Backed up water cannot transmit taam lishvach (good taste), which is the only kind that can treif up stuff." Ah. Thanks for the clarification. Yay, no more sink-boiling (except before Pesach)!

Fri Aug 05, 09:50:00 AM 2011  
Blogger Miami Al said...


Accidentally getting backed up soup on a dairy plate would NOT render the plate treif.

HOWEVER, if there are dairy plates in the sink, you can't pour the soup, even cold, in. Not because it will treif the plates but because Ashkenazi practice is to be stringent on separation in a way that Sephardim are not.

That said, if she's not, she hasn't rendered her plates non-acceptable.

Shira, we use separate plates because it keeps us from accidentally mixing meat and milk, not because separate plates (the food is already cooked by the time we eat it) is inherently critical to Kashrut.

When "plates" were more like metal bowls and food was a stew over a fire ladled out, it was critical that they be separate for Kashrut, since you took food straight from the fire to the table.

When we cook in a kitchen, transfer food from our pots/pans into serving trays/bowls, bring them to the table and eat family style on non metal plates, it's less of an urgency for the laws of kashrut, and more symbolic and part of how we avoid confusing ourselves.

Sun Aug 07, 08:44:00 AM 2011  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

So we should still be careful about spilling even cold meat soup into a sink full of dairy dishes, or vice versa, and we should also take the precaution of soaping everything we put into the kitchen sink. That should satisfy all kashrut requirements, I hope.

Sun Aug 07, 12:08:00 PM 2011  
Anonymous rivkayael said...

Miami Al: I'm sure that most Sephardim would also refrain from pouring cold chicken soup onto milchig plates too. These "gedarim" are common sense to avoid accidents. I was talking about actually traifing things up. There is a minhag of not kashering milchigs to fleishigs and vice versa (though you can kasher them for pesach)--not because of kashrut reasons but for keeping track reasons. It's just easier to have things brainlessly easy when you are trying to make breakfast half asleep with a bunch of toddlers clamouring for your attention (as you probably know for yourself).

Sun Aug 07, 02:25:00 PM 2011  
Blogger Miami Al said...


Absolutely agreed, the simpler, the better.

Dairy in one sink goes in the "dairy" dishwasher, goes in the dairy cabinets. Meat in the other sink in the "meat" dishwasher in the meat cabinets.

While American Ashkenazim have collectively decided that you can't use one dishwasher recently (Moshe Feinstein clearly ruled otherwise), Sephardim do no... I don't believe that you "need" to, as in if a dairy fork gets washed in the meat dishwasher, it doesn't need to be re-kashered, but it is certainly simple.

But in a prior life we got by with 1 sink in the kitchen and a single dishwasher. It's definitely more convenient if you throw money at the problem, but it's certainly not required.

Shira, if you're the most machmir of your friends as well, I really wouldn't worry about this stuff. Be stringent if you find meaning in the stringencies. Be stringent so friends are comfortable in your home. Do NOT be stringent just so you can complain about it on your blog... :)

Mon Aug 08, 10:05:00 AM 2011  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

We just assumed that boiling out the sink when switching between meat and dairy, and vice versa, was a requirement. If it isn't, we'll happily give up torturing ourselves. :) Thanks, all!

Mon Aug 08, 01:23:00 PM 2011  

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