Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Tisha B'Av confusion

I'm writing this while waiting for the beginning of the Orthodox Union's annual Tisha B'Av broadcast of Kinnot (dirges). (You may still be able to register to watch the webcast, I hope.)

Questions that we never remember to ask prior to Tisha B'Av:
  1. Since one is not supposed to study Torah, except for the sad stuff (Eicha/Book of Lamentations and other similar texts), is one supposed to say the Birkot HaTorah/Blessings before Torah Study and their accompanying texts on Tisha B'Av? We can't find any mention of this in our Kitzur Shulchan Aruch/condensed book of Jewish religious law. We've decided that we probably shouldn't, but would love to have something official, such as a text or rabbinic opinion, pointed out to us. See comments: We were wrong--one is supposed to recite Birkot HaTorah, etc.
  2. I skipped Rabbi Yishmael for the same reason. Should I have done so? No.
  3. I skipped Mizmor, Shir Chanukat HaBayit, l'David/Psalm 30 because it seemed not quite right to recite "a song for the dedication of the House (Temple)" on the day commemorating its destruction. Should I have done so? No.
  4. I should mention that, since I got stuck on a local subway train behind another local (for the uninitiated, a local stops at every station, whereas an express skips quite a few), I didn't get to my "kaddish minyan" until they were already praying the P'sukei D'Zimrah section, so I don't know what they skipped or said. But speaking of P. D'Z., why on earth do we say Mizmor l'Todah/A Psalm of Thanksgiving, Psalm 100, on Tisha B'Av? It seems to me appropriate to skip most of P. D'Z. on Tisha B'Av. The only psalm I said this morning was Ashrei. One says all of P'sukei D'Zimrah, odd as that may seem. Thanks to RivkaYael and Rav Steg for all this information.
  5. Why did we skip Avinu Malkenu? My husband says they skipped it at our local synagogue, too.
Good thing I just checked Minchah in our OU/Koren-Lookstein/Soloveitchik Kinnot--I see that the Shir shel Yom/Psalm of the Day gets moved from the end of Shacharit to the beginning of Minchah/Afternoon Service, after one puts on tallit and tefillin (which are also moved to Minchah). And don't forget the following changes in the Amidah prayer of Minchah:
  • add the Nachem paragraph to the V'liY'rushalayim brachah/blessing in the Amidah at Minchah, and say the Tisha B'Av version of the chatimah (closing) of that brachah.
  • add Aneinu to the Sh'ma Koleinu brachah.

See also my Pre-Nine-Days Prep.


Anonymous rivkayael said...

You do need to say birkat hatorah before you say shema and all that, and eicha is certainly torah. The best thing to do is to read the artscroll tisha b'av siddur (or something similar) for guidance. We say the standard pesukei d'zimra but don't say tachanun.

Interestingly one of the rabbinic sources (I can't remember from where-the yerushalmi?) said that one of the reasons for tisha b'av is that people weren't careful about reciting birkat hatorah.

Tue Aug 09, 01:07:00 PM 2011  
Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

The Tishabav siddurim point out that any text of Torah that's a normal part of davening is said.

Tishabav is weird -- it as these holiday-like counterintuitive aspects, related to the hope that with the Redemption it will become a holiday. So there's no Taḥanun (and hence no Avinu Malkenu) or Lamnatzeiaḥ.

On the other hand, because it's a day of mourning, part of the intro to Uva’ leTsiyyon is skipped just as it is in a mourner's house.

Tue Aug 09, 01:27:00 PM 2011  
Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

Sorry for the late reply -- i just got back from my local shul, where we started davening at 8:30 and ended around 1:20! Lots and lots and lots of ḳinot with community members' introductions and explanations.

Tue Aug 09, 01:28:00 PM 2011  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

RivkaYael, thanks for the tip. We have both Rosenfeld and OU/Koren Lookstein/Soloveitchik edition Eikha/Kinot/Tefillot books. I'll take your advice and at least refer to, if not pray from, one of those next year. Both books show most of the prayers and quotes from a regular weekday service intact.

Rav Steg, Tisha B'Av is, indeed, a counterintuitive and weird in terms of davvenning.

Tue Aug 09, 03:31:00 PM 2011  

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