Out of Town

We moved 1000 miles away from our friends and family and just had a new baby....

Sunday, July 30, 2006

The Nine Days

The halachos of the nine days are fairly clear:

1. You shouldn't buy new things or say shehecheanu.
2. You shouldn't decorate your home or make unnecessary repairs
3. You can't have a wedding or listen to live music
4. No haircuts, bathing for pleasure, etc.
5. No eating meat or drinking wine
6. No laundering or wearing fresh clothing.

In addition to these basics, some people, like my husband, take it to a different level. For those of you who know my husband in person, you know he is not one to be machmir or to take on chumras. However, when it comes to mourning for the Bais Hamikdash, and the current state of Am Yisrael in Eretz Yisrael, he takes on many additional restrictions.

He does not engage in any types of group activities that are solely for fun. For instance, today, some friends wanted to go get ice cream at a shop. That is something he does not feel comfortable doing. We often have Sunday night dinners with another family, he also did not attend that tonight (although I did go with the kids). In general, he does not make me or anyone else follow his restrictions.

We do not attend baseball games or similar activities during the three weeks in general, so for sure during the nine days we do not go.

Until he really, really needs a shower, he does not bathe (except for erev Shabbos, of course), and then in cold water.

Lately, speaking to other people in our community, he was suprised that he seems to be one of the few who take on additional restrictions. Today, the shul league held softball games. People were surprised that my husband didn't want to participate in softball during the nine days. Is this something that only he is very careful with? Is he normal? In light of what is going on in Eretz Yisrael should we personlize our mourning?

It is very possible to follow the letter of the law and forget about the spirit. I hope everyone has a very meaningful week and a mournful Tisha B'av. May we be zoche to see the coming of moshiach and the rebuilding of the Bais haMikdash speedily and in our days.


Blogger mother in israel said...

Recently discovered this blog. I'm from out of town too, even though I didn't know it until after high school. What ever happened to the online book club?

July 31, 2006 2:04 AM  
Blogger SephardiLady said...

For us (Sephardim), the restrictions in their entirety just began Motzei Shabbat. Actually, the really kicked in on Sunday morning because we were permitted to have grape juice for havdalah and have meat for the melava malka.

I can't speak for my husband, but I ended up taking on some extra restrictions during this time. Even though we were permitted to listen to music until Saturday night, I didn't listen during the three week, unless our toddler asked for a certain CD.

This is a terrible time for klal yisrael and it made sense to take on a chumra that was related to the period of time and based in the sources.

I know there was a post on beyondbt of LazerBeams of people who had taken on all sorts of observances or "chumrot" (term used lightly). We felt that it was most appropriate to take on a chumra related to the three weeks, and, of course, a chumra that fit in with the framework of Maran (and not just an adoption of Ashkenazi psak, since it gets really weird to mix psakim).

July 31, 2006 7:12 AM  
Blogger Outoftown said...

Mother in Israel: Thanks for reading. I haven't forgotten about the book club, I am just lazy :). I will get it organized in the next few weeks (b'li neder).

Thanks, SephardiLady for your comments.

July 31, 2006 7:20 AM  
Blogger Neil Harris said...

Great post. Hope your husband read it. The halachos of the 9 days are unique, in the sense that we do these external things hoping they'll effect us internally. Yet, we know and believe that Moshiach will come today, and on Tisha B'av we'll be dancing. It a difficult dicotomy for me to swallow. I once heard that the Zohar says that the heart of a Jew is cying and laughing at the same time.

August 01, 2006 8:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, thanks for coming by and reading my blog- I just found out that you blogrolled me. I hope you enjoy what you are reading-

Seeing the stones of the temple lying in rubble was stunning for me to see how the Romans didn't just set fire to it, but actually pried the stones apart and tossed them down- but I know that all this had to be-and while I mourn the horrible events that happened on Tisha B'av, I know that its all part of the great plan for the universe and I take comfort in that.

Be well.

August 02, 2006 4:36 PM  
Blogger Lakewood Venter said...

The spirit of the law is as important (if not more important) than the letter of the law! Great post;Great blog, glad I found it.

August 09, 2006 11:34 AM  
Blogger chardal said...

Is he normal?

No. He is much better than normal. ;)

August 22, 2006 1:14 PM  

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