Synagogue Surfside Fl –  Tammuz 5777/2017 Schedule

Image Synagogue Surfside Fl - Tammuz 5777/2017 Schedule

17 of Tammuz

In this year the fast of 17th of Tammuz is on Tuesday, July 11, 2017. The Schedule in Hechal Shalom Or Oziel Synagogue Surfside Fl will be the following one:

From this Day we Commence the Laws of the Three Weeks. Look for the Laws, Minhagim, just below

Fast Begins: 5:18 am.

Shaharit: 6:30 am  

Minha with Tefillin: 7:50 pm

Arvit: 8:20 pm 

Fast Ends: 8:54 pm

Halachot & Minhagim of the Three Weeks

     Source: Daily Halacha

Eating before Dawn before the Taanit Starts. By Rabbi David Yosef

Now, it’s not so simple if someone wants to wake up early in the morning to eat. According to the Mekubalim, after one goes to sleep, he is not allowed to eat anymore. To drink is OK, but not to eat. But according to the Halacha in Shulchan Aruch, one may eat or drink early in the morning so long as he makes a condition before he goes to sleep. In this case, one must finish eating by 5:26 AM, and he has to make a condition before he goes to sleep the night before. He has to say; ‘I am not starting the fast yet, for I want to wake up and eat early in the morning.’ One would do the same even if he only wants to drink. One would have to make a condition and say tonight before going to sleep, “I want to drink in the morning. I am going to sleep now, but I have a plan to wake up early and to drink before the fast starts.”

So the Halacha, if you make a condition to drink, there would then be no question that one is allowed to drink. But eating depends. According to the Shulchan Aruch it is OK, but according to the Mekubalim it is not. How should one follow? So, if someone is strong and can follow the Mekubalim, it would be better. But one who needs to eat early in the morning because the fast would be very difficult on such a long day, he can then rely on Shulchan Aruch even though it is against the Mekubalim.

Avoiding Danger During the Three Weeks    

The Midrash Shoher Tob (Tehillim 91) speaks about a dangerous “demon” called “Keteb Meriri” that is covered with scales and hair, has eyeballs all over its body, and sees from the eye situated on its chest. It generally resides in areas that are partly sunny and partly shady, and moves by rolling like a ball. Anyone who comes near this demon, the Midrash comments, exposes himself to great danger. The Midrash in fact relates that there were schoolchildren who suffered harm as a result of “Keteb Meriri.” It is specifically during the three weeks of between Shiba Asar Be’Tamuz and Tisha B’Ab, the Midrash teaches, that this harmful spirit surfaces and poses danger.

It is very uncharacteristic for the Shulhan Aruch, which was written as a strictly Halachic code, to include Kabbalistic concepts in presenting Halachic guidelines. Yet, the Shulhan Aruch indeed writes that during the three weeks one should not go outdoors to partially shady areas between the fourth and ninth hours (referring to Halachic hours) of the day, when this demon is most threatening. He adds that during this period, parents should make a point not to hit their children, and teachers should likewise refrain from smacking students, in order to avoid risks. The Midrash tells the story of Rabbi Abahu who saw a teacher with a branch ready to hit an unruly student. Rabbi Abahu sharply condemned the teacher, noting that “Keteb Meriri” was standing right behind him with an iron rod, ready to strike. This story shows the dangers of administering any type of corporal punishment during this period, when we are exposed to the dangers of “Keteb Meriri.”

The Aruch Ha’shulhan (work by Rabbi Yehiel Michel Epstein, Byelorussia, 1829-1908) cites authorities who limit this Halacha to uninhabited areas, such as forests and the like. Inside a city, however, the presence of many people, as well as the presence of Mezuzot on the doorposts, offers a degree of protection from this harmful spirit. On one level, this restriction essentially renders this Halacha practically irrelevant nowadays, when we usually spend our time in towns, cities and other inhabited areas. Nevertheless, this Halacha demonstrates the importance of avoiding danger during this three-week period and keeping a “low profile,” as this period is particularly suited for mishaps and calamity, Heaven forbid. It is therefore advisable to remain in safe, secure quarters during the three weeks, especially between the fourth and ninth hours of the day.

  • It is customary to nickname the days of Ben Hamesarim (The Three Weeks – from the 17th of Tamuz until the 9th of Ab) with special names in order to show that we are moving from “light” to “heavy” days: We call, in Arabic, the days from the 17th of Tamuz until Rosh Hodesh Ab “Tiz’a Zghrira” (the Small Nine), the days from Rosh Hodesh Ab until Tish’a Beab “Tiz’a Kbira” (the Big Nine), and the day of Tish’a Beab itself we call “Yom Tiz’a.” Some give this sad day a nice name so as to not call it by its sad name, “Yom Lmbarekh” (The Blessed Day). This is all in order to remind the Nation, the women, men, and children that these days are ones of mourning and the mourner continues his mourning until the bitter day of Tish’a Beab when both Baté Miqdash were destroyed, the crowns on our heads and our glory gone with them.
  • Reading of the Three Haftarot of Rebuke (Telata Depur’anuta)

The minhag is to read the haftarot on the three Shabatot directly prior to Tish’a Beab (known as the Telata Depur’anuta, starting this Shabat) with a special, mournful melody different from that used during the rest of the year.

This is an old minhag, already mentioned in the responsa of the Ribash, who lived in the Middle Ages. Many Jewish communities have similar customs- Tunisia (see Zé Hashulhan, p.145) and Egypt (see Nahar Misrayim), as well as the Ashkenazim, who read these Haftarot with the melody used for Meghilat Ekha. Some contemporary halakhic authorities have spoken against this minhag, saying that it constitutes a public display of mourning on Shabat. However, the Ribash, mentioned above, and other early authorities did not seem to find any fault with this custom. Rather, it seems they reasoned that since the Sages had instituted the reading of these three Haftarot in order to arouse the people to repentance, and to further facilitate this it became customary to read the Haftarot in a special tune.

  • We have the minhag not to eat new fruits during the Three Weeks, even on Shabat. The reason is not because these are days of mourning, but rather because these are days of tragedy and loss and one cannot say the berakha of “Sheheheyanu” where it says “vehigi’anu lazeman hazé” – “and you brought us to this time” because this is not a good time to be brought to. See QS”A Ribi Toledano zs”l p. 249, Birké Yosef by Maran HaHida Siman 50:9, and Vayomer Yishaq by Ribi Yishaq Bengualid zs”l (Heleq 2 Siman 11).
  • Engagements and Weddings During the Three Weeks

The minhag is not to get engaged or married during the three weeks from the Seventeenth of Tamuz until Tish’a Beab, despite the fact that many Sefaradim permit engagements and weddings until Rosh Hodesh Ab. See Ribi Refael Barukh Toledano zs”l (Qisur Shulhan ‘Arukh 387). This is because throughout this time we should be decreasing our happiness in conjunction with our mourning over the destruction of Jerusalem. As it says, “All those who mourn Jerusalem will merit seeing its redemption,” speedily in our days, Amen!

  • Cutting One’s Hair During the Three Weeks

Many have the custom to not have their hair cut beginning from the Seventeenth of Tammuz. 

Most Tora scholars were strict and started from the Seventeenth of Tammuz. See Ribi Refael Barukh Toledano zs”l (Qisur Shulhan ‘Arukh p.246) and Ribi Shalom Messas zs”l (Shemesh Umaghen Part 3, Chapter 54).

  • Listening To Music During the Three Weeks

It is forbidden to listen to music for enjoyment during the three weeks between Shiva Asar Be’Tamuz and Tisha B’Ab. This applies to both live and recorded music.

  • New Clothes

It is forbidden to purchase new clothes for oneself or for somebody else during the nine days, regardless of whether they will be worn before Tisha B’Ab. One may purchase clothes on sale during the nine days if the sale ends before Tisha B’Ab. It is permissible to purchase inexpensive clothes during this period, and to purchase shoes for Tisha B’Ab. It is forbidden to sew a new garment or to have a new garment sewn during the nine days, but garments and shoes may be fixed during the nine days.

  • Hitting or Travelling

Extra caution must be taken to avoid danger during the Three Weeks. In particular, one should not hit anybody – including children and students – even gently, and one should not travel unnecessarily. It is especially important not to travel to deserted areas between the hours of 9:30am-3:30pm during the Three Weeks.

  • Purchasing a New Home or Furniture

One may purchase a new home during the Three Weeks, the Nine Days, and even on Tisha B’Ab. One may not paint a home during the Nine Days. One should not purchase or even order furniture during the Nine Days, unless the price will go up if he waits until after Tisha B’Ab. One should not buy new books during the Nine Days if he does not need them until after Tisha B’Ab.

  • Halacha requires reciting special Haftarot on the Shabbatot during the three weeks before Tisha B’Ab, and during the seven weeks after Tisha B’Ab. The common practice among Sepharadim is to read these Haftarot even in a case where Rosh Hodesh falls on Shabbat, whereas Ashekenazim generally afford preference to the special Haftara for Shabbat Rosh Hodesh in such a case.
  • The question was asked if it is permissible to make the Beracha of ‘Shehechiyanu’ during the 3 weeks. It is brought down in Sefer Chasidim which was authored by Rabbi Yehudah HaChasid (1150 – 1217), that there were men of stature, (who Rav Yehuda calls Chasidim), that were careful during the 3 weeks not to make the Beracha of Shehechiyanu. Not on new fruit, not on a new clothes, and not on items for which we would normally say Shehechiyanu. The logic is obvious. How can one say the Beracha of Shehechiyanu, which in essence means that we are happy that we are brought to this time? The 3 weeks is from the ugliest of times in our history. So how can we rejoice during such a period?

There is then a whole debate if it would be permissible to recite Shehechiyanu on a Shabbat that falls within the 3 weeks. So, we know that there are many Chachamim that were lenient to make Shehechiyanu on Shabbat, and thus you can rely on those opinions. But they were only referring to the Shabbats in the month of Tamuz. Once the month of Av arrives, it would not be right. That Shabbat in Av falls into the period of the 9 days preceding Tisha BeAv, and one should not make Shehechiyanu on that Shabbat. So for the most part, you would have 2 Shabbats where you can make Shehechiyanu.

It should be pointed out however, that the great Mekubal Arizal, and many other Mekubalim as brought down by Rav Chida, were each careful not to make Shehechiyanu even on Shabbat during the 3 weeks. So therefore it would be better to delay new items and its Shehechiyanu until after Tisha BeAv. For example, it would be better for a person to put off wearing a new Shabbat suit until after Tisha BeAv. But nonetheless, a person may and has what to rely on if he wants to wear the new suit on Shabbat. Another example would be if a person bought a new Talit, and he wants to wear for the first time on Shabbat and make a Shehechiyanu on Shabbat. In this case it would be better to wait until after Tisha BeAv, however he has what to rely on and may wear it for the first time on Shabbat and make the Shehechiyanu. But again the Mekubalim are strict not to make Shehechiyanu on Shabbat at all within the 3 weeks, and that would be best.

For specific questions or for particular Sephardic minhagim, you can contact Hechal Shalom Or Oziel Synagogue Surfside, fl Rabbi by email

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