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Special guidance for Fast of Av that occurs after Shabbat.

Dear friends

As this year the Fast of Av starts straight after Shabbat, some practices differ from the regular; this is a brief overview of these points:

·         This year one doesn’t eat before the beginning of the fast the traditional Final Mealwhich consists of a hard-boiled egg and a piece of bread dipped in ashes. Instead one has normal Seudah Shelishit [the third meal of Shabbat] which may be eaten till 8.35 pm.

  • The fast commences at 8.35 pm.  From this moment it is forbidden to eat, drink, and wash one’s hands or face or to rinse the mouth. 
  • Shabbat doesn’t terminate till 9.36 pm. All the laws of Shabbat have to be observed till this time
  • One should notchange into shoes appropriate for Fast of Av, and to sit on a low chair before 9.36pm.
  • At the termination of Shabbat at 9.36pm one should announce “Baruch ha-mavdil bein kodesh le-chol” – “Blessed is the One who distinguishes between the sacred and the mundane”. After that, one should change into shoes appropriate for Fast of Av [shoes without any leather component]
  • Afterwards one should light a candle, look at the flame and recite the blessing “Baruch atah … Melech haolam, borei m'orei ha-eish”- Blessed areYou… Sovereign of the universe, Creator of fire.
  • As one may not drink on Fast of Av, the regular ceremony of Havdallahover a cup of wine is not performed at the end of Shabbat.
  • The ceremony of Havdallah is not cancelled this year but rather postponed. After the fast terminates on Sunday at 9.18 pm Havdallahshould be recited over cup of wine or grape juice in the usual manner. In this Havdallahwe omit the blessings over spices and fire. TheHavdallahis notmarking the termination of fast; it is postponed Havdallahmarking the termination of Shabbat 
  • A person, who due to ill health has to break the fast, has to recite Havdallahprior to breaking the fast. This Havdallah should be recited over a cup of tea or coffee rather than wine or grape juice and instead of the blessing “Baruch atah...Melech haolam, borei p'ri hagafen” one should say “Baruch atah...Melech haolam, shehakol nih'ye bidvaro.
  • This year (as opposed to normal years when some of the mourning practices are observed till the next day) one is permitted to do laundry immediately after the termination of the fast; however one is not permitted to eat meat or drink wine (except for Havdallah) till Monday.

May we soon merit the fulfillment of the prophecy:"The fasts of the fourth, fifth, seventh and tenth months will become joyful and glad occasions and happy festivals for Judah”!

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