Parshas Devarim
Shabbos Chazon
Erev Tisha B'Av
July 16 - July 17, 2021
8 Av, 5781
Shalom and hello, everyone! I hope you are doing well. 

This week is Parshas Devarim, “Shabbos Chazon" and Erev Tisha B’Av. 
Tonight’s Gala Friday Night Dinner is SOLD OUT! 
I am thrilled to be in shul this Shabbos and to participate in tonight’s exciting program. 
Thank you to all the wonderful volunteers, including Steve Sieratzki, Esq., and all attendees who will make tonight’s dinner memorable. 
Join Ohav Sholom for Eicha reading and Kinos tomorrow night and on Sunday, Tisha B’av, along with an incredible film about the Jews in Iraq, to be shown after chatzos on Tisha B’av day. 
See our Halachic Primer below for unique halachos pertaining to this shabbos and Tisha B’av.

Thank you to member Menahem Neuer, for sponsoring a gala hot kiddush this shabbos to honor the memories of Mordechai Fishel Rosenholc ben Yitzchak, z”l and Ajdla Rifka, a"h, who were murdered in 1942 near Skarzysko, Poland. 
Their yahrzeits are observed on Tisha B’Av. It is our hope that their memories continue to inspire the Jewish People in all areas of Jewish Life and learning.
עם ישראל חי!
Kiddush is also sponsored this week by Lori, to commemorate the yahrtzeit of her beloved father, Menachem Mendel ben Mordechai, z”l. 
For those concerned with indoor dining, please join us for a second kiddush location - just outside the front of the shul, under the awning. 
May all these neshamos enjoy a big aliyah in gan eden! Amen. 
Shabbos Chazon and Tisha B’av
Halachic Primer 5781


This shabbos is called "Shabbos Chazon," Shabbos of Vision, after the opening words of the day's reading from the Navi in the haftorah.
We do not change bedding with fresh sheets, even in honor of shabbos.
One is permitted to cut finger/toe nails in honor of shabbos.

Bathing one's entire body is prohibited even in cold water for pleasure purposes, even in honor of shabbos. One who regularly goes to mikveh l’kavod shabbos is permitted to do so.
If one is perspired or very uncomfortable, washing is permitted. Also, if one needs to remove dirt, sweat, etc., warm water and soap/shampoo is allowed.

A woman going to mikveh is permitted to bathe in hot water, as usual.
If one bathes for shabbos (see above) there is no need to wait until after midday.
One is permitted to wash floors etc. in honor of shabbos.
One is permitted to shine and polish shoes in honor of shabbos.
In honor of shabbos we use regular (white) shabbos tablecloths.
We wear our regular shabbos clothing. If one has to choose between a new shirt and a laundered one, opt for the latter.
This week's haftorah is read to the tune of Eicha, Lamentations.
We sing traditional songs/zemiros at the shabbos meals on shabbos chazon.
Pleasure walks and the like on this shabbos chazon are discouraged. However, if necessary for health reasons, one is permitted to do so.
Wine or grape juice is used for kiddush and bentching on shabbos chazon. There is no need to administer these to a minor.

Dvarim Sh’btzinah, discreet matters prohibited to an Avel as pertaining to mourning, are observed throughout the shabbos. Therefore, intimacy is forbidden with the exception of leil mikveh or yotzeh l’derech.

Pleasure walks and the like on this shabbos chazon are discouraged. However, if necessary for health reasons, one is permitted to do so.

Wine or grape juice is used for kiddush and bentching on shabbos chazon. There is no need to administer these to a minor.

One may study Torah throughout the afternoon of shabbos. Public shiurim are not recommended.



The fast begins in NYC at 8:24 pm and all prohibitions are in force (see below) with the exception of changing out of leather shoes (or changing into weekday clothing) and sitting on the floor. Since we cannot display overt mourning on shabbos, they are observed at nightfall only: 9:14 pm, the absolute conclusion of shabbos.

It is forbidden to verbalize that one is eating on shabbos to fortify oneself for the fast.

However, one may think to prepare oneself for after the shabbos. Similarly, one should not prepare kinos or change clothing or shoes before shabbos is over.

According to Rav Eliyahsiv, zt”l, one may discreetly change shoes (only) after sunset.


We do NOT sit on low stools or the floor until 9:14 pm.

The traditional seudah hamafsekes before the fast is NOT eaten this year. A regular third meal (seudah shlishis) is eaten with extra care taken to finish before sunset (8:24 pm).

Mayim achronim should be washed before sunset.

This seudah shlishis/hamafsekes is eaten in solemnity and devoid of joy. It is eaten with family members and guests, if this is one's custom.

Meat, wine and the like are absolutely permissible.


Before maariv, the chazzan slips off his leather shoes, before his recital of borchu.

The congregation removes their leather shoes after their response to borchu. Alternately, one can wait until 9:14 pm (recite baruch hamavdil), change shoes and clothes and return to shul for maariv/eicha/kinos.

Before slipping off the shoes, one should recite the words, “Baruch hamavdil bein kodesh l'chol,” without mentioning G-d's name.

Women who do not plan to return to shul should recite this at home.

Women who will not attend shul should recite the blessing (boreh m’orei ha’esh) over fire at home.

The balance of havdalah will be recited Sunday night. 

According to Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, zt”l, women should recite the Saturday night maariv service (this year) and insert the atah chonantanu prayer, as this is a preferred form of havdalah.

If one removed leather shoes in shul for maariv, they may be worn to return home and then switched out for acceptable tisha b’av footwear.

Although havdalah is recited Sunday evening, the bracha over fire is recited after maariv on motzei shabbos (in shul) before the reading of eicha. The fire is kept lit for the reading of eicha.

If one did not hear the blessing over fire, one must recite this blessing at home (motzei shabbos only.)

We daven maariv in a spirit of sadness and eichah is read in a tuneful and mournful voice.
One need not read along with the reader.

If one cannot attend a shul, eichah and kinnos should be read and recited, even in private.


The five "afflictions" on Tisha B'av are: eating and drinking, bathing and washing, applying of oils and lotions, leather footwear and intimacy.

Footwear that has decorative strips of leather may be worn. This is common on sneakers. 

Antiperspirant may be used on Tisha B'av. 

Women refrain from applying makeup and cosmetics on Tisha B'av. 

One is forbidden to wash or bathe on tisha b'av, even in cold water.

We wash n’tilas yadayim upon rising, until our knuckles. After using the restroom, the blessing al n’tilas yadayim is recited.

One may wash until the knuckles for mincha and maariv service.

Even pregnant and nursing women fast on Tisha B'av.

If this isn't feasible (for example, morning sickness or the infant is fed exclusively from the mother) one should fast until morning or even midday. Of course, exceptions are made under qualified rabbinic guidance. 

We do not don talis and tefillin for shachris. They are worn at mincha service.

One should sit on low chairs until midday, which is at 1:02 pm.

"Work" is prohibited on Tisha B'av until 1:02 pm. Simple activities that do not distract from a mindset of mourning - such as turning on a light switch, are permitted even before midday. 

One traveling in a car before midday is permitted to sit in a regular (car) seat.

One may visit the sick on Tisha B'av.

It is recommended to visit a Jewish cemetery after the morning service has concluded. If a Jewish cemetery is not available, a non Jewish cemetery is also advised.

We do not study Torah on Tisha B'av unless the topic 'relates to the day’ and will remind us of the churban. Mussar seforim are permitted.

On Tisha B'av, we do not greet our neighbor with the words, "Sholom aleichem."
One may wish another, "Refuah shleimah," on tisha b'av.


Havdalah is recited Sunday night after maariv.

Havdalah consists of borei pri hagefen and hamavdil bein kodesh l'chol.

No blessings over besamim or fire are recited.

Havdalah is made over wine or grape juice and the mavdil officiant drinks. There is no need to give this to a minor. The fast is over at 9:13 pm.

Bathing (even in cold water - unless to remove dirt or perspiration) 
Listening to music
Laundering of clothing (and wearing clean, fresh garments laundered during the nine days) 
[clothing washed before the nine days is permitted]
Consumption of meat 
Drinking wine or grape juice

NOTE: The laws of Tisha B'av are vast and detailed. If you have tisha b'av related questions or have difficulty fasting, feel free to call me anytime at 917-405-7222.
Have a wonderful shabbos and an easy/meaningful Taanis, 

I’ll see you in shul! 
Rabbi Aaron D. Mehlman
מרא דאתרא קנג. אוהב שׁלום

Erev Shabbos Kodesh Chazon 5781 
eShabbos Timetable
Friday, Erev Shabbos
Early Mincha 6:45 PM
Communal Dinner by prior reservation only 7:30 PM
Candle Lighting 8:07 PM
Late Mincha / KS 8:10 PM

Shabbos Chazon, Erev Tisha B'Av
Shacharis 9:00 AM
Gala Hot kiddush 11:15 AM
Mincha 7:00 PM
Fast Begins 8:24 PM
Maariv / Shabbos ends 9:14 PM
Eicha Reading/Kinos Recitation

Sunday, Tisha B'Av
Shacharis 8:30 AM
Special Movie Screening 12:45 PM
Chatzos 1:02 PM
1st Mincha 2:00 PM
2nd Mincha 7:50 PM
Lecture by Rabbi Avrohom Horovitz
Maariv/ Fast ends at 9:13 PM
Upcoming at Ohav Sholom
Weekly Classes
Tisha B'Av Presentation
Statement of Co-Directors: Carole Basri & Adriana Davis
Starting in 1952, after mounting persecution and outrageous restrictions, over 160,000 Iraqi Jews began escaping their ancestral homeland of 2700 years. From that time through the end of the 20th century, Saddam Hussein and the Iraqi government, under color of law, began stripping Iraqi Jews of their property, including religious and cultural artifacts, personal records, photographs and correspondence. Ever resilient, the Iraqi Jewish community survived, in adopted homes throughout the world, but they believed these items, proof of their very existence in Iraq, had vanished forever.

We have spent over 25 years producing documentaries about this community’s history and culture, interviewing hundreds of Iraqi Jews throughout the US, Canada, UK, Israel and Asia. In the beginning, it was difficult convincing them to relate their unique and tragic stories. For nearly 50 years most hadn’t even told their own children about living in and escaping from Iraq. However, once they did, we felt our resulting films told their story fully. We were wrong.

In 2003, a few courageous individuals, with the cooperation of the US military, ventured into the basement of Saddam’s secret police headquarters in Baghdad. There they found and rescued nearly 20,000 confiscated personal and religious artifacts, some dating back to the 1600’s as well as the records from the last Jewish school in Iraq – The Frank Iny School. Severely damaged, they were shipped to the US for a 10-year restoration process. Today, not all the material has been made available to the Iraqi Jewish community and worse, the US and Iraqi governments have agreed within the next year to return the entire Archives to a politically unstable Iraq. If this happens, there will be little hard evidence for the community to prove they ever existed in Iraq and certainly nothing to cling to for future generations.

With this new and important milestone in the Iraqi Jewish story, we knew it was time for another film with a dual purpose: tell the story of the Archives, but also revisit the lives of those who’d trusted us to present their stories over the last 25 years. Part advocacy piece, part historical documentation, for this film we relied on the personal meaning attached to items that verify an existence: birth, marriage and school records, religious books and artifacts, family photographs, and, most importantly, each person’s right to possess them.

When the community decided to speak out publicly, in our previous films, it was with trepidation; but they realized it was the only way to put their lives on the record. Today, they speak with one amplified voice to Save the Iraqi Jewish Archives for their descendants whose ancestry is forever linked to the land between the rivers. With only five Iraqi Jews left in Iraq, now it is crucial.

As filmmakers, we bring a varied perspective to our productions: one an Iraqi Jewish American Attorney who has travelled to Iraq and the other an American TV/radio Producer and Editor of Italian Irish ancestry raised Roman Catholic. We call it taking an inside/outside perspective of the community to bring the story to as diverse an audience as possible.

We hope viewers of this film are inspired to take action that will keep these Iraqi Jewish Archives safe, but also motivates their own personal journey of identity to preserve, protect and pass along their stories. As more than one character in our film says, “Your children are your present, but your grandchildren are your future.”
Since 1995, Carole Basri and Adriana Davis have Co-Directed and Produced a series of seven films about Iraq’s Jewish community. They include: “The Life of Frank Iny: A Granddaughter’s Journey”, “Searching for Baghdad: A Daughter’s Journey”, “The Last Jews of Baghdad: End of an Exile; Beginning of a Journey” all of which have screened in numerous film festivals worldwide and on US Public Television.

Other Events On Tisha B'Av
Congregation Ohav Sholom
270 West 84th Street, New York, NY 10024
Call Us: (212) 877.5850