|From the Desk of the Rabbi
דברי הרב Parashat Devarim:
As the fast of the ninth of Av is postponed until this Sunday, the tenth of Av, the Halacha is very clear that there is no special meal to prepare prior to the onset of the fast as in other years when Tisha Bâ€™Av comes out during the week. Indeed one can enjoy a feast similar to that prepared in the palace of King Solomon, and partake of all kinds of kosher delicacies. Why does the Halacha cite King Solomon as our frame of reference?
Obviously, King Solomon rates as one of the most powerful monarchs in Jewish history, noting his many accomplishments including the construction of the First Temple and accumulation of wealth. However, there is a more profound reason cited by Rabbi Meir Shapiro, the initiator of the study of Daf HaYomi. The feast of Solomon to which the Halacha refers is not the type of extravaganza prepared by the monarch in his prime. To the contrary, we know that Solomon toward the end of his life and reign suffers a great deal at the hands of those who wish him harm. Despite his desperate situation, he still orders his staff to prepare royal feasts.
Despite his travails, King Solomon orders that his feasts be prepared as if all is well, having full confidence that matters will improve. Similarly, we do not eat a regular Seudah Hamafseket when Tisha Bâ€™Av or erev Tisha Bâ€™Av comes out on Shabbat. We partake of a feast with full confidence and hope that this fast day will turn in to a day of rejoicing as predicted by Zachariah the prophet.
( A similar note of confidence is expressed by Rav Ovadiah Yosef in his declaration that parents should not force below bar or bat mitzvah age children to fast at all on Tisha Bâ€™av. By forcing them to practice fasting to prepare for the time they shall reach Halachic maturity, parents demonstrate a lack of faith and belief that the Mashiach will come and herald the building of the Third Temple.)
Please note the following in regards to this coming Tisha B’Av. The fast starts before the end of Shabbat. Regarding Sunday night, it is permissible to cut one’s hair and wash clothing at the end of the fast, although one should refrain from eating meat or drinking wine until after 1:10 PM Monday afternoon.