Tisha Bav Torah Study On The Go

Torah Study On The Go

As I wrote yesterday, the fast of Tish’a B’av is the slowest fast day of the year. Even Yom Kippur (equally long), seems to progress faster. I assume that it’s due to the lively intensive prayers and occasional singing which occupies our time in the synagogue for most of the evening and day on the Holiest day of the year. Tish’a B’av though, has very little to occupy or distract our minds since we are prohibited from doing anything enjoyable, including the study of Torah.

The only exceptions to the prohibition of Torah study are sections dealing with the destruction of the Temple and the exiles from Israel, mourning and such topics.

To quote the Aish.com website:

Tisha Bav Torah Study On The GoSince the heart rejoices in the study of Torah, it is prohibited to learn topics other than those relevant to Tisha B’Av or mourning.

One may learn: Lamentations with its Midrash and commentaries, portions of the Prophets that deal with tragedy or destruction, the third chapter of Moed Katan (which deals with mourning), the story of the destruction (in Gittin 56b-58a, Sanhedrin 104, and in Josephus), and the Halachot of Tisha B’Av and mourning.

When you are at home you can easily find all the permitted Torah material in your local synagogue or Bais Medrash. When you are in transit and stuck in a hotel room all day, how do you keep occupied in a permissible way and make the day’s mourning a meaningful experience?

I could recommend watching Holocaust films all day (Schindler’s List, Escape From Sobibor etc.), but I doubt there is a Rabbinical sanction for parts of these films due to the less than modest dress code (Tzniut).

Tisha Bav Torah Study On The GoSo here is a list of online resources with links you can use to study Torah, read and listen to classes all day long and fill your time usefully in a permissible way which I’ll call “Tisha Bav Torah Study On The Go”:

Early Texts & Sources

  • Lamentations (Eicha with JPS English Translation):
  • Job (Iyov with JPS English Translation):
  • Jeremiah: all sections critical of the Jews’ behavior or about the destruction. This is most of the book. Starting from chapter 1, one can continue until chapter 29, skipping the few verses of consolation that appear. Chapters 30-33 are largely prophecies of consolation, and should be skipped. Chapters 34-36 are again negative prophecies. Chapters 37-38 are preliminary to the siege of Jerusalem; Chapter 39 (JPS English Translation) begins the account of the fall of Jerusalem, and the account of the destruction continues until chapter 45, inclusive. Chapter 46 begins a section about the other nations, which should be skipped; chapter 52 (the last chapter) is again about the fall of Jerusalem.
  • Moed Katan (3rd chapter):
  • Gittin (56b-58a):
  • Talmud Sanhedrin (96a-97):
  • Talmud Yerushalmi about the destruction and about the laws of Tisha B’Av (Taanis chapter 4, halachot 5-6):
  • Rambam’s Laws of Mourning:
  • Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim, laws of Tisha B’Av and mourning for Jerusalem (section 552-561):
  • Shulchan Aruch Yoreh De’ah, laws of burial and mourning (from section 339 to the end):
  • Midrash on Megilat Eicha

 Modern Texts & Sources

So if God forbid the Moshiach is not here by tomorrow evening, have a fruitful day of Tisha Bav Torah Study On The Go.