Travel After Tisha Bav and Avoid Jet-Lag

1343742495_fasting travel after tisha bavDespite my dire predictions, the fast wasn’t too difficult this year. I’m hoping that not too many people chose to travel on Tisha B’av as it wouldn’t have been easy.

Now that it’s the evening after the fast, travel is as usual, right?

Not exactly.

Laws of the 10th of Av

First of all a few general laws on post-Tisha B’av activity for someone who’s staying home:

  • The limitations of the “Three Weeks” and the “Nine Days” continue until midday of the 10th of Av, according to the Ashkenazi tradition. The Sephardi tradition continues this custom till the evening after the 10th of Av. This includes the prohibition of music, haircuts, meat and wine, laundering and bathing.
  • When Tisha B’Av was observed on Sunday, Havdallah is recited over a cup of wine (or grape juice) or beer but no spices are used.
  • When this Sunday was the 10th of Av (for example the 9th was Shabbat and observance of Tisha B’Av was postponed to Sunday the 10th), haircuts, laundering and bathing are permitted Sunday night, the 11th of Av. However, meat and wine are prohibited until Monday morning.
  • When Tisha B’Av is on Thursday so that the 10th of Av is on Friday, in honor of Shabbat laundering is permitted on Thursday night; haircuts and bathing Friday morning; and music in the afternoon.
  • The custom is to sanctify the new moon the night after Tisha B’Av, preferably after having eaten something. When Tisha B’Av is on Thursday, the custom is to wait until Saturday night when the service can be said with greater joy.

Travel After Tisha Bav

What are the main points for travel after Tisha Bav on the evening and day after the fast?

  • If you are traveling on the 10th of Av you may wash the clothes you need for the trip on the night after the 9th and on the morning of the 10th.
  • Concerning eating meat and wine, if you are Ashkenazi then you’ll have no problem with lunch on the flight at it’ll probably be served after noon. If not, then just asked to be served a bit later or keep the meal on your table till the right time. If you have the Sfardi custom to avoid meat all day of the 10th then be sure to ask for a fish or other Parve Kosher meal when you book your flight. If they only have a meat meal and you have nothing else to eat, then you may be lenient.

Are there any benefits in travel after Tisha Bav?

I doubt there are any spiritual benefits in traveling after a fast day, but I’ve discovered an interesting benefit of fasting to overcome jet-lag.

Fasting for Jet lag

In the online Harvard Business Review article called A “Fast” Solution to Jet Lag, I came across the following:

Circadian_rhythm_labeled travel after tisha bavFor long- distance travelers, jet lag can be a major issue. It can dull the concentration you need for meeting with international clients and make you feel lousy. Some travelers try to cope with it by taking pills. Others adjust their sleep schedules before a long trip. Still others simply struggle with it through sheer force of will power.

New research points to another, possibly more effective, weapon in the fight against jet lag: fasting before and during a trip.

Scientists already know that “clocks” in the brain, liver, heart, and other tissues are responsible for the daily cycles in many of our bodily processes and functions, including temperature, blood pressure, hormone production, hunger, and wakefulness. Quickly crossing several time zones throws the body’s clocks out of whack and leads to the symptoms of jet lag — fatigue, insomnia, nausea, headache, and diminished concentration. For each time zone you cross it takes about a day of adjusting to a new light/dark schedule to get in sync with local time at your new destination.

Dr. Clifford B. Saper and colleagues at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston now think that food — or, more specifically, the lack of it — may resynchronize body rhythms faster than light and dark.

As Dr. Saper has explained, you can try fasting both before and during your long flight, then eating in a pattern that puts you in sync with local time. For instance, if you’re taking a 14-hour flight from New York to Beijing, it would work like this:

  •  Avoid all food from the time you get to the airport (i.e., about two hours before departure)
  • Don’t eat during the flight — but still drink plenty of water
  • Eat soon after you land, as close to a local meal time as possible

So if you need to fly directly after the 9th of Av, then break your fast with a light meal at home before you leave for the airport. Skip your Kosher prepackaged reheated meal on the plane, drink plenty of liquids throughout the flight and eat your next main meal when you land.

In my humble opinion, many people including myself, overeat after a fast, so following this diet might help you avoid post-fast bloating and headache and reduce the jet-lag to boot.

Have a nice summer.