By Joseph Mosseri
A Brief Synopsis of the Laws and Customs of Tish'ah BeAb
(When it begins on Saturday Night)
The final meal before the fast is called Se'oudah HaMafseqet. Generally we are only allowed to eat one cooked food at this meal, usually rice and lentils or a hard boiled egg and a piece of bread. Since this year this meal will be on Shabbat itself, we are not to display any of these mourning signs at all. One is to eat a complete meal at the dining room table and we are even permitted to eat meat and drink wine and even make the meal large and festive similar to the feast that King Solomon would have when he reigned.
As we know, we are not permitted to wear leather shoes on Tish'ah BeAb. What are we to do since Shabbat ends and Tish'ah BeAb begins?
Generally we would change footwear at sunset but because of Shabbat we wait and do not remove our leather shoes until after Set HaKokhabim (the stars come out). At that point we remove our leather shoes and put on non-leather shoes and we change into non-Shabbat clothing. At that point Shabbat is definitely over and you can even drive to kenis to pray arbit and read Eikhah and qinot.
We do not make regular habdalah on Saturday night. We just say Atah Honantanou in the Amidah. Then after the Amidah we just light the candle and say the Berakhah of Bore Meore HaEsh. We do not say Hagefen, we do not say Besamim, we do not say Hamabdil. On Sunday night when the fast is over then we take a cup of wine and say Bore Feri HaGefen and Hamabdil, but no Besamim.
Those people who are permitted to eat on Tish'ah BeAb (such as a woman who has given birth within 30 days of the fast) must make habdalah on a cup of wine before eating.
TiZKou LiR-oT BeNeHaMaT SioN BeQaRoB!!!