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Steinsaltz

derives from the phrase “her Festival” that acts of mirth and rejoicing are prohibited from the New Moon, which is considered like a Festival. And the one who said that these activities are prohibited during the entire month learns this from the phrase “her New Moon.” And the one who said that acts of rejoicing are prohibited during the entire week of the Ninth of Av, derives this from the phrase “her Shabbat,” which also means a week.

With regard to the halakha itself, Rava said: The halakha is in accordance with the opinion of Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel. And Rava also said that the halakha is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Meir. The Gemara remarks: And both of these rulings are intended as a leniency. And it is necessary for Rava to state both rulings, for had he taught us only that the halakha is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Meir, I would have said that the mourning practices are obligatory even from the New Moon, as maintained by Rabbi Meir. Therefore, Rava teaches us that the halakha is in accordance with the opinion of Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel, that the restrictions of mourning do not apply until the week of the Ninth of Av.

And had he taught us only that the halakha is in accordance with the opinion of Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel, I would have said that the prohibitions apply even after the fast, until the end of the week. Consequently, Rava teaches us that the halakha is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Meir. The prohibitions apply only until the Ninth of Av itself, not afterward.

§ The mishna taught: On the eve of the Ninth of Av, a person may not eat two cooked dishes in one meal. Rav Yehuda said: They taught that one may not partake of a meal with two dishes only from six hours of the day and onward, but from six hours and earlier it is permitted. And Rav Yehuda also said: They taught that it is prohibited to eat two dishes only in the concluding meal before beginning the fast. However, in a non-concluding meal it is permitted to eat two cooked dishes.

The Gemara comments: And both of these rulings are intended as a leniency. And it is necessary for Rav Yehuda to state them both, for had he taught us that this halakha is referring only to the concluding meal, I would have said that this applies even from six hours and earlier. Rav Yehuda therefore teaches us that it applies only from six hours and onward. And had he taught us only that it is prohibited to eat two dishes from six hours and onward, I would have said that this applies even to a meal by which he does not stop eating. Rav Yehuda therefore teaches us that it applies only to the concluding meal.

The Gemara comments: It is taught in a baraita in accordance with the first version, and it is taught in a baraita in accordance with the second version. The Gemara elaborates: It is taught in a baraita in accordance with the second version, as follows: With regard to one who dines on the eve of the Ninth of Av, if he will eat another meal, he is permitted to eat meat and to drink wine during this first meal. But if he does not intend to eat another meal, he is prohibited to eat meat and to drink wine.

It is taught in a baraita in accordance with the first version: On the eve of the Ninth of Av, a person may not eat two cooked dishes. Furthermore, one may neither eat meat nor drink wine. Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel says: One must adjust and decrease the amount he eats. Rabbi Yehuda said: How should one adjust his meal? If he is accustomed to eat two cooked dishes at each meal, he should eat only one type of food; and if he is accustomed to dine in the company of ten people, he should dine with only five; and if he is accustomed to drinking ten cups of wine, he should drink only five cups. In what case is this statement said? From six hours and onward; however, from six hours and earlier all these practices are permitted.

It is taught in another baraita: On the eve of the Ninth of Av, a person may not eat two cooked dishes, and he may neither eat meat nor drink wine; this is the statement of Rabbi Meir. And the Rabbis say: One must adjust and reduce his consumption of meat and wine. How does one reduce his meat and wine? If he is accustomed to eating a liter of meat in his meal, he should eat half a liter; if he is accustomed to drinking a log of wine, he should drink half a log of wine; and if he is not accustomed to eating meat or drinking wine at all, it is prohibited for him to do so at all. Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel says: If he is accustomed to eating a radish or a salted dish after his meal, he has permission to do so on the eve of the Ninth of Av, as they are not considered an additional dish.

It is taught in another baraita: In any meal that is eaten due to the fast of the Ninth of Av, it is prohibited to eat meat; and it is prohibited to drink wine; and it is likewise prohibited to bathe in anticipation of the fast. However, in any meal that is not due to the Ninth of Av, i.e., one is eating the meal in order that he shouldn’t be hungry on the Ninth of Av, it is permitted to eat meat and to drink wine, but it is nevertheless prohibited to bathe at that time. Rabbi Yishmael, son of Rabbi Yosei, said in the name of his father: For the entire time that one is permitted to eat meat, he is likewise permitted to bathe.

The Sages taught: All mitzvot practiced by a mourner are likewise practiced on the Ninth of Av: It is prohibited to engage in eating, and in drinking, and in smearing oil on one’s body, and in wearing shoes, and in conjugal relations. It is prohibited to read from the Torah, from the Prophets, and from the Writings, or to study from the Mishna, from the Gemara, and from midrash, and from collections of halakhot, and from collections of aggadot.

However, one may read from a place in the Bible that he is unaccustomed to reading, as it will be difficult for him and he will not derive pleasure from it, and he may likewise study from a place of the Talmud that he is unaccustomed to studying. And one may read from the book of Lamentations; from the book of Job; and from the evil matters in Jeremiah, i.e., his prophecies of doom. And schoolchildren interrupt their studies for the day because it is stated: “The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart” (Psalms 19:9).

Rabbi Yehuda says: One may not even read from a place in the Bible that he is unaccustomed to reading, nor may one study from a place of the Talmud that he is unaccustomed to studying. However, one may read from Job, and from Lamentations, and from the evil matters of Jeremiah. And schoolchildren interrupt their studies on that day because it is stated: “The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart” (Psalms 19:9).

§ The mishna taught that one may neither eat meat nor drink wine. A tanna taught in the Tosefta: However, one may eat heavily salted meat and drink wine from his press, i.e., wine that has not finished fermenting. The Gemara inquires: With regard to salted meat, how long must this meat remain in salt before it is permitted? Rav Ḥinnana bar Kahana said in the name of Shmuel: As long as it is like peace-offerings, which could be eaten for two days and one night after they were sacrificed. After this time has passed, it is no longer called meat. Therefore, if it was salted for longer than this, it may be eaten on the eve of the Ninth of Av.

The Gemara asks: And with regard to wine from his press, until when is wine considered from his press? As long as it is fermenting. A tanna taught in a baraita: Wine that is fermenting does not have a problem with regard to exposed liquids, as there is no concern that a snake will leave its venom in that wine. And how long is its fermenting period? Three days from the time the grapes were pressed.

Rav Yehuda said that Rav said: This was the custom of Rabbi Yehuda, son of Rabbi Ilai. On the eve of the Ninth of Av, near the evening, they would bring him stale bread with salt, and he would sit

Talmud - Bavli - The William Davidson digital edition of the Koren No=C3=A9 Talmud
with commentary by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz Even-Israel (CC-BY-NC 4.0)
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