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The Rama, Orach Chayim 553, says:

The practice is that we do not study [Torah] the day before the ninth of Av from midday on, except such matters as are permitted [study material] on the ninth…. Also, one should not go on a pleasure trip on the day before the ninth of Av.

(Mishna B'rura comments that others condemn the practice of avoiding Torah study on the eighth, but my question is about the practice to forbid it.) Many practices are forbidden or frowned upon on the ninth: five main abstentions (eating, washing oneself, anointing oneself, marital relations, and wearing leather shoes), sitting on a chair, Torah study, greeting people with a blessing, conducting business, going on a pleasure trip. Why are Torah study and trips singled out as the two things extended to the eighth? I understand that a ban on eating is not extended: that's too difficult, even dangerous. But sitting on a chair? marital relations? greeting people? Why not? What's special about Torah study and trips?

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I speculate: there's a difference between something which brings joy and something which is an act of mourning. Alternatively, some things are seen as less of a big deal, so they are extended. – Double AA Jul 15 '13 at 20:33

These two activities continue to bring pleasure to the person even after they are done. If a person learned properly, he would continue thinking about what he had learned. So too with a trip, a person would think about his joyful experience and derive pleasure from it.

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Interesting idea; thanks! Can you edit in the source for it, please? – msh210 Sep 2 '13 at 0:10
The Chasam Sofer Orach Chaim 156 says the first idea about Talmud Torah ,but who says a tiyul is the same? – sam Aug 3 '14 at 23:55

You are not the only one who was perplexed by this halacha as the MB brings several opinions (GR"A, RaSHaL) that did not accept the Rama's ruling and the Biur Halacha (BH) seems to concur with them.

The MB gives a reason that Torah study gladdens the heart, While the Magen Avraham says that since it is possible to learn those topics that are permitted on Tisha B'Av therefore the Rama did not ban torah study in a time when it's permitted. (erev TB)

Interesting enough Tiyul is not mentioned in the MB/BH or in the original tshuva from the MaHaril (Shu"T 44). I don't know how it got in there other to say as the BH says that people should not think once learning is forbidden they can take advantage of the time to take a pleasurable stroll.(BH)

With all that said allow me to try a "baala batesha pshat"

Just like Bedikat Chametz where we are concerned a person will become so engrossed in their learning that they will forget to start the bediaka on time, and there are even opinions that 30 minutes before the zman bedika it is forbidden to learn perhaps here too we were concerned that since torah learning is such an enjoyable experience that a person will become so engrossed in it and not stop when Tisha B'Av starts. Same thing with a pleasure trip.

Admittedly this don't pass the MY logic test but as I mentioned since the Maharil himself offered no reason for the issur AND many achronim actually rejected this minhag then we can take some freedoms and consider possible reasons. Also since the only source of the minhag of the Maharil himself then there is no reason to be more machmer than what the MaHaril wrote.


The Rama, Orach Chayim 553, MB and Sh"uT MaHaril 44

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What's "the MY logic test"? – msh210 Aug 4 '14 at 15:30

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