On Tishah B'Av, through Chatzos (Mincha) we sit on the floor (SA OC 559:3), like mourners (MB 559:10). If one can't sit on the floor, he may sit on a cushion or a chair close to the floor (ibid. 11).

Is this a rule about the height of the chair, that it must be close to the floor, or must it simply be uncomfortable, and so even a taller chair that's uncomfortable would be permissible.

  • My Rav quoted the Chazon Ish (who is normally machmir with shiurim) to say that as long as the low chair is lower than normal, it is good. You do not have to exactly measure three tefachim. – Avrohom Yitzchok Aug 14 '16 at 16:23
  • @avr a bigger shiur is a kula here – Double AA Nov 15 '16 at 19:38

It has to do with "being on the floor". The din is really to sit on the floor. Anywhere within 3 tefachim of the floor, (I think 12 inches) is considered part of the floor.

The gemora in many places speaks of a "mourners bed". Being that in that society all sitting and leaning were done on beds, the beds were higher, hence the need for a "mourners bed", one that is lower and close to the ground. Remember however, that this is still a "bed" and bound to be as comfortable as one.

I don't have exact sources, but regarding the mourners bed, the Artscroll Kinnos mentions it in the footnotes in relation to a kinnah that says everyone had to make their own mourners bed. In a regular society, the comforters would prepare the mourners bed for the mourners. However, by the churban EVERYONE was a mourner and therefore everyone had to prepare their own.

  • 3
    Sounds good and all, but sources? (Especially for the first paragraph, which was really the thrust of my question.) And what exactly does the last paragraph have to do with your point, besides being tangential to the mournerms bed? – DonielF Aug 14 '16 at 18:08
  • @DonielF sort of a source :) – Mennyg Aug 14 '16 at 20:07

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