There seem to be widespread reports of an Ashkenazi custom to refrain from studying (joyful) Torah specifically after chatzos (midday) on Shabbos that falls out on the 9th of Av (see e.g. here and here). I assume these reports are based on the controversial custom reported by the Ramo (OC 553:2) to refrain from studying Torah after chatzos on erev tisha b'av, even if it falls out on shabbos:

ונהגו שלא ללמוד בערב תשעה באב מחצות ואילך כי אם בדברים המותרים בתשעה באב ולכן אם חל בשבת אין אומרים פרקי אבות

Are these reports then based on a misreading of the Ramo (rendering "אם חל בשבת" as "if it [the 9th of Av] falls out on Shabbos" rather than as the seemingly more reasonable [8th of Av]) or is there some reason to be stricter after midday (even though we are generally more lenient after chatzos on Tisha B'Av, e.g. re sitting low, etc.)

  • Wouldn’t it make sense that Shabbat 9th Av has the rule of Erev Tisha B’av, given that the fast is actually observed the following day, on Sunday 10th Av?
    – Joel K
    Commented Jul 22, 2018 at 4:52
  • 1
    But see Magen Avraham on the Rema you quoted for an extended discussion of the matter.
    – Joel K
    Commented Jul 22, 2018 at 4:55
  • @JoelK If tisha b'av is itself nidcha by shabbos, how would it make sense to introduce a novel erev tisha b'av-type status to shabbos?
    – Loewian
    Commented Jul 22, 2018 at 14:20
  • 1
    So does your question apply equally to shabbos 8th Av and shabbos 9th Av? Your question reads like you’re OK with the custom in the case of 8th Av, and I’m not quite getting why you see a difference...
    – Joel K
    Commented Jul 22, 2018 at 14:24
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    The Hatam Sofer writes that the joy of learning Torah on erev Tisha b'Av stays with the learner until Tisha b'Av therefore restrains learning on erev Tisha b'Av after hatzot to the topics allowed on Tisha b'Av itself
    – mbloch
    Commented Jul 22, 2018 at 18:43

1 Answer 1


This issue is discussed at some length by Magen Avraham 553:7 (on the words of Rema which you quoted):

א"כ ק"ו אם חל ט"ב בשבת שאסור ללמוד כל היום דהא אסור מדינא ללמוד בט"ב ועוד דהא דברים שבצנעה נוהג כמ"ש סימן תקנ"ד סי"ט ובתשו' מור"ם לובלין כ' אם חל ט"ב בשבת מותר ללמוד דתשמיש גופא חומרא יתירה היא והבו דלא לוסיף עלה עכ"ל וצ"ע שלא הביא דברי רמ"א מיהו בתשו' מהרי"ל כ' וז"ל ט"ב שחל בשבת אסור ללמוד אחר חצות כמו בחול עכ"ל משמע דקודם חצות מותר ונ"ל הטעם כיון שנדחה נדחה ואין לו דין ט"ב רק דין עט"ב ומ"מ לענין תשמיש מחמרינן אבל בד"מ הביא בתשובת מהרי"ל עט"ב שחל בשבת וכ"ה בסימני תשו' מהרי"ל וא"כ אין ראי' משם ובכ"ה מתיר ללמוד בעט"ב שחל בשבת ואוסר בט"ב עצמו שחל בשבת ול"נ להחמי' בשניהם דהא יכול ללמוד דברי' המותרים בט"ב וכן אשכחן בגמ' שקרא ר' במגילת איכ' בט"ב שחל בשב' עמ"ש סי' תקנ"ד ס"ד:‏

Rather than translating directly, I'll attempt to summarize the positions he quotes:

  1. Magen Avraham believes that Rema would forbid Torah study the entirety of Shabbat 9th Av, as private mourning practices are in effect. When Rema here says that Torah study is forbidden after midday only, that is referring to Shabbat 8th Av.

  2. Maharam Lublin permits Torah study on Shabbat 9th Av (seemingly all day). Forbidding marital relations on this day is itself a novel position to which we do not wish to add. Magen Avraham notes that this seems to be unlike the position of Rema here, who would presumably at the very least forbid Torah study after midday. [Joel K - It is not clear what Maharam Lublin's position is regarding Torah study on Shabbat 8th Av but presumably he would also permit it all day.]

  3. Maharil forbade Torah study after midday on Shabbat. It is unclear if this is referring only to Shabbat 8th Av (and on Shabbat 9th Av it would be forbidden all day), or also to Shabbat 9th Av. If Maharil is indeed referring also to Shabbat 9th Av, Magen Avraham explains that this is because essentially the fast is totally pushed off until Sunday, such that Shabbat 9th Av has only the rule of Erev Tish'ah B'Av (with an added stringency forbidding marital relations).

  4. Kenesset HaGedolah permits Torah study all day on Shabbat 8th Av and forbids it from midday on Shabbat 9th Av. [Joel K - Looking at Kenesset HaGedolah in the original, he explains that the custom to refrain from Torah study on Erev Tish'ah B'Av is strong enough to apply on Shabbat 9th Av (which has the status of Erev Tish'ah B'Av) but not on Shabbat 8th Av.]

Magen Avraham's conclusion is a little unclear. He seems to be either endorsing position 1, or possibly the second option in position 3.

The position which you quote, forbidding Torah study only from midday on Shabbat 9th Av, seems to be the second of the two possibilities assigned to Maharil, and possibly endorsed by Magen Avraham. Mishnah Berurah 553:9 also rules that is permitted to study Torah on Shabbat 9th Av before midday.

To conclude it is instructive to consider the words of Ma'amar Mordechai, quoted by Bi'ur Halachah to 553:2:

ואיך שיהיה נלענ"ד דאין לחוש לזה לפי שאין לנו טעם נכון לאסור הלימוד בשבת כלל ומש"כ הרב מגן אברהם להחמיר מטעם דיכול ללמוד דברים המותרים בט"ב אומר אני שאין זה מספיק לפי שאין אדם לומד אלא מה שלבו חפץ ועינינו הרואות דכמה ת"ח מתרשלים בלימוד המותר ביום ט"ב עצמו משום דצער הוא להם ללמוד במה שאינם רגילין וגם אני בעוה"ר כאחד מהם ולכן איני חושש לסברא זו ודעתי נוטה להתיר אפילו בחול עד סמוך לביה"ש ואי לאו דמיסתפינא מחברייא הו"א דאפילו ביום ט"ב עצמו היה לנו להקל

He writes that he believes that there is no good reason to forbid Torah study on Shabbat at all (8th or 9th Av), as it causes people to learn less Torah (as they are unused and unwilling to learn the topics which are permitted on Tish'ah B'av). Further, he would even go as far as to permit learning on Erev Tish'ah B'Av after midday on a weekday, and (possibly with a touch of hyperbole) would even have allowed learning on Tish'ah B'Av itself, were he not afraid of his colleagues.

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