Monday, July 9, 2012

New Clothes during the Bejn HaMetzarim


With yesterday's 17 Tammuz, the Jewish world has entered the three - week mourning period before Tisha be'Av. Those three weeks are referred to as BEJN HA'METZARIM but their task is not to make our lives miserable. Although we should remember the destruction of both Temples as well as the suffering of the Jerusalem population under the siege of the Babylonians and, later on, the Romans, our task is to do our own private CHESHBON NEFESH – Analyzing ourselves and how we relate to Mitzvot and G - d. Where are our mistakes and how can we slowly improve ourselves ?

Halacha commands us to follow certain laws during the Bejn HaMetzarim. One of those rules is that Jews don't get married until Tisha be'Av is over. Another rule is not to buy and to wear new clothes during those three weeks. Are we, at all, allowed buying or wearing new clothes during the Bejn HaMetzarim ? 

When we usually buy new clothes such as skirts, pants or shirts we say the "Sheyechiyanu" Bracha. However, we don't make Berachot on new shoes but some follow the custom symbolically marking the word AMALEK underneath their shoe. Like drawing the word with a finger. 

Nevertheless, are Jews allowed to buy and wear new clothes during the three weeks ?

The problem is not really the buying but wearing the new clothes. It says that one should refrain from wearing new clothes we usually make a blessing on. Underwear and socks don't need a Bracha and may be bought and worn during the three weeks. New shirts, pants or skirts may not be worn but can be bought. 

Some Rabbis even allow wearing new clothes until Rosh Chodesh Av !

1 comment:

  1. The problem of new clothes in the three weeks is wearing them, not buying them. (See Halichos Shlomo Chapter 14:1)

    If they are the kind of clothing that require a Shehechiyanu they should not be worn during the 3 weeks. If they are less important clothing (socks, underwear etc.) they may be worn.

    Nowadays when new clothing are more common and many people do not make Shehechiyanu on new suits, dresses etc., some Poskim are lenient until Rosh Chodesh Av, but according to a majority of Poskim it is best to be stringent.