Laughing, throwing acorns, holding baby, and playing games on Tishe Beav


Laughing and frivolity:[1]

Laughing and frivol behavior is forbidden on Tisha B’av. Doing so can lead to physical danger.[2]


Throwing Beralach/acorns:

The Poskim[3] severely warn against the custom[4] of throwing acorns around in Shul on Tisha B’av and doing so is a great sin. Doing so is a desecration of a Shul, which is akin to the Temple, in addition to the prohibition of frivolity on such a day.[5] Nevertheless, this was the custom in certain Chassidic communities.[6]


May one hold a baby on Tisha B’av?

Some[7] write one is not to hold a baby on Tisha B’av for pleasure purposes, just as is the law of an Avel within the seven days of Aveilus.[8] One may hold a baby for his own benefit, such as to calm him down, feed him or change him


May one play cards or games on Tisha B’av?[9]

One is not to do so, in order not to remove one’s mind from the Aveilus.


[1] Mishmeres Shalom 40:8

[2] Based on Rav Pinchas of Koretz in name of Baal Shem Tov. [Mishmeres Shalom ibid]

[3] Kitzur Shlah; Elya Raba 559:17; Chayeh Adam 135:17; M”B 559:22

[4] Seemingly this custom was widespread in certain areas; See also Divrei Yisrael 155

[5] See Sefer Ish Tzaddik p. 24 [memoirs of Rav Aryeh Levin] for a horrific story of how one Tisha B’av a youngster threw an acorn to the beard of an elderly Rabbis, and the elderly Rabbi began crying “The Beis Hamikdash was burnt today”. That night a fire erupted in the village and consumed the house of these youngsters together with them inside. Their ash was brought to burial on the day of Tisha B’av. [Nitei Gavriel 65 footnote 25]

[6] See Toras Menachem Hisvadyus 1951 2:262 “In Lubavitch they would play with Berelach on Tisha B’av, and it was not exactly against the spirit of the Sages.”; See also Sefer Haminhagim p. 98 [English] for a story regarding a prank that was played on the Ruziner Rebbe on Tisha B’av, and the Ruziner Rebbe’s response “If your children do not observe your Yom Tov, take it away from them”

[7] Nitei Gavriel 2 p. 653 based on GR”A 554:21

[8] Yoreh Deah 391:1

[9] Nitei Gavriel 79:5

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