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Tisha BeAv- Is It Permissible To Take Medicine and Wash Hands On Tisha BeAv

Today we answer some questions in regards to Tisha BeAv. The first question asks if it is permissible to swallow medicinal pills on Tisha BeAv. And if it is permissible, would one be permissible to swallow the pills with some water? The second question we discuss today is about washing hands. Is it permissible to wash hands on Tisha BeAv? And if not, then what about Kohanim who have to wash their hands to make Birkat Kohanim?

First off today, it is permissible on Tisha BeAv to swallow medicinal pills. Now most of us take pills with water, so we need to ask if swallowing water with pills is then permissible as well. Chacham Ben Tzion discusses this question in his sefer Or L探zion, in Helek 3, and he says a person may swallow their pills with water, so long as something is in the water to bitter its taste. For example, some rosemary, or some concentrated tea should be added to the water to bitter the taste. Bottom line, is that the water should not be swallowed in its regular state, but rather with a sour abnormal flavor. Certainly however, if one could swallow the pills without water, it would be preferable.

Second, Halacha says, that on Tisha BeAv, one washes his hands and makes Netilat Yadayim but washes only up to his knuckles. One may not wash his entire hand. So the question was then asked about Kohanim who as per Halacha need to wash their entire hand prior to making Birkat Kohanim. Chacham Ben Tzion holds that Kohanim in deed may wash their entire hands on Tisha BeAv before making Birkat Kohanim. This is based on a ruling of Rav Chayim Palachi. The next question is then asked about the Levi段m who wash the hands of the Kohanim. The custom as brought down by Maran has the Levi段m washing their own hands before washing the hands of the Kohanim. Would they be allowed to wash their own hands on Tisha BeAv? Chacham Ben Tzion answers this and says those Levi段m who regularly wash their own hands before washing the hands of the Kohanim, may wash their own hands before washing the hands of the Kohanim as normal on Tisha BeAv. But Levi段m who do not wash their hands regularly before washing the hands of Kohanim, may not wash their own hands on Tisha BeAv. Only those Levi段m who wash regularly may wash on Tisha BeAv.

In review, first, it is permissible to take medicine on Tisha BeAv. And it is permissible to take the medicine with water if needed but so long as the water is bitter. Second, it is permissible for Kohanim to wash their hands on Tisha BeAv before they make Birkat Kohanim. And it is permissible for Levi段m to wash their own hands before they wash the hands of the Kohanim, but only if such is their normal routine.


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