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Jul 31, 2019

Interesting Psak: voting in elections on Tisha B'Av

A rabbi in Argentina sent a pressing question to Chief Rabbi Dovid Lau. They are facing a dillema regarding the upcoming elections in Argentina. The elections will take place on Tisha B'Av.

Rabbi Shaul Said asked Rabbi Lau that if Mashiach does not come by Tisha B'Av and we must mourn for the Beis Hamikdash, people want to know if they are allowed to go vote in the national elections on Tisha B'Av, or would that be prohibited as it will take away from a person's focus on mourning. Complicating matters is the fact that elections in Argentina are compulsory, meaning every citizen is obligated to vote.

Actualic reports that Rav Lau responded that people mistakenly think there is a difference between the mourning before mid-day and after mid-day but really there is no difference except for being able to sit on chairs after mid-day and wearing tallis and tefillin at mincha. Some communities have a custom to clean the house in the afternoon, in anticipation of greeting the Mashiach. Besides for that, everything else is the same.

Rav Lau said that the mere fact that people have to vote in a country in the Diaspora for a foreign government, on this date without any recognition of the date, this itself is a reminder of the pain of the exile.

If possible, Rav Lau concludes, people should go to vote at night, after the fast is out, after the day has ended. If that is not possible, because of the great importance of the matter, one could go to vote during the day.

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1 comment:

  1. It's winter in Argentina now, so it gets dark very early. There is theoretically a lot of time to vote after the fast is over, but understandably a lot of people won't be able to.


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