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    The day before Tishah B’Av

    just do it (Nike)Because Tishah B’Av this year falls on Shabbat, the fast is postponed to the following day, making a 25-hour fast from the conclusion of Shabbat until nightfall on Sunday.

    The reason for our postponement of Tishah B’Av this week is not an argument for delaying or deferring; we move it on a day for halachic reasons.

    There is a saying, “Never put off to tomorrow what you can do today”. Hillel said, “If not now, when?” The rabbis say, “If a mitzvah comes to your hand, don’t let it get stale”. The general rule is not to delay doing what needs to be done.

    There are very few occasions when taking your time is advisable. One is set out in the first chapter of Pir’kei Avot, which recommends that we be m’tunim ba-din, “patient in judgment”. When decisions have to be made, one should not be intemperate, hasty or impetuous.

    In most situations, however, one must hear the call for action and respond without delay.

    I have heard it put this way, that when a hungry person calls out for food you shouldn’t wait until a committee can assemble and calmly contemplate the need. In the meantime the hungry person can die.

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