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How obligatory is Eicha on Tish'ah b'Av?

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On Tish'ah b'Av, it's a universal (I think) tradition to read megillat Eicha at night (and some also read during the day); see Shulchan Aruch 559:2. Generally, this is read in a communal setting, but even individuals read Eicha (see Mishnah Berurah 559:5).

What is the nature of this reading? Is there an obligation to read it (or at least hear it read)? Is the obligation on a tsibbur or on each individual?

As far as I'm aware, the custom read Eicha is first mentioned in Masechet Sofrim, and although it says there (18:4) that it's an "obligation", I'm not sure how normative that opinion is: I don't see it cited in the Tur or Shulchan Aruch (and their commentaries). It is cited in Teshuvot veHanhagot 2:250, which seems to assume a chiyuv, but I don't know whether there are other opinions out there, or how common this opinion is.

Why should this post be closed?

4 comments

Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 124:1 רַק בִּכְדֵי שֶׁיּוּכְלוּ לוֹמַר אֵיכָה וְקִינוֹת. וְאוֹמְרִים אֵיכָה Dani 23 days ago

@Dani Yes, we say it, but what if we skipped it? What's the obligation? magicker72 23 days ago

Oh ha you already found that source AA​ 23 days ago

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