Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Monday, December 29, 2008
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Thursday, December 25, 2008
- In the first Sefer Torah we call up [at least] 6 people for the weekly portion - Miketz
- The second Sefer Torah is for Rosh Chodesh, starting from "וביום השבת", after which Kaddish is said.
- The 3rd Sefer Torah is for Chanuka - ביום הששי from Parshat Naso.
- In the first Sefer Torah we call up 3 people while reading the regular Rosh Chodesh portion.
- The second Sefer Torah is for Chanuka - ביום השביעי from Parshat Naso after which Kaddish is said.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
No Tachanun is said on Chanukah, starting from Mincha the day before. Kel Erech Apa'im - א-ל ארך אפים - is not said before Kriat HaTorah on Chanukah. Lamenatze'ach- למנצח - is not said after Ashrei during Chanukah. One does not fast on Chanukah, except for a Ta'anit Chalom (fasting after a worrisome dream.) The full Hallel is said on all 8 days of Chanuka. This is the only time the full Hallel is said on Rosh Chodesh. (Usually on Rosh Chodesh we leave out 2 half-paragraphs.) Al HaNisim is added in the Amida (during Modim; the 2nd to last Bracha) and Birkat Hamazon (during the second Bracha). Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 22:8, 25:2, 139:2 Shabbat-related posts can be reviewed at http://halocho.blogspot.com/search/label/Shabbos Shabbat Shalom, - Danny Thursday, 21 Kislev 5769
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
All work is permitted on Chanukah, however women have a custom not to do any work during the first half-hour after lighting. The reason being that the women were oppressed by the enemy even more than the men, with the law of jus primae noctis. Another reason being that the miracle was done by a woman; a daughter of Yochanan the High Priest cut off their king's head after making him drowsy with wine and cheese. This is also the reason some have the custom to eat dairy on Chanukah. Erratum: The earliest time for lighting is Plag HaMincha which is 75 Halachic minutes before nightfall. (And not 90 minutes as mentioned last week.) Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 139:2 - Danny Wednesday, 20 Kislev 5769
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Today - 19 Kislev - 236 years ago, the first Lubavitcher Rebbe was freed from prison. You can read about him at http://www.answers.com/topic/shneur-zalman-of-liadi. When a person is released from prison he needs to say the HaGomel blessing:
Monday, December 15, 2008
For lighting Shabbat candles one may only use a combination of fuel and wicks that together produce a steady non-flickering light. For Chanukah one may use any fuel and wick combination that will burn for the required time. Preferably one should use something that provides a steady light, like our candles. Best is to use olive oil, since the Chanukah miracle happened with olive oil. Wicks should be made of cotton wool. There is no need to use new wicks every night. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 139:4 - Danny Monday, 18 Kislev 5769
Sunday, December 14, 2008
If one uses clay lamps for the Menorah then one has to replace them every night. When using glass holders one must make sure they are clean; not oily or smoky from the previous night. Best is to use a nice metal Menorah. If one can afford it, one should buy a silver Menorah to beautify the Mitzva. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 139:5 - Danny Sunday 17, Kislev 5769
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Today - 14 Kislev - 3,575 years ago the first of the 12 tribes was born. Reuven was born in the year 2,194 and lived for 144 (or 145) years. It's customary to serve fruit and drinks on the Friday night before a baby's Brit Mila. This is called a Shalom Zachor and is considered a Se'udat Mitzva. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 163:8 Shabbat Shalom, - Danny Thursday, 14 Kislev 5769 Shabbat-related posts can be reviewed at http://halocho.blogspot.com/search/label/Shabbos
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
The wicks on a Menorah must all be at the same level; you cannot have some higher and some lower. The Shamash should be higher. It's purpose is to provide light so that you don't use the Chanukah lights which are for "display and not for use". The wicks should be far enough away from each other that they don't join and become a torch. If using candles they mustn't be close enough to melt each other. The wicks do not have to be in a straight line; a Menorah can be shaped as a semi-circular or even a full circle. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 139:9 - Danny Wednesday, 13 Kislev 5769
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
On weekdays the Chanukah lights should be lit at nightfall and should be able to burn for at least 30 minutes. Chanukah lights can already be lit from Plag HaMincha (75 Halachic minutes before nightfall). At Chanukah time in the Northern Hemisphere this may be as short as 50 minutes before nightfall. (Try http://tinyurl.com/luach to get your local time.) Even when lighting earlier, the Menorah has to burn until 30 minutes after nightfall. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 139:10 There are 2 opinions regarding nightfall: Some say it refers to dusk, other say it refers to 3 stars appearing (like Motzai Shabbat). Everybody should follow their family custom. - Danny Tuesday, 12 Kislev 5769
Monday, December 8, 2008
If a person is wearing his finest and chairing a large meeting, and his father or mother come and tear his clothes and hit him over the head and spit in his face, he may NOT embarrass them nor cause them pain nor display any anger towards them.
Rather one should remain silent and fear ones Father in Heaven who commanded us to respect and honor ones parents.
However one may demand payment for the damage, and even take them to Bet Din if needed.
One may move away from ones parents - and ask other people to look after them - if one isn't capable of dealing with their emotional state.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 143:2, 16
- Danny Monday, 11 Kislev 5769
Please daven for a complete recovery for Tamar bat Naama - תמר בת נעמה
Sunday, December 7, 2008
182 years ago on 10 Kislev the 2nd Lubavitcher Rebbe was released. You can read about him at http://www.answers.com/topic/dovber-schneuri.
Anytime a miracle happens to you, you should give charity and have in mind that it is instead of bringing a Thanksgiving sacrifice.
One should also fix or establish something for the public good.
On the yearly anniversary of the miracle one should seclude oneself and spend the day thanking Hashem for the miracle.
One should also publicize the miracle.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 61:3
- Danny Sunday, 10 Kislev 5769
Please daven for a complete recovery for Tamar bat Naama - תמר בת נעמה
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Starting tonight - Thursday night - we start praying for rain on weekdays, in the 9th Bracha of the Amida - Barech-Aleinu all over the world. In Israel we started 4 weeks ago - on 7th Marcheshvan. As we learned in Halocho #197: If you forgot to add "ותן טל ומטר לברכה"; "and bless us with dew and rain", then: - If you remember before you finish the 9th Bracha then you insert it and continue from there. - If you already said "Baruch Ata Hashem" of the 9th Bracha then you insert it into Shma-Kolienu - the 16th Bracha - before "Ki Ata". - If you forget to say it in Shma-Kolienu then you need to go back to the 9th Bracha - Barech-Aleinu. - If you didn't remember until you finished the Amida (defined as saying "Yihyu Leratzon") then you have to restart the entire Amida. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 19: 5, 6 Shabbat Shalom, - Danny Thursday, 7 Kislev 5769, 4 Dec '08 Shabbat-related posts can be reviewed at http://halocho.blogspot.com/search/label/Shabbos
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Sons and daughters both have the same obligation to fear and respect their parents.
However, if a daughter has a conflict between respecting her parents or her husband, then her husband has priority.
However, if her husband doesn't mind, then her parents have priority.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 143:13
- Danny Wednesday, 6 Kislev 5769
Please daven for a complete recovery for Tamar bat Naama - תמר בת נעמה
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
We already learned that if a parent requests one to sin, one must not obey. When else do you not have to obey your parents? If your parents don't approve of your choice of marriage partner, you do not have to obey them (at your own risk). If you want to go learn Torah somewhere, and you are convinced that only there can you fulfill your potential, and your parents do not want you to go there, you do not have to obey them. We learn this from this weeks Parsha; Yaakov's parents instructed him to go to Uncle Lavan, and Yaakov decided to detour to the Bet Hamidrash of Ever for 14 years. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 143:12 - Danny Tuesday, 5 Kislev 5769
Monday, December 1, 2008
Yesterday we learned that the months of Marcheshvan and Kislev sometimes both have 30 days, sometimes both have 29 days and sometimes follow the regular order with Marcheshvan having 29 days and Kislev 30. The 30th day of the month as well as the first day of the month are Rosh Chodesh. If the month ending has only 29 days then there's only one day of Rosh Chodesh. If a person died on 30 Marcheshvan, do we say he died on the last day of Marcheshvan or on Rosh Chodesh Kislev? - If the year of the first anniversary also has a 30 Marcheshvan then the Yahrzeit will henceforth always be on the first day of Rosh Chodesh Kislev; be it 30 Marcheshvan or 1 Kislev. - If the year of the first anniversary does not have a 30 Marcheshvan then the Yahrzeit will henceforth always be on the last day of Marcheshvan; be it 30 Marcheshvan (1st day Rosh Chodesh) or 29 Marcheshvan (Erev Rosh Chodesh). In this last case, if possible Kaddish should also be said on Rosh Chodesh. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 221:4 - Danny Monday, 4 Kislev 5769
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Some years the Jewish calendar has 12 months and some years (7 out of 19) are leap years with 13 months.
Jewish months alternate between being 29 and 30 days long.
However, the months of Marcheshvan and Kislev sometimes both have 30 days (a full year), sometimes both have 29 days (a missing year) and sometimes follow the regular order with Marcheshvan having 29 days and Kislev 30.
As a result, Chanuka (which starts on 25 Kislev and lasts 8 days) sometimes ends on 2 Tevet and sometimes on 3 Tevet.
This year is a "regular" year; Marcheshvan has 29 days, Kislev has 30 days and Chanuka ends on 2 Tevet.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 221:4
- Danny Sunday, 3 Kislev 5769
Please daven for a complete recovery for Tamar bat Naama - תמר בת נעמה
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Tonight (Thursday night) and tomorrow (Erev Shabbat) is Rosh Chodesh Kislev; the 9th month. On Rosh Chodesh one adds Ya'aleh Veyavo in Birkat Hamazon (grace after meals); forgetting to do so (night or day) does not require amendment. However, if one noticed the omission after finishing the third blessing - בּוֹנֶה בְּרַחֲמָיו יְרוּשָׁלָיִם - but before beginning the fourth blessing, there is a special blessing that is to be said before proceeding:
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tomorrow - Thursday - is Erev Rosh Chodesh Kislev. Tachanun is not said at Mincha on Erev Rosh Chodesh. Some people have the custom of adding the Yom Kippour Katan prayers during Mincha. Some even fast on Erev Rosh Chodesh to atone for the sins of the past month. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 97:1 - Danny Wednesday, 28 Marcheshvan 5769
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
We learned yesterday that one may not contradict ones parents. However, if a parents requests one transgress a Halacha, one must not obey them. This is because both parents and children are required to obey Hashem. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 143:11 - Danny Tuesday, 27 Marcheshvan 5769
Monday, November 24, 2008
One may not contradict ones parents. One may also not correct them. However, if a parent is doing something against Halacha, one should say to them "Doesn't it say in the Torah such-and-such". This should be said in a questioning manner and not as a rebuke. The parent will then understand how to correct their behavior. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 143:10 - Danny Monday, 26 Marcheshvan 5769
Sunday, November 23, 2008
There's a Mitzva in the Torah to get married, in order to have children. Having children is the first Mitzva that Hashem instructed Adam HaRishon to do. This Mitzva only applies once a person turns 18. By age 20 one should try to be married unless getting married will interfere with ones full-time Torah learning. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 145:1 - Danny Sunday 25, Marcheshvan 5769
Thursday, November 20, 2008
This Shabbat is "Shabbat Mevarchim": There's an ancient custom to bless the upcoming month on the Shabbat before Rosh Chodesh, before Mussaf. This is not to be confused with Sanctifying the Month that was done by Av Bet Din when the new moon appeared. Nevertheless, the custom is to stand when the Chazzan announces which day(s) will be Rosh Chodesh, since the sanctification of the month was done while standing. Source: Mishna Brura 417:1 (1) Previous Shabbat-related posts can be reviewed at http://halocho.blogspot.com/search/label/Shabbos - Danny Thursday, 22 Marcheshvan 5769
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
We learnt in Halocho #24 that honoring parents includes feeding them, clothing and covering them as well as accompanying them. Accompanying them includes escorting them when they go somewhere, picking them up from home and returning them back home. All this must be done cheerfully else one risks punishment instead of reward. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 143:3 Please invite your Jewish Facebook friends to join Halocho a Day - you can do so from this link: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2387884087#/groups/edit.php?members&gid=2387884087 - Danny Wednesday, 21 Marcheshvan 5769
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
When seeing comets or falling stars one says the Bracha of "Baruch... Oseh Ma'aseh Breishith" - "... Who makes the work of creation". ברוך אתה ה' אלקינו מלך העולם עוֹשֶׂה מַעֲשֶׂה בְּרֵאשִׁית The Bracha on falling stars can only be said once per night even of one sees different meteors every time. One can only say the Bracha once per comet, unless 30 days have passed since one last saw it. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 60:2 - Danny Tuesday, 20 Marcheshvan 5769
Monday, November 17, 2008
According to many opinions, Cain killed Hevel today - 19 Marcheshvan; 49 days after they were born. The Medrash tells us that Cain wounded Hevel numerous times until he found a spot that was fatal. Before burial, the Chevra Kadisha (Jewish Burial Society) do a "Tahara"; they wash the body and wrap it in white shrouds. If a person bled while being killed and the blood is on their body or clothes then no Tahara is done, though the body is wrapped in shrouds. If a person was murdered by Goyim - even if there was no bleeding - no Tahara is done, so as to invoke Divine Anger. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 197: 9, 12 Thanks, - Danny Monday, 19 Marcheshvan 5769
Sunday, November 16, 2008
When seeing the ocean one says the Bracha of "Baruch... Oseh Ma'aseh Breishith" - "... Who makes the work of creation".
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Everybody has an obligation to eat 3 meals on Shabbat; one on Friday night, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. This is besides for the Melave Malka that is eaten on Motzai Shabbat. At each of the three Shabbat meals one should make Motzi on 2 complete loaves of bread. Kiddush is only said twice; at the first 2 meals. One should not overeat at Shabbat morning lunch -especially during the short winter days - so that one can eat a proper afternoon meal. In case of need one can eat cake at the 3rd meal instead of bread. If that's not possible then fish or meat. At the very least one should have some fruit. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 77:16, 17 Previous Shabbat-related posts can be reviewed at http://halocho.blogspot.com/search/label/Shabbos Shabbat Shalom - Danny Thursday, 15 Marcheshvan 5769
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
When seeing lightning one says the Bracha of "Baruch... Oseh Ma'aseh Breishith" - "... Who makes the work of creation".
ברוך אתה ה' אלקינו מלך העולם עוֹשֶׂה מַעֲשֶׂה בְּרֵאשִׁית
This Bracha must be said immediately after seeing the lightning. Immediately is defined as the time needed to say 3 short words.
If one hears the thunder after saying the above mentioned Bracha, then on the thunder one says the Bracha of "Baruch... Shekecho Ugvurato Maleh Olam" - "...for His strength and His power fill the universe".
ברוך אתה ה' אלקינו מלך העולם שֶׁכּוֹחוֹ וּגְבוּרָתוֹ מָלֵא עוֹלָם
If the thunder boomed before one finishes saying the Bracha on the lightning, then it is included in the same Bracha, and one does not say a second Bracha on the thunder.
This Bracha must be said immediately after hearing the thunder. One can begin before the roll of the thunder ends.
These Brachot can only be said once per storm. The storm ends when the sky clears of clouds.
No Bracha is said on lightning that is caused by the heat and doesn't produce thunder (summer lightning)
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 60:2, 3
- Danny Wednesday, 14 Marcheshvan 5769
Please daven for a complete recovery for Tamar bat Naama - תמר בת נעמה
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
When seeing a rainbow one says the Bracha "Baruch... Zocher Habrit Ven'eman Bivrito Vekayam Bema'amaro" - "...Who remembers the covenant, is trustworthy in His covenant and fulfills His word". ברוך אתה ה' אלקינו מלך העולם זוֹכֵר הַבְּרִית וְנֶאֱמָן בִּבְרִיתוֹ וְקַיָּם בְּמַאֲמָרוֹ This Bracha is said only once per rainbow. One should not stare at a rainbow for extended periods of time. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 60:4 The reason for not staring at the rainbow is explained in Chagiga (16:1). The prophet Yechezkel compares the appearance of the Glory of Hashem to a rainbow: "As the appearance of the rainbow in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of Hashem."(Ezekiel 1:28) Staring at a rainbow is compared to staring at the Glory of Hashem, an impolite thing to do. The Gemara states that as a punishment for staring at the rainbow, ones eyesight could suffer. - Danny Tuesday, 13 Marcheshvan 5769 Please daven for a complete recovery for Tamar bat Naama - תמר בת נעמה
Monday, November 10, 2008
The Torah was given to us at Sinai in 2 parts: The Written Law (Torah) and The Oral Law (Mishna). Until the Mishna was written down less than 2,000 years ago, it was studied by-heart. Each student was expected to memorize the entire Oral Law. Since memorizing lots of Torah is important, the Kitzur mentions some things that are bad for your memory: - Be careful to dry your hands properly - and don't dry them on your clothes as it's bad for your memory. - Putting on 2 items of clothing at the same time is bad for your memory. - Eating the heart of animals and birds, and eating from that part of the food that a cat or mouse ate from, is bad for your memory. - Reading the inscription on tombstones if the letters are elevated (as opposed to engraved or flat), is bad for your memory. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 40:6, 3:5, 32:9, 128:13 - Danny Monday, 12 Marcheshvan 5769
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Today, 3561 years ago, Rachel Imeinu died after giving birth to Binyamin. When a son is born, both the mother and father should say the Bracha of Hatov-VeHametiv - "...Who is Good, and bestows Good."
Thursday, November 6, 2008
After Shabbat morning prayers, both men and women have to make (or hear) Kiddush before eating or drinking. The morning Kiddush consists of the Bracha of HaGefen over a cup of wine. (The custom is to recite certain Shabbat-related verses before the Kiddush). If one prefers other alcoholic beverages more than wine, one may use them for the morning Kiddush, but one still has to use a full cup and immediately drink a mouth full. After Kiddush, one must immediately eat: - Either start the meal with HaMotzi on 2 loaves - Or make Mezonot on 2 whole pieces of Mezonot - Or else drink another Revi'is (86 cc) of wine (besides for the original mouth full) Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 77:13, 15, 17 Shabbat Shalom - Danny Thursday 8 Marcheshvan 5769
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Yesterday we learnt that we add a prayer for rain in the 9th Bracha of the Amida starting from 7th Cheshvan (today - Wednesday) in Israel. (From 5th December outside of Israel.) If you're unsure if you added "Vethen Tal Umatar Livracha" or not: - For the first 30 days you have to assume you left it out. (Yesterday's Halocho gave the rules for amending that). - After 30 days you can assume that you said it. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 19:8 Tip: If you practice adding it 90 times (starting from את השנה הזאת) then you can assume you said it correctly. Source: Shulchan Aruch 114:9 - Danny Wednesday 7 Marcheshvan 5769
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
In Israel, starting tonight (Tuesday night) we start praying for rain on weekdays, in the 9th Bracha of the Amida - Barech-Aleinu. Outside of Israel we will start on the evening before the 5th of December (this year. Some years it's the 6th December). If you forgot to add "Vethen Tal Umatar Livracha"; "and bless us with dew and rain", then: - If you remember before you finish the 9th Bracha then you insert it and continue from there. - If you already said "Baruch Ata Hashem" of the 9th Bracha then you insert it into Shma-Kolienu - the 16th Bracha - before "Ki Ata". - If you forget to say it in Shma-Kolienu then you need to go back to the 9th Bracha - Barech-Aleinu. - If you didn't remember until you finished the Amida (defined as saying "Yihyu Leratzon") then you have to restart the entire Amida. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 19:5, 6 - Danny Tuesday 6 Marcheshvan 5769
Monday, November 3, 2008
A person should strive to learn the entire Torah. A partial list would include Tanach (Bible), Mishna, Talmud Bavli and Yerushalmi, Rambam, Tur, Shulchan Aruch, Midrash, Zohar. Somebody who cannot sit and learn Torah all day should learn practical Halachot as well as Midrashim and Mussar (ethics). This way one knows what to do (Halacha), has the drive to (Midrash) and the ability to overcome obstacles when trying to do (Mussar). Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 27:3 - Danny Monday, 5 Marcheshvan 5769
Sunday, November 2, 2008
On the first "Monday, Thursday and Monday" in the month following Pessach and Sukkoth the custom is to say extra Selichot. Some communities do this on the last "Monday, Thursday and Monday" of the month. Since Monday is "Yom Sheni" or "Yom Bet - ב" and Thursday is "Yom Chamishi" or "Yom Heh - ה" these days are referred to as BeHaB - בה"ב Some people have the custom to fast on BeHaB. A special Mi-Sheberach was recited on Shabbat before the Torah was returned to the Aron Hakodesh to bless those who will fast. Despite being a "private" (not communal) fast day, a person need not "declare his intention to fast" during the Mincha-Amida of the preceding day, if he answered Amen to the Mi-Sheberach. Answering Amen to the Mi-Sheberach does not oblige one to fast. Even if one intended to fast when answering Amen and then on the designated day there was a Se'udat Mitzva (e.g. Brit Mila or Siyum or Pidyon HaBen) one should join the meal and not fast. If one "declared his intention to fast" during the Mincha-Amida of the preceding day, then one needs to fast. Tomorrow - Monday, and Thursday and next week Monday are BeHaB in most communities. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 127:3, 14 - Danny Sunday, 4 Marcheshvan 5769
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Mussaf is added after the Torah Reading of Shacharit (morning prayers) on Shabbat, Yom Tov and Rosh Chodesh.
- Shacharit corresponds to the daily morning sacrifice offered in the Bet Hamikdash.
- Mussaf corresponds to the extra sacrifices offered on Shabbat, Yom Tov and Rosh Chodesh.
- Mincha corresponds to the afternoon daily sacrifice.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Men wear Tefillin (phylacteries) every day during Shacharit (morning prayers) except for Shabbat and Yom Tov.
Rosh Chodesh has some aspects of a Yom Tov, yet work is permitted. Tefillin are worn on Rosh Chodesh during Shacharit, Hallel and the Torah reading. They are removed before starting Mussaf.
(On Chol HaMo'ed there are 2 opinions. Every community should have a single Minhag as to whether Tefillin are/aren't put on during Chol HaMo'ed in that community. Where Tefillin are worn on Chol HaMo'ed they are usually removed before Hallel.)
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 10:19
- Danny Wednesday, first day Rosh Chodesh Marcheshvan 5769
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
After Shacharit (morning prayers) a person should have a fixed time to to learn Torah; at least one verse or a single Halacha. The Torah requires everybody to have a fixed time to learn Torah every day and every night. Somebody who does not know how to learn Torah, or cannot find the time to learn, should support others who do learn Torah and they share the reward. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 27:1-2 - Danny Tuesday, 29 Tishrei 5769 Reminder: Tonight - Tuesday night - is the first day of Rosh Chodesh Marchesvan
Monday, October 27, 2008
Since Mussaf of Shemini Atzeret (last Tuesday) we have been adding "Mashiv Haru'ach uMorid Hageshem" into the second Bracha of the Amida. The reason being that now is the rainy season and we praise Hashem for the rain. Since rain on Sukkoth is undesirable, we waited until after Sukkoth to start dealing with the rain. If one forgot to add "Mashiv Haru'ach": - If you have not ended the 2nd Bracha then you say it at the end of any phrase (at a comma in the Siddur) and continue. - If you already said "Baruch Ata Hashem" of "Mechaye Hameithim" then: -- If you said "Morid HaTal" then you continue as usual, since you have praised Hashem for precipitation; dew in this case. -- If your Nusach doesn't include "Morid HaTal" and you haven't yet started the 3rd Bracha - "Ata Kadosh" - then you say "Mashiv Haru'ach uMorid Hageshem" between the 2nd and 3rd Bracha. -- If your Nusach doesn't include "Morid HaTal" and you already started the 3rd Bracha then you need to start the Amida over again, since the first 3 Brachot are a set. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 19:1-3 - Danny Monday, 28 Tishrei 5769
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Since the S'chach (branches covering the Sukkah) was used for a Mitzva, it deserves some respect even after it's done its duty.
After Sukkoth when the S'chach is taken down, one should not trample on it.
One may throw them away, but one may not use them for disrespectful purposes like building an outhouse.
One may burn S'chach.
Care should be taken with decorations that have Torah verses written on them.
Preferably one shouldn't hang up such decorations, but if one did, then they need to go into Geniza or otherwise carefully looked after.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 134:13, 14
- Danny Sunday, 27 Tishrei 5769
Help me answer Judaism-related questions on WikiAnswers
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
The days between Yom Kippour and Sukkoth are joyous days, since Shlomo Hamelech (King Solomon) inaugurated the first Bet Hamikdash (Holy Temple) during this period. One does not fast even for a Yahrzeit, nor does one say Tachanun on these days. A Sukkah needs at least 3 walls that do not move in the wind. The roof of the Sukkah is made of branches or bamboo that have not been used for any other purpose. The covering must be thick enough to ensure that even on the last day of Sukkoth at midday there is more shade than sunshine. The covering must not be so thick that rain cannot get through. In rainy climates, one should make a Sukkah that can be covered, so that it can be used once it stops raining. One must be careful to open the roof before using the Sukkah. On the fist night of Sukkoth the roof should be opened from candle-lighting until nightfall, if possible. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 133:30, 31, 134:1 Chag Same'ach - we'll be back after Sukkoth - Danny Sunday, 13 Tishrei 5769
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Tomorrow - Wednesday - is Erev Yom Kippour. It's a Mitzva to eat more than usual on on the day before Yom Kippour in order to have an easy fast the next day. Those people who find it easier to fast if they don't eat too much beforehand, do not need to eat more than usual. On Erev Yom Kippour one does not say Mizmor Lesoda in Shacharit. The reason being that Mizmor Lesoda parallels the Korban Toda (thanksgiving sacrifice) which was eaten for 2 consecutive days. Since a sacrifice brought on Erev Yom Kippour couldn't be eaten for 2 consecutive days, therefore one couldn't bring a Korban Toda on Erev Yom Kippour. On Erev Yom Kippour one also omits Tachanun, Lamenatze'ach and Avinu Malkeinu. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 131:2,3 Wishing everybody an easy and meaningful fast, - Danny Tuesday, 8 Tishrei 5769 This post was written in memory of my grandmother - Esther bas Kalman - who passed away on Yom Kippour afternoon
Monday, October 6, 2008
Any work that may not be done on Shabbat may not be done on Yom Kippour. In addition there are other Mitzvos for Yom Kippour only:
- On Yom Kippour one may not eat nor drink. If fasting will affect your health, contact a doctor and a Rabbi for instructions.
- On Yom Kippour one may not bathe; one may not even get wet unnecessarily. Upon awakening and after relieving oneself one can wash until the knuckles. Before Birkat Cohanim, the Cohanim wash until their wrists.
- On Yom Kippour no anointing is allowed. This includes perfumes and deodorants.
- On Yom Kippour one may not wear leather shoes. See Halocho #133 for details. (http://halocho.blogspot.com/2008/07/halocho-133-sneakers-on-9-bav.html)
- On Yom Kippour one may not have marital relations.
All the above are forbidden from candle-lighting on Erev Yom Kippour until after Havdala some 25 hours later.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 133:1 Gmar Vechatima Tova; - Danny Monday, 7 Tishrei 5769
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Yom Kippour does not atone for misdeeds done against ones fellow-Jew unless one first asks them for forgiveness. One should be careful to repay all overdue loans before Yom Kippour; after which one can beg for forgiveness for the delay. If one is being asked for forgiveness one should not be stubborn nor vengeful; rather one should be forgiving, the same way one hopes that Hashem will be forgiving of our sins. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 131:4 Gmar Chatima Tova; - Danny Sunday, 6 Tishrei 5769 Help me answer Judaism-related questions on WikiAnswers
Friday, October 3, 2008
Kiddush Levana (the monthly blessing on the waxing moon) should be said when one is happy, and the 10 days of repentance are solemn days of introspection. Some people delay saying Kiddush Levana until Motzai Yom Kippour. One can say Kiddush Levana on Motzai Yom Kippour while still fasting since one is happy with the knowledge the Hashem has forgiven ones sins. This is unlike Motzai 9 B'Av when one has to first eat and put on shoes so as to end the mourning, before saying Kiddush Levana. Others prefer to say Kiddush Levana before Yom Kippour since every Mitzva counts towards tipping the scales in our favor to be granted a good year. Along the same lines some people buy their 4 Minim (Lulav, etc) before Yom Kippour. This week's Shabbat is known as "Shabbat Shuva" in honor of its Haftara which starts with the words "Shuva Yisrael"; Repent O Israel! It's customary for the Rabbi or some other dignitary to be given the Haftara of Shuva. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 130:5, 6 Shabbat Shalom - Danny Friday, Erev Shabbat Vayelech-Shuva, 4 Tishrei 5769
Thursday, October 2, 2008
On the 3rd of Tishrei Gedalya ben Achikam was killed. After the destruction of the first Bet Hamikdash, Nebuchadnezzar appointed him Governor over the remnants of the Jews in Land of Israel . Once Gedalya was killed then they too were exiled or murdered and the land became desolate. (Some say that Gedalya ben Achikam was killed on Rosh Hashanah and the fast was deferred till after Yom Tov.) This tragic event is the reason that today is a fast day. The fast begins at dawn and ends at nightfall (a few minutes before the time for Motzai Shabbat). Pregnant and nursing mothers are exempt from fasting. Anybody who isn't healthy shouldn't fast. When in doubt, consult your LOR (Local Orthodox Rabbi). Children are not allowed to fast. Those who are not fasting should limit their food intake to the bare minimum; only bread and water if possible. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 121:2, 9 Have a meaningful fast, - Danny Thursday, 3 Tishrei 5769
Sunday, September 28, 2008
A main theme of Rosh Hashanah is Hashem's reign over the entire world. This sovereignty is displayed by His ability to judge the world. As a result, from Rosh Hashanah until Yom Kippour is over, we replace "G-d" with "King" in various places in davening (prayers). 1. The ending of the 3rd Bracha of the Amida changes to HaMelech Hakadosh. If you forget this, you have to restart the Amida, unless you caught yourself immediately. (Immediately means: you didn't yet have time to say 3 words.) If you're not sure what you said, you also have to restart the Amida. 2. The end of the 11th Bracha in the weekday Amida changes to HaMelech HaMishpat. If you forget or are not sure what you said then you continue. No correction is needed. 3. Friday night during the "Magen Avot" we replace "HakEl HaKodesh" with HaMelech Hakadosh. If you forget, no correction is needed. From Rosh Hashanah until Yom Kippour is over we add four phrases to the Amida. If you forget after concluding that Bracha, no correction is needed. Until saying "Baruch Ata" you should make amends. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 129:3, 4 5 Ktiva Vechatima Tova; wishing you a sweet and healthy year Reminder: Don't forget to write a Prozbul before Rosh Hashana - Danny Sunday, 28 Elul 5768
Friday, September 26, 2008
At the Rosh Hashanah evening meal it's customary to eat foods that symbolize a Good New Year. The bread from Motzi is dipped in honey and after eating it the Yehi Ratzon is said praying for a sweet new year. יהי רצון שתחדש עלינו שנה טובה ומתוקה Then one dips an apple in honey, says the Bracha on the apple ("Borei Pri HaEtz") and eats some. One then says the Yehi Ratzon again. There are various other foods that are eaten with their appropriate Yehi Ratzon; one may even add new ones. One tries to have only sweet items on the menu; no food cooked in vinegar, for example. The custom is to not eat nuts. One should remember to learn some Torah at the Yom Tov meals; some learn a chapter of Mishna-Rosh-Hashanah, which has 4 chapters; one for each meal. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 129:9 Ktiva Vechatima Tova; wishing you a sweet new year. Shabbat Shalom, - Danny Friday, Erev Shabbat Nitzavim, 26 Elul 5768 Please daven for Avrohom Yomtov Lipa ben Miriam for a Refuah Shleima - complete recovery. Help me answer Judaism-related questions on WikiAnswers
Thursday, September 25, 2008
The blast of the Shofar should remind us to awaken from our spiritual slumber and start taking our Torah study and Mitzva observance seriously. Hearing the Shofar being blown on Rosh Hashanah is a Torah commandment! This crucial detail should not be forgotten when reflecting on the various symbolic reasons given for Shofar blowing. One should not talk after hearing the Brachah on the Shofar until after hearing 100 blasts from the Shofar so as not to interrupt between the Bracha and fulfilling the Mitzva as prescribed by Chazal. This means not talking until after Mussaf. (As a general rule one shouldn't ever talk during prayer services. On Rosh Hashanah there's another reason why not to so.) At a minimum one should be careful not to talk after the Bracha until hearing the first set of 30 Shofar blasts. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 129:15 Ktiva Vechatima Tova; wishing you a year with lots of time to learn Torah, - Danny Thursday, 25 Elul 5768
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
After Mincha (afternoon prayers) on the first day of Rosh Hashanah, the Minhag is to walk to a river to say Tashlich; verses about Hashem's willingness to forgive those who repent. Preferably the river should have fish and be outside the city. If this is impractical one can even use a well which doesn't flow and is without fish. One then symbolically shakes out ones pockets as a reminder to shake off ones sins and to start the new year with a fresh attitude towards Mitzvoth. After Tashlich one should go to shul and spend the rest of the time before Maariv (evening prayers) learning Torah, Mussar or saying Tehillim. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 129:21, 22 Ktiva Vechatima Tova; wishing you a year with lots of time to learn Torah, - Danny Wednesday, 24 Elul 5768
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Since the Mitzva of Sukkah is to move out of the house and into the Sukkah for the duration of Sukkoth, one should really sleep in the Sukkah. People who are meticulous about their Mitzva observance will not even take a nap outside the Sukkah. Their entire family moves into the Sukkah; husband, wife and children. There are numerous reasons why not to sleep in a Sukkah. However, if the Sukkah is not fit for sleeping (e.g. it's too dangerous) then the Sukkah is not Kosher even for eating in. The slightest precipitation renders the Sukkah unfit for sleeping and one should then sleep indoors. Once one lies down inside one is exempt from returning to the Sukkah the entire night, even if the Sukkah subsequently dries. Women are exempt from the Mitzva of Sukkah, as it's a time-bound Mitzva. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 135:8, 9, 10 Ktiva Vechatima Tova; wishing you a year with lots of time to learn Torah, - Danny Tuesday, 23 Elul 5768
Monday, September 22, 2008
People in transit are exempt from eating in a Sukkah if building one will delay them.
If they can locate a Sukkah to eat in, and it won't delay them, then they must do so.
Travelers who rest by night need to build a Sukkah for night-time use, if the expense is reasonable. If not, they should try return home every night, if possible.
A Shli'ach Mitzva - a Mitzva emissary - is exempt from the Mitzva of Sukka, even when not traveling, if building / locating / using a Sukkah will delay them or cause them to be exhausted the following day.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 135:18, 19
Ktiva Vechatima Tova; wishing you prosperous year
- Danny Monday, 22 Elul 5768
Sunday, September 21, 2008
The Torah command us to live in the Sukka for the duration of Sukkoth. 7 days in Eretz Yisrael, 8 days in the Diaspora. One should move into the Sukka and bring along ones creature comforts; ones comfortable chairs and favorite dishes. The Mitzva of Sukka is one of the few where the Torah explicitly gives us a reason to accompany the Mitzva: Sit in the Sukka for seven days in order that your descendants should be aware that the Yidden dwelled in Sukkoth during their journey out of Egypt. Sukkoth could be referring to the Clouds of Glory that surrounded and protected the entire Jewish encampment (as per R' Eliezer) or actual Sukkah-huts that individual families lived in (as per R' Akiva). One should keep this "reason" in mind when fulfilling the Mitzva of Sukka. One should treat the Sukka with respect and not bring in items one wouldn't tolerate at a Shabbat table. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 135:1, 2 Ktiva Vechatima Tova; wishing you a year with lots of time to learn Torah, - Danny Sunday, 21 Elul 5768
Friday, September 19, 2008
This year Selichot start on Sunday (21 Elul/September), 10 days before Rosh Hashana.
Selichot should be said before Shacharit, towards the end of the night. The end of the night is an "Et Ratzon"; an auspicious time when Hashem is more receptive to listening to ones prayers.
When arising for Selichot one should wash ones hands even if it's still night, and make the Bracha "Al Netilat Yadayim".
One should say the 2 Brachot of Birkat haTorah before saying Selichot.
After Selichot one should wash ones hands again (if the first washing was pre-dawn), but one does not repeat the Bracha.
One should preferably stand during Selichot; during the "Kel Melech Yoshev", 13 Middos and the Viddui one must stand.
The Chazzan for Selichot should preferably be a Torah Scholar, well liked and if possible married with children and over 30 years of age. However, any Jew can be a Chazzan as long as the community approves. The same applies to the Chazzan for Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippour as well as the person blowing the Shofar.
Selichot are not said on Shabbat.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 128:5, 6, 7
[Sefardim say Selichot the entire month of Elul.]
Ktiva Vechatima Tova; may all your prayers be answered,
- Danny Friday, 19 Elul 5768
Thursday, September 18, 2008
On Sukkoth there's a Mitzva to shake the four species; a Lulav, 3 Haddasim, 2 Aravot and an Etrog. The past 4 Halochot have discussed the individual species. When shaking them on Sukkoth, the Lulav, 3 Haddasim and 2 Aravot are tied together and held in ones right hand, and the Etrog in ones left hand. (Lefties hold the Lulav in their left, Etrog in the right.) All 6 branches must be facing upwards, with the side where they were cut off the tree facing down. The spine of the Lulav must be facing you. The 3 Haddasim are tied to the right of the Lulav. The 2 Aravot are tied to the left of the Lulav. The Lulav is first bound with 3 ties typically made of palm leaves. The 3 Haddasim and 2 Aravot are then bound to it with another 2 ties. The Haddasim should be slightly higher than than the Aravot. The spine of the the Lulav must protrude at least 1 Tefach (8 cm - 3") above the Haddasim and Aravot. The top Tefach of the Lulav should not have any ties on it. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 136:8 Ktiva Vechatima Tova; wishing you a year with lots of time to learn Torah, - Danny Thursday, 18 Elul 5768
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
On Sukkoth there's a Mitzva to shake the four species; a Lulav, 3 Haddasim, 2 Aravot and an Etrog.
The Arava comes from a known type of willow tree with long leaves, non-serrated edges, and its bough turns red when mature.
The Arava must be at least 3 Tefachim (24 cm - 10") long.
If possible one should get Aravot from a tree that grows alongside a river.
Willows dry up very quickly. A wilted Arava is not Kosher. Some say that once its leaves start drooping it is not fresh enough to be a Kosher Arava.
Many have the Minhag to get fresh Aravot every day of Chol Hamo'ed Sukkoth.
An Arava is no longer Kosher if most of its leaves have come off, or its tip is cut off. This can happen if they are wilted, have been shaken too hard or while replacing them.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 136:5, 6, 7 and 137:6
Ktiva Vechatima Tova; wishing you a healthy, wealthy year to come,
- Danny Wednesday, 17 Elul 5768
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
On Sukkoth there's a Mitzva to shake the four species; a Lulav, 3 Haddasim, 2 Aravot and an Etrog. Each Haddas is a branch of a myrtle bush, and is at least 3 Tefachim (24 cm - 10") long. Myrtle leaves grow in groups of three or more. A Kosher Haddas needs to be Meshulash; with each group of leaves growing out of the branch at exactly the same height. Preferably the Haddas should be Meshulash its entire length, though it's Kosher if only the top half is Meshulash. The entire Haddas needs to be covered in leaves, the top of the lower leaves must reach the bottom of the higher ones. Myrtle bushes have berries growing on them. A Haddas should not have any berries on it; berries should be removed (with their stems) before Yom Tov. Make sure that the top of the Haddas is not cut off, it usually ends in a set of tiny leaves. Haddasim need to be kept fresh; dried out Haddasim are not Kosher. Source: Shulchan Aruch 646. Ktiva Vechatima Tova; wishing you a year full of good news, - Danny Tuesday, 16 Elul 5768
Monday, September 15, 2008
On Sukkoth there's a Mitzva to shake the four species; a Lulav, 3 Haddasim, 2 Aravot and an Etrog.
The Etrog is a citron; Citrus Medica.
It is held in ones left hand when shaking the four species, with the stem (where it was cut off the tree) facing downwards.
By nature the Etrog tree is very soft (mine buckled during a light Jerusalem snow storm), therefore it is often grafted onto other trees to make it stronger.
An Etrog from a grafted tree cannot be used when shaking the four species. (Grafted fruit is Kosher to eat, despite the prohibition against grafting trees.)
The Etrog needs to be whole; scratches and dents may invalidate it.
The Etrog should not have dark dots on it, though it may have light scabs that are a result of leaves and thorns brushing against it while it grows. (Etrog trees have thorns that grow to about 2" long.)
The "nose" of the the Etrog - from where it starts getting narrow - should be perfectly clean.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 174:2, Shulchan Aruch 648
Ktiva Vechatima Tova; wishing you happy year to come
- Danny Monday, 15 Elul 5768
Written in memory of my grandfather - Yehuda ben Yissoschor - whose 21st Yahrzeit is today.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
On Sukkoth there's a Mitzva to shake the four species; a Lulav, 3 Haddasim, 2 Aravot and an Etrog. The Torah commands us to shake the four species on all 7 days of Sukkoth in the Bet Hamikdash (Holy Temple), and on the first day of Sukkoth everywhere else. After the Bet Hamikdash was destroyed, the Rabbis instituted shaking the four species during the entire Sukkoth, Zecher L'Mikdash; in memory of the Temple. One does not shake the four species on Shabbat. The Lulav is a palm branch that is still closed. Once the leaves start fanning out, it's no longer a Lulav. A Lulav has a spine from which the leaves protrude; this spine needs to be facing you when you shake the four species. The Lulav spine should be straight, a slight curvature towards you is allowed. The Lulav spine must be at least 4 Tefachim (32 cm - 13") long. This is measured from the bottom of the lowest "leaf" to the bottom of the highest "leaf". Each "leaf" is made of 2 parts that are connected (and will eventually open up into a V-shaped palm leaf). If these double-leaves start separating then the Lulav may no longer be Kosher. Special care should be taken that the highest leaves remain coupled. Source: Shulchan Aruch 645. Ktiva Vechatima Tova; wishing you a year with lots of time to learn Torah, - Danny Sunday, 14 Elul 5768
Friday, September 12, 2008
The Minhag is to not get married during the 10 days-of-repentance between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kipppour. The Minhag is to not get married on Chol Hamo'ed, so as not to mingle the joy of Yom Tov with ones private celebration. However, one may remarry ones divorcee on Chol Hamo'ed. (One may never again marry ones divorcee if she married somebody else, even if she subsequently got divorced or was widowed. A Cohen may never marry a divorcee; even his ex-wife.) One may make a Brit, Pidyon Haben and engagement party on the above days. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 104:17, 130:4, 145:12 Ktiva Vechatima Tova; wishing you a year full of good tidings Shabbat Shalom, - Danny Erev Shabbat Ki-Theitzei, 12 Elul 5768
Thursday, September 11, 2008
The intermediary days of Pessach and Succoth are known as Chol Hamo'ed. Some types of work are permitted, others are forbidden.
In order to ensure that one does the laundry before the Mo'ed (Jewish Holiday), doing laundry is forbidden on Chol Hamo'ed, except in extenuating circumstances:
- If it was impossible to launder before the Mo'ed (e.g. one was locked up in jail) then one may launder on Chol Hamo'ed
- Baby clothes that continuously get soiled and need to be changed many times a day may be laundered on Chol Hamo'ed
When laundering on Chol Hamo'ed one must ensure it's done in private.
All medical procedures are allowed on Chol Hamo'ed.
If one has the opportunity to borrow money and there's reason to believe that after Yom Tov the money will no longer be available, then one may borrow the money on Chol Hamo'ed (even if it means writing an IOU), even if it's for a post Yom Tov business deal.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 104:13, 14, 16
For more on Chol Hamo'ed see Halocho #91 - http://halocho.blogspot.com/2008/04/halocho-91-chol-hamoed-chol-or-moed.html
K'tiva V'chatima Tova; wishing you a year full of happiness,
- Danny Thursday, 11 Elul 5768
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
The blessing of Shehechiyanu; - "... who has kept us alive, sustained us and enabled us to reach this occasion" - is recited during Kiddush on all nights of Yom Tov, except on the last days of Pessach.
There are two Minhagim (customs) regarding Shehechiyanu at candle-lighting on Yom Tov candles:
- Some women have the Minhag of saying Shehechiyanu when lighting Yom-Tov candles (except on the last days of Pessach)
- Others never say Shehechiyanu at candle-lighting
If a woman makes her own Kiddush she must be careful to only say Shehechiyanu once; either at candle-lighting or during Kiddush.
On the second night of Rosh Hashanah there's a Halachic debate if Shehechiyanu is required. To be on the safe side, one should wear a new item of clothing, or see a new fruit (that one hasn't tasted yet this season) while saying Shehechiyanu on the second night of Rosh Hashanah; both during Kiddush and during candle lighting (if applicable).
If one does not have a new item of clothing, nor a new fruit, on the second night of Rosh Hashanah, one still says Shehechiyanu.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 103:4, 129:23
See Halocho #109 - http://halocho.blogspot.com/2008/06/halocho-109-what-bracha-does-one-make.html for other uses of the Bracha of Shehechiyanu.
K'tiva V'chatima Tova; wishing you a year full of happy tidings
- Danny Wednesday, 10 Elul 5768
Please daven that Dalia Rivka Bat Tamar should find her Shidduch soon
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
There's a Mitzva to relish Jewish Holidays and therefore one must eat two Yom Tov meals; one at night and one during the day. (Se'udat Shlishi - the 3rd meal - is only eaten on Shabbat and is not required on Yom Tov.)
Each meal starts with Kiddush over wine and two Challot (loaves of bread) and should include meat and other delicacies.
It's also a Mitzva to ensure that others are happy:
- Children should be given treats
- Wives should get new clothes and jewelry according to ones budget
- Men should be served meat and wine
In order to prove that the extra expenses are for Yom Tov and not simply for self-indulgence, one must ensure that the poor and needy are also supplied with their Yom Tov needs; invite some over for the meals and donate generously to reputable charity funds before Yom Tov.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 103:3, 5, 9
Ktiva Vechatima Tova; may you always be on the giving end
- Danny Tuesday, 9 Elul 5768
Monday, September 8, 2008
There's a Mitzva to honor each Yom Tov - Jewish Festival.
This Mitzva if fulfilled by:
- Getting a haircut before Yom Tov
- Having a warm shower/bath on Erev Yom Tov
- Baking fresh bread for Yom Tov
- Not eating on Erev Yom Tov afternoon so as not to spoil ones appetite for the evening meal. The details depend on each person's metabolism, but after mid-afternoon nobody may eat a meal (with bread). Even the first day of Yom Tov is considered "Erev Yom Tov" of the second day, in this regard.
- Ones Yom Tov clothes should be more expensive than ones Shabbat clothes.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 103:1, 2, 5
Ktiva Vechatima Tova; wishing you a year with lots of time to learn Torah,
- Danny Monday, 8 Elul 5768
Please daven that Dalia Rivka Bat Tamar will find her Shidduch soon
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Certain types of Melacha which are forbidden on Shabbat are permitted on Yom Tov, like cooking and carrying without an Eruv. One may also light a fire from an existing flame on Yom Tov. The above are only allowed if they are needed for that day of Yom Tov. One may not do Melacha on the first day Yom Tov for the second day. However, one may use a bigger pot for soup or meat and double the required quantity on first day Yom Tov, but one may not explicitly say that the extra food is for the second day. This "trick" only applies to food being prepared in a pot, since the more food being prepared the better it tastes. One may not light candles on the first day Yom Tov for the second day, unless one needs the extra light before sunset. One may not do Melacha on Yom Tov for after Yom Tov. (If Yom Tov is on Friday then these Halachot are slightly different. We'll hopefully discuss them before next Pessach and Shavu'ot when they become relevant) Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 98:1, 101:1, 6 K'tiva V'chatima Tova; wishing you a fantastic year to come - Danny Sunday, 7 Elul 5768
Friday, September 5, 2008
If you make Kiddush and upon tasting the wine you discover it was water or vinegar: If you wash before Kiddush then you can make HaMotzi right away. No need to find and drink wine. If you wash after Kiddush, then you should find some good wine:
- If there is a bottle of good wine on the table during Kiddush then you should drink that, without further ado.
- If there is wine in the house (not on the table) that you plan on drinking during the meal, then use it to redo Kiddush (but without saying the Bracha of Hagafen again).
- Otherwise you will need to start Kiddush all over again from the beginning, with a cup of good wine.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 77:12 K'tiva V'chatima Tova; may you be inscribed for a year of health and happiness Shabbat Shalom, - Danny Erev Shabbat Shoftim, 5 Elul 5768
Thursday, September 4, 2008
During Elul one gets ready for the Days of Judgement (Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur) with a three-pronged approach:
Learning Torah is a prerequisite for repenting. If one isn't aware of ones obligations, one cannot repent for not doing them.
Every person has a Mitzva to learn Torah every day and every night. One should concentrate on learning practical Halacha, to review what ones obligations are and to discover their finer details.
People who are too busy all week should learn at least one Halacha every day, and one at night.
On Shabbat one should spend as much time as possible learning Torah; the less Torah one learns during the week, the more time one should spend learning Torah on Shabbat.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 27:2, 77:24
K'tiva V'chatima Tova; wishing you a year with lots of time to learn Torah,
Thursday, 4 Elul 5768
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
During Elul one gets ready for the Days of Judgement (Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur) with a three-pronged approach: - Teshuva; repenting. - Tefilla; praying. - Tzedaka; giving charity.
In order to pray properly one needs to understand what one is saying.
If one is not fluent in Hebrew, one should get a Siddur and Machzor with an English translation.
One should remember that one is praying to the One Above.
If ones thoughts wander during prayers one should pause and recollect ones thoughts.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 18: 3-4.
Ktiva Vechatima Tova; with wishes for a Happy New Year,
- Danny Wednesday, 3 Elul 5768
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Last week's Torah Reading included numerous warnings against eating blood.
Kosher meat and fowl is kashered with coarse salt in order to remove as much blood as possible.
Since liver is full of blood, salting it is ineffective. Liver needs to be roasted over an open flame to remove as much blood as possible.
Blood spots in eggs may not be eaten, and usually the entire egg is discarded if it has a blood spot.
If a fish has fins and scales then it is Kosher, and its blood may be eaten. However, if the blood has separated from the fish and cannot be distinguished from non-fish blood then it's forbidden.
If a bowl of fish-blood has fish-scales floating in it, then it's permitted.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 46:1,2
With wishes for a year of health, happiness and success
- Danny Tuesday, 2 Elul 5768
Monday, September 1, 2008
From the beginning of the month of Elul until after Yom Kippur, when writing to friends, one should add seasonal greetings. This can be done at the start or end of the letter. One should wish them - or bless them - with a good year; to be inscribed in the book of good life. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 128: 2 Chodesh Tov and Ktiva Vechatima Tova - Danny Monday, 2nd day Rosh Chodesh Elul 5768
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Today - Sunday - is the first day of Rosh Chodesh Elul. Today's date is 30 Av 5768. Tomorrow - Monday - is the second day of Rosh Chodesh Elul, and first day of the month of Elul. The next 40 days, starting tomorrow, correspond to the 40 days that Moshe spent on Har Sinai, to receive the 2nd set of Luchot (Tablets with the 10 commandments written on them). Moshe came down with these Luchot on Yom Kippur. Ever since, these 40 days are especially auspicious for Teshuva; repenting. The custom is to blow the Shofar after Shacharit (the morning prayers) from tomorrow, until Sunday, 28 Elul (28 September) , as a reminder to start improving ones Torah observance and to repent for past misdeeds. On Erev Rosh Hashana the Shofar is not blown, so as to create a break between the custom of blowing Shofar in Elul and the Torah-commandment to blow Shofar on Rosh Hashana. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 128:1, 2 Chodesh Tov, - Danny Sunday, 1st day Rosh Chodesh Elul 5768
Friday, August 29, 2008
Rosh Chodesh Elul will be on Sunday and Monday.
Usually when Rosh Chodesh is on Sunday then the Haftara is changed to "Machar Chodesh"; and Jonathan says to David "Tomorrow is Rosh Chodesh" (from Shemuel-1, 20:12).
However, from 9 B'Av until Rosh Hashana we read the 7 Haftarot of Consolation, and they take precedence over the Haftara of "Machar Chodesh".
Therefore, on Shabbat we will read the regular Haftara for Parshat Re'e (Yeshayahu 54).
Since Rosh Chodesh starts on Motzai Shabbat, one should try finish eating Seudat Shlishi (the 3rd Shabbat meal) before sunset, so as to avoid a conflict between saying Retzei and Ya'aleh Veyavo.
See Halocho #85 - http://halocho.blogspot.com/2008/04/halocho-85-rosh-chodesh-on-sunday.html - for more details.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 128:4, 44:17
Shabbat Shalom uMevorach and Chodesh Tov,
- Danny Erev Shabbat Re'eh, 28 Av 5768
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
The day before Rosh Chodesh is called Yom Kippour Kattan.
If Rosh Chodesh is on Shabbat or Sunday then Yom Kippour Kattan is on Thursday, so as not to fast on Friday.
Mincha (the afternoon prayers) on Yom Kippour Kattan includes prayers asking for repentance, so as to begin the new month with a "clean slate".
Some have the custom to fast on Yom Kippour Kattan.
In anticipation of the month of Elul and the upcoming High Holidays, most communities say the Yom Kippour Kattan prayers before Rosh Chodesh Elul, in order to get into the Teshuva (repentance) mood.
Tomorrow - Thursday - is Yom Kippour Kattan. Rosh Chodesh Elul will be on Sunday and Monday.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 97:1, 128:1
- Danny Wednesday, 26 Av 5768
Please daven for TAMAR bat NAAMA - תמר בת נעמה
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
In Halocho #154 we learnt that when Shmita ends, so does the ability to request payment of certain loans.
However, if loans are handed over to a Bet Din (Jewish court of law) to collect, they may be collected even after Shmita.
Hillel Hazaken (the founder of Bet Hillel, 2,000 years ago) institutionalized handing over ones debts to a Bet Din, using a document called a Prozbul. (Prozbul is a Greek word.)
With a Prozbul one may collect debts even after Shmita ends.
A Prozbul is written and signed in the presence of 3 Torah-learning Jews. A Prozbul needs to be written before Shmita ends to be affective.
Money (or items) loaned after the Prozbul is written are not covered by the Prozbul.
Make sure to calenderize a Prozbul-writing session with your local Orthodox Rabbinate sometime before Rosh Hashana. The last time to write a Prozbul (for this Shmita cycle) is on September 29, 2008.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 180:15
- Danny Tuesday, 25 Av 5768
Please daven for ESTHER DEVORA bat MINDEL RUTH - אסתר דבורה בת מינדל רות