Thursday, October 30, 2008

Halocho # 194 - Until when can one daven Mussaf?

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.
While Mussaf can be said until sunset, it preferably should be said before the "7th hour"; an hour after midday. If Mincha-time has already arrived (half hour after midday) and one has not yet said Mussaf then one should first pray Mincha then Mussaf. This applies when praying in private; a community should follow the regular order; Shacharit, Mussaf and then Mincha. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 76:11-12 Chodesh Tov and Shabbat Shalom! - Danny Thursday, second day Rosh Chodesh Marcheshvan 5769

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Halocho #193 - Tefillin on Rosh Chodesh?

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

Chodesh Tov!

- Danny Wednesday, first day Rosh Chodesh Marcheshvan 5769

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Halocho #192 - When should one learn Torah?

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

Halocho #191 - Thanks for the rain

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

Halocho #190 - Don't trample the S'chach

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

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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Halocho #189 - How many walls does a Sukka need

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

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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Halocho #188 - It's a Mitzva to eat!

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

Halocho #187 - The 5 prohibitions of Yom Kippour

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:

  1. On Yom Kippour one may not eat nor drink. If fasting will affect your health, contact a doctor and a Rabbi for instructions.
  2. 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.
  3. On Yom Kippour no anointing is allowed. This includes perfumes and deodorants.
  4. On Yom Kippour one may not wear leather shoes. See Halocho #133 for details. (
  5. 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

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Sunday, October 5, 2008

Halocho #186 - Apologies

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

Halocho #185 - When should we say Kiddush Levana this month?

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

Halocho #184 - Today is a fast day

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

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