Monday, March 31, 2008

Halocho #83 - Can one sew on Yom Tov?

All 39 categories of "creative work" that are forbidden to do on Shabbos are also forbidden on Yom Tov, with some notable exceptions: - In order to prepare food for Yom Tov one may knead, cook, bake and shecht (ritually slaughter). - One may carry outside - even without an Eruv - on Yom Tov, as long as it's for some purpose, even if it's not food-related. - One may light a flame from an existing flame on Yom Tov if it's for some useful purpose, even if it's not food-related. However, one may not light a Yahrzeit candle on YomTov. - One may grind those spices on Yom Tov that would lose their flavor if ground before Yom Tov. - One may sew up stuffed chicken on Yom Tov, but the needle needs to be threaded before Yom Tov. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 98:1, 3, 15 ==================================================== Invite your friends to join Halocho a Day - here's a link to the invite page: ==================================================== - Danny

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Halocho #82 - The first of the 8 days

Yesterday we read parshas Shimini; about the eighth day of the inauguration of the Mishkan (tabernacle) in the desert. Today - Sunday 23rd Adar II - was the first of those 8 days. Nowadays we no longer have the Mishkan, nor the Bet Hamikdash (Temple) which superseded it, but we do have our shuls (synagogues) which are considered to be a Mikdash M'at - miniature holy places. The fear, respect and honour due to our places of worship are not because of the building, but rather because of Hashem; a shul has holiness because Hashem's presence is more concentrated there. Idle chatter is forbidden in a shul. Kissing ones kids in shul is forbidden; a shul is a place to show ones love of Hashem. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 13:1

סעיף א - קדושת בית הכנסת ובית המדרש גדולה מאד, ומוזהרים עליהם לירא ממי שהוא שוכן בהם יתברך שמו, כדכתיב ומקדשי תיראו, ובית הכנסת ובית המדרש נקראים גם כן מקדש, כדכתיב ואהי להם למקדש מעט, ודרשינן אלו בתי כנסיות ובתי מדרשות. ולכן אסור לדבר בם דברים בטלים, ואין מחשבין בהם חשבונות אלא של מצוה, כגון קופה של צדקה וכדומה. ונוהגין בהם כבוד, לכבדם ולרבצם, ומדליקין בהם נרות לכבוד. אין לנשק בהם בניו הקטנים, שאינו ראוי להראות שם אהבה אחרת, זולת אהבת השם יתברך

Friday, March 28, 2008

Halocho #81 - Eating before Mussaf

If one makes Kiddush after Shacharis, before praying Mussaf, then one should eat no more than a Kezayit (size of an egg - 28cc) of bread or cake. One can eat unlimited amounts of fruit. If one wants to eat only fruit, then one has to drink a mouthful of Kiddush wine and another Revi'is (86cc) of wine. A Cohen who is going to do Birkas Cohanim (bless the congregation) in Mussaf, must hear Kiddush from another person, as he is not allowed to drink alcoholic beverages before Birkas Cohanim . Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 77:15, 100:3 Reminer: This week is Parshas Para. Shabbat Shalom, - Danny =========================================== Please daven for the Refu'a Shleimah of Eliezer Mordechai ben Chaya Sheina Rochel ===========================================

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Halocho #80 - Do we make a Brocho on rain?

The Mishna in Ta'anis (3:4) tells us the fascinating story of a drought in Eretz Yisroel that ended when the great Choni drew a circle on the ground, stepped into it and informed Hashem that he wouldn't leave until it would rain. He continued refining his request until it rained properly. Thereafter he was named Choni Ham'agel (Choni the circle drawer). This happened today - 20th Adar, (according to Megilas Ta'anis Ch. 12). If there would be a drought to the extent that people suffer, then when it rains enough to make puddles one needs to make a brocho. One who doesn't own a field but sees the rain says "Modim"; thank You for every drop of rain, continues with Nishmas and ends with Baruch Ata Hashem Kel Rov Hahoda'ot. (Blessed are You Hashem, Almighty, deserving of many praises.)

מודים אנחנו לך ה' אלהינו על כל טפה וטפה שהורדת לנו
ואלו פינו מלא שירה כים וכו' - כמו שהוא בברכת נשמת - עד ויקדישו וימליכו את שמך מלכנו
ברוך אתה ה' א-ל רוב ההודאות ותשבחות
If one owns a field in the drought area - even if one only heard about the rain - says the brocho of "shehechiyanu" - שהחיינו. (Blessed are You Hashem, Almighty, King of the world for keeping us alive and sustaining us to the present.) If one owns the field in partnership with another Jews, one says the brocho of "Baruch... Hatov V'Hametiv" - הטוב והמטיב. (Blessed are You Hashem, Almighty, King of the world who is good and bestows good.) Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 61:9, 10. Mishna Megila 3:4
.מגילה פרק ג' משנה ד
מעשה שאמרו לו לחוני המעגל, התפלל שיירדו גשמים אמר להם, צאו והכניסו תנורי פסחים, בשביל שלא יימוקו
התפלל, ולא ירדו גשמים
עג עוגה, ועמד בתוכה ואמר
רבונו של עולם, בניך שמו פניהם עליי, שאני כבן בית לפניך
נשבע אני בשמך הגדול שאיני זז מכאן, עד שתרחם על בניך
התחילו הגשמים מנטפים
אמר, לא כך שאלתי, אלא גשמי בורות שיחין ומערות
ירדו בזעף; אמר, לא כך שאלתי, אלא גשמי רצון, ברכה ונדבה
ירדו כתקנן, עד שעלו ישראל מירושלים להר הבית מרוב הגשמים

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Halocho #79 - What color is a Red Heifer?

This Shabbos a second Sefer Torah is taken out for Maftir and the laws of Para Aduma – the Red Heifer – are read. (The beginning of Parshas Chukas, Numbers 19:1-22) There are opinions that there’s a Torah obligation to hear it being read, and people who don’t have access to a Minyan should find one this week. A kosher Para Aduma is a (female) cow past its second birthday that is completely ginger-brown. Even two white or black hairs near each other would invalidate it. The non-brown part of its horns and hooves need to be filed down. Its eyes, teeth and tongue do not need to be brown. Using the cow for any work – even to carry something – would invalidate it. Birds and insects that land on its back do not invalidate it. The cow is slaughtered and burnt and the ashes mixed with spring water and sprinkled on people who come in contact with a corpse, on the third and seventh day of their purification process. This was a prerequisite for access to the Bet Hamikdash (Temple). Since there’s a Mitzva to go into the Bet Hamikdash on Pessach, we read this in anticipating of being able to implement it this year, or at least Bimhera Beyomainu – soon in our lifetime. Source: Kitzur Shulcan Aruch 140:2-3, Mishna Masechet Para, Ch. 1, Rambam Hil. Para Ch. 1

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Halocho #78 - Holy donkey

The Torah says that a firstborn male donkey has Kedusha (some holiness) and may not be used until it is redeemed; by giving a Cohen a sheep or goat in its stead. The result is a donkey for the owner and a sheep (or goat) for the Cohen, both without any Kedusha. The sheep or goat can be male or female, of any age and any physical condition as long as it's alive. If one does not want to redeem the firstborn donkey, the Torah instructs one to chop off its head and bury it. It is preferable to redeem it rather than killing it. A firstborn male donkey belonging to a Cohen or Levite does not need to be redeemed. (As opposed to a firstborn Kosher animal that has Kedusha even if belonging to a Cohen or Levite.) One should not sell (part of) first-time pregnant donkeys to a non-Jew, as one would be exempting oneself from a Mitzva, of either redeeming or killing it. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 178

שמות פרק י"ג
א וידבר ה' אל-משה לאמר. ב קדש-לי כל-בכור פטר כל-רחם, בבני ישראל--באדם, ובבהמה: לי, הוא. ג ויאמר משה אל-העם, זכור את-היום הזה אשר יצאתם ממצרים מבית עבדים, כי בחזק יד, הוציא ה' אתכם מזה; ולא יאכל, חמץ. ד היום, אתם יצאים, בחדש, האביב. ה והיה כי-יביאך ה' אל-ארץ הכנעני והחתי והאמרי והחוי והיבוסי, אשר נשבע לאבתיך לתת לך, ארץ זבת חלב, ודבש; ועבדת את-העבדה הזאת, בחדש הזה. ו שבעת ימים, תאכל מצת; וביום, השביעי, חג, לה'. ז מצות, יאכל, את, שבעת הימים; ולא-יראה לך חמץ, ולא-יראה לך שאר--בכל-גבלך. ח והגדת לבנך, ביום ההוא לאמר: בעבור זה, עשה ה' לי, בצאתי, ממצרים. ט והיה לך לאות על-ידך, ולזכרון בין עיניך, למען תהיה תורת ה', בפיך: כי ביד חזקה, הוצאך ה' ממצרים. י ושמרת את-החקה הזאת, למועדה, מימים, ימימה. יא והיה כי-יבאך ה', אל-ארץ הכנעני, כאשר נשבע לך, ולאבתיך; ונתנה, לך. יב והעברת כל-פטר-רחם, לה'; וכל-פטר שגר בהמה, אשר יהיה לך הזכרים--לה'. יג וכל-פטר חמר תפדה בשה, ואם-לא תפדה וערפתו; וכל בכור אדם בבניך, תפדה.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Halocho #77 - What's special about a firstborn Kosher animal?

If a kosher animal that has never given birth - and belongs only to a Jew - gives birth to a male, the calf has Kedusha (some holiness) and needs to be given to a Cohen, even nowadays. This first-born animal may not be used for any work, and its wool may not be sheared, nor used if it fell off. In the time of the Bet Hamikdash (Temple) the animal would be brought as a sacrifice, with most of the meat being eaten by the Cohen. Nowadays the Cohen needs to keep it until it gets a permanent blemish, at which time anybody can help eat it. The Cohen may not blemish it. It's a Mitzva to sell part of all first-time pregnant kosher animals to a non-Jew so that the calf - if it's a male - will not have any Kedusha; avoiding the possibility of it not being treated properly. Source Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 177

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Halacho #76 – Pessach starts on Purim

On the afternoon of the fast of Esther (today - Thursday), the custom is to give 3 halves of the local currency to charity. In Israel that would be 3 half-shekels, other places it would be three times 50 cents.

This commemorates the biblical half-shekel given yearly to buy the communal sacrifices during the time of the Bet Hamikdash – which today would be about US$ 15.-

This is besides the Matonos L’evyonium that are given to 2 poor people on Purim. (Each Matonos L’evyonium have the value of a small meal, e.g. a falafel, currently 12 NIS in Israel.)

The Purim meal should begin with a Dvar-Torah. Since Purim is 30 days before Pessach, the following is an appropriate Purim-meal Dvar-Torah:

“The laws of Pessach in Shulchan Aruch begin with: One should start learning the laws of Pessach thirty days before Pessach.

This year (outside of Jerusalem and other walled cities) the Purim meal is on Friday and needs to start in the morning, so as not to spoil ones appetite for the Friday-night meal.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 141:5, 142:5. Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 429:1


The next Halocho a Day is planned for Monday


Have a joyful Purim and a Shabbat Shalom,

- Danny, in Jerusalem

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Halocho #75 – When did Esther fast?

2,363 years ago, two days before Pessach, Haman decreed that all the Jews would be destroyed on 13th Adar, eleven months later. After consulting with her cousin Mordechai, Queen Esther declared a 3 days fast that lasted through the first days of Pessach, after which she went – uninvited – to the king and invited him and Haman to a wine feast. At the wine feast she invited them to a second wine feast where which she gained royal permission for the Jews to defend themselves. Jews always fast and pray when going out to war, and so they did on Adar 13, 3406 (354 BCE). On Adar 14 they celebrated their victory. In commemoration, we fast on Adar 13 (tomorrow – Thursday) and celebrate Purim on the morrow. Ta’anis Esther is the only of the 6 fast days not mentioned in Tanach. The fast ends when the stars become visible (a few minutes before Motzai Shabbes time), and if needed, one may eat and drink before Megila reading. However one should not eat a meal until after hearing the Megila. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 141:1,8, Esther 2:7, 3:12-9:30

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Halocho #74 - What is Purim all about?

Purim celebrates the redemption from Haman's evil plot to annihilate the Jews. He was not interested in converting them nor in capturing their land - he simply wanted to kill them. All of them; all of us. Purim celebrates being alive, so the Mitzvos of the day are more physical than spiritual. This is the gist of the Al-Hanisim. It is added to bentching (grace after meals) before "Ve'al Hakol" and to davening (prayers) during "Modim". If Al-Hanisim is forgotten there is no need to make amends, though it can be said later (and some Sidurim have relevant instructions.) After hearing the Megila and sending Mishloach Manos and Matonos L'Evyonim the final Mitzva of the day is the Purim meal. Since the highlights of the Purim saga involved wine, there's a Mitzva to drink more than one usually does, so that one falls asleep as a result. However, people who can't control themselves when inebriated, or who risk missing any Mitzva in the process, are forbidden to drink. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 141:1, 6, 142:6

Monday, March 17, 2008

Halocho #73 - How do we publicize the miracle of Purim?

One of the Mitzvos of Purim is hearing Megilas Esther being read at night and again in the morning. One needs to hear every single word to fulfill this Mitzva. The Megila should be heard in a shul if possible; the bigger the crowd the bigger the publicity for the miracle. Everybody needs to hear the Megila including men, women and children old enough to attend without disturbing. The reading needs to be done from a Kosher Megila; one that is handwritten by a Sofer on parchment. The entire Megila - some 20 columns in a standard edition - is unrolled and folded like a letter before it is read. Three Brochos are recited before the Megila is read (both in the evening and the morning) and a single one after the reading. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Oruch 141:7, 9, 10, 11

ברוך אתה ה' א‑לוהינו מלך העולם אשר קדשנו במצותיו וצונו על מקרא מגילה
ברוך אתה ה' א‑לוהינו מלך העולם, שעשה נסים לאבותינו בימים ההם בזמן הזה
ברוך אתה ה' א‑לוהינו מלך העולם, שהחינו וקימנו והגענו לזמן הזה

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Halocho #72 - Three-fold Purim

This year Purim is on Friday (21 March) and Shushan-Purim is on Shabbos, so cities that celebrate Shushan-Purim - like Jerusalem and Shushan (Susa, Iran) - will celebrate in 3 parts: 1. Friday:

  • Megila reading is on Thursday night and Friday morning, like everybody else
  • Matonos L'evyonim is given to the needy on Friday.
2. Shabbos:
  • Al-Hanisim is added to Bircas Hamozon and the Amida.
  • The Torah Reading for Purim (Shmos 17:8-16) is read as Maftir. (The same Haftoro is read as the previous week - Shmuel-1 Ch. 15.)
  • One should learn some Halochos of Purim.
3. Sunday:
  • Mishloach Monos is sent.
  • The Purim feast is eaten.
This is the opinion of the Shulchan Oruch. Some people also do #3 on Shabbos. Others send Mishloach Monos on Friday.
Source: Shulchan Oruch, Orach Chaim 688:6, Mishna Brura ibid. Shmos 17:8-16 8 : Then came Amolek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim. 9 : And Moshe said to Joshua: "Choose men, and go fight with Amlek: tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of G-d in my hand". 10 : So Joshua did as Moshe had said to him, and fought with Amolek: and Moshe, Aaron, and Chur went up to the top of the hill. 11 : And it came to pass, when Moshe held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amolek prevailed. 12 : But Moshe's hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Chur supported up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. 13 : And Joshua weakened Amolek and his people with the the sword. 14 : And the Hashem said to Moshe: "Write this for a memorial in the book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly wipe out the remembrance of Amolek from under heaven. 15 : And Moshe built an altar, and called the name of it "Hashem did miracles": 16 : And he said, "Because the Hashem has sworn that Hashem will have war with Amolek from generation to generation."

Friday, March 14, 2008

Halocho #71 - Kiddush wine

The Torah commands us to verbally sanctify the Shabbos. Chazal instituted that this be done with a cup of wine; Kiddush on Friday night and Havdolo on Motzai Shabbos. It's a Mitzva to use good wine; red if possible. However one may use grape juice if needed. One should glance at the Shabbos candles during the first part of Kiddush - while reciting Vayechulu. Reminder: This Shabbos is Parshas Zochor (even in Jerusalem) and it's a Mitzva to hear it being read in shul. Source: Kitzur SA 77: 1,3 Shabbat Shalom - Danny ============================================== Mazal Tov to my brother Myckey on the engagement of his eldest daughter. ==============================================

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Halocho #70 - Destroy and remember

This Shabbos - the one before Purim - is Parshas Zochor. A second Sefer Torah is taken out and for Maftir we read about the obligation to annihilate the nation of Amolek and remember their wickedness. (Read it in English at the bottom of this post). For the Haftoro we read the story of King Saul's attempt to fulfill the mitzva of annihilating Amolek. (Shmuel-1 Ch. 15) There is an opinion that it's a Torah obligation to hear Parshas Zochor being read in shul, and if you don't have a minyan near home you need to go to a town with a minyan for this Shabbos. If a minyan cannot be found, Parshas Zochor should be read even without a Minyan. Here is the English translation of the verses read for Parshas Zochor, from Dvorim 25:17-19 (the last 3 verses in Parshas Ki-Tzeizei): Remember what Amolek did to you on the way, when you were coming out of Egypt. How he met you on the way, and smote the feeble behind you, when you were faint and weary; and he feared not G-d. Therefore it shall be, when Hashem your G-d has given you rest from all your enemies round about, in the land which Hashem your G-d is giving you for an inheritance to possess, that you shall blot out the remembrance of Amolek from under heaven; do not forget. This is from and slightly edited to remove the archaic English. Each verse has a multitude of explanations and interpretations. - Danny (who works at Source: KSA 140:2-3
סעיף ב - שבת שלפני פורים הוא פרשת זכור והשבת שלפני ראש חדש ניסן הוא פרשת החדש, ואם חל ראש חדש בשבת אז הוא פרשת החדש, ודינו כמו ראש חדש אדר שחל בשבת. והשבת שלפני פרשת החדש הוא פרשת פרה. סעיף ג - יש אומרים כי פרשת זכור ופרשת פרה חייבים לקרותם מדאורייתא, ואין קורין בהם קטן למפטיר, ובני הישובים שאין להם מנין צריכין שיבאו למקום שיש מנין, ואם אי אפשר להם, לכל הפחות יקראו אותן בנגינות כראוי. יז זָכוֹר, אֵת אֲשֶׁר-עָשָׂה לְךָ עֲמָלֵק, בַּדֶּרֶךְ, בְּצֵאתְכֶם מִמִּצְרָיִם. יח אֲשֶׁר קָרְךָ בַּדֶּרֶךְ, וַיְזַנֵּב בְּךָ כָּל-הַנֶּחֱשָׁלִים אַחֲרֶיךָ--וְאַתָּה, עָיֵף וְיָגֵעַ; וְלֹא יָרֵא, אֱלֹהִים. יט וְהָיָה בְּהָנִיחַ יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ לְךָ מִכָּל-אֹיְבֶיךָ מִסָּבִיב, בָּאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר יְהוָה-אֱלֹהֶיךָ נֹתֵן לְךָ נַחֲלָה לְרִשְׁתָּהּ--תִּמְחֶה אֶת-זֵכֶר עֲמָלֵק, מִתַּחַת הַשָּׁמָיִם; לֹא, תִּשְׁכָּח.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Halocho #69 – Purim gifts for your friends

One of the mitzvos of Purim is Mishlo’ach Monos; sending at least two food items to one fellow Jew. These 2 food items need to be ready to eat. For example fruit, wine, cake or cooked meat. It’s commendable to send Mishlo’ach Monos to a lot of people, but it’s even better to spend more on Matonos L’evyonim to the poor and needy. Both men and women need to send Mishlo’ach Monos. Men should send to men, women should send to women. A mourner (in the 12 months for parents or 30 days for siblings, spouse or child) also needs to send Mishlo’ach Monos. However, one does not send Mishlo’ach Monos to a mourner unless there are no other Jews around. One may give Matonos L’evyonim to a needy mourner. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Oruch 142:1, 2, 4, 7

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Halocho #68 - Purim gifts for the poor

Of of the 613 Mitzvot in the Torah is to obey the Torah Sages. The Sages instituted Purim and its Mitzvos. One of the Mitzvos of Purim is Matonos L'evyonim - to send gifts to at least two needy people. This gift is usually money. Even somebody who lives off charity needs to fulfill this Mitzva. One needn't hand the gifts directly to the needy; one can send them via messenger (or charity organization). Purim is the only day of the year one does not check credentials; anybody who asks for charity on Purim is given something. Both men and women have an obligation to give Matonos L'evyonim. Men may send Matonos L'evyonim to women and vice versa. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Oruch 142:3-4

Monday, March 10, 2008

Halocho #67 - Mourning the Beis Hamikdash in Adar

The second Beis Hamikdosh was dedicated today - 3 Adar - some 2355 years ago. (Ezra 6: 15) After the destruction of the Temple, Chazal (the Sages of blessed memory) instituted that at all joyous occasions we remember the destruction, including: - At festive meals one should leave out one serving dish - A woman should not wear all her jewelery together - At the engagement a plate is broken - though it should be a damaged plate - At the wedding a glass cup is broken - The bride's veil shouldn't have gold or silver threads - The groom has ashes placed on his hair (where he places his Tefillin) before the wedding This way we fulfill the verse "If I forget thee, O Jerusalem...if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy." (Psalms 137: 6-7) Source: Kitzur Shulchon Aruch 126:1-2

סימן קכו – לעשות זכר לחורבן
סעיף א - משחרב בית המקדש תקנו חכמינו זכרונם לברכה שבכל שמחה יהא בה זכר לחורבן כמו שנאמר אם אשכחך ירושלים וגו' אם לא אעלה את ירושלים על ראש שמחתי, וגזרו שלא יבנה לו ישראל בנין מסוייד ומצוייר כבנין המלכים. ולא יסיד את כל ביתו בסיד אלא טח ביתו בטיט וסד בסיד ומניח בו אמה על אמה כנגד הפתח בלא סיד כדי לזכור החורבן, ומה שלא נהגו כן עתה לא ידענו טעם ברור. סעיף ב - וכן תקנו שהעורך שלחן לעשות סעודה לאורחים אפילו סעודת מצוה לא יתן כל התבשילין הראויין לסעודה, וכן האשה לא תתקשט בכל תכשיטיה בפעם אחת, והחתן קודם חופתו נותנים אפר על ראשו במקום הנחת תפילין, והמכסה שמכסין בה את הכלה לא יהיו בה חוטי כסף או זהב, גם נוהגין שבשעת כתיבת התנאים אחר קריאתן שוברין קדרה לעשות זכר לחרבן אבל יש ליקח קדרה שבורה, ותחת החופה שובר החתן כלי זכוכית וזה יכול להיות כוס שלמה.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Halocho #66 - Why are we happy in Adar?

One increases joy when Adar begins because Adar and (next month) Nissan historically have been full of miracles, including the redemption from Egypt and (nearly a millennium later) the miracle of Purim. Boys and girls born this week will become Bar/Bat Mitzva three weeks before their friends born last week, since 2020 and 2021 have only a single Adar. As we learnt in Halocho #41, girls born 12 years ago during Adar will become Bat Mitzva this month; Adar-2. Since 13 years ago was also a leap year, boys born 13 years ago become Bar Mitzva this year during whichever Adar they were born in. Source: KSA: 141:1, 15:2

Friday, March 7, 2008

Halocho #65 - Shabbos and Rosh Chodesh

Rosh Chodesh Adar-2 is today (Friday) and tomorrow. It's a Mitzva to have a bigger meal on Rosh Chodesh. When Rosh Chodesh is on Shabbos one should add an extra dish to the regular Shabbos menu. Reminder: Shabbos is Parshas Shekolim. We will take out 3 Sifrei Torah for the Shachris Torah Reading in Shul: - The first for the weekly Sedra; Pekuday, after which we will say "Chazak" concluding Sefer Shemos. - The second for Rosh Chodesh, after which the Kaddish is said. - The third for Parshas Shekolim; we'll read about the half-shekel that everybody donated yearly to finance the daily sacrifices in the Beis Hamikdosh, may we merit to see it rebuilt. A shul that only has 2 Sifrei Torah will re-use the first one for the 3rd reading. Sources: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch: 97:2, 139:25, 140:1 Chodesh Tov and Shabat Shalom, - Danny

=================================== Please pray for the full recovery of Tamar bat Naama a young girl undergoing chemotherapy along with all the other sick and injured Yidden ===================================
סעיף ב - מצוה להרבות בסעודה בראש חודש, ואם חל בשבת יעשה תבשיל אחד יותר מבשאר שבתות.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Halocho #64 - Erev Rosh Chodesh

Today - Thursday - is Erev Rosh Chodesh of Adar II. Some have the custom of fasting on the eve of Rosh Chodesh. Many have the custom of adding the Yom Kippour Kottan prayers during Mincha. All this to repent and atone for sins done during the month bygone. Tachanun is not said at Mincha today. Tonight one starts adding Ya'aleh Veyavo into the davening (prayers) and bentching (grace after meals); forgetting to do so at night does not require amendment. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Oruch 97:1

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Halocho #63 - Do we ever use three Torah Scrolls

This coming Shabbos is Parshas Shekolim as well as Rosh Chodesh. We will take out 3 Sifrei Torah for the Shachris Torah Reading in Shul:

  • The first for the weekly Sedra; Pekuday, after which we will say "Chazak" concluding Sefer Shemos.
  • The second for Rosh Chodesh, after which the Kaddish is said.
  • The third for Parshas Shekolim; we'll read about the half-shekel that everybody donated yearly to finance the daily sacrifices in the Beis Hamikdosh, may we merit to see it rebuilt.
When else do we take out three Sifrei Torah?
  • Every year on Simchas Torah; the first for ending the current Torah reading cycle; the second for beginning the new cycle and the 3rd for the Yom Tov Mussaf reading.
  • When the 6th days of Chanuka (which is always Rosh Chodesh Teves) is on Shabbos, as will be the case this upcoming Chanuka; the first for the weekly Sedra (Miketz), the second for Rosh Chodesh and the third for Chanuka.
  • When Rosh Chodesh Nisan is on Shabbos; the first for the weekly Sedra (Vayikro or Tazria), the second for Rosh Chodesh, the third for Parshat Hachodesh.
A shul that only has 2 Sifrei Torah will re-use the first one for the 3rd reading. Source: KSA: 139:25, 140:1
סעיף כה - חל ראש חדש טבת בשבת מוציאין שלשה ספרי תורה, בראשון קורין ששה גברי בפרשת השבוע, בשני שביעי בשל ראש חדש ומתחילין וביום השבת ואומרים חצי קדיש, ובשלישי מפטיר בשל חנוכה יומו ומפטירין רני ושמחי, ואף על גב דתדיר קודם, זהו בקריאה שקורין שניהם, אבל בהפטרה שאין מפטירין אלא אחת, דוחין של ראש חדש וקורין של חנוכה משום פרסומי ניסא.
סימן קמ – סדר ארבע פרשיות
סעיף א - שבת שלפני ראש חדש אדר הסמוך לניסן הוא שבת פרשת שקלים, ואם חל ראש חדש בשבת אזי הוא שבת שקלים, ומוציאין שלשה ספרי תורה, בראשון קורין ששה בפרשת השבוע. בשני קורין השביעי בשל ראש חדש ומתחילין וביום השבת ואומרים חצי קדיש, בשלישי קורין מפטיר בפרשת שקלים ומפטירין הפטרת שקלים. ואם טעו והתחילו לקרות תחלה בפרשת שקלים גומרים, והמפטיר קורא בשל ראש חדש ומפטיר גם כן הפטרת שבת וראש חדש.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Halocho #62 - Using wool and linen

One cannot cover oneself with Sha'atnez (wool & linen). One may not sit on Sha'atnez. Hand towels, beach towels, tablecloths, pillows, blankets, slippers, mattresses and curtains all have to be Sha'atnez free. The Parochet covering the Aaron HaKodesh can have Sha'atnez, as nobody would warm themselves with it. If a wagon or convertible has a Sha'atnez cover then one has to be careful not to lean on the cover. One may create, own and sell Sha'atnez. Source: KSA 176: 4-8

סעיף ד - אפילו עשר מצעות זו על גב זה והתחתון כלאים, אסור לישב על העליון. סעיף ה בגד גדול שכלאים מקצה אחד ממנו, אסור לכסות עצמו בו אפילו בקצה השני, אף על פי שהכלאים מונח על הארץ. סעיף ו - התופר כסות כלאים בשביל אינו יהודי תופרו כדרכו, אף על פי שהכסות מונח על ארכבותיו, ובלבד שלא יכוין להנות מה שמונח עליו. וכן מוכרי כסות שנושאין אותן על כתפיהן למכרן מותר, ובלבד שלא יכוונו שיגינו עליהם מפני הצינה או מפני הגשמים, ומכל מקום היראים נושאין אותן על גבי מקל. סעיף ז - מטפחת הידים וכן מטפחת שמקנחין בו אחר הרחיצה, ומטפחת השלחן שאוכלין עליו וכיוצא בזה, וכן שעל השלחן בבית הכנסת שקורין עליו, אסורים משום כלאים, וכן וילון אסור לעשות מכלאים, אבל פרוכת שלפני ארון הקודש מותר. סעיף ח - עגלות שיש להן מכסה, כרכרות או מכוניות להסעת אנשים, ויש מהם מחופים מבפנים בבגדי צמר שהם כלאים, כי מסתמא נתפרו בחוטי פשתן, מותר ללכת בהם ובלבד שיזהר שלא להשען בצדדין שיש שם כלאים. ומכל שכן שיזהר שלא לשבת על הכרים שהן כלאים ויש מתירין אפילו לישב על הכרים כיון שעשויים באופן שאין נכפפין על צדדי האדם.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Halocho #61 - Wearing wool and linen

The Torah prohibits wearing clothes made of both wool and linen - this is know as Sha'atnez. Even a single woolen thread in a linen garment is Sha'atnez, and a single linen thread in a woolen garment is Sha'atnez. Threads made of a mixture of linen and wool may not be used. Woolen garments with linen patches are also forbidden. Clothes made of leather - even if the wool is still attached - can be sewn with linen. Source: KSA 176:1-2

סימן קעו – הלכות כלאי בגדים
סעיף א - צמר רחלים ואילים עם פשתן אסור משום כלאים, בין שתפר בגד צמר או בגד פשתן אפילו בחוטי משי או בחוטי קנבוס בין שתפר בגד צמר בחוטי פשתן או בהיפוך, בין שקשר חוטי פשתן עם חוטי צמר, או שקלען יחד כל אלו אסורין משום כלאים. התוכף תכיפה אחת וקשרו, או שתכף שתי תכיפות אף על פי שלא קשר הוי חיבור לכלאים. ועל כן אסור לחבר בגד צמר בבגד פשתן אפילו על ידי סיכה, או מחט ללא חוט. סעיף ב - עורות הכבשים שעושין מהם בגדים, מותר לתפרן בחוטי פשתן ואין חוששין לנימות של צמר אף על פי שמתחברין בחוט הפשתן, משום דאלו הנימות של הצמר אינן חוטין ולא חשיבי ובטלי.