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: http://www.facebook.com/groups/edit.php?members&gid=2387884087 ==================================================== - Danny
Monday, March 31, 2008
Sunday, March 30, 2008
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 Nowadays we no longer have the Mishkan, nor the Bet Hamikdash (Temple) which superseded it, but we do have our shuls (synagogues) which are considered to be a Mikdash M'at - miniature holy places.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
Friday, March 28, 2008
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
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.)
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
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
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
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
Monday, March 24, 2008
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
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
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
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
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
Sunday, March 16, 2008
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:
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.
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
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. http://www.onlysimchas.com/v4/index.cfm/fuseaction:simcha.view/simchaid:73628 ==============================================
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
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
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
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
Sunday, March 9, 2008
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
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
Thursday, March 6, 2008
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
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.
- 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.
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
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
Monday, March 3, 2008
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