Lag B'Omer - the 33rd day of the Omer - will be on Sunday.
One may have haircuts on Friday (tomorrow) already, in honor of Shabbat.
All other customs of mourning are to be observed until the morning of Lag B'Omer.
Those who have the custom to mourn from Rosh Chodesh Iyar, resume the mourning customs after Lag B'Omer.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 120:6, 7
Note: Many Sefradim only stop the mourning on the 34th day of the Omer.
Thursday, 15 Iyar 5770 - 30th day of the Omer
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Lag B'Omer - the 33rd day of the Omer - will be on Sunday.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Today - Wednesday - is Pessach Sheni - the 2nd Pessach.
In the time of the Bet Hamikdash, if a person couldn't bring the Korban Pessach on Erev Pessach, they have a 2nd chance a month later.
In the afternoon of 14th Iyar they would bring the Korban Pessach and roast it. After nightfall they would eat it with Matza and Marror. The leftovers were burnt the next morning.
Unfortunately this year we again missed both chances to bring the Korban Pessach.
Source: Bamidbar 9:9-12
Wednesday, 14 Iyar 5770 - 29th day of the Omer
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
A man may not wear clothes or jewelry that only women wear - nor may a woman wear men-only apparel.
"Who-wears-what" is defined by local custom and may change over time.
A man may not pluck out even a single white hair (unless all his hair has turned white) nor may he dye his white hair. A woman may.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 171:1,3
Tuesday, 13 Iyar 5770 - 28th day of the Omer
Monday, April 26, 2010
The Torah prohibits men from removing their Payot.
The Payot-area is the hair in the triangular area from the top of the ear to the forehead to the bottom of the ear.
According to some opinions even cutting the Payot very close to the skin with scissors is forbidden.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 170:1
Monday, 12 Iyar 5770 - 27th day of the Omer
Sunday, April 25, 2010
The Torah explicitly forbids tattooing; coloring the skin permanently.
Both puncturing the skin and filling the holes with ink as well as putting ink on the skin and then injecting it are forbidden.
However, one may put colored medication on wounds even if it will cause a permanent discoloring, since the wound will leave a scar making it obvious that it's not a tattoo.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 169:1
Sunday, 11 Iyar 5770, 27th day of the Omer
Thursday, April 22, 2010
This Shabbat we read a double Parsha; אַחֲרֵי מוֹת and קְדוֹשִׁים.
When there is a double Parsha, we usually read the Haftara of the second Parsha, except for Acharei-Mot with Kedoshim
This week we will read the Haftara of אַחֲרֵי מוֹת which is from Amos Ch. 9:7 - הֲלוֹא כִבְנֵי כֻשִׁיִּים
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 79:6
Sefardim read the Haftara of Kedoshim this week.
Source: Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 128
Thursday, 8 Iyar 5770, 23rd day of the Omer
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
The custom is not do any work from sunset until after one has counted the Omer.
This applies to men and women.
This is hinted to in the verse (Shmot 23:15) which refers to the 7 weeks of the Omer-counting as "Sheva Shabbatot" - using the word "Shabbat" instead of weeks.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 120:10
Wednesday, 7 Iyar 5770, 22nd day of the Omer
Monday, April 19, 2010
During the Omer period the great sage Rabbi Akiva (who lived during and after the destruction of the second Temple) lost almost all of his thousands of Torah students; reducing Torah Scholars to a handful.
As a result, 33 days of the Omer are customarily observed as days of mourning, during which weddings and haircuts are forbidden.
One may get engaged during the Omer and even celebrate with a meal, but dancing and music is not allowed.
The Sandek, Mohel and father of the newborn may take haircuts the day before the Brit.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 120:6 - 9
Monday, 5 Iyar 5770, 20th day of the Omer
Thursday, April 15, 2010
One may not lace a shoelace into shoes for the first time on Shabbat.
If existing shoelaces are pulled out, one can only replace them on Shabbat if the holes are wide enough that it's not a big bother to thread them.
Similarly, if a drawstring gets pulled out of clothes, one can only re-thread it if the opening is wide enough so that the operation is not a big bother.
One cannot thread a drawstring for the first time on Shabbat
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 80:48
Chodesh Tov and Shabbat Shalom
Thursday, 2nd day Rosh Chodesh Iyar 5770, 16th day of the Omer
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Rosh Chodesh is a "minor" Yom Tov - and after Shacharit one adds the abridged Hallel, Torah Reading and Mussaf.
All types of work are permitted on Rosh Chodesh.
Some women have a family custom to not do certain types of work on Rosh Chodesh. This is a valid custom and they may not disregard it.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 97:3
Wednesday, 1st Day Rosh Chodesh Iyar 5770, 15th day of the Omer
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Rosh Chodesh Iyar is on Wednesday and Thursday.
On Rosh Chodesh one should add Ya'aleh Veyavo during the Amida and Birkat Hamazon.
If one forgot to add Ya'aleh Veyavo during the Amida at night one does not need to make amends.
During the day one needs to go back to רצה. If one finished the Amida on needs to repeat it.
If one forgot Ya'aleh Veyavo during Birkat Hamazon (during the day or night), and one remembers before starting the last Bracha, one can say:
If one only realizes after starting the last Bracha, or one does not have the above Bracha handy, one does not need to make amends.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 19:10, 44:14
Tuesday, 29 Nissan 5770, 14th day of the Omer
Monday, April 12, 2010
Before making the Bracha on counting the Omer, one should know which day one is going to count.
If one has not yet counted the Omer, and somebody wants to know which day we're up to, you should tell them "yesterday was day such-and-such".
If, instead, you replied "today is such-and-such" you may not be allowed to make a Bracha on that night's count, since you already counted.
However, you should still count "properly" (without a Bracha) since you have to mention the weeks as well.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 120:3
Monday, 28 Nissan 5770, 13th day of the Omer
Sunday, April 11, 2010
If you forget to count the Omer at night, then you should count the next day - but without a Bracha. You then continue counting (at night) as usual with a Bracha.
If you forgot to count during the night as well as the following day, then you should still continue counting the Omer, but you may no longer make the Bracha.
If you're unsure if you counted the previous night, you may continue counting with a Bracha.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 120:2
Sunday, 27 Nissan 5770, 12th day of the Omer
Thursday, April 8, 2010
A basting stitch is sewn with long stitches and unfinished ends. The basting stitch is used for temporarily holding sandwiched pieces of fabric in place. The stitch is removed after the piece is finished.
One is not allowed to remove basting stitches on Shabbat.
(This week is Shabbat Mevorchim Chodesh Iyar; Rosh Chodesh will be on Wednesday and Thursday.)
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 80:47
Shabbat Shalom uMevorach
Thursday, 24 Nissan 5770, 9th day of the Omer
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
The day after Pessach, Sukkoth and Shavuoth is called Isru Chag.
That would be yesterday (Tuesday) in Israel and today (Wednesday) everywhere else.
Various reasons are given for Isru Chag after Pessach and Sukkoth.
On Isru Chag the custom is to eat a larger meal than usual. Nobody - not even a bride and groom on their wedding day, nor a Yahrzeit - may fast on Isru Chag.
One does not say Tachanun on Isru Chag. Some communities don't say למנצח (before Uvo L'Zion in Shacharit) on Isru Chag.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 22:8, 103:14, 146:2
Wednesday, 23 Nissan 5770