The Minhag is to eat food made from milk products on the first day of Shavu'ot, for various reasons.
One should also eat foods with honey since the Torah is compared to honey.
One should also eat meat, since - like every Yom Tov - there's a Mitzva to eat meat on a Chag.
One needs to plan the meals carefully since one may not eat milk after meat, and one may not eat both together at the same meal.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 103:7
Tuesday, 23 Iyar 5776, 38th day of the Omer
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
The Minhag is to eat food made from milk products on the first day of Shavu'ot, for various reasons.
Monday, May 30, 2016
As we learnt, one may light fire from an existing flame on Yom Tov.
One may not chop wood on Yom Tov, neither with an ax nor by hand.
On Yom Tov one may not collect firewood that is scattered.
On Yom Tov one should not use bellows. However, the custom is to use non-commercial bellows by turning them upside-down.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 98:4
Monday, 22 Iyar 5776, 37th day of the Omer
Sunday, May 29, 2016
One is allowed to cook on Yom Tov for Yom Tov; though not from the first day for the second day.
One is not allowed to make cheese or butter on Yom Tov.
Those spices that can be ground before Yom Tov without losing any of their taste should be ground before Yom Tov.
Spices that are better when fresh can be ground on Yom Tov; but not in the usual fashion. For example, one can grind onto the tabletop.
One may only grind what is needed for that day. This applies to grinding Matza as well.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 98: 2, 3
Sunday, 21 Iyar 5776, 36th day of the Omer
Thursday, May 26, 2016
We mourn for 33 days between Pesach and Shavu'ot in memory of the 33 days during which Rabbi Akiva's students perished.
There are various customs as to which 33 days are kept as mourning-days. Everybody agrees that on the day of Lag B'Omer - the 33rd day of the Omer - there is no mourning, as a reminder that they stopped dying on the 33rd day.
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 end the mourning on the 34th day of the Omer.
Thursday, 18 Iyar 5776, 33rd day of the Omer
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
One does not say Tachanun on Lag B'Omer, nor at Mincha the day before (this afternoon).
The mourning-customs of the Omer apply to the night of Lag B'Omer as well.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 22:8, 120:6
Wednesday, 17 Iyar 5776, 32nd day of the Omer
Tuesday, May 24, 2016
One of the differences between Yom Tov and Shabbat is carrying.
On Shabbat, one may not carry outside, unless there is an Eruv.
On Yom Tov, one may carry even without an Eruv.
One can carry anything - even if it's not related to food - as long as it has some purpose.
One should not carry large items that make it look the Yom Tov is a weekday; unless one needs to do so in order to feed a large crowd of people.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 98:34
- Danny Tuesday, 16 Iyar 5776, 31st day of the Omer
Monday, May 23, 2016
Extinguishing fire is forbidden on Shabbat and Yom Tov.
Even though one may light fire from an existing flame on Yom Tov, one may not extinguish fire on Yom Tov.
One may not even lower a flame on Yom Tov (nor on Shabbat). (Some Poskim permit one to lower a flame during cooking, but only to prevent the food from burning.)
On Yom Tov (and on Shabbat) one may not put a candle in a windy place so that it will blow out.
(Yom Kippur has the same status as Shabbat; one may not light nor extinguish fire on either.)
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 98:25
Monday, 15 Iyar 5776, 30th day of the Omer
Sunday, May 22, 2016
When the Bet Hamikdash will be rebuilt, if a person won't be able to 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
Neither the Shulchan Aruch nor the Kitzur seem to mention what to do about Tachanun on Pessach Sheni; most people seem to have the custom not to say Tachanun.
- Danny in Jerusalem
Sunday, 14 Iyar 5776 - 29th day of the Omer
Thursday, May 19, 2016
One of the differences between Yom Tov and Shabbat is the laws of lighting fire.
On Shabbat, one may not light fires, nor extinguish them, nor make them larger or smaller. One needs to light the fire before Shabbat and then leave it alone.
On Yom Tov one may light a fire from an existing flame if there's a need. One may also make the fire larger.
One may light a flame or make an existing flame larger for:
- Light, including "candle-lighting" if one didn't manage before Yom Tov.
- Cooking, baking or warming food
- Boiling water for drinking
- Keeping warm, if it's so cold that food starts to congeal
- Warming water to wash one's hands and face
One may not use matches nor a magnifying glass to light a fire on Yom Tov; one has to light the fire from an existing flame.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 98:25, 29, 30, 31
Thursday, 11 Iyar 5776, 26th day of the Omer
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
With some exceptions, the laws of work on Shabbat and Yom Tov are identical. The exceptions are:
- Some aspects of food preparation
- Carrying in the public domain
- Lighting fires from an existing flame
We will go into more detail in the coming days.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 98:1
Wednesday, 10 Iyar 5776, 25th day of the Omer
Tuesday, May 17, 2016
The Torah prohibits men from removing their פֵּאוֹת.
The פֵּאוֹת area is the hair in the (almost) triangular area from the top of the ear to the forehead to the bottom of the ear.
According to some opinions, even cutting the פֵּאוֹת very close to the skin with scissors is forbidden.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 170:1
Tuesday, 9 Iyar 5776 - 24th day of the Omer
Monday, May 16, 2016
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
Monday, 11 Iyar 5776, 23rd day of the Omer
Sunday, May 15, 2016
On the first "Monday, Thursday and Monday" in the month following Pessach (Iyar) and Sukkoth (Marcheshvan) the custom is to say extra Selichot during Shacharit. (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.
BeHaB will be this week on Monday & Thursday and again on Monday next week.
Some people have the custom to fast on BeHaB. A special מִּי שֶׁבֵּרַךְ was recited on Shabbat morning before the Torah was returned to the Aron Hakodesh to bless those who will fast.
Having answered אָמֵן to the מִּי שֶׁבֵּרַךְ does not oblige one to fast.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 127:3, 14
Sunday, 7 Iyar 5776, 22nd day of the Omer
Wednesday, May 11, 2016
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 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, 4
Wednesday, 3 Iyar 5776, 18th day of the Omer; 2 weeks and 4 days
Tuesday, May 10, 2016
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
Tuesday, 2 Iyar 5776, 17th day of the Omer
Monday, May 9, 2016
Today is the 2nd day of Rosh Chodesh Iyar.
One may not fast on Rosh Chodesh.
It's a Mitzva to eat a bigger meal on Rosh Chodesh.
There is no obligation to eat bread on Rosh Chodesh.
Don't forget יַעֲלֶה וְיָבֹא in Birkat HaMazon and the Amida.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 97:2, 6
Monday, 2nd day Rosh Chodesh Iyar 5776, 16th day of the Omer
Sunday, May 8, 2016
Today - Sunday - and tomorrow - Monday - are Rosh Chodesh Iyar.
One needs to add יַעֲלֶה וְיָבֹא - into the 17th Bracha of the Amida - רְצֵה.
If one forgets to do so during the Amida of מַעֲרִיב (evening prayers) - on either day - one does not need to make amends, since the Sanhedrin did not sanctify the month at night.
If one forgets to add יַעֲלֶה וְיָבֹא during שַׁחֲרִית (morning prayers) or מִנְחָה (afternoon prayers), then one has to return to the 17th Bracha of the Amida - רְצֵה - and make amends.
If one forgets יַעֲלֶה וְיָבֹא during שַׁחֲרִית and then prayed מוּסָף, one still has to make amends for שַׁחֲרִית . Even if one already prayed מִנְחָה one has to make amends for שַׁחֲרִית.
If one already finished the Amida - by saying יִהְיוּ לְרָצוֹן אִמְרֵי פִי - then one needs to restart the Amida.
One also needs to add יַעֲלֶה וְיָבֹא - into Birkat Hamazon.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 19:10
1st day Rosh Chodesh Iyar 5776 - 15th day of the Omer
שָׁכַח יַעֲלֶה וְיָבֹא בְּרֹאשׁ חֹדֶשׁ בְּשַׁחֲרִית אוֹ בְּמִנְחָה, וּבְחֹל הַמּוֹעֵד, בֵּין בְּשַׁחֲרִית בֵּין בְּמִנְחָה בֵּין בְּמַעֲרִיב, אִם נִזְכַּר קוֹדֶם שֶׁאָמַר יִהְיוּ לְרָצוֹן, חוֹזֵר וּמַתְחִיל רְצֵה, וַאֲפִלּוּ אִם נִזְכַּר קוֹדֵם שֶׁהִתְחִיל מוֹדִים, כֵּיוָן שֶׁסִּיֵּם בִּרְכַּת הַמַּחֲזִיר שְׁכִינָתוֹ לְצִיּוֹן, צָרִיךְ לְהַתְחִיל רְצֵה אַךְ אִם נִזְכַּר קוֹדֶם בִּרְכַּת הַמַּחֲזִיר שְׁכִינָתוֹ לְצִיּוֹן, אוֹמְרוֹ שָׁם וּמְסַיֵּם וְתֶחֱזֶינָה עֵינֵינוּ וְכוּ', וְאִם לֹא נִזְכַּר עַד לְאַחַר יִהְיוּ לְרָצוֹן וְגוֹ', חוֹזֵר לְרֹאשׁ הַתְּפִלָּה. וּבְרֹאשׁ חֹדֶשׁ שָׁכַח יַעֲלֶה וְיָבֹא בְּמַעֲרִיב, בֵּין שֶׁרֹאשׁ חֹדֶשׁ הוּא בּ' יָמִים, בֵּין שֶׁאֵינוֹ אֶלָּא יוֹם א', כֵּיוָן שֶׁאָמַר בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' וְהִזְכִּיר אֶת הַשֵּׁם, שׁוּב אֵינוֹ חוֹזֵר, אֶלָּא מְסַיֵּם הַמַחֲזִיר שְׁכִינָתוֹ לְצִיּוֹן וְגוֹמֵר תְּפִלָּתוֹ. וְהַטַּעַם בָּזֶה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁלֹּא הָיוּ מְקַדְּשִׁין אֵת הַחֹדֶשׁ בַּלַּיְלָה
שָׁכַח בְּרֹאשׁ חֹדֶשׁ אוֹ בְּחֹל הַמּוֹעֵד יַעֲלֶה וְיָבֹא בְּשַׁחֲרִית, אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא נִזְכַּר עַד לְאַחַר שֶׁהִתְפַּלֵּל מוּסָף, (שֶׁכְּבָר זָכַר שֶׁל רֹאשׁ חֹדֶשׁ וְשֶׁל חֹל הַמּוֹעֵד) מִכָּל מָקוֹם, צָרִיךְ לַחֲזֹר וּלְהִתְפַּלֵּל שַׁחֲרִית, וְאִם עָבַר זְמַנָּהּ יַשְׁלִימֶנָּה בִּתְפִלַת הַמִּנְחָה
Thursday, May 5, 2016
This Sunday and Monday will be Rosh Iyar.
When the 3rd Shabbat meal continues into the night, one still inserts רְצֵה during Birkat Hamazon.
When one starts a meal on Erev Rosh Chodesh and eats a Kezayit (the size of an olive) of bread after dark, one inserts יַעֲלֶה וְיָבוֹא during Birkas Hamazon.
What happens when both of the above happen together?
If Rosh Chodesh is on Sunday and one eats a Kezayis of bread after dark during the 3rd Shabbat meal, then one inserts both רְצֵה and יַעֲלֶה וְיָבוֹא during Birkas Hamazon.
However, some argue that mentioning both רְצֵה and יַעֲלֶה וְיָבוֹא is a contradiction – since Shabbat and Rosh Chodesh aren't on the same day.
Therefore, one should be careful not to eat bread after dark at the 3rd Shabbat meal when Rosh Chodesh is on Sunday.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 44:17
Shabbat Shalom uMevorach
- Danny Schoemann
Thursday, 27 Nissan 5575, 12th day of the Omer.
Wednesday, May 4, 2016
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.
These 33 days of mourning are either observed from day 1 of the Omer, or from Rosh Chodesh Iyar; depending on local/family custom.
One may get engaged during the entire Omer period and even celebrate with a meal, but dancing and music are not allowed during the 33 days of mourning.
The Sandek, Mohel and father of the newborn may take haircuts the day before the Brit even during the 33 days of mourning.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 120:6 - 9
Wednesday, 26 Nissan 5776, 11th day of the Omer
Tuesday, May 3, 2016
The "five grains" are wheat, barley, spelt, oats and rye.
Grain that was planted and started taking root before the second day of Pessach may be eaten immediately - and is called "Yoshon" (old).
Grain that took root thereafter is חָדָשׁ - "Chodosh" (new) - and may not be eaten until after the 2nd day Chol Hamoed Pessach of the coming year. In Israel, Chol Hamoed Pessach starts on 16th Nissan, in the Diaspora on the 17th Nissan.
The Torah prohibition of eating Chodosh applies to grain grown on Jewish land, according to all opinions.
There is a minority opinion that Chodosh does not apply to grain grown in the Diaspora on non-Jewish land; the custom is to rely on this opinion in emergency.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 172:1-3
Tuesday, 25 Nissan 5776, 10th day of the Omer
Monday, May 2, 2016
The custom is not to do any work from sunset until one has counted the Omer. This applies to men and women.
This is hinted in the verse which refers to the 7 weeks of the Omer-counting as שֶׁבַע שַׁבָּתוֹת - using the word "Shabbat" instead of weeks.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 120:10
Monday, 24 Nissan 5776, 9th day of the Omer
Sunday, May 1, 2016
From the second day of פֶּסַח until שָׁבוּעוֹת we count the 49 days of the עֹמֶר.
Counting is done after nightfall. Before counting a Bracha is said:
One counts both days and weeks, as the Torah says (Vayikra 23:15-16):
"And you shall count ... 7 weeks ... you shall count 50 days."
Today is the 8th day of the Omer which is 1 week and 1 day.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 120:1
Sunday, 23 Nissan 5776, 8th day of the Omer