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Blog Image: Rav_Miller.jpg
Believing in Gam Zu L'tova -A Moment with Rabbi Avigdor Miller Zt"l #518
Parshas Acharei - Kedoshim 5780

QUESTION:

How can one truly believe that everything is Gam Zu L'tova?

ANSWER:

We have a Torah as I said; Moshe Rabeinu is emes, v'toraso emes, and it states there that Hakadosh Baruch Hu did things l'tova, He made the world for chesed. L'osei hashomayim b'svuna, ki l'olam chasdo, everything is ki l'olam chasdo, a world of chesed. And if sometimes it seems not a chesed – a toothache, it's a chesed. If not for the toothache you wouldn't go to the dentist, and your tooth would rot away. Now you run to the dentist, he puts in a filling, and you have a tooth. Pain is a chesed, without pain people would be sick and they would never know what's wrong with them.

I once told a story… in Canada there was a young woman who didn't have any feeling in her hand. She was putting her hand over the gas range, she smelled flesh burning! Her own hand was burning from the gas range; she lacked the sensation of pain. If you have the sensation of pain you pull back your hand and save yourself. Pain is a lifesaver! Pain is a chesed gadol!

Poverty, for many people poverty is a yeshua. Here's a wealthy man I remember, he moved way out to Long Island, and then he lost all his money and moved back to Brownsville – in the good old days when Brownsville was a Jewish neighborhood – and he sent his boys to Mesivta Chaim Berlin. I said "what are you doing here?" He said he lost all his money and now he's back in Brownsville – and he saved his boys. Out there his boys wouldn't go to Chaim Berlin! A good place, Chaim Berlin. Only because he lost his money; it's a true story.

Many people should lose their money and move back into frum neighborhoods, it's a yeshua, no question about it. Wealth is a terrible resource if it's misused.

Good Shabbos To All



Posted 5/1/2020 12:48 PM | Tell a Friend | Articles of Interest | Comments (0)


Blog Image: price.jpg
Rabbi A.A. Price zt"l Shiur
Rabbi Price ZT"L Yahrzeit Shiur this year will be held via Zoom Shiur given by Rabbi Sobolofsky

TONIGHT! SUNDAY April 26, 2020 @7:30pm 

ZOOM https://yeshiva-university.zoom.us/j/8097026562
or 
https://bit.ly/ravprice

We hope to see you all next year in person 
at Rabbi Price’s zt"l Yartzait 
Shiur and Seudah 
which is always free of charge. 

Please see attached Flyer.





Posted 4/26/2020 11:28 AM | Tell a Friend | Articles of Interest | Comments (0)


Blog Image: michalowiz.jpg
How to Celebrate Purim - 5780:
Reprinted from Westmount Shul, Rabbi Y. Michalowicz

Purim is celebrated this year on Monday evening March 9th and Tuesday March 10sh.

1 – Fast of Esther:

1. The fast is on Monday, March 9th.
2. The fast begins at 6:27 A.M. and ends at 8:07 P.M. Those who find fasting very difficult may eat at 7:53
P.M. One who finds it will be difficult to concentrate on Megilah reading may end the fast at
8:00 P.M.
3. All adult males and females over Bar/Bat Mitzvah are obligated to fast.
4. Pregnant and Nursing women are exempt from fasting.
5. A person who is ill [even if it is not serious] is not permitted to fast.
6. One should not fast even if one only has a severe headache.
7. Children under bar/bat Mitzvah do not need to fast even for a few hours. Nevertheless, they should not be
given treats.
8. You may take medications prescribed by a doctor. One, who has difficulty swallowing pills without water, may
drink the amount of water required to swallow them.
9. One may rinse the mouth only if bad taste causes discomfort. Only a small amount of liquid should be used
while leaning forwards in order to minimize the chance of it being swallowed.
10. One is permitted to eat before the fast, provided that one explicitly states before going to sleep that he/she
plans to wake up early to eat before the fast begins.
11. Bathing is permitted even with hot water.
12. It is permitted to listen to music.
13. The special “Aneinu” prayer is said during the Mincha Amida by those who are fasting.
14. “Avinu Malkeinu” is said during Shacharis. It is not said at Mincha.

2 - The Half Shekel:

1. On the Fast of Esther [usually around Mincha time], there is a custom to give three coins to charity. Each coin
should be the denomination of ½ the standard currency in that country [e.g. ½ a dollar].
2. If one does not have the correct coins, he should purchase them [optimally for approximately $15] from the
charity box, and then put them back into the charity box.
3. All adult males are obliged in this Mitzvah. The custom is that a father gives on behalf of his sons, whatever
their ages.
4. The custom is that women are not obliged to give.
5. The money collected should be given to the poor.
6. If one forgot to give it on Erev Purim, he should give the money on Purim morning before the Megilah reading.
7. One may not use his “Ma’aser [charity] money” to fulfill this Mitzvah.

3 – Prayers on Purim:

1. We recite the “Al Hanisim” prayer during all 3 Amidas and for Birchas Hamazon. If one forgets to say it, he
need not repeat the Amida or Birchas Hamazon.
2. ‘Tachanun” and “Lamenatzeach” are omitted during Shacharis.
3. The Torah is read during Shacharis – before the Megilah reading.
4. One should not pray while dressed in a costume. One must dress respectfully during davening.
5. If a person is intoxicated to the extent that he would not be able to speak respectfully to an important official,
he may not pray. If he is only slightly intoxicated, to the extent that he would be able to speak respectfully to an
important official, it is nonetheless not correct to pray. However, the custom is to be lenient and allow prayer in
this state, although ideally he should wait until he is sober.

4- Work on Purim:

1. All forms of work are permitted on the evening of Purim.
2. The custom is to prohibit going to work on the day of Purim. The Rabbis of the Talmud tell us that
whoever works on Purim will not see any blessing from it.
3. Work is permitted in the following situations:
• If not working will cause financial loss
• Work that is necessary for a Mitzvah
• Work that is required for Purim
4. One may ask a non-Jew to do all forms of work for the Jew.
5. Laundering is prohibited unless the clothes are necessary for Purim.
6. It is permitted to shave or take a haircut if it is done in order to look presentable on Purim itself.
7. It is forbidden to cut one’s nails.
8. The custom is to wear Shabbos clothes on Purim. One should keep his Shabbos clothes on through
the evening of Purim while hearing the Megilah.

5 – Reading /Hearing the Megilah:

1. Men and women over bar/bat Mitzvah are obligated to hear the Megilah twice – one time at night and one time
in the morning.
2. Children who are mature enough to listen attentively to the Megilah reading should do so. Preferably, such
children should be brought to hear the public reading. However, they must be properly supervised during
the reading and should understand that they have not been brought to Shul simply for the fun of banging at
Haman. Young children who are likely to cause a disturbance and prevent others from hearing the
Megilah should not brought to Shul for Megilah reading.
3. The earliest time to read the Megilah is after nightfall – 8:07 P.M. The earliest correct time to read the
Megilah in the morning is after sunrise – 7:39 A.M. The Megilah can be read all day long until sunset.
4. Before reading or listening to the Megilah one should have in mind that they are fulfilling the Mitzvah of reading
or hearing the Megilah. Additionally, the reader should have in mind to include all the listeners who wish to
fulfill their obligation.
5. Three blessings are made by the reader before reading the Megilah in the evening and in the morning:
• “Al Mikra Megilah”
• “She’asa Nisim”
• “Shehechiyanu”
6. One should stand when saying or hearing the blessings.
7. When listening to the blessings, you should have in mind that you are fulfilling your obligation. When hearing
the “Shehechiyanu” blessing in the day, one should have in mind to include all the special Mitzvos of Purim.
The reader should have in mind that he is reciting the blessings on behalf of the entire congregation.
8. If a person arrives to Shul in the middle of the blessings:
• If there is sufficient time, he should quickly say the blessings himself, taking care that they are
completed before the reading begins.
• If there is insufficient time to say all the blessings, he should say as many of the blessings that he can.
• If there is not enough time to recite any of the blessings, he should preferably attend another reading
where the blessings will be heard.
• If this is very inconvenient, he may listen to the Megilah without hearing the blessings.
9. A special blessing is made after the evening Megilah reading in the presence of a Minyan. “Shoshanas
Yaakov” is sung after the Megilah reading.
10. The listeners may sit during the reading of the Megilah. The reader should stand when reading to a minyan,
but may lean if necessary.
11. One must hear every word of the Megilah. If a person missed even one word he has not fulfilled his
obligation. Therefore, it is mandatory to arrive on time for Megilah reading.
12. If a person did not hear some words, he should immediately say the words himself. However, this creates a
problem since the reader continues to read the Megilah while the person is saying the missed words, thereby
causing him to miss further words. Therefore, he must say the missed words and continue reading until he
overtakes the reader, at which point he may resume listening.
13. It is forbidden for both the reader and listener to speak from the beginning of the first blessing until the end of
the after blessing. Parents must be aware of this when bringing young children to the reading.
14. There are four verses of the Megilah which are read out loud before the reader. They are the following:
3
• Chapter 2, verse 5
• Chapter 8, verse 15
• Chapter 8, verse 16.
• Chapter 10, verse 3
15. In addition, it is customary for the congregation to say the names of the ten sons of Haman out loud.
16. It is a time honored tradition to bang / make noise every time the name of Haman is mentioned in the Megilah.
Nevertheless, excessive noise and tumult should be discouraged since this often prevents people
from hearing clearly.
17. In order to enhance the Mitzvah and make greater publicity of the miracle, both men and women should make
every effort to attend a public reading in Shul. Even if one can organize a minyan at home, it is better to join
the congregation.
18. If it is impossible for a person to attend Shul, he must hear the Megilah read at home from a Kosher Megilah.

6 – “Matanos Le’Evyonim” – Gifts to the Poor:

1. One must give one gift each to at least two poor people. The gift may be either money or food. The Mitzvah
should be performed on Purim during the daytime. It is preferable to do it after the Megilah reading without
delay.
2. One may give money to a charity collector before Purim if the charity collector will distribute the money to the
poor people only on the day of Purim for the purpose of fulfilling this Mitzvah.
3. Each person should be given at least the amount of food that is eaten at a regular meal or the amount of
money required to buy this. [approximately $25 per poor person]
4. It is recommended to give more than this minimum amount of money and amount of poor people. It is better
to spend more on this Mitzvah than on the other Mitzvos of Purim.
5. A check may be given if it can be easily exchanged for cash.
6. “Ma’aser [charity] Money” may be used for any of these donations, except for the minimum two gifts [valued at
$50.]
7. Women and children over bar/bat Mitzvah are also obligated in this Mitzvah. Although a married woman may
rely on her husband to give on her behalf, nevertheless it is preferable for her to perform the Mitzvah
personally. The same applies for the children. A practical solution would be to do the following: The husband
could give some money to a poor person or charity collector stating that it is on behalf of his wife. The poor
person / charity collector should have in mind to acquire the money on behalf of the woman, and she should
know that the procedure is being used for her. The same applies for the adult children.
8. Children aged six or seven should be trained to perform this Mitzvah. The above methods can be used as well
for them.

7 – “Mishloach Manos” – Sending Food:

1. On the day of Purim, one must send two items of food to at least one person. It is praiseworthy to send to
many people, but see 6:4 above.
2. Preferably, one should send food that is ready to be eaten immediately
3. The two food items must be different. However, it is not necessary for the items to require two different
blessings. Drinks are also suitable. One may send two different food items or two different drinks, or one food
and one drink.
4. The food should be a respectable quantity according to the standards of the sender and recipient. Therefore,
one should send a nicer package to a wealthy person than to a poor person, and a wealthy person should
send a nicer package than a poor person.
5. One should send at least one nice package to one person and any additional packages may be ‘token’
packages. This is better than only sending a large number of small ‘token’ packages.
6. One is not permitted to use his “Ma’aser [charity] money” for this Mitzvah. If a person wishes to send several
packages to poor people he may use his “Ma’aser money” for all but the first package.
7. Women and children over Bar/Bat Mitzvah are obligated in this Mitzvah.
8. According to some opinions, a package may be sent on behalf of the entire family. That package should have
two food items for every family member sending the package. According to another opinion, only a husband
4
and wife can send together, but children should send on their own. If children prepare their own packages from
food in their parents’ home, they should be allowed to acquire the food before sending it.
9. Children aged six or seven should be trained to perform the Mitzvah.
10. It is praiseworthy to send packages to Jews who know little about Torah. This will arouse their interest
in Jewish practices and increase love and friendship between Jews. In a similar vein, this is an ideal
opportunity to repair broken relationships by sending packages to people with whom one has ill
feeling.
11. One may not send a package to a mourner. If another family member is not in mourning, the package may be
addressed to the family.
12. A mourner is obligated to send one package, but the package should not be too elaborate.
13. If a person receives a package, it is praiseworthy to reciprocate and send one in return, but it is not an
obligation.
14. According to the prevalent custom, one may give the package personally. According to some opinions, it is
preferable to send the package via a third person. One may use a child as a messenger, but must confirm that
the package was delivered. A reliable delivery service may be used.
15. Anonymous packages should be avoided. The recipient should know who has sent them the package.

8 – “Seudas Purim” – Feasting & Rejoicing:

1. The main Mitzvah is to have a festive meal on the day of Purim. In addition, one should have a nicer meal than
usual on the evening of Purim.
2. The table should be set nicely for the evening meal. Some have a custom to light candles.
3. There is a custom to eat seeds and pod foods such as rice, peas, and beans. It is not necessary to eat bread
at this meal.
4. It is customary to eat “Hamantashen” with a filling made of poppy-seed. It is also customary to eat “kreplach.”
5. The prevalent custom is to eat bread and beef at the daytime meal.
6. Some women have a custom to drink a little wine in honor of the day. It is not necessary for children to drink
wine.
7. One should set a spiritual tone for this meal by doing the following:
• Spend a little time studying Torah before the meal. There is a special Mitzvah to begin studying the
laws of Pesach on Purim.
• Have in mind that eating the meal is a Mitzvah.
• Relate the Purim miracles and sing praise to Hashem during the meal.
8. It is a Mitzvah for men to drink wine. According to some opinions there is an obligation to become dunk until he
can no longer distinguish between ‘Cursed be Haman’ and ‘Blessed be Mordechai.’ According to other
opinions, one is only requite to drink more than the usual, but not to the point of getting drunk. One should
then go to sleep and thereby be unable to distinguish between ‘Cursed be Haman’ and ‘Blessed be
Mordechai.’
9. The Sages certainly did not want people to make a fool of themselves and behave with frivolity and
disgrace. The intention is to come closer to Hashem, using joy to reach great heights of love and
praise for Hashem. A person who knows that intoxication will prevent him from making blessings or
praying properly, or will lead him to light-headedness, should follow the second opinion. Everything
that one does should be purely for the sake of Heaven.
10. It is preferable to fulfill this Mitzvah by drinking wine only. A person who wishes may have other alcoholic
drinks after some wine.
11. The main obligation is to drink during the festive meal. If a person wishes to fulfill the Mitzvah by sleeping, he
should drink a little wine during the meal and go to sleep after Birchas Hamazon. Sufficient time should be left
to sleep before nightfall.
12. One should refrain from drinking too much if alcoholic drinks are harmful to him.
13. It is customary to wear costumes and masks on Purim.
14. One should refrain from dressing in costumes of the opposite gender. The same applies for children.
15. If a person insulted someone while intoxicated, he is required to ask for forgiveness.
16. Although it is customary to have Purim ‘shtik’ [plays, skits, songs, etc.] – it is forbidden to insult or embarrass
people even in jest.


Posted 3/6/2020 1:00 PM | Tell a Friend | Articles of Interest | Comments (0)


Blog Image: Rav_Miller.jpg
Davening in a Shul without a Rov - A Moment with Rabbi Avigdor Miller Zt"l #494
Parshas Ha'azinu 5780

QUESTION:

Is it preferable to daven in a good minyan when there is no Rov, or in another minyan with a lower class of clientele, but has a Rov present?

ANSWER:
It depends. Sometimes even when there is a Rov present, people act like he's not present! And therefore you are better off in the other place. But suppose all things being equal, and one place has somebody who has a certain responsibility, authority - no question.

There is another reason. I want to tell you something that happens all the time with me. A woman calls up, her husband is terrible; he's brutal, he's selfish; very many times this happens. I say, doesn't your husband have a Rabbi? No, he has no Rabbi. Friday night he goes to this shul, Shabbos morning someplace else, Mincha he goes someplace else, the weekday someplace else; he has no Rabbi. He never says good Shabbos to the Rabbi; he doesn't even know the Rabbi. So he doesn't have a Rebbe.

To whom can she complain, to a stranger? If there is a Rov to whom he feels a certain attachment, he likes the Rov to have a good opinion of him, then that can help out very much. Otherwise he's an orphan, he's a yasom. Who should she talk to?

You should never marry a man who doesn't have a Rebbe! Otherwise who knows what's going to happen, to whom will you complain? If he has a rosh yeshiva at least, his old rosh yeshiva could be appealed to and could have an influence on him. Otherwise he's a self-made nobody, a self-made man; so to whom can you appeal to influence him?

That's why it's very important, very important, to have somebody gavra d'mistofona, somebody you are afraid of, then your wife doesn't even have to call up at all. The mere fact that there's somebody that you are afraid of already makes a mentch out of you.

Very important; very important.

Good Shabbos To All

This is transcribed from questions that were posed to Harav Miller by the audience at the Thursday night lectures.
To listen to the audio of this Q & A please dial: 201-676-3210


Posted 10/11/2019 7:32 AM | Tell a Friend | Articles of Interest | Comments (0)


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Hashem portrayed as a man, Why? -A Moment with Rabbi Avigdor Miller Zt"l #492
Parshas Nitzavim 5779

QUESTION:

Why is Hashem portrayed as a man?

ANSWER:
Because we have more respect for a man than for a woman. That's the truth. A man is taller than a woman; a woman is much shorter than her husband. A man has more authority, and that's how it should be; you can't have two captains in a house. If you have two captains then you're looking for trouble - it's a mutiny. The wife however is the first mate; she must be respected, there's no question about that. The father of the house is more than the mother of the house - kabeid es avicha v'es imecha. Of course you have to give your mother very great respect too, but the father has to be the leader, and therefore Hashem is the father picture to us.

You have to think of Hashem as an active personal being. If you think of Hashem as something as a force, impersonal, you're edging into the daios of the world, of kefirah, chas v'shalom. In order to feel the great truth of Hakadosh Baruch Hu - He's chai v'kayom, not only is He kayom, He's chai - you have to think of Him as a living person, it's very important to think of Hashem as a living person. It's not considered minus, only you shouldn't believe it. You should picture Hashem as a living person, a monarch, or a chochom zokein yosheiv yeshiva.

One more thing - when you look at the face of your fellow Jew, his face should remind you that Hashem is looking at you. I'm looking at your face - Hashem is looking at me, through your eyes, yes. That's why it says, ki b'tzelem Elokim asa es ha'adam, He made us in the image of Hashem in order that each Jew should remind everyone else: Hashem is looking at you, and behave therefore. Behave!!

Actually Hashem is looking at you without the means of that person's eyes, but utilize that person's eyes to remind you Hashem is looking at you.

Good Shabbos To All
Wishing everyone a K'siva V'chasima Tova

This is transcribed from questions that were posed to Harav Miller by the audience at the Thursday night lectures.
To listen to the audio of this Q & A please dial: 201-676-3210


Posted 9/27/2019 12:54 PM | Tell a Friend | Articles of Interest | Comments (0)


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How to Celebrate Rosh Hashanah 5780
Reprinted from Rabbi Yossi Michalowicz

Erev Rosh Hashanah:
1. It is customary [but not mandatory] to fast until Halachik mid-day. [1:08 PM]
2. Additional Selichos are said in the morning.
3. No Tachanun is said during the morning service.
4. We do not blow the Shofar after the morning service.
5. One should nullify his / her vows before 3 people in a language that you understand. See Artscroll
Siddur pg. 762. This procedure helps for vows and good deeds that one may have committed to
do, that one does not remember having made.
6. Women can appoint their husbands as their agents to nullify their vows for them. Other women
rely on the Kol Nidrei ceremony to nullify their vows.
7. It is customary to visit the cemetery.
8. One should spend time doing Teshuvah, giving charity, learning, and asking forgiveness from
other people. Before Rosh Hashanah actually begins, one should resolve to strive to focus on
improving a specific area of conduct during the New Year.
9. One should be well groomed in honor of the Yom Tov.
10.One should preferably take a shave and haircut before Halachik Mid- day. [1:08 PM]
11. Men should immerse in the Mikveh no earlier than one hour before Halachik Mid-day. [12:08 PM]
12.One should familiarize oneself with the Machzor.
13.One should wear festive clothing, but in moderation. Save new clothing for the second night of
Yom Tov.
14.It is customary to bake or purchase Challah in the form of a circle, ladder, or bird.
15.One should be careful not to display anger or even become angry during these special days.
16.Remember that on Rosh Hashanah one is permitted to cook or bake from a pre-existing fire. You
need not have all your food cooked before Yom Tov. [Which is generally required to be done
for Shabbos.] Consult with your Rabbi to learn more of the Halachik details involved.
17.It is preferable and practical to light a 24 hour Yartzeit candle before Yom Tov, so that you will
have a pre-existing flame to use throughout the first day of Yom Tov. This flame will be the one
that you can light candles from on the second night of Rosh Hashanah.


First Evening of Rosh Hashanah:
1. Women light candles either at the regular time of candle lighting [6:44 PM] or from a pre-existing
flame when the men come home from Shul and are ready to eat. They make 2 blessings: One for
the Mitzvah of lighting the Yom Tov candles and the other “Shehechiyanu” blessing. [If a woman
forgets to light candles at these two times, she may light them from a pre-existing flame the entire
evening.]
2. Men should daven Minchah with a Minyan and everyone should say Minchah with extra
concentration, as it is the final prayer of the year 5779.
3. The earliest time to either light candles or make Kiddush is after 5:48 PM.
4. 4 insertions are made in the Maariv Amidah [and for all Amidahs through Yom Kippur], which are
found in the Artscroll Machzor on pages 62, 64, 66, and 72. One need not repeat the Amida if one
forgot to say any or all of the insertions.
5. We change the ending of the third blessing from “Ha-el Hakadosh” to “Hamelech Hakadosh.” One
must repeat the Amidah if one forgot to insert “Hamelech Hakadosh.”
6. Special greetings are given to friends and family members after Maariv and before Kiddush. “May
you be inscribed and sealed for a good year [immediately, for a good life and for peace].” See
Artscroll Machzor pg. 90 for the Hebrew text. This greeting should only be said on the first night.
Greetings for the remainder of Rosh Hashanah should be limited to “Shana Tova”, “Happy New
Year”, “Chag Samayach”, or “Good Yom Tov.”
7. After making the special Yom Tov Kiddush and washing our hands, we make a Brocha over two
Challahs, and cut the top Challah.
8. Challah is dipped in honey [some have the custom to dip the Challah into salt as well].
9. Symbolic foods are eaten at the evening meal. See Artscroll Machzor pg. 96-98. The first
symbolic fruit to be eaten should be the date. You should make the blessing “Borei Pri Ha’etz” on
that fruit, keeping in mind the other fruits you will be eating on this night. Eat a little of it, followed
by the special “Yehi Ratzon” prayer, and then finish the date. There are no other blessings made
on the symbolic foods. One does say the special “Yehi Ratzon” prayer before eating each of the
symbolic foods.
10.It is optimal to eat symbolic foods, that normally would require the blessing of “Borei pro
Ho’adama, during the course of your meal, to avoid the doubtful necessity of making that blessing
during the meal.
11. If one is not able to eat any of the symbolic foods, one may look at them and say the special “Yehi
Ratzon” prayer.
12.Some have a custom to avoid eating sour or bitter foods and nuts.
13.One should not say the blessing of Borei Pei Ha’etz on fruits that one eats for dessert if one had
dessert in mind when one made the blessing on the symbolic fruits at the beginning of the meal.
14.Remember to make the proper insertions during the Birchas Hamazon.
15.It is a custom to learn one Chapter of Mishnayos from Tractate Rosh Hashanah after each of the
Yom Tov meals.


First Day of Rosh Hashanah:
1. Men should come on time to Shul and say the Amidah with a Minyan.
2. The Shema should be recited before 10:10 AM.
3. Although there is no obligation to stand when the Aron Hakodesh is opened during the prayers,
there is a Mitzvah to stand if one has the strength to do so.
4. One should optimally listen to 100 blasts of the Shofar on both days of Rosh Hashanah. 30 are
blown before Mussaf. 30 are blown during the repetition. 40 are blown at the end of the service.
5. Men are obligated to hear the Shofar. Women are technically exempt from hearing the Shofar;
however, it has become customary for women to hear at least 30 blasts of the Shofar. If possible,
they should hear both the 30 blasts before Musaf and the 30 blasts during the repetition of the
Amida.
6. If you are not able to go to Shul, you should hear a minimum of 30 blasts blown privately for you.
The listener should preferably make the blessings on the Shofar.
7. Children, who are old enough to silently listen to the Shofar, should be encouraged to do so. Little
children, who will disturb the service, may not be brought to Shofar blowing.
8. It is forbidden to talk while the Shofar is being blown. One should not speak from the time that
the blessings on the Shofar are made until after hearing the 100th and final note. Only under
extenuating circumstances may one talk after hearing the first 30 blasts. Women may be more
lenient in this matter after hearing 30 blasts.
9. During the Musaf Amida, one should bow when saying “Modim” in the “Aleinu” prayer.
10.If one chooses to kneel on the floor during Aleinu of the reposition of the Musaf Amida, one
should put some material between their face and the floor.

Afternoon:
1. One should leave Shul feeling relaxed and confident that Hashem has accepted his prayers with
mercy.
2. One is obligated to eat Challah and have a meal on both days of Rosh Hashanah.
3
3. One should not sleep in the afternoon. [One may be lenient on the second day.] A person who is
very tired should sleep a little, rather than sit around idely and waste time.
4. It is not the custom to visit friends in the afternoon.
5. Any free time in the afternoon should be spent learning Torah or doing Teshuvah or doing acts of
kindness. It is not a time for idle chatter.
6. After Minchah, it is customary to go to Tashlich.
7. If one is unable to go to Tashlish after Mincha, one can go before Mincha.
8. The custom in to recite Tashlich preferably at a body of running water [i.e. a river or stream]
where fish are found. If that is not possible, one can say it by any body of water – even a well.
9. When reciting the word “Vesashlich”, it is customary to shake out the corners or pockets of your
outer garments, which are empty.
10.It is forbidden to throw any crumbs of food into the water. [or to feed the ducks]
11. Tashlich was not designed to be a venue for socializing. [One is permitted to invite guests for
meals and should make an effort to keep the discussions focused on the theme and spirit of Rosh
Hashanah.]

Second Evening of Rosh Hashanah:
1. One should pray the evening service after Tashlich. It is preferable to say it after the stars come
out, or at least after sunset.
2. One may not make any Yom Tov preparations for the second night, light candles, or make
Kiddush until after 7:51 PM.
3. There are lenient opinions who permit asking a non-Jew to make preparations for the second
night, that do not involve actual work ( e.g. setting the table ) that can be relied on, especially
when necessary.
4. If the first day of Rosh Hashanah is not a Shabbos, there is no need for women to say “Baruch
Hamavdil Ben Kodesh Lekodesh” before making preparations for the second night.
5. Candle lighting and Kiddush are done in the same way as on the first night.
6. One should wear a new garment for candle lighting / kiddush at the second evening meal. Have
this in mind when making the “Shehechiyanu” blessing.
7. It is questionable as to whether one can make a “Shehechiyanu” blessing on any fruits. The only
fruit that one, who lives in Toronto, can definitely say the “Shehechiyanu” blessing is on eating
pumpkins and Ontario Concord grapes for the first time. This. Season..
8. If you do have such fruit, it should optimally be eaten immediately after Kiddush.
9. No one else besides the one who lights candles and / or makes kiddush says the “Shehechiyanu”
blessing.
10.Some people have the custom to eat the symbolic foods and recite the special prayers at this
meal as well.

Second day of Rosh Hashanah:
1. The procedures for this day are the same as the first day. The exception being that we do not go
to Tashlich again. If it rained on the first day or you were not able to go to Tashlich [or the first day
was Shabbos], you should do so on the second day. [If one does not have the opportunity to go to
Tashlich on both days of Yom Tov, you are permitted to do it until the seventh day of Succos –
Hoshana Rabbah.]
2. We make Havdalah after 7:49 PM by saying the blessing "Borei Pri Hagofen" & "Hamavdil" at the
conclusion of Yom Tov.


Rosh Hashanah: Yehi Ratzon – Symbolic Foods Text and Instructions
All of the Yehi Ratzons start out the same way:
"Yehi Ratzon Mil'fa'necha, Ad-noi El-heinu Vei'l-hai Avosainu..."
(The "-" represents the letter "o," which was purposely left out so as not to write out the name of G-d.)
"May it be your will, Hashem our G-d and the G-d of our forefathers..."
Listed below are the various foods and the endings, which are appropriate to them:
For dates: "...She'yitamu son'ainu." "...that our enemies be consumed."
For pomegranate: "...she'nirbeh ze'chu'yos k'rimon"
"...that our merits increase like (the seeds of) a pomegranate."
For the apple in the honey: "...she'tichadesh aleinu shana tova u'm'tuka."
"...that you renew us for a good and sweet year."
For fenugreek (or carrots - as the Yiddish word for carrots - Mehren - can also mean "to increase," this
Yehi Ratzon is appropriate as well):
"...She'yir'bu ze'chuyo'sainu." "...that our merits increase."
For leek or cabbage: "...She'yikar'su son'ainu." "...that our enemies be decimated."
For beets: "...She'yistalku oy'vainu." "...that our adversaries be removed."
For gourd: "...She'yikora g'zar de'nainu v'yikaru l'fanecha zechu'yosainu."
"...that the decree of our sentence be torn up and may our merits be proclaimed before you."
For fish: "...She'nif'reh v'nir'beh ki'dagim." "...that we be fruitful and multiply like fish."
For the head of a fish or sheep: "...She'ni'hiyeh l'rosh v'lo l'zanav."
"...that we be as the head and not as the tail."
All of these Yehi Ratzons are said on the first night of Rosh Hashanah, after Kiddush has been made,
after the blessing over the Challos (breads) has been made and the bread has been eaten. (There are
those who have the custom to eat these foods and recite the Yehi Ratzon on the second night as well.)
After the bread has been eaten, one should take the date, make the blessing that one would normally
make on fruit [“Borei Pri Ha’etz’], and then take a bite of the date. Before one has eaten the whole date,
one should recite the Yehi Ratzon. After the date, one can then have all, none, or some of the other
foods.


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The Laws of the Nine Days - 5779:
Reprinted from Westmount Shul by Rabbi Yossi Michalowicz © 2019

The Talmud teaches us “When the Jewish month of Av enters, we decrease our happiness.
2. The Jewish month of Av begins Thursday night, August 1st at sunset. This begins a more intense period of
national mourning, which concludes the day after Tisha B’av, which is the day after Sunday, August 11th.
3. All the restrictions that began at the beginning of the Three Weeks are still in force, but they are now intensified.
4. The Talmud explains that one decreases happiness by:
▪ Decreasing one’s business activities
▪ Refraining from construction and planting intended for joyous reasons.
▪ Not conducting weddings or making a festive meal to celebrate an engagement.
5. Any construction not necessary for one’s dwelling but performed for expansion is prohibited. Similarly,
any improvement to the appearance of a house such as painting, hanging new drapes, wall papering and
all house decorating can not be done during the Nine Days.
6. Certain types of expansion building would be permitted if it were for necessary living space to accommodate more
people living in the home. Consult your local Rabbi in this issue.
7. If you hired a non-Jewish contractor to build an addition, and the contractor wants to work during the Nine Days, the
Jew is not required to prevent him from doing so. Preferably, one should offer the contractor some financial
compensation to refrain from working during the Nine days, but one is not required to offer a significant amount of
money to get him to wait until after Tisha B’av.
8. It is permitted to weed, water, or mow the lawn during the Nine Days, since these activities are not for enhancement.
It is also permitted to plant and maintain a vegetable garden during the Nine Days. Plants for pleasure may not be
planted.
9. One may not wear new clothes during the Nine Days, nor may one tailor or purchase new clothes or shoes.
10. One who does not have appropriate shoes to wear on Tisha B’av may buy them during the Nine Days.
11. Similarly, it is prohibited to dry-clean clothes or iron them.
12. We refrain from changing tablecloths, towels, and bed linens during the Nine Days, unless it is absolutely necessary.
13. It is permitted to repair shoes and clothes during the Nine Days.
14. We refrain from doing laundry and wearing freshly laundered clothing during the Nine Days.
15. Therefore, one should prepare before Thursday night, August 1st at sunset sufficient clothing already worn since it
was last laundered. This is ideally accomplished by putting on and wearing a garment for at least a short while [1/2
hr.] Towels should also be used at least once before the Nine Days begin in order to be able to use them.
16. If one’s clothing becomes sweaty or soiled during the Nine Days, one is permitted to change into clean clothes.
17. It is permitted to launder children’s clothes and linens during the Nine Days.
18. It is permitted to spot-clean a garment if one is concerned that the stain will set. Furthermore, it is permitted to soak a
garment that is dirty without completing its laundering in order to make it easier to clean after Tisha B’av.
19. We do not bathe or go swimming for pleasure during the Nine Days, but bathing for hygienic and health purposes is
permitted. One may go to the Mikveh. Washing only one’s face, hands, or feet with cold water is permissible at all
times.
20. We do not eat meat or drink wine or grape juice during the Nine days. A sick person may eat meat, under doctor’s
orders. It is permitted to eat meat or drink wine for all Shabbos meals or at a Mitzva meal [such as a Bris or Siyum,
etc.].
21. One may not eat fleishig [meat] leftovers from Shabbat meals or of a Mitzva meal during the remaining Nine Days.
One may not eat meat for Melava Malka.
22. It is permitted to use wine vinegar for cooking. It is also permitted to drink beer, whiskey, and other alcoholic
beverages.
23. One is permitted to bathe and to put on freshly laundered clothing in honor of the Shabbat.
24. One can make Havdalah on wine or grape juice. If a young child present is old enough to make a blessing but not old
enough to understand that we do not eat meat during the Nine Days, that child should drink the Havdalah cup. If
there is no such child available, the person reciting Havdalah should drink the wine or grape juice himself. Others
have a custom to use beer for Havdallah.
25. A Jew should avoid scheduling litigation / adjudication during the Nine Days, since this is a month in which the
Mazel for Jews is bad.
26. Polishing shoes is permitted. Shining shoes in honor of the Shabbos is also permitted.
27. The Midrash teaches that Hashem will bring forth ten new creations in the era of Moshiach [e.g. death will perish
forever, everyone will be joyful, and there will be an end to all sighing and worry]. The Kaf HaChayim states that
everyone who meticulously observes the laws of the first ten days of Av, thereby demonstrating his personal
mourning over the destruction of Yerushalayim, will merit witnessing these ten miracles. May we all merit seeing
these miracles speedily and in our days.
© 2019 Rabbi Yossi Michalowicz


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Preserve Our Torah Values


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Let it Snow: Some Halachos of Snow and Ice Melt on Shabbos
Snow on Shabbos
Reprinted from Halacha Hotline of the Five Towns and Far Rockaway 
In this article we will discuss several halachos related to snow and salt – or ice melt – on
Shabbos.
1) According to most Poskim (halachic authorities), clean (i.e., not dirtied) snow is not muktzah
on Shabbos (see note)1
– whether it fell on Shabbos or before Shabbos;
2
nor is salt (fine or
coarse–koshering salt).3
It would seem that ice melt should also not be muktzah.4
2) Nevertheless, according to most Poskim, shoveling snow on Shabbos is generally forbidden
due to the principles of uvdin d’chol,
5
tircha,
6
and zilzul Shabbos.7 Moreover, if the area that one
wishes to shovel is not paved, shoveling on Shabbos is prohibited8
due to the g’zeirah (Rabbinic
decree) of ashvuyei gumos.9 Also, if the area in which one is shoveling is not enclosed by an eiruv
(or the eiruv is not operational due to the snowstorm),10 shoveling snow on Shabbos could entail

1 As long as the snow – after it melts – is still fit for bathing or for an animal to drink (see Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 338:8
with Mishnah Berurah #30).
2 Sh’miras Shabbos K’hilchasah n.e. 16:45 with note 118; Sh”ut Be’er Moshe 1:20; Sh”ut Machazeh Eliyahu 68:1; Chazon
Ovadyah, Shabbat, Dinei Nolad #3. Cf. Igros Moshe O.C. 5:22 #37 who writes that snow is muktzah. (Interestingly, The
Halachos of Muktzah (Rabbi Bodner) o.e. page 165 note 10 cites Rav Moshe Feinstein as ruling that snow is muktzah
regardless of whether it fell on Shabbos or before Shabbos; whereas, Sefer Hilchos Shabbos (Rabbi Eider) writes that Rav
Moshe Feinstein told him that snow is not muktzah.)
3 Sh”ut Machazeh Eliyahu 67:15.
4 The reason is that it is designated for a purpose (melting ice and snow), which is permitted on Shabbos (see below in the
article); see S.A. O.C. 308:38.
5 Literally: weekday actions. Actions that appear to be mundane, weekday type actions are often prohibited on Shabbos and
Yom Tov even when they involve no melachah (labor prohibited on Shabbos). See, for example, M.B. 333:1.
6 Literally: toil/bother. Actions that are strenuous or involve excessive toil are often prohibited on Shabbos and Yom Tov even
when they involve no melachah. See, for example, M.B. ibid.
7 Literally: disrespect of Shabbos, which includes doing “non-Shabbos” actions in public; see Sh’miras Shabbos K’hilchasah
n.e. 25:11, with note 59; Sh”ut Machazeh Eliyahu 68:17.
8 Sh’miras Shabbos K’hilchasah n.e. 25:11, with note 58.
9 Literally: leveling indentations. Leveling a dirt floor outdoors entails the melachah of choreish (plowing); see M.B. 312:24.
(When performed on a dirt floor indoors it entails the melachah of boneh – building). Chazal (our Sages, may their memory be
blessed) prohibited any activity that could possibly lead to leveling dirt surfaces, even if the particular surface in question is
level and has no indentations. Moreover, even if the area is paved such activities are generally prohibited for fear that one will
not differentiate and level out surfaces that are not paved as well. See S.A. O.C. 337:2 with Rema, and note 20 below.
10 When snow freezes on tree branches, they are weighed down and become susceptible to breaking and falling. As they fall,
they can break the eiruv wire. In addition, depending on the nature of the wire, when snow freezes on the eiruv wire, the wire
can possibly sag sufficiently so as to render the eiruv invalid.
21 Teves, 5779 516.239.2500 Halacha Hotline-Parshas Shemos
the melachah (labor prohibited on Shabbos) of hotza’ah (carrying), when carrying the shovel or
transporting the snow or ice melt. See note.
11
3) If ice or snow on the walkway presents a risk of injury to the public (see note),12 one may have
a non-Jew apply ice melt even if the area is a real reshus harabim.
13,14 If a non-Jew is not
available, and the area is not a reshus harabim, most Poskim15 rule that a Jew may apply ice
melt16 even without employing a shinui;
17 but see note.18 There is a dispute in the Poskim whether
one may put down sand or straw (or the like) on a walkway – even if they were designated before
Shabbos and thus not muktzah.19
4) In cases of need (e.g., there is concern that the snow will melt and freeze over, or if the large
amount of snow makes it difficult to walk), if the walkway is paved (see note),20 one may have a
non-Jew shovel the snow manually (i.e., without the use of bulldozers or snow blowers), even if
the area is a reshus harabim.21 One should commission the non-Jew before Shabbos to shovel on
Shabbos. If one did not make arrangements before Shabbos, one may even commission a non-Jew
on Shabbos to shovel on Shabbos if one does not use any terminology of hiring and no price is
discussed.22 One may say “I’ll take care of you after Shabbos” or “We’ll discuss particulars after
Shabbos.”
5) If one has a contract with a company to remove snow on one’s property with plows or snow
blowers, one should stipulate that they should not come on Shabbos. If they do come on Shabbos,

11 However, carrying the shovel or transporting the snow or ice melt is not considered zilzul Shabbos (Sh”ut Machazeh
Eliyahu 68:17). There is a discussion in the Poskim (based on the Magen Avraham 320:15) whether breaking up ice that is
attached to the sidewalk or ground could entail the melachah of sosair (destroying), since breaking up the ice could possibly
be considered removing part of the ground (see The 39 Melochos vol. 4 page 1098 note 47a, citing Sh”ut Har Tzvi). The
consensus of the Poskim (Sh”ut Machazeh Eliyahu 67:8 and Sh’miras Shabbos K’hilchasah n.e. 25:11 note 57) is that it is not
considered sosair. Several reasons are offered for this lenient ruling, one being that the connection of the ice to the sidewalk –
at least in most locales –is only temporary since the ice will melt within a few days. It should be noted that this leniency
applies only in cases of need on Shabbos; otherwise, one should not break up ice due to a possible prohibition of sosair (see
M.B. 320:36).
12 Defined for these purposes as three or more people (Sh’miras Shabbos K’hilchasah n.e. 25:9).
13 A halachic public domain; see O.C. 345:7-13 with Mishnah Berurah for the criteria necessary for an area to be considered a
reshus harabim.
14 Sh’miras Shabbos K’hilchasah n.e. 25:11. See Mishneh Halachos 4:45 at length.
15 Sh’miras Shabbos K’hilchasah n.e. 25:10; Sh”ut Machazeh Eliyahu 67:14.
16 The reason is that: 1) doing so does not involve any Biblical prohibitions since the area is not a reshus harabim and putting
down the ice melt does not constitute boneh (building) since it dissolves (Sh”ut Machazeh Eliyahu 67:12-13); and 2) although
doing so should involve various Rabbinic prohibitions (including carrying), in cases of a risk of injury to the public, Chazal
waived their restrictions and allowed one to perform actions that would generally be prohibited Rabbinically, such as uvdin
d’chol, tircha, zilzul Shabbos, carrying in a karmelis (which includes most non-enclosed areas that are not reshus harabim),
moving muktzah, et al.; see S.A. O.C. 308:18; Sh’miras Shabbos K’hilchasah (n.e. 25:10 with note 52).
17 Literally: change. That is, doing so in an unusual manner.
18 Sh”ut Beer Moshe (1:28) disagrees and rules (based on S.A. O.C. 313:10 and M.B. 313:56) that a shinui is necessary. An
example of a shinui is turning a utensil upside down and placing the ice melt on the underside of the utensil, then shaking it to
apply the ice melt.
19 Sh”ut Machazeh Eliyahu (67:13) prohibits doing such since placing these items on a walkway could be tantamount to the
melachah of boneh (building); see note 9. Sh’miras Shabbos K’hilchasah (n.e. 25:10, with notes 53 and 53*), however, allows
doing such (even though the sand and straw are mukztzah; see note 16), but only if the walkway is paved so there is no issue of
ashvuyei gumos (but see note that follows).
20 It would seem that it would be permitted only in locales in which the majority of walkways are paved; see Bi’ur Halacha
337:2 s.v. v’yeish machmirin.
21 See sources cited in note 13.
22 See S.A. O.C. 306:6, M.B. 306:14; Bi’ur Halacha 307:2 s.v. asur; and Sh’miras Shabbos K’hilchasah n.e. 28:65. See also
ibid. 30:34 with note 116.


Posted 12/27/2018 8:21 PM | Tell a Friend | Articles of Interest | Comments (0)


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How to Celebrate Sukkos – Part 1:
Reprinted from © 2018 Rabbi Yossi Michalowicz

The Mitzvah of Living in a Sukkah:
1. For the entire seven days, a person should consider the Sukkah to be his permanent home and
his house a temporary place. Therefore, a person should eat, sleep, and spend his time in the
Sukkah in the same way that he does in the house during the year. He fulfills a Torah
commandment every single moment that he spends in the Sukkah, both day and night.
2. A person should live in the Sukkah in the same manner that he lives at home during the year. Just
as he naturally leaves his home to do certain activities and attend to various needs, so too may
he leave the Sukkah when the occasion demands it. Nevertheless, it is praiseworthy to maximize
the amount of time spent in the Sukkah since every moment brings eternal reward.
3. There are three occasions when one is obliged to be in the Sukkah:
• On the first night of Sukkos
• When eating a meal
• When sleeping
4. Women are not obligated to live or sit in the Sukkah. However, a woman who sits in the Sukkah
fulfills a Torah Mitzvah.
5. Women should preferably light the Shabbos and Yom Tov candles in the Sukkah, since the main
Mitzvah is to enjoy the lights during the meal. However, if there is a concern that they may be
extinguished by the wind, or they may be a fire risk [especially when there are little children in the
Sukkah], she should light them in the house. When lighting in the house, they should, if possible,
be placed near a window or glass door that faces the Sukkah.
6. Boys from the age of five or six should be trained to fulfill the Mitzvah of living in the Sukkah. In
addition, it is certainly beneficial to have children of all ages be in the Sukkah.
7. A man is obligated to daven with a Minyan in Shul. Just as he leaves his house to go to Shul, he
should also leave the Sukkah to go to Shul.
8. Ideally, one should minimize mundane talk while in the Sukkah. Nevertheless, if a person needs
to discuss business matters [only on Chol Hamoed] with a friend, he may do so and should not
leave the Sukkah.
Eating in the Sukkah:
1. Strictly speaking, only meals must be eaten in the Sukkah, but not snacks or drinks. However, it is
praiseworthy to eat and drink everything inside the Sukkah.
2. A meal consists of eating bread that is larger than the volume of a Halachik egg, which is:
between 2 – 3 ½ ounces [or 58-100 cc]. A meal could also consist of 1-1 ¾ ounces [or 29-50 cc.]
of bread accompanied with other food.
3. Strictly speaking, one who is eating an entire meal without bread, is not required to eat it in the
Sukkah; but it is strongly recommended to do so.
4. Regarding Mezonos foods such as cake and the like, they are equated with bread. Therefore, one
should not eat outside of the Sukkah a piece of Mezonos larger than the volume on a Halachik
egg. [rice is excluded from this Mezonos rule.]
5. If a person who is eating a meal in the Sukkah, everything he eats is considered to be part of the
meal. Therefore, he is forbidden to have any food or drink outside of the Sukkah during that meal.
Sleeping in the Sukkah:
1. During the week of Sukkos, the Sukkah is to be considered as a person’s home. Since the
primary activities of the home are eating and sleeping, a man is obligated to sleep in the Sukkah.
According to some opinions, sleeping in the Sukkah is even more important than eating there.
2. There are two reasons why people may be lenient and sleep in the house:
• In many countries, the weather is cold at this time of year, and sleeping in the Sukkah
would cause much discomfort.
• Women do not usually sleep in the Sukkah, and if a married man would sleep in the
Sukkah leaving his wife alone in the house, this may cause him and her distress.
2
3. If the temperature is so cold in the Sukkah, to the degree that he would not sleep in his house as
well, one should not sleep in the Sukkah. However, it is praiseworthy to organize a way to heat
the Sukkah at night in order to be able to perform this important Mitzvah.
4. It is certain that a healthy single or married man during the day, or if a wife does not mind her
husband sleeping in the Sukkah at night, AND the weather is favorable – should sleep in the
Sukkah.
5. Ideally, one should eat and sleep in the Sukkah with nothing intervening between him and the
S’chach. However, if necessary, it is permitted to sleep under a standard table.
The First Night of Sukkos:
1. The first night of Sukkos is different from the rest of Sukkos in the following way: On the first night
of Sukkos, men are obligated to eat in the Sukkah. During the rest of Sukkos, they are obligated
to eat in the Sukkah only if they want to eat a meal.
2. One should preferably eat a piece of bread the size of a Halachik egg. If this is difficult, one can
eat ½ of that amount.
3. There is a similar obligation on the second night for Jews living outside of Eretz Yisroel.
4. One may not eat this bread before nightfall.
5. Therefore, this year of 5779, Kiddush is said no earlier than 7:55 PM, and preferably after
8:03 PM.
6. The bread should be eaten within a span of between 2-4 minutes.
7. When eating this first piece of bread, you should think of the following:
• He is fulfilling the Mitzvah to sit in the Sukkah
• The Sukkah is a reminder of the exodus from Egypt, and the clouds of glory that
surrounded the Jewish people in the wilderness protecting them from harm.
8. If one was not thinking of the above and was not even thinking about fulfilling the Mitzvah of
Sukkah, he is required to eat more bread with the above thoughts in mind.
The Blessing for the Sukkah:
1. The blessing for the Sukkah ends with the words: “Asher Kidishanu Bemitzsvosav Ve’Tzivanu
Leisheiv BaSukkah.”
2. The blessing is recited under the following conditions:
• When eating bread that is the amount of larger than a Halachik egg.
• When eating Mezonos that is the amount of larger than a Halachik egg.
• When eating Mezonos that is ½ the amount of a Halachik egg at Kiddush on Shabbos or
Yom Tov.
3. When eating bread or Mezonos, the blessing of Hamotzi or Mezonos is recited before the
blessing for the Sukkah – followed by the eating of the bread or Mezonos.
4. When Kiddush is said in the evening of Shabbos or Yom Tov, the blessing is included in the
Kiddush.
5. When Kiddush is recited in the morning and is followed by Mezonos, the blessing is included in
the Kiddush.
6. When the Kiddush is recited in the morning and is followed by bread, there are two customs.
Some include the blessing for the Sukkah in the Kiddush, and some recite the blessing together
with the blessing of Hamotzi. Both customs are equally acceptable.
7. Although Havdalah is made in the Sukkah, we do not make a blessing for the Sukkah during
Havdalah. It would be ideal to eat bread or Mezonos after Havdalah and Make the blessing for
the Sukkah with the blessing for the food.
8. If a person forgot to say the blessing and began the meal, he should still say the blessing as soon
as he remembers and eat some more.
9. If the person did not remember until after saying the after-blessing, he may still say the blessing if
he intends to remain a while in the Sukkah.
3
10.If a person remains in the Sukkah all day or leaves for a short break, he does not repeat the
blessing even at his next meal. If he leaves for a significant break, he should repeat the blessing
the next time he eats bread or Mezonos.
11. A significant break would be going out to: pray Shacharis, pray Shacharis and Mincha, leave for
two hours, leave due to heavy rain.
12.According to Ashkenazic tradition, women say the blessing in the same situations that men do.
13.The blessing is said while sitting. If Kiddush is recited standing, some have the custom to remain
standing until after the blessing for the Sukkah, and some sit down before the blessing for the
Sukkah.
14.One says the Shehechiyanu blessing the first time one eats in the Sukkah. This is usually on the
first night of Sukkos, in which case the blessing is included in Kiddush.
Rain:
1. It is a good idea to have a removable cover or roof for the Sukkah that can be used when it rains.
One can not make a blessing for the Sukkah when the cover is on. However, the Sukkah will
remain dry, and can be used immediately after the cover is removed once the rain has stopped.
One is permitted to eat in a covered Sukkah while it is raining – but does not make a blessing.
2. One is not obligated to eat in the Sukkah if it is raining heavily [except for the first night].
3. One is obligated to eat in the Sukkah if it is raining lightly.
4. Raining heavily is defined by rain coming through the S’chach into the Sukkah to the extent that if
this would be happening in the house, he would leave the room.
5. A sensitive person who is disturbed even by light rain [even though most people would not be
disturbed], is permitted to leave the Sukkah.
6. If a person is sleeping in the Sukkah, he is permitted to leave even if it is raining lightly, as this
disturbs his sleep.
7. If the sky is overcast and it is certain to rain soon, one is obligated to eat and sleep in the Sukkah
until it actually rains. Alternatively, one can wait to eat and sleep until it rains, and then begin
eating and sleeping in the house.
8. If it is raining to the degree that one is exempt from the Mitzvah, then he should leave. One who
remains in the Sukkah at this point is acting foolishly and receives no reward. It is certainly
forbidden to make a blessing for the Sukkah at that time.
9. If the rain stops, and you have not yet sat down to eat in the house, you must go back and eat in
the Sukkah, even if you originally left the Sukkah in the middle of the meal. If you are in the
middle of eating in the house, you may remain there until the end of the meal. [It is praiseworthy
to return to the Sukkah immediately, although you are not obligated to do so.]
10.When a person returns to the Sukkah after the rain stops, the previous blessing is no longer valid.
Therefore one should repeat the blessing when you eat bread or Mezonos again.
11. If it has stopped raining, but it is still dripping in the Sukkah, you may remain in the house.
Rain on the First Two Nights of Sukkos:
1. If it is raining on the first night of Sukkos, one should preferably wait an hour or two in hope that
the rain will stop in order to eat in the Sukkah and fulfill the Mitzvah properly.
2. If the family can not wait so long or has invited guests who are hungry and wish to eat
immediately, he should do the following as it is raining:
• Make Kiddush in the Sukkah omitting the blessing for Sukkah.
• Wash one’s hands.
• Say Hamotzi and eat ½ the size of a Halachik egg of bread in the Sukkah.
• Eat the remainder of the meal in the house.
• Say the after blessing in the house.
3. Under these conditions, women are not required to be in the Sukkah at all. However, they must
fulfill the Mitzvah of Kiddush in the house and not in the Sukkah. Therefore, if the Sukkah is
adjacent to the house, the women should listen to Kiddush from the house. [They should
4
remember to say the Shehechiyanu blessing for the Sukkah when they eat the first meal there,
unless they recited it when lighting candles there.]
4. If the rain stops during the meal, the men should return to the Sukkah, say the blessing for the
Sukkah and eat another piece of bread larger than a Halachik egg. They should say the after
blessing in the Sukkah. The women may do as they wish.
5. If the rain only stops after one has finished his entire meal and said the after blessing in the
house, the men are still required to fulfill the Mitzvah of Sukkah. They should wash again, say the
Hamotzi and the blessing on the Sukkah and eat a piece of bread larger than a Halachik egg.
6. If the rain continues, a person should wait as long as he is able to. But if he feels very tired, he
may go to sleep for the night.
7. If it rains on the second night of Sukkos, a person should wait a little while in the house in the
hope that the rain will stop. If the rain continues, he should make Kiddush and begin the meal in
the house. At the end of the meal, he should go to the Sukkah, eat a piece of bread that is ½ the
size of a Halachik egg and say the after blessing there. The blessing for the Sukkah should not be
recited. If the rain stops during or after the meal, see points 4 and 5.
Special Exemptions:
1. A person is exempt from the Mitzvah of Sukkah in the following situations:
• Discomfort.
• Sickness.
• Preoccupation with other Mitzvos.
• Travel.
2. Discomfort means that the conditions in the Sukkah are causing him discomfort and he will gain
relief by leaving the Sukkah. In the same circumstances he would leave the house, he is then
permitted to leave the Sukkah. Common examples of discomfort are:
• The Sukkah is too hot or too cold. {If one can easily dress warmly or heat the Sukkah, he
should do so.]
• There is an unpleasant smell.
• There are many insects in the Sukkah. • There is noise that is causing much disturbance.
• Leaves or twigs are falling into the food and he is very disturbed by this.
3. If the lights accidentally go out in the Sukkah on Friday night, you are permitted to go into the
house where there is light.
4. You are permitted to actively trap an insect in ajar or cup on Shabbos or Yom Tov, but you may
not kill it.
5. There is no Mitzvah to remain in the Sukkah if you are exempt due to discomfort. It is
praiseworthy to try to make the Sukkah comfortable in order to be able to remain there.
6. Discomfort does not exempt a person on the first night of Sukkos. He must make Kiddush and eat
at least ½ the size of a Halachik egg of bread in the Sukkah before moving into the house, but he
does not make the blessing for the Sukkah.
7. The exemption of sickness is defined as either a person who needs to be in bed, or a person who
has a pain and will feel more comfortable in the house than in the Sukkah [e.g. headache, pain in
the eyes, etc.]
8. A person, who has a tendency to catch a cold due to sleeping in the Sukkah, is permitted to sleep
in the house. This is particularly important for children, who are more prone to catch a cold.
9. If a person needs to travel [e.g. for business, to perform a Mitzvah] during Sukkos, he may do so,
even though he will not be able to find a Sukkah on the way. Therefore, he may eat freely while
traveling, unless he can easily find a Sukkah along the way. However, it is highly recommended to
arrange one’s schedule in a way so that one not is traveling on Sukkos.
10.It is forbidden to eat or sleep outside of a Sukkah if one is traveling only for pleasure.
© 2018 Rabbi Yossi Michalowicz


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#156 Taking an Exam on Shabbos



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The Correct Bracha on Sushi (part 1)
Reprinted from The Halacha Hotline of Five Towns and Far Rockaway:

During the last decade, sushi has become quite a popular food, served at many types of venues and in people’s homes. Since sushi contains several ingredients, a question arises as to the proper b’rachah to recite when eating it. Certainly, when one eats sushi as part of a bread meal, one does not recite a b’rachah on the sushi, since the b’rachah on the bread exempts most other b’rachos (see notes).[1],[2] The question arises when one eats sushi not as part of a bread meal.

In order to resolve this question properly, we must first discuss some basic hilchos b’rachos. When one eats a food that is a composite or mixture of two distinct food items, each of which generally requires a different b’rachah, a question arises as to whether to recite one b’rachah before eating the composite food or two b’rachos – one b’rachah before eating a bit of one of the food items and a second b’rachah before eating a bit of the second food item. The proper procedure depends on several factors, some of which will be discussed here. It should be noted that these halachos are extremely complicated; in this article we will present only the main factors, and we will limit our discussion to cases in which there is no presence of one of the five grains (wheat, barley, spelt, oats, and rye) in the composite food. See The Laws of B’rachos (ArtScroll, chapter 7) for a more extensive discussion.

Often times, one of the foods in the composite food can be classified in halacha as the ikar (main [ingredient]), and the other(s) as a tafeil (subordinate [ingredient]) to the ikar. In such cases, generally a b’rachah is made on the ikar and not on the tafeil;[3] the b’rachah on the ikar effectively covers the tafeil (see note).[4] Two simple applications of this principle are: a) When one eats a bread meal, the bread is considered the ikar and (most of) the other foods eaten during the meal are considered tafeil to the bread; b) When one eats one food that has added to it a second food merely to enhance the taste of the first food (such as jelly on a rice cracker). In such a case, the first food is considered the ikar and the second food is considered the tafeil, and one recites only the b’rachah of the ikar.[5]

For example, if one wishes to eat a bowl of rice cereal – whose b’rachah is borei minei mezonos – and adds to the cereal small pieces of banana – whose b’rachah when eaten independently is borei p’ri ha’adamah, and adds milk – whose b’rachah when drunk independently is shehakol nih’yeh bidvaro, one recites only the b’rachah of borei minei mezonos since the rice cereal is considered the ikar whereas the bananas and the milk are considered tafeil (unless one added a considerable amount of banana or milk to the cereal, or the pieces of banana are large and eaten separately).[6] The reason is that the motivating factor in eating the mixture of cereal, milk, and bananas is the interest in the cereal; the milk and banana serve merely to enhance the cereal.

Sometimes, deciding which food is the ikar and which is the tafeil is not as clear-cut. For example, let us say one has a mixture of tree nuts – whose b’rachah is borei p’ri ha’eitz – and peanuts – whose b’rachah is borei p’ri ha’adamah. Are the tree nuts considered the ikar and the peanuts the tafeil, or vice versa? Halacha dictates that the food that one prefers is considered the ikar, and the other food is considered tafeil.[7] Thus, in the case at hand, if the motivating factor in one’s eating the mixture is the presence of the tree nuts, the tree nuts would be the ikar and the peanuts would be the tafeil, and the b’rachah on the mixture would be only borei p’ri ha’eitz. Conversely, if the motivating factor in one’s eating the mixture is the presence of the peanuts, the peanuts would be the ikar and the tree nuts would be the tafeil, and the proper b’rachah would be only borei p’ri ha’adamah.

If one has no preference for one over the other, and has an equal desire to eat the tree nuts and the peanuts, which should be considered the ikar? In such a case, halacha dictates that the food type that comprises the majority (that is, more than 50%) of the mixture is considered the ikar.[8] Thus, in the case at hand, if tree nuts comprise the majority, the proper b’rachah would be borei p’ri ha’eitz, whereas if the peanuts would comprise the majority, the proper b’rachah would be borei p’ri ha’adamah. This ruling holds true even if one is only the majority by a small margin.

It should be noted that this ruling holds true even if there are several types of tree nuts in the mixture such that no one type of nut comprises more than 50% of the mixture, but the tree nuts in total comprise more than 50% of the mixture.[9] For example, let say the mixture contains 35% cashews, 30% filberts, and 30% peanuts. No single item comprises the majority of the mixture. However, since the b’rachah on both cashews and filberts is the same – borei p’ri ha’eitz, the mixture consists of a majority of food whose b’rachah is borei p’ri ha’eitz (cashews and filberts) and a minority of food whose b’rachah is borei p’ri ha’adamah (peanuts), so the proper b’rachah for the mixture is borei p’ri ha’eitz. This principle is not limited to foods of the same food group (e.g., two types of nuts); it applies just as well to foods of different food groups but have the same b’rachah. For example, if a food dish contained fish, eggs, and vegetable, and the fish and eggs (whose b’rachah when eaten independently is shehakol nih’yeh bidvaro) comprised the majority of the food dish, the b’rachah would be shehakol nih’yeh bidvaro, even though neither the fish nor the eggs alone comprise the majority and they are from different food groups.

It is important to stress that – as mentioned above –halacha dictates determining the ikar based on the majority food in the mixture only if one does not have a clear preference for one of the foods in the mixture. However, if one has a clear preference for the minority – such that one is really eating the mixture only due to the presence of the minority – the minority is considered the ikar and the majority is considered the tafeil, and one would make only the b’rachah of the minority.[10] For example, let us say one is eating a mixture of tree nuts – whose b’rachah is borei p’ri ha’eitz – and chocolate chips – whose b’rachah is shehakol nih’yeh bidvaro, and the tree nuts comprise the majority of the mixture, but one has a preference for the chocolate chips, such that one is eating the mixture primarily for the chocolate chips and not for the tree nuts. In such a case, the chocolate chips would be the ikar and the proper b’rachah would be shehakol nih’yeh bidvaro. See note for an interesting application of these points.[11]

If there is no “b’rachah type” that comprises the majority, none of the food items that comprise the mixture is considered an ikar in relation to the others. Which b’rachah or b’rachos should be said in such a case? The resolution will be discussed in a subsequent article.

In next week’s article, IY”H,[12] we will discuss how the principles presented in this article apply to sushi.
[1] Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 177:1. The reason for this halacha will be explained below in the article. It should be noted that according to many Poskim (halachic authorities) the b’rachah over bread only exempts the b’rachah over the other foods if one eats a k’zayis (olive-size piece) of bread. See Mishnah Berurah 177:3 and Aruch Hashulchan 177:2. Cf. Dirshu Mishnah Berurah n.e. 177:3 note 4.
[2] One who drinks wine (or grape juice) in middle of a bread meal must recite a b’rachah over the wine, unless one drank wine for Kiddush and expected to drink more wine during the meal. See S.A. O.C. 174:1,4. Also, a b’rachah might be required when eating fruit in middle of a bread meal and when eating dessert following a bread meal. The discussion of these scenarios is beyond the scope of this article.
[3] S.A. 212:1.
[4] Such is the understanding of the majority of the Poskim (halachic authorities). See Introduction to chapter 7 of The Laws of B’rachos, with note 3.
[5] M.B. 212:1.
[6] Igros Moshe O.C. 4:43; see also Be’er Moshe 5:53. Even if during the course of eating the cereal one ate a piece of banana from the bowl independently, one would not recite a b’rachah on the banana. Similarly, if during the course of eating the cereal one sipped a spoonful of milk from the bowl independently, one would not recite a b’rachah on the milk. See M.B. 168:46. see also note in Dirshu Mishnah Berurah for more examples.
[7] See M.B. 212:1.
[8] S.A. 208:7; M.B. 212:1.
[9] Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach and Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, cited in V’zos Hab’rachah page 94.
[10] M.B. 202:31 and 212:1; Bi’ur Halacha 212:1 s.v. Im ha’ikar me’urav.
[11] Chocolate covered peanuts: If one were to eat them primarily for the chocolate, one would recite only a shehakol nih’yeh bidvaro – the b‘rachah over the chocolate, whereas if one were to eat them primarily for the peanut, one would recite only a borei p’ri ha’adamah – the b‘rachah over the peanuts. If one eats them for both the chocolate and the peanuts, there is a dispute amongst the Poskim as to the proper b’rachah. See The Laws of B’rachos page 215 for a discussion.
[12] Im Yirtzeh Hashem (G-d Willing).


Posted 5/31/2018 11:42 PM | Tell a Friend | Articles of Interest | Comments (0)


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Practical Pesach Pointers – 5778/2018
Part 1 – Preparing for Pesach
Reprinted from Halacha Hotline of Five Towns and Far Rockaway Community.  info@halachahotline.org 

Although we clean our homes thoroughly before Pesach, we are still required to perform a proper bedikas chameitz (search for chameitz) in every place in which chameitz might have been brought.[1] This includes all rooms regarding which there is reason to suspect that one might have brought in chameitz or into which one walked during a meal or during the course of a snack. Closets, shelves and drawers regarding which there is no reason to imagine that chameitz was brought in their vicinity do not require bedikah. If small children walk around the house carrying chameitz, one must check any area (even drawers) accessible to them. After rooms have been cleaned for Pesach, children should not be permitted to walk around with chameitz. Until Erev Pesach, one may give children Pesach macaroons or the like from a hechsher (Kashrus supervision) on which one relies during the year even if would not rely on it that hechsher on Pesach (due to one’s personal Pesach stringencies). One may also give them egg-matzos or rice cakes, even though – according to Ashkenazic custom – these foods are not eaten on Pesach.

Since our homes are large and difficult to check properly in one night, one may begin bedikas chameitz several nights earlier, checking one or more rooms each night – without a b’rachah. One may certainly use an electric flashlight to check at such time (see note 4). At least one room must be left to be checked on the night of bedikas chameitz,[2] at which time the b’rachah is recited.

On the night of bedikas chameitz, other members of the family (who are responsible adults), may assist in the bedikah, each checking one room or more. The ba’al habayis[3] recites the b’rachah and all those who are assisting must listen to his b’rachah. They should (preferably) answer Amen, but not Baruch Hu U’varuch Shemo. (See note regarding the usage of a flashlight on the night of bedikas chameitz.)[4]

The custom is to place ten pieces of chameitz around the house on the night of bedikas chameitz (see note).[5] It is preferable that they be placed by someone other than the one who will be performing the bedikas chameitz (see note).[6] However, they should not be placed by young children, who are liable to forget where they placed the pieces, unless an adult (or at least a responsible child) keeps track of where the pieces are placed. Each piece should be less than a k’zayis (olive size),[7] and preferably wrapped in a tissue wrap, and sealed with tape. Collectively, the pieces should add up to at least the size of a k’zayis.[8] One should not place the pieces in unusual places that do not require bedikah.

When cleaning for Pesach, one is not required to move heavy appliances such as a refrigerator or washing machine (unless it is easy to do so, such as if they are on wheels).[9] (See note for exception.)[10] One should merely clean and vacuum under and around such appliances as best as possible. If it is possible to remove the bottom drawer of the oven or the bottom panel of the refrigerator and clean underneath, one should do so.

One who will be away from home for Pesach must nevertheless perform bedikas chameitz and must, therefore, rid one’s home of chameitz. If doing such is difficult, one may sell the entire house to the non-Jew to whom one is selling one’s chameitz. Note: Even if the house no longer requires bedikah, one is required to somehow fulfill one’s personal obligation of performing a bedikah. One should discuss with one’s Rav whether to exclude one room of the house from the sale to the non-Jew, and to perform bedikah on that room or/and perform bedikah where one is staying for Pesach on the night of bedikas chameitz. To access an article relevant to one who is going away for Pesach, click here.

Burning the chameitz: One should dispose of most of one’s chameitz before Erev Pesach. Only a small amount of chameitz should be kept for burning, but one should make sure that it is at least the size of a k’zayis (see note).[11] One should not attempt to burn flour, vacuum cleaner bags, bagels, macaroni, or anything wrapped in a plastic bag, since these are difficult to burn and are likely to not be consumed completely by the fire. Such items, if remaining, should be thrown into a public garbage bin before the sof z’man bi’ur.[12]

One may not eat matzah on Erev Pesach, but one may eat Pesach kneidlech (matzah balls) until the end of the ninth proportional hour of the day.[13] There is a dispute amongst the Poskim (halachic authorities) whether one may eat matzah-meal cakes on Erev Pesach even before the end of the ninth hour of the day.[14]

There are different standards regarding the matzos one eats on Pesach. L’chatchilah (preferably/initially), one should eat only hand-baked shmurah matzos for the Pesach Seder. However, some have the custom to use machine matzos even for the Seder; the matzos must still be machine-shmurah matzos.[15] There is a worthwhile chumrah (stringency) to eat only shmurah matzah (hand or machine) the entire Pesach. Those who use non-shmurah matzos for the remainder of Pesach should try to use only “18-minute” matzos with a reliable hechsher. One should note that all products containing matzah-meal or cake-meal should be of the same standard as the matzos that one eats. Most Pesach cakes, snacks and cereals that contain matzah-meal are not made from “18-minute” matzos.

It is preferable to use red wine for the four kosos.[16] However, one who dislikes red wine may drink white wine (see also note).[17] Before Yom Tov, one may mix white wine with red wine to give it a red color. If one did not mix the wines before Yom Tov, the custom is to allow mixing them on Yom Tov if one first pours the red wine into the receptacle and then adds the white wine, thereby avoiding a concern of the melachah[18] of tzove’a (“coloring”) on Yom Tov (see note).[19]

IY”H,[20] next week, we will discuss the halachos of the Pesach Seder.

[1] See Rema, Orach Chaim 433:11 with Mishnah Berurah #46. Cf. Sha’arei Teshuvah on Rema (ibid.).
[2] That is, the night before Pesach (unless Pesach begins on Motz’ei Shabbos, in which case the night of bedikas chameitz is Thursday night, not Friday night).
[3] Literally: the head of household.
[4] In our houses, using a candle often poses a fire hazard. However, the minhag (custom), based on the Gemara (Pesachim 7b-8a) is to use a candle. It is possible to preserve the minhag yet remain safe by reciting the b’rachah and beginning the bedikah with a candle – in a non-flammable area, and then switching to a flashlight shortly thereafter.
[5] The reason is as follows: The purpose of performing a bedikah is to search for chameitz. If one does not find any chameitz, there is concern that the b’rachah on the bedikah is a b’rachah l’vatalah (blessing in vain). To prevent such a scenario, we put out bread before beginning the bedikah so that we are assured of finding at least those pieces (Rema O.C. 432:2). (Putting out specifically ten pieces of bread is based on the Kabbalistic writings of the Arizal; see Kaf Hachayim 432:13.) The Poskim (halachic authorities) write, however, that putting out chameitz before the bedikah is actually not required according to halacha, since the mitzvah is not to locate chameitz, but merely to search for chameitz (Rema ibid.; see also Taz, cited in Mishnah Berurah ad loc.). Nevertheless, the Poskim write that one should act in accordance with the custom (M.B. ibid.). [In fact, nowadays that we follow the ruling of the Rema (O.C. 433:11) that prior to the bedikah one should clean one’s house well, it would seem that we should be required according to halacha to put out the pieces of bread even when doing bedikah at home (see Sha’arei Teshuvah ad loc.). Indeed, Sha’ar Hatziyun (432:12) writes such in the name of the Eimek Halacha. Cf. Dirshu Mishnah Berurah note to Sha’ar Hatziyun (ibid.) and Koveitz Halachos chapter 5 note 8.]
[6] See Dirshu Mishnah Berurah n.e. 432:12 note 17. Nevertheless, it would seem that one who will be performing the bedikas chameitz and has no one else to place the pieces may place the pieces oneself.
[7] Sha’arei Teshuvah 432:7.
[8] See M.B. 445:10.
[9] See Koveitz Halachos, Pesach 6:25, based on Shulchan Aruch O.C. but see note that follows).Likewise, any piece of furniture that might become damaged or cause damage (to the floor or carpet) by moving need not be moved for bedikas chameitz.
[10] If, however, one places a large appliance within 30 days before the night of bedikah in a location, the leniency does not apply (see S.A. ibid.). Thus, if within 30 days before the night of bedikah one wishes to place a large appliance, one should perform a proper bedikas chameitz on that location before placing the large appliance (Koveitz Halachos, Pesach 6:26).
[11] Due to the doubt as to the precise measurement of a halachic k’zayis, one should burn chameitz at least the size of an egg. See M.B. 486:1.
[12] The time before which all chameitz must be destroyed, sold or disposed of. (This year, in the Five Towns/Far Rockaway vicinity, sof z’man bi’ur according to the opinion of the GR”A (see note that follows) is at approximately 11:56 AM, and according to the opinion of the Magen Avraham is at approximately 11:43 AM.) The Mishnah Berurah (443:8) writes that with regard to achilas chameitz one should l’chatchilah (initially/preferably) follow the more stringent opinion of the Magen Avraham. Perhaps the same ruling applies to bi’ur chameitz.
[13] M.B. 471:20. One proportional hour is calculated by dividing the hours of daytime into twelve equal portions. There is a dispute among the Poskim (halachic authorities) whether daytime for this purpose is defined as beginning at alos hashachar (daybreak) and ending at tzeis hakochavim (nightfall – when three stars medium are visible) (Magen Avraham), or as beginning at haneitz hachamah (sunrise) and ending at sh’kiah (sunset) (GR”A). See M.B. 233:4. Nine proportional hours into the day translates into three proportional hours before the end of the day (as defined above.) (According to the opinion of the GR”A, nine “proportional hours” into the day on Erev Pesach this year is at approximately 4:09 PM in the Five Towns/Far Rockaway vicinity. According to the opinion of the Magen Avraham it is at approximately 4:45 PM – if calculating presuming alos hashachar to be 72 minutes before haneitz hachamah and tzeis hakochavim to be 72 minutes after sh’kiah; and approximately at 4:18 PM – if calculating presuming dawn to be when the sun is 16.1 degrees below the horizon and nightfall to be when the sun is 36 degrees below the horizon.)
[14] See Rema O.C. end of 471:2 with M.B. #20; see also Koveitz Halachos, Pesach 16:7 note 9 at length.
[15] See S.A. O.C. 460:1 with Bi’ur Halacha s.v. matzas mitzvah.
[16] Cups of wine at the Pesach Seder. S.A. O.C. 472:11.
[17] If one has both red wine and white wine and the white wine is superior to the red wine, one may use the white wine (S.A. ibid.).
[18] Labor forbidden on Shabbos/Yom Tov.
[19] Sh”ut Sheivet HaLevi 10:56. However, Rav Elyashiv (cited in Hilchos Shabbos B’Shabbos, vol.1 page 749, with note 61) rules that pouring red wine into white wine on Yom Tov solely for the purpose of creating red wine for the Seder is forbidden Biblically. Accordingly, he would likely hold that even pouring white wine into red wine for such purpose would be forbidden. (See also See Mishnah Berurah 320:56 and 318:65.)
[20] Im Yirtzeh Hashem (G-d Willing).



Posted 3/9/2018 10:12 AM | Tell a Friend | Articles of Interest | Comments (0)


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Kigel Shalom Bayit Thought of the Week #330
One of the best things that can happen to you before Rosh Hashana is that you get insulted. (!) The Chofetz Chaim explains that when we are insulted and don't answer back, and try to judge the person favorably (making excuses for them as we would easily do for ourselves), then we are forgiven for all of our sins, even the ones we did on purpose!!

Our sages teach that G-d judges us how we judge others. If we are exacting and critical and unforgiving vis-a-vis other people, then Hashem treats us the same way. With a few days until Rosh Hashana, let us try harder to judge others favorably and treat them with compassion.

May Hashem bless us with a New Year filled with abundant revealed goodness!
For more tips & resources, check out my website
www.devorahkigel.com


Posted 9/15/2017 10:46 AM | Tell a Friend | Articles of Interest | Comments (0)


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How to Celebrate Rosh Hashanah - 5778
Erev Rosh Hashanah: Reprinted from Westmount Shul.  Rabbi Michalowicz
1. It is customary [but not mandatory] to fast until Halachik mid-day. [1:10 PM]
2. Additional Selichos are said in the morning.
3. No Tachanun is said during the morning service.
4. We do not blow the Shofar after the morning service.
5. One should nullify his / her vows before 3 people in a language that you understand. See Artscroll
Siddur pg. 762. This procedure only helps for vows and good deeds that one may have been committed
to do, that one does not remember having made.
6. Women can appoint their husbands as their agents to nullify their vows for them. Other women rely on
the Kol Nidrei ceremony to nullify their vows.
7. It is customary to visit the cemetery.
8. One should spend time doing Teshuvah, giving charity, learning, and asking forgiveness from other
people. Before Rosh Hashanah actually begins, one should resolve to strive to focus on improving a
specific area on conduct during the New Year.
9. One should be well groomed in honor of the Yom Tov.
10. One should preferably take a shave and haircut before Halachik Mid- day. [1:10 PM]
11. Men should immerse in the Mikveh no earlier than one hour before Halachik Mid-day. [12:10 PM]
12. One should familiarize oneself with the Machzor.
13. One should wear festive clothing, but in moderation. Save new clothing for the Shehechiyanu blessing
on the second night of Yom Tov.
14. It is customary to bake or purchase Challah in the form of a circle, ladder, or bird.
15. One should be careful not to display anger or even become angry during these special days.
16. Remember that on Rosh Hashanah one is permitted to cook or bake from a pre-existing fire. You need
not have all your food cooked before Yom Tov. [Which is generally required to be done for Shabbos.]
Consult with your Rabbi to learn more of the Halachik details involved.
17. It is preferable and practical to light a 24 hour Yartzeit candle before Yom Tov, so that you will have a
pre-existing flame to use throughout the first day of Yom Tov. This flame will be the one that you can
light candles from on the second night of Rosh Hashanah. Since the second day of Yom Tov is followed
by Shabbos, which also requires candle lighting, it is advisable to light a 48 hour Yahrzeit candle
tonight. Alternatively, you can light a new 24 hour Yahrzeit candle on Thursday night from a preexisting
flame.
18. Remember to make an Eruv Tavshilin before Yom Tov in order to be able to cook on Yom Tov for the
Shabbos which immediately follows Yom Tov this year. See Artscroll Siddur pg. 654. (you must use
foods (one baked & one cooked) that one usually eats as part of bread meal, such as fish, meat, and
eggs. A dessert may not be used.) Most people use a challah or matzah and an egg.
19. If you do not plan on cooking any meals for Shabbos (i.e. you are eating out for all your Shabbos
meals), you still are required to make an Eruv Tavshilin in order to light candles in your home. In
such a situation, the Eruv Tavshilin should be made without reciting a blessing.
First Evening of Rosh Hashanah:
1. Women light candles either at the regular time of candle lighting [7:00 PM] or from a pre-existing flame
when the men come home from Shul and are ready to eat. They make 2 blessings: One for the Mitzvah
of lighting the Yom Tov candles and the other “Shehechiyanu” blessing. [If a woman forgets to light
candles at these two times, she may light them from a pre-existing flame the entire evening.]
2. Men should daven Mincha with a Minyan and everyone should say Mincha with extra concentration, as
it is the final prayer of the year 5777.
3. The earliest time to either light candles or make Kiddush is after 6:01 PM.
2
4. 4 insertions are made in the Maariv Amida [and for all Amidahs through Yom Kippur], which are found
in the Artscroll Machzor on pages 62, 64, 66, and 72. One need not repeat the Amida if one forgot to say
any or all of the insertions.
5. We change the ending of the third blessing from “Ha-el Hakadosh” to “Hamelech Hakadosh” One must
repeat the Amida if one forgot to say “Hamelech Hakadosh.”
6. Special greetings are given to friends and family members after Maariv and before Kiddush. “May you
be inscribed and sealed for a good year [immediately, for a good life and for peace].” See Artscroll
Machzor pg. 90 for the Hebrew text. This greeting should only be said on the first night. Greetings
for the remainder of Rosh Hashanah should be limited to “Shana Tova”, “Happy New Year”, “Chag
Samayach”, or “Good Yom Tov.”
7. After making the special Yom Tov Kiddush and washing our hands, we make a Brocha over two
Challahs, and cut the top Challah.
8. Challah is dipped in honey [some have the custom to dip the Challah into salt as well].
9. Symbolic foods are eaten at the evening meal. See Artscroll Machzor pg. 96-98. The first symbolic fruit
to be eaten should be the date. You should make the blessing “Borei Pri Ha’etz” on that fruit, keeping in
mind the other fruits you will be eating on this night. Eat a little of it, followed by the special “Yehi
Ratzon” prayer, and then finish the date. If dates are not eaten, then the pomegranate should be eaten
before the apples. There are no other blessings made on the symbolic foods. One does say the special
“Yehi Ratzon” prayer before eating each of the symbolic foods.
10. It is optimal to eat symbolic foods, that normally would require the blessing of “Borei pro Ho’adama,
during the course of your meal, to avoid the doubtful necessity of making that blessing during the meal.
11. If one is not able to eat any of the symbolic foods, one may look at them and say the special “Yehi
Ratzon” prayer.
12. Some have a custom to avoid eating sour or bitter foods and nuts.
13. One should not say the blessing of Borei Pei Ha’etz on fruits that one eats for dessert if one had dessert
in mind when one made the blessing on the symbolic fruits at the beginning of the meal.
14. Remember to make the proper insertion of Ya’aleh Veyavo” during the Birchas Hamazon.
15. It is a custom to learn one Chapter of Mishnayos from Tractate Rosh Hashanah after each of the Yom
Tov meals.
First Day of Rosh Hashanah:
1. Men should come on time to Shul and say the Amidah with a Minyan.
2. The Shema should be recited before 10:07 AM.
3. Although there is no obligation to stand when the Aron Hakodesh is opened during the prayers, there is a
Mitzvah to stand if one has the strength to do so.
4. One should optimally listen to each sound of 100 blasts of the Shofar on both days of Rosh Hashanah.
30 are blown before Mussaf. 30 are blown during the repetition. 40 are blown at the end of the service.
5. Men are obligated to hear the Shofar. Women are technically exempt from hearing the Shofar; however,
it has become customary for women to hear at least 30 blasts of the Shofar. If possible, they should hear
both the 30 blasts before Musaf and the 30 blasts during the repetition of the Amida.
6. If you are not able to go to Shul, you should hear a minimum of 30 blasts blown privately for you. The
listener should preferably make the blessings on the Shofar.
7. Children, who are old enough to silently listen to the Shofar, should be encouraged to do so. Little
children, who will disturb the service, may not be brought to Shofar blowing.
8. It is forbidden to talk while the Shofar is being blown. One should not speak from the time that the
blessings on the Shofar are made until after hearing the 100th and final note. Only under extenuating
circumstances may one talk after hearing the first 30 blasts. Women may be more lenient in this matter
after hearing 30 blasts.
9. During the Musaf Amida, one should bow when they say “Modim” in the “Aleinu" prayer.
3
10. If one chooses to kneel on the floor during Aleinu of the reposition of the Musaf Amida, one should put
some material between their face and the floor.
Afternoon:
1. One should leave Shul feeling relaxed and confident that Hashem has accepted his prayers with mercy.
2. One is obligated to eat Challah and have a festive meal on both days of Rosh Hashanah.
3. One should not sleep in the afternoon. [One may be lenient on the second day.] A person who is very
tired should sleep a little rather than sit around idely and waste time.
4. It is not the custom to visit friends in the afternoon.
5. Any free time in the afternoon should be spent learning Torah, saying Tehillim, doing Teshuva or doing
acts of kindness. It is not a time for idle chatter.
6. After Mincha, it is customary to go to Tashlich.
7. If you don’t think you will have enough time to say Tashlich after Mincha, you can say it before Mincha.
8. The custom is to recite Tashlich preferably at a body of running water [i.e. a river or stream] where fish
are found. If that is not possible, one can say it by any body of water – even a well.
9. When reciting the word “Vesashlich”, it is customary to shake out the corners or pockets of your outer
garments, which are empty.
10. It is forbidden to throw any crumbs of food into the water. [or to feed the ducks]
11. Tashlich was not designed to be a venue for socializing. [One is permitted to invite guests for meals
and should make an effort to keep the discussions focused on the theme and spirit of Rosh Hashanah.]
Second Evening of Rosh Hashanah:
1. One should pray the evening service after Tashlich. It is preferable to say Maariv after the stars come
out, or at least after sunset.
2. One may not make any Yom Tov preparations for the second night, light candles, or make Kiddush until
after 7:59 PM. (with the exception of taking food out of the freezer.)
3. There are lenient opinions who permit asking a non-Jew to make preparations for the second night, that
do not involve actual work ( e.g. setting the table ) that can be relied on, especially when necessary.
4. If the first day of Rosh Hashanah is not a Shabbos, there is no need for women to say “Baruch Hamavdil
Ben Kodesh Lekodesh” before making preparations for the second night.
5. Candle lighting and Kiddush are done in the same way as on the first night.
6. One should wear a new garment for candle lighting / kiddush at the second evening meal. Have this in
mind when making the “Shehechiyanu” blessing.
7. It is questionable as to whether one can make a “Shehechiyanu” blessing on any fruits. The only fruit
that one, who lives in Toronto, can definitely say the “Shehechiyanu” blessing is on pumpkins and
Ontario concord grapes.
8. If you do have such fruit, it should optimally be eaten immediately after Kiddush.
9. No one else besides the one who lights candles and / or makes kiddush says the “Shehechiyanu”
blessing.
10. Some people have the custom to eat the symbolic foods and recite the special prayers at this meal as
well.
Second day of Rosh Hashanah:
1. The procedures for this day are the same as the first day. The exception being that we do not go to
Tashlich again. If it rained on the first day or you were not able to go to Tashlich [or the first day was
Shabbos], you should do so on the second day. [If one does not have the opportunity to go to Tashlich on
both days of Yom Tov, you are permitted to do it until the seventh day of Succos – Hoshana Rabbah.]
2. If you have made an Eruv Tavshilin on Wednesday, you may make Shabbos preparations on Friday.
4
3. Since Rosh Hashanah ends on Friday afternoon, we do not make Havdalah. We welcome the Shabbos no
earlier than 5:58 P.M. Candle lighting and Kiddush for Shabbos can begin after this time. The latest time
for candle lighting is 6:56 P.M.
4. During the Prayer of “Magen Avos” we substitute with the words “Hamelech Hakadosh.”
Rosh Hashanah: Yehi Ratzon – Symbolic Foods Text and Instructions
All of the Yehi Ratzons start out the same way:
"Yehi Ratzon Mil’fa’necha, Ad-noi El-heinu Vei’l-hai Avosainu..."
(The "-" represents the letter "o," which was purposely left out so as not to write out the name of G-d.)
"May it be your will, Hashem our G-d and the G-d of our forefathers..."
Listed below are the various foods and the endings, which are appropriate to them:
For dates: "...She’yitamu son’ainu." "...that our enemies be consumed."
For pomegranate: "...she’nirbeh ze’chu’yos k’rimon"
"...that our merits increase like (the seeds of) a pomegranate."
For the apple in the honey: "...she’tichadesh aleinu shana tova u’m’tuka."
"...that you renew us for a good and sweet year."
For fenugreek (or carrots - as the Yiddish word for carrots - Mehren - can also mean "to increase," this Yehi
Ratzon is appropriate as well):
"...She’yir’bu ze’chuyo’sainu." "...that our merits increase."
For leek or cabbage: "...She’yikar’su son’ainu." "...that our enemies be decimated."
For beets: "...She’yistalku oy’vainu." "...that our adversaries be removed."
For gourd: "...She’yikora g’zar de’nainu v’yikaru l’fanecha zechu’yosainu."
"...that the decree of our sentence be torn up and may our merits be proclaimed before you."
For fish: "...She’nif’reh v’nir’beh ki’dagim." "...that we be fruitful and multiply like fish."
For the head of a fish or sheep: "...She’ni’hiyeh l’rosh v’lo l’zanav."
"...that we be as the head and not as the tail."
All of these Yehi Ratzons are said on the first night of Rosh Hashanah, after Kiddush has been made, after the
blessing over the Challos (breads) has been made and the bread has been eaten. (There are those who have the
custom to eat these foods and recite the Yehi Ratzon on the second night as well.) After the bread has been
eaten, one should take the date, make the blessing that one would normally make on fruit [“Borei Pri Ha’etz’],
and then take a bite of the date. Before one has eaten the whole date, one should recite the Yehi Ratzon. After
the date, one can then have all, none, or some of the other foods.


Posted 9/14/2017 9:22 PM | Tell a Friend | Articles of Interest | Comments (0)


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Kigel Shalom Bayit Thought of the Week #329
Women often come to speak to me about their dating or marital problems, and when I ask them if they're davening (praying)in their own words to enlist G-d's help, they often respond 'no'.

Hashem is our partner in life, and if we don't ask Him to help us achieve whatever we're working on, it is self-defeating. Part of hishtadlut (our effort) is prayer. Try it and see what amazing things can be accomplished!
For more tips & resources, check out my website
www.devorahkigel.com


Posted 9/8/2017 11:55 AM | Tell a Friend | Articles of Interest | Comments (0)


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Kigel Shalom Bayit Thought of the Week #325
The great Rav the Vilna Gaon stated that the main reason we came into this world is to do tikkun hamiddot (fix our bad character traits). It is usually the people closest to us (husband, kids, in-laws) that push our buttons in such a way as to make us work on those character traits (compassion, patience, tolerance). Therefore, we should not be surprised or dismayed when we hit bumps in the road in our marriage, as it is through overcoming those challenges that we perfect ourselves.
For more tips & resources, check out my website
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Posted 8/11/2017 12:40 PM | Tell a Friend | Articles of Interest | Comments (0)


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The Laws of Tisha B’av – 2017
Erev Tisha B’av:
by Rabbi Yossi Michalowicz
1. Mincha is said earlier than usual, in order to have time to eat the “Seudas
Hamafsekes.” We will be davening Mincha on Monday, July 31st at 6:30 P.M.
2. No Tachanun is said at Mincha.
3. The final meal before Tisha B’av is called the “Seudah Hamafsekes” and has
special requirements. This meal must be eaten after noon with the intention of not
eating anything thereafter
4. The Seudah Hamafsekes may be preceded by a regular meal. However, one
should not fill himself at this meal, in order to allow room for the Seudas
Hamafsekes. One should take at least a 20-30 minute break between the regular
meal and the Seudas Hamafsekes.
5. The custom is to eat the Seudas Hamafsekes while seated on the ground. If one is
weak, he may sit on a pillow. There is no requirement to remove one’s shoes for
this meal – since mourning does not begin until evening.
6. The custom is for the Seudas Hamafsekes to consist only of bread, cold hardboiled
eggs, and water. A portion of the bread should be dipped in ashes and
eaten. One should say: “This is the Tisha B’av meal.”
7. Everyone says the Birchas Hamazon by themselves, when this meal is concluded.
Three adult males should avoid eating this meal together in order not to be required
to recite the Grace after meals as a “Mezumin” [invitation to bentch].
8. Since mourning does not begin until the evening, one may sit on a chair until
sunset.
9. One may eat and drink after this meal until sunset, unless you expressly decided,
verbally or mentally, not to eat any more on that day, or said that you are accepting
the fast. If one plans on eating or drinking after this meal, it is preferable to either
verbally or mentally express that you are not accepting the fast until sunset.
Tisha B’av Evening:
10. All the prohibitions of Tisha B’av begin just prior to sunset. Sunset is at 8:41 P.M.
this year [2017].
11. One is permitted to drive to Shul and sit normally in the car.
12. On Tisha B’av it is prohibited to:
▪ Eat or drink
▪ Bathe or wash for pleasure
▪ Anoint oneself
▪ Have intimate relations
▪ Wear leather shoes
▪ Learn Torah [except for those portions which sadden the heart.]
13. You should deprive yourself somewhat from a comfortable sleep - i.e. to sleep with
no pillows or one pillow less than usual. You may use a c-pap machine when
sleeping.


Posted 7/27/2017 10:46 PM | Tell a Friend | Articles of Interest | Comments (0)


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The Laws of the Nine Days - 5777
© 2017 Rabbi Yossi Michalowicz

1. The Talmud teaches us “When the Jewish month of Av enters, we decrease our happiness.
2. The Jewish month of Av begins Sunday night, July 23rd at sunset. This begins a more intense period of national
mourning, which concludes the day after Tisha B’av, which is the day after Tuesday, August 1st.
3. All the restrictions that began at the beginning of the Three Weeks are still in force, but they are now intensified.
4. The Talmud explains that one decreases happiness by:
▪ Decreasing one’s business activities
▪ Refraining from construction and planting intended for joyous reasons.
▪ Not conducting weddings or making a festive meal to celebrate an engagement.
5. Any construction not necessary for one’s dwelling but performed for expansion is prohibited. Similarly,
any improvement to the appearance of a house such as painting, hanging new drapes, wall papering and
all house decorating can not be done during the Nine Days.
6. Certain types of expansion building would be permitted if it were for necessary living space to accommodate more
people living in the home. Consult your local Rabbi in this issue.
7. If you hired a non-Jewish contractor to build an addition, and the contractor wants to work during the Nine Days, the
Jew is not required to prevent him from doing so. Preferably, one should offer the contractor some financial
compensation to refrain from working during the Nine days, but one is not required to offer a significant amount of
money to get him to wait until after Tisha B’av.
8. It is permitted to weed, water, or mow the lawn during the Nine Days, since these activities are not for enhancement. It
is also permitted to plant and maintain a vegetable garden during the Nine Days.
9. One may not wear new clothes during the Nine Days, nor may one tailor or purchase new clothes or shoes.
10. One who does not have appropriate shoes to wear on Tisha B’av may buy them during the Nine Days.
11. Similarly, it is prohibited to dry-clean clothes or iron them.
12. We refrain from changing tablecloths, towels, and bed linens during the Nine Days, unless it is absolutely necessary.
13. It is permitted to repair shoes and clothes during the Nine Days.
14. We refrain from doing laundry and wearing freshly laundered clothing during the Nine Days.
15. Therefore, one should prepare before Sunday night, July 23rd at sunset sufficient clothing already worn since it was
last laundered. This is ideally accomplished by putting on and wearing a garment for at least a short while [1/2 hr.]
Towels should also be used at least once before the Nine Days begin in order to be able to use them.
16. If one’s clothing becomes sweaty or soiled during the Nine Days, one is permitted to change into clean clothes.
17. It is permitted to launder children’s clothes and linens during the Nine Days.
18. It is permitted to spot-clean a garment if one is concerned that the stain will set. Furthermore, it is permitted to soak a
garment that is dirty without completing its laundering in order to make it easier to clean after Tisha B’av.
19. We do not bathe or go swimming for pleasure during the Nine Days, but bathing for hygienic and health purposes is
permitted. One may go to the Mikveh. Washing only one’s face, hands, or feet with cold water is permissible at all
times.
20. We do not eat meat or drink wine or grape juice during the Nine days. A sick person may eat meat, under doctor’s
orders. It is permitted to eat meat or drink wine for all Shabbos meals or at a Mitzva meal [such as a Bris or Siyum,
etc.].
21. One may not eat fleishig [meat] leftovers from Shabbat meals or of a Mitzva meal during the remaining Nine Days. One
may not eat meat for Melava Malka.
22. It is permitted to use wine vinegar for cooking. It is also permitted to drink beer, whiskey, and other alcoholic
beverages.
23. One is permitted to bathe and to put on freshly laundered clothing in honor of the Shabbat.
24. One can make Havdalah on wine or grape juice. If a young child present is old enough to make a blessing but not old
enough to understand that we do not eat meat during the Nine Days, that child should drink the Havdalah cup. If there
is no such child available, the person reciting Havdalah should drink the wine or grape juice himself. Others have a
custom to use beer for Havdallah.
25. A Jew should avoid scheduling litigation / adjudication during the Nine Days, since this is a month in which the Mazel
for Jews is bad.
26. Polishing shoes is permitted. Shining shoes in honor of the Shabbos is also permitted.
27. The Midrash teaches that Hashem will bring forth ten new creations in the era of Moshiach [e.g. death will perish
forever, everyone will be joyful, and there will be an end to all sighing and worry]. The Kaf HaChayim states that
everyone who meticulously observes the laws of the first ten days of Av, thereby demonstrating his personal mourning
over the destruction of Yerushalayim, will merit witnessing these ten miracles. May we all merit seeing these miracles
speedily and in our days.
© 2017 Rabbi Yossi Michalowicz



Posted 7/21/2017 3:23 PM | Tell a Friend | Articles of Interest | Comments (0)

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