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Holidays

Rav Dovid gives a daily halacha at the Wall Street Synagogue in Lower Manhattan.
This series includes teachings on various Jewish holidays.
1 Tevet 5771 listen Various Questions on Chanukah (11:48)
Does a wife away from home light if her husband lights at home? Can a child light on behalf of a parent? What does a family do when dad comes home after everyone is sleeping?
30 Kislev 5771 listen Husbands, Wives, and the Love of the Chanukah Miracle (14:55)
A husband is away in a place where other Jews are lighting. Is he yotzei by his wife's lighting? Also: why did chazal make a bracha on seeing Chanukah candles, unlike any other mitzvah?
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 5:43a; Tosfot Sukkah 46a d.h. "HaRoeh"
29 Kislev 5771 listen Husband and Wife Lighting as One (15:59)
Do husband and wife automatically fulfill each others' Chanukah obligations, or must they explicitly intend to do so?
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 5:43a
25 Kislev 5771 listen Making a Blessing on Chanukah Candles when Away from Home (15:41)
If your wife is lighting at home, you are away, and there are other Jews who have lit Chanukah candles that you can see, are you allowed to light with a bracha?
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 5:43a
24 Kislev 5771 listen Lighting Away from Home (21:07)
When a husband is away from home, is is obligation fulfilled by his wife's lighting, or does he need to light his own candles?
Sources: OC 676:3; MB 676:5-6; OC 677:3; MB 677:14; OC 671:2; MB 671:9; Igros Moshe OC 5:43a
22 Kislev 5771 listen Is there a mitzvah to see Chanukah candles? (15:35)
Does a traveller need to light his own candles?
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 5:43a; OC 677:3
17 Kislev 5771 listen Does a traveller light his own Chanukah candles? (17:24)
A traveller whose wife is lighting Chanukah candles for him at home still has mitzvot to do by lighting. What mitzvot and why?
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 5:43a; Shabbat 23a
16 Kislev 5771 listen The Earliest Time to Light on Motzei Shabbos (15:35)
On Motzei Shabbos, the proper time to light is immediately after havdalah.
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 4:62; Ran Shabbos 9a d.h. "Mitzvatah mi'she-tishka"
15 Kislev 5771 listen The Earliest Time to Light on Erev Shabbos (13:02)
Understanding Rav Moshe's chiddush in the time for Chanukah candles on Erev Shabbos.
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 4:62; Ran Shabbos 9a d.h. "Mitzvatah mi'she-tishka"
11 Kislev 5771 listen Erev Shabbos: Chanukah Candles Immediately Prior to Shabbos Candles (15:01)
Rav Moshe's chiddush: on Shabbos Chanukah: light Chanukah candles immediately prior to Shabbos candles.
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 4:62
10 Kislev 5771 listen Lighting Chanukah Candles Early on Fridays (15:50)
On Erev Shabbos, the time for lighting Chanukah candles is fixed by the onset of Shabbos, not by nightfall.
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 4:62
9 Kislev 5771 listen Shkiya and Chanukah Candles (15:09)
"Sunset" is the time for lighting Chanukah candles. But when is sunset?
Sources: OC 679:1; OC 672:1; MB 672:1, Beur Halacha d.h. "Im sof skiyata"; Igros Moshe OC 4:62
30 Tishrei 5771 listen Musaf Rosh Chodesh in a Leap Year (2) (11:54)
Special additions to Musaf Rosh Chodesh in a leap year.
Sources: Aruch HaShulchan OC 423:5; Elya Rabba OC 423:5; MB OC 423
29 Tishrei 5771 listen Musaf Rosh Chodesh in a Leap Year (1) (15:49)
Special additions to Musaf Rosh Chodesh in a leap year.
Sources: Aruch HaShulchan OC 423:5
28 Elul 5770 listen Selichos at an Et Ratzon (11:38)
Rav Moshe discusses the timing of the selichos service.
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 2:105
10 Av 5770 listen Halachic Noon (14:34)
The time of halachic noon has consequences on the 10th of Av.
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 4:62
8 Av 5770 listen Destruction, Mourning, and Redemption (12:24)
By mourning on Tisha b'Av, we create the foundation of Redemption.
Sources: OC 544:25; OC 557:1; MB 557:3
4 Av 5770 listen Out of Destruction, the Redemption is Born (14:16)
The source of our Redemption was established before the destruction of Tisha b'Av.
Sources: Tosefta Taanit 3:9; Bereishis Rabbasi Vayetze 131; Mak. 24a
3 Av 5770 listen The Destruction of Beitar (14:50)
The massacre of the residents of Beitar is the 4th of the five tragedies listed by the Mishna as occuring on the 9th of Av.
1 Av 5770 listen The Destruction of the Second Temple: Sinat Chinam (13:02)
Hatred among Jews is a constant cause of our destruction.
Sources: Taanit 29a; Yoma 9b; HaEmek Davar, Introduction to Breishis; Josephus, Antiquities 20:8
26 Tamuz 5770 listen Conceptualizing the Magnitude of Our Sins and the Magnitude of Our Destruction (16:39)
We cannot understand either the depth of what we did wrong or the depth of the destruction of our Holy Temple.
Sources: Isa. 31:16; Metzudat David, Isa. 31:16; Gittin 57b; Lev Eliyahu I:63
25 Tamuz 5770 listen The Spilling of Innocent Blood (15:42)
The second cause of the destruction of the first Beis HaMikdash.
24 Tamuz 5770 listen The Mourning of Tisha B'Av (14:45)
Understanding the depth of mourning on Tisha B'Av.
Sources: Introduction to Eicha Rabba; 2 Kings 25:5-7, 21; Yoma 9b
19 Tamuz 5770 listen The Spiritual Roots of Tisha B'Av (13:51)
The origin of Tisha B'Av goes back to the sin of the spies...
Sources: Yerushalmi Yoma 1:1; Mishna Taanis 4:6; Midrash Tanchuma Shelach 21
18 Tamuz 5770 listen The Spiritual Roots of the 17th of Tamuz (14:46)
The spiritual origin of the 17th of Tamuz pre-date the golden calf by some 1500 years.
Sources: Seder Olam Rabba 4; Gen. 8:4-13
17 Tamuz 5770 listen The 17th of Tamuz (7:32)
More details of the 17th of Tamuz.
Sources: Taanit 29a
13 Tamuz 5770 listen The Breaching of the City Walls (15:06)
Also: the cessation of the daily offering; the burning of the Torah.
Sources: Taanit 28b
12 Tamuz 5770 listen The Smashing of the Tablets (16:11)
How do we know that the tablets were smashed on the 17th of Tamuz?
10 Tamuz 5770 listen The Mitzvah to Fast (14:47)
What is the Torah source for declaring a public fast day?
9 Tamuz 5770 listen What time does a fast day end? (13:28)
Rav Moshe defines the end time for rabbinic fasts based on the various opinions on when nightfall comes.
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 4:62
11 Nissan 5770 listen Drinking Wine at the Seder (16:08)
When drinking wine for the four cups, how much wine do I drink?
Sources: OC 271:11; MB 271:68
10 Nissan 5770 listen Biblical Measurements and Conversion Factors (17:39)
Se'ah, log, kov, revi'it, fingers, cubits, mikvehs, and more.
Sources: Chatam Sofer OC 1:127; Yoma 108b
8 Nissan 5770 listen Fingers, Cubits, Eggs, and Revi'it (17:56)
The measure of a revi'it according to Rav Moshe
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 1:126
7 Nissan 5770 listen Just how much wine in a revi'it? (16:10)
On Pesach, each cup is a revi'it of wine. How much wine is that?
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 1:126
4 Nissan 5770 listen Chometz Acquired by a Non-Jew at the Behest of a Jew (16:51)
What if a non-Jew acquires chometz in order to give or sell it to me after Pesach?
Sources: OC 448:4; MB 448:22-24
3 Nissan 5770 listen Accidental Acquisition of Chometz During Pesach (15:06)
A non-Jew drops off chometz at a Jew's house during Pesach...
Sources: Har Tzvi OC 2:43
1 Nissan 5770 listen Erev Pesach: Destroying Another Jew's Chometz (12:51)
If another Jew's chometz is still in my possession, I must destroy it just as I destroy my own.
Sources: OC 443:2-3; MB 443:13-15
29 Adar 5770 listen Erev Pesach: Chometz as Collateral (9:29)
The 5th hour is approaching and I am holding chometz as collateral for a loan. What do I do?
Sources: MB 443:12
26 Adar 5770 listen Erev Pesach: Another Jew's Chometz (17:00)
The 5th hour is coming, and you have another Jew's chometz in your home. What do you do?
Sources: OC 443:2; MB 443:11-12
25 Adar 5770 listen Erev Pesach: Halachic Hours (15:30)
How we calculate halachic hours has implications for the times of various chometz prohibitions.
Sources: OC 443:1; MB 443:8-10
24 Adar 5770 listen Erev Pesach: Benefitting from Chometz (14:42)
What is the din of chometz sold during the sixth hour? After the sixth hour?
Sources: OC 443:1; MB 443:6-7
23 Adar 5770 listen Erev Pesach: Various Chometz Prohibitions (17:17)
The prohibitions of chometz increase in severity as we progress through the 14th of Nissan.
Sources: OC 443:1; MB 443:2-5
22 Adar 5770 listen Chometz and the 14th of Nissan (16:19)
On the 14th of Nissan -- Erev Pesach -- we must eliminate all chometz. But when? D'oraita or d'rabbanan?
Sources: OC 443:1; MB 443:1
16 Adar 5770 listen Children, Mice, and Chometz (18:22)
Both children and mice might bring chometz into a previously checked room -- but the halacha differs depending on the facts.
Sources: OC 438:1; MB 438:3-7
15 Adar 5770 listen Bringing Chometz into a Previously Checked Room (13:51)
What happens if chometz is brought into a room that you've already checked and cleared of chometz?
Sources: OC 438:1; MB 438:1-2
11 Adar 5770 listen Aspects of Al HaNissim; Purim on Saturday Night (13:13)
Sources: Shaarei Teshuva 682:1; OC 693:1; MB 693:1
10 Adar 5770 listen What if you forget Al HaNissim? (13:39)
What to do if you forget al hanissim in either the amidah or in birkat hamazon.
Sources: OC 682:1; MB 682:1-5
9 Adar 5770 listen Birkat HaMazon on "Motzei Purim" (15:06)
If your Seudat Purim stretches into nighttime, do you still say al hanissim?
Sources: MB 188:33; Baer Heitev 188:8
8 Adar 5770 listen Birkat HaMazon on Motzei Shabbos when Sunday is Purim (16:30)
When Sunday is Rosh Chodesh, we say both retzei and ya'aleh v'yavo in birkat hamazon as shabbos ends. What about when Sunday is Purim?
Sources: OC 187:4; OC 188:10; MB 188:33
5 Adar 5770 listen A Bris on Taanit Esther when Purim is on Sunday (10:06)
If Taanit Esther is pushed back from shabbos to Thursday, does a bris override the fast?
Sources: OC 686:2; MB 686:7
4 Adar 5770 listen Prophetic Tochacha (14:26)
There is no better tochacha than that of a prophet -- such as Mordechai's tochacha to Esther. Also: Taanit Esther when Purim is on Sunday.
Sources: Est. 4:13-14; OC 686:2; MB 686:2-3
30 Kislev 5770 listen When there are two Shabbatot During Chanukah (6:44)
The haftarah for the second shabbos, the maftir, and more.
Sources: OC 684:1-3
29 Kislev 5770 listen Where should a student in a dorm light Chanukah candles? (13:39)
Living in a dorm means that you don't have your own space -- so where do you light to best fulfill the mitzvah of ner Chanukah?
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 4:70c
28 Kislev 5770 listen Understanding Al HaNissim (13:29)
Insights into the Al HaNissim prayer for Chanukah.
24 Kislev 5770 listen She-Asah Nissim for the Time of Chanukah (16:27)
Various topics in aspects of the Chanukah blessings.
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 5:20b
23 Kislev 5770 listen Perhaps we should make a Shehechiyanu for the day of Chanukah itself? (14:45)
Reasons to make a shehechiyanu.
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 5:20b
21 Kislev 5770 listen Chanukah: Shehechiyanu (14:52)
Do we make a shehechiyanu bracha on the day of Chanukah itself or just on the mitzvah of lighting the candles?
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 5:20b
20 Kislev 5770 listen Chanukah: The Money Saved by Lighting with Forbidden Oil (14:04)
If forbidden oil is used to light the Chanukah candles, we save money in that we need not buy oil. Is this considered to be benefiting from the forbidden oil?
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 1:191
17 Kislev 5770 listen Chanukah: "Recooking" Milk and Meat in Chanukah Oil (14:43)
Is there "recooking" in burning a cooked milk and meat mixture?
Sources: Pitchei Teshuva YD 87:4; Pri Megadim Ashel Avraham OC 673:1
16 Kislev 5770 listen Lighting Chanukah Candles with Forbidden Oil (2) (13:30)
Is the light from burning forbidden oil permitted for use or forbidden?
Sources: Baer Heitev 673:1; MB 687:2; Pitchei Teshuva YD 87:4
15 Kislev 5770 listen Lighting Chanukah Candles with Forbidden Oil (12:53)
What fuels (and wicks) can be used to light the Chanukah candles?
Sources: OC 673:1; Baer Heitev 673:1; YD 87:1
30 Cheshvan 5770 listen Tefillin on Rosh Chodesh (13:07)
When are tefillin removed for Rosh Chodesh Musaf?
Sources: OC 423:3-4; MB 423:5,7,10
14 Tishrei 5770 listen Shaving and Hair Cuts on Chol HaMoed (15:51)
It is a mitzvah to shave and groom prior to a holiday and thus we are prohibited from doing so on Chol HaMoed.
Sources: OC 631:1-2; MB 630:1-4; Shaar HaTziun 631:1; Beur Halacha d.h. "Ein Megalchim"
13 Tishrei 5770 listen What is Chol HaMoed all about? (12:20)
Chol HaMoed is neither weekday nor holiday. So what is it?
Sources: OC 630:1; MB 630:2
12 Tishrei 5770 listen Malachah on Chol HaMoed: D'Oraita or D'Rabbanan? (14:51)
Is malachah on Chol HaMoed prohibitted by the Written or Oral Torah?
Sources: OC 630:1; MB 630:1
11 Tishrei 5770 listen Introduction to Chol HaMoed (13:28)
Chol HaMoed has its own particular restrictions on malachah -- it is neither a weekday nor festival.
Sources: OC 630:1; MB 630:1
7 Tishrei 5770 listen Customs of Yom Kippur (18:16)
On Yom Kippur, we set a beautiful table and dress like angels.
Sources: OC 610:4; MB 610:7-18; Baer Heitev 610:1,3
5 Tishrei 5770 listen Lighting Candles for Yom Kippur (10:37)
The mitzvah of lighting candles for Yom Kippur.
Sources: OC 610:1-3; MB 610:1-8
4 Tishrei 5770 listen Treating Sickness on a Public Fast Day (8:44)
What do you do if you need to take medicine on a public fast day?
Sources: OC 328:2,9, 618:1
3 Tishrei 5770 listen Surviving Selichos (2:26)
Some thoughts about overcoming the challenging difficulties of our daily selichos during the ten days.
28 Elul 5769 listen The Shofar of the Resurrection (7:09)
The shofar that will restore the dead to life.
Sources: The Prayers of Rebbi Shimon bar Yochai
27 Elul 5769 listen Sound the Great Shofar! (10:18)
The shofar that will herald the coming of Messiah.
Sources: The Prayers of Rebbi Shimon bar Yochai
26 Elul 5769 listen Celebrating the Day of Judgement (9:51)
If Rosh HaShannah is a day of judgement, how is it that we are festive and joyous when facing such an awesome event?
Sources: Tur OC 581
25 Elul 5769 listen Pleading Before the King of Kings (5:26)
Selichos are all about pleading our case before Hashem.
Sources: Tur OC 581
22 Elul 5769 listen The Historical Events of Elul (15:14)
Why is the month of Elul a time of selichos and shofar?
Sources: Tur OC 581
24 Av 5769 listen Bamboo Mats for Schach (16:56)
Whether or not bamboo mats can be used as schach is already discussed in the Mishnah.
Sources: Sukkah 1:11
23 Av 5769 listen The Sukkah Roof: Kosher Schach (15:08)
The general principles involved in the halachot governing schach.
Sources: Sukkah 1:4
22 Av 5769 listen Coverings on the Sukkah (12:09)
One who sits under a covering that is either over or under the s'chach does not fulfill the mitzvah of sukkah.
Sources: Sukkah 1:3
21 Av 5769 listen The Location of the Sukkah (16:11)
A sukkah is not kosher unless it is under the open sky.
Sources: Sukkah 1:2
17 Av 5769 listen The Size Limitations on a Sukkah (12:54)
The minimum and maximum height of a sukkah, and the minimum area.
Sources: Sukkah 1:1
14 Av 5769 listen Lessons from Tisha B'Av: Creating a Culture of Honesty (16:52)
Issues we should each address to become the Holy Nation we can be...
10 Av 5769 listen Lessons from Tisha B'Av (17:32)
Reflections on Tisha B'Av: what should we learn from the fast?
8 Av 5769 listen Tisha B'Av that Falls on Thursday (17:16)
A review of mourning customs on Tisha B'Av, and the special leniencies of lifting mourning to prepare for Shabbos when Tisha B'Av falls on Thursday.
Sources: OC 558:1; MB 558:1-3
25 Tamuz 5769 listen Loneliness During the Three Weeks (15:04)
During the Three Weeks, we don't simply mourn; rather, we long for Hashem and experience our deep loneliness
17 Tamuz 5769 listen Jewish Resistance and Nazi Gun Laws (12:55)
The 17th of Tamuz, Self-Defense, and "Never Again."
5 Sivan 5769 listen VaY'chulu on Yom Tov Erev Shabbos (17:05)
Do we say VaY'chulu on Yom Tov Erev Shabbos? When and why?
Sources: OC 268:1,7,9,11; MB 268:1,18-19,23
4 Sivan 5769 listen Shavuot: Offering the Bikkurim (14:12)
The first fruits were brought to and offered at the Temple with much joy and celebration.
3 Sivan 5769 listen Shavuot: The Bringing of Bikkurim (2) (16:20)
First fruits were brought to Jerusalem in a joyous procession.
Sources: Bikurim 1:1-4
28 Iyar 5769 listen Shavuot: The Bringing of Bikkurim (17:09)
In addition to the two Shavuot loaves, the bringing of first fruits commenced on Shavuot.
Sources: Ex. 23:19; Num. 18:13; Deu. 26:1-11; Sefer HaChinuch 606
27 Iyar 5769 listen Shavuot: Shtei HaLechem and Related Korbanot (17:16)
From the breads of Shavuot, we learn important lessons about how we should view the role of work and income in our lives.
Sources: Sefer HaChinuch 307
26 Iyar 5769 listen Shavuot: Shtei HaLechem (15:09)
An introduction to the "new meal offering" brought on Shavuot.
Sources: Sefer HaChinuch 307
28 Nissan 5769 listen Haircuts for Rosh Chodesh Iyar Shabbos (3:12)
A special situation: when Rosh Chodesh Iyar falls on Shabbos, some poskim allow a haircut in honor of the combined Rosh Chodesh Shabbat.
Sources: OC 493:2; MB 493:5
27 Nissan 5769 listen Rosh Chodesh that Falls on Shabbos (14:10)
When Rosh Chodesh falls on Shabbos, we have a special haftarah and a special musaf.
Sources: OC 425:1,3; MB 425:1-2,14-15
26 Nissan 5769 listen The Offering of the Omer (10:54)
A look at the omer as brought at the Beis HaMikdash.
Sources: Menachot 10
23 Nissan 5769 listen The Preparation of the Omer Offering (15:42)
A look at the omer offering as brought at the Beis HaMikdash.
Sources: Menachot 10
6 Nissan 5769 listen Kashering Countertops, Tables, Cabinets, and Refridgerators (15:30)
Finishing up the kitchen. Also: kashering temperatures from the OU.
Dedicated for a refuah shleimah for Breina bas Frieda.
5 Nissan 5769 listen Kashering Stovetops, Sinks, and Countertops (16:54)
Applying libun and hagala to surfaces in the kitchen.
2 Nissan 5769 listen Kashering Ovens by Libun (14:32)
Also: how to kasher other items by libun.
1 Nissan 5769 listen Rosh Chodesh Nissan; Afikomen; Kashering by Libun (14:23)
Topics for Rosh Chodesh Nissan: standing for hallel on Rosh Chodesh; sitting for hallel at the seder; eating the Afikomen; introduction to libun.
Sources: OC 422:7; MB 422:28
29 Adar 5769 listen Kashering (2) -- Hagala (cont.) (17:17)
Issues in hagala: materials, large utensils, and handles.
28 Adar 5769 listen Kashering (1) -- Hagala (15:08)
How to kasher a pot.
27 Adar 5769 listen Buying Chometz after Pesach from a Supermarket Chain (14:36)
Buying chometz from a large chain is different from buying from a sole proprietor.
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 4:96
24 Adar 5769 listen Buying Chometz after Pesach from a Non-religious Jew (15:47)
Issues of chometz she-avar alav ha-Pesach with a sole proprietor.
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 4:96
23 Adar 5769 listen Buying Chometz after Pesach (1) (5:02)
An introduction to issues of chometz she-avar alav ha-Pesach.
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 4:96
22 Adar 5769 listen A Pesach Apartment Rental (6) (14:58)
Who is believed that they have checked for chometz? Halacha l'ma'aseh for a Pesach rental or hotel.
Sources: OC 437:4; MB 437:15-19
21 Adar 5769 listen A Pesach Apartment Rental (5) (17:05)
You rented an apartment that you assume was checked for chometz. If you find out that it wasn't, are you entitled to a discount from the landlord?
Sources: OC 437:3; MB 437:11-14
20 Adar 5769 listen A Pesach Apartment Rental (4) (14:53)
If the tenant takes possession after the time for checking for chometz, can he assume that the apartment has been checked?
Sources: OC 437:1-2; MB 437:5-10
17 Adar 5769 listen A Pesach Apartment Rental (3) (16:01)
Methods of kinyan (acquiring an apartment); the difference between a sale and a rental.
Sources: OC 437:1; MB 437:2-4
16 Adar 5769 listen A Pesach Apartment Rental (2) (13:51)
Renting an apartment for Pesach: the Talmud and Tosefot.
15 Adar 5769 listen A Pesach Apartment Rental (1) (16:14)
If you rent an apartment for Pesach, who is responsible for checking for chometz?
Sources: Pes. 4a; OC 437:1; MB 437:1-2
13 Adar 5769 listen Blotting out Haman's Name (2) (8:22)
It's best not to verbally blot out Haman's name.
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 1:192
10 Adar 5769 listen Blotting out Haman's Name (1) (17:37)
Even when we blot out Haman's name during megilla reading, we still have to hear the megilla.
Sources: OC 690:17; MB 690:59-60; Shar HaTziun 690:57; Baer Heitev 690:14; Igros Moshe OC 1:192
9 Adar 5769 listen Interruptions in the Reading of the Megilla (2) (12:37)
An overview of the halachot of interruptions in kriat shema helps us better understand the halachot of interruptions in the reading of the megilla.
Sources: OC 65:1, 690:17; MB 65:1
7 Adar 5769 listen Parshat Zachor (15:45)
The reading of Parshat Zachor.
Sources: OC 685:2,7; MB 685:6-8,14-16
2 Adar 5769 listen Interruptions in the Reading of the Megilla (1) (15:24)
If you pause during or interrupt the reading of the Megilla, do you need to start over? NOTE: there are mistakes in this shiur that will be corrected in part 2!
Sources: Mishna Megilla 2:1-2; OC 690:5; MB 690:17-19
30 Shevat 5769 listen Reading from a Non-Kosher Megilla (11:44)
If you have a pasul Megillat Ester, make sure not to read aloud with the ba'al koreh
Sources: OC 690:4; MB 690:13-16
29 Shevat 5769 listen Reading the Megilla Over a Microphone (2) (13:57)
Rav Moshe's psak on microphone use with regard to megilla.
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 4:126
26 Shevat 5769 listen The Mitzvah of Mechatzit HaShekel (18:34)
Shabbat Shekalim is in honor of the mechatzit hashekel. What is that mitzvah about?
Sources: Ex. 30:11-16; Sefer HaChinuch 108
25 Shevat 5769 listen Reading the Megilla Over a Microphone (1) (15:45)
If you hear the megilla read over a microphone, have you fulfilled your obligation?
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 2:108
24 Shevat 5769 listen Reading Megilla from an Incomplete Scroll (14:16)
If the megilla is missing letters, words, or entire verses, can it be used?
Sources: OC 690:3; MB 690:6-12
23 Shevat 5769 listen Reading the Megilla in Public (15:03)
Introduction to the halachot surrounding the public megilla reading.
Sources: OC 690:1-3; MB 690:1-5
19 Shevat 5769 listen Sadness on Purim: Fasting and Eulogies (11:21)
Fasting on Purim is forbidden, and mourning only be observed in private.
Sources: OC 686:1, 695:2, 696:3; MB 695:6, 696:8-9
18 Shevat 5769 listen Drinking at the Purim Seudah (14:48)
Be careful not to drink too much at the Purim meal.
Sources: Meg. 7b; OC 695:1-2; MB 698:4
1 Shevat 5769 listen Various Halachot of Hallel (7:32)
10 Tevet 5769 listen Selichos for the 10th of Tevet (9:35)
Selichos for Asara b'Tevet focus on three tragedies that occured during the month.
Sources: II Kings 25
9 Tevet 5769 listen The Loss of Yerushalayim (15:11)
A brief history of the events that brought about the first downfall of Yerushalayim. What caused the Jewish people to lose the Holy City, and what can we learn from those events about what is taking place in Eretz Yisroel today?
Sources: 2 Kings 16-24
In memory of Tamar Rivkah bas Sheur Zalman on the occasion of her yahrzeit.
2 Tevet 5769 listen Learning from Chanukah Candles to Torah Reading (14:11)
We can put aside wax Chanukah candles to light olive oil instead. Can we put aside one sefer Torah to read from another?
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 2:37
29 Kislev 5769 listen Where should we light the Chanukah candles in our times? (20:00)
Most of us don't light outside today. Where should we light?
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 4:125; Shar HaTziun 671:42
27 Kislev 5769 listen Why is Chanukah Eight Days? (9:24)
If one day's supply of oil burned for eight days, then there were only seven miraculous days -- the first day's supply was what was found. So why eight days of Chanukah instead of seven?
Sources: BY OC 470:1
25 Kislev 5769 listen Chanukah: Purity and Impurity (10:27)
What does it mean when we say in the Chanukah: story that "there was only one jug of 'pure' oil?
Sources: BY OC 470:1
7 Kislev 5769 listen When is Tekufat Tishrei? (2) (16:45)
Understanding Shmuel's calendar.
Sources: BY OC 117:1
6 Kislev 5769 listen When is Tekufat Tishrei? (1) (14:57)
Why do we start praying for rain based on a secular date?
Sources: Taanit 9a; BY OC 117:1
1 Kislev 5769 listen Mistakes During Hallel (6:36)
If you skip a pasuk or perek during Hallel, do you need to go back and correct your mistake? If so, how?
Sources: OC 422:6; MB 422:26-27
18 Tishrei 5769 listen The Splendor of Hakhel (2) (14:39)
The mitzvah of hakhel: the gathering of all of the Jewish people every seven years to listen to the king read the Torah.
Sources: Sefer HaChinuch 612
17 Tishrei 5769 listen The Splendor of Hakhel (1) (16:05)
The mitzvah of hakhel: the gathering of all of the Jewish people every seven years to listen to the king read the Torah.
Sources: Sefer HaChinuch 612
14 Tishrei 5769 listen Non-Jews and Schach; Mezuzah for a Sukkah (16:27)
If you forget to put your schach on, can a non-Jew put it on for you on Yom Tov? Also: does your sukkah need a mezuzah?
Sources: MB 626:20-21
11 Tishrei 5769 listen Trees and Roofs Overhanging the Sukkah (16:25)
A solid roof over the sukkah renders the sukkah pasul, but what about a roof that opens? Is there a way to deal with a tree?
Sources: OC 626:1-3; MB 626:1-2,18-19
9 Tishrei 5769 listen Selichot for Erev Yom Kippur (10:30)
On Erev Yom Kippur, selichot are brief, and other sections of shacharit are skipped as well.
8 Tishrei 5769 listen Selichot for the 4th of the 10 Days of Teshuva (14:11)
A detailed look at the structure and content of the selichot for the 4th of the 10 days of teshuva.
4 Tishrei 5769 listen The Structure of Selichot (5:50)
Understanding the structure of selichot enhances our appreciation thereof.
26 Elul 5768 listen The Secret of Selichot (10:09)
The heart of the selichot service is the recitation of the 13 attributes, as given to Moshe on Mt. Sinai.
5 Elul 5768 listen Chinuch for Yom Kippur; Chinuch for Teshuva (17:19)
What are a child's obligations with regard to Yom Kippur and the Teshuva process? Does an adult need to do teshuva for the indiscretions of his or her youth? What about a ba'al teshuva?
Sources: OC 343:1 (Rama); MB 343:6; Ch"A 66; Yoma 8:4
7 Av 5768 listen Tisha B'Av's Inner Meaning (13:17)
The significance of Tisha b'Av goes beyond fasting and even beyond mourning. What are we to learn from Tisha b'Av?
Sources: Ch"A 133:1;135:16
5 Av 5768 listen Tisha b'Av that Falls on Sunday: Overview and Summary (15:23)
Summary and overview of all the special aspects of Shabbos Erev Tisha b'Av.
Sources: Ch"A 135:23
4 Av 5768 listen Havdala on Motzei Shabbos Erev Tisha b'Av (15:22)
On motzei shabbos erev Tisha b'Av, we cannot drink wine. How do we make havdala?
Sources: OC 556; MB 556:1-5
3 Av 5768 listen Maariv on Motzei Shabbos Erev Tisha b'Av (14:57)
Sources: OC 559:1-2; MB 559:1-9
29 Tamuz 5768 listen Shabbos Erev Tisha b'Av: Shalshudos and Maariv (16:05)
On Shabbos, the third meal usual extends past sunset into the night; on Erev Tisha b'Av, we begin fasting at sunset. So what do we do when Erev Tisha b'Av falls on Shabbos?
Sources: OC 552:10;553:2; MB 552:23-24;553:6-7
28 Tamuz 5768 listen Shabbos Erev Tisha b'Av: Meat, Wine, Learning Torah, and Tz"Tz (14:51)
Sources: OC 551:9;553:2,12; MB 553:8-10,12
27 Tamuz 5768 listen Laundry, Haircuts, and Washing for the Shabbos before Tisha b'Av (15:34)
In general, we don't launder or wear clean clothes, take haircuts, or wash during the nine days. What about lichvod shabbat?
Sources: OC 551:3,16; MB 551:32,95-97
26 Tamuz 5768 listen Shabbos Rosh Chodesh Menachem Av (13:20)
On Shabbos Rosh Chodesh Menachem Av, do we read the haftarah for Rosh Chodesh or for the Tlat d'Puranuta? Also: the brachot for the haftorah and musaf on Shabbos Rosh Chodesh.
Sources: OC 425:1-3; MB 425:8,15; OC 284:2; MB 284:4; OC 428:8
14 Tamuz 5768 listen Overview of the Three Weeks (5:01)
Overview and summary of the history and halachot of the Three Weeks
3 Sivan 5768 listen Havdala following Yom Tov (15:13)
We make havdala following Yom Tov, but we don't include the candle or spices. Why?
Sources: OC 491:1; MB 491:1-2; OC 298:1; MB 298:1
1 Sivan 5768 listen Teshuva and Tikkun: Staying Awake all Night on Shavuos (10:26)
Staying awak all night on Shavuos may compensate for our oversleeping when the Torah was given. Also: handling the morning blessings for those who haven't slept.
Sources: OC 494:1; MB 494:1
20 Iyar 5768 listen Treating Mitzvot with Respect (16:04)
We must always regard mitzvot respectfully, never putting ourselves above a mitzvah.
Sources: Ch"A 68:2
8 Iyar 5768 listen Chinuch for Mitzvot Aseh (14:37)
Introduction to chinuch: a look at Kiddush Lavana and Kriat Shema.
Sources: MB 426:1; OC 70:2; MB 70:6-9; Sha'ar HaTziun 70:7
7 Iyar 5768 listen Kiddush Lavana: The Marriage of G-d and Israel (13:24)
Kiddush Lavana customs are all about the joy of the relationship between Hashem and His people, and the joy associated with Kiddush Lavana reflects this relationship.
Sources: OC 426:2,4; MB 426:14-16,21
4 Iyar 5768 listen The Joy of Kiddush Lavana (15:32)
Kiddush Lavana is a time of joy, and many of its halachot and customs reflect this. So can a mourner say Kiddush Lavana? We are supposed to enjoy the light of the moon as part of the reason for the blessing, but do we look at the moon while reciting Kiddush Lavana?
Sources: OC 426:2; MB 426:11-14
3 Iyar 5768 listen Kiddush Lavana and Fast Days (17:18)
Kiddush Lavana is ideally said on Motzei Shabbos or Motzei Yom Tov. What about after a fast day? This shiur discusses Yom Kippur, Tisha B'Av, Asara B'Tevet, Ta'anit Ester, and other Taaniot.
Sources: OC 426:2; MB 426:7-11; Beur Halacha d.h. "v'Lo kodem Yom HaKippurim"
2 Iyar 5768 listen Monthly Dates for Kiddush Levana (14:41)
What are the earliest and latest dates in the monthly lunar cycle when Kiddush Levana can be recited? Why?
Sources: OC 426:3-4; MB 426:17-20
1 Iyar 5768 listen Reciting Kiddush Lavana on Motzei Shabbos (15:02)
The ideal time for Kiddush Lavana is Motzei Shabbos -- within reason. Also: a brief summary of the works of Rav Yosef Caro, plus a bit of angeology.
Sources: OC 426:2-3; MB 426:4-6,18
L'ilui nishmat Moshe ben Hirsh on the occasion of his yahrzeit.
30 Nissan 5768 listen Halachic Requirements for Reciting Kiddush Levana (14:09)
Who is obligated to recite Kiddush Levana? Do you have to see the moon to say it? When is it said?
Sources: OC 426:1; MB 426:1-3
28 Nissan 5768 listen The Moon, the Jewish Calendar, and Free Will (16:45)
Introduction to Kiddush Levana -- the mitzvah of sanctifying the new moon.
Sources: OC 428:2; MB 428:3; OC 426:1; MB 426:1
26 Nissan 5768 listen Wonders of the Jewish Calendar (9:16)
The "Ot-Bosh" of Pesach is one of the many wonders of the Jewish Calendar.
Sources: OC 428:3; MB 428:5
6 Nissan 5768 listen Eating Eggs at the Seder (15:48)
Why do we eat eggs at the seder? Why is there an egg on the seder plate?
Sources: Pesachim 10:3; OC 476:2; MB 476:11-12; OC 473:4; MB 473:22-23
Dedicated for a refuah shleimah for Breina bas Frieda.
5 Nissan 5768 listen B'dieved, Havdala Can be Made on any of the Four Cups (14:04)
If you forget to make up for havdala in the second bracha, you have additional opportunities through the meal, the seder, and beyond. Also: washing hands for kiddush.
Sources: OC 473:1; MB 473:5-9
4 Nissan 5768 listen What if you forget Havdala in the Kiddush on Erev Pesach Motzei Shabbos? (15:43)
If you forget to make Havdala in Kiddush, how do you make up for your ommission?
Sources: OC 473:1; MB 473:4
3 Nissan 5768 listen Havdala and Shehechiyanu in Kiddush on Erev Pesach (15:16)
The Kiddush of Pesach on Motzei Shabbos is special in that it includes both Shehechiyanu and Havdala.
Sources: OC 473:1; MB 473:1,3
Dedicated as a zechut l'ilui nishmat Shaul ben Chana z"l for a refuah shleimah for Breina bas Frieda.
2 Nissan 5768 listen Hallel in the Seder; Kiddush and Hallel in Maariv on Pesach (11:58)
In the middle of the Pesach Seder, we recite Hallel; in the middle of Hallel, we interrupt to eat. How can we interrupt Hallel in the middle? Also: There are two special changes in Maariv for Pesach: many communities recite Hallel, and there is no Kiddush in shul.
Sources: OC 487:3-4; Pesachim 10:1; MB 487:10,16
Dedicated for a refuah shleimah for Breina bas Frieda and Tamar bat Sigalit.
28 Adar II 5768 listen Maariv on Pesach (16:36)
The special evening prayers for Erev Pesach.
Sources: OC 487:1; Brachot 4:5; MB 487:1-9
Dedicated for a refuah shleimah for Breina bas Frieda.
12 Adar II 5768 listen Who was Ahashveirosh? (14:58)
Who was Ahashveirosh who made a 180-day party? Why is it important that he sat on his throne in Shushan, his capitol city; isn't that what all kings do?
Sources: Est. 1:1; Targum, ad loc.
11 Adar II 5768 listen Introduction to the Megilla (14:00)
An introduction to the first few verses of the Megilla as an example of the rabbinic exegetic process.
Sources: Est. 1:1; Rashi, Ebn Ezra, Rishon LeTzion, Targum, ad loc.
10 Adar II 5768 listen Going Away for Purim (13:45)
If you must be away for Purim such that you won't have an opportunity to hear the megilla at the right time, what should you do?
Sources: OC 688:7-8; MB 688:19-23
9 Adar II 5768 listen Purim Meshulash: "Three-Day Purim" (15:43)
When Shushan Purim falls on Shabbos, Jews in walled cities celebrate Purim for three days!
Sources: OC 688:6; MB 688:14-18
6 Adar II 5768 listen Ben Ir SheHalach L'Krach (13:51)
A dweller of a walled city who goes to a village for Purim or vice versa... when does he read the Megilla? Also: Two Biblical walled cities of questionable status.
Sources: II Sam. 20:14; Judges 16:2; OC 688:5; MB 688:12-13
5 Adar II 5768 listen When You are Unsure when to Read... (16:13)
Halachot for situations when you are unsure whether to observer Purim on the 14th or 15th of Adar, including questionably walled cities, and an introduction to people who travel to or from walled cities for Purim.
Sources: OC 688:4-5; MB 688:9-12; Beur Halacha d.h. "Ben ir she'halach l'krach"
4 Adar II 5768 listen Modern Jerusalem and Other Cities (14:08)
The status of various cities -- modern Jerusalem, Shushan, Jaffa, Tiberias, Hebron, and more.
Sources: OC 688:2-3; MB 688:5-8
3 Adar II 5768 listen Purim and Shushan Purim (14:32)
Most of us celebrate Purim on the fourteenth of Adar, but certain cities, like Shushan, celebrate on the fifteenth.
Sources: Est. 9:17-23; OC 688:1; MB 688:1,3-4
2 Adar II 5768 listen Leap Year (Part 2) (9:36)
The halachic implications of the added month in a leap year: Bar Mitzvah, bechor, rentals, mourning, korbanot, and more.
Sources: OC 55:9; Erchin 31b; Bava Me. 102a; YD 391:2; Shach YD 57:43
28 Adar I 5768 listen Leap Year (Part 1) (15:12)
During a leap year, just how long is a "year," and what are the halachic implications of the added month?
Sources: Bava Me. 102a; Lev. 25:30; Deu. 15:20; Erchin 31b; Tosefta Parah 1; Ned. 63a; Shach YD 227:15
6 Adar I 5768 listen Dating Documents During a Leap Year (9:15)
How do we record the date in halachic documents during the two months of Adar in a leap year? What about the two days of Rosh Chodesh? Also: a general overview of the Jewish Calendar.
Sources: OC 427:1; MB 427:1-3
5 Adar I 5768 listen Rosh Chodesh: Leap Year, Part 2 (9:30)
In a leap year, are there any customs associated with Purim Katan, the 14th and 15th of Adar I?
Sources: OC 697:1; MB 697:3-5; Shaarei Teshuva 697:2
30 Shevat 5768 listen Rosh Chodesh: Leap Year, Part 1 (9:24)
In a leap year, are events observed in Adar 1 or Adar 2?
Sources: OC 697:1; MB 697:1-3 Shaar HaTziun 697:2
29 Shevat 5768 listen Borrer (12): Broken Matzos (4:45)
Choosing whole matzos from among broken matzos is a problem of borrer that presents itself every Pesach.
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 16:14
29 Shevat 5768 listen Torah Reading on Rosh Chodesh (9:30)
The order of the Torah reading, the reason for four aliyot, and the division of the aliyot on Rosh Chodesh.
Sources: OC 423:1-2; MB 423:1-3
29 Tevet 5768 listen Accidental Inclusion of Shabbos or Rosh Chodesh in a Weekday Amidah (14:57)
What if you accidentally include ya'aleh v'yavo in a weekday amidah?
Sources: OC 108:12; MB 108:37-38
26 Tevet 5768 listen Making Up for a Forgotten Ya'aleh v'Yavo (12:57)
If ya'aleh v'yavo is forgotten on Rosh Chodesh at mincha, can you make up for it in the following ma'ariv?
Sources: OC 108:11; MB 108:34-36
9 Tevet 5768 listen What if you forget aneinu on a fast day? (14:55)
One who forgets aneinu on a fast day does not go back to insert it. But the halacha is quite different for an individual as compared to the shaliach tzibbur.
Sources: OC 119:4; MB 119:16-19
In memory of Tamar Rivkah bas Sheur Zalman on the occasion of her yahrzeit.
3 Tevet 5768 listen Zot Chanukah (8:51)
On the eigth day of Chanukah, we read "Zot Chanukah", the dedication of the mishkan, including the lighting of the menorah. There is more to this then the obvious similarity of the events.
Sources: OC 684:1; Num. 7:22-8:4; Rashi, Num. 8:1; Yalkut Shimoni B'ha'alotcha 247:719
In memory of Moshe ben Chaim on the occasion of his 36th yahrzeit.
1 Tevet 5768 listen The Aliyot for Rosh Chodesh Chanukah (6:33)
On Rosh Chodesh Chanukah, we read from two sifrei Torah. But how do we divide up the aliyot between Rosh Chodesh and Chanukah? Also: what if we accidentally take out only one sefer Torah or begin reading from the wrong sefer Torah?
Sources: OC 684:3; MB 684:12-18; Beur Halacha d.h. "v'Im Ta'ah; v'Im Tzarich"
25 Kislev 5768 listen Oils and Wicks for Chanukah Candles (14:25)
Oils and wicks that are prohibited for shabbos candles are permissible for Chanukah candles. What is the difference between Chanukah and shabbos that we treat the halacha of their candles differently?
Sources: OC 673:1; MB 673:1
19 Kislev 5768 listen Chanukah and the Sale of Yosef (13:16)
While we don't know exactly when Yosef was sold into slavery, there are hints that he was sold on Chanukah.
Sources: Gen. 37:24-26; Shabb. 22a; Sofrim 18:3; Ps. 30; Mal. 3:14
28 Cheshvan 5768 listen Birkat HaMazon on Motzei Shabbos / Erev Rosh Chodesh (15:10)
Birkat HaMazon on shabbos when Rosh Chodesh falls on Sunday (part 2). Do we include r'tzei for shabbos, Ya'aleh v'Yavo for Rosh Chodesh, or both?
Sources: OC 188:10; MB 188:33-34
27 Cheshvan 5768 listen Rosh Chodesh on Sunday (Part 1) (8:33)
When Rosh Chodesh falls on Sunday, there is a special haftara reading. Also: Birkat HaMazon on shabbos when Rosh Chodesh falls on Sunday (part 1).
Sources: OC 425:2; MB 425:9; OC 188:10; MB 188:32
30 Tishrei 5768 listen Rosh Chodesh on Shabbos (Part 2) (6:57)
Why was the Haftara for Rosh Chodesh on Shabbos chosen?
Sources: OC 625:1; MB 625:6-8; Isa. 66:23
29 Tishrei 5768 listen Rosh Chodesh on Shabbos (Part 1) (9:03)
When Rosh Chodesh falls on Shabbos we add Ya'aleh v'Yavo, read a special Rosh Chodesh Maftir, and recite a special haftara.
Sources: OC 625:1; MB 625:1-5
Dedicated in memory of Shnuer Zalman ben Shlomo on the occasion of his yahrzeit.
21 Tishrei 5768 listen Sukkot Decorations on Shmini Atzeret (14:54)
The Sukkot decorations stay on the sukkah walls until after Shmini Atzeret. Why? Also: the prayer for leaving the sukkah for the last time; preparing on Yom Tov for shabbos.
Sources: OC 667:1; MB 667:1-6
19 Tishrei 5768 listen Smelling the Hadas or Etrog during Sukkos (15:18)
It is forbidden to smell the hadas but permitted to smell the etrog. What is the difference between them, and what is the prohibition about?
18 Tishrei 5768 listen What is the significance of the Etrog? (15:21)
Why do we wave an Etrog on Sukkos? How do we know that the "pre etz hadar" is an Etrog?
Sources: Sukkah 35a; Lev. 23:40; Onkoles, Ramban, ad loc.; Gen. 3:6; Onkoles, ad loc.; Gen. 2:9; Onkoles, ad loc.
13 Tishrei 5768 listen Between Yom Kippur and Sukkos (11:51)
After Yom Kippur, we rush to do several mitzvot, among them building the sukkah. We also leave out tachnun as the days until Sukkos have a quasi Yom Tov status. What is the connection between these themes?
Sources: OC 624:5; MB 624:18-19; OC 625:1; MB 625:2; I Kings 7-8
Dedicated as a zechut for a refuah shleima for Moshe ben Ester Ruchel.
12 Tishrei 5768 listen Introduction to Sukkos (9:48)
Why do we dwell in a Sukkah?
Sources: OC 625:1; MB 625:1
7 Tishrei 5768 listen Shortening or Skipping Prayers on Erev Yom Kippur (7:57)
We eliminate several prayers on Erev Yom Kippur, including LaMinatzeach, Mizmor L'Todah, and Tachnun -- though each is eliminated for a different reason. Slichot are shortened and Avinu Malkeinu is skipped.
Sources: OC 604:2; MB 604:3-5
6 Tishrei 5768 listen Eating on Erev Yom Kippur (15:39)
Most of us eat on the day before Yom Kippur to prepare ourselves for the upcoming fast. But it is actually a mitzvah to eat on Erev Yom Kippur. Why is that?
Sources: OC 604:1; MB 604:1-2
29 Elul 5767 listen Introduction to Eruv Tavshilin (18:43)
What is an Eruv Tavshilin? When, why, and how do we make an Eruv Tavshilin? Isn't this just a "legal loophole" -- if cooking is forbidden, how does the Eruv help, and if it is permitted, what is the point of the Eruv?
28 Elul 5767 listen Making the Yomim Noraim Relevant (51:47)
Join Rav Dovid for a corporate "Lunch and Learn" discussion on relating to the High Holidays in our modern times. What makes the Yomim Noraim relevant for us today? Is this just a bunch of "New Year's Resolutions" that, like all other such resolutions, will be forgotten within days of Yom Kippur? How should we relate to Rosh HaShanah, and why do these Holidays occur back-to-back on the calendar?
24 Elul 5767 listen Pas Yisrael During Aseret Yomei Teshuva (15:36)
Also: The Rama encourages us to do teshuva and recommends that we read the Iggeret HaTeshuva of Rabbeinu Yonah each day.
Sources: OC 603:1; MB 603:1-2
Dedicated as a zechut for a refuah shleima for Yeshua Yaakov ben Froma.
23 Elul 5767 listen Customs for Erev Rosh HaShanah (7:28)
Haircuts, clean clothes, mikveh, trips to the cemetery, and tzedakah.
Sources: OC 581:4; MB 581:25-27
23 Elul 5767 listen Yet Another Reason for Selichot (2:29)
The Ba'al HaTurim brings down remez and sod to tell us why we recite selichot prior to Rosh HaShanah.
Sources: Deu. 30:6; Ba'al HaTurim ad.loc.; Ps. 27:13
22 Elul 5767 listen Selichot without a Minyan; Preparing the Rosh HaShanah Prayers (13:48)
Selichot should be recited even without a minyan, though the 13 attributes are omitted. All of the Rosh HaShanah prayers -- including selichot -- should be prepared in advance so that they can be recited comfortably in shul. The goal is to focus on davening, not on trying to read the tefilla.
Sources: OC 581:1; MB 581:4; OC 100:1; MB 100:3
21 Elul 5767 listen The Ten Days of Selichot (12:58)
Why do selichot always start on Saturday night? Why are selichot said so early in the morning, and without tallis and tefillin? Why does the chazan where a tallis?
Sources: OC 581:1; MB 581:5-7
29 Av 5767 listen Yom Kippur Katan (9:56)
Some people fast every Erev Rosh Chodesh for Yom Kippur Katan. What's it all about?
Sources: OC 417:1; MB 417:4
26 Av 5767 listen Elul, the Season of Teshuva, and L'David Ori (14:07)
Why do we recite L'David Ori during the entire month of Elul? And why is the season of teshuva so long?
Sources: Siddur HaGra
25 Av 5767 listen Rosh Chodesh Elul (11:08)
Customs of Elul: selichot, shofar, and Hashem Ori.
Sources: OC 581:1; MB 581:1-3
8 Av 5767 listen Haircuts for Mourners; Laundry for Children (11:05)
There are leniencies in the restrictions regarding haircuts during the three weeks for mourners just coming out of shloshim and for children's clothing. Also: avoiding the evil forces that lurk about during the three weeks.
Sources: OC 551:14-15,18; MB 551:81-87
5 Av 5767 listen Kiddush Levana is Recited after Tisha Av; Restrictions on Meat and Wine (15:14)
Kiddush Levana is a time of joy, so it is delayed until after Tisha B'Av. Meat and wine are not eaten during the Nine Days, but what about at a seudat mitzvah?
Sources: OC 551:8,10; MB 551:54-55,63-78
2 Av 5767 listen Summary of Halachot of the 9 Days; Details on Laundering and New Clothes (16:12)
An overview of all the halachot appertaining to the Nine Days from Rosh Chodesh Av until Tisha B'Av, plus the details on laundering, new clothes, and freshly-pressed clothes.
Sources: OC 551:6; MB 551:44-45
1 Av 5767 listen Tragedies of the Month of Av (7:39)
Many tragedies befell the Jewish people in the month of Av, from the sin of the spies to the death of Aharon HaCohen.
Sources: OC 580:1-2; MB 580:3
17 Tamuz 5767 listen Haftarah Readings During the Three Weeks (1:15)
The tlata d'puranuta -- three calamaties.
5 Sivan 5767 listen Staying Awake All Night; Awakening before Dawn (15:56)
If you are awake all night, does one say Birkot HaTorah the following morning? What if you slept a little? What if you wake up to learn in the middle of the night -- are brachot required prior to learning? Halachah l'ma'aseh for Shavuot.
Sources: OC 47:12-13; MB 47:28-33
12 Iyar 5767 listen Friday Haircuts when Lag B'Omer is on Sunday (9:14)
If Lag B'Omer falls on Sunday, there are some leniencies available for Ashkenazim with regard to haircuts on Erev Shabbos.
Sources: OC 493:1-2; MB 493:5-6,8-9
In memory of Mendel Meyer ben Motel on the occasion of his Yahrzeit and for a refuah shleimah for Chaim Bear ben Perel Yitta.
6 Iyar 5767 listen Establishing a Chazaka on Tal or Geshem (14:30)
The same principle with regard to doubt -- that it takes thirty days to establish a new habit -- can also be used to resolve doubts by establishing a new habit with regard to saying tal or geshem.
Sources: OC 114:9; MB 114:40-44
5 Iyar 5767 listen Tal and Geshem: What if you aren't sure what you said? (15:51)
We get so used to the words of the amidah and have such poor focus on our tefillah that sometimes, perhaps even often, we don't know whether we said tal or geshem. What is the halacha in such a case?
Sources: OC 114:8; MB 114:35-38
2 Iyar 5767 listen The Fasts of BaHa"B (22:34)
The fasts of BaHa"B are held twice a year following both Pesach and Sukkos. This shiur explores the reasons behind the fasts and brings out the relevant halachot of BaHa"B.
Sources: OC 492:1; Tur 492; BY 492; MB 492:1-6
1 Iyar 5767 listen Adding the Musaf Rosh Chodesh to Morning Korbanot (Part 2) (12:10)
On Rosh Chodesh, Ashkenazic Jews add the Musaf Rosh Chodesh to the reading of the morning korbanot. Why? Are shabbos and Yom Tov the same or different? How and why?
Sources: OC 48:1; MB 48:1-5
In memory of Moshe ben Hirsh on the occasion of his Yahrzeit and in memory of Minna bas Avraham on the occasion of her Yahrzeit.
30 Nissan 5767 listen Adding the Musaf Rosh Chodesh to Morning Korbanot (Part 1) (12:16)
On Rosh Chodesh, Ashkenazic Jews add the Musaf Rosh Chodesh to the reading of the morning korbanot. Why? Are shabbos and Yom Tov the same or different? How and why?
Sources: OC 421:1; OC 48:1; MB 421:1; MB 48:6; Shaarei Teshuva 48:*
29 Nissan 5767 listen What if you add Morid HaGeshem when you shouldn't? (15:29)
If you add Morid HaGeshem when you shouldn't you need to correct the error. But how do you correct it? That depends on several variables -- whether you added geshem on purpose or by accident and when you realize your mistake.
Sources: OC 114:4,7-8; MB 114:19-24
Dedicated for a refuah shleima for Saritte bat Aliza Sali
28 Nissan 5767 listen Summary of the Halachot of Sefirat HaOmer (14:13)
Overview and summary of the various halachot regarding Sefirat HaOmer.
25 Nissan 5767 listen What if you accidentally add or forget "Morid HaTal"? (13:43)
If you accidentally add or forget "Morid HaTal", you generally need not correct the error. Why not? What if you request tal by accident in barech aleinu?
Sources: OC 114:3-4; MB 114:10,12-15,17-19
25 Nissan 5767 listen Bitul Chometz - Simon 447 (1:01:15)
Many of the dinim of ta'aruvos come into play with regard to chometz on Pesach. This chevruta shiur provides an overview of bitul chometz.
Sources: OC 447; MB, Tur, and BY ad loc.
24 Nissan 5767 listen What if you ask for rain in the wrong season? (12:01)
After musaf of the first day of Pesach, we stop davening for rain in the amidah. What if you ask for rain by accident?
Sources: OC 117:2-3; MB 117:14; Beur Halacha d.h. "HaTzrichim Matar"
23 Nissan 5767 listen Chometz She-Avar Alav HaPesach (Chometz After Pesach) (20:32)
Even after Pesach has ended, there are still chometz prohibitions that we must be concerned about. Chometz owned by a Jew during Pesach becomes permanently forbidden. But what if a non-Jew gives it to you? Leaves it in your home?
Sources: OC 448:1-3,5; MB 448:3-9
11 Nisan 5767 listen Blessings on the Four Cups of Wine (14:34)
Does each of the four cups require its own brocha rishona? Brocha achrona? Why or why not?
Sources: OC 474:1; MB 474:1-5
10 Nisan 5767 listen Shabbat HaGadol (13:08)
The shabbos before Pesach is known as "The Great Shabbos -- Shabbat HaGadol. Why is it called "Great", and what are the customs associated with this special shabbos?
Sources: Ex. 12:1-20; OC 430:1; MB 430:1-2; Mal. 3:23
9 Nisan 5767 listen Women and Children at the Seder (14:43)
Are women obligated to drink the four cups of wine? What about the rest of the seder obligations? What is a child's role at the seder?
Sources: OC 472:14-16; MB 472:44-45,50
8 Nisan 5767 listen What kind of wine should you use for the four cups? What if you don't like wine? (13:05)
The general rule: use the best wine you can afford.
Sources: OC 472:10-13; MB 472:35-42
7 Nisan 5767 listen Introduction to the Four Cups (13:11)
Why do we drink four cups of wine? How much wine should you drink?
Sources: Ex. 6:6-8; OC 472:8-9; MB 472:24-27,34
4 Nisan 5767 listen The Pesach Seder: What if you forget to lean? (16:00)
If one forgets to lean at the seder, is he required to go back, or has he fulfilled his mitzvah nonetheless?
Sources: OC 472:7; MB 472:20-23
3 Nisan 5767 listen The Pesach Seder: Reclining When it may be Disrespectful (13:36)
Does a child recline in front of his father to whom he is required to show honor? What about a student in front of his Rabbi?
Sources: OC 472:5-6; MB 472:14-19
Dedicated for a refuah shleima for Aliza Sali bas Tzipora
2 Nisan 5767 listen The Pesach Seder: Leaning as a Sign of Freedom (8:16)
Do women lean at the seder? What about mourners?
Sources: OC 472:4; MB 472:12-13
1 Nisan 5767 listen The Pesach Seder: Leaning to the Left (9:27)
At the seder, we all lean to the left, even those who are left-handed. Why?
Sources: OC 472:3; MB 472:9-12
29 Adar 5767 listen Setting a Seder Table fit for a King (9:07)
The seder table is set with one's finest of everything. The Maharil would even decorate his seder table with non-kosher plates and cups!
Sources: OC 472:2; MB 472:6-8
26 Adar 5767 listen When is the best time to start the Seder? (15:15)
We start the seder immediately after dark, in part to make sure the kids are awake.
Sources: OC 472:1; MB 472:1-5; Shaar HaTziun 472:2
25 Adar 5767 listen Chometz Pots; Cat Litter, Listerene, and Beer Shampoo (12:58)
Keilim used with chometz that cannot be cleaned properly or that contain more than a kazayit of chometz must be given to a non-Jew. Also: toasters, cat litter made from dried corn, and the difference between Listerene and beer shampoo.
Sources: OC 442:11; MB 442:51
24 Adar 5767 listen Less Than a Kazayit of Non-Food around the House; Food Unfit for a Dog (17:01)
Chometz dispersed around the house and non-food chometz, including beer shampoo, buckwheat pillows, and beanbags.
Sources: OC 442:8-9; MB 442:36,38,42
23 Adar 5767 listen Keeping Pesach Cleaning Sane (17:14)
What are we required to clean, what to we clean out of legitimate chumra, what is "customary" to clean, and what is just plain foolish? Halachic guidelines to follow in Pesach cleaning.
Sources: OC 442:6-7; MB 442:28,39
22 Adar 5767 listen Chometz? Ink, Non-Foods, Beer, and Booze (9:21)
Ink and other non-foods containing chometz are not an issue to own or use, so long as the chometz was mixed in prior to Pesach. Beer, booze, and other foods, even with just a taste of chomeetz are completely forbidden.
Sources: OC 442:10,5; MB 442:44-45,24
19 Adar 5767 listen Chometz in Non-Foods (15:37)
Chometz medications, glues, and starch in clothes.
Sources: OC 442:3-4; MB 442:13-17,20-21,23
18 Adar 5767 listen Moldy, Rotten Chometz (9:44)
Bread that is so rotten that a dog wouldn't eat it is no longer chometz. But can we own it on Pesach?
Sources: OC 442:2; MB 442:9-12; Shaar HaTziun 442:19
17 Adar 5767 listen Mixtures of Chometz; Chometz Nukshe (Conclusion) (15:52)
The different categories of ta'arovet chometz and chometz nukshe.
Sources: OC 442:1; MB 442:4-5
16 Adar 5767 listen Mixtures of Chometz (Part 2); Chometz Nukshe (14:57)
Is it permitted to own mixtures of chometz on Pesach -- for example, beer, wheat-based paste, and paper mache? What is chometz nukshe, and is its din the same or different?
Sources: OC 442:1; MB 442:1-2
15 Adar 5767 listen Mixtures of Chometz (Part 1) (10:21)
Is it permitted to own mixtures of chometz on Pesach -- for example, beer, wheat-based paste, and paper mache?
Sources: OC 442:1
12 Adar 5767 listen Al HaNissim in Birkat HaMazon for Purim (15:47)
What if you forget al hanissim in birkat hamazon? Also: what if Purim falls before or after shabbos and your meal begins in the day and continues into the night -- can you say both al hanissim and r'tzei?
Sources: OC 695:3; MB 695:15
10 Adar 5767 listen The Importance of Community on Purim: Matanot L'Evyonim and Mishloach Manot (14:48)
Matanot L'Evyonim and Mishloach Manot are mitzvot that enhance the communal joy of Purim and increase the loving brotherhood of all Jews for each other.
Sources: OC 694:4; MB 694:12-13; OC 695:4; MB 695:18-27
9 Adar 5767 listen Halachic Oddities that Emphasize the Importance of Hearing the Megilla (13:00)
The obligations of half-slaves, androginus, and tumtum; reading megilla without a minyan: odd situations that demonstrate the halachic importance of hearing the megilla read.
Sources: OC 689:3-5; MB 689:9,14-15
5 Adar 5767 listen Megilla: The Obligation to Read; the Obligation to Listen (14:35)
Is the obligation to read the Megilla, or is the obligation to hear it read? Is the obligation the same for men and women? Can women read the megilla in public? Can women read it for men?
Sources: OC 689:2; MB 689:4-7; Shaar HaTziun 689:7
4 Adar 5767 listen The Importance of Reading the Megilla (14:35)
Megilla is so important that we put aside (almost) any other mitzvah to read the megilla -- even a mitzvah d'oraita.
Sources: OC 687:2; MB 687:7,10-12
20 Shevat 5767 listen Why is Parshat Shekalim read prior to Rosh Chodesh Adar? (19:20)
Also: what if you forget to read one of the four parshiyot?
Sources: Ex. 30:11-16; Meg. 29b; OC 685:1; MB 685:2
14 Shevat 5767 listen Omitting Tachanun on Tu B'Shvat (8:07)
In general, we omit tachanun on holidays and at mincha on the day prior to the holiday, though there are exceptions.
Sources: OC 131:6; MB 131:30-34
28 Tevet 5767 listen Reviewing Rosh Chodesh Prayers in Advance (14:51)
Prior to Rosh Chodesh and other events that come less frequently than once a month, we prepare the prayers in order to recite them fluently.
Sources: OC 100:1; MB 100:1-3; Shaarei Teshuva 100:2
8 Tevet 5767 listen The Fasts of the 8th and 9th of Tevet (10:51)
The 8th and 9th of Tevet are among the lesser known fast days that are, in general, publicly observed.
Sources: OC 580:1-2; MB 580:13
5 Tevet 5767 listen Facing East to Daven (11:50)
In general, when we rise for the amidah we turn toward Jerusalem, which in the US means facing East. But we may also face South -- toward the Menorah, or North, toward the Table. Just what is this directionality about?
Sources: Bava Batra 25b; OC 94:1-2; MB 94:1-2
1 Tevet 5767 listen Where (Not) to Place Chanukah Candles on Erev Shabbos (8:32)
On Erev Shabbos -- and even on a weekday -- one should take care not to place Chanukah candles where they may be blown out by the wind.
Sources: OC 680:1-2; MB 680:1,3-4
29 Kislev 5767 listen Torah Readings on Chanukah, Shabbos Chanukah, and Rosh Chodesh Chanukah (11:09)
What is the Torah reading for Chanukah and why? What do we read on shabbos? Rosh Chodesh?
Sources: OC 684:1-2; MB 684:1-2,5,7
28 Kislev 5767 listen Reciting Hallel on Chanukah (8:12)
Chanukah is a holiday of thanks and praise expressed by, among other things, the daily recitation of Hallel.
Sources: OC 683:1; MB 683:1
27 Kislev 5767 listen Al HaNissim for Chanukah (13:42)
Why doesn't al hanisim mention the nes of the oil? Adding al hanissim to birkat hamazon and the amidah; what if you forget al hanissim?
Sources: OC 682:1-2; MB 682:1-4,6
24 Kislev 5767 listen Lighting Chanukah Candles at Home (14:48)
Today, we in the US generally don't put our Chanukah candles outside. But they should be placed in a window nonetheless. Where is the best place to put them?
Sources: OC 671:6,8; MB 671:26-28,30,50,54
Dedicated for zechus for the release of captive Israeli soldiers.
22 Kislev 5767 listen When the First Night of Chanukah Falls on Erev Shabbos (15:37)
When lighting Chanukah candles before Shabbos, it is best to daven Mincha first -- especially if it's the first night. Why? And what if you can't?
Sources: OC 672:1; OC 679:1; MB 679:1-2; Shaar HaTzium 679:7
Dedicated for chizuk for Oritte bat Aliza.
21 Kislev 5767 listen Placing the Chanukah Candles in Public View (13:03)
Where is the best place to light your Chanukah candles?
Sources: OC 671:5; MB 671:21,24-25
20 Kislev 5767 listen Chanukah Candles: The Difference Between a "Candle" and a "Flame" (13:16)
Each Chanukah candle must be separate and distinct, and all must stand in a row, none more or less important than another.
Sources: OC 671:4; MB 671:14-15,18-19
18 Kislev 5767 listen The Mystical Origins of Chanukah (16:21)
Chanukah has mystical origins that go all the way back to Creation. In fact, Chanukah is woven into the very fabric of the universe.
Sources: Midrash Tanhuma B'ha'alatcha 5; Gen. 32:25; Rashi to Gen. 32:25; Chul. 91a; Av.Zar. 8a; Gen. 1:3; Rashi to Gen. 1:4; Num. 33:29; Chag. 12a
Dedicated in honor of Rabbi Joseph Hager.
16 Kislev 5767 listen The Essence of Chanukah (13:15)
Why is Chanukah the only holiday where there is no festive meal? What does the joy of Chanukah celebrate?
Sources: OC 670:2; MB 670:6,9
15 Kislev 5767 listen Aspects of Chanukah (16:14)
Various lesser-known aspects of Chanukah: prohibitions on eulogies and fasting; women's freedom from work while the candles are burning; the courageous acts of Yehudit, the daughter of Yochanan the High Priest, and more.
Sources: OC 670:1-3; MB 670:3-5,7,10,12
14 Kislev 5767 listen What is Chanukah? (12:50)
The introduction to Chanukah as brought in the Mishnah Brurah.
Sources: OC 670:1; MB 670:1
1 Kislev 5767 listen What if the chazan forgets Ya'alei v'Yavo? (9:05)
The shaliach tzibbur generally goes back to make up for a missed ya'alei v'yavo, though he would not repeat the entire amidah. Why not? What does he do instead?
Sources: OC 126:3; MB 126:13
30 Cheshvan 5767 listen Forgetting Ya'alei v'Yavo on Rosh Chodesh (7:12)
An individual who forgets Ya'alei v'Yavo can fulfill his obligation along with the shaliach tzibur... or can he?
Sources: OC 124:10; MB 124:39-40
28 Tishrei 5767 listen Shabbos Mevarchim and Machar Chodesh (7:48)
On the shabbos before Rosh Chodesh, we announce the upcoming month. Also, if Rosh Chodesh falls on Sunday, we read a special haftarah on Shabbos.
Sources: OC 417; MB 417:1
26 Tishrei 5767 listen What if you forget Mashiv HaRuach? (12:14)
What to do if you leave out (or aren't sure if you said) mashiv haruach, with all the sources and all the details.
Sources: OC 114:5-9; MB 114:28-31,33; Beiur Halacha d.h. "B'lo chatima"; Baer Heiteiv 114:14
25 Tishrei 5767 listen Announcing Mashiv HaRuach (7:05)
The kahal does not begin to say mashiv haruach until it has been announced. But what if you don't hear it?
Sources: OC 114:2; MB 114:4,5,8,9
24 Tishrei 5767 listen Introduction to Mashiv HaRuach (7:15)
Topics covered: Why do we begin mashiv haruach on Shmini Atzeret? Why do we say it in the second brocha, the brocha of gevurot? What if you leave out mashiv haruach by accident?
Sources: OC 114:1; MB 114:1-2
21 Tishrei 5767 listen Sukkos for Jews, Sukkos for non-Jews (56:21)
Sukkos is at the same time our most universal and most particularistic Holiday. How can this be? What is the meaning of Sukkos for a non-Jew?
19 Tishrei 5767 listen Dwelling in the Sukkah (9:59)
What does it mean to "dwell" in the Sukkah? In brief, we live in the Sukkah as we live in our homes the rest of the year... though in practice, it's a bit more complicated...
Sources: OC 639:1; MB 639:2,4,6,9
18 Tishrei 5767 listen Borrowed, Shared, and Stolen Sukkos (10:36)
Can you borrow a sukkah? Share one? What if you steal a sukkah?
Sources: OC 637:2-3; MB 637:5-9
17 Tishrei 5767 listen Feeling Joy on Sukkos (6:03)
There is a mitzvah to feel happy on Sukkos. How can Hashem command us to feel joy!?
17 Tishrei 5767 listen Building a Sukkah in the Middle of the Festival (7:08)
Can you put up a sukkah on chol hamoed? What about on Yom Tov?
Sources: OC 637:1; MB 637:1-4
14 Tishrei 5767 listen Sukkos, Children, and Chinuch (12:56)
Like all our Holidays, Sukkos has an element of chinuch: buy a lulav for your kids if they can wave it.
Sources: OC 657; MB and Biur Halacha ad. locum.
13 Tishrei 5767 listen Giving Up Everything to Avoid an Aveira (8:59)
For a mitzvah aseh, one should be prepared to spend up to 1/5 of his assets. But to avoid a lo ta'aseh? Be prepared to give up everything.
Sources: OC 656:1
12 Tishrei 5767 listen Spending Extra for Hiddur Mitzvah (13:13)
The Talmud learns that we should spend up to 1/3 extra for a beautiful etrog. How do we apply this halacha?
Sources: Bava Kama 9a; OC 656:1; MB 656:4
11 Tishrei 5767 listen Why Do We Dwell in Sukkos? (9:25)
Why do we dwell in sukkos for seven days? And why this time of year?
Sources: OC 625:1; MB 625:1
28 Elul 5766 listen Erev Rosh HaShanah (2:44)
On the day before Rosh HaShanah, we do not say tachanun nor blow shofar.
Sources: OC 581:3; MB 581:24
27 Elul 5766 listen Shofar: Confusing the Soton (4:49)
Why all the different and repeated shofar blasts? It confuses the Soton.
26 Elul 5766 listen Passing Before Hashem for Review and Judgement (5:27)
On Rosh HaShanah, all people pass before Hashem for His review and judgement.
25 Elul 5766 listen Hashem Taught Moshe the Selichos (2:27)
The selichos are a sublime petition for forgiveness. Their origin? From the Heavens themselves.
22 Elul 5766 listen Identifying a Good Chazan (12:13)
Both the chazan and ba'al tokea (shofar blower) must be Torah observant, married, and over age 30.
Sources: OC 581:1; MB 581:2,5,11-13
14 Elul 5766 listen Teshuva, Olam HaBa, and Tefillin (7:36)
What is the impact of Teshuva on a Jew's portion of Olam HaBa?
13 Elul 5766 listen The Shofar's Call to Teshuva (13:37)
The Rambam's famous understanding of the call of the shofar -- "Awake, sleepers, from your slumber!"
In memory of Chaya Sarah bas Micha'el HaLevi on the occasion of her yahrzeit.
12 Elul 5766 listen The Book of Life (11:42)
The books are open: the Book of Life for the righteous and the Book of Death for the wicked; the rest of us hang in the balance.
Dedicated for a refuah shleimah for Mori v'Rabi, HaRav Shlomo Yitzchak ben Elka, shlit"a.
8 Elul 5766 listen Half Guilty, Half Innocent (10:54)
We should always see ourselves as half guilty, half innocent -- one more aveira and our sentence will be sealed.
Dedicated by Ronald and Marion Stein l'ilui nishmat Hinde bas Hersh on the occasion of her yahrzeit.
30 Av 5766 listen Elul - The Season of Teshuva (9:16)
What makes Elul such an auspicious time for reconciling ourselves with Hashem?
Sources: OC 581:1; MB 581 - Introduction
Given as a zechus for a refuah shleima for Ariella Rivkah bas Devora Pessel.
1 Elul 5766 listen The Sounds of the Shofar (7:17)
We begin blowing the shofar daily from Rosh Chodesh Elul. Why all the different sounds?
Sources: OC 581:1; MB 581:3; MT Shofar 1:1
29 Av 5766 listen The Four Levels of Transgression (12:47)
The four levels of transgression and the requirements of kaporah for each.
28 Av 5766 listen Teshuva and Yom Kippur (12:43)
Teshuva and the se'ir hamishtaleach of Yom Kippur.
13 Av 5766 listen Mourning the Site of Jerusalem Destroyed (14:25)
The obligation to rend one's garments at the sight of the destroyed Cities of Judah, Jerusalem, and the Temple.
Sources: OC 561:1-5; MB 561:2,5-6,10-13
10 Av 5766 listen Restrictions on the 10th of Av (8:23)
Restrictions on meat, wine, shaving, haircuts, and washing continue into the 10th of Av, though there are leniencies when the 10th falls on Friday.
Sources: OC 558:1; MB 558:1,3
7 Av 5766 listen Nachem, Aneinu, Selichot, and Tachnun on Tisha B'Av (14:37)
Nachem, a special prayer for Tisha B'Av is added to boneh Yerushalayim. Aneinu is added as on all fast days. There are no selichot nor is tachnun recited, both due to the fact that Tisha B'Av is a moed.
Sources: OC 557:1; MB 557:1-5; OC 559:4; MB 559:18-21
8 Av 5766 listen The Severity and Importance of Tisha B'Av (13:12)
Summary of the hilchot Tisha B'Av.
Sources: MB 549:2; OC 554:25
6 Av 5766 listen Tallis and Tefillin on Tisha B'Av (9:19)
Tallis and tefillin are not worn at shacharit onTisha B'Av. Why? Also: sleeping on the floor or without a pillow.
Sources: OC 555:1-2; MB 555:1,3,8; Lam. 2:17
2 Av 5766 listen Prohibitions on Work and Greeting Others on Tisha B'Av (12:41)
Take the day off if possible, and avoid greeting others.
Sources: OC 554:23-24,20-21; MB 554:48-50,41-42
3 Av 5766 listen The Night of Tisha B'Av (11:04)
Ma'ariv, Eicha, and sitting on the floor.
Sources: OC 559:2-3; MB 559:4-7,10-11,13
28 Tamuz 5766 listen Prohibitions on Annointing and Shoes on Tisha B'Av (10:34)
The parameters of the prohibitions on annointing with oil and wearing shoes.
Sources: OC 554:15-17; MB 554:30-31,34-35
29 Tamuz 5766 listen Marital Relations; Working on Tisha B'Av (12:10)
Marital relations are forbidden, but does the prohibition have all the stringencies of niddah? Introduction to the prohibition of working on Tisha B'Av.
Sources: OC 554:18,22; MB 554:37,43-45
24 Tamuz 5766 listen Torah Study on Tisha b'Av (13:52)
The first of the five afflictions: Torah study. What is prohibited, what is allowed?
Sources: OC 554:2-4; MB 554:3-8
25 Tamuz 5766 listen Tisha B'Av: Fasting Leniencies; Restrictions on Washing (15:55)
On Tisha b'Av, the restrictions on eating, drinking, and washing are identical to the restrictions on Yom Kippur.
Sources: OC 554:5-11; MB 554:16,21-22
23 Tamuz 5766 listen Accepting the Fast of Tisha b'Av (13:43)
The five afflictions of Tisha b'Av and the acceptance of the fast.
Sources: OC 554:1; MB 554:1; OC 553; MB 553:1-3,8
22 Tamuz 5766 listen What to Eat at the Seudah HaMafseket (11:13)
A variety of (raw) fruits, cheeses, and dairy products are permitted, though a mourner's meal is best. Also: why do we skip tachnun at mincha?
Sources: Taanit 30a; OC 552:4-8,12; Baer Heitev 552:5; MB 552:15-18
L'ilui nishmat Chaim ben Micha'el on the occasion of his yahrzeit.
21 Tamuz 5766 listen Forbidden Foods for Seudah HaMafseket (11:13)
The Seudah HaMafseket is a simple meal, with one simple cooked dish and no wine.
Sources: OC 552:1-3; MB 552:1,3-6,11; Shaar HaTziun 552:1
17 Tamuz 5766 listen The Calamities of the 17th of Tamuz (3:38)
The Talmud lists five calamities that befell the Jewish People on Shiva Asar b'Tamuz.
Sources: OC 549; MB 549:2
18 Tamuz 5766 listen Introduction to the Seudah HaMafseket (10:49)
What is the seudah hamafseket eaten on Erev Tisha b'Av?
Sources: OC 552:9; MB 552:20,22
L'ilui nishmat Avraham ben Leib on the occasion of his 25th yahrzeit.
16 Tamuz 5766 listen Washing, Bathing, and Shehechiyanu (14:04)
Prohibitions on washing and bathing during the Three Weeks. Avoiding missing opportunities to say shehechiyanu.
Sources: OC 551:16-17; MB 551:88,90,92,94,96-100; Beur Halacha d.h. V'litzorech mitzvah
15 Tamuz 5766 listen Meat and Wine; Summary of Mourning in the Three Weeks (10:27)
Prohibitions on meat and wine; more on haircuts and shaving; summary of the mourning customs of the Three Weeks.
Sources: OC 551:4,7,9,11-13; MB 551:36-37,40,49,58-59,79-80
14 Tamuz 5766 listen Haircuts, Laundry, and New Clothes During the Three Weeks (15:05)
Haircuts and clean or new clothes are avoided as a sign of mourning.
Sources: OC 551:3,5; MB 551:20-22,25,32,44-45
11 Tamuz 5766 listen Diminishing Joy: Business, Engagements, and Weddings During the Three Weeks (13:47)
During the Nine Days or Three Weeks, we diminish our joy in all endeavors, whether for business or pleasure.
Sources: OC 551:2; MB 551:11-19
10 Tamuz 5766 listen Introduction to the Three Weeks (9:17)
Introduction to the mourning period leading up to Tisha b'Av.
Sources: Taanit 26b; OC 551:1; MB 551:2,9
9 Tamuz 5766 listen The Differences Between Tisha B'Av and Other Fasts (13:12)
An overview of the four fasts: the 10th of Tevet, the 17th of Tamuz, the 9th of Av, and the 3rd of Tishrei.
Sources: OC 550; MB 550:1,4,6-10
7 Tamuz 5766 listen The 9th of Tamuz (10:14)
The 9th of Tamuz is a fast day for a ba'al nefesh. Why is it not a fast day for the rest of us?
Sources: OC 549; MB 549:1,4
1 Tamuz 5766 listen Mentioning Rosh Chodesh in Birkat HaMazon and Korbonot (8:27)
Part of the observance of Rosh Chodesh includes adding ya'aleh v'yavo in Birkat HaMazon. What if it is forgotten? Also: mentioning the Rosh Chodesh sacrifices as part of korbonot.
Sources: MB 419:2; OC 424:1; MB 424:1-2; OC 421:1; MB 421:1
30 Sivan 5766 listen Having a Rosh Chodesh Meal (4:25)
Not quite as extravagant as shabbos, the Rosh Chodesh meal is a mitzvah nonetheless.
Sources: OC 419:1; MB 419:1
7 Sivan 5766 listen Shavuot: The Time of the Giving of Torah (9:22)
Is Shavuot the time of the giving of Torah or the time of our reciept of Torah? What is the difference?
5 Sivan 5766 listen Eating Meat after Dairy on Shavuot (9:04)
For those who follow the Rama's custom and eat meat after the dairy meal on Shavuot, there are certain rules of kashrus to be aware of.
Sources: OC 494:3; MB 494:14-16
4 Sivan 5766 listen Various Laws and Customs of Shavuot (15:04)
Torah and Haftara readings, Akdamut, decorating the shul with plants, smelling grasses, and eating dairy.
Sources: OC 494:1-3; Ex. 34:3; MB 494:2-3,5,10,12
3 Sivan 5766 listen The Night of Shavuos (13:53)
Why do we stay awake all night for Shavuos? What if you get tired?
Sources: OC 494:1; Ex. 19:16; MB 494:1; Lev. 23:15-17
28 Iyar 5766 listen Moshe's Experience When Receiving Torah (43:31)
What did Moshe experience when he rose to the Heavens to receive the Torah? What do we learn from his experience? In this "Lunch and Learn Discussion", Rav Dovid discusses the Talmud's account of Moshe's experience and the many challenging issues it raises.
28 Iyar 5766 listen Machar Chodesh and Rosh Chodesh Sivan (13:21)
The significance of the special haftara reading for when Rosh Chodesh falls on Sunday; also, the first days of Sivan leading up to Shavuot.
28 Iyar 5766 listen Preparing for Shavuot, Preparing to Receive the Torah (1:00:58)
Five central questions of living a Jewish life: What is the Torah? Why did Hashem give it to the Jews? What is the relationship of non-Jews to the Torah? How do we know it is true? If it is true, why do so few people believe it?
Sources: Av.Zar. 2b; Mechilta d'Rebbi Yishmael Parshat Yitro
21 Iyar 5766 listen Yom Tov Tefilla (1:00:29)
A walk through the Yom Tov Amidah for Shavuot, based on Kuntres Avodat HaTefilla.
14 Iyar 5766 listen Pesach Sheini (12:55)
The 14th of Iyar is Pesach Sheini, the "Second Passover." What is this minor holiday about?
Sources: Num 9:1-14
6 Iyar 5766 listen Sefirat HaOmer and Self-Improvement (11:47)
Sefirat HaOmer has become a period when we work on improving ourselves in preparation for receiving the Torah on Shavuot.
Sources: OC 493:4; MB 493:18-19; Shaar HaTziun 493:16
5 Iyar 5766 listen Mourning During Sefirat HaOmer (14:41)
Why is the Omer period a time of semi-mourning? Rabbi Akiva's 12,000 pairs of students.
Sources: Yev. 62b; OC 493:1-3; MB 493:2-4,7-8,14-15; Beur Halacha d.h. "Yeish Nohagim"
4 Iyar 5766 listen Various Mistakes in Counting; The Din of Chadash (13:44)
What if you forget to count? What if you aren't sure? Also: the din of chadash.
Sources: OC 489:7-10; MB 489:35-38,44-45
30 Nissan 5766 listen What if you forget "Ya'aleh v'Yavo"? (8:45)
If you forget to say Ya'aleh v'Yavo, should you repeat the amidah?
Sources: OC 422:1; MB 422:1,3-9
28 Nissan 5766 listen How early can you count Omer? Must you have kavanah? (13:28)
Can you count after Shkiya? Plag HaMincha? What if you start the brocha thinking today is the 4th day but it is actually the 5th?
Sources: OC 489:3-6; MB 489:17,29,32; Beur Halacha d.h. "Mib'od yom"; Shaar HaTziun 489:37
27 Nissan 5766 listen How and when do we count Omer? (13:08)
What if you count days but not weeks or vice versa? What if you count before dark?
Sources: OC 489:1-2; MB 489:7-9,11,14-15
26 Nissan 5766 listen Introduction to Sefirat HaOmer (13:08)
Why do we count the Omer? Is it d'oraita or d'rabbanan?
Sources: Lev. 23:9-21; Deut. 16:9-10; OC 489:1; Beur Halacha d.h. "Lispor HaOmer"; MB 489:5,6; Shaar HaTziun 489:7
23 Nissan 5766 listen Chometz After Pesach (11:01)
After Pesach, you can't quite go buy whatever chometz you want...
Sources: OC 448:1,5; MB 448:25; OC 449; MB 449:3
13 Nissan 5766 listen Mizmor L'Todah; Tzom Bechor (Fast of the Firstborn) (12:44)
Why don't we say Mizmor L'Todah on Pesach? Why do firstborn children fast on Erev Pesach? Who is obligated to fast?
Sources: OC 429:2; MB 429:9; OC 470:1,3; MB 470:1-4
12 Nissan 5766 listen Working on Erev Pesach; Designating Foods for Pesach (12:08)
The prohibition on working on the 14th of Nissan; the prohibition on designating meat for Pesach.
Sources: OC 468:1; MB 468:1,2,4,5; OC 469:1; MB 469:6
9 Nissan 5766 listen Sale of Chometz to a non-Jew; Chometz, Seor, Nuksheh (16:40)
Why is chometz sold to a non-Jew prior to Pesach permitted? Also: What is the status of your pre-schooler's shellacked noodle basket on Pesach? What about paste made from flour? Beer shampoo? Perfume?
Dedicated for a refuah shleima for Shoshana Lea bat Yehudit.
9 Nissan 5766 listen Introduction to the Passover Haggada (1:03:57)
7 Nissan 5766 listen Baking Matzo for Pesach (14:45)
An overview of the special procedures followed for baking Pesach matzo.
Sources: OC 460:1-2; OC 453:4; MB 453:21-23; OC 451:1; MB 451:1,2,4,5,21,23; OC 456:1; MB 456:1,3; OC 459:2; OC 454:1; MB 454:5; OC 460:5; MB 460:17
6 Nissan 5766 listen The Sale of Chometz; Storing a non-Jew's Chometz (13:22)
Why do we sell our chometz? What can be sold?
Sources: OC 436:1; OC 440:2; MB ad. loc.
5 Nissan 5766 listen Chometz Found During Pesach (18:08)
What should you do if you find chometz during Pesach? What if you didn't check properly before Pesach?
Sources: OC 435; OC 446:1-2; MB ad. loc.
2 Nissan 5766 listen Bitul (Nullifying) Chometz (12:38)
After checking for chometz, we nullify all remaining chometz. Why isn't either checking or nullification enough on its own?
Sources: OC 434:2-4; MB ad. loc.
2 Nisan 5766 listen Introduction to the Maggid (49:40)
From kiddush through the start of the maggid.
1 Nissan 5766 listen Putting Away Chometz after Checking (7:31)
What do we do with remaining chometz after checking for chometz?
Sources: OC 434:1; MB ad. loc.
1 Nissan 5766 listen The Month of Nissan (5:45)
Halachot beginning with Rosh Chodesh Nissan
Sources: OC 429:2; MB ad. loc.
29 Adar 5766 listen Where must we check for chometz? (15:17)
In what rooms is checking required? What about outdoors
Sources: OC 433:3-11; MB ad. loc.
28 Adar 5766 listen The Requirement to Use a Candle (15:01)
Must a candle be used? What if you check before nighttime? Can a flashlight be used?
Sources: Pes. 7b-8a; OC 433:1-2; MB ad. loc.
27 Adar 5766 listen Who should check for chometz? (13:40)
Who is trusted to check for chometz? If multiple people are checking or if you are checking more than one place, do you make more than one brocha?
Sources: OC 432:2; MB 432:7-12
24 Adar 5766 listen The Blessing for Checking for Chometz (13:28)
What is the blessing before checking for chometz and why? When is it recited?
Sources: Pes. 7a-7b; OC 432:1; MB 432:1-6
23 Adar 5766 listen The Importance of Checking for Chometz (9:57)
What takes precedence, checking for chometz or learning Torah? Checking for chometz or Ma'ariv?
Sources: OC 431:2; MB 431:5-8
22 Adar 5766 listen The Obligation to Remove Chometz (10:26)
Why do we have to remove chometz if we nullify it? And why the need to nullify it if we remove it?
Sources: Ex. 13:7; Ex. 12:15; Pes. 2a; OC 431:1; MB 431:1-2
21 Adar 5766 listen Parshat HaChodesh - Shabbat before Rosh Chodesh Nissan (9:40)
17 Adar 5766 listen Thirty Days before Pesach (8:34)
Sources: Meg. 32a; OC 429:1-2; MB 429:1-2
16 Adar 5766 listen Parshat Parah (9:53)
The reading of Parshat Parah on the Shabbos after Purim.
Sources: Num. 19:1-22; OC 685:3,7; MB 685:15
13 Adar 5766 listen Who is obligated to read Megilla? (6:20)
Also: Why are some verses recited aloud by all?
Sources: OC 689:1,6; MB 689:1-3,16-17
10 Adar 5766 listen Mechetzit HaShekel - Giving a "Half Shekel" before Purim (9:44)
Sources: OC 694:1; MB 694:5; Ex. 25:1-3
9 Adar 5766 listen Al HaNissim and Purim - An Introduction to the Purim Story (1:02:49)
9 Adar 5766 listen Mishloach Manot and Matanot L'Evyonim - Sharing Food and Gifts for the Poor (8:35)
The Mitzvot of Purim: giving food and gifts to the poor.
Sources: OC 695:4; OC 694:1; MB 695:25; MB 694:1-3; Est. 9:19
8 Adar 5766 listen Seudat Purim - The Purim Meal (8:53)
Is there really a mitzvah to get drunk on Purim?
Sources: Meg. 7b; OC 695:1-2; MB 695:5
7 Adar 5766 listen Where is Purim in the Torah? (12:57)
Is there a reference to Purim in the Torah?
7 Adar 5766 listen Parshat Zachor - Shabbat before Purim (2:37)
The reading of Parshat Zachor on the Shabbos before Purim.
3 Adar 5766 listen Megilla Reading by Day and by Night (7:43)
Is there a difference between the daytime and nighttime Megilla reading?
Sources: OC 687:1; MB 687:2; Shaarei Teshuva *
2 Adar 5766 listen Ta'anit Esther (The Fast of Esther) (8:28)
Why do we fast? Who is obligated to fast?
Sources: OC 686:2-3; MB 686:2,3,5,8; Shaar HaTziun 686:11
1 Adar 5766 listen Removing Tefillin before Musaf (8:27)
Why do we remove Tefillin before Musaf on Rosh Chodesh? And why do we recite Borchi Nafshi?
Sources: OC 423:3-4; MB 423:5,7,10; Ps. 104:19
30 Shevat 5766 listen Rosh Chodesh Adar (5:53)
23 Shevat 5766 listen Parshat Shekalim - Shabbat before Rosh Chodesh Adar (10:19)
The reading of Parshat Shekalim on the Shabbos before Rosh Chodesh Adar.
Sources: Ex. 30:11-16; Meg. 29a; OC 685:5; MB 685:1
15 Shevat 5766 listen Tu B'Shvat Seder (47:29)
Join Rav Dovid and his family for their Tu B'Shvat Seder, presented live in The Virtual Yeshiva.

Tu B'Shvat Seder Plate

Seder Plate
Fruits pictured, starting from top left and going in rows across to the right...
cantaloupe, prunes, avocado, kiwi, figs
dried cherries (behind the orange), cashews, blackberries, dates, orange, lime
orange, maple syrup, pomello, blueberries, raisins, lemon
figs, apple, pecans, mixed nuts, almonds (below), pear, peanuts
The twigs running from the apple on the bottom up to the lime are hadas (myrtle) branches.

10 Shevat 5766 listen Introduction to Tu B'Shvat (9:04)
What is Tu B'Shvat?
Sources: Rosh HaShanah 2a; Rosh HaShanah 14b; YD 331:57,112
13 Tevet 5766 listen Rabbi Akiva and the Ten Martyrs (8:54)
Rav Dovid tells the story of Rabbi Akiva and the Ten Martyrs, rabbinic leaders killed by the Romans during the Hadrianic persecution. This emotional story lays the ground for deep theological concepts concerning Torah, martyrdom, and justice.
10 Tevet 5766 listen What if you accidentally eat on a fast day? (3:10)
What if you accidentally eat on a public fast day? This is one of the most commonly misunderstood halachot of fast days. Rav Dovid clarifies based on the Mishnah Brurah.
Sources: MB 549:3; OC 568
9 Tevet 5766 listen Asara b'Tevet: Why do we continue to fast today? (8:45)
Why do we continue to fast today? Who must fast? What about someone who is sick? Pregnant? Nursing?
Sources: OC 549:1; OC 550:1; MB 550:1; MT Taaniyot 5:1,19
6 Tevet 5766 listen The History of the Tenth of Tevet (9:34)
The History of the Tenth of Tevet as found in II Kings chapter 25.
29 Kislev 5766 listen Lighting Chanukah Candles on Motzei Shabbos (7:23)
Which mitzvah comes first, Chanukah candles or Havdala?
Sources: OC 681:2; MB 681:2,3
28 Kislev 5766 listen Lighting Chanukah Candles on Erev Shabbos (5:53)
Which are lit first, Chanukah candles or Shabbos candles?
Sources: OC 679:1; MB 679:2
27 Kislev 5766 listen Lighting Chanukah Candles in Synagogue at Shacharit (6:00)
Sources: Ta'amei HaMinhagim; Ex. 30:7; MT Tmid. u'Mus. 3:10; Encyclopedia Talmudit
26 Kislev 5766 listen Lighting Chanukah Candles in Synagogue (6:04)
Sources: OC 671:7; MB 677:2-3
22 Kislev 5766 listen Who is obligated to light Chanukah candles? (10:23)
Women, guests, and Chanukah candles. Are women obligated to light Chanukah candles? Why or why not?
Sources: Shabb. 23a; OC 675:3; OC 677:1-2; MB 677:2-3
21 Kislev 5766 listen The Blessings Over the Chanukah Candles (9:11)
What blessings are recited over the Chanukah candles and why?
Sources: Shabb. 23a; OC 676:1; Shaarei Teshuva 676:1; MB 676:1
22 Kislev 5766 listen Chanukah: Hallel and Al HaNissim (1:26:06)
20 Kislev 5766 listen The Haftara for Shabbos Rosh Chodesh Chanukah (10:55)
Which Haftara portion is read on Shabbos Rosh Chodesh Chanukah? Why?
19 Kislev 5766 listen The Importance of Chanukah Candles (10:15)
If you only have enough money for Chanukah candles or Shabbos candles, which takes precedence? What about candles vs. Kiddush wine?
Sources: OC 671:1; MB 671:1-3; Shabb. 23b; OC 678:1; MB 678:4
18 Kislev 5766 listen How many Chanukah candles are lit? (10:34)
We all light one candle on the first day and add one each day, but is that the mitzvah?
15 Kislev 5766 listen What if you didn't or can't light Chanukah candles on time? (9:03)
Sources: Shabb. 21b Tosefos d.h. "D'i lo idlik madlik"; OC 672:2; MB 672:4; Shaar HaTziun 672:17
14 Kislev 5766 listen What is the latest time to light Chanukah candles? (Part 2) (8:06)
Sources: Shabb. 21a; OC 672:2; MB 672 ad locum
13 Kislev 5766 listen What is the earliest time to light Chanukah candles? (Part 1) (6:27)
Sources: Shabb. 21a; OC 672:1; MB 672 ad locum
4 Cheshvan 5766 listen Checking for Chometz with a Candle (44:59)
Kollel-level shiur on checking with a candle
1 Cheshvan 5766 listen Saying Ya'aleh v'Yavo in Birkat HaMazon (6:03)
Ya'aleh v'Yavo is added to Birkat HaMazon on Rosh Chodesh. What do you do if you forget to add it in?
Sources: OC 424:1; MB 424:1,2
14 Elul 5765 listen Using a Flashlight to Check for Chometz - Advanced (45:34)
Kollel-level shiur
Sources: Igros Moshe and other sources
9 Elul 5765 listen The Brocha when Checking Chometz - Advanced (1:20:33)
Kollel-level shiur on Rosh, Pesachim, Chapter 1, Part 10
Sources: Rosh Pesachim 1:10 and related Talmud references
5 Elul 5765 listen The Obligation to Remove Chometz - Advanced (47:42)
Kollel-level shiur on Simon 431
1 Elul 5755 listen Shofar (0:27)
Hear the call of the Shofar

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Enjoy each of Rav Dovid's Daily Halacha Series:
Wake Up! | Kavanah | Zmanim | Tzitzit | Tefillin | Brachot
Pesukei d'Zimra | Kriat Shema | Amidah | Geshem and Tal | Mincha
Kaddish | Amen! | Shabbos | Kiddush | Shofar | Teshuva
Rosh HaShana | Ten Days | Yom Kippur | Sukkos | Pesach | Sefirat HaOmer
Shavuot | Chanukah | Purim | Rosh Chodesh | Tu B'Shvat
Fast Days | The Three Weeks | Tisha B'Av | The Four Parshiyot | Parshat HaShavua
The Kosher Kitchen | Issur v'Heter | Speaking to G-d | Spiritual Reality, Spiritual Freedom
The Jewish Calendar | Chinuch: Education | A Practical Guide to Shabbos | Rav Dovid's Shiurim
True or False? | Respect for Parents, Elders, and Torah Scholars | Ben Adam l'Chaveiro
Rav Dovid's daily halacha is given at the Wall Street Synagogue before shacharit.

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