ARCHIVES: HILCHOS ROSH CHODESH
BELOW ARE THE HALACHOS FROM THE DAILY EMAILS THAT WERE SENT OUT TO THE “HALACHA FOR TODAY” DAILY EMAIL LIST, INCLUDING THE DATES ON WHICH THEY WERE SENT, EXACTLY AS THEY WERE SENT.
HALACHOS FOR THURSDAY MAY 3 2012
The Halachos of Rosh Chodesh (first day of a Jewish month), are an area of Halacha that many people are not that familiar with. Hopefully after we cover this area, we will all have a better understanding of this special day, the first Mitzvah given to Klal Yisroel as a nation (See Shmos 12:2. See also the very first Rashi in the Torah)
1) On the Shabbos preceding Rosh Chodesh, it is customary to recite “Birchas HaChodesh”, which consists of a special “Yehi Ratzon” asking Hashem for a good month filled with blessing, Parnassah, fear of Hashem etc., as well as the Tefilah of “Mi SheAsah Nisim”, asking Hashem to bring the redemption speedily. (This Tefilah was recited daily by Rav after davening, See Talmud Brachos 16b. It isn’t clear what the origin of saying this Yehi Ratzon tefilah in conjunction with Birchas Rosh Chodesh is, and why it is acceptable to ask for Parnassah and other personal requests on Shabbos. See Aruch HaShulchan Siman 417:9. The early Siddurim do not have it, though it is printed in the Siddur of the Shla, the Gra and Rav Yaakov Emdin. The Mi SheAsah Nisim Tefilah is indeed found in the siddur of Rav Amrom Gaon as well as in the Machzor Vitri and Abudreham and other early Rishonim. See Sha’ar HaTziyun Siman 417:1)
2) The reason we beseech Hashem for the redemption in conjunction with the blessing of the new month, is that the Mitzvah of Rosh Chodesh was given to us as we were redeemed from the exile of Mitzrayim (Egypt), thus each time we announce a new month we appropriately remember our redemption from Mitzrayim and daven that we merit the final redemption soon. (See Levush Siman 421:1)
HALACHOS FOR EREV SHABBOS KODESH MAY 4 2012
(Double Portion L’Kavod Shabbos Kodesh)
Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh
1) It is proper to know the exact time of the “Molad”, the rebirth of the new moon [in Yerushalayim] for the coming month, before reciting “Birchas HaChodesh”. (Sometimes the Molad has already occurred by the time the Birchas HaChodesh is being recited.)
Thus, in many congregations the Gabbai or another person announces this information before reciting “Mi SheAsah Nisim”. In some congregations this information is announced even before saying the initial “Yehi Ratzon”, while in some congregations it isn’t announced at all. (See Likutei Maharich Seder Hanhogas Rosh Chodesh)
2) The prevalent Minhag is to announce the time of the Molad in hours, minutes and Chalakim, e.g. “The Molad will be on Tuesday morning, 47 minutes and 12 Chalakim (Halachic seconds, each chelek is one 1,080th of an hour, or 3.33 seconds) after 8″
If one did not know the time of the Molad when reciting Birchas HaChodesh it is still valid, as the main thing is to know the day(s) on which Rosh Chodesh will be. (See Sha’arei Ephraim Sha’ar 10:37)
HALACHOS FOR SHABBOS KODESH
1) After saying “Mi SheAsah Nisim” the Chazan proclaims the name of the upcoming month and on which day(s) it will start; for example “Rosh Chodesh Sivan Yihyeh B’Yom HaChamishi U’Vyom Hashishi Habal Aleinu V’Al Kol Yisroel L’Tovah”
2) In many congregations after the Chazan makes the aforementioned proclamation it is then repeated by all assembled. Some congregations say it along with the Chazzan quietly. (See Sha’arei Ephraim Sha’ar 10:36)
This proclamation is followed by the short Tefilah of “YeChadesheihu Hakadosh Baruch Hu”. (See Machzor Vitri page 173 and Abudreham)
HALACHOS FOR SUNDAY MAY 6 2012
1) It is customary to stand during the recitation of Birchas HaChodesh, especially when proclaiming the name of the upcoming month and the day(s) on which it will begin.
One reason for this is that Birchas HaChodesh is akin to the “Kiddush HaChodesh, the sanctification of the month” that was done each and every month by the Bais Din in Yerushalayim (before our current calendar was put in place in the era following the destruction of the Second Bais HaMikdash around the year 358 CE, when Hillel HaNasi ,to whom this act is attributed by Rav Hai Gaon quoted in Sefer HaIbur by Rav Avraham Ben Chiya Zatzal as well as by the Sefer Hachinuch, sanctified every subsequent month until the arrival of Mashiach) and that was performed while standing. (See Mishna Berura Siman 417:1)
2) It is customary that the Rav of the congregation or another respected member lead the Tzibur in the recitation of Birchas HaChodesh. (Also akin to the original Kiddush HaChodesh which was performed by the Rosh Bais Din. See Sefer Mishmeres Shalom Siman 30:1)
During the recitation of Birchas HaChodesh it is customary for the one leading the prayer to hold the Sefer Torah. (Although this does not necessitate the congregation to stand, it is still respectful to do so any time the Sefer Torah is being held, and thus another reason for standing during this Tefilah. See Sha’ar HaTziyun Siman 146:18)
HALACHOS FOR MONDAY MAY 7 2012
1) It is permitted to do Melacha (chores) on Rosh Chodesh. (Shulchan Aruch Siman 417:1)
Some women have the custom to refrain from doing Melacha on Rosh Chodesh, and this is a commendable minhag. (ibid.)
In some communities, women refrain from doing only certain Melachos on Rosh Chodesh and it is an acceptable minhag to follow. (Rama Siman417:1.)
The minhag in Yerushalayim is for women to refrain from doing laundry, sewing and knitting on Rosh Chodesh. (See Sefer Rosh Chodesh page 261 where he brings a machlokes if laundry nowadays with washing machines must be avoided as well. See also Shu”t Shevet Haleivi Vol. 10 Siman 50.)
One of the reasons cited for this is that as a reward for the women in the Midbar not acquiescing to remove their jewelry to be used in the formation of the Egel HaZahav (the golden calf), they were given each Rosh Chodesh as an exclusive Yom Tov for them. (Tur quoted in Mishna Berura Siman 417:3)
2) According to many Poskim, there is no reason for men to refrain from any Melacha on Rosh Chodesh, as its status as a Yom Tov is applicable to women only, and any man that refrains from Melacha is not fulfilling any minhag whatsoever. (Ruling of the Mishna Berura Siman 417:2, quoting the Pri Chadash, Chida in Birchei Yosef and the Sha’arei Teshuva in the name of Rabeinu Chananel. However, see Siddur Ya’avetz Sha’ar HaChodesh Pesach 7:1 where he quotes Rav Ovadia M’Bartenura that men as well should refrain from Melacha on Rosh Chodesh, though he writes that the stringency of this applies to women more strongly. Everyone should follow their own community’s custom.)
HALACHOS FOR TUESDAY MAY 8 2012
1) Some Poskim rule that for those women who have the custom to refrain from Melachos on Rosh Chodesh is only in effect the day of Rosh Chodesh and not on the eve of Rosh Chodesh (Ruling of the Ya’avetz in Mor U’Ketziah, quoted at the end of Biur Halacha Siman 417:1 Dibur Hamaschil Hu Minhag Tov)
Other Poskim, however, maintain that the custom is in effect on the eve of Rosh Chodesh as well. (The way the Biur Halacha ibid. seems to rule. See also Shu”t Hisorerus Teshuva Vol. 1 Siman 1)
2) When there are two days of Rosh Chodesh some Poskim rule that the custom of not doing Melachos applies to both days equally, while others maintain that only on the second day of Rosh Chodesh (which is the real first day of the new month and the “Ikar”, primary, day of Rosh Chodesh) are Melachos avoided. (See Mishna Berura Siman 417:4)
HALACHOS FOR WEDNESDAY MAY 9 2012
1) Although it’s not obligatory, it is praiseworthy, and a Mitzvah to increase the quantity and quality of the food and drink at one’s meal on Rosh Chodesh. (Shulchan Aruch Siman 419:1 and Mishna Berura S”K 1)
Some Poskim even give the Seudah of Rosh Chodesh the status of a “Seudas Mitzvah” (Be’er Heitev Siman 419:1 based on Talmud Yerushalmi Maseches Megilah)
2) There is no obligation to wash and eat bread on Rosh Chodesh.
However, scrupulous people are careful to indeed try and eat a bread meal on Rosh Chodesh. (See Sha’ar HaTziyun Siman 419:1 quoting the Ohr Zarua and Pri Chadash that L’Chatchila bread should be eaten. See also Kaf HaChaim Siman 419:2)
HALACHOS FOR THURSDAY MAY 10 2012
1) There is a debate amongst the Poskim if there is reason to try and eat meat at the Rosh Chodesh Seudah or not.
The debate is based on the question if there is an obligation for “Simcha, joy” on Rosh Chodesh or not, as if there is an obligation for joy then one of the halachically mandated ways to increase joy is to eat meat. (We will discuss “Simcha on Rosh Chodesh” in more detail in the near future)
2) Many people are indeed scrupulous to eat meat on Rosh Chodesh. In fact some Poskim even allow meat on Rosh Chodesh Av. (See Ben Ish Chai, Year 1, Parashas Devorim Siman 15 and Kaf HaChaim Siman 551:126 that this is the Minhag of Sephardim, whereas Ashkenazim are stringent and avoid meat on Rosh Chodesh Av.)
HALACHOS FOR EREV SHABBOS KODESH, MAY 11 2012
(Double Portion L’Kavod Shabbos Kodesh)
Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh
1) Scrupulous people have the custom to add an additional food item to their meal on Rosh Chodesh, which isn’t there on a regular day, to ensure that it is noticeable that this day’s meal is special. (Mishna Berura Siman 419:2 and Aruch HaShulchan Siman 419:2)
2) Even when Rosh Chodesh falls out on Shabbos, it is praiseworthy to add a special additional item to the meal in honor of Rosh Chodesh. (ibid.)
If one did not add an additional food item to his Shabbos meal, he can add an item to his Melave Malka meal on Motzaei Shabbos in honor of the Rosh Chodesh that just was on Shabbos. (Ya’avetz quoted in Sha’ar HaTziyun Siman 419:5)
HALACHOS FOR SHABBOS KODESH
1) Some Poskim rule that adding to the meal in honor of Rosh Chodesh by day is sufficient and there is no need to also have a meal on Rosh Chodesh eve. (Mishna Berura ibid.)
Others maintain that it is proper to also add on to the meal on Rosh Chodesh eve.(See Mogen Avraham Siman417:2 quoting the Ramah M’Pano)
2) When there are two days of Rosh Chodesh, it is proper to add on special foods to the meals on each of the days of Rosh Chodesh. (See Mateh Moshe Siman 530. The Yosef Ometz Siman 694, however, seems to rule that only on the second day of Rosh Chodesh is it proper to add on to the Seudah)
HALACHOS FOR SUNDAY, MAY 13 2012
1) Women should also partake of the Seudah of Rosh Chodesh, as even though it is a Mitzvah SheHazman Grama, a time-bound Mitzvah, being that it’s a rabbinical Mitzvah many Poskim rule that they are obligated.
Furthermore, since Rosh Chodesh is a day given to women as a Yom Tov due to their non-participation in the sin of the golden calf, as we discussed earlier, it behooves them to be a part of the meal on this day. (See Tur Siman 417 and 419)
It is proper to eat the Seudah of Rosh Chodesh in a respectful manner, i.e. on the table used for Shabbos and Yom Tov. (See Ben Ish Chai, year two, Parashas Vayikra Siman 10 and Kaf HaChaim Siman 419:5)
2) It is proper when eating the Seudah on Rosh Chodesh to have in mind that it is being done in honor of Rosh Chodesh. (See Sha’ar HaTziyun Siman 419:1)
Even though one who does not specifically have this in mind has satisfied the obligation, that is only if he/she is aware that it is Rosh Chodesh. However, if they are totally unaware that it is Rosh Chodesh they have not satisfied their obligation. (See Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim Siman 475:4 and Mishna Berura there)
Halachos for Monday, May 14 2012
1) During the Shemona Esrei of Ma'ariv, Shacharis and Mincha on Rosh Chodesh, the Tefilah of "Ya'aleh V'Yavo" is added between the end of "Retzei" and before "V'Sechezenah". (Shulchan Aruch Siman 422:1)
2) If one forgot to add in Ya'aleh V'Yavo during Ma'ariv (on both nights of Rosh Chodesh) it does not require a repeating of the Shemona Esrei. (Ibid.)
If one totally forgot to add Ya'aleh V'Yavo during Shacharis or Mincha and already took three steps back, it requires a repeat of the entire Shemona Esrei. (ibid.)
If one remembered before starting "Modim" he says Ya'aleh V'Yavo right then and there, and then resumes Modim. (ibid.)
However, if he remembered after starting Modim but before the end of Shemona Esrei, he must only go back to the beginning of "Retzei" and repeat from there until the end of Shemona Esrei. (ibid.)
Halachos for Tuesday, May 15 2012
1) We learned yesterday that the Shulchan Aruch (Siman 422:1) rules that if one totally forgot to add Ya'aleh V'Yavo during Shacharis and already took three steps back, it requires a repeat of the entire Shemona Esrei.
The Mishna Berura (S"K 4) quotes the opinion of the K'neses HaGedola that the above is only true as long as the Shemona Esrei of Musaf was not yet recited, but if Musaf was already recited, and thus the holiness of the day was mentioned, the Shacharis Shemona Esrei no longer must be repeated.
2) He further quotes the opinion of the Shiyurei Bracha in the name of the Rashba that the aforementioned leniency is only for the Ba'al Tefilah who forgot Ya'aleh V'Yavo , but an individual must repeat the Shemona Esrei even if he already recited the Musaf Shemona Esrei.
The Mishna Berura also quotes the opinion of the Ya'avetz concurring with the Shiyurei Bracha, but adds that when faced with this situation it is best to stipulate (make a T'nai) before repeating the Shemona Esrei that if he isn't obligated in this repetition it should be a Tefilas Nedava (a non-obligatory prayer)
For Halacha L'Ma'aseh, as always, a Rav must be consulted.
Halachos for Wednesday, May 16 2012
1) At Ma'ariv on Rosh Chodesh eve it is customary in many congregations for the gabbai or someone else to proclaim "Rosh Chodesh" or "Ya'aleh V'yavo" immediately after the Kadish before Shemona Esrei, to ensure that everyone remembers to recite Ya'aleh V'yavo. (See Shulchan Aruch Siman 236:2 and Mishna Berura S"K 7 where he rules that it isn't a hefsek, an interruption, as it is being done for the purpose of the Tefilah)
2) Some congregations do not make this proclamation, as they rule that doing so is an unnecessary interruption between the Kadish and the Shemona Esrei.
Instead, in these congregations the prevalent custom is for someone to bang loudly on the Bimah right before Shemona Esrei, and that has become an almost universally recognizable sign that something needs to be added into the Shemona Esrei. (See Kaf HaChaim Siman 236:16 and 17)
Halachos for Thursday, May 17 2012
1) One who davens Ma'ariv early on Rosh Chodesh eve (before sunset of Rosh Chodesh but after Plag HaMincha) as is common in many shuls, especially on Friday afternoon in the summer months where "early Shabbos" is made, recites Ya'aleh V'Yavo in the Shemona Esrei of Ma'ariv even though it is still daylight outside.
2) Likewise, if one davens Ma'ariv early on Rosh Chodesh (after Plag HaMincha of Rosh Chodesh but before Sunset of the eve of the second day of the month) no Ya'aleh V'Yavo is recited in the Shemona Esrei of Ma'ariv. (See Mishna Berura Siman424:2 and Sha'ar HaTziyun Siman 668:12)
Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh, May 18 2012
(Double Portion L'Kavod Shabbos Kodesh)
Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh
1) If one recited Ya'aleh V'Yavo during the Bracha of Shomea Tefilah or within another of the middle set of brachos in Shemona Esrei, and not in its rightful place in the Bracha of Avodah (Retzei) he has not satisfied his obligation. (Sefer Chayei Moshe Siman 422:1)
2) If instead of inserting the proper words "Yom Rosh HaChodesh Hazeh" in Ya'aleh V'yavo, the words "Chag Hasukkos Hazeh" or "Chag Hamatzos Hazeh" or the name of another Yom Tov was recited, he has not satisfied his obligation and must repeat it correctly. (Chayei Moshe ibid.)
However, if instead of "Yom Rosh HaChodesh Hazeh" he said "Yom Hazikaron Hazeh", the words inserted on Rosh Hashana, according to some Poskim he may have satisfied his obligation. (See Shu"t Hisorerus Teshuva Vol. 1 Siman 193 based on Talmud Eruvin 40a that teaches that the words "Yom Hazikaron" cover both Rosh Hashana and Rosh Chodesh; see also Machzor Vitri 321)
Halachos for Shabbos Kodesh
1) A woman that forgets Ya'aleh V'Yavo in her Shemona Esrei, according to some Poskim isn't required to repeat the Shemona Esrei. (Chayei Moshe Siman 422:1)
Other Poskim, however, maintain that she too must repeat the Shemona Esrei, especially if she is someone that usually davens on a steady basis. (ibid.)
2) When the Shliach Tzibbur repeats Shemona Esrei and recites Ya'aleh V'Yavo, the custom is for the congregation to answer Amen after he says "Zachreinu Hashem Elokeinu Bo L'Tovah", after "U'fakdeinu Vo L'Vracha" and after "V'Hoshi'einu Vo L'Chaim [Tovim]" (See Drisha on the Tur Siman 127)
HALACHOS FOR SUNDAY, MAY 20 2012
1) If a Shliach Tzibbur omits Ya'aleh V'Yavo in his silent Shemona Esrei, if he remembers after he already finished he does not need to repeat his silent Shemona Esrei as he may rely on his Chazoras HaShatz, the loud repetition of Shemona Esrei that he will be saying. (See Shulchan Aruch Siman 126:4)
If, however, the Shlizach Tzibur remembers before he finishes his silent Shemona Esrei he should go back to Retzei and repeat from there, with Ya'aleh V'Yavo.
2) If one remembers that they forgot Ya'aleh V'Yavo before completing their Shemona Esrei and taking three steps back, but recites it right when they remember, without going back to Retzei, has not satisfied their obligation. (See Sefer Ishei Yisroel Perek 39 footnote 42)
HALACHOS FOR MONDAY, MAY 21 2012
1) If one omitted Ya'aleh V'Yavo in his first Shemona Esrei and repeated the Shemona Esrei a second time, and in that second recital forgot something else which normally requires a repetition of Shemona Esrei (e.g. Mashiv HaRuach, V'sein Tal U'Matar) is a subject of debate amongst the Poskim is a third Shemona Esrei must be recited.
2) Thus, it is best to indeed daven a third Shemona Esrei, with a stipulation that is it isn't obligatory it should be considered a Tefilas Nedava, a non-obligatory Tefilah. (See Shu"t Har Tzvi Orach Chaim Vol. 1 Siman 54. On Shabbos, however, a Tefilas Nedava may not be prayed, and thus the above is problematic and a Rav should be consulted as to what to do.)
HALACHOS FOR TUESDAY, MAY 22 2012
1) An individual who is davening Shacharis on Rosh Chodesh while the Shliach Tzibur is reciting the Chazoras HaShatz of Tefilas Musaf, or vice versa, and the Shliach Tzibur reached kedusha, according to some Poskim the individual should not respond to the kedusha but rather remain silent and listen to the Kedusha Being said and be Yotzi via the Halachic rule of "Shomea K'Oneh, listening is like reciting". (See Shulchan Aruch Siman 109:3)
2) Other Poskim, however, rule that since both Kedushos belong to a Shemona Esrei, they may be recited regardless of which Tefilah the individual is currently in middle of. (See Rama Siman 109:3. See also Mishna Berura S"K 17 that he should say the entire text of the Kedusha that the Shliach Tzibur is saying.)
HALACHOS FOR WEDNESDAY, MAY 23 2012
1) The Poskim discuss the times when an Avel (mourner for a parent or another close relative) should not serve as the Shliach Tzibur (as he usually does on all regular weekdays for the entire eleven months after their passing of a parent and for thirthy days after the passing of another close relative.)
The Sefer P'nei Baruch (Siman 35) quotes the father of the Shl"a HaKadosh who says that on days when Tachanun is not recited it is in fact a Mitzvah for an Avel to serve as a Shliach Tzibur. (He further writes there that this that Avelim do not daven on Shabbos is only a minhag, but there is no prohibition)
The Mishna Berura (Siman 581 S"K 7) rules that one may daven on a day that Tachanun isn't recited; Tachanun is not what determines if a day is meant for him to be the Shliach Tzibur.
What does determine, however, is a day when" LaMinaTzeach ...Yaancha Hashem B'Yom Tzara/Tziduk HaDin" is not recited, and even then it is a matter of dispute amongst the Poskim if he doesn't daven at all or only doesn't daven Musaf.
2) On Rosh Chodesh some Poskim say that an Avel should not daven at all, while others maintain that only for Hallel and Musaf he shouldn't lead, but Shacharis, Ma'ariv and Mincha are OK.
The Gaon of Vilna and others maintain that for Shacharis too he shouldn't be the Shliach Tzibur. (See Mishna Berura ibid.)
For a final ruling, a Rav should be consulted, or at least the Gabbai of the Shul who may know the "Minhag HaMakom", which should always be followed.
HALACHOS FOR THURSDAY, MAY 24 2012
1) Before we discuss Hallel on Rosh Chodesh, we will give a little background regarding Hallel in general.
The Nevi'im (the prophets) already instituted the recitation of Hallel for Klal Yisroel as a whole upon their being delivered from any perilous situations they found themselves in. (See Talmud Pesachim 117a. The Meiri even rules that an individual who was delivered from personal danger may recite Hallel each year on the anniversary of his personal deliverance, albeit without a Bracha)
2) The Talmud (Pesachim 95b) states matter of factly, "Is it possible that Klal Yisroel would sacrifice the Korban Pesach or take their Lulavim and not recite Hallel?" (See Rashi and Meiri there; the Seforim explain that these Mitzvos come only once a year and are both great sources of Simcha and thus it is unthinkable to not express that Simcha via the recitation of praise, Halel, to Hashem. The Talmud a few lines earlier also brings a Posuk, "Hashir Yihyeh Lachem K'Leil Hiskadesh Chag, to support this Halacha, but clearly came to this conclusion irrespective of the Posuk)
The Talmud (Megilah 14a) also posits that if Klal Yisroel recited Hallel (i.e. Shira at the Yam Suf, as Rashi explains) when they were delivered from slavery to freedom; it goes without saying that when they are delivered from life threatening situations that Hallel should be recited.
HALACHOS FOR EREV SHABBOS KODESH, MAY 25 2012
(Quadruple Portion L'Kavod Shabbos and Yom Tov)
Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh
1) In some places the Talmud refers to the obligation to recite Hallel in general as a rabbinical obligation. (See Talmud Brachos 14a)
In other places the Talmud refers to the recitation of Hallel on Rosh Chodesh as a rabbinic obligation, and seemingly considers its recitation at other times as a biblical obligation. (See Talmud Ta'anis 28b)ch
2) Indeed, some Rishonim do rule that Hallel on certain days (which we will enumerate later) is indeed a biblical obligation, either as a "Halacha L'Moshe Misinai" or as derived from Pesukim as an extension of the Mitzvah of Simcha on those special days. (See Sefer Hamitzvos of the Rambam Shoresh 1 quoting the Ba'al Halachos Gedolos. See also the Ramban in his comments on the Rambam there. See also Sha'agas Aryeh Siman 69 regarding if the text of the Hallel is also biblical or just the obligation to recite a praise and thanksgiving to Hashem)
Other Rishonim rule that the obligation is M'Divrei Kabalah (biblically derived but not quite biblical (See Ra'avad's comments to Rambam Hilchos Chanukah Perek 3:6)while others consider all Hallel recitations as Divrei Sofrim, i.e. rabbinically enacted. (See Rambam ibid. and Magid Mishne's comments on the Rambam where he wants to reconcile and differentiate between Hallel said upon being delivered from a perilous situation and the Hallel recited on holidays. See also Biur Halacha to Siman 422 Dibur Hamaschil L'Makom Sheta'ah)
Halachos for Shabbos Kodesh
1) All agree that the recitation of Hallel on Rosh Chodesh is a rabbinical obligation, and therefore "half" Hallel is recited, i.e. two paragraphs, "Lo Lanu" and "Ahavti" are omitted to make it clear that it is only a rabbinic custom and not a real obligation. (Talmud Ta'anis 28b and Shulchan Aruch Siman 422:2. We will discuss this more in detail in the near future.)
The other days on which Hallel is recited, are the days that the Torah refers to as "Mo'ed", distinct "time" or "special day" as well as days on which Melacha is forbidden.
2) The exceptions are Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, which despite being referred to by the Torah with the term "Mo'ed" and despite being days on which Melacha is forbidden, still do not require the recitation of Hallel.
The reason for this exception is that they are somber days of judgment when the heavenly books of life and death are open, and thus Chazal determined that reciting Hallel, an event requiring a joy-filled heart, is not appropriate. (Talmud Rosh Hashan 32b)
Halachos for Sunday, First day of Shavuos
1) On all days of Sukkos, including Chol Hamoed, the entire Hallel is recited, as each day had a unique Korban in the Bais HaMikdash and thus is considered an individual holiday.
On all eight days of Chanukah the entire Hallel is recited, even though it isn't a "Mo'ed" and is not forbidden to do Melacha, as miracles were experienced by Klal Yisroel on each of the eight days and thus the recitation of Hallel was instituted.(See Talmud Eruchin 10b)
2) Purim, even though it is a day on which we experienced by klal Yisroel, does not have the obligation to recite Hallel. There are two reasons given for this, a) Since Klal Yisroel was still subjugated under the rule of King Achashveirush even after their being saved from death, the joy was not complete, b) The reading of the Megilah, itself an expression of thanks and raise to Hashem, is in lieu of the recitation of Hallel. (See Talmud Megilah 14a)
Halachos for Monday, Second day of Shavuos
1) On the first day [and second day in Chutz L'Aretz] of Pesach the entire Hallel is recited. (Shulchan Aruch Siman 488:1)
On the last day [or days] of Pesach only "half Hallel" is recited as on that day we commemorate Krias Yam Suf, the splitting of the Red Sea and the annihilation of our Egyptian foes, and thus on a day when Hashem's creations (no matter how evil they were) are being destroyed, Hashem does not desire Hallel to be recited. (See Mishna Berura Siman 490:7 quoting the Midrash)
2) On the days of Chol Hamoed Pesach we also only say "half" Hallel.
One reason cited for this is that since the Korban brought on these days was the same as was brought on the first day of Yom Tov (unlike Chol Hamoed Sukkos, where each day had a unique Korban) it does not qualify as a "joyous" day to necessitate a full Hallel recital. (See Talmud Eruchin 10a-b)
Another reason cited by the Mishna Berura (ibid.) is that since we do not recite the entire Hallel on the last days of pesach as we explained above, we don't want the days of Chol Hamoed to seem more respected than the days of Yom Tov and therefore do not require more than "half" Hallel on Chol Hamoed either.
On Shavuos the entire Hallel is recited.
Halachos for Tuesday, May 29 2012
1) Before reciting the "half" Hallel on Rosh Chodesh, the blessing of "Baruch Ata Hashem...Likro Es HaHallel" is recited. (Even though it's only a minhag, as on some minhagim we do find that brachos were enacted. See Mishna Berura Siman 422:14 and 15)
This Bracha is recited whether one recites the Hallel with a minyan or even if it is recited by an individual who is not part of a minyan.
However, it is proper to try and recite Hallel with a minyan, or at least together with another two people who say [at least] the main parts along with him. (See Rama Siman 422:2)
2) If one finds himself davening with a Tzibbur whose custom it is to not recite a Bracha on Hallel on Rosh Chodesh, he should still recite a Bracha, albeit quietly to not show that he is acting differently than the minhag Hamakom.
Likewise, if one's minhag is not to recite a Bracha and he is davening in a Tzibbur where they do recite a Bracha, he should maintain his own custom and not recite a Bracha, but do so inconspicuously. (See Igros Moshe Orach Chaim Vol. 2 Siman 94)
Halachos for Wednesday, May 30 2012
1) The proper place for the recital of Hallel is immediately after Shacharis.
Even though Tefilah of Musaf is a more common recitation than Hallel and thus should really be recited first (due to the Halachic rule of Tadir V'She'aino Tadir, Tadir Kodem, the item that is said/performed more often precedes the less common item) still Hallel is first due to us wanting, for various reasons, to recite it in conjunction with Shacharis. (See Biur Halacha Siman 422 Dibur Hamaschil V'Korim. See also Shulchan Aruch HaRav Siman 131:5 where he says it's due to "Zrizim Makdimin L'Mitzvos, our eagerness to fulfill this Mitzvah as early as possible". See also Shu"t Yaskil Avdi, from the great Mekubal and Posek Rav Ovadiah Ha'adayah Zatzal, Vol. 8 Siman 20:55, where he writes that Hallel is a continuation of Ya'aleh V'Yavo and also that by saying Hallel in the place where Tachanun is usually recited, it is a proclamation of respect for this exalted day. See also Igros Moshe Orach Chaim Vol. 3 Siman 70 for additional reasoning)
2) The Shliach Tzibur may not talk, or otherwise make an interruption (unless it is related to the Tefilah at hand) from when he begins Shemona Esrei until after Kadish Tiskabel is recited after Hallel. (See Shu"t MaHarsham Vol. 1 Siman 1.)
Some Poskim rule that all members of the congregation may not talk or make unnecessary interruptions between the end of their Shemona Esrei and their recitation of Hallel; many Poskim, however, reject this. (See Igros Moshe ibid. and Mishna Berura Siman 123:18 where he seems to rule that this is a rule strictly for the Shliach Tzibur and not for individuals.)
Halachos for Thursday, May 31 2012
1) If one comes to Shul for Shacharis and arrives as the congregation is about to begin Hallel, he should recite Hallel with them (with a minyan) and only afterwards daven Shacharis. (See Mishna Berura Siman 422:16; possibly this Halacha is only on Rosh Chodesh and possibly on Chol Hamoed and the last two days of Pesach, but not on days when the entire Hallel is recited)
2) If after he davens Shacharis he finds a minyan reciting Hallel, he may recite Hallel again with them in its rightful place. (See Shu"t Yabia Omer Vol. 5 Siman 35)
Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh, June 1 2012
(Double Portion L'Kavod Shabbos Kodesh)
Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh
1) It is proper to avoid eating before Hallel has been recited. (See Biur Halacha Siman 422 Dibur Hamaschil V'Korim)
However, if one is weak or ill, there is no problem to eat before Hallel, and it is not even considered an act of piety to avoid food in this case before Hallel. (ibid.)
2) Although women are not obligated in the recital of Hallel, being that it is a time-bound Mitzvah (Mitzvas Asei She'Hazman Grama), they still may recite the Hallel if they so desire.
According to some Poskim they may even recite a Bracha on the Hallel in the event that they do choose to recite it. (See Biur Halacha Siman 422, end of Dibur Hamaschil Hallel where he cites two reasons. Women who follow the Sephardic tradition and follow the ruling of the Bet Yosef, don't recite Brachos on any time-bound Mitzvos, and should probably also refrain from reciting a Bracha on Hallel on Rosh Chodesh or any time. A Rav must be consulted for Halacha L'Ma'aseh)
Halachos for Shabbos Kodesh
1) The Bracha of SheHechiyanu is not recited in conjunction with the recital of Hallel. (See Tosefos Sukkah 46a Dibur Hamaschil Ha'Oseh Sukkah and Mogen Avraham Siman 422:5 for the reasoning)
2) Hallel is not recited in a mourner's home in the presence of the mourner, as Hallel is a happy thing and not appropriate in the situation. (See Mishna Berura Siman 131 S"K 20)
Some have the custom that the non-mourners davening in the mourner's home go to a side room and recite the Hallel, while others have the custom to have the mourner leave the room for the duration of the Hallel.
In the event that Hallel was not recited in the mourner's home, there is a discussion amongst the Poskim if it needs to be recited upon leaving the home. Some say that on Chanukah it must be made up afterwards but not on Rosh Chodesh. (See Mishna Berura ibid.)
HALACHOS FOR SUNDAY, JUNE 3 2012
1) The Talmud (Pesachim 118b) states that one who recites Hallel every single day is considered a "Mecharef U'Megadef, one who Chas V'shalom insults and curses heaven".
Rashi explains that Hallel was enacted for special occasions as a means to thank Hashem, and overusing it shows that it is being relegated to a status of a simple, mundane song or even worse, as a recitation of levity.
Additionally, by reciting it daily, it assumes the status of something said by rote, and thus on the days when it is supposed to be recited, when it is meant to instill in us a sense of gratitude to Hashem for our salvation, it will fail to do so. (See Meiri to Pesachim 118b)
2) One who recites chapters of Tehilim each day before davening Shacharis, and happened to say the chapters that comprise the Hallel (Tehilim chapters 113 through 118) on the morning of Rosh Chodesh, should still repeat the entire Hallel with a Bracha later on after Shacharis.
The reason for this is that Hallel is meant to be recited with Simcha, joy, in a manner of praise and gratitude (Shira V'Hoda'ah) for the salvation we merited, and thus the Tehilim that was recited in the morning, which was done in a manner of a plea and supplication (Bakasha V'Tachanunim) does not suffice to satisfy the obligation. (See Shu"t Shevet Hakehasi Vol. 2 Siman 233 and Mogen Avraham Siman 584:1)
HALACHOS FOR MONDAY, JUNE 4 2012
1) If one used the restroom in the middle of Hallel and now is required to recite the Bracha of "Asher Yatzar", if it's on a day when "half" Hallel is recited, i.e. Rosh Chodesh or the latter days of Pesach, the "Asher Yatzar" may be recited either in the middle of Hallel if desired, or immediately afterward. (Based on Rama Siman 422:4, as then it is considered like in the midst of Pesukei D'Zimrah. See also Mishna Berura Siman 51 S"K 8)
If, however, it's on one of the days when the complete Hallel is recited, the hands should be washed but "Asher Yatzar" should only be recited after the completion of Hallel. (As it then has a status like during Krias Shma and its Brachos. See Rama ibid. and Mishna Berura Siman 66:23)
2) Hallel should L'Chatchila be recited while standing. (Shulchan Aruch Siman 422:7. See Mishna Berura S"K 28 for the reason.)
HALACHOS FOR TUESDAY, JUNE 5 2012
1) After the recital of Hallel [B'Tzibbur] on Rosh Chodesh, Kaddish Tiskabel is recited, signifying the completion of Shacharis, and is then followed by the reading of the Torah and then by Tefilas Musaf. (Shulchan Aruch Siman 423:1 and Mishna Berura S"K 1)
On Rosh Chodesh four people are called to the Torah for an Aliyah. We do not read less than four Aliyos, nor may we add any additional Aliyos. There is no Haftarah following the Krias HaTorah of Rosh Chodesh. (ibid.)
2) If possible, it is proper to try and receive an Aliyah on Rosh Chodesh. The fourth Aliyah on Rosh Chodesh is considered the optimal one to receive and an Aliyah on the second day of a two day Rosh Chodesh is better. (See Ben Ish Chai Parashas Vayikra, year two, Siman 20. See also Ma'aseh Rav Siman 154 that the Gaon of Vilna would receive the fourth Aliyah each Rosh Chodesh. )
HALACHOS FOR WEDNESDAY, JUNE 6 2012
1) On Rosh Chodesh, after Krias HaTorah, the paragraph of "Lame'Natzeiach...Ya'ancha Hashem B'Yom Tzarah", which is usually inserted between "Ashrei" and "U'Va L'Tzion", is omitted. (Shulchan Aruch Siman 423:3)
2) Tefilas Musaf is recited on Rosh Chodesh. (ibid.)
During the Shliach Tzibbur's repetition of the Shemona Esrei of Musaf on Rosh Chodesh, those who daven Nusach Sefard begin the Kedusha with "Keser Yitnu Lecha..." as is done on Yom Tov, and then revert back to the regular weekday Kedusha. (ibid.)
Those who daven Nusach Ashkenaz, however, recite the regular Kedusha as it is recited on a regular weekday. (See Mishna Berura Siman 423 S"K 7)
HALACHOS FOR THURSDAY, JUNE 7 2012
1) An individual who is davening Musaf on Rosh Chodesh while the Shliach Tzibur is reciting the Chazoras HaShatz of Shacharis, or vice versa, and the Shliach Tzibur reached Kedusha, according to some Poskim the individual should not respond to the Kedusha but rather remain silent and listen to the Kedusha Being said and fulfill his obligation via the Halachic rule of "Shomea K'Oneh, listening is like reciting". (See Shulchan Aruch Siman 109:3)
Other Poskim, however, rule that since both Kedushos belong to a Shemona Esrei, they may be recited regardless of which Tefilah the individual is currently in middle of. (See Rama Siman 109:3. See also Mishna Berura S"K 17 that he should say the entire text of the Kedusha that the Shliach Tzibur is saying.)
2) If one inadvertently signed off in Tefilas Musaf with the words "Mekadesh Yisroel V'Hazmanim", as is recited on Yom Tov, in place of the correct ending of "Mekadesh Yisroel V'Roshei Chodoshim", he has not satisfied his obligation.(Ruling of HaRav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal quoted in Sefer Ishei Yisroel page 458 footnote 143. See also Shu"t Mincha Elazar Vol. 3 Siman 19)
HALACHOS FOR EREV SHABBOS KODESH, JUNE 8 2012
(Double Portion L'Kavod Shabbos Kodesh)
Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh
1) The custom is to remove the Tefillin on Rosh Chodesh before beginning Tefilas Mussaf.
One reason for this is that many congregations (Nusach Sefard) the Kedusha that is said in Mussaf of Rosh Chodesh begins with "Keser Yitnu Lecha Hashem Elokeinu- We crown You Hashem our G-d". Thus it is not proper to be wearing our crown (i.e. our Tefilin) while we are proclaiming the crowning of Hashem. (See Mishna Berura Siman 25:61)
Even though Nusach Ashkenaz does not say "Keser", it has still become the universal custom to remove the Tefilin before Musaf, as another reason for removing the Tefillin is to show that just as on Yom Tov we do not wear Tefilin (as it's an Os, a sign, in its own right, not necessitating the Os of Tefilin), so too on Rosh Chodesh , at least during Musaf when we mention the Karbanos (which are also akin to an Os) the Tefillin are not worn. (Mishna Berura Siman 424 S"K 10)
2) Some people remove the Tefillin during the recital of "Ashrei" and "U'Va L'Tzion" before they reach the words "Yehi Ratzon Shenishmor Chukecha", while some people only remove the straps from their hands at that juncture. (Mishna Berura ibid.)
The prevalent custom is to remove the Tefillin after the Kadish preceding the Shemona Esrei of Musaf. (See Mishna Berura Siman 25 S"K 59)
Halachos for Shabbos Kodesh
1) During the Shliach Tzibbur's repetition of the Shemona Esrei of Musaf (as with every Chazoras HaShatz) it is incumbent on every individual in the Tzibur to pay attention and hear the words and answer Amen to each Bracha.
Thus, it is not proper to roll up one's Tefillin and put them away during Chazoras Hashatz.
Likewise, those whose custom it is to don the additional pair of Tefillin of Rabbeinu Tam each day, should not do so in the midst of the Chazoras Hashatz of Musaf. (See Pri Megadim; Aishel Avraham Siman 423:5)
Doing so is a lack of respect for Hashem and also makes it seem like listening to Chazoras Hashatz is a chore; the Tefillin should be rolled up only after Aleinu.(Sefer Chayei Moshe Siman 423 footnote 9 quoting the Orchos Chaim)
2) On Rosh Chodesh after reciting the "Shir Shel Yom" for whatever day of the week it is, in most congregations the chapter of "Barchi Nafshi" (Tehilim 104) is recited as well. (See Mishna Berura Siman 423 S"K 9 for the reason. Some congregations only recite Barchi Nafshi in lieu of the psalm that is usually said on that day of the week. See Ma'aseh Rav from the Gaon of Vilna Siman 158)
HALACHOS FOR SUNDAY, JUNE 10 2012
1) When reciting Birchas Hamazon after a bread meal on Rosh Chodesh, Ya'aleh V'Yavo is added immediately preceding "U'vnei Yerushalayim".(Shulchan Aruch Siman 424:1)
If one forgot to insert Ya'aleh V'Yavo, the Birchas Hamazon is not repeated, as there is no obligation to eat bread on Rosh Chodesh in the first place. (ibid. and Mishna Berura S"K 1)
2) If one remembered before beginning the Bracha of "Hatov V'Hameitiv" (or even after beginning to the two words Baruch and Ata of the Barcha of Hatov V'Hameitiv) that he omitted Ya'aleh V'Yavo, he should say the following text right then and there: "Baruch Ata Hashem Shenasan Rosh Chodesh L'Amo Yisroel L'Zikaron" (Shulchan Aruch ibid. See also Mishna Berura Siman 188 S"K 21, 22 and 23 for more details.)
HALACHOS FOR MONDAY, JUNE 11 2012
1) If one begins eating a bread meal on the afternoon of Rosh Chodesh, and eats at least a Kzayis while it is still day time, even if he finishes the meal after nightfall, when it is no longer Rosh Chodesh, according to many Poskim, Ya'aleh V'Yavo is recited in Birchas Hamazon. This is indeed the prevalent custom.(Ruling of the Shulchan Aruch Siman188:10 and Shulchan Aruch HaRav Siman 188:17)
2) However, if during the meal he davened Ma'ariv, even if it is still before nightfall, all agree that no longer is Ya'aleh V'Yavo recited when reciting Birchas Hamazon. (See Mishna Berura Siman 188 S"K 32 and 34)
Moreover, even if he did not yet daven Ma'ariv, if the congregation already davened Ma'ariv before nightfall, as long as he himself already davened Mincha, he is considered part of the congregation, and no Ya'aleh V'Yavo should be recited in his Birchas Hamazon. (See Mishna Berura Siman 424 S"K 2)
HALACHOS FOR TUESDAY, JUNE 12 2012
1) If one begins eating a bread meal on the afternoon of Erev Rosh Chodesh, and does not eat any bread after nightfall, even if he finishes the meal and recites Birchas Hamazon after nightfall, when it is already Rosh Chodesh, according to many Poskim, Ya'aleh V'yavo is not recited in Birchas Hamazon. (See Shulchan Aruch HaRav Siman 188:17 and Mishna Berura Siman 188 S"K 33)
If, however, bread was also eaten after nightfall, indeed, according to many Poskim, Ya'aleh V'yavo should be added to the Birchas Hamazon even though the meal was started before the onset of Rosh Chodesh, as bread was eaten on Rosh Chodesh. (ibid.)
2) If during the meal he davened Ma'ariv, even if it is still before nightfall, all agree that Ya'aleh V'Yavo is recited when reciting Birchas Hamazon, even though he did not actually eat any bread after nightfall. (See Aruch HaShulchan Siman 188:23)
HALACHOS FOR WEDNESDAY, JUNE 13 2012
1) It is always proper to recite Birchas Hamazon loudly and clearly, as saying it loud ensures that all the words are recited properly and also brings about better Kavanah, concentration and understanding of the words being recited. (See Mishna Berura Siman 185 S"K 3)
Moreover, it is praiseworthy to always recite Birchas Hamazon from a Siddur or Birchon, and not recite it from memory. (See what the Mishna Berura Siman 185 S"K 1 quotes from the Sefer Hachinuch and the Sefer Chasidim)
2) This is especially important on Shabbos, Rosh Chodesh and other times when additions are added to the text that aren't recited on a regular basis (e.g. Retzei or Ya'aleh V'yavo) as saying it loudly and from within a Siddur will make it less likely to inadvertently omit the required additions of the day. (Mishna Berura Siman 185 S"K 3)
HALACHOS FOR THURSDAY, JUNE 14 2012
1) Prior to reciting Birchas Hamazon on Rosh Chodesh,"Shir Hama'alos" is recited like it is on Shabbos and Yom Tov, in place of "Al Naharos Bavel" which is said on regular weekdays.
2) On Rosh Chodesh during Birchas Hamazon, after"Bamarom Yelamedu..." the following short Tefilah is added: "Harachaman Hu Yechadesh Aleinu Es Hachodesh Hazeh L'Tova V'Livracha". (See Mishna Berura Siman 682 S"K 5)
On Rosh Chodesh, as on Shabbos and Yom Tov, "Migdol Yeshuos Malko" is said in place of "Magdil Yeshuos Malko" in the "Harachaman Hu Yizakeinu LeYemos Hamashiach..." (See Mishna Berura Siman 189:5)
HALACHOS FOR EREV SHABBOS KODESH, JUNE 15 2012
(Double Portion L'Kavod Shabbos Kodesh)
Halacha for Erev Shabbos Kodesh
1) When reciting the Bracha of M'ein Shalosh (Al Hamichya, Al Ha'eitz and/or Al Hagefen) on Rosh Chodesh, the words "V'Zachreinu L'Tova B'Yom Rosh Hachodesh Hazeh" are inserted at the end of the text right before the words "Ki Ata Hashem Tov U'Meitiv Lakol..." (See Mishna Berura Siman 208 S"K 58
2) If this addition was inadvertently omitted, the Bracha need not be repeated.(ibid. See also Sha'ar HaTziyun Os 60 for the reasoning)
If one already started saying "Ki Ata Hashem Tov U'Meitiv Lakol..." but did not yet recite the concluding words "Baruch Ata Hashem", according to some Poskim you go back and say the words "V'Zachreinu L'Tova B'Yom Rosh Hachodesh Hazeh" and continue from there until the end.
Other Poskim maintain that the Bracha is finished without going back to mention the words regarding Rosh Chodesh. (See Kaf HaChaim Siman 208:67)
Halachos for Shabbos Kodesh
1) Cutting of hair and of nails should be avoided on Rosh Chodesh. (Based on the Tzava'ah, famous last will and testament, of Rav Yehuda Hachasid Siman 48, quoted in Shulchan Aruch HaRav Siman 260:1 and Mishna Berura Siman 260 S"K 7)
Some say that when there are two days of Rosh Chodesh, it is permissible to be more lenient with the cutting of hair and nails on the first day of Rosh Chodesh.(Opinion of the Yad Ephraim, in Kuntres Acharon of Tzavoas Rav Yehuda Hachasid and in Likutei Basar Likutei Siman 57 quoting the Darchei Teshuva)
However, from the language of the Mogen Avraham (Siman 260:1) it doesn't seem there is a difference between the two days of Rosh Chodesh regarding this, and indeed most Poskim do not mention such a differentiation between the two days, thus the prevalent custom is to be stringent and not cut the hair and nails on both days of Rosh Chodesh.
2) When Rosh Chodesh falls out on Erev Shabbos, some Poskim allow cutting of hair and nails while many other Poskim maintain that the prohibition is in place even on Erev Shabbos and thus the nails and hair should be cut on Thursday instead, even though usually the nails should not be cut on Thursday. (See Halachos for July 4 2008 here for more details. See Mishna Berura ibid.,Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Siman 72:14, Be'er Heitev Siman 260:1, Aruch HaShulchan Siman 260:6, Kaf HaChaim Siman 260:12 and Likutei Maharich; Seder Hisnahagus Erev Shabbos Kodesh)
There is an opinion, not shared or quoted by many Poskim though, that in this case the nails and hair should be cut on Thursday night after sunset rather than on Friday after sunrise. (See Aishel Avraham Siman 417)
HALACHOS FOR SUNDAY, JUNE 17 2012
1) Many people have the minhag to give a child his first haircut on his third birthday. This has become known as an "Upsherin" (Yiddish term for cutting hair).
2) Many people will perform this first haircut even if the child's birthday falls out on Rosh Chodesh.
Others, however, say that in this case it is worthwhile to postpone the haircut until after Rosh Chodesh or even to do it a day or two earlier, before Rosh Chodesh. (See Sefer Chinuch Yisroel page 54 and Sefer Rosh Chodesh page 349 quoting HaRav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal.)
HALACHOS FOR MONDAY, JUNE 18 2012
1) It is customary to avoid visiting graves on Rosh Chodesh, as on this day (as well as other days when Tachanun is not recited) the neshama, soul, of the deceased ascends to heaven, and is not present near the grave. (Based on the teachings of the Arizal. See Sefer Gesher Hachaim Perek 29:5)
2) One who observes a Yahrtzeit of a loved one on Rosh Chodesh, according to some Poskim , he should postpone the visit until after Rosh Chodesh.
Others allow visiting the grave on Rosh Chodesh if it's the actual Yahrtzeit, but limit what is recited there. (i.e. They say to recite only Tehilim but not the other Tefilos (Hashkavah) that are customarily recited at the graveside on a Yahrtzeit. See Hagahos Mordechai to Pesachim 37 and Shu"t Chaim Sh'al Vol. 2 Siman 38)
Every person should consult their own Rav for Halacha L'Ma'aseh.
HALACHOS FOR TUESDAY, JUNE 19 2012
1) The Arizal (quoted in Be'er Heitev Orach Chaim Siman 238:2) says that "Mikrah, Torah SheBiksav, the written Torah" should not be studied at night, rather "Torah SheBa'al Peh, oral law" should be studied then. (The reason for this is obviously Kabalistic. See the Artzos HaChaim (from the Malbim) Siman 1:36 and Yesod V'Shoresh H'Avodah Sha'ar 6; HaNitzutz Perek 2).
Seforim say that the aforementioned prohibition does not apply to Shabbos and Yom Tov or to Thursday Nights. (See Ben Ish Chai, Parashas Pikudei, year one, Siman 7)
The great Mekubal Rav Shalom Sharabi (RaShash) maintained that the verses of Tehilim were excluded from the above prohibition, and may be said at night. In fact, he says that Dovid HaMelech composed and wrote Sefer Tehilim at night!(Quoted in Shu"t Chaim Sha'al Vol. 2 Siman 25. Another reason is because Hashem gave Tehilim a status like the Mishna tractates of "NeGaim and A'Halos", which basically gives it a status of "Torah Sh'Ba'al Peh", which is permitted anytime.)
If the Tehilim is being said for the urgent Refuah Shelaima of a Choleh it can surely be said at night. (Ruling of Debreciner Rav in Shu"t Be'er Moshe Vol. 4 Siman 22, Eishel Avraham (Butchatch) Orach Chaim Siman 306, and other Poskim)
If the Pesukim are being learned with a Pirush (commentary such as Rashi) then it is not a problem at all and the entire learning has a status of oral Torah, which of course can be learned at night. (Shu't Levushei Mordechai Siman 186 and others)
2) Although Rosh Chodesh is treated like a Yom Tov in many ways, still the prohibition of studying Torah SheBiksav at night is in effect on Rosh Chodesh eve.(See Ben Ish Chai, Parashas Pikudei; year one, Siman 7. Perhaps the reason is that Rosh Chodesh is a Yom Tov exclusively for women, and thus does not have the status of a Yom Tov for men. See Mishna Berura Siman 417 S"K 3 and Siman 570 S"K 6 and Siman 572 S"K 5)