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HILCHOS SHABBOS: GENERAL HALACHOS OF EREV SHABBOS (Originally posted 2008. Updated 2023)

As a zechus for the Yidden in Eretz Yisroel, and as a general zechus for Am Yisroel during this Eis Tzarah, many Rabbanim have suggested learning Hilchgos Shabbos, to strengthen Shabbos observance, Kedushas Shabbos and our relationship with Shabbos.


The reason for this suggestion is that the attack began on Shabbos Kodesh, and thus our strengthening our Shemiras Shabbos will be a zechus to herald in the Yom SheKulo Shabbos. May we all merit experiencing the arrival of Ben Dovid and the downfall of Yishmael very soon!


Halachos for Sunday, November 5, 2023


1) Chazal say that one who keeps Shabbos is as if he has fulfilled the entire Torah.


One who transgresses Shabbos is as if he has transgresed the entire Torah.


One who transgresses Shabbos in public [which means that 10 people are aware that this person is a mechalel Shabbos], is considered like an Aino-Yehudi for all purposes; we may not drink his wine, his bread is considered bread of an Aino-Yehudi etc. (See Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Siman 72:1 and 2)


2) There is Mitzva to “remember” Shabbos each day of the week. (When we say the daily Shir Shel Yom, Hayom Yom... it is an opportune time to think this, and fuulfill this biblical Mitzva)


If one comes across a food delicacy during the week, he should buy it L’Kovod Shabbos.


By doing this and thinking [or saying] that his intent is to buy it for Shabbos, he is fulfilling the Mitzva of “Zachor Es Yom Hashabbos L’kadsho. (See Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Siman 72:4)


Halachos for Monday, November 6, 2023


1) It is a Mitzva to wake up early on Friday morning to purchase food for Shabbos. (Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Siman 72:4)


One may do this shopping even before Shacharis, provided he will have a later Minyan with which to daven (The Mishna Berura Siman 250 S"K 1 stipulates that only in a case where the item will be sold out if you wait until after Shacharis, may one rely on this and in that case one may even miss tefilah B’Tzibbur to purchase the item for Shabbos, given that he read the Krias Shema first.)


One should say “I am purchasing this in honor of Shabbos” or simply the words “L’Kvod Shabbos” when purchasing items for Shabbos. (Kitzur Shulchan Aruchibid.)


It is better to do the Shabbos shopping on Friday, rather than on Thursday [afternoon], unless the items are bought on Thursday to allow proper preparation and cooking for Shabbos. (ibid.)


2) Washing clothing for Shabbos however, should be done on Thursday and not on Friday, as Friday is designated as the day to be busy with “Tzorchei Shabbos”. (See Mishna Berura Siman 242 S"K 5. Nowadays, where laundry is done by a machin, many Poskim allow it on Friday, if necesary. See Shemiras Shabbos K'Hilchaso Perek 42:13. See also Shu"t Or L'tzion Vol. 2 Siman 16:2 regharding wearing a suit multiple Shabbasos in a row without cleanng)



Halachos for Tuesday, November 7, 2023


1) It is a Mitzva on each Jew, even if he/she has household help, to personally do something in honor of Shabbos.


The Talmud brings many stories of great sages who personally did things to honor the Shabbos.


Rav Chisda would dice the vegetables, Rabba and Rav Yoseph would chop fire-wood, Rav Zeira would kindle the cooking fire, Rav Nachman would sweep his home and switch the weekday utensils for the Shabbos ones etc. (See Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Siman 72:5)


2) It is incumbent on every Jew to emulate these great sages, and not say “it is beneath my dignity to do these chores”. On the contrary; it is an honorable thing to honor Hahsem and the holy Shabbos day. (Ibid.)



Halachos for Wednesday, November 8, 2023


1) It is a Minhag in many Jewish households to bake [Challah] bread in honor of Shabbos. (Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Siman 72:6)

2) The reason for this minhag is twofold:

a) That the woman of the house be Mekayem the Mitzvah of Hafroshas Challah (There are Kabalistic sources that explain that by performing the Mitzvah of Challah on Erev Shabbos, womankind atones for the original sin of Chava who caused Adam, who was created on Erev Shabbos to sin.

b) Even if during the week one isn’t careful to only eat bread baked by a Jew [Pas Yisroel], on Shabbos it is worthwhile to be stringent in this matter and only eat Pas Yisroel. (See Mishna Berura (Siman 242 S"K 6)

Therefore to ensure that the bread is in fact Pas Yisroel, it is baked by the Jewish housewife rather than by the Aino-Yehudi household help or even from a bakery. ( See Kitzur Shulchan Aruch ibid.)

Halachos for Thursday, November 9, 2023


1) Although the obligation to light Shabbos candles in every Jewish home is for both men and women, traditionally it has become a Mitzvah for the women to light and thus exempt their husbands and other members of the household.


One reason cited for this Mitzvah being the woman’s Mitzvah is a practical one: the woman is in charge of the household needs and is more often found at home thus this household Mitzvah was given to her. (Shulchan Aruch Siman 263:3)


Another reason given, based on the teachings of kabbalah, for this Mitzvah “belonging” to women is as follows:


The first woman, Chava, Eve, extinguished the candle of the world, i.e. she caused Adam to sin, and thereby darkened his soul (which is likened to a candle as the Posuk (Mishlei 20:27) states “Ner Hashem Nishmas Adam- the candle of Hashem is the soul of man”) and caused death to descend on mankind.


Therefore, as a rectification for the first sin, woman-kind has been given the task of once again illuminating the world, via the kindling of the Shabbos lights. (See Mishna Berura Siman 263:12)


2) Since the man of the house is also obligated in the performance of this Mitzvah, he should prepare the candles for the woman by inserting the candles/oil into the candelabra or similar preparations, to at least have some part in the Mitzvah.(Mishna Berura Siman 263:12. See also Kaf Hachaim Siman 250:9 )


Many men also have the Minhag of preparing the candles by lighting them and then extinguishing them, thus making them kindle easier when the woman later lights them for Shabbos.


Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh, November 10, 2023 Double Portion L'Kavod Shabbos Kodesh


Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh


1) We mentioned previously that even though the Mitzvah of lighting candles is traditionally performed by women, still the man of the house should set up the candles in order to take part in the Mitzvah. (See Mishna Berura Siman 263:12)


Rav Akiva Eiger Zatzal in his commentary to Mishnayos, Tosefos Rav Akiva Eiger, writes an interesting Remez, allusion, to this minhag based on the words of the Mishna (Shabbos Perek 2 Mishna 6), as follows:


The Mishna says that three things cause women to die during childbirth R”L, “Al She’ainan Zehiros B’Nidah, U’Bchallah, U’B'Hadlokas HaNer, due to them not being scrupulous with [Halachos of] Nidah, [removing of] Challah and lighting the Shabbos candles”


Why does the Mishna not simply say “B’Nidah, U’Bchallah, U’BNer” as is the method used to refer to the other two (without any descriptive action preceding the word Nidah or Challah), but rather says “B’Hadlokas HaNer, with the lighting of the candle”


Rav Akiva Eiger answers that from the wording of the Mishna you see that only the lighting of the candles is incumbent on the woman, whereas the setting up of the candles is not her concern and is the man’s part of the Mitzvah.


2) If by having the man light the candles in preparation for the woman’s lighting later on it will cause the candles to not light as nicely, as is common with the candles on the market nowadays that burn more beautifully the first time they are lit, some say that he should indeed not pre-light them and instead prepare them in other ways, i.e. set up the candelabra, insert the candles or oil etc. (Ruling of the Chazon Ish Zatzal quoted in Sefer Dinim V’Hanhagos 9:1)

Halachos for Shabbos Kodesh


1) It is a proper custom to purchase flowers for the home in honor of Shabbos, as it honors the Shabbos.


It is also good for Shalom Bayis, which has added importance on Shabbos.(See Midrash Shir Hashirim 2:9 and Vayikra Rabbah 23:6. See also Sefer kaf hachaim, from Rav Chaim Falagi Zatzal, perek 36)


2) Some people include 2 Hadasim, myrtle, in these flowers in honor of Shabbos, a commemoration of the “Zachor” and “Shamor” that is written in the two sets of Aseres Hadibros, respectively, in regards to Shabos. (Based on Talmud Shabbos 33b)


Some people also have the minhag to recite the bracha (Borei Atzei Besmaim)  and smell these Hadasim on Shabbos, as a way to reach the required 100 brachos.


Halachos for Sunday, November 12, 2023


1) One should prepare [or buy] meat, fish, delicacies and fine wine, according to each individual’s means for the Shabbos meals.


It is a Mitzvah to eat fish at all three of the Shabbos meals. However, if one doesn’t enjoy eating fish or if it upsets his stomach etc., he should refrain from eating it, as Shabbos was given for us to enjoy and not for us to be pained. (See Mishna Berura Siman 242 S"K 2 and Magen Avraham Siman 242:1)


2) A tablecloth should be spread over the table for Shabbos, and should remain on the table throughout the Shabbos, not just at the time of the meals. (Ideally, all the tables in the home should have a tablecloth on them for Shabbos, not just the one you are using for the meals.) (See Rama Siman 262:1, Biur Halacha ibid and Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Siman 72:7)


While any color tablecloth is acceptable, the prevalent minhag is to use a white tablecloth, and kabalistically this has merit. (See Piskei Tehuvos in the new volume on Hilchos Shabbos Siman 262:1. See also Sefer Minhag Yisroel Torah 262:6 for other sources.)


Halachos for Monday, November 13, 2023


1) One should rejoice with Shabbos and think in his mind “If a dignitary was coming to my home for a visit, wouldn’t I prepare my home from top to bottom? How much more so must I prepare my home for the coming of the queen - The Shabbos Queen!”


It is for this reason that one should sample and taste all the Shabbos food before Shabbos (not too much though!) to ensure that the food is fit to serve to a queen! (Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Siman 72:7


2) it is crucial that there be no machlokes, arguments, quarrels or fights on Shabbos, especially between husbands and wives.


Shalom, peace, on Shabbos is integral. This is why the traditional greeting used on Shabbos is "Shabbos Shalom". (See Mishna Berura Siman 262 S”K 9 quoting the Zohar Hakadosh and the Kabbalistic writings. See also Shla Hakadosh Parashas Vayakhel in Derech Chaim Tochachas Musar)


Halachos for Tuesday, November 14, 2023


1) Regardless of one’s financial situation, every Jew must do whatever he/she can to make Shabbos pleasurable. 


Even a poor per must ration the entire week in order that money remains for the purchase of items in honor of Shabbos. One must even borrow money in order to be able to purchase Shabbos items. Hashem has promised that He will pay back [i.e. give you the means to pay back] loans that were taken out in order to honor the Shabbos. (Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Siman 72:8)


2) Every Rosh Hashana, it is decided by Hashem exactly what every person will be provided with for the coming year. 


Chazal tell us (Talmud Beitzah 16a) that this does not include any expenses that one lays out for Shabbos and Yom Tov [and Rosh Chodesh- see Vayikra Rabbah 17 and Mishna Beruira Siman 419 S”K 1]; the money one spends in honor of the holy Shabbos will be replenished by Hashem and isn’t deducted from his yearly allowance. 


Thus, one should not penny-pinch when it comes to Shabbos purchases.


Halachos for Wednesday, November 15, 2023


1) It is incumbent on every Jewish male to read the portion of the week’s Torah reading each week. This is known as “Being Ma’avir Sidrah” (literally, “going over the portion of the week”). 


The entire Parsha must be read twice and the Targum [Onkelos] must be read once. (Shulchan Aruch Siman 285:1)


The new week begins on Sunday morning. (Shulchan Aruch Siman 285:3)


The Mishna Berura (S”K 7) holds that one can begin already reading the new Parasha after Krias Hatorah of Mincha on Shabbos, when the new Parsha is already read, and there is no need to wait until Sunday. (Rav Chaim Kanievsky Zatzal maintained that the individual has to have heard the reading at mincha, and then he can begin Shnayim Mikrah, while others hold that once the time for Mincha on shabbos arrives, the new parsha can already be read, even if the individual is davening Mincha later and did not yet hear the new Torah portion being read.)


2) Some Poskim hold that the best way to fulfill this Mitzvah is to read the entire Parsha twice, and the Targum once on Friday afternoon after Chatzos (Halachic midday).


Others disagree and hold that it is 100% OK to start on Sunday morning and do a little each day throughout the week. (See Mishna Berura Siman 285 S”K 8)


Halachos for Thursday, November 16, 2023


1) There are a few methods mentioned by the Poskim as to the proper way to be Maavir Sedra:

a) To read the entire portion of that week, from beginning to end twice and only then to read the entire Targum [Onkelus] from the beginning of the Sedra until the end.


b) To read a full Parsha, or section (meaning from the beginning until you get to a “Pei” or “Samech”, and according to the Vilna Gaon if you do it in this way, you stop there, even if it is middle of a Posuk) within the Sedra of the week twice and then to read the Targum on the Pesukim you just read.


c) To read from the beginning until Sheni twice then its Targum, continue from Sheni until Shlishi twice, and then its Targum and so on. (See Mishna Berura Siman 285:2 and Sefer Derech Sicha from Rav Chaim Kanievsky Zatzal, page 2)


d) To read the first Posuk twice and then its Targum, then the second Posuk twice and then its Targum, and so on until you finish the entire Sedra.


2) All of the above methods have acceptable sources in Halacha. The main thing is to get it done each week, in any way that works for you.


There is a prevalent minhag (which the Vilna Gaon and others used to do) to read from the beginning until Sheni on Sunday, from Sheni to Shlishi on Monday, and so on until Friday. On Friday the Minhag is to do two portions (i.e. from Shishi until the end). This minhag is an easy way to be Ma’avir Sedra without it being a daunting task to do in one sitting. (See Mishna Berura Siman 285 S”K 8)


Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh, November 17, 2023 Double Portion L'Kavod Shabbos Kodesh


Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh


1) Besides for Chumash and Targum, one who has Yiras Shomayim (awe of Heaven) should learn the commentary of Rashi on the entire Parsha as well.(Shulchan Aruch Siman 285:2)


If one is not capable of doing this, he should try and read the English (or any other language he is familiar with) translation of the Parasha, so that he will understand what the week’s Parasha is about.


2) Since reading the Aramaic words of the Targum takes some getting used to, it is worthwhile to have children (from about the age of 7) read a few Pesukim of Chumash and Targum each week, so that when they reach Bar Mitzva they will have an easy time being Ma’avir Sedrah.


Training them in this Mitzva, like all other Mitzvos, is part of every father’s (and mother’s) obligation of Chinuch.


​Halachos for Shabbos Kodesh


1)  It is proper to read Shnayim Mikrah with the tropp ( tune) used to read the Torah. The Targum, however, should not be read with any Tropp. (See Chida, Machzik Bracha Siman 285:7 and 8 and Kaf Hachaim Siman 132:6. See also Shu”t Yechaveh Da’as Vol. 2 Siman 37)


If it was read without the Tropp, it is still acceptable. (See Shu”t Teshuvos V’Hanhagos Vol. 2 Siman 294)


2)  It is best to not make any interruptions while being Ma’avir Sedrah. (See Mishna Berura Siman 285 S”K 6 and Kaf Hachaim Siman 285:15)

 If interrupting to respond to a Torah question, or otherwise speak Torah topics, there is room for leniency. (See Halichos Shlomo; Tefilah, Perek 12 footnote 105)

Halachos for Sunday, November 19, 2023


1) It is a Mitzvah for every Jew – men and women alike - to wash at least the face, hands and feet with hot water every Erev Shabbos.  ( Nowadays, there is les sof a reason to wash the feet. See Shulchan Aruch Siman 260:1 and Mishna Berura S”K 2 and 3)


Ideally, the entire body should be bathed [or showered] in hot water in honor of the holy Shabbos. (See Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Siman 72:12. See Biur halacha dibur hamaschil B’chamin that ideally it should be hot water , not just warm water. There is an opinion of the Ya’avetz that only hands, feet and face should be washed in hot water, and not the entire body. This opinion only applies to married men.)


2) It is a proper custom for men to immerse in a Mikvah each Erev Shabbos. (See Kitzur Shulchan Aruch ibid.)


Kabalistically, it is good to do this as close to Shabbos as possible as this reveals the holiness of Shabbos in a loftier way (Also based on Talmud Yerushalmi terumos end of Perek 8)


There are various customs as to how many times to immerse; each individual should follow their accepted custom. (Regarding the issue of “too many immersions" cited in Tosefta Mikvaos Perek 8:10, see Shu”t Meishiv Davar from the Netziv Siman 37)


Halachos for Monday, November 20, 2023


1) As we mentioned the custom to immerse in a Mikvah on Erev Shabbos, it is important to keep the following in mind:


It is prohibited to be in a bathhouse, Mikvah or anywhere else where one is totally undressed, together with one’s father, stepfather, brother or sister’s husband is also there undressed, as there is a concern that seeing them in this state will lead to forbidden thoughts. (See Rama Even HaEzer Siman 23:6)


Likewise, one should not be there together with his Rebbi (Torah teacher) unless the Rebbi requires his assistance to bathe. (Chelkas Mechokek Even HaEzer Siman 23:5)


If one was there already and one of the aforementioned relatives enters the bathhouse or Mikvah, he must hurry up and leave as quickly as he can; however if he was there first and his Rebbi enters he may remain there. (See Bais Shmuel Even HaEzer 23:5)


The above is only when they are totally undressed, but if bathing trunks are worn or the private areas are otherwise covered it is permissible to go swimming or be in a bathhouse together with these relatives. (See Rama ibid. and Yoreh Deah Siman 242:16)


2) The Poskim try and find a “Limud Zechus” for the practice of some Jews to indeed go to the Mikvah together with their sons.


The Aruch HaShulchan (Even HaEzer Siman 23:8) wonders about the custom which is against Halacha and tries to say that perhaps the prohibition is only being in the actual bath/Mikvah at the same time, but not being in the same room. However, he himself says that based on the Rishonim, this cannot be a good heter. (Also Rashi to Pesachim 51a explains the reason as the son may see his father and it will bring him to unclean thoughts, and that applies to them being in the same room unclothed, regardless if they actually enter the same bath).


The Sefer Minhag Yisroel Torah also wonders as to what people rely on and how they disregard the Halacha. He does quote the Shu”t Kinyan Torah Vol. 2 Siman 34 who rules that it is acceptable in a public Mikvah, as the son won’t focus on his father when amongst a crowd.


He also writes there that it doesn’t apply to a young child who doesn’t yet have unclean thoughts.


At what age this begins can vary from child to child and also even if relying on this heter, it has to be a crowded Mikvah, and not just a Mikvah where there are one or two other people there besides the father and son.


For Halacha L’ma’aseh, as with everything, a Rav must be consulted.

Halachos for Tuesday, November 21, 2023


1) It is a Mitzvah to cut the nails in honor of Shabbos.


2) The following are some Halachos pertaining to cutting nails:


a) One should not cut the nails of his hands on the same day as cutting the nails of the toes.(Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Siman 72:14 and Mishna berura Siman 260 S"K 6)


b) Nails should not be cut, nor should hair be cut on Rosh Chodesh. When Rosh Chodesh falls on Erev Shabbos some Poskim allow the nails to be cut in honor of Shabbos while others are stringent. (See Mogen Avraham Siman 260, Shulchan Aruch HaRav Siman 260:1,Shemiras Shabbos K’hilchasa Perek 42:49 and footnote 174, Shu”t Rivevos Ephraim Vol. 4 Siman 97: 35 and 37, Aruch HaShulchan Siman 260:6, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch ibid.)


c) It is best not to cut nails in order, as doing so can present a danger and cause one to forget their Torah learning.


Start with the left hand as follows: ring finger, pointer, pinky, middle finger then the thumb.


Then move on to the right hand and cut the nail of pointer, ring finger, thumb, middle finger and then the pinky. (See Rama Siman 260:1 and Kitzur Shulchan Aruch ibid. Some Poskim, including the Aruch HaShulchan, rule to start with the right hand but the prevalent Minhag is to begin with the left.)


Others are also careful not to cut nails on Thursday, as the re-growth of the nail begins on the third day after being cut, thus it will start to grow on Shabbos. (The Mogen Avraham Siman 260, cited in Mishna Berura S"K 6 says to cut the toe nails on Thursday and the hand nails on Friday)


d) After nails are cut they should be burned.


Flushing them down the toilet is sufficient for them to be considered burnt. The main thing to be careful about is that they not be strewn about the floor, as it can lead to a pregnant woman stepping on them, and may cause her to miscarry her baby R"L. (Most of the aforementioned Halachos are based on the Talmud Niddah 17a, as well as having a basis in kabala sources. See Mishna Berura ibid.)


Halachos for Wednesday, November 22, 2023


1) On Erev Shabbos, every Jewish man and woman should reflect with retrospection upon his/her deeds of the previous week and repent for any sins that may have been transgressed in the preceding 6 days.


2) The reason for this is because Erev Shabbos has a power over the entire week, much as Erev Rosh Chodesh (which is known as Yom Kippur Koton) has a power to rectify the sins of the previous month. (See Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Siman 72:15. See also Be'er Heitev Siman 250:1 that Shabbos is similar to Olam Haba, and thus Mi Shetarach B'Erev Shabbos Yochal B'Shabbos; one who properly prepares on Erev Shabbos will reap the reward of his labor and merit a proper Shabbos with all it has to offer)


Halachos for Thursday, November  23, 2023


1) One should have special [nicer] clothing for Shabbos.(Shulchan Aruch Siman 262:2. See also Tosefos Bava Kama 37a Dibur Hamaschil Harei, where it states that even animals recognized when people were dressed for Shabbos!)


Even if one is alone the entire shabbos, and won’t be seeing anyone, he/she should still wear special Shabbos clothing, as the purpose is to honor the Shabbos, not to honor those that may see you. (Mishna Berura Siman 262 S”K 6)


Men, who wear a Tallis for davening, should have a special Talis for Shabbos. (Mishna Berura Siman 262 S”K 5)


The Shabbos clothing should be kept clean and unstained in honor of Shabbos. If one handles a baby on Shabbos, it is proper to first put a towel or other material on himself so that the clothing remain clean. (Mishna Berura Siman 262 S”K 6 quoting the Sefer Chasidim)


2) In the times of Chazal it was customary for Bigdei Shabbos to be white (See Mateh Moshe Siman 414 and Kitzur Shlah Siman 135. This hasn't been the Minhag of most of Klal Yisroel for many centuries already.)


The Be'er Heitev (Siman 262:4) quotes the Arizal to wear 4 white garments (to signify the 4 letters of the Shem Ha-Vayah of Hashem). Obviously this is for Kabbalistic reasons, and perhaps nowadays, when we don't do many kabalistic things that Chazal did, this was also something that got lost. (The Aruch Hashulchan Siman 260:1 says that nowadays, wearing a white shirt on Shabbos suffices. See also Shu"t Panim M'Eeros Vol. 2 Siman 152)


The Mogen Avraham (Siman 597) maintains that wearing white, black or any other color is dependent on each town's minhag. Furthermore, he says that nowadays wearing white is not Chashuv. Perhaps in the times of Chazal it was more respectful to wear white, while nowadays black or other dark colors is definitely a more respectful color suit to wear. (think judges robes, tuxedos etc.)


Rav Chaim Kanievsky Zatzal in his Sefer Shoneh Halachos (Siman 262) says that if by wearing white nowadays it will be "Mechzi K'Yuhara" (Halachis term for inappropriately flaunting one's religiosity or doing things that give off a "holier than thou" attitude) it is better not to wear white. However, he does add that if doing so in the confines of one's own home where it doesn't stick out of the crowd, or if worn in an area where people don't "notice" anything different about him it is OK. (The MaHaram Chagiz Siman 543 says that wearing white on Shabbos is a Tikkun (rectification) for Aveiros related to Arayos (sins of immorality)


Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh, November 24, 2023 Double Portion L'Kavod Shabbos Kodesh


Halachos for Erev Shabos Kodesh


1) Any Melacha that is prohibited for a Jew to do on Shabbos, he may not tell an Aino-Yehudi to do for him on Shabbos, as the Posuk States “Kol Melacha Lo Ye’Aseh”- All Melachos should not be done. Chazal derive from the fact that it says “should not be done” as opposed to stating “you should not do” that it may not be done for you even via an Aino-Yehudi.


The above is the general rule, and there are certain exceptions as we will detail below.


2) If a particular Melacha was given to an Aino-Yehudi to do on Friday, prior to the onset of the Shabbos, it would be acceptable for the Aino-Yehudi to do the Melacha, even if he does it on Shabbos, if the following 5 conditions are met:


a) The Aino-Yehudi must take the item [he will be working on] out of the Jew’s home before Shabbos.


b) The payment for the Melacha must be decided upon before Shabbos [because then the Aino-Yehudi is doing the Melacha for his own benefit, as he wants to get paid)


c) The payment must be a set amount for this particular job, and not a “per hour” or “per day” salary.


d) One may not explicitly tell the Aino-Yehudi to do the particular Melacha on Shabbos, or even insinuate a “finish time” for the Melacha that would mean he has no choice but to do it on Shabbos. Rather it must be possible for the Aino-Yehudi to do it before or after Shabbos, yet the fact that he does it on Shabbos is because it is his choice to do it then.


e) The Melacha in question may not be of the variety that is “attached to the ground” e.g. An Aino-Yehudi may not build your home, or plow your field etc. even if the first 4 of the aforementioned conditions are met.


(There are many intricate exceptions, addendums and scenarios where some of the above doesn’t apply, and it is beyond the scope of these emails to delve into all the intricate details of ‘Amirah L’Nachri’. We are just giving some basics of these Halachos to familiarize ourselves with the topic. As always, if you have a Halacha L’Maaseh question, you must ask a competent Halachic authority.)


Halachos for Shabbos Kodesh


1) An Aino-Yehudi may not be allowed to do Melacha on Shabbos [which will benefit the Jew in any way] in the home of a Jew. (Some Poskim take this even a step further, and prohibits the Aino-Yehudi from doing Melacha which will benefit the Jew even if it isn’t in the home of the Jew, if it is being done in public, and people know that the Melacha being done is for the benefit of the Jew.)


2) Even if the Aino-Yehudi is a servant [or in more modern terms, the household help or live-in maid] and is doing the Melacha for his/her own purposes, one must object to this practice and make them stop doing the Melacha in the Jewish home. (Some Poskim maintain that if the Melacha the Aino-Yehudi is doing is strictly for his/her benefit and will not benefit the Jew whatsoever (e.g The Aino-Yehudi is sewing a loose button onto his/her own jacket) then it is permissible for the Aino-Yehudi to do this in the home of the Jew.)


Of course, for Halacha L’ma’aseh, it’s important to consult a Rav in every situation before having an Aino-yehudin do any melachos on Shabbos to ensure it adheres to the Halachic guidelines.

Halachos for Sunday, November 26, 2023


1) One may not rent a tool that is used to do a melacha (such as a hammer, plow, etc.) to an Aino-Yehudi on Friday (Shulchan Aruch Siman 246:1. The Mishna Berura maintains that it must be a tool that is used to do a biblical Melacha for this to be the case).


However, it is permissible to lend the tool to an Aino-Yehudi on Friday provided that the Aino- Yehudi removes the tool from the Jew’s home before the onset of Shabbos. On any other day of the week there is no problem with renting tools to an Aino-Yehudi , even if you know he will be using it on Shabbos, provided you adhere to the method of renting which is described in the next Halacha.


2) When a Jew rents a tool, or contracts out work, to an Aino- Yehudi, it may only be done in such a way that there isn’t any payment specified for the tool’s use or for work to be done on Shabbos, rather the payment for Shabbos must be “swallowed up” into the lump sum for the week.


For instance, you may tell the Aino- Yehudi that you are renting him your tractor for a week, month or year at a certain price or tell him that you will pay him a certain amount of money to finish a job. You may not, however, tell an Aino-Yehudi that you are renting him the tool at a cost of $10 per day for a week, and thus he owes you $70 at the end of the week.


Similarly, you may not hire a contractor at $100 per day for a week’s work. Even if the money was paid in a lump sum at the end of the time period, the fact that it was clearly expressed as a certain amount per day, it is as if he hired him for that individual Shabbos and that is “Schar Shabbos” (profits gained on Shabbos) and is prohibited. (See Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Siman 73:10)


This prohibition of “Schar Shabbos” is not just between a Jew and an Aino-Yehudi. It is also applicable between 2 Jews. For instance: One Jew may not rent a room in his home to another Jew at a daily rate of $50 a day for a week. Rather he must specify a lump sum for the entire week, and the payment for Shabbos will be “swallowed” into the lump sum of the week.



Halachos for Monday, November 27, 2023


1) The Talmud (Shabbos 23b) relates the following adage in the name of Rav Huna: “One who is meticulous with the candle will merit having children that are Torah scholars”


Rashi explains, based on the Posuk (Mishlei 6:23), “Ki Ner Mitzvah V’Torah Ohr”, via the ‘Ner Mitzvah’, i.e. the proper lighting of candles of Shabbos and Chanukah will come the “Ohr Torah”, the light of Torah, i.e. Torah scholars will shine forth.


2) The lighting of candles in every Jewish home prior to the onset of Shabbos is an obligation M’divrei Sofrim ,a term used to describe biblical obligations that aren’t explicitly written in the Torah, rather derived by Chazal (who are also referred to as Sofrim) via the 13 Midos SheHaTorah nidreshes Bahan, various Halachic Drashos that were handed down from Har Sinai as a blueprint to extrapolate laws from the Torah’s text.(See Rambam Sefer Hamitzvos, shoresh Rishon and Keren Orah to Moed Katan 2a and Chida in Birchei Yosef Orach Chaim Siman 530)


The Jewish nation already lit Shabbos candles in the days of Moshe Rabbeinu. (See P’sikta Zutrasa Perek 35:3)


The reason for these lights is that there is an obligation of Oneg Shabbos, having a pleasurable Shabbos, and we can’t have pleasure unless we have light.


Additionally, having candles adds to the Kavod of Shabbos, the honor of Shabbos. (See Talmud Shabbos 25 b and Rashi, Tosefos and Meiri there. See also Aruch HaShulchan Siman 263:1 and 2)


Halachos for Tuesday, November 28, 2023


1) The main Mitzvah of Neiros Shabbos is to have them lit and standing on or near the table during the Shabbos evening meal as to derive pleasure from their light. (See Rama Siman 263:10 and Mishna Berura S”K 45)


Some have the custom to light the candles on a shelf on the south side of the room where the Seudah is being eaten. (See Kaf HaChaim Siman 263:68)


2) Aside from the candles near the table, there is an obligation to have light (candles or any source of light including electric lamps suffice) in all areas in the home that will be used over Shabbos in order to ensure that nobody stumbles or otherwise gets hurt due to darkness, and thereby disturb the harmony in the home (Shalom Bayis) (See Rashi to Shabbos 25b Dibur Hamaschil Chovah, Aruch HaShulchan Siman 263:3 and Mishna Berura Siman 263 S”K 2)



Halachos for Wednesday, November 29, 2023


1) The candles on or near the table should be long enough so that they remain lit for the duration of the Seudah. (See Derech Hachaim page 78)


Thus it is important to buy extra-long candles for the Pesach Seder, the eve of Simchas Torah and any other times when the Shabbos or Yom Tov Seudah extends later into the night than usual.


The light in the other areas of the home should remain lit at least until the members of the household go to sleep for the night. (Thus, those who use timee clocks to set the lights should calculate properly)(See Shu”t Az Nidberu Vol. 3 Siman 3 and K’Tzos Hashulchan Siman 74)


2) If it is usual for members of the household to get up during the night to learn Torah, feed a baby, use the restroom or for any other reasons, it is proper to ensure that the lights remain on in those areas where they will use, for the entire night. (See Shu”t Az Nidberu ibid. quoting the Ben Ish Chai in Shu”t Rav P’alim Orach Chaim Vol. 4 Siman 30)



Halachos for Thursday, November  30, 2023


1) The Bracha recited when lighting the Shabbos candles is “Baruch Ata Hashem Elokeinu Melech HaOlam Asher Kidshanu B’Mitzvosav V’Tzivanu L’Hadlik Ner Shel Shabbos… Blessed are You Hashem, our G-d, Master of the world, Who sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to kindle the light of Shabbos”. (Shulchan Aruch Siman 263:5)


Even though more than one candle is lit, the text of the Bracha remains in the singular, “Ner” and not in the plural, “Neiros”, as the obligation of lighting Shabbos candles can be fulfilled even with one candle. (See Mishna Berura Siman 263:22)


2)The Ashkenazi custom is to light the candles first, cover the eyes, recite the Bracha and then uncover the eyes to have enjoyment from the lights. (See Rama Siman 263:5 where he writes to “cover the fire”, however the custom is to cover the eyes. According to Kabalistic sources it is also imperative to close the eyes while reciting this Bracha, and not just to cover the eyes)


The reason for this is that ideally the Bracha, like all brachos on Mitzvos, should be recited before the kindling (Oiver L’Asiyasan), but there is a concern that once the Bracha is recited it may be considered an acceptance of Shabbos and then it will be prohibited to kindle a flame. Thus the custom developed to light the flame first and cover the eyes while reciting the Bracha and that is considered as if the Bracha has been recited before kindling the flame. (See Rama Siman 263:5 and Shulchan Aruch Siman 263:10)


Some people do indeed recite the Bracha first and then light the candles. (Rama ibid. This is the custom of some who follow the Sephardic traditions. See Ohr L’Tzion 18:3)



Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh, December 1, 2023 Double Portion L'Kavod Shabbos Kodesh


Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh


1) When lighting Neiros before the onset of Yom Tov that falls out on a weekday, the Bracha recited is “Baruch Ata Hashem… L’Hadlik Ner Shel Yom Tov”


When Yom Tov falls out on Shabbos, the Bracha recited is “Baruch Ata Hashem…L’Hadlik Ner Shel Shabbos V’Shel Yom Tov”


2) When Yom Tov falls out on Shabbos the same procedure as Shabbos is followed, as we described in the previous Halachos.


However, when Yom Tov falls out on a weekday, and the candles are being lit on Erev Yom Tov, as is done each Erev Shabbos, many Poskim rule to recite the Bracha first and then light the candles, while some rule that the procedure followed on Erev Shabbos should be followed here as well, and the candles should be lit, the eyes covered and the Bracha recited. (See Mishna Berura Siman 263:27)


If the candles are being lit on Yom Tov (From a preexisting flame, of course) , as is the custom of some people to not light Yom Tov candles at the onset of Yom Tov, rather to light them only after returning from Shul and are ready to eat the Seudah, then the Bracha should be recited first and then the candles lit. (See Mateh Efraim Siman 625:33 and Elef L’Mateh footnote 50)


​Halachos for Shabbos Kodesh


1) The Bracha is recited over the candles that are kindled in the place where the Seudah will be held, as that is the main place where light is needed, and the Bracha will exempt any other candles or lights that are lit in any other areas in the home. (See Mishna Berura Siman 263 S”K 2 and 45)


2) However, in instances where the candles will be lit in a place other than where the Seudah will be (e.g. a Yeshiva student that will be eating the Seudah not in the place where he resides, and thus will be lighting candles in his apartment where he sleeps but will not be eating) the Bracha is indeed recited over the candles in whatever place they are placed in order to use their light. (See Mishna Berura Siman 263:29)


Halachos for Sunday, December 3, 2023


1) Although the obligation to light Shabbos candles in every Jewish home is for both men and women, traditionally it has become a Mitzvah for the women to light and thus exempt their husbands and other members of the household.


One reason cited for this Mitzvah being the woman’s Mitzvah is a practical one: the woman is in charge of the household needs and is more often found at home thus this household Mitzvah was given to her. (Shulchan Aruch Siman 263:3)


Another reason given, based on the teachings of kabbalah, for this Mitzvah “belonging” to women is as follows:


The first woman, Chava, Eve, extinguished the candle of the world, i.e. she caused Adam to sin, and thereby darkened his soul (which is likened to a candle as the Posuk (Mishlei 20:27) states “Ner Hashem Nishmas Adam- the candle of Hashem is the soul of man”) and caused death to descend on mankind.


Therefore, as a rectification for the first sin, woman-kind has been given the task of once again illuminating the world, via the kindling of the Shabbos lights. (See Mishna Berura Siman 263:12)


2) Since the man of the house is also obligated in the performance of this Mitzvah, he should prepare the candles for the woman by inserting the candles/oil into the candelabra or similar preparations, to at least have some part in the Mitzvah.(Mishna Berura Siman 263:12. See also Kaf Hachaim Siman 250:9)


Many men also have the Minhag of preparing the candles by lighting them and then extinguishing them, thus making them kindle easier when the woman later lights them for Shabbos.



Halachos for Monday, December 4, 2023


1) In the event that there is no woman present in the home to light, the man of the house is obligated to light Shabbos candles.


If an older daughter, above the age of Bas Mitzvah, is present in the home there is a debate among the Poskim as to who takes precedence, the man of the house, as it is his obligation, or his daughter, as she is a female and this mitzvah is traditionally performed by females when possible.


Rav Moshe Feinstein Zatzal rules that the man of the house takes precedence. (Ruling quoted in “The Radiance of Shabbos” by Rav Simcha Bunim Cohen Shlita, page 7. See also Shmiras Shabbos K’Hilchaso Perek 43 footnote 46)


Other Poskim maintain that either one of them can light the main candles and recite the Bracha and exempt the other one, and the other should kindle the lights in the other rooms of the home as those are also a component of the Mitzvah. (Ruling of Rav Nissim Karelitz Zatzal quoted in Or Haner Perek 1:4 footnote 25)


2) A girl below the age of Bas Mitzvah may not exempt the household with the lighting of Shabbos candles. (See Shulchan Aruch Siman 675:3 and Shmiras Shabbos K’Hilchaso Perek 43:48)


Thus, even in those homes where the custom is for all the girls to light their own Shabbos candles (as is the Chabad minhag and as was the custom in various communities in pre-war Europe) still if the mother or older daughter is not present, the man of the house will need to light and he cannot rely on the candles of the girls below the age of twelve, as their lighting is only for Chinuch purposes and not obligatory.


Halachos for Tuesday, December 5, 2023

1) M’Ikar Hadin, according to the letter of the law, only one candle needs to be lit to fulfill the obligation to light Shabbos lights.


However, the custom is to light a minimum of two candles.


The two candles represent the two words the Torah uses to describe Shabbos observance (one in the first Luchos, the Ten Commandments, in Parashas Yisro and the other in the second Luchos in Parashas V’Eschanan):

a) “Zachor” Es Yom HaShabbos, remember the Shabbos day

b) “Shamor” Es Yom HaShabbos, Guard the Shabbos day.

(See Shulchan Aruch Siman 263:1)


2) It is a Mitzvah to have a lot of candles.


Some people light ten candles, representing the Aseres Hadibros, the Ten Commandments.


Others light seven candles, representing the days of the week. (See Mishna Berura Siman 263 S”K 6. Those who light seven candles should not do so using a candelabra with seven branches, regardless of its shape, as it is prohibited to replicate the Menorah that was in the Bais Hamikdash which had seven branches. See Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah Siman 141:8 and Shach there Os 35 and Pischei teshuva Os 14 )


The prevalent Minhag is to start off lighting two candles, and to add an additional candle for each subsequent child that is born to the family, e.g. a family with four children lights six candles.



Halachos for Wednesday, December 6, 2023


1) According to some Poskim, even when adding additional candles, the main two candles representing “Zachor” and “Shamor” should be placed away from the others so they are recognizable as the “main” candles. (See Darchei Moshe Siman 263:1 and Ra’avyah Siman 199. However, from the language of the Rama in Siman 263:1 it doesn’t seem like he ruled this way.)


2) Even those that light additional candles each Erev Shabbos when they are lighting at home (be it one for each child, seven, ten or any other amount) need only light two candles when lighting as a guest in someone else’s home.


However, whenever lighting at home the amount that is usually lit must be adhered to, and may not be lessened. (See Rama ibid. and Biur Halacha Dibur Hamaschil SheShakcha.)


Even if the woman of the house is not present and the husband or another family member is lighting, they must light the same amount of candles that the woman usually lights every week in that home. (Ruling of Rav Nisim Karelitz Zatzal quoted in Ohr Haner Perek 1:5 footnote 31)



Halachos for Thursday, December 7, 2023


1) Shabbos candles must be lit using wicks and a burning substance that produces a nice and even flame. (See Shulchan Aruch Siman 264 at length)


The ideal way to perform the Mitzvah of Shabbos candles is by using olive oil. (Shulchan Aruch Siman 264:6)


One who is scrupulous to use olive oil to light the Shabbos candles will merit children who will light up the world with their Torah [knowledge], which is compared to olive oil. (See Chida in Machzik Bracha Siman 264:2 and Kaf HaChaim Siman 264:38)


2) The wax candles that are common nowadays burn beautifully, and may indeed be better than any other substances, possibly even better than olive oil, as the candles burn brighter and steadier and often give off more and brighter light. (See Mishna Berura Siman 264:23 and Siman 275:4. See also Dibros Moshe from Rav Moshe Feinstein Zatzal Maseches Shabbos Perek 2 footnote 23 and Shu”t Az Nidberu Vol. 3 Siman 4)


Thus, in order to satisfy all opinions, many scrupulous people light the two main lights using olive oil and for the rest they use candles. This is a praiseworthy thing to do.



Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh, December 8, 2023 Double Portion L'Kavod Shabbos Kodesh


Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh


1) When lighting the Shabbos candles, it is best to light the candle that is closest to you first and then move on to the one behind that and continue to the ones further away until they have all been kindled.


The reason for this is due to the rule of “Ain Ma’avirin Al Hamitzvos”, the obligation to not pass over any Mitzvah that is in front of you in order to do a different Mitzvah that is further away. (See Mishna Berura Siman 676:11 and Sha’ar HaTziyun Os 19)


2) If, however, by lighting the front candles first it will be difficult or dangerous to then reach over the already lit candles and light the rear candles, the rear candles may be lit first.


Halachos for Shabbos Kodesh


1) It is a praiseworthy custom for women to put a few coins (or bills) into the Tzedakah box before lighting the Shabbos candles.


Many women have set aside a special “Erev Shabbos pushka, charity box” for this purpose. (See Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Siman 75:2. See also Kaf HaChaim Siman 263:34 that for kabalistic reasons it is good to specifically give three coins to Tzedakah at this time.)


2) It is proper for every Jewish woman, after she kindles and recites the Bracha on the Shabbos candles, to daven to Hashem to bless her with children who will illuminate the world with their Torah, i.e. children who are Talmidei Chachamim, Torah scholars. (See Mishna Berura Siman 263:2)


Women who experience difficult labor when giving birth, and especially women that have not yet merited having children, should recite the Haftarah of the first day of Rosh Hashanah [which details the story of Chana's childlessness and her ultimate giving birth to her son Shmuel the prophet] each Friday evening after lighting the Shabbos candles.


This Segulah works best when the woman understands what she is saying, and not simply reading words without meaning. (See Kitzur Shulchan Aruch ibid.)


Halachos for Sunday, December 10, 2023


1) When kindling the Shabbos candles, the match or other fire being used to light the candles should be held there in the igniting position until the wick on the candle catches on and is burning nicely and steadily (i.e. when the hand with the igniting fire is removed, the candle should not be fighting for life as it sometimes is when the match or lighter is only brushed against the wick quickly and then removed, often resulting in the candle extinguishing and needing to be rekindled), similar to the requirement in the Bais HaMikdash when kindling the Menorah. (See Shulchan Aruch Siman 264:8 and Mishna Berura S”K 26)


2) It is permitted to light one Shabbos candle directly from another without the aid of a match or other igniter, and there is no concern of Bizui Mitzvah, disrespecting the Mitzvah, as all of them are candles of Mitzvah.


However, it is prohibited to light a match or a non-Mitzvah candle directly from the fire of a burning Shabbos candle, even if the purpose of lighting this match is to then light another Shabbos candle. (See Mishna Berura Siman 263:4)


Halachos for Monday, December 11, 2023


1) As we discussed previously, most women of Ashkenazi descent, and even many of Sephardic lineage as well, light the Shabbos candles and only then recite the Bracha, as their recitation of the Bracha is considered for them as accepting Shabbos and thus they may not kindle the lights or do any other prohibited Melachos after the Bracha was recited.


2) As long as the Bracha was not yet recited, even though the candles were all lit, according to many Poskim it is not yet considered Shabbos for her, and thus she may extinguish the match with which she kindled the candles, or do any other Melacha for that matter. (See Aruch HaShulchan Siman 263:14 and Biur Halacha Siman 263:1 end of Dibur Hamaschil Shtei Pesilos.)


Other Poskim, however, maintain that immediately upon lighting the candles, it is considered for her an acceptance of Shabbos, and she may not do any Melachos, even though she did not yet recite the Bracha.


Thus, many women have the custom to not extinguish the match with which they lit the candles, rather they place it carefully on the tray and let it go out by itself, or in some households, the husband or another member of the household takes the lit match from her and extinguishes it. (See Shmiras Shabbos K’Hilchaso Perek43 footnote 179. See also Ben Ish Chai; year 2 Parashas Noach Siman 8 and Kaf HaChaim Siman 263:62)


Halachos for Tuesday, December 12, 2023


1) Once a woman kindles [and recites the Bracha over] the Shabbos candles it is Shabbos for her even if it is still before sunset on Friday afternoon. (See Shulchan Aruch and Rama Siman 263:10. In cases of great necessity she may sometimes light candles and stipulate that she is not accepting Shabbos with this lighting, and then she would be allowed to do Melachos after lighting. However, a Rav must be consulted as to how early before sunset she may light in such a case and also to determine if this stipulation works for her in the first place in her particular situation. See Shulchan Aruch Siman 263:4)


A woman who regularly davens Mincha, must make sure to do so before she lights the Shabbos candles. If she did not daven before lighting, she may not daven afterwards, as it is already Shabbos for her and she can no longer say the Mincha of Friday. (See Mishna Berura Siman 263:43)


2) If a man is going to be lighting the Shabbos candles, and he wants to still do Melacha afterwards, it is best for him to stipulate (in his mind or verbally) that he does not intend to accept Shabbos yet by lighting the candles. (See Mishna Berura Siman 263:42 and Siman 261:21)


If, however, he did not make the stipulation, and he wants to do Melacha after lighting the candles, he may do so B’Dieved (ibid. and Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Siman 75:7).


Furthermore, a man may daven Mincha for Friday after he lights the Shabbos candles, even L’Chatchila, as his lighting is not yet an indication of accepting the sanctity of Shabbos as it is by a woman. (See Kitzur Shulchan Aruch ibid.)



Halachos for Wednesday, December 13, 2023


1) The Shabbos candles should ideally remain in the same spot where they were kindled, and should not be moved to another spot after lighting [and reciting a Bracha on] them. (Rama Siman 263:10)


This is the case even in the event that a stipulation was made to not accept the sanctity of Shabbos immediately after lighting the candles. (See Mishna Berura Siman 263:47)


2) In cases of necessity when they must be moved, they can only be moved within the same house, and even then only from one place that will be used [via these candles or via another light source in the room] on Shabbos to another place that will also be used [via these candles or via another light source in the room].


However, if either the original place where it was lit or the current place to where it is now be moved is not a place that will be used on Shabbos, the lighting is not valid even B’Dieved. (See Mishna Berura Siman 263:48. He also quotes the Chayei Adam that those women who on Sukkos light the candles in the Sukkah and then move them into the house, are not acting properly.)


Halachos for Thursday, December 14, 2023


1) It is important not to act in a disrespectful way in the presence of the Shabbos candles.


Thus, a child should not be totally or semi unclothed in the presence of the candles, nor should a child’s diaper be changed or other disgraceful things be done or placed in front of the candles. (See Rama end of Siman 275 and Kaf HaChaim Siman 275:41 and 42. This Halacha applies to the Havdalah candle as well as to any candles used for a Mitzvah.)


2) A woman who lit the candles and is certain that she forgot to recite the Bracha when doing so, as long as it is before sunset, and thus still within the time when she would halachically be able to kindle the lights, she may recite the Bracha when she remembers.


If it is after sunset, she may no longer recite the Bracha. (See Biur Halacha Siman 263:5 Dibur Hamaschil K’sheyadlik Yevarech)


The above is true even if she accepted the sanctity of Shabbos upon herself with the lighting. (Ruling of HaRav Nisim Karelitz Zatzal, based on language of Biur Halacha ibid.)



Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh, December 15, 2023 Double Portion L'Kavod Shabbos Kodesh


Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh


1) If a woman is blind R”L, ideally her husband should recite the Bracha over the Shabbos candles in her stead. (See Mishna Berura Siman 263:14)


If the blind woman is alone in her home she may still recite a Bracha over the Shabbos candles. (Mogen Avraham Siman 263:9 quoted in Mishna Berura ibid. The reasoning is that blind people also benefit from light, as others are able to see and assist them when there is light. See Shulchan Aruch Siman 69:2)


2) If other people are eating the Shabbos Seudah together with the blind woman, and they lit candles with a Bracha in the room where they are eating the Seudah, her candles can be lit [with a Bracha] in another room where the light will enable them to assist her, but if she lights in the same room as them she should not recite the Bracha. (Ruling of HaRav Nissim Karelitz Zatzal based on Mishna Berura ibid.)


​Halachos for Shabbos Kodesh


1) If one will be eating the Shabbos Seudah away from home, but will be coming home to sleep, the Shabbos candles should be lit at home as usual, however, additional lights or lamps should be turned on as well. (See Shvus Yitzchok Perek 5:3 and 4 for the reasons it’s better to light at home than to light at the host’s home where the Seudah will be)


When turning on these lights or lamps it should be with specific intent that they are for the purposes of Shabbos light, and the Bracha recited over the candles will cover these lights as well.


2) The reason for this is that when they return home later that night after the candles already burned out, they will still have light L’Kavod Shabbos and for Shalom Bayis, as otherwise the Bracha, if recited over the candles alone, would have been in vain as no benefit was derived from them. (See Mishna Berura Siman 263:2)

Halachos for Sunday, December 17, 2023


1) If one will be eating the Shabbos eve Seudah away from home and be returning to their home later that night, and will be leaving to their destination on Friday afternoon, they may already light the candles in their own home any time after Plag Hamincha (between 45 and 75 minutes before sunset, depending on time of year. For exact time of Plag Hamincha on a particular day please click here and enter your ZIP code), as after this time anybody can already light the Shabbos candles and accept upon themselves the sanctity of Shabbos (unless they stipulated otherwise, which we will B’Ezras Hashem discuss further, tomorrow.) (See Shulchan Aruch Siman 263:4.)


2) However, if they need to leave home before Plag Hamincha in order to get to their destination on time, they cannot light Shabbos candles at home before they leave. (ibid.) Rather, they should leave on the electric lights/lamps that they will need when they return home, but only light the Shabbos candles in the house where they will be eating


Regarding the Bracha on the candles they are lighting in the host’s home, it is best if they listen to the Bracha of the hostess as she lights her candles, and be exempted by her. (Based on Shulchan Aruch Siman 263:8, as in this case it is possible that the obligation has been satisfied by leaving the lights/lamps on in their own home, and thus no Bracha may be required in the host’s home for these additional candles.)



Halachos for Monday, December 18, 2023


1) As we mentioned previously, a woman who is not eating the Shabbos eve Seudah in her own home and leaves her home before Shabbos, but will be walking back home later that night to sleep in her own home, should light candles in her home any time after Plag Hamincha.


If after lighting the candles, the woman wants to drive to where she will be eating the Shabbos Seudah, she has to make a stipulation before lighting that, this time, she does not want to accept the sanctity of Shabbos with the lightingof the candles. (If no stipulation was made she may not even travel by taxi or bus as a passenger, as it is disrespecting Shabbos to be driven in a vehicle after the sanctity of Shabbos has set in. See Shmiras Shabbos K’Hilchaso Perek 43 footnote 136)


2) Although this stipulation should only be made in cases of necessity, many Poskim rule that this case is considered necessity. (Ruling of HaRav Nissim Karelitz Zatzal quoted in Ohr HaNer Perek 4 footnote 78. Of course, every individual must consult their own Rav before executing this stipulation to ensure that their particular circumstance fits the criteria of “necessity”. See Mishna Berura Siman 263:44)


It goes without saying that this stipulation, to postpone the acceptance of the sanctity of Shabbos, does not work beyond sunset.




Halachos for Tuesday, December 19, 2023


1) After making a stipulation to allow her to do melacha beyond candle lighting (in a case where she is eating in a diffeent home that night, as we mentioned previously) , the woman should light the candles and the other lights/lamps around the house with intent that it should be benefitted from when she returns home later that night, and then recite the Bracha over the candles as usual. (Ideally, the candles should be long enough to still be burning when she returns home, as according to many Poskim the Bracha cannot be recited if, when she returns home, benefit will only be derived from the electric lights. Other Poskim are more lenient. A Rav must be consulted for Halacha L’Ma’aseh.)


2) Later on when she is at the host’s home and the time for Hadlokas Neiros arrives, she should accept upon herself the sanctity of Shabbos at the time that she usually lights when she is at home. (Preferably she should do this verbally by saying “I now accept upon myself the sanctity of Shabbos for the purpose of ‘Tosefes Shabbos’, the Mitzvah to accept Shabbos earlier than the actual time it arrives. This verbalization is not necessary when a woman lights the candles at the regular time, as then her action of lighting the candles serves as her way of accepting the sanctity of Shabbos earlier than sunset. See Mishna Berura Siman 261:21)



Halachos for Wednesday, December 20, 2023


1) Generally, in a public place, such as a hotel, a hospital or similar, it isn’t possible, for valid safety concerns, to light candles in the private room where one is staying.


Therefore, one who finds him/herself in such a place, should turn on the light/lamp in their room with intent that this should be in place of the Shabbos candles in their room, and then they should go and light the candles in the designated room, preferably the public dining room where the meal will take place. (If the only area given to light is the lobby or another area where no meal will take place, ideally, it is best to try and eat something near the candles. Ruling of Rav Nissim Karelitz Zatzal)


2) Regarding the Bracha on the candles in this case, the prevalent minhag amongst Ashkenazim is to recite a Bracha, whereas Sephardim do not recite a Bracha, rather they can listen to an Ashkenazi woman’s Bracha and will thus be exempted for their own lighting. (See Sefer Ohr HaNer page 30 footnote 90 for a lengthy dialogue about this)




Halachos for Thursday, December 21, 2023


1) The prevalent minhag is for a woman to light candles wherever she happens to be for Shabbos, even if she isn’t in her own home.


The above is the case even if her husband or other household members remained home and are lighting candles there.


It is, however, ideal in situations where her husband or another household member will be lighting in her home when she is away, to have specific intent, when lighting where she is, not to be exempted from the obligation to light candles via their lighting. (Ruling of HaRav Nisim Karelitz Zatzal quoted in Sefer Ohr HeNer Page 34)


2) The minhag used to be that the first Shabbos after giving birth to a child, a woman would not light the candles but rather have her husband do so. (See Mishna Berura Siman 263:11)


However, nowadays most women do in fact light the Shabbos candles themselves the first Shabbos after giving birth, as due to the advancement of modern medicine and the modern birthing procedures (which Hashem in His infinite kindness has revealed to us), most women are back on their feet shortly after giving birth, and can light in the room where the Seudah will take place and also be present themselves at the Seudah. (See Shu”t Az Nidberu Vol. 11 Siman 2. This is also the ruling of HaRav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal and many other contemporary Poskim)


Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh, December 22, 2023 Double Portion L'Kavod Shabbos Kodesh


Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh


1) Generally, in a boys’ Yeshiva there are no woman present to light the Shabbos candles, and thus the candles are lit by the Bachurim, the yeshiva students.


The candles should be lit by only one Bachur, in the dining room of the Yeshivah. (See Mishna Berura Siman 263:30)


If the candles belong to the yeshiva, the bachur lighting can light for everyone present without any further requirements. (This works even on behalf of any guests present, who aren’t students of the Yeshiva, according to the ruling of Rav Nissim Karelitz Zatzal)


If the candles are privately owned by the one lighting, another Bachur should lift the candles up a Tefach and be zoche (Halachic gifting) them on behalf of all the other Bachurim, and only then should they be lit on behalf of everyone else. (See Shulchan Aruch Siman366:9 and Mishna Berura Siman 263:34)


2) Before lighting the candles, the Bachur should open the electric lights in the dining room and have in mind that his Bracha over the candles should also exempt the electric lights which will provide light for the entire student body as they enjoy their Shabbos meal in the Yeshiva dining room. (This is especially important here, as many of the Bachurim will be sitting far away from the candles, and only derive pleasure from the electric lights, and none whatsoever from the candles. See Shmiras Shabbos K’Hilchaso Perek 45 footnote 56)


​Halachos for Shabbos Kodesh


1) If it is possible, from a safety standpoint, one of the Yeshiva Bochurim should also light candles [with a Bracha] in their dorm room or apartment where they will be sleeping, even if they won’t be eating the Shabbos Seudah there. (See Mishna Berura Siman 263:29)


They should all ideally listen to the Bracha being recited and have in mind to be exempted with it. (Mishna Berura Siman 263:30. See also Shu”t Shevet Haleivi Vol. 1 Siman 52)


2) Even though only one of them is lighting, the other roommates should “chip in” to this lighting by giving the one lighting a coin or two, so that it should satisfy their obligation as well.


Alternatively, as with the Bochur lighting in the Yeshiva dining room, he can have someone lift the candles up a Tefach before lighting them and thus be “zoche” them as a gift for all those being exempted by this lighting. (See Mishna Berura Siman 263:34)


Here too, as with all candle lighting, if other electric lights/lamps will be left on in the room, they too should be turned on with the Mitzvah in mind and the Bracha over the candles should exempt the other lights as well.


Ideally, the candles should still be lit when the Bochurim return from the Seudah to their apartment, so they can benefit from the light.



Halachos for Sunday, December 24, 2023


1) In the event that there is adequate light in the corridor near the Bochurim’s apartment or via a streetlight near an open window in their room, and thus there is no need for a light/lamp in the room in order to provide light not to stumble, they should then not light candles with a Bracha in their apartment or room unless they will also be eating the Seudah there on Friday night near the candles. (Ruling of HaRav Nissim Karelitz Zatzal)


Even if they only eat some Mezonos by the light of the candles it is adequate, according to many Poskim, as this also deems it the place of the Seudah. (Ruling of Harav Nissim Karelitz Zatzal based on the ruling of the Chazon Ish Zatzal. HaRav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv Zatzal, however, maintained that the actual Seudah needs to be eaten there to be able to consider the candles as necessary for the Seudas Shabbos. See Sefer Shvus Yitzchok page 11)


2) Alternatively, if they will close the door or the window to the room or apartment [for a few moments] to block out the light from the corridor or the streetlight so it is no longer adequate, and thus they will need to make use of the candle light, they may light the candles with a Bracha. (See Shu”t Teshuvos V’Hanhagos Vol. 2 Siman157:6 Dibur Hamaschil V’Nireh SheAfilu. See also Shu”t MaHaril HaChadashos Siman45:4)


Halachos for Monday, December 25, 2023


1) A yeshiva student who is eating the Shabbos Seudah in his parents’ home, even though he will be going back to the dormitory or to his apartment to sleep and nobody lit candles there, does not need to do anything to take part in the lighting of the candles in his parents’ home (e.g. contribute a coin or lifting them or having someone else lift them be “zoche” for him as a gift),as he is considered a member of the family and is automatically exempt via his mother’s lighting like the rest of the household members. (Ruling of HaRav Nisim Karelitz Zatzal)


2) If the Yeshiva student is a guest for the Seudah in a home other than his parents, and no candles were lit in the place where he will be sleeping, according to some Poskim, he has to partake in the candle lighting of the host by giving him a coin or lifting the candles or having someone else lift them a Tefach to be “zoche” them for him as a gift [before Shabbos]. (Ruling of HaRav Nisim Karelitz and HaRav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv Zichronam L'vracha quoted in Shvus Yitzchok Perek 4)


Other Poskim, however, maintain that a Yeshiva student eating at a host’s home assumes the status of the other family members and is automatically exempt by the host’s Shabbos candles. (Ruling of HaRav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal in Shulchan Shlomo Siman 263:13)


If the Yeshiva student is not sure if he will be eating in the Yeshiva’s dining room or at a private host’s home, he is exempt with the lighting in the yeshiva’s dining room. (Ruling of HaRav Nissim Karelitz Zatzal)


Halachos for Tuesday, December 26, 2023


1) A woman who negligently or even inadvertently didn’t light the Shabbos candles on a particular week must from that week on always add an additional candle to the usual amount that she lights. (Rama Siman 263:1)


If she forgot multiple times, she is required to always add an additional candle for each time she missed lighting Shabbos candles. (Mishna Berura Siman 263:7)


This requirement was imposed on her as a K’nas, a penalty, to ensure that she is more careful in the future with honoring the holy Shabbos.


However, if the woman missed due to being unable to light (Oi’nes) she is not required to add any additional candles. (Mishna Berura ibid.)


This penalty is in place only if she didn’t light the candles at all, but if on a particular week she, for whatever reason, lit a lesser amount of candles than her usual number, there is no requirement to subsequently add any candles in future weeks, as M’Ikar Hadin only one candle is required to be lit each week, and this that we always light two, and add additional ones for each child, is just a minhag. (See Biur Halacha Siman 263:1 Dibur Hamaschil SheShakcha)


2) Seemingly, this would apply to Yom Tov as well, however, according to some Poskim, since on Yom Tov she can still remember to light for the duration of the evening meal and thus there is less of a chance of her totally forgetting, they did not institute this Knas on a scenario that is not likely (known in Halachic terms as ‘Milsa D’Lo Sh’chicha Lo Gazru’. See Shu”t Kinyan Torah Vol. 1 Siman 87. This is also the ruling of HaRav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv Zatzal quoted in Shvus Yitzchok page 6)


Other Poskim, however, do require the extra candle to be added in the event that she missed a Yom Tov lighting. (See Shu”t Be’er Moshe Vol. 5 Siman 101 and Vol. 8 Siman 63. See also Shu”t Az Nidberu Vol. 3 Siman 3 and Shu”t Mishne Halachos Vol. 7 Siman 35.)


Some Poskim rule that a woman who forgot to light on Yom Tov would only be required to add an additional candle each Yom Tov but not every Erev Shabbos.


For Halacha L’Ma’aseh a Rav must be consulted.


Halachos for Wednesday, December 27, 2023


1) It is customary in many communities to begin davening on Shabbos morning a little bit later than during the week.


The reason for this is that allowing for a little extra sleep on Shabbos morning is “Oneg Shabbos”.


The Poskim (Ram”a 281:2 based on Rav Hai Gaon brought in the Hagohas Mordechai and others) derive this from the language of the pesukim regarding Korbonos (which our Tefilah replaces these days, as we have no Bais Hamikdash yet unfortunately) as follows:


By the Korban Tamid of weekdays it says “BaBoker” which means early morning, and by the Korban [Mussaf] of Shabbos it says (Parshas Pinchas) “U’Byom Hashabbos” which means by day, but not necessarily so early.


However, even though we daven later, it is still important to be careful not to miss Zman Krias Shema due to the late start of davening. (It is best to read Krias Shema before going to shul, on those shabbosim that Zman Krias Shema is early).


Not all Poskim agree with this Halacha though.

Rashi (Megilah 23a) states clearly based on the Gemara there, that on Shabbos it is more important than the rest of the week to daven at sunrise, or at least earlier than usual! (The Teshuvos HaRambam, RadBaz, Chida, Ben Ish Chai and others pasken like Rashi)


The prevalent Minhag in most Ashkenazi communities (who follow the Ram”a) is to start later on Shabbos morning.


The prevalent Minhag in many Sephardic communities (who follow the Rambam, Chida, Ben ish Chai etc.) is to begin davening either earlier than, or just as early as the rest of the week.


2) On Shabbos morning, the Tefilah of Musaf should ideally be recited immediately following The Tefilah of Shacharis (Kerias Hatorah is part of Tefilas Shacharis).


Although the time for the Korban Mussaf was all day and thus the time for the Tefillah is also all day, one should not push off davening Mussaf past the seventh hour of the day.


Halachos for Thursday, December 28, 2023


1) The middle section of the Shemona Esrei Tefillah of Shabbos [and Yom Tov] is different than the weekday Shemona Esrei, as we don’t ask for our personal needs on Shabbos [and Yom Tov].


Instead, we say a Nusach (text) that sanctifies the day and mentions its Korbanos that were brought when the Bais Hamikdash was standing.


By Maariv, Shacharis and Mincha, if one forgot that it is Shabbos [or Yom Tov], and began saying the weekday Shemona Esrei (Ata Chonen L’Adam Da’as etc), he must finish that Bracha and then resume the Shabbos [or Yom Tov] Shemona Esrei (e.g. Ata KiDashta etc. on Friday night or Ata B’Chartanu etc. on Yom Tov). (See Shulchan Aruch siman 268:2)

If he knew it's Shabbos, but  mistakenly said as he is used to saying in chol, he doesn't finish the bracha ( See Shulchan Aruch Siman 268:3


This would only apply if one said at least the words” Ata Chonen…”, However if only the word “Ata” was said, and then before the word “Chonen” was uttered, he/she remembered that it was Shabbos, there is no need to finish “Ata Chonen” rather one may continue with the regular Nusach for Shabbos [or Yom Tov]. (See Mishna Berura siman 268:3 S"K 6 and 7)

By Musaf, you stop immediately, and rsume the Shabbos davening. (See shulchan aruch Siman 268:2 and Mishne Berura there)


If one is already holding past “Retzei Hashem Elokeinu” when he/she realized that they are Davening the wrong Shemona Esrei, they must stop, even in middle of the Bracha and start again from the Brachos of Shabbos. If the mistake was not realized until after “Yih’yu L’ratzon” was said, the entire Shemona Esrei must be repeated. (Shulchan Aruch Siman 268:5)


2) It is a Siman Ra (worrysome omen) to inadvertently start the weekday Shemona Esrei on Shabbos, and everyone should concentrate on the Tefilah at hand to make sure it doesn’t happen. If however it does indeed happen to a person, he/she should make a mental inventory of their deeds and do Teshuva for the entire next week to eradicate any unpleasant things from happening to him/her due to the Siman Ra. (See Kitzur Shulchan aruch Siman 76:20)


It is a good idea to daven slowly, and from from a Sidur, especially on Shabbos, as this minimizes these kind of errors.


Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh, December 29, 2023 Double Portion L'Kavod Shabbos Kodesh


Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh


1) It is a Mitzvas Asei (Biblical positive commandment) to sanctify the Shabbos day with [special] words. (See Kitzur Shulchan Aruch siman 77:1. See also Minchas Chinuch Mitzvah 31 regarding the actual words used.)


This must be done both when Shabbos arrives (Kiddush Friday night) and when the Shabbos departs(Havdalah on Motzei Shabbos).


The sages decreed that the aforementioned sanctification with words must be done over a cup of wine; hence we recite Kiddush and Havdalah upon a goblet filled with wine.


2) It is an extra Mitzvah to choose aged and good wine, and if possible the wine of Kiddush and Havdalah should be red. (See Shulchan Aruch siman 272:3 and 4 and Mishna Berura S"K 10)


Wine that was cooked, or wine that had sugar or honey added to its contents may be used for Kiddush according to most Poskim, provided that this wine is more enjoyable to you than regular wine. (See Shulchan Aruch and Rama Siman 272:8)


According to most Poskim, including Rav Moshe Feinstein Zatzal, grape juice is 100% acceptable for Kiddush and Havdalah (especially for those who cannot drink wine, or those that do not enjoy the taste of wine.). Some Poskim feel that it should be avoided. (See Shu"t yechaveh Da'as Vol. 2 Siman 35 and Shu"t Mishneh Halachos Vol. 13 Siman 38. See also Shemiras Shabbos K'Hilchasa Perek 53:2)



Halachos for Shabbos Kodesh


1) The Minhag is that one person (usually the head of the household) recites Kiddush at the Shabbos table , and everyone listens to his recital and responds with “Amen” and satisfies their obligation through him.


Women are obligated in the Mitzvah of Kiddush, and should therefore listen closely when the Kiddush is recited and answer Amen. (Shulchan Aruch Siman 271:2)


A minor (A boy under the age of 13, or even a 13 year old boy who hasn’t yet reached Halachic puberty status) may not recite Kiddush on behalf of a woman. Rather the woman may- and should- recite the Kiddush herself. If the woman cannot read Hebrew, and there aren’t any men around to say it for her, she should [hold a goblet of wine in front of her and] recite word for word together with a minor. (See Mishna berura Siman 271 S"K 3)


2) Some Poskim are of the opinion, that even when a man is saying Kiddush for a woman, she should say word for word along with him [quietly]. (See Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Siman 77:4)


It is a good custom to glance at the shabbos candles at the onset of Kiddush. For the rest of Kiddush the eyes should look at the wine in the cup. (See Rama Siman 271:10)

Halachs for Sunday, December 31, 2023

1)The Cup that is used for Kiddush [and other Mitzvos that require a cup of wine], traditionally referred to as a ‘Becher’ must satisfy certain conditions in order to be acceptable for Kiddush (See Shulchan Aruch Siman 271:10)


These conditions include:

a) It must be complete, and not chipped or cracked in any way.

b) It must be rinsed inside and out so it is totally clean for Kiddush.

c) The wine must be poured into the Becher immediately before Kiddush, for the purpose of Kiddush. Wine that was sitting in the Becher from beforehand for other purposes may not be used now for Kiddush.

d) The cup must be filled until the top. (If the cup is almost full, it suffices as well; there is no need to fill it to the point that it spills. (see Taz Siman 183:4 and Kaf HaChaim Siman 183:13))


2) The procedure for lifting the Kiddush cup is as follows: The cup should initially be lifted with both hands (this signifies our affection for the mitzvah that we want to lift it with all our strength).


The left hand is then removed from the cup, and the one reciting the Kiddush is left holding the Becher only with his right hand (the reason it isn’t held with both hands throughout Kiddush is so that it shouldn’t seem that the Mitzvah is too heavy for us to do with one hand). (See Shulchan Aruch Siman 183:4)


A left-handed person should reverse the above procedure, and remain with the Becher in his left hand throughout Kiddush. (See Shulchan Aruch Siman 183:5 and Mishna Berura S"K 20. According to Kaballah, even a left-handed person should hold the Kos in his right hand; See Kaf HaChaim Siman 183:29))


Throughout the entire Kiddush, the one reciting the Berachos should hold the Becher at least a Tefach (around 3-4 inches) above the height of the table (See Shulchan Aruch Siman 183:4)

Halachos for Monday, January 1, 2024

1) The Challos should be covered while Kiddush is recited [at all the meals]. (Shulchan Aruch Siman 271:9)


Even if one is making Kiddush on the Challos [as is done in the event that no wine is available,] they still must be covered.


The reason for this is that the 2 Challos that we use at the Shabbos Seudah are a remembrance to the Mann (Manna bread) that sustained our forefathers, the Jewish people, in the wilderness on the way out of Mitzrayim. Just as the Mann was miraculously covered by dew on top and on bottom to preserve its freshness, so too our Challos must be covered on bottom (by the tablecloth) and on top (by the Challah cover). (See Mishna Berura Siman 271 S"K 41)


All other bread and even cakes and cookies that are on the table at the time that Kiddush is recited must be covered. The reason for this is that it is an “embarrassment” to the wheat (from which bread and cake is made) which is really the first of the Shivas Haminim (the 7 special species that the Torah enumerates) that we pass it over and make the blessing on the grape (wine, which is the third of the Shivas Haminim) first. (See Shemiras Shabbos k'Hilchasa Perek 47 footnote 125)


The Eishel Avraham and other halachic authorities disagree and maintain that cake need not be covered, just the Challos.


2) After the Kiddush is recited, the one who recited the Kiddush must drink immediately from the wine in the Becher, without any interruptions between the Kiddush and the drinking. It is a Mitzvah as well for all those who are at the Seudah to drink a bit from the wine of Kiddush [after the one who recited Kiddush drinks] .(Shulchan Aruch Simabn 271: 13 and 14)


There is a debate among the Poskim about the minimum amount of the wine in the Becher the one who made Kiddush is required to drink. The Kitzur Shulchan Aruch (Siman 77:13) maintains that the minimum amount is “K’Molei Lugmav” which is loosely translated as a “cheekful”, even if it is less than most of a Revi’is (between 3.3 and 5 fluid oz.)


The Mishna Berurah (S"K 68) seems to hold that one must drink most of a Revi’is, regardless if a particular person’s “cheekful” is less than that.


There are many G-d fearing Jews who make Kiddush [on Shabbos morning] on a small shot-glass of whiskey. This practice is prevalent in Chasidic circles This is seemingly not in accordance with Halacha which requires:

a) wine (or another beverage with the Halachic status of Chamar Medina, which whiskey isn’t, according to most contemporary Poskim. In earlier times, in Europe, it seems like it had the status of Chamar Medina; see Mishna Berura Siman 273 S"K 30; but nowadays that is not te case anymore.)


and b) a cup that can hold more than a Revi’is.


However, there are authorities who go to great lengths to find reasons why this custom should be acceptable.


[For those that are interested in delving deeper into this topic, See: Shu”t Maharsham Chelek 1 Siman 175 , Taz Orach Chaim 210, Shu"t Chasam Sofer Siman 49. The Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Siman 77:13 allows whiskey so long as the cup used holds a revi'is and a cheekful is drunk.]


Unless your Minhag is in fact to make Kiddush Shabbos morning on whiskey, it is best to recite the Kiddush over a cup of wine or Grape Juice.

Halachos for Tuesday, January 2, 2024

1) If someone cannot drink wine, whether due to a vow or because it isn’t healthy for him or for any other reason, he/she may not make Kiddush on a cup of wine on the assumption that someone else who is at the table will then drink the wine after he makes the Kiddush.


Rather he should hear Kiddush from someone else, or make Kiddush on Challah.


2) Since the wine of Kiddush is considered as part of the food and drink being served at the meal, the Birchas Hamazon after the meal will serve as its Bracha Achrona, and no “Al HaGefen” is necessary. (Shulchan Aruch Siman 273:10)


The Kitzur Shulchan Aruch (Siman 77:10) quotes some Poskim argue with this, and mintain that the wine of Kiddush is not part of the Seudah, and thus does indeed require its own “Al HaGefen”.


In order to satisfy both of the aforementioned opinions, it is good to try and drink another glass of wine after Birchas Hamazon, and have in mind by its “Al HaGefen” that it should also exempt the original wine of Kiddush. (Kitzur Shulchan Aruch ibid. The Mishna Berura, however, does not bring this method, and it seems that he may consider this a Bracha SheAina Tzericha, an unnecessary Bracha.)


When using a Becher of wine for Birchas Hamazon, all agree that an “Al HaGefen” is necessary afterwards.


Besides for other reasons given, this in itself may be a good reason to say Birchas Hamazon on a Kos.

Halachos for Wednesday, January 3, 2024

1) The Kiddush of Shabbos (Friday night and Shabbos morning) must be recited in the same place where the Seuda of Shabbos will take place (B’Mokom Seudah). (Shulchan Aruch Siman 273:1)


If one recited Kiddush in one house, and only ate in another house (even if he had in mind to do this) he has not satisfied his obligation of Kiddush and must recite Kiddush again in the house in which he will eat. (ibid.)


2) One must eat immediately after Kiddush. (See Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Siman 77:14)


If one doesn't want to begin his Seudah on Shabbos morning right after Kiddush, he must at least eat some cake or other acceptable Mezonos after Kiddush to satisfy the obligation of Kiddush B’Mokom Seudah. (Shulchan Aruch Siman 273:5)


If an aceptable mezonos item is unavailable (e.g. on Pesach ; and according to some Poskim this is L’chatchila, even if it is available) one may drink an additional Revi’is of wine (besides the original revi’is of Kiddush) and consider that as his Seudah (See Mishna Berura Siman 273 S"K 25 and 27. The Vilna Gaon maintained that only a bread meal suffices for Kidush B'Makom seudah, and not Mezonos or wine; see Biur Halacha Siman 273:5 dibur hamaschil Kasvu)


On Friday night, many Poskim are stringent and do not allow Kidush B'makom Seudah to be satisfied via mezonios or wine; a bread meal is required. (See Shu"t Ein Yitzchok Orach Chaim Siman 12:11. See also Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Siman 77:14, where he writes "By day, one who doesn't want to eat the meal right after Kiddush.... implying that he doesn't rule ths way for the nightime.)

Halachs for Thursday, January 4, 2024

1) Although one should not eat on Shabbos morning [after Shacharis], before Musaf, it is permissible to “taste” something (This should only be done if necessary for health or other reasons).


Eating a “K’Beitza” of bread or less is considered “tasting”, while eating more than that is already considered “eating”.


If one eats fruit, even in large quantities it is still considered only “tasting”.


2) When the aforementioned “tasting” is necessary, according to many Poskim ( Including Kitzur Shulchan Aruch ibid., Mateh Ephraim and Chasam Sofer ) it is only permissible if one makes Kiddush first, as one may not eat anything before Kiddush (and to satisfy Kiddush B’Makom Seudah, he should first drink an additional Revi’is of wine, or have a Kzayis of cake too, as we discussed previously).


However, other Poskim (including Rav Moshe Feinstein Zatzal in Igros Moshe Orach Chaim Vol. 4 Siman 101:2 ) are of the opinion that one’s obligation to make Kiddush (and thus the prohibition of eating before its recital) does not occur until the time of the Seudah. Thus, if one needs to eat before that time (be it before Musaf or even before Shachris) he/she may do so without Kiddush.


Rav Moshe Feinstein takes this a step further, and is of the opinion that until a woman’s husband arrives home from Shul on Shabbos morning, his wife may eat anything she wants without Kiddush, as the time for her Seudah doesn’t commence until her husband comes home. (Note: Single girls, however, who want to eat something before their fathers come home from shul, once daveniing is over, even if it is before they themeselves davened, require Kiddush first. )

Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh , January  5 , 2024

Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh


1) Every Jewish man and woman must eat three meals every Shabbos. (See Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Siman 77:16)


One meal must be eaten on Friday night and two meals must be eaten Shabbos day. Many Rishonim and Poskim (Ran Sukkah perek 2, Rashi Shabbos 117b, Shu"t Rashba 614, , Rambam Hilchos Shvuos 1:6, Levush Siman 274, Taz Siman 678 and Magen Avraham Siman 254:23) are of the opinion that this obligation to eat 3 meals [with Lechem Mishna] is M’DiOraysah (a biblical obligation), while other authorities (Tosfos Brachos 49b, Rabbeinu Tam in sefer Hayashat, Mordechai Megilah perek 1) maintain that it is a Rabbinic obligation.


2) At each of the Shabbos Seudos (including the third meal, Seudah Shelishis) it is obligatory to eat bread. (The obligation to eat bread is so important, that the Pri Megadim; Mishbetzos Zahav Siman 274 and other Poskim allow one who doesn’t have Pas Yisroel, to eat Pas Akum to satisfy this obligation).

According to some authorities, if one isn’t hungry at Seudah Shelishis and really cannot eat bread, he may satisfy his obligation to eat a Seudah by eating cake or other Mezonos. If that too is difficult, he should at least eat meat or fish. If that too is hard, he should at least eat fruit to satisfy his obligation.


However, it is imperative for every person to limit his food consumption at the morning meal ( especially in the winter months when the days are short), so as not to put them in the above situation where he/she isn’t hungry for bread (which is the ideal way to fulfill the Mitzvah of Seudah Shelishis. See Kitzur Shulchan Aruch ibid.)

​Halachos for Shabbos Kodesh


1) At each of the Shabbos meals, Lechem Mishna is required.


Lechem Mishna means 2 complete loaves of bread. The custom is to use special Challos, as doing so is Kavod Shabbos, but any complete loaf is Halachicaly acceptable (e.g. bagel, roll, Matzo, Baguette etc.)


There is a dispute amongst the authorities if this requirement of Lechem Mishna applies to women as well. (The Pri Megadim Siman 274:1 and Rav Akiva Eiger in teshuvos Siman 1 are of the opinion that women are obligated in Lechem Mishna, while Rav Shlomo Kluger in Shu"t H'Elef Lecha Shlomo Siman 114 maintains that they are exempt, like any other Mitzvahs Asei SheHazman Gerama)


Ideally, women should listen to a man make the blessing on the Lechem Mishna and answer Amen, and thus satisfy her obligation according to everyone.


If one eats additional meals on Shabbos (besides for the requisite 3 meals), he must have Lechem Mishna at each of the additional Seudos as well. (See Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Siman 77:17)

2) After the morning meal, if one goes to sleep, even if he is doing so in order to have strength for a trip or other activity on Motzaei Shabbos, it is important that he/she not verbalize that intent by saying “I am going to rest so I won’t be tired tonight when I travel etc.” as that would be considered Hachana (preparing on Shabbos for the weekday), which is prohibited. (See Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Siman 77:23)

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