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Laws, Customs and Explanations - Shavuot 5783

 

Sponsored by Oded Ben Arie in honor of his wife Dianna

Parsha Halacha is underwritten by a grant from Dr. Stephen and Bella Brenner and Dr. Morton Berg in loving memory of Stephen's father, Shmuel Tzvi ben Pinchas, and Bella's parents, Avraham ben Yitzchak and Leah bas HaRav Sholom Zev HaCohen.


Shavuot Collection for Families

May Hashem bless you and your family with a joyful Yom Tov. May we meet all merit to receive the Torah with inward joy!


Click here for a print version of this article 


All times are for Miami Beach area.

Please click here for other locations.

 

The Month of Sivan

Sunday, Rosh Chodesh Sivan, May 21 

On this day in the year 2448 (1312 B.C.E), the Jewish people camped opposite Mt. Sinai, united as one man with one heart.[1] It was in this merit that we received the Torah.[2]

1 – 12 Sivan /May 21 – June 1 

No Tachnun

We do not recite Tachnun[3] during the first 12 days of Sivan.

The reason for this is that all of these days are significant,[4] as follows:

·        The first day of the month is Rosh Chodesh.

·        The second day of Sivan is when G-d said: “You will be onto Me a kingdom of princes, etc.”[5]

·        On the third day of Sivan the Jewish people were commanded not to ascend Mt. Sinai.[6]

·        On the fourth and fifth days of the month, married couples were required to separate from their spouses in order to prepare to receive the Torah.[7] (This was a one-time commandment and does not apply nowadays, see below.)

·        In addition, on the fifth day of the month, the Jewish people said Na’asehVeNishmah – We will do and we will listen.

·        The sixth and the seventh days of the month are the holiday of Shavuot, when the Torah was given.[8]

·        The eighth through the twelfth of the month were days when, in the Temple era, one could bring the holiday sacrifices of Shavuot if one did not bring them on Shavuot itself.[9]

We resume saying Tachnun on 13 Sivan (June 2). There are some, however, who resume saying it on 9 Sivan (May 29),[10] while others have a custom (outside of Israel) not to say tachanun on the 13th (June 3) as well.[11] 

No Fasting

It is customary not to fast from Rosh Chodesh Sivan until the day after Isru Chag (the day after Shavuot).[12] (See below regarding the yemei tashlumin.)

 

The Three days of Hagbalah (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday – 3 - 5 Sivan/ May 23 - 25)

 

·        The three days of Hagbalah – the third, fourth, and fifth of Sivan – are the days when the Jews were forbidden to ascend the mountain before the giving of the Torah.[13]

·        Some have the custom to permit taking haircuts at this time.[14] They consider that the mourning for the deaths of the students of Rabbi Akivah extends from Rosh Chodesh Iyar until the 3 Sivan. The Chabad custom (based on the Arizal), however, is not to take haircuts until Erev Shavuot.[15]

·        I have heard that it is permissible to listen to music during these days.

·        It is not necessary for a husband and wife to separate during these days.[16]

Erev Shavuot, 5 Sivan, Thursday, May 25

  • As on every Erev Yom Tov, it is proper to take a haircut (if one’s hair is overgrown) on this day.[17]
  • It is proper to cut one’s nails on this day (even if one does not usually so on Thursdays).[18]
  • It is proper for men to immerse in the Mikvah on this day as the Jews did before they received the Torah.[19]

Upsherinish

 

If a child’s birthday falls out between Lag Ba’Omer and Shavuot, the Chabad custom is to postpone the Upsherinish (first haircut when a boy turns three) to Erev Shavuot. [20]

 

Trees and Flowers

  • It is customary in many communities to decorate the synagogues and homes with greenery and flowers to commemorate the joy of Receiving the Torah at which time Mount Sinai was covered with foliage and greenery.[21]
  • In addition, it is customary in many communities to put trees in the synagogues and homes. This reminds us that we are judged regarding fruits of the tree on this holiday and that we must pray for blessing in this regard.[22] Some say that this custom should not be followed as it is reminiscent of a holiday of a different religion.[23]
  • Flowers are not considered muktzah as they have been designated for decorative use. One may not, however, put them into water on Yom Tov as this may cause them to open which is akin to planting. One may, however, add water to the water that is already in the vase. On Shabbat, one may not add water.[24]

 

Tzedaka for the Holiday

  • One should remember to provide the necessities of the holidays for those in need. Sufficient support should be provided so that the poor have enough to make Yom Tov in a comfortable and enjoyable manner. This is especially important regarding the holiday of Shavuot, which is only two days long and whose needs may therefore be overlooked. This Mitzvah benefits both the giver and the recipient.[25]
  • Maimonides writes: “When a person eats and drinks [in celebration of a holiday],
  • he is obligated to feed converts, orphans, widows, and others who are
  • destitute and poor. In contrast, a person who locks the gates of his
  • courtyard and eats and drinks with his children and his wife, without
  • feeding the poor and the embittered is [not indulging in] rejoicing
  • associated with a mitzvah, but rather [is indulging in] the rejoicing of his belly.”[26]
  • It is especially important to provide for Torah scholars and other righteous poor people who refrain from asking for help.[27]

Candles

One should remember to light a 24-hour candle so that one will have a fire with which to light the Yom Tov candles on the first and second nights of Yom Tov.

In addition, those who recite Yizkor should light a 48-hour candle so that it is burning during the second day of Shavuot. If necessary, this can be lit on the second night of Yom Tov from a pre-existing flame.[28]

The Lubavitcher Rebbe said that it is a good idea for young girls who are ready to start lighting Shabbat and Yom Tov candles to begin doing so on the Yom Tov of Shavuot. By doing so, the bracha of shehechiyanu can also be referring to the mitzvah of the candles. If one wishes to start before the Yom Tov, it is best for the girl to wear a new dress and say shehechiyanu while keeping in mind the mitzvah.[29]

Eiruv Tavshillin

 

One must make an eiruv tavshillin on Erev Shavuot in order to permit cooking on Friday (Yom Tov) for Shabbat.

One should take a complete loaf of bread (e.g., a challah roll) and a cooked piece of food and recite the text and bracha of the eiruv (page 327 in the new Chabad Siddur). 

One who is making the eiruv on behalf of the community should have someone else first lift up the foods on behalf of the community and say the text printed in the Siddur (ani mezakeh).[30]

  • For the cooked food, one should use a piece of fish, chicken, or even an egg. 
  • On Friday, the food should be prepared in such a way that it is all edible before Shabbat begins.
  • The food and bread which he put aside should be kept separate and not eaten until Shabbat begins.
  • It is preferable to use the roll of the eiruv for Lechem Mishnah on Friday night and on Shabbat day and then to eat it on Shabbat day for the third meal. This follows the principle that if an object was used for a mitzvah, it should be used again for another mitzvah.
  • One who did not eat the roll or food on Shabbos has still fulfilled the mitzvah of eiruv.
  • One who forgot to make the eiruv may be able to rely on the eiruv made by the rabbi of the community as follows:
  • If one completely forgot to make an eiruv or was so busy that he did not have a chance to do it, he may rely on the eiruv that was made by the rabbi of the community on behalf of all the community members. Similarly, an unlearned person who did not know about this mitzvah or who thought that one may rely on the rabbi in the first place and thus did not make his own, may rely on the rabbi’s eiruv (even though his thinking was wrong). Some say that one may only rely on the rabbi’s eiruv one time in his life.[31]
  • However, if one postponed making the eiruv in a manner that is negligent, he cannot rely on the rabbi’s eiruv. Rather he should give his ingredients to a friend or neighbor who did make an eiruv and have the friend cook them for him. 

One who will be a guest for both eating and sleeping at someone else’s house need not make his own eiruv tavshilin as he is considered to be a member of his host’s family. Some say that he should make his own eiruv but without a bracha.[32]

One who does not plan on cooking at all on Friday but is planning to light Shabbat candles should make an eiruv without a bracha.

Shavuot, 6 and 7 Sivan, Thursday night, May 25 – Saturday night, May 27 

Shavuot is the (birthday[33] and) Yahrtzeit of King David.[34]

  • Shavuot is also the Yahrtzeit of the Ba’al Shem Tov. He passed away on Wednesday, the first day of Shavuot 5520 (1760) and is interred in Mezhibuzh.[35]
  • For this reason, the Chabad Rebbes would tell stories of the Baal Shem Tov on Shavuot.[36]
  • Whoever ponders the attitude of Tosafot (Shabbat 89a D.H. Torah) regarding Shavuot will understand that this festival is an auspicious time on high. On this day G-d confounds the "supernal accuser" of Israel (Satan), similar to His confounding the accuser during Shofar-sounding on Rosh Hashana and on the holy day of the Fast of Yom Kippur.[37]
  • Shavuot is an opportune time to achieve everything in improving Torah-study and avoda (service of G-d) marked by fear (awe) of G-d, and also to strive in teshuva (repentance) concerning Torah-study, without interference by the accusing Satan, again just like the time of Shofar-sounding on Rosh Hashana and the holy day of the Fast of Yom Kippur.[38]
  • Regarding the holiday of Shavuot, all opinions agree that one must celebrate with food and drink, and it isn’t sufficient to only study and pray.[39] This is to show that we are delighted that we received the Torah.[40]
  • It seems from the Talmud that the weather of the following year can be predicted based on the weather of Shavuot.[41]
  • There was a custom to begin the formal education of Jewish boys (cheder) on Shavuot. There was usually an accompanying ceremony which involved eating cake and eggs that had verses of the Torah written on them.[42]
  • There was also a custom to dedicate new Sifrei Torah on the holiday of Shavuot.[43]

First Night of Shavuot (Thursday night, May 25)

  • The evening service begins with Shir Hama’alot (page 161 in the new Chabad Siddur) and includes the Holiday Amidah (page 331).
  • One should not pray the evening service until after the stars emerge in order that the 50 days of the counting of the Omer should be considered “complete.”[44]
  • The blessings on the candles are: Lehadlik ner shel Yom Tov and She’hechiyanu.
  • Some women do not have the custom of reciting Shehechiyanu when lighting candles on Yom Tov. Rather, they listen to the recital of this bracha (during Kiddush).[45]
  • A man lighting the candles should not say the blessing of Shehechiyanu as he will recite it during Kiddush.
  • Grace after Meals includes Ya’aleh Veyavoh (pg. 92) and the Harachamanrecited on a Yom Tov (pg. 95).

 

Studying Torah the Entire Night

  • It is customary for men to remain awake and study Torah during the entire first night of Shavuot.[46] This is to rectify the mistake of the Jews who overslept on the day of the receiving of the Torah,[47] and to help us prepare to receive the Fiftieth Gate of Understanding on the day of Shavuot.[48]
  • Although the Jewish people have “corrected” this mistake many times over, we must do this every year since we should re-experience the giving of the Torah each year, and we should prepare for this by studying rather than by sleeping.[49]
  • The Arizal said that whoever does not sleep at all on this night but rather studies Torah is assured to live out that year and no harm will befall him.[50]
  • The Mitteler Rebbe (the second Rebbe of Chabad) said that one who remains awake all night on Shavuot (and studies Torah) is assured to merit the KeterTorah (the crown of Torah).[51]
  • The Arizal established a certain text to be studied on this night. It includes sections of the Tanach, Mishnah, Zohar, as well as the 613 Mitzvot. The text is known as the “Tikkun Leil Shavuot” (Tikkun means rectification).  Even Torah scholars should say this text on this night.[52]
  • If one cannot say the entire Tikkun, one should at least say the part that includes sections of the Tanach.[53]
  • When saying the 613 mitzvot, one should intend to fulfill all of the mitzvot in the realm of speech.[54]
  • One who did not complete the Tikkun at night should do so the next day (or even after that, if necessary).[55]
  • Women do not need to say Tikkun. If a woman counted the Omer, some say it is proper for her to say the part of the Tikkun which includes the Tanach (bible).[56] (Certainly, a woman who stays up and studies Torah will be blessed by Hashem.)
  • Some are not particular to recite the Tikkun. Instead, they study other parts of the Oral Torah.[57]If the community is reciting the Tikkun one should not separate himself and learn other things.[58]
  • In shuls where refreshments are provided one should be careful not to eat or drink dairy products if they ate meat within the previous six hours. In addition, one should make sure to refrain from eating after dawn.
  • It is proper for men to go to the Mikvah before dawn in order to prepare themselves to receive the holy revelations of this day.[59] One should immerse four times.[60]
  • According to the Arizal, one who stayed up the entire night may recite all of the morning blessings as usual despite the fact that he has not slept.[61] This is the Chabad custom.[62] One should go to the bathroom before washing the hands and reciting the blessing “al netilat Yadayim.”[63]
  • Some say that one should not say the blessings on the Torah oneself but should rather hear them being recited by someone else and respond “Amen.” One who took a long nap on Erev Shavuot may certainly say these blessings in the morning. Alternatively, one may also have in mind when saying the blessing of Ahavat Olam (or Ahava Rabba) before the Shema of Shacharit that it should “count” as a blessing on the Torah. In this case, one should study some Torah immediately after the Amidah.[64]
  • Some say that the blessing of “Elokai Neshama” and “Hama’avir Sheina” should similarly be heard from someone else.[65]
  • If one wishes to continue studying Torah after dawn, one should first recite (or hear) the blessings of the Torah (as above).[66]

 

The First Day of Shavuot (Friday, 6 Sivan/ May 26)

  • If one stayed up the entire night and is afraid that he may be unable to concentrate on his prayers, it is better that he nap for a few hours before praying.[67]
  • In such a case, one should recite the morning Shema before going to sleep.
  • Many communities recite Akdamot at the beginning of the Torah reading of this day. This is a beautiful poem in Aramaic about the giving of the Torah. There is a disagreement as to whether it should be read before the blessing over the first Aliyah or after reading the first verse of that Aliyah. The preferred custom is to say it before the blessing on the Torah.[68]
  • Although Akdamot are printed in the Chabad Siddur, it is not the Chabad custom to recite them.[69] It is said that the Rebbe would recite them privately.
  • Hallel is recited as on every yom tov. See here for the history of Hallel.

 

The Ten Commandments

  • The Lubavitcher Rebbe encouraged every Jewish man and woman to be present for the reading of the Ten Commandments. Parents should bring their children. Even babies (above the age of 30 days[70]) should be brought (health permitting).[71]
  • This is based on the Midrash[72] that says that nowadays when we read the Ten Commandments on Shavuot, it is as if we are receiving the Ten Commandments again directly from  G-d.[73]
  • It is customary in many communities (including Chabad) to stand during the reading of the Ten Commandments while facing the Sefer Torah.[74] The Sefardic custom is to remain seated.[75]

 

The Commentaries discuss why the Ten Commandments were said in the singular form, “You (singular) shalt not: etc. Rav Dovid Dietch explained that the reason is to teach us that one should not say “What does G-d care if I do not serve Him? He has so many angels and tzadikkim who serve Him. Why is my service important?” G-d therefore said to each person, “I am the L-rd, your G-d (in the singular)” as if to say, “You should imagine that you are My only subject, and there is no one to serve Me but you.”[76]

 

The Haftorah

The haftorah of this day is referred to as “The Chariot of Yechezkel.” Due to the holiness of this haftorah, it is customary that a great person who is a Torah scholar read it. According to some customs, if a congregant reads the haftorah along with the Ba’al Maftir, he should stand up while doing so.[77]

In Israel, where there is only one day of Yom Tov, Yizkor is recited on this day.

As on every day of Yom Tov (and every day in Sefardic shuls and most shuls in Israel), the Kohanim bless the people during Chazzan’s repetition of the Musaf of Shavuot.

Eating Dairy Foods

It is customary to eat dairy foods on Shavuot. There are many reasons given for this.[78]

Among them:

  1. After the giving of the Torah at Sinai, the Jewish people did not have kosher vessels or kosher meat, so instead of taking the time to slaughter and salt the meat etc., they ate a dairy meal.[79]
  2. The two breads that one has with the two meals (the original custom was to eat dairy and meat meal within a meal of bread, see note 66) is reminiscent of the two loaves that were part of the Shavuot sacrifice.[80]
  3. Milk represents purity. Milk is produced by the body from blood, and blood is associated with the impurity of Niddah (the blood of the menstrual cycle). Thus, consuming dairy represents the Jewish people being purified from the tuma(impurities) of Egypt.[81]
  4. The whiteness of milk represents G-d’s pure loving kindness. The Torah was given to us out of G-d’s boundless kindness.[82]
  5. One of the six names of the Mount Sinai is Gavnunim[83] which is similar to the word gevinah (cheese).[84]
  6. Since milk comes from a living animal, it was actually not kosher until the giving of the Torah as it was considered eiver min hachai (part of a living animal). Since the laws of eiver min hachai are part of the Noahide code, the Jewish people were not allowed to consume milk at that time. It was permitted by the Torah which praises the land of Israel as the land of milk and honey.[85]We commemorate this by eating dairy on this day.[86]

Meat Meal

  • In addition to the dairy meal, one should eat a meat meal on Shavuot day as one does on every Yom Tov.[87]
  • The best way to accomplish both of these concepts is to first eat a dairy meal (or kiddush), recite the grace after meals,[88] wait a half hour or an hour[89] and then have a meat meal.[90]
  • The tablecloths should be changed between the two meals, and a new loaf of bread (if one is washing for both meals[91]) should be served.[92]
  • Some do not wash for the dairy meal but rather eat it as a “Kiddush,” and then wash for the second meal.[93] They should recite the bracha acharonah(concluding blessing) before beginning the meat meal.[94]
  • It is customary for Ashkenazim to wait six hours after eating hard, aged cheese before consuming meat.[95] This includes Parmesan and Swiss cheese.[96]
  • In some communities it is customary to eat a dairy meal on the night of Shavuot and a meat meal on the day of Shavuot.[97]

 

Tahalucha

 

The Lubavitcher Rebbe encouraged his Chassidim to visit other congregations on the second night of Shavuot, and, if possible, share Torah insights. This is referred to as a Tahalucha (a march).[98]

 

Shabbat and the Second Night of Yom Tov (Friday night, May 26) 

  • No preparation may be made for the (meal of the) second night of Yom Tov before nightfall.
  • All of the food cooked for Shabbat should be prepared in such a way that it is edible before Shabbat begins. This is in order to conform to the laws of Eiruv Tavshillin (see above).
  • Women should light candles at the appropriate time.
  • The candles should be lit from a pre-existing flame.
  • When lighting, one should be careful not wave out the match, but rather one should put it down and allow it go out by itself. 
  • Those who say Yizkor should light a 24-hour candle at this time (from a pre-existing flame).
  • The blessings on the candles are: Lehadlik ner shel Shabbat Veshel Yom Tov and She’hechiyanu.
  • The Bracha of She’hechiyanu is recited at candle-lighting by the women or at Kiddush by the man who recites the Kiddush. (See above regarding other customs.)
  • Before Mincha the Chabad custom is to recite Patach Eliyahu (page 149 in the Chabad siddur). Psalm 107 (which is normally also said before Mincha on Friday) is omitted.
  • According to Chabad (and Sefardic) custom, Kabalat Shabbat begins with Mizmor LeDavid (Psalm 29). Ashkenaz custom is to begin with Mizmor Shir Leyom HaShabbat (Psalm 92).
  • In Lecha Dodi, one should add the word “B’Simcha (U’vetzahala).”
  • The Amidah is a Yom Tov Amidah with Shabbat insertions.
  • Before the meal, Shalom Aleichem and Eishet Chayil should be said quietly (according to the Chabad custom). The reason for this custom is that there is an argument as to whether these prayers should be recited when Shabbat coincides with a Holiday.[99] The compromise is to read them quietly. 
  • As mentioned above, it is proper to use the Challah of the Eiruv Tavshillin as the second loaf of the Lechem Mishnah for the Shabbat meals and then to eat it at the third meal (seudah shlishit).

 

Second Day of Yom Tov (Shabbat, May 27)

  • In many communities the Book of Ruth is read publicly (without a beracha)[100]on the second day of Shavuot before the Torah reading. 
  • Chabad custom is not to read it publicly. It is read privately as part of the Tikkun. Sefardim and various Chassidim also do not read Megillat Rut publicly.[101]
  • Many reasons have been given for the reading of this book on Shavuot. Several of them:
  • Shavuot is King David’s birthday and Yohrtzeit so we read the book about his lineage.[102]
  • The Book of Ruth teaches us that the Torah is only acquired through suffering (i.e., voluntary relinquishing of earthly pleasures as personified by Ruth).[103]
  • Shavuot is a harvest festival, and so the Book of Ruth describes the harvest and how the poor were treated in the harvest season with sympathy and love.
  • Ruth is the gematriyah of 606, which is the number of mitzvot we accepted when we received the Torah in addition to the seven Noahide laws.[104]
  • Some read Megilat Rut from a scroll and say a blessing before doing so.[105]
  • When taking out the Torah we do not say the special prayers normally said when taking out the Torah on Yom Tov (Hashem, Hashem and Ribono Shel Olam) as these are personal prayers which one should not recite on Shabbat.
  • Yizkor is recited on this day.[106] Sefardim do not have this custom. In Israel, where there is only one day of Yom Tov, Yizkor is recited on that day (Friday).
  • It is customary that those who are in mourning for the loss of a parent do not recite Yizkor during the mourning period (12 months). The Chabad custom is that they remain in Shul but do not actually recite Yizkor.[107]
  • The custom of Yizkor is to give tzedaka (after Yomtov) in memory of the departed.
  • Chabad custom is that Av HaRachamim should be recited even by those not saying Yizkor.[108]
  • At the close of every Yom Tov, the Lubavitcher Rebbe would lead a farbrengen(inspirational Chassidic gathering) that included singing the songs associated with (or composed by) the Ba’al Shem Tov, the Maggid of Mezritch and all of the Chabad Rebbes. This would serve as a bridge between the holiness of the Yom Tov, and the mundane time of the rest of the year.

 

Motzoei Shabbat and Shavuot (Saturday night, May 27)

Havdalah includes a candle and smelling spices as on every Motzoei Shabbat.

Isru Chag (Sunday, May 28)

One should eat an additional dish of food on this day in order to celebrate it as a mini-holiday.[109]

Days of Tashlumin, Sunday, 8 Sivan /May 28 – Thursday, 12 Sivan /June 1

The five days that follow the holiday of Shavuot (or six in Israel) are known as yemeitashlumin (days of compensation) as, in the Temple era, one could still bring the holiday sacrifices on these days. 

Many communities do not recite Tachnun (see above). One who does not say tachanun should also not fast or deliver eulogies on these days.[110]

Wishing you a Chag Same'ach and a Shabbat Shalom. 


[1] See Ex. 19:1 and Rashi there

[2] See Kli Yakar on Ex. 19:2

[3] Supplicatory prayers that follow the morning and afternoon Amidah on most weekdays

[4] Shulchan Aruch HaRav 494:20 

[5] Ex. 19:6

[6] Ibid, 12

[7] Ibid, 10 - 11

[8] See Tractate Shabbat 86b and on, that according to the sages, the Torah was given on the sixth of Sivan, whereas in the opinion of Rabbi Yossi, it was given on the seventh on Sivan.

[9] Siddur HaRav

[10] Rama, 494:3

[11] See O.C. 131, 7 and Sha’arei Teshuva there. The thirteenth is the seventh day after the 2nd day of Shavuot which is treated (outside of Israel) as if it were the Biblical Yom Tov.

[12] Shulchan Aruch HaRav 494:19

On Rosh Chodesh and Isru Chag, it is forbidden to fast, even for a Chattan and Kallah on the day of their Chuppah.

On the other days, it is customary not to fast, but a Chattan and Kallah would be allowed to fast.

[13] Ex. 19:12

[14] Shulchan Aruch HaRav 493:6

[15] HaYom Yom 3rd of Sivan (“When people would take haircuts during the Three Days of Preparation, before Erev Shavuot, my father (the Rebbe Rashab) was not pleased.”

[16] See Piskei Teshuvot 494:8 that although some pious men did separate during these days, this is not necessary according to the Arizal.

[17] Shulchan Aruch HaRav 529: 1. See Kovetz Raza”sh, page 61 that the Lubavitcher Rebbe would take a haircut on Friday when Shavuot began on Sunday. See Piskei Teshuvot 493 note 116 regarding taking haircuts on Thursday night.

[18] Mateh Efraim 625:11

[19] Shelah, Masechet Shavuot

[20] Igrot Kodesh vol. 12, page 441

[21] Rama 494:2 and Mishna Berurah 10. See Ex. 34:3.

[22] Shulchan Aruch HaRav, ibid 15

[23] See Mishna Berurah ibid in the name of the Gr”a.

[24] See Shulchan Aruch HaRav, 336:18

[25] Torat Menachem, 5743, vol. 3, pg. 1536

[26] Laws of Yom Tov, 6:18

[27] Kaf HaChaim, 529:42

[28] See Biur Halacha D.H. Ner on O.C. 514:5

[29] Sefer HaSichot, 5750, vol. 2 page 481, note 38

[30] The Alter Rebbe in the siddur does not specify that only the rabbi of the community should make the eiruv on behalf of the community. Dayan Raskin, in his Siddur Rabeinu HaZakein im Tziyunim (pg. 488), points to the Shela who says that it is proper for everyone to make his eiruv on behalf of the entire community.

[31] See Mishnah Berurah, 527:22 and Kaf HaChaim, 48. The Alter Rebbe does not cite this view.

[32] Piskei Teshuvot, 17

[33] Sha’arei Teshuvah 494:7

[34] Yalkut Shimoni 735

[35] HaYom Yom, 7th of Sivan

[36] Sefer HaSichot 5704, page 140

[37] Ibid 3rd of Sivan

[38] Ibid, 4th of Sivan

[39] Pesachim 68b

[40]Shulchan Aruch HaRav 494:18

[41] See Bava Batra 147a.

[42] Maharam quoted in Mordechai Shabbat, 369

[43] See Sha’arei Teshuvah, 494:11

[44] Shulchan Aruch HaRav 494:2

[45] See Mishnah Berurah, 263:23 

[46] See Zohar, Parshat Emor “The early Chassidim would not sleep on this night. Rather, they would study Torah.”

[47] Ibid, 3 Magen Avraham, beginning of 494

[48] See Zohar Parshat Emor. If one’s wife’s Mikvah night is on the first night of Shavuot, one should not nullify that mitzvah.

[49] Ta’amei HaMinhagim

[50] Mishnah Berurah ibid, 1 in the name of the Shulchan Aruch Ha’Arizal

[51] Sefer HaMinhagim Chabad, pg. 44

[52] Chida in Lev David, 31

[53] Kaf HaChayim 494:8

[54] Ibid, 7

[55] The Previous Lubavitcher Rebbe, quoted in Kovetz Lubavitch, vol. 3, 35

[56] Kaf HaChayim, ibid, 8

[57] See Piskei Teshuvot 494:3.

[58] Yalkut Yosef, Shavuot, ot 7

[59] Kaf HaChaim ibid, 7

[60] Sha’ar HaKavanot of the Arizal

[61] See Shulchan Aruch HaRav 46:7, Likutei Sichot, 9, page 276.

[62] See Siddur HaRav.

[63] Mishnah Berurah 494:1 See note 52 in the new Shulchan Aruch HaRav, Siman 4.

[64] Mishnah Berurah 47:28

[65] Ibid, 46:24

[66] See Shulchan Aruch HaRav, 47:7 and Shevet HaLevy 10:77:2.

[67] Sha’arei Halacha UMinhag, 1 pg. 110

[68] Shulchan Aruch HaRav 494, 7.

[69] Sha’arei Halacha UMinhag 2, 168.

[70] “And those that want, even earlier” Likutei Sichot, vol. 23, pg. 251

[71] Sha’arei Halacha UMinhag 2, pg. 168, Likutei Sichot, ibid and pg. 256

[72] Pesikta of Rav Kahane Chapter Bachodesh HaShlishi

[73] See Ta’amei HaMinhagim, page 279 that all the souls of the Jewish people who would ever be born also stood at Mount Sinai. Rav Elimelech of Lizhensk would say that he remembers not only the event of the giving of the Torah but that he also remembers who stood next to him.

See also Ta’amei HaMinhagim, page 280 in the name of the Arizal that on each Yom Tov the event of that Yom Tov reoccurs for all the Jewish people living at that time.

[74] Sefer HaMinhagim, Chabad

[75] Kaf HaChayim, 494:30 See also Teshuvot HaRambam 46

[76] Ta’amei HaMinhagim, page 280

[77] Shulchan Aruch HaRav ibid, 6

[78] Ibid, 16

[79] Mishnah Berurah, 494:12

A variation of the same explanation is that since the Torah was given on Shabbat, they were not allowed to slaughter the animals and otherwise prepare them for eating (Ta’amei HaMinhagim in the name of Ge’ulat Yisrael).

[80] Rama, 494:3

[81] Based on Zohar Parshat Emor. 97b

[82] Benei Yissachar, Chodesh Sivan 4, 5

[83] Bamidbar Rabbah, 1, 8, see Tehillim, 68:16

[84] Ta’amei HaMinhagim, page 281 in the name of Rav Shimshon of Ostrapolyah

See there, page 279 that the name Sinai alludes to the sneh (thorn bush) in which G-d first revealed Himself to Moshe. This occurred on Mount Sinai. Indeed, there is a tradition that the stones from Mount Sinai have the image of a thorn bush inside of them. No matter how many times they are broken, this image appears.

[85] Bechorot, 6a based on Exodus, 3:8 and many other verses.

[86] Ta’amei HaMinhagim, in the name of Rav Nachum Aharon Roke’ach

[87] See Shulchan Aruch HaRav 529:4

[88] The main halacha is that one need not recite the grace after meals between eating dairy and meat. It is preferable, however to do so (see Pri Megadim, Siftei Da’at, Y.D. 89:16. See also, Zohar P. Mishpatim, 125a, quoted in Shach 15 on Y.D. ibid).

 [89] Chabad custom, based on the Zohar, Parshat Mishpatim, is to wait an hour between milk and meat. Many Ashkenazim wait only one half-hour. See Piskei Teshuvot, 494, note 68 who gives a source for this custom. The Sefardic custom is simply to eat and drink something in between without (necessarily) waiting any time at all. 

[90] Rama 494:3 Shulchan Aruch HaRav ibid See Y.D. Siman 88 and 89 with the commentaries there.

[91] According to the Rama (494:3), it is proper to have bread at the meat meal as well.

[92] Ibid

[93] Darkei Teshuvah, 89:19

[94] Shach, Y.D. 89:6

[95] See Y.D. 89 Rama

[96] See https://oukosher.org/blog/consumer-kosher/aged-cheese-list/ for a comprehensive list of aged cheeses

[97] See Piskei Teshuvot 494:11

[98] See Likutei Sichot, 8, page 252 that this is especially relevant to Shavuot when G-d (so to speak) travelled to the world to give us the Torah.

[99] See Mateh Efrayim, 583:1

[100] Shulchan Aruch HaRav, ibid, 13 and 470:17

[101] Otzar Minhagei Chabad, Sivan, page 305 and 306

[102] Sha’arei Teshuvah ibid, 7

[103] Shulchan Aruch HaRav 494:13

[104] Ta’amei HaMinhagim

[105] Minhag of the Vilna Gaon (Mishnah Berurah, 490:18)

See Piskei Teshuvot 490, note 23 that the Vilna Gaon would also recite shehechiyanu before reading Megillat Rut.

[106] See Mishnah Berurah, 494:17 that Yizkor is recited on every Yom Tov day when we read the Torah reading of Kol HaBechor. (Yom Kippur is the only exception). This reading contains the words “Misat Nitdvat Yadcha asher titen” (according to the generosity of your hand that you will give, Deut. 16, 10). Thus, one is encouraged to give Tzedakah generously in memory of one’s departed relatives.

[107] Sefer HaMinhagim Chabad

[108] The Previous Lubavitcher Rebbe, quoted here

[109] Shulchan Aruch HaRav 429:17

[110] See sources cited in Piskei Teshuvot, 494, note 51. See there regarding the fast of a Chattan and Kallah.


May we all merit to receive the Torah with inward joy!

Wed, April 24 2024 16 Nisan 5784