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The Halacha Corner

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Lag - La'Omer

This week on Thursday, is Lag La’Omer. Sephardim and Chassidim in general refer to the 33rd day of the Omer as Lag La'Omer, while Ashkenazim refer to the 33rd day of the Omer as Lag Ba'Omer.

Lag La'Omer means the thirty-third day "of the Omer", as opposed to Lag Ba'Omer, which means the thirty-third day "in the Omer".  According to Hebrew grammatical rules, it is more accurate to say Lag La'Omer as opposed to Lag Ba'Omer.

However, it has become common to say:

Lag Ba’Omer.


Pesah Sheini - Second Pesah

According to t Torah, if a person was impure and therefore could not eat from the Pesah sacrifise, then a month later, on the 14th of Iyar he can sacrifise the Pesah sacrifise and eat it with Matzah and bitter herbs.


Today as we do not have Beit Hamikdash we are commemorate this law by just eating a little piece of Matzah on this day. I hope you saved one piece …….



Lag La'Omer
Pesah Sheini

Birkat Ha’ilanot – Blessing over the Fruit Trees

(From “Daily Halacha”)


The Halacha says that if someone sees ilanot Korchim, trees that have begun to bud, he must make a Beracha;

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֶלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, שֶׁלֹא חִסַּר בָּעוֹלָמוֹ כְּלוּם, וּבָרָא בוֹ בְּרִיּוֹת טוֹבוֹת וְאִילָנוֹת טוֹבִים, לְהַנּוֹת בָּהֶם בְּנֵי אָדָם׃


Baruch Ata Adon-ai Eloh-einu Melech HaOlam Shelo Khisar BeOlamo Kelum, Uvara Vo B'riyot Tovot V'ilanot Tovot L'Hanot Bahem B'nei Adam.


Blessed are you HaShem our G-d, king of the universe, who left nothing lacking in His world, and created within it good creatures and good trees with which He gives pleasure to people.

This is the Beracha we call Birkat Hailanot.

Preferably, the Beracha should be made in the month of Nissan although the Beracha can really be made anytime so long as you can see the buds on the trees.

According to the Kabala there is a lot of mysticism behind the Beracha.  Rav Chida writes that there are different Neshamot that might be locked up in the trees and therefore by making the Beracha we release them. So therefore he says the best time to make that Beracha with the Neshamot, etc. would be the month of Nissan. But if somebody was not able to see the trees or if the trees didn’t bud for some reason, of course one can then make the blessing in the month of Iyar. That’s also the opinion of Chacham Ovadia Yoseph.


The Halacha is that there has to be at least 2 trees. They have to be fruit trees. And it also has to be done while they are budding before they give fruit.  In addition, they can be the same species. Which means you can have 2 apple trees, so long as both of them are budding, and you can see them both then you can make the Beracha. We do not make the Beracha on a grafted tree. It has to be a natural fruit tree that was not grafted.


Last but not least, Chacham Ovadia holds that ladies can also make Birkat Hailanot. It does not fall into the category of Mitzvat Ase SheHazeman Gemara. Because this is really depending on a seasonal item. If  trees had buds in Tevet then we would make the Beracha in Tevet. It just happens to be that these things normally happen in the spring. Therefore the Halacha is that ladies can make Birkat Hailanot.

We have a few more days left in the month of Nissan, so one should try to make the Beracha if he has not yet done so.


Please note:

 Any Hametz owned by a Jew that is not disposed of before Pesah, must be sold to a non-Jew.
This Halacha applies to companies and individuals as well.
Shabbat Shalom,

Rosh Hodesh Tov

Rabbi Sasson



ten tevet

10th of Tevet - A fasting day


Tomorrow – Thursday, The Tenth of Tevet (Heb, Asara b'Tevet) , marks the day on which the Babylonian siege of Jerusalem began in the year 588 BCE, an event which eventually led to the destruction on the Temple in 586 BCE and the first exile from Israel. Though the day usually falls out near the time of Hanukkah, the two holidays have no significant relationship with each other. The Tenth of Tevet is considered a "minor fast" and orthodox Jews refrain from eating or drinking from sunrise to sunset on the day of fasting.    


Click here to read more about it


Please help us make the Minyan Tomorrow 9:00 Am


Three Weeks

The Three weeks


This Shabbat is the 17th of Tamuz and the beginning of the “Three weeks” (between the 17th of Tamuz and the 9th of Av).


Both days, 17th of Tamuz and the 9th of Av are fasting days, but this year they fall on Shabbat, so we postpone the fast to Sunday because we are not allowed to fast on Shabbat (unless it is Yom Kippur).


Laws and customs for Sephardim

First period – Between 17th of Tamuz and Tish’ah B’Av

(Sunday July 5, 2015 (4:06am) – Sunday, July 26, 2015 (9:33pm)

  • No Weddings

  • No Music (Private listening via earphones is permissible by

           some opinions)

           (Music is allowed at Brit-Milas or Pidyons)

  • No She’He’He’Yanu (the blessing over new fruit or new

           clothes, but on Shabbat it is ok for new fruit)

  • No haircuts (this is an Ashkenazi custom, but also applies for Sephardim in the diaspora. (In Israel Sephardim refrain from getting haircuts only for the week of Tish’ah B’Av). Since the Ashkenazim are in majority in the diaspora, and a haircut is something that is obviously noticed, we do not want to be different and confuse the community. Therefore, Sephardim in the diaspora also refrain from getting haircuts from the 17th of Tamuz.

  • It is best not to travel for pleasure but for business it is ok


Second period – Between 1st of Av – (evening, since this year it falls on Friday night which is Shabbat, then this period will start Saturday night) until Tish’ah B’Av

(Saturday, July 18, 2015 (9:58pm) – Sunday, July 26, 2015 (9:33pm)

All of the above PLUS

  • No eating meat / poultry

  • No drinking wine except for on Shabbat

  • It is best not to buy anything new (furniture, clothes, etc.), and wait until the 10th of Av (unless it will not be available to buy if you wait until the 10th of Av).


Third period – the week of Tish’ah B’Av.

This year, the 9th of Av falls on Shabbat. Therefore, this year there is no “Week of Tish’ah B’Av”.

The fast is postponed to Sunday


Fourth period – the day of Tish’ah B’Av

Saturday, July 25, 2015 (9:00pm) – Sunday, July 26, 2015 (9:33pm)

  • All of the above PLUS

  • No eating / drinking as on Yom Kippur

  • No Showering / No use of water unless absolutely necessary

  • No lotion of any kind

  • No wearing leather shoes

  • No marital relations


May Hashem, Almighty, hear our prayers and send Mashiach soon so that we will dance and rejoice together in the Beth Hamikdash. 



Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Sasson




Halachot - Jewish laws, of Rosh Hashanah, Sukkot and Shemini Atzeret That Falls on Thursday.


(Halachot were collected from many sources and modified into this document).




Mikveh is a ‘bath’ used for the purpose of ritual immersion in Judaism. The word "mikveh", as used in the Hebrew Bible, literally means a "collection" – generally, a collection of water.


It is proper for men to immerse in a Mikveh on Erev Rosh Hashanah in honor of the holiday. This should preferably be done after Hatzot (midday as defined by Halacha), which generally occurs at approximately 1pm, but if a man wants to immerse during the

morning hours, this is also acceptable.



Eruv Tavshilin - explanation

Normally, cooking is allowed on Jewish holidays, but only for consumption on that day, and not for consumption after the holiday. Technically, if such a holiday occurs on Friday, cooking is allowed for the Sabbath, but the rabbis forbade this in order to prevent confusion on other years (when the holiday does not immediately precede the Sabbath) unless this ritual of eruv tavshilin is performed, which would remind the people of the reasons for the exception.

This ritual consists of cooking and baking some food for the Sabbath before the holiday begins. The food must consist of (a minimum of) an egg-size amount of bread of "Matzoh" and an olive-sized amount of cooked food. After being set aside, a blessing must be recited, and the food must be eaten on Shabbat. Because the "dishes" or "servings" are "mixed", meaning we have "mixed" the time of preparation between the day prior to the holiday with a food that may be eaten on the day after the holiday (which will be the Shabbat), this thErevy allows for cooking to take place on the holiday itself which is not considered a "new" cooking, but rather a continuation of the "mixed" cooking that has already "begun" before the holiday started.

Eruv Tavshilin - What Should we do?

When a holiday leads directly into Shabbat, one must remember to prepare an Eruv Tavshilin before the onset of Yom Tov on Erev Rosh Hashanah. He sets aside a piece of bread and a boiled egg, recites the Beracha of:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ עַל מִצְוַת עֵרוּב

“Baruch Ata Ado-nai Elo-hei-nu Melech HaOlam Asher Kideshanu Be’misvotav Ve’sivanu Al Mitzvat Eruv”

and then recites the text of

“Be’den Eruva Yeheh Shari”.. that is printed in the Mahzorim. or in Hebrew:

בְּזֶה הָעֵרוּב יִהְיֶה מֻתָּר לָנוּ לֶאֱפוֹת וּלְבַשֵּׁל וּלְהַדְלִיק וְלַעֲשׂוֹת כָּל צָרְכֵּנוּ מִיּוֹם טוֹב לְשַׁבָּת

Meaning: With this Eruv, we will be allowed to cook from a holiday for Shabbat.

The bread and egg should then be put aside in a safe place. It is customary and proper to save the Eruv Tavshilin until Shabbat afternoon and eat it with Se’uda Shelisheet.



Candle lighting and flame / fire handling on Yom-Tov, Holiday

Women light candles before sundown on Erev Rosh Hashanah at the time printed in the calendars. They recite the Beracha of “…Asher Kideshanu Be’misvotav Ve’sivanu Le’hadlik Ner Shel Yom Tov.” The women light candles on the second night of Yom Tov, as well, after dark, when the men return home from Arvit, before the Yom Tov meal. And, of course, when Rosh Hashanah falls on Thursday and Friday, the women also light candles on Friday afternoon as usual.

It must be emphasized that Halacha forbids creating a flame on Yom Tov, such as by striking a match, even though it is permissible on Yom Tov to light a candle from an existing flame. Therefore, one must ensure before Yom Tov to light a large candle that will burn until the time for lighting on the first day of Yom Tov, and in the case when Rosh Hashanah falls on Thursday

and Friday, he must also have a candle burning Friday afternoon so the Shabbat candles can be lit. One should obtain a long-lasting candle before Rosh Hashanah so that the Yom Tov and Shabbat candles can be lit as required.

Furthermore, Halacha forbids extinguishing a flame on Yom Tov, and therefore after a woman lights the candles, she must not extinguish the candle with which she lit, but should rather put it down and let it be extinguished by itself. This Halacha is also relevant for those who smoke on Yom Tov; they may not put out the cigarette, and must rather put it down and let it burn out by itself. (Of course, one should not smoke anytime; but if one does smoke, he must ensure not to actively extinguish the cigarette.)



No Shiva on Rosh Hashanah

If a mourner is observing Shiva, Heaven forbid,

the onset of Rosh Hashanah ends the Shiva observance. Even if the mourner did not complete seven days of Shiva, the mourning period ends with the onset of Rosh Hashanah, and he gets up from Shiva on Erev Rosh Hashanah. However, Maran ruled that in such a case, the mourner may not bathe with hot water on Erev Yom Tov.

Although bathing is allowed immediately after Shiva, it would not be permitted on Erev Rosh Hashanah in this case, as one would thErevy be actively “breaking” the Shiva. This is the ruling accepted by Hacham Ovadia Yosef. Therefore, if a mourner is observing Shiba before Rosh Hashanah, he gets up on Erev Rosh Hashanah but should not take a hot shower until nighttime, after Rosh Hashanah begins, at which point the Shiba restrictions no longer apply. Bathing with hot water is permissible on Yom Tov, and therefore in such a case one should shower on the night of Rosh Hashanah.





Shabbat Shalom

Shanah Tova

שבת שלום


Rabbi Sasson



Fire handling on Holiday
No Shiva

"Barchu" with NO Minyan, to say or not to say? (Hebrew and English explanations)

מי שמתפלל ערבית ביחיד, יאמר קודם ברכות ק"ש ברייתא זו במקום ברכו:

אמר רבי עקיבא: חיה אחת עומדת ברקיע ושמה ישראל, וחקוק על מצחה ישראל, עומדת באמצע הרקיע ואומרת:

ברכו את ה׳ המבורך; וכל גדודי מעלה עונים ואומרים:

ברוך ה׳ המבורך לעולם ועד.

(בן איש חי פרשת ויגש שנה א אות י"ח.)

ויש לומר נוסח זה בלי הזכרת שם שמים, אלא לומר "השם". "ברכו את השם המבורך".

וכן בשחרית לפני "עלינו לשבח" יש לומר הברייתא הזו. (הרב עובדיה יוסף)


Anyone who prays Aravit individually, can say the following paragraph (a “B'raita”), BEFORE the Shema blessings (where usually, if there was a Minyan, they would have said a half Kaddish and “Barchu”):


Rabbi Akiva said: One animal stands in the firmament which the name Israel is engraved on its forehead, stands in the middle of the firmament and says: Bless the blessed HaShem; And all the battalions of Ma'al (firmament) are saying, "Blessed be the Blessed HaShem forever and ever.

(Ben-Ish-Hay, 1st year, parashat Vayigash, 18)


Rabbi Ovadia adds: And this should be said without saying the name of G-d but to say: “HaShem”:

"Barchu Et HaShem Hamevorach”. (and the answer: “Baruch HaShem Ha'm'vorach L'Olam Vaed”.

This can be said also before the “Barchu” of “Aleinu L'Shabeah”.


However, because of the confusion and the fact that people mistakenly will answer with the original name of G-d, many people WILL NOT say this unless one knows this Halacha.

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