By May 18, 2018 Read More →

Halachot for Shavuot this year- in English!

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From Rav Yoni Rosensweig:

Staying up all night.

Personally – I’m a big fan. I think it’s wonderful that once a year people dedicate themselves to Torah study for an entire night. I know people get tired, and I know some people think after a certain hour it really makes no sense to stay up because one’s learning isn’t as effective. Still, I believe it is “the thought that counts”, the investment of time and the willpower to stay up and learn. I also believe that sleeping the day before – and this year it’s Shabbos so that shouldn’t be as much of a problem – is also extremely helpful in supporting this goal.

If you manage to stay up all night, there is some debate about whether or when you should say Birkot Hatorah – the blessings on learning Torah. Without going into the Halachic debate, it is my opinion that one should say them one Alot Hashachar (daybreak) comes along. Check your timetables for the exact time. Another issue which arises is saying some of the Birkot Hashachar when davening starts, which is why the person saying those blessings should be someone who dozed off a bit during the night, just to be on the safe side.

Showers – You may shower on Yom Tov, and you may do so with hot water. If you’re not used to showering every day (or almost every day), it would be preferable to abstain and wait until after Chag is out. But if you’re dirty or feel disgusting you may certainly shower even if you’re not used to showering daily.

Heating up food for Shavuot dinner – You may not heat up food for Shavuot dinner until Shabbos is out, because of the prohibition of preparing from Shabbos to Yom Tov. However, if you need to heat up food for late-afternoon Shabbos, it would be permissible to heat up the food and then leave it on for Shavuot as well. So, for example, if you have young children, and you assume they will need to eat before Shabbos is out (as Shabbos ends late), you may heat things up on the hotplate in order for them to eat an early dinner, and then leave those very things on for Shavuot night.

Cooking on Shavuot – if you plan on cooking on Shavuot, you obviously need to use an existing flame in order to turn on the gas. But how would you then turn it off? The easiest Halachically permissible way is to turn off the gas from the main switch. Find the main switch in your house, and you’ll find that when you turn off the gas there, the flame doesn’t immediately turn off. This – according to Rav Nachum Eliezer Rabinovitch – is grama, and is therefore allowable on Yom Tov. Of course, after the flame is off you may then turn off the gas knob where you cook.

Most importantly – have a wonderful Shabbos-Chag, enjoy the plethora of shiurim offered, and pray for the rebuilding of the Mikdash.

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