Halacha for Wednesday 2 Sivan 5779 June 5 2019

Blessings of Enjoyment and Keri’at Shema on the Night of Shavuot

In the previous Halacha, we have discussed the order of learning for the night of Shavuot during which it is customary to remain awake all night and study Torah.

Reading the Order of the “Keri’eh Mo’ed
Let us first discuss that which we have mentioned that it is proper to read the order of learning for the night of Shavuot which is printed in the Sefer Keri’eh Mo’ed.

Although this is indeed the custom of Sephardic Jewry based on the writing of the Mekubalim, nevertheless, those who customarily learn the Rambam’s Sefer Ha’Mitzvot or listen to Torah lectures on this night have on whom to rely. This is especially true if the rabbis in a specific place feel that such a learning schedule is more beneficial for the congregation, for instance, if the learning is being held in a location where most of the audience is not particularly religious in which case it is important to draw them closer with pleasant words of Torah as opposed to merely reading the order of Shavuot which may not be so constructive for them.

Maran zt”l writes (in his Chazon Ovadia-Yom Tov, page 311) that many great Ashkenazi luminaries, among them Hagaon Harav Avraham Yitzchak HaKohen Kook zt”l customarily learned the Rambam’s Sefer Ha’Mitzvot on the night of Shavuot. Similarly, in the synagogue of Maran zt”l, he customarily publicly expounds some Midrashim of our Sages as well as some pertinent Halachot (in addition to reading the order of Shavuot). Nevertheless, in a place where the congregation is reading from the Sefer Keri’eh Mo’ed, it is improper to deviate from the congregation’s custom and one should indeed read along with them as per the custom of the Mekubalim.

Blessings on Food and Drink on the Night of Shavuot
Those who delve in Torah all night and are occasionally served tea, coffee, and the like, they must recite a blessing before the first time they drink and then they no longer repeat the blessing every other time. Even if there is a pause of an hour and a quarter between each drinking, one should not recite the blessing again, for one has fulfilled his obligation with the blessing one has recited the first time.

It is preferable though that one have specific intention the first time one blesses that this blessing should exempt any other item brought before him.

However, if one leaves the synagogue and goes outside and when he returns one is served beverages once again, one must recite another blessing, for leaving the synagogue constitutes an interruption and one is no longer exempted by one’s original blessing (See Chazon Ovadia ibid.).

Keri’at Shema
One should recite Keri’at Shema before halachic midnight on the night of Shavuot as is customary in all synagogues. (ibid.)

The Morning Blessings (Birkot Ha’Shachar) and the Blessings on the Torah
One should only recite the morning blessings after dawn (the time for which is printed in various calendars). Even one who has not slept all night may recite the Blessings on the Torah after dawn. Besides for reciting the Blessings of the Torah, one should recite all of the Morning Blessings, including “Elohai Neshama,” besides for the blessing of “Al Netilat Yadayim,” for one who has not slept at night washes one’s hands in the morning without reciting this blessing. (Regarding the “Asher Yatzar” blessing, only one who has used the facilities should recite this blessing as is the case during the rest of the year.)

8 Halachot Most Popular

Havdala on Motza’ei Shabbat Which Coincides with Tisha Be’av and the Laws of an Ill Individual Who Must Eat on Tisha Be’av

On years during which Tisha Be’av falls out on Motza’ei Shabbat, such as this year, 5779, there are three opinions among the Rishonim regarding how Havdala should be recited on a cup of wine on Motza’ei Shabbat. The first opinion is that of the Geonim who write that one should r......

Read Halacha

Laws Pertaining to Tisha Be’av

There are five categories of abstinence which must be observed on Tisha Be’av: Eating and drinking, washing one’s self, rubbing one’s body with oils or lotions, wearing leather shoes, and marital relations. Our Sages also prohibited learning Torah on Tisha Be’av, for the word......

Read Halacha

Eating Meat Following Rosh Chodesh Av

The Mishnah in Masechet Ta’anit (26b) tells us that on Erev Tisha Be’av during the last meal one eats before the fast, one may not eat meat, drink wine, or eat two cooked foods, such as rice and an egg. Although the letter of the law dictates that the prohibition to eat meat only applies......

Read Halacha

Those Who are Obligated and Exempt from the Fast of Tisha Be’av and their Status When Tisha Be’av Falls Out on Motza’ei Shabbat

Someone Ill with a Non-Life-Threatening Illness, An Elderly Person, and a Woman who has Recently Given Birth One who is ill (meaning when one is actually bedridden and the like, even if the illness is not life-threatening) is exempt from fasting on Tisha Be’av. When in doubt about one’s......

Read Halacha


Insulation on Shabbat

Question: Is it permissible to cover a pot of food on an electric hotplate with a towel on Shabbat? Answer: Long ago, it was customary to cover a pot of food with (or immerse it in) dirt or sand in order to retain the food’s heat. Heat Increasers vs. Heat Retainers Some would immerse th......

Read Halacha

The Laws of the Beginning of the Fast when Tisha Be’av Falls Coincides With Motza’ei Shabbat

The Baraita in Masechet Ta’anit (30a) states that our Sages prohibited five things on Tisha Be’av: Eating and drinking, washing one’s self, rubbing one’s self with oils or lotions, wearing leather shoes, and marital relations. Our Sages said (Ta’anit 30b): “One......

Read Halacha

Returning a Food to the Fire on Shabbat

“Leaving,” Insulating, and Returning” In the previous Halachot we have discussed when it is permissible to place a pot of food on a stovetop or electric hotplate before the onset of Shabbat. These laws are nicknamed the laws of “leaving,” i.e. leaving the food on the f......

Read Halacha

Motza’ei Tisha Be’av and the Tenth of Av this Year (5779)

This year (5779), Tisha Be’av falls out on Shabbat. Thus, the fast is postponed until today, Sunday, the Tenth of Av. On other years when the fast is observed on the Ninth of Av, there are likewise some mourning customs observed on the Tenth of Av as well. We must therefore discuss the law ......

Read Halacha