Halacha for Wednesday 1 Sivan 5781 May 12 2021

The Customary Order of the Night of Shavuot

The Source for the Order of the Night of Shavuot
The widespread custom among the entire Jewish nation is to stay awake the entire night of Shavuot and immerse one’s self in Torah study until dawn. Indeed, the holy Zohar states: “The earlier righteous individuals would not sleep on this night and would toil in Torah and say, ‘Let us inherit a holy legacy for ourselves and for our children in both worlds.’” Similarly, the holy Zohar states: “All those who perform the order of rectification on this night and are glad about it shall be inscribed in the Book of Remembrance and Hashem shall bless them with seventy blessings and crowns from the upper realms.”

The Reason why we Customarily Stay Awake All Night
The Pirkei De’Rabbi Eliezer states: “Rabbi Pinchas says: The Jewish nation stood at Mount Sinai on Erev Shabbat with the men being prepared alone and the women being prepared alone. Hashem told Moshe, ‘Go ask the women of Israel if they are willing to accept the Torah, for men usually follow the decision of women,’ as the verse states, ‘So shall you say to the house of Yaakov,’ which refers to the women, ‘And speak to the house of Israel,’ which refers to the men. All answered as one, ‘Whatever Hashem has spoken, we shall perform and heed.’ That day the Jewish nation slept until the second hour of the day (approximately 7:00 am) at which point Moshe went around the camp of Israel awakening them from their sleep. He told them, “Awaken from your slumber! The groom has already arrived and is expecting his bride and is waiting for her in order to give them the Torah!”

Since at the time of the acceptance of the Torah the Jewish nation slumbered all night and Hashem needed to awaken them, we must therefore rectify this matter by staying awake all night long and immerse ourselves in Torah.

Women and the Order of the Night of Shavuot
Rabbeinu Yosef Haim of Baghdad writes in his book based on the Kabbalah that he was asked if it is proper for women to participate in the order of learning on the nights of Shavuot and Hosha’ana Rabba or not. He answers that the custom in his household is that the women do not recite the order of learning on the night of Shavuot and instead, they go to sleep. Although they are wise and righteous women who recite Tehillim and hold other learning sessions daily, nevertheless, according to Kabbalah it is not a good thing for women to stay awake on the night of Shavuot at all. He proceeds to support this from the words of the holy Zohar. Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l rules likewise. However, this does not apply to Hosha’ana Rabba; on the contrary, it is actually a good practice for women to stay awake all night long on the night of Hosha’ana Rabba like men.

Shacharit Prayers
One Should be very careful not to fall asleep during Shacharit or Mussaf prayers of Shavuot morning. The Shacharit Amida prayer should not be recited before sunset (in order to let the congregation out earlier since people are tired); rather, the congregation should wait for sunrise.

In the next Halacha we shall, G-d-willing, explain that one should recite the customary texts of this order.

Ask the Rabbi


הלכה יומית מפי הראש"ל הגאון רבי יצחק יוסף שליט"א

דין ברכת שפטרנו מעונשו של זה
לחץ כאן לצפייה בשיעורים נוספים

Recent Halachot

"תנא דבי אליהו כל השונה הלכות בכל יום מובטח לו שהוא בן העולם הבא"

נדה ע"ג א'

8 Halachot Most Popular

Question: Are those who customarily donate a tenth of their monthly income to Tzedakah permitted to deduct the cost of providing for their children still living at home from the sum of this ten percent?

Answer: We have previously discussed that one must donate a certain amount of Tzedakah annually. It is a “middle” level for one to give a tenth of one’s monthly profits every month. Now let us deal with our question regarding those who donate a tenth of their monthly profits to Tze......

Read Halacha

How Much Tzedakah One Must Donate

The Rambam, Tur, and Maran Ha’Shulchan Aruch write that the amount one should donate for Tzedakah is, if one can afford it, based on the necessities of the needy people. This means that if one is extremely wealthy and can provide for the needs of poor people in one’s city, one should ind......

Read Halacha

The Mitzvah of Tzedakah

The Tur (Yoreh De’ah, Chapter 247) writes: “There is a positive Torah commandment for one to donate some of one’s money to charity, based on one’s individual capabilities. In addition to the fact that whoever donates charity fulfills a positive Torah commandment, one who abst......

Read Halacha

Who is Obligated in the Mitzvah of Tzedakah?

Every member of the Jewish nation must donate Tzedakah. Even a pauper who receives Tzedakah, has no way of earning a livelihood, and only lives off of what others provide him with must give Tzedakah from what others give him. When the Sages of Israel had control over the Jewish nation, the Jewish co......

Read Halacha


Question: Is one permitted to eat fish with milk or butter?

Answer: The Mishnah in Masechet Chullin (103b) states: “Any meat is forbidden to be cooked with milk, besides for the flesh of fish and grasshoppers.” Clearly then, according to the letter of the law, the prohibition of cooking fish with milk is not included in the prohibition of cooking......

Read Halacha

Foods Cooked by a Non-Jew

Question: We currently employ non-Jewish help in our home. She helps with things around the house including cooking our food. All of the ingredients which enter the house are kosher and we supervise her while she is cooking, such that there is no Kashrut concern with the food. May we eat the food sh......

Read Halacha

Washing Dishes on Shabbat for the Room to Look Clean and Orderly

Question: May one make a bed on Shabbat so that it looks neat although one does not intend to sleep in it on Shabbat? Similarly, is it permissible to wash dishes which are no longer necessary on Shabbat because it is truly unpleasant and causes discomfort due to guests and the like? Answer: Appro......

Read Halacha

Coffee Prepared by a Non-Jew

Question: Is it permissible to drink coffee which was prepared by a non-Jew, such as the coffee served during flights aboard non-Jewish airlines, or does this constitute the prohibition of foods cooked by a non-Jew or any other prohibition? Answer: Clearly, the coffee sold in many places where n......

Read Halacha