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April 23, 2014 / 23 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Rosh Chodesh Sivan’

Thousands of Orthodox Women to Mix with WOW at the Kotel

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

Tomorrow, Friday, is Rosh Chodesh Sivan (six more shopping days until Shavuos), and as they have done every Rosh Chodesh, the Women of the Wall have announced that they’ll meet y’all at the women’s section of the Kotel. Except this time around they’re doing it with judicial sanction, following two decisions—one of them after a dead-in-the-water appeal by police—of Jerusalem courts that the ladies’ prayer, with tallit and tefillin, does not constitute a violation of the public order.

Which means they won’t be arrested, as has been the case for some 25 years. And if anyone dare yell at them, or spit, or tell them they’re going to hell in a decorative tallis bag – they, the WOW opponents would likely be cuffed and detained by the men and women in black.

Yes, they’ve won a battle, a long one at that—but the war is far from over.

On Tuesday, as Kikar Hashabbat reported, United Torah Judaism MKs held a special meeting with the deans and principals of the major Orthodox women’s seminaries in Israel, and it was decided to initiate a central prayer service at the Kotel, with, possibly, thousands of seminary students, as they put it: in response to the provocation by the Women of the Wall.

A senior UTJ source told Kikar Hashabbat that they’re not looking to create a counter provocation, only to prove to all the people of Israel that kosher Jewish women are the true women of the Wall, who pray and supplicate by the Kotel year-round, not just on Rosh Chodesh, and not to start riots.

There’s probably a secret place in a dungeon under some Casbah, where all the press officers for all the different organizations in the world can meet late at night and critique each other’s self righteous lies. This one probably wins a big, free drink next meeting…

Just in case, during the Knesset debate of the WOW V. WOW extravaganza, a representative the Police Department said that—in keeping with the recent Magistrate Court order, the police would protect the Women of the Wall from harm.

Take that, other Women of the Wall!

On Thursday, the day before Rosh Chodesh, it turns out that several Haredi leaders, including, most prominently, Maran Aharon Leib Shteinman, widely regarded as the Gadol Hador for Lithuanians, have determined that thousands of seminary students may leave home early Friday morning for a heartfelt prayer at the plaza by the “remnant of our Temple, the Western Wall.”

Meanwhile, a contingency of Orthodox “Women for the Wall” announced that they, too, are coming at 6:30 AM—best way to get a good spot at this point—to pray and recite Psalms “for the sake of Israel and against the greatest threats to the Torah and Judaism born by the Women of the Wall.”

Their initiative has won the support of two prominent National Religious religious Zionist rabbis: Rabbi Dov Lior and Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu—provided they agree to abstain from violence.

Anyone who uses the words “cat” and “fight” in the comments below this report gets a stern warning for sure…

“We just want to pray quietly and with kavanah (deliberately),” Ronit Peskin, director of “Women for Wall,” told Srugim. “Women need to pray and demonstrate that they could set an example, without reacting to their screaming and provocative behavior.”

She stressed that every woman must come with full intention of sanctifying God in every part of her manner and prayers.

Shira Pruce, Director of Public Relations for then original Women of the Wall told The Jewish Press that she was honored and delighted for having inspired so many thousands of women to come and pray at the Kotel on Rosh Chodesh.

“If women of the Wall has inspired thousands of women to come to the Kotel, Amen V’amen,” she said.

Which was the quote I was hoping for, naturally.

In fact, in the spirit of peace and mutual respect, the WOW leadership has acquiesced this one time only to obey the police instructions and not bring out a Torah scroll to their event. Apparently, according to the cops’ psak, it’s fine for women to wear tallit and teffilin, but it violates something terrible if they dare hold up a Torah.

Parshas Behar-Bechukosai

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Vol. LXIII No. 20 5772
New York City
CANDLE LIGHTING TIME
May 18, 2012 – 26 Iyar 5772
7:49 p.m. NYC E.D.T.

Sabbath Ends: 9:03 p.m. NYC E.D.T.
Weekly Reading: Behar-Bechukosai
Weekly Haftara: Hashem Uzzi (Jeremiah 16:19-17:14)
Daf Yomi: Tamid 33
Mishna Yomit: Yevamos 4:9-10
Halacha Yomit: Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayyim 55:6-8
Rambam Yomi: Hilchos Ishus chap. 23-25
Earliest time for Tallis and Tefillin: 4:33 a.m. NYC E.D.T.
Latest Kerias Shema: 9:15 a.m. NYC E.D.T.
Pirkei Avos: 5 Sefiras HaOmer: 41

This Shabbos is Shabbos Mevarchim, Rosh Chodesh Sivan is 1 day, Tuesday; the molad is Sunday evening, 1 minute and 4 chalakim (a chelek is 1/18 of a minute) past 11:00 p.m. (in Jerusalem). Shabbos Morning: After Yekum Purkan we do say Av Harachamim, however, no Kel Moleh.

This Motzaei Shabbos and Sunday, the 28th of Iyar, is Yom Yerushalayim.

Rosh Chodesh, Monday eve. – At Maariv we add Ya’aleh VeYavo. However, if one forgot to include Ya’aleh VeYavo (at Maariv only) one does not repeat (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayyim 422:1, based on Berachos 30b, which explains that this is due to the fact that we do not sanctify the month at night). After the Shemoneh Esreh the chazzan recites Kaddish Tiskabbel followed by Aleinu, Sefiras HaOmer and Kaddish Yasom.

From Rosh Chodesh until Isru Chag we do not say Tachanun (others extend this practice until the 12th day of Sivan). Before taking out the Sefer Torah we do say Kel Erech Appayim. At the conclusion of Kerias HaTorah we do not say Yehi Ratzon nor Hazkaras Neshamos, though we do say Lamenatze’ach.

Wednesday evening is the onset of the 3 days of Hagbala – the preparatory period before Shavuos. According to some minhagim, the same relaxation of Sefira observance that we allow on Lag BaOmer applies to the days before Shavuos as well. See Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayyim 493, and Mishna Berura (ad. loc.), where the various minhagim are clearly delineated..

The following chapters of Tehillim are being recited by many congregations and Yeshivos for our brothers and sisters in Eretz Yisrael: Chapter 83, 130, 142. – Y.K.

Q & A: Getting Married During Sefira (Conclusion)

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2004
QUESTION: My friends are getting married on Rosh Chodesh Sivan. I tried to convince them to do otherwise, as many people have a minhag (custom) not to attend weddings until three days before Shavuot. They told me they spoke to rabbis who allowed it. Is this right? May I attend?
Name Withheld by Request
ANSWER: Last week we began our discussion with the clear answer that yes, you may attend the wedding. The source for observing mourning customs during the Sefira period is the Gemara (Yevamot 62b), which explains that 12,000 pairs of R. Akiba’s students died between Passover and Shavuot. The Geonim based their restrictions on showing excessive joy – such as getting married, cutting hair and listening to music – on that Gemara. The mourning customs do not include engagements and betrothals, which are permitted during that time.We also explained that the mourning customs are observed only during 33 of the 49 days between Passover and Shavuot since the deaths occurred for 33 days, until Peros Ha’atzeret, calculated as 16 days before Shavuot (see Tashbatz Vol. 1, Responsum 178). Lag BaOmer, lit. the thirty-third day of the Omer, marks the end of the deaths and the mourning customs.

According to some, the 33 days of mourning customs are observed from Rosh Chodesh Iyar until Shavuot.

* * *

From the statement of the Mechaber that it is wrong to have one’s hair cut on Rosh Chodesh Iyar, many have drawn the conclusion that according to either minhag, Rosh Chodesh is included in the mourning period. However, the Aruch HaShulchan (ad loc.) clarifies that this only applies to those following the first minhag, observing aveilut (mourning) from the second day of Pesach until Lag BaOmer.

There are other minhagim, and the Rema in his Darchei Moshe commentary on the Tur (ad loc.) notes that it is wrong to say that any of the customs is incorrect. Rather, we should not follow two leniencies at the same time.

The Magen Avraham (ad loc.) rules that we observe the mourning during the entire period because, in his opinion, R. Akiva’s students died during the entire period, but we subtract the days on which we don’t say Tachanun, which are: the six days of Pesach, starting from the second day of Pesach, when Sefira commences; the two days of Rosh Chodesh Iyar; one day of Rosh Chodesh Sivan; and the seven Sabbaths of those weeks, which add up to 16 days; on Lag BaOmer we are lenient due the significance of that day.

We also find the view in Shulchan Aruch HaRav (ad loc.) that one who has not yet accomplished the mitzva of Pru U’revu, or one who cannot manage living alone, may marry even in the midst of his aveilut for his father or mother, for whom it is rabbinically incumbent upon him to mourn. Here, where it is only a minhag, he may marry where the need arises. Nevertheless, “we are more stringent in this regard in our lands.”

We find a similar conclusion in Responsa Beit Yisrael (R. Yisrael Zev Horowitz, zt”l, Av Beit Din in Ujhely, Hungary, and later in Tiberias, Israel) that it is a kal vachomer, an inference from minor to major, to permit marriages where there is a clear need to marry during those days.

R. Yitzhak Yosef (Yalkut Yosef, Vol. 8, Minhagei Yemei HaSefira 34) permits a marriage during Sefira where the need is great. He emphasizes that performing such a marriage on Rosh Chodesh Iyar is preferred. He then adds (contrary to the minhag of the Beit Yosef) that the groom may also cut his hair for the wedding.

Regarding the statements of the Tur and the Mechaber that if one “went ahead and married, we do not mete out any punishment,” the Mishna Berura explains that this only applies to marriage, for he has fulfilled a mitzva, but if one had his hair cut, there was a custom to levy a fine as punishment.

This issue is addressed in the wonderful encyclopedic Bein Pesach LeShavuot by R. Zvi Cohen, shlita (8:8). There we find a discussion based on Tur Bareket (siman 493) regarding the custom of forbidding the cutting of hair, which was instituted earlier than the custom of forbidding marriages [in this period of time], the latter coming “on the heels of” the former. The fact that we are accustomed not to marry between Pesach and Shavuot until Lag BaOmer is a new custom. It was instituted because there was no hair-cutting on those days. It was thought that the reason was the mourning for the deaths of twenty-four thousand students of R. Akiba. However, “according to those with understanding of Kabbalah, whose every action depends on sound motives, the main reason is that we do not cut our hair on those days because of a specific hidden reason, not because of mourning.”

R. Cohen notes that Tur Bareket is cited by Birkei Yosef (493:10) and points out that there are obviously others who dispute this view.

We find another view in Responsa Chatam Sofer (Orach Chayyim, Responsum 142). The Chatam Sofer cites the Gaon R. Meshulam, who states: “Here the custom has evolved to marry on Rosh Chodesh Iyar [obviously both days], on Lag BaOmer, and on the three days of Hagbala [the three days preceding Shavuot]. And this should not be done because it appears as ‘tartei de’satrei,’ two contradicting positions. Therefore, as a set rule we will prohibit weddings on the three days of Hagbala.”

The Chatam Sofer notes that the only problem R. Meshulam had was not to create ‘tartei de’satrei,’ and that applies only to the mesadder kiddushin, the officiating rabbi who performs weddings on all these days. The individual is not wed on all these days – he gets married only once.

He also notes that the stringency of haircutting seems to be more severe than that of marriages. Nevertheless, any difficulties in behaving one way or the other stem from the fact that in the same city we do not subscribe to customs that are diametrically opposed one to the other.

The Gaon R. Moshe Feinstein (Iggrot Moshe, Volume I, Orach Chayyim 159) states clearly, as he does in other responsa, that here – in “New York” and in “Brooklyn” – where people have come from places with different customs, each may do according to his custom, as these places would be considered as one city with two batei din. In such a case there is no violation of “lo titgodedu.”

We find (Iggrot Moshe, Volume II, Orach Chayyim 94) that he was asked the following question: “What should a person do whose custom is not to have his hair cut from Rosh Chodesh Iyar until the [three] days of Hagbala and he has to go to a wedding on Rosh Chodesh Sivan?”

R. Feinstein sets forth that if one knows of this situation at the onset of Sefira, he could change his minhag, for whether he follows one minhag or the other, there would be 33 days on which he does not cut his hair.

However, if one had no knowledge of the impending wedding, what should he do? From R. Feinstein’s discussion we see that the main issue during Sefira is tisporet (haircuts), not weddings. He states that if one is able to attend a wedding without having his hair cut, he should refrain from cutting his hair. If refraining from cutting his hair will cause him embarrassment, he would be permitted to cut his hair even if he does not have a close relationship with the hosts, as there is a mitzva of simchat chatan vekallah at every wedding.

This is unlike a circumcision, where we only allow the father of the child, the mohel, and the sandak to have their hair cut. For a wedding, all are duty-bound to celebrate, which includes attending the wedding and personally making the new couple happy.

As for dancing and music, they too are not prohibited as they are part and parcel of the wedding celebration. If one makes the wedding on Lag BaOmer or erev Rosh Chodesh Iyar, dancing and musical instruments are also permitted during the seven days of Sheva Berachot that follow.

R. Feinstein then concludes that everyone is permitted to be present and partake in the joy.

Thus, to answer your question, there would be no doubt that a wedding is permitted on Rosh Chodesh Sivan. Whether you have your hair cut or not would depend on R. Feinstein’s guidelines.

It is important to understand that Jewish weddings are dependent upon the bride securing a date and the availability of a hall, and that leaves a very narrow time period during any given month. Therefore, we must be very considerate of the couple’s needs.

In conclusion, send back your response card indicating that you will attend, and perhaps we will soon participate in an even greater joy – dancing in the streets of Jerusalem as we celebrate the arrival of Melech Hamashiach speedily, in our days.

Q & A: Getting Married During Sefira (Part I)

Wednesday, May 26th, 2004
QUESTION: My friends are getting married on Rosh Chodesh Sivan. I tried to convince them to do otherwise, as many people have a minhag (custom) not to attend weddings until three days before Shavuot. They told me they spoke to rabbis who allowed it. Is this right? May I attend?
Name Withheld by Request
ANSWER: Regardless of your personal minhag in the matter of Sefira observance, you may attend, as we shall explain below.The basis for the observance of mourning during the Sefira period is the Gemara (Yevamot 62b), which states as follows: “It was said that R. Akiva had 12,000 pairs of disciples, from Gibbethon until Antipatris, and they all died in one season because they did not treat each other with respect. Thus the world remained desolate [of their Torah] until R. Akiva came to our Sages in the south and taught them … All of them died between Pesach and Shavuot.”

Based on this Gemara, the Tur (Orach Chayyim 493) states as follows: “It is customary in all places not to take a wife [in marriage] between Pesach and Shavuot, the reason being that we do not excessively celebrate then because the students of R. Akiva died during that time. The R”i Gi’at states that this applies only to marriage, which is the main simcha (joy), but engagements and betrothals are proper. Even concerning marriage, if one went ahead and did it, we [the Beit Din] do not mete out any punishment. However, if a man comes with a request to do so, we do not allow it. This is the edict of the Geonim.”

We note that the Gemara itself offered no instructions regarding mourning, but the Geonim gave their instructions based on the Gemara.

The source for mourning between Pesach and Shavuot is found in a citation attributed to Rav Hai Gaon in Teshuvot HaGe’onim (Sha’arei Teshuva 278): “And that which you asked why we do not marry between Pesach and Shavuot, you should know that this is not because of a prohibition. It is rather because of a custom of mourning, as the Gemara (Yevamot 62b) states – that R. Akiva had 24,000 disciples, and they all died during the period between Pesach and Shavuot because of not acting properly [showing honor] one toward the other, and we further learned that they all died unusually horrible deaths through askara (diphtheria).”

R. Hai Gaon continues, “From that time on, the Rishonim – the early halachic authorities – established the custom not to marry on these days, but they permitted engagements and betrothals.”

Perhaps the reason for this permission is that another person might “anticipate him and marry her,” based on what is stated in Tractate Mo’ed Katan (18b) regarding the Rabbinical prohibition to marry on Festivals: “Ein me’arvin be’simcha - One may not commingle one joy [of Yom Tov] with another joy [of one's wife].” Betrothing on Festivals is permitted for the same reason – lest a rival suitor anticipate him and marry her. It is only the marriage itself that is considered a particularly great joy (as we see in Tractate Sukka 25b).

From the above it would seem that marriages are not performed for the entire period between Pesach and Shavuot, a 49-day period – and that is clearly not the case.

We find a similar account regarding the students of R. Akiva in the Midrash (Bereishit Rabbah 61:3), with the exception that there is no specific mention of the time period other than quotes from Rashi and Matnot Kehuna, who explain it as being between Pesach and Shavuot, as in our Gemara (Yevamot 62b).

To further answer our question, we find the following in Responsa Tashbatz (Vol. I, Responsum 178): “Be aware that our custom is only to prohibit [marriages] until Lag BaOmer (the 33rd day of the Omer). R. Zerachiah Halevi cites an old Sephardic manuscript as a source stating that the students died from Pesach until Peros Ha’atzeret. “Peros” is defined as “half,” which here means not less than sixteen days. [As we learned in a baraita (Megilla 29b), we are supposed to learn about the laws of Pesach 30 days before Pesach, and half of that is 15 days. Fifteen days before Shavuot is Lag BaOmer, for from Lag BaOmer until Shavuot we have 16 days, and part of the 34th day is counted as an entire day (miktzat hayom kekulo), as in all types of mourning, as we learned in Moed Katan (20b, Perek Elu Megalchin.)]

We are thus left (after the 34th day) with 15 days which are the Peros HaAtzeret, which means half of the 30 days in which we are to expound on the laws of Atzeret (Shavuot).

Based on this responsum of Tashbatz, we are left with a total of 33 days of mourning. There are various minhagim as to how we observe these 33 days of mourning. The Mechaber (Orach Chayyim 493:1-3) states as follows: “The custom is not to marry between Pesach and Shavuot until Lag BaOmer, for that is when R. Akiva’s students died…” and he repeats the Tur’s statement that “if one went ahead and married, we do not mete out any punishment.”

We are accustomed as well not to have our hair cut until Lag BaOmer because that is when the students ceased dying, but in fact one should not have his hair cut until the 34th day during the daytime. The Rema notes that in our lands (Ashkenaz) we can have our hair cut starting on the 33rd day.

The Mechaber then states that some are accustomed to have their hair cut on Rosh Chodesh Iyar, and he considers this a serious error. The Rema seems to differ when he cites yet another custom, which permits haircuts until Rosh Chodesh Iyar, but not from Lag BaOmer and on, even though on Lag BaOmer itself it is permitted. On the other hand, those who have their hair cut from Lag BaOmer and on should not do so from after Pesach until Lag BaOmer. The people in a city should not be divided between these two customs lest they violate “Lo titgodedu” (Deuteronomy 14:1), that is, having two obviously different rules in one community.

(To be continued)

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/ask-the-rabbi/q-a-getting-married-during-sefira-part-i/2004/05/26/

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