Eruv Tavshilin

The Eruv Tavshilin One Should Make this Year (Rosh Hashanah-5775) and the Laws of Showering on Yom Tov In the previous Halacha, we have explained the laws of candle-lighting on both days of Rosh Hashanah. We have mentioned that when Yom Tov coincides with Erev Shabbat (Friday), one should place an Eruv Tavshilin, as we…

“Fortunate is the Nation Which Knows the Shofar Blasts”

The Midrash Rabba (Parashat Emor Chapter 29, Section 4) states regarding the verse, “Fortunate is the nation which knows the Shofar blasts”: “Rabbi Yoshiya said: Do the nations of the world not know how to blow? They have so many horns and so many trumpets! Rather, ‘The nation which knows the Shofar blasts,’ refers to…

Blowing the Shofar on Rosh Hashanah

It is a positive Torah commandment to hear the Shofar blasts on the day of Rosh Hashanah, as the verse states, “It shall be a day of [Shofar] blasts for you.” One may not speak between the various sets of Shofar blasts and certainly not during the blasts themselves. The Poskim disagree regarding whether or…

The Custom of “Tashlich”

Following Mincha services of the first day of Rosh Hashanah, it is customary to go to a seashore, river, well, or pit in order to recite the order of “Tashlich.” If there is no river, lake, or pond in close proximity of one’s vicinity, it is likewise perfectly acceptable to recite the order of Tashlich…

The Greater the Talent the Greater the Responsibility

The Greater the Talent the Greater the Responsibility In the year 5733 (1973), Maran zt”l served as the Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv. On Shabbat Shuva (the Shabbat preceding Yom Kippur), many Yeshiva students gathered in the central Bet Midrash where Maran zt”l delivered the following address which we shall paraphrase: When one stands in…

Halacha Yomit

The Words of Maran zt”l During the Month of Elul-Maran’s Final Rosh Hashanah Every year during the month of Elul, Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”lwould travel from city to city across Israel in order to strengthen the ideas of Torah learning and fear of G-d among the nation. Even in his advanced age, Maran zt”l…

“For You Remember All That Is Forgotten”

  Excerpts From the Teachings of Maran Rabbeinu zt”l During the Month of Elul During the Mussaf prayer of Rosh Hashanah we recite, “For You remember all that is forgotten.” The sages of the Mussar Movement explain that this refers to one an individual who has sinned and remembers his sin all of his life…

Times for Torah Study

Establishing Times for Torah Study During the Days of Selichot We have already mentioned in previous Halachot the words of the great Acharonim as well as Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l that the main goal for us during the month of Elul and the Ten Days of Repentance in our generation is to repent for…

The Chazzan-The Congregation’s Representative

Question: In the synagogue where we pray, the Gabbaim(synagogue officials) appointed a Chazzan who is not careful regarding Torah and Mitzvah observance to lead the High Holiday prayers. What should we do? Answer: The Chazzan who leads prayer services in the synagogue acts as the representative and agent of the entire congregation and must transfer…

The Month of Mercy and Forgiveness

The Month of Mercy and Forgiveness We have already discussed in a previous Halacha the reason why we customarily recite Selichot prayers throughout the entire month of Elul which is an auspicious time for forgiveness and atonement. It is well-known that during these days we are closer to Hashem and he hears our prayers more…

Spiritual Matters

Praying for Spiritual Matters We have quoted in the past Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l’s words regarding one of the “Harachaman” texts customarily recited in Birkat Hamazon, “May the Merciful One sustain us in permissible ways as opposed to forbidden ones,” that although our Sages teach us that “everything is in Heaven’s hands besides for fear…

Requests in the Amida Prayer

Inserting Personal Requests in the Amida Prayer on a Constant Basis Question: You have written in the Halacha Yomit that one may insert personal requests into the blessings of the Amida. Is this permitted even on a constant basis, i.e. adding personal requests in one’s Amida prayer every day? Answer: Indeed, it is permissible to…