Laws of Lighting Candles Erev Yom Kippur

One is obligated to light two candles before Yom Kippur with the following two blessings: 1) Ba-ruch A-tah A-do-nai E-lo-hei-nu Me-lech ha-olam a-sher ki-deshanu be-mitz-vo-tav ve-tzvi-va-nu le-had-lik ner shel Yom Ha-Ki-pu-rim. 2) Ba-ruch A-tah Ado-nai E-lo-hei-nu Me-lech ha-o-lam she-he-che-ya-nu ve-ki-yi-ma-nu ve-hi-gi-ya-nu liz-man ha-zeh.

If one plans on driving to shul after lighting, one should state out loud that they are not accepting the holiness of the day through lighting the candles. They should also omit the 2nd blessing (shehechiyanu) and should say it in shul with the congregation. 

In addition to the regular holiday candles, a Yahrtzeit candle should be lit for those who say Yizkor. (One candle may be lit for all deceased family members.) 

A 25 hour candle should be lit from which to make Havdallah on after Yom Kippur. 

Some have a custom to light an additional candle for the household. 


Laws of Saying Selichos at Home

If one is unable to say Selichos at shul, they may say Selichos at home with the following caveats: 

  • One omits the 13 attributes of Hashem (Hashem, Hashem, Eil…) as well as the paragraph immediately preceding it (eil Melech). 
  • One omits the Aramaic passages found at the end of Selichos
  • One does not put their head down for Tachanun at home. 

If one is participating by Zoom, one may say the 13 attributes as well as the Aramaic passages but should not put their head down for Tachanun. 

Laws for Post-Tisha B’av

Usually the restrictions of the Nine Days continue through the day after Tisha B’av at midday. This year, because the day after Tisha B’av is Friday and we need to get ready for Shabbos, some of the restrictions do not apply. 

One may launder, cut hair, and bathe regularly starting Friday morning. If one will not have enough time on Friday, one may start Thursday night. 

One should not eat meat, drink wine, or listen to music until midday on Friday. In Baltimore, midday on Friday is at 1:13 PM. 

Laws of Tisha B’av

On Tisha Bav one is not supposed to do anything that can be seen as joyful.The following things are therefore forbidden:

– Eating and drinking (If one has any medical concerns please contact me before the fast)

– Intimacy

– Studying Torah that does not pertain to Tisha Bav

– Washing oneself in any way. This includes a prohibition against brushing one’s teeth. However, one may wash their fingers upon waking up. If one’s hands become dirty in any way, one can wash whatever part of their hand is dirty. If one wishes to bathe a child or wash dishes and their hands will get wet in the process it is permitted to do so.

  • This year, due to Coronavirus, if one is washing their hands after being in public etc., one may wash their entire hand regularly with soap. 

On Tisha Bav one may not wear leather shoes.

One should not greet others. If one is greeted they may respond.

One must sit on a low stool until Halachic midday, which in Baltimore will be at 1:13 PM on Tisha Bav.

One should not work for the first half of Tisha Bav. Ideally, one should not work the entire day.

There are some who sleep in a less comfortable fashion on the night of Tisha Bav. For example, if they normally sleep with two pillows they sleep with one. If they normally sleep with one pillow they sleep with none. If one can do so, it is a meaningful custom. If it will prevent them from sleeping and they will have a harder time fasting, or they have some condition which will make sleeping (or the next day) extremely uncomfortable, there is no need to do so.

The fast is over at 9:06 PM.

Purchasing Chameitz online during Chol Hamoed Pesach

It is of the utmost importance that people do not rush our local stores immediately after Pesach as this will cause crowding which we must avoid at all costs. In consultation with Rabbi Hopfer, head of the Baltimore Vaad HaRabbanim, he explained that one may, during Chol Hamoed Pesach, place an order for chameitz food with an online store or service, such as Instacart, to arrive after Pesach, provided that:

1) The store/ service does not charge the credit card upon ordering (Instacart does not charge until the food is purchased. A pending charge is okay).

2) The delivery time is well after Pesach, such as Friday morning, April 17th. This ensures that the food is not picked up on your behalf until after Pesach is over.

3) The store you are purchasing from is on this list of stores that one may shop in after Pesach –

For example, using Instacart, one may place an order today from Wegman’s which includes Chameitz food. You must choose a time on Friday, April 17th, as delivery time. 

There are a number of local stores that have similar arrangements that allow for ordering now for after Pesach, such as Market Maven and Seven Mile Market. They can be found on the Jcovid website – Supporting local establishments is incredibly valuable at a time like this. 

If you have any questions please email me at [email protected] 

Laws of Davening at Home for Shabbos 4/24-25 and Yom Ha’atzmaut 4/29

Before getting into the Halachic pieces, a couple of suggestions:

  • Tone-setting is an important part of prayer. Even though we cannot pray in shul, put on some special clothing that you would normally wear to shul to help set the tone. 
  • Though we cannot pray together, for those blessed with a family, pray with them on Shabbos. There is something incredibly powerful about families coming together to pray. 
  • Shabbos is a time of joy. To the best of our abilities, let’s shut out the worry that we are experiencing and just take in the serenity if a truly quiet Shabbos. 

Some laws:

  • This Shabbos is Rosh Chodesh so Yaaleh V’yavo is added. 
  • You can say all the prayers except for Kaddish, Barchu, repetition of Shemoneh Esrei, Kedusha and Krias HaTorah.
  • On Friday night, say “Veychulu” after Shemoneh Esrei. Do not say and the blessing of “Magen Avos” through “Baruch ata Hashem, Mikadesh HaShabbos.” 
  • On Shabbos day, add Half Hallel for Rosh Chodesh. 
  • Torah reading is Parshas Tazria-Metzora (Vayikra 12:1 -15:33. Maftir for Rosh Chodesh is Bamidar 28:9-15. Haftorah is Yeshaya 66:1-24, 66:23 
  • Skip Yekum Purkan. Omit Av Harachamim.
  • Say special Shabbos Rosh Chodesh Mussaf.  
  • We will be making Havdallah via Zoom after Shabbos. If you are able to make your own Havdallah, that is ideal. However, if you cannot, then you can fulfill your obligation through the Zoom Havdallah. 
  • On Wednesday, April 29th we observe Yom Ha’atzmaut. Our shul custom is to say the Shabbos-Yom Tov Pesukei D’zimra until Yehi Chevod. At that point one says Mizmor L’soda and Yehi Chevod and continues with the weekday davening (similar to Hoshana Rabbah)
  • Our shul’s custom is to say the full Hallel after Shemoneh Esrei.