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MBY 652:1-2 The time of taking the lulav (abridged)
MBY 652:1-2 The time of taking the lulav (abridged) Our source for this lesson is Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 137:5 (Metsudah edition, translated by Rabbi Avrohom Davis)

Ed. The halacha we will learn in this siman does not address the obvious scenario which is implied in its title, i.e. when one owns his own personal lulav and esrog and is able to fulfill the mitzvah in the ideal time in the morning during shacharis. Rather, it addresses the scenario, which was common throughout much of Jewish history, where one does not have ready access to a set of Arba Minim and must wait to obtain one from others.

5) It is forbidden to eat before fulfilling the mitzvah of lulav. If you are traveling and anticipate arriving at a place where there is an esrog and a lulav; or people who live in small villages, and must wait until an esrog and lulav is sent to them, must wait until midday (‘chatzos’), but no later, because it is forbidden to fast longer than that on Yom Tov and Chol Hamoed. If you feel faint and cannot wait until ‘chatzos’, you may have something to eat before; but if you do not feel faint you should be stringent and abstain from tasting any food.

MBY 653:1-2 Smelling the hadas (abridged) Our source for this lesson is Kitzur Shulchan Aruch (Ibid.) 137:7

7) It is forbidden to inhale the fragrance of the hadasim (myrtle branches) during the seven days of Sukkos, even on Shabbos. But you may inhale the aroma of the esrog on Shabbos, and you should say the bracha ‘Baruch… haNosein rei-ach tov bapeiros’ (“Blessed… Who places a good aroma into fruit.”) But on the other days of Sukkos, you should not smell it, even when you are not taking it to fulfill the mitzvah, because it is halachically doubtful whether you should say a bracha on it. It is forbidden to handle the lulav on Shabbos, even if you need the lulav itself or the space it occupies, because it is muktzah. The esrog, however, since you are permitted to smell it, it is not muktzah, and you may handle it. And you are permitted to put it back in the cotton where it was kept before Yom Tov, because it already absorbed the fragrance. However, you should not place it in new cotton or in a garment, because you are creating a fragrance in the garment, which is forbidden on Shabbos.

MBY 654 Returning the lulav into water (abridged) Our source for this lesson is Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 137:6

6) You are permitted to re-place the lulav in water on Yom Tov, and add water to the vessel in which it is placed, but you may not change the water. However, on Chol Hamoed, it is a mitzvah to change the water, for the purpose of keeping the lulav fresh and beautiful. It is customary to buy on each day of Chol Hamoed fresh aravos for the lulav; for thereby you enhance the beauty of the mitzvah.

MBY 655 Lulav brought from outside the techum (abridged) Our source for this lesson is Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 136:9

9) …If an esrog was brought in from outside the Shabbos boundary (Heb. ‘techum Shabbos’), or if any of the other species were brought in, you may handle them and fulfill the mitzvah with them. But if the city has no eruv, you may not move them outside the house where they are found; and all must go to this house to fulfill the mitzvah with them.

MBY 656 Hidur mitzvah and the esrog (abridged) Our source for this lesson is Guidelines: Over Four Hundred of the most Commonly Asked Questions About Sukkos, by Rabbis Barclay and Jaeger p. 86-7

Question #237: What are the different levels of kashrus of the four species? Answer: 1) Mehudar (exquisite), 2) Kosher for the entire seven days (including the first day),
3) Kosher for Chol Hamoed only, 4) Pasul (unfit to use to fulfill the mitzvah)

Question #238: What is ‘mehudar’?
Answer: Since the Torah defines the four species as ‘hadar’ – beautiful, they can be kosher only if they are halachically beautiful. A species is ‘mehudar’ if, in addition, it fulfills other halachic specifications, which make it pleasant and beautiful in appearance and shape.

MBY 657 A child and the lulav (abridged) Our source for this lesson is Guidelines: Over Four Hundred of the most Commonly Asked Questions About Sukkos, by Rabbis Barclay and Jaeger p. 126-7

Question #398: How can a child fulfill his obligation?
Answer: Preferably, a father should purchase a kosher set of species for his boys under Bar Mitzvah. For this purpose, species that are minimally kosher are sufficient, and it is unnecessary to buy a mehudar set. Alternatively, according to some opinions, a child can be lent the species and fulfill his mitzvah even though they do not belong to him. This is the common custom.

Question #399: At what age should a child be trained to take the species?
Answer: When he knows how to wave them. This is usually around six or seven.

MBY 658:1-9 The lulav on the first day of sukkos (abridged) For the first part of our lesson on this siman, we will re-quote on MBY 649:1-6 Things that invalidate the Four Species (abridged)

“On the first day of Sukkos, you cannot fulfill the mitzvah with a lulav and other species that were borrowed, but they must actually belong to you, for it is written “You shall take for yourselves (Heb. ‘lachem’/your own) on the first day …”, and our Rabbis expound “for yourself” means “from that which is yours,” which excludes a borrowed lulav or other species. [Those living outside Eretz Yisrael who observe Yom Tov two days, because of a doubt (about the date), even on the second day should not say a bracha over a borrowed lulav.] If someone gives you his lulav as a gift, on the condition that you return it, it is considered halachically as a gift and you may fulfill the mitzvah with it. Even if he gives it to you unconditionally for the purpose of fulfilling the mitzvah, it is considered as if he expressly stipulated that he is giving it to you as a gift on condition that you return it…” (Footnote #7: “In a case where the donor does not know that you cannot fulfill the mitzvah unless it is considered completely yours, you cannot fulfill the mitzvah unless he expressly gives it to you as a returnable gift.”)

On Chol Hamoed: It is generally known that the Rabbis did not apply the principle of ‘lachem’ to the rest of Sukkos. Thus, beginning on Chol Hamoed, one may borrow someone else’s lulav and esrog, even though the owner has not gifted it to the borrower, and generally even without expressly granting permission to use them! This last point is based upon a dictum of the Rabbis: “A Jew is happy to enable a fellow Jew to fulfill a mitzvah with his possessions!”

For the second part of our lesson, we quote from KSA 137:9
9) If people joined to buy an esrog and the other species, in partnership, we presume that they bought it with the understanding that when it is time to perform the mitzvah, each partner would transfer his share to the other. (Footnote #8: Mishnah Berura writes that it is nevertheless better for each partner to actually say that he is giving his share to the person who is fulfilling the mitzvah.)
Therefore, it is customary for the congregation to buy an esrog, and the entire congregation fulfills the mitzvah with it, and whoever can afford it must contribute to the “esrog fund”. [Footnote #9: Here too, it is best that an announcement be made that each person gives his share to the one fulfilling the mitzvah (MB 658:40)]


MBY 662:1-3 Tefilos on the second day of sukkos (abridged) Our source for this lesson is Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 137:1 (second half)

1) …On the first day of Sukkos you should also say ‘Shehecheyanu’ (Ed. and then not on the second or subsequent days.) If the first day of Sukkos occurs on Shabbos, when we do not take the lulav, then you say Shehecheyanu on the second day.” (Please consult siman 659 for instructions on the Torah reading. Please consult your Siddur or Machzor for other tefilos.)

MBY 663:1-3 Tefilos on chol hamoed sukkos Ed. freehand: Davening is longer on Chol Hamoed than on a normal weekday. A full Hallel is recited throughout the entire Sukkos holiday (unlike Pesach, when from Chol Hamoed on, only the half-Hallel is said.) The Torah is read and Musaf is recited. ‘Hoshanos’ are also conducted along with their ‘Hakafos’, just as on Yom Tov. Customs vary regarding the wearing of Tefillin. (Please read up on it in MBY 31:2 Tefillin on Shabbos and Yom Tov (part 2 - final).

Remember the “golden rule”: When in doubt, consult your siddur!


MBY 668:2 Shemini Atzeres (part 1) and MBY 669 Simchas Torah (abridged) Our source for this lesson is Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 138:7-10

Ed. intro: As is well-known, there is a significant difference between the way the last part of Yom Tov is experienced in Eretz Yisrael and the way it is observed in the Diaspora (chutz laAretz). In the latter, the first day of Shemini Atzeres is its own day without Simchas Torah. It has its own Torah reading, and people associate it with Tefilas Geshem (the prayer for rain) and Yizkor (memorial service). It is joyous but without the fanfare of Simchas Torah. Please consult your Siddur or Machzor for the order of Tefilos for Shemini Atzeres. In Eretz Yisrael, Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah are one and the same day – the eighth (as the ninth is not observed at all!) Either way, the insertion in Kiddush and all of the Amidah’s on these days is for Shemini Atzeres, not for Sukkos. The next few halachos address the Simchas Torah aspect of these days.

7) The last day of Yom Tov, which is also Shemini Atzeres, is called Simchas Torah, because on this day we conclude the reading of the Torah, and we rejoice with it. In the evening, after Maariv, we make seven Hakafos (circuits) carrying the sifrei Torah around the bimah, after which the Sifrei Torah are replaced in the Ark. We leave one Sefer Torah from which we read, for three people (Footnote #3: In some communities five people are called to read from the Torah), from the portion ‘V’zos habracha’ (Devarim 33)… After the reading of the Torah the half-Kaddish is said, the Sefer Torah is replaced in the Ark, and Aleinu is said.

8) On the day of Simchas Torah it is the custom in many communities that the Kohanim bless the people in the Shacharis service and not in Musaf, since during Musaf the Kohanim may be intoxicated. We do not say ‘V’sei-areiv’ (May our entreaties be pleasing) when the Kohanim bless the people at Shacharis prayers.

9) In the daytime, after the Hakafos, three Sifrei Torah are left out, and many people are called up to one Sefer Torah to read the portion ‘V’zos habracha’ up to ‘Me’onah’ (Devarim 33:27), repeating it many times. At the end, all the young boys are called up. It is proper that a boy who is Bar Mitzvah should say the bracha and that the others should listen. The verse ‘Hamalach hagoel’ (“The angel who delivered me etc.” – see Beraishis 48:16) is read for them (i.e. as an oral blessing). After that, the ‘Chasan Torah’ is called up and he reads from Me’onah to the end of the Torah. In the second Sefer Torah, the ‘Chasan Beraishis’ reads. Then half-Kaddish is said. In the third Sefer Torah, Maftir is read. It is the custom in many communities to be mindful to call up for ‘Chasan Torah’ an eminent person. Even a person who was called up already for the reading of ‘V’zos habracha’, may still be called up as ‘Chasan Torah’ or as ‘Chasan Beraishis’. Where there are only two Sifrei Torah, ‘V’zos habracha’ should be read in one, and Beraishis in the other one, and the first sefer is taken again for Maftir.

10) It is customary for the Chasan Torah and the Chasan Beraishis to make donations to charity, and to invite all their friends to a joyous meal (Ed. or Kiddush) in honor of the completion of the Torah and its beginning, as it is written in the Midrash (Koheles): “He (King Solomon) came to Jerusalem and he stood in front of the Ark of the Covenant of G-d… and he made a banquet for all his servants.” Rabbi Yitzchak said, “From this we can infer that you should make a festive meal upon the completion of the Torah.” [Ed. The occasion of this celebration was when King Solomon received the Divine gift of wisdom at the beginning of his reign.] (Footnote #6: It is a proper custom for all who are called to the Torah to contribute for the support of the Beis HaMidrash and for the support of those who study the Torah. Mishnah Berura 669:7)

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