Hilchot Shavuot - Laws of Shavuot

Early Davening on Shavuot

Q: Can one daven Maariv early on Shavuot, or is it a problem because one needs 7 complete weeks of Sefirat Ha-Omer?

A: Ashkenazim – No, Sefardim are lenient (Mishneh Berurah 414:1.  Shut Yechaveh Daat 6:30).



 Milchigs

Q: Is there an obligation to eat Milchigs on Shavuot?

A: It is the Custom.  Yemenite Jews do not do so (Shulchan Aruch Ha-Mekutzar, p. 72).

Q: Does one have to eat an entire Milchig meal?

A: It is enough to have one dairy food.  And it is then possible to wash out one's mouth, wash one's hands and clean the table, and have a Fleischig meal (Or Le-Tzion 3:196).  And the Steipler Gaon would only have a Milchig meal at night (Orchot Rabbenu vol. 1, p. 98).



Learning on the Night of Shavuot

Q: Is there an obligation to learn the entire night of Shavuot?

A: No.  But it is a proper custom.  Someone who is unable should try to learn until midnight (Magen Avraham, Orach Chaim 494).

Q: Which is preferable – learning all night and falling asleep during Shacharit or going to sleep?

A: Going to sleep.  Davening Shacharit without falling asleep is a basic halachah, and learning all night is a worthwhile addition.  The custom of learning Torah the entire night of Shavuot is mentioned by the Magen Avraham (Orach Chaim #494), based on the Zohar, that we dedicate the night to learning Torah in an attempt to rectify a mistake made by the Nation of Israel at the time of the Giving of the Torah.  When Hashem “arrived” to give the Torah to the Nation of Israel, we were still sleeping and had to be woken up.  The custom therefore developed to stay awake all night to spirituality rectify for the oversleeping and to show our zeal for the Torah.  But one should be aware that if he cannot Daven Shacharit with proper concentration, on account of the exhaustion of learning Torah all night, it is better not to stay up since Davening properly is a clear obligation (the Magen Avraham makes this exact point regarding staying up all night on Yom Kippur – see Orach Chaim 611:11).

Q: Which is preferable – learning during the night, or learning during the day, if I will learn more during the day?

A: During the day, since learning more Torah is a basic halachah, and learning Torah all night on Shavuot is a worthwhile addition.  This is unlike the ruling of Ha-Rav Chaim Kanvieski that the custom is to learn all night, and it is preferable to learn during the night even if one learns less than he would have during the day (Piskei Shemuot, pp. 81-82). 

Although Ha-Rav Yitzchak Zev Soloveitchik, the Brisker Rav, was surprised that people are so particular to stay awake the entire night of Shavuot, which is a custom, while on Pesach night, where there is a law to discuss the Exodus from Egypt until one is overcome by sleep, people are not so careful.  And in the city of Brisk, people were not careful to follow the custom of staying awake the entire night of Shavuot, since why is this night different from all other nights?  And also, learning on Shavuot night is not more important than learning during the day (Uvdot Ve-Hanhagot Le-Beit Brisk vol. 2, p. 79).

And it is related in the book "Ha-Shakdan" (vol. 2, p. 240) that one of Ha-Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv's grandsons once asked him why he does not stay awake all night on Shavuot like everyone else, but follows his regular learning schedule of waking up at 2:00 AM to learn Torah…  Rav Elyashiv explained that he calculated that if he changed his few hours of sleep on that night, he would not gain more time to learn Torah, and he would actually lose 15 minutes of learning!  For a few precious minutes of learning Torah, he decided that it is preferable to go to sleep at the beginning of the night as usual…
And Gerrer Chasidim have a saying: Our Tikun Leil Shavuot is Keriyat Shema Al Ha-Mita (reciting the Keriyat Shema before going to bed)…
Therefore, each person should therefore carefully consider if it is worthwhile for him to stay up all night since there is a concern that "his gain is offset by his loss."

Q: I heard that it is forbidden to engage in idle chatter on the night of Shavuot?

A: It is not a prohibition, but it is proper, and one should try as much as possible to refrain (Kaf Ha-Chaim 494:11).

Q: Is one obligated to learn the Tikun Leil Shavuot?

A: No.  A person should learn Torah in a subject that his heart desires (Avodah Zarah 19a).  And Ha-Rav Chaim Kanievski said that there are different customs, each of which is acceptable (Piskei Shemuot, p. 81).

Q: If one's father says the Tikun, should his son also say the Tikun, or is it permissible to learn Gemara?

A: It is a personal decision.  And Ha-Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv said: "It is better for him to learn Massechet Baba Metzia, Perek Ha-Socher Et Ha-Po'alim [One who hires workers], and even if his father says the Tikun."  And Ha-Rav Chaim Kanievski said: "If his father says the Tikun, he should also say the Tikun" (Yadoon Moshe vol. 9 #59).

Q: Do women also need to learn all night?

A: They are not obligated, but it is certainly a good thing.



For one who will remain awake all night, this is how he should act in the morning:

Talit

One who wears Tzitzit all night should not recite a new blessing on it in the morning.  One should try to hear the blessing said by someone who is obligated to recite it or he should have the Tzitzit in mind when he recites the blessing over his Talit (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 8:16 with Mishnah Berurah #42).



Netilat Yadayim

One should wash "Netilat Yadayim" without a blessing or hear it from someone who is obligated to recite it (Shulchan Aruch Ha-Rav 4:13).  It is preferable to use the restroom and one is then obligated according to all opinions to wash "Netilat Yadayim."  After washing "Netilat Yadayim," he should recite the blessing of "Al Netilat Yadayim" and "Asher Yatzar" (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 4:13 with Mishnah Berurah #27, 29, 30).



"Elohai Neshamah" and "Ha-Ma'avir Sheinah"

They should be recited without the ending of using Hashem's Name or be heard from someone who is obligated to recite them, since these blessings where established over the return of the soul and removal of sleep and neither of these occurred (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 47 with Mishnah Berurah #30 and Biur Halachah).  If one sleeps a half an hour, one is obligated to recite these blessings (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 4:16 with Mishnah Berurah #34-35 and Biur Halachah).



"Ha-Noten Le-Yaef Koach"

One should recite this blessing even if he is very tired, since this blessing was not established for the person's individual state, but as a general praise of Hashem who created His world which includes the removal of tiredness (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 46 with Mishnah Berurah #22 and Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 47 with Mishnah Berurah #28).  Chasidim recite all of the morning blessings even if they remain awake all night (Shulchan Aruch Ha-Rav 47:7 and Siddur Chabad in the laws before the morning blessings and blessings over learning Torah).



Blessings over Learning Torah

There is a dispute whether these blessings should be recited if one remains awake all night.  One option is that the morning before Shavuot, one make a condition that the blessings will be for the following day as well.  One can also hear the blessings from someone who slept and both of them have in mind that the blessings will apply to both of them (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 47 with Mishnah Berurah #25-28).  If neither of these is an option, one can recite the blessings based on the opinion of the Shut Sha'agat Aryeh (#24-25) that these blessings are a Torah Mitzvah and in the case of a doubt, one is strict to recite them.  This ruling is found in Maran Ha-Rav Kook's commentary on the siddur "Olat Re'eiyah" (vol. 1, p. 59 #5) and in Ha-Rav Ovadiah Yosef's responsa (Shut Yabia Omer vol. 5, Orach Chaim #6 and Shut Yechaveh Daat 3:33).

In this regard, women are also required to recite the blessings over learning Torah and these blessings are printed in all of the Siddurim for women.  Since women are not obligated to learn Torah, how can they recite the blessing "Blessed is Hashem…who has made us holy and commanded us to engage in words of Torah"?  There are various answers, but the answer of Ha-Rav Yitzchak Zev Soloveitchik, known as the Griz, on the Rambam (at the end of Hilchot Berachot, p. 10) and Maran Ha-Rav Kook (Orach Mishpat 11, 2) is that these are not blessings over performing a mitzvah but blessings of praise.  If the Torah was not given, the world would be in darkness for both men or women.  Women therefore also thank Hashem for the Torah being in the world. 

Short & Sweet - Text Message Q&A #296

Segulah against Traffic Accidents
Q: Is there a Segulah against traffic accidents?
A: Driving carefully and performing kindness to those who need a ride (And the Belzer Rebbe – Ha-Rav Aharon Rokeach – also gave the Segulah that if one follows the traffic laws with the strictures of the 10 Commandments, and also gives rides to those who need them, in the merit of these kindnesses which he does on the road, he will be saved from any bad occurrence.  Shut Shevet Ha-Kehati 5:241).

Choosing a Teacher
Q: What is preferable – a Torah teacher with a beard, or a Torah teacher without a beard who can explain better?
A: The one who explains better, since learning Torah is a greater Mitzvah than having a beard (This is also the ruling of Ha-Rav Yosef Shlomo Elyashiv.  Kav Ve-Naki #306).

The Taste of Pork
Q: Is it permissible to eat a Kosher spice that has the taste of pork?
A: Yes.  Like the brain of a Shibuta fish which tastes like pork (As Yalta says: "For everything that the Torah forbids, something similar is permitted".  Chullin 109b).

Reb Avrum
Q: The Gemara in Berachot (13a) says that one who calls Avraham: "Avram" violates a positive and a negative Mitzvah (brought in Magen Avraham, Chapter 156).  If so, how is it that Ha-Gaon Ha-Rav Avraham Shapira ztz"l – Rosh Yeshivat Mercaz Ha-Rav" was called: "Reb Avrum"?
A: This prohibition only applies to Avraham Avinu himself.  Kaf Ha-Chaim 156:14.  And when done so in a shameful way.  Shut Minchat Yitzchak 4:30 (And see Tzalach on Berachot 13a.  Torah Temimah on Bereshit 17:5 #8).

Adding a Name
Q: Our son is extremely short.  We asked a Chasidic Rebbe what to do and he recommended adding a name.  Is it enough to add it during an Aliyah to the Torah or do we need to do something else?
A: Ask the Rebbe directly, or ask his student.

Helping My Wife
Q: My wife in pregnant, and she wants to sleep while I watch the kids. If I do this, I will not be able to Daven with a Minyan.
A: You are also obligated to take care of your children, and one who is involved in a Mitzvah is exempt from another Mitzvah – in this case, Davening with a Minyan (Sukkah 26a).

Role of a Rabbi
Q: What is the role of a Rabbi?
A: To learn, to give Halachic rulings and to perform acts of loving kindness (To this question, R' Refael – Reb Chaim Brisker's father-in-law - said: A Rabbi should only sit and learn Torah day and night.  The Aruch Ha-Shulchan said: To give Halachic rulings.  And Reb Chaim Brisker: There are judges and halachic authorities to give halachic rulings, rather he should perform acts of kindness for his community.  See the commentators on Parashat Yitro.  Meged Givot Olam, p. 57).

Ahavat Yisrael
Q: Is there a Mitzvah to love each and every Jew?

A: Certainly.  See Mesillat Yesharim, end of chapter 19 (and Tanya, Chapter 32).

Short & Sweet - Text Message Q&A #295

Stolen Lulav
Q: If someone picked a Lulav from a nature reserve, is it considered stolen?
A: Yes.

Birkat Ha-Gomel over the Wash?!
Q: There was a terrorist attack 5 minutes from where I was and I was saved by a miracle.  Am I required to recite Birkat Ha-Gomel?
A: No.  Just as one whose pants return from the wash and he was miraculously not in them does not recite Ha-Gomel (Ha-Rav's answer in this vein is also brought in the new book "Rav Siach" of Ha-Rav Rami Brachyahu, Rav of the the Yishuv Talmon, Volume 1 p. 62.  And Ha-Rav Yosef Soloveitchik similarly related that someone once walked past a spot where a wall had fallen and killed some people.  He asked Ha-Rav Moshe Bick, who was a great Torah scholar in America: Am I required to recite Birkat Ha-Gomel?  Ha-Rav Bick answered: Do you put your pants in the washing machine?  He said: Of course.  Ha-Rav Bick said: Perhaps you should recite Birkat Ha-Gomel, since you were almost in your pants when they were thrown into the wash…  Ha-Rav Aharon Rakefet in the name of Ha-Rav Yosef Soloveitchik.  And it is known that when Ha-Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv was asked such a question by one who was almost in a tragedy, he would say: You are almost required to recite Ha-Gomel…).

Sleeve Gastrectomy
Q: Is it permissible to have a Sleeve Gastrectomy in which one's stomach is reduced in order to lose weight?
A: It is permissible and a Mitzvah of protecting one's health.

Is there a problem…
Q: Is there a problem to…
A: The question is not phrased correctly.  One should ask whether something is permissible or forbidden, since a person was created in order to serve Hashem.  The Mitzvot are not problems (Similarly, someone once came to Ha-Meir Bransdorfer, Posek of Toldot Avraham Yitzchak and a member of the Badatz of Ha-Eidah Ha-Charedit in Yerushalayim, to asked questions about Shabbat.  He asked: Is it a "problem" on Shabbat to do so-and-so?  Ha-Rav Brandsdorfer said: There are no problems.  And he repeated: There are no problems, Shabbat issues are not problems, things which are forbidden and permissible are equivalent, since they are both following Hashem's Will.  They are not problems which need to be solved.  Shut Keneh Bosem Volume 4, p. 16).

Cell Phone on Guard Duty
Q: I am an officer in Tzahal and I take the cell phones of the soldiers before they have guard duty so they don't play with them.  Is it permissible to take them on Shabbat?
A: Certainly.  But ask a military Rabbi or call the hotline for soldiers of the Military Rabbinate: 052-941-4414.

Tefillat Ha-Derech while Driving
Q: Is it permissible to recite Tefillat Ha-Derech while driving?
A: No.  One will not concentration properly on the prayer.  It is dangerous (Ha-Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach.  Brought in Shut Avnei Yashpe 8:14 #8).

Rabbinate outside of Israel
Q: Is it permissible for me to become a Rabbi outside of Israel for two years in order to educate the Jews there and prevent assimilation, or is it forbidden since it helps the Jewish community remain there?
A: It is a Mitzvah to travel there and save them.

Tzitzit during Heat Wave
Q: Am I obligated to wear Tzitzit during a heat wave?  It is really difficult!

A: Yes.  Shut Tzitz Eliezer (8:4, 14:49).  Shut Az Nidbaru (2:55).  Unlike the ruling of Ha-Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv (Ashrei Ha-Ish Chapter 2 #23).

Why Eretz Yisrael?

Question: Why is Eretz Yisrael the only thing that interests you people (i.e. Religious-Zionists)?  You’re fixated on it! Certainly it’s important, but there are other important things too: Learning Torah and performing Mitzvot, education and our country’s social problems.

Answer: Indeed, the idea that we are "only interested in Eretz Yisrael" has long provided a ready excuse for complaining.  There are two answers to it:
First, why be inaccurate?  Why mislead and confuse people?  It simply isn’t true.  We certainly are involved in Eretz Yisrael, but we are also involved in Torah learning and Mitzvah observance and education and social issues.  “Everything G-d said, we will do and obey” (Shemot 24:27).  And precisely because the battlefront is so widespread, we have to work on ourselves in every one of these spheres, and G-d will come to our aid.
Second of all, are we properly devoted to Eretz Yisrael?  It should only be so!  Surely you can’t suspect Moshe of not being devoted to Torah and mitzvot, education and society, yet he still begged to enter Eretz Yisrael: “I beseeched G-d at that time saying, ‘Let me pass through and see the good land…’” (Devarim 3:23-25).  G-d finally said to him, “You’ve said enough!” (verse 26).  Don’t ask anymore. “Let people not say, ‘How unfair the Master!  How stubborn and incalcitrant the disciple!” (Rashi).  That shows how vociferously Moshe begged. “Here is one of three places where Moshe told G-d, ‘I won’t relent until You tell me if You’re going to fulfill my request or not” (Rashi, verse 23).  Yet surely Moshe had a reason for doing so.  Eretz Yisrael has profound importance, the very most profound importance of all.  It was only for a matter of such extreme significance that Moshe begged G-d in this manner.
And Eretz Yisrael involves not just one profound matter, but 252 profound matters.  Ha-Rav Natan Shapiro, the Chief Rabbi of Cracow, born in 1591, was one of the greatest Mekubalim of Poland in his day.  His entire book “Megaleh Amukot” is devoted to those same 252 arguments used by Moshe to explain why he craved to enter the Land.  Rav Shapiro did not invent them all.  Rather, they are taken from the works of Rabbi Menachem Racanati, the “Rokeach,” the Arizal,  Rabbi Menachem Azariah of Pano, Rabbi Moshe Cordovero and Rambam’s Guide to the Perplexed. (see the work, “Kol HaNevu’a” by Rabbi David HaKohen, “the Nazir”, page 269).  For example, Principle 4 is: “If someone possesses the merit from Eretz Yisrael, he can rid the world of its craving for idolatry.”  Also, Eretz Yisrael is a key to “attaining the secret of wisdom… because the air of Eretz Yisrael makes one wise.”  Certainly Moshe was full of divine wisdom, yet he still craved to enter Eretz Yisrael to add to what he already had.
Principle 170 is: Eretz Yisrael is the key to fulfilling “The humble shall inherit the Land” (Tehillim 37:11), for the culmination of all character traits is humility.  Certainly Moshe was the most humble man on earth. Even so, he longed to enter the Land to become more so.
Principle 187: “Eretz Yisrael is the key to bringing all the nations under the wings of the Divine Presence.  That’s why Moshe beseeched Hashem.  He was acting for the sake of Heaven, with the intent of helping all mankind to serve G-d.”

 Indeed, Eretz Yisrael is a very profound matter.  And may we merit to become more closely attached to Eretz Yisrael and to delve more deeply in the topic of Eretz Yisrael.

The Prayer for the State of Israel

Reciting the Prayer for the State of Israel
Q: Should we recite the Prayer for the State of Israel when the State is acting improperly.  After all, it says, "And send Your light and truth to its leaders, ministers and counselor and provide them with good counsel before You," and they are not demonstrating the light, truth or good counsel!
A: If the leader, ministers and counselors are following an improper path we should recite the Prayer of the State of Israel twice!  They need more illumination and more good counsel, since they are currently the leaders of the State.  Not reciting the Prayer for the State of Israel does not lead to a change of leadership.  It is similar to flying in an airplane that is not flying well.  The people investigate, and it turns out that the pilot does not know how to fly.  What do you suggest, sitting next to him, insulting and cursing him?  The plane will then almost certainly crash.  On the contrary, we should encourage him to do the best he can.  He is the pilot.  There is no choice.  Whether our current leaders are suited to their positions or not, we must pray that they perform their jobs the best way possible.

Standing for the Prayer for the State after the Expulsion from Gush Katif
Q: Is there an obligation to stand for the Prayer for the State of Israel, especially after the Expulsion from Gush Katif?
A: There is no source regarding this matter since it is a new prayer. One can stand or sit, it is unimportant. It does not strengthen the State if one stands, and it does not weaken the State if one sits. Each place should act as it desires. The prayer is not connected to the Expulsion from Gush Katif in any way.  Even before the Expulsion there were problems: violations of Shabbat, a problematic system of justice, etc… If the Government is acting inappropriately we should recite this prayer twice. If someone is sick, we pray for him. If he becomes sicker, we pray more. Maran (our revered teacher) Ha-Rav Kook wrote that our Nation is sick, but it will heal. Whether standing or sitting, we must pray for its recovery. Fortunate is the Nation that loves to argue in Shul regarding proper practice instead of arguing over money, riches, glory, etc… 


Short & Sweet - Text Messages Q&A #294 - Religious ANTI-Zionists

Religious ANTI-Zionists
Satmar Rebbe
Q: How should one relate to the Satmar Rebbe and Ha-Rav Elchanan Wasserman, who scorned Maran Ha-Rav Kook?
A: They erred severely in this area, but we are still obligated to honor them (Shut Radvaz 4:187.  Ma'amrei Ha-Re'eiyah, p. 56.  See Shut Bnei Banim 2:34).

Satmar Book
Q: I have a Satmar book with quotes against the State of Israel.  Should I throw it in the garbage?
A: No.  It also contains sacred words.  Place it in the Geniza.

Chasidei Satmar and Neturei Karta
Q: How should we relate to the Chasidei Satmar and Neturei Karta who participated in the Holocaust Denial Conference in Iran?  Is there an obligation to hate them?
A: G-d forbid.  One must love every Jew.  But it is permissible to wage war against their opinions.  They are confused and do not represent Satmar Chasidim (One of the current Satmar Rebbes, Ha-Rav Yekutiel Yehudah Teitelbaum, said about these members of Neturei Karta who visited Iran: "These people take the pure name of Satmar in vain! Our Holy Rabbi, the 'Vayoel Moshe' [the first Satmar Rebbe, and his uncle], exaggeratedly said that they cause more damage than the Zionists themselves.  We are working to cast off all these extreme sects.  When these went to Iran, the Satmar Beit Din issued a harsh letter against them."  Mishpachah Magazine.  29 Kislev 5773, p. 24).    

Counting Neturei Karta in Minyan
Q: Is it permissible to count someone from Neturei Karta in a Minyan?
A: Of course!  There is no question here.

Satmar Shul
Q: If there is no other Minyan, is it permissible to daven in a Satmar Shul, even though they are against the State of Israel?
A: Yes.  Do not excommunicate people.

Praying for the Health of a Neturei Karta
Q: One of the leaders of Neturei Karta is very ill and is in the hospital.  Should we pray that he dies?  After all, he has blood on his hands for actively supporting our enemies?
A: We should certainly pray for his recovery.  He is in the category of a confused person.   

Learning the Satmar Rebbe's Books
Q: Does one receive the reward for learning Torah when learning the Satmar Rebbe's books?

A: Certainly.

Shaving for Yom Ha-Atzmaut

Question: Is one obligated to shave before Yom Ha-Atzmaut (since there is a custom not to shave during the period of Sefirat Ha-Omer)?

 Answer: Yes, just as one shaves all year long to honor Shabbat, it is a mitzvah to shave in honor of Yom Ha-Atzmaut.  Obviously, if a person does not shave his beard at all, he does not do so, but if he generally does so for Shabbat, then he also shaves for Yom Ha-Atzmaut.  The same applies to getting a haircut.  Ha-Rav Yitzchak Nissim, former Chief Sefardic Rabbi of Israel, rules in Shut Yayin Ha-Tov (vol.2, Orach Chaim #11) that it is it is permissible to get a haircut and shave in order to honor the day based on various authorities who allow haircuts and shaving during Sefirat Ha-Omer for similar reasons.  For example, Ha-Rav Chaim Palagi (Sefer Moed Le-kol Chai siman 6, pg. 36) wrote that in his city of Izmir there were families who experienced miracles during Sefirat Ha-Omer and established them as days of joy and thanksgiving like Purim and cut their hair and shaved on them.  Ha-Rav Nissim therefore concludes that on a day when a miracle occurred during Sefirat Ha-Omer - like Yom Ha-Atzamaut - when the State of Israel was declared after 2000 years it is certainly permissible, and even a Mitzvah, to have a haircut and shave on that day (see also Ha-Rav Yaakov Ariel, Chief Rabbi of Ramat Gan, in Siddur Ga’al Yisrael for Yom Ha-Atzmaut p. 32, #13.  And Ha-Rav Shlomo Goren ruled that it was permitted for soldiers to have haircuts and shave on Yom Ha-Atzmaut as indicated in a Command of the General Staff of the Chief Rabbinate of Tzahal #34.0207 brought in Hilkhot Tzava of Ha-Rav Zechariah Ben Shlomo, p. 861).  The Chief Rabbi of Yerushalayim, Ha-Rav Tzvi Pesach Frank, also gave permission to trim one's beard on this day (See Luach "Shana be-Shana" published by Heichal Shlomo, 5752, p. 145. For those who disagree, see Ha-Rav Ovadiah Hadaya in Shut Yaskil Avdi 6:10 #2 and Ha-Rav Yosef Dov Soloveitchik in Nefesh Ha-Rav, p. 94).  I remember that some students once asked our Rabbi, Ha-Rav Tzvi Yehudah Ha-Cohain Kook, before Yom Ha-Atzmaut if it is permissible to shave for this day.  Our Rabbi did not answer.  Later he responded: "Tomorrow there will be an exam on your faces."  On Yom Ha-Atzmaut he saw that some students had been strict with themselves and had not shaved.  He said of them: "Their faces show their character" (Yeshayahu 3:9, i.e. they had not absorbed the true joy of the day). He added: When there is faith, there is joy, and when there is joy there are no halachic doubts.  How long will we speak out of both sides of our mouths (see Melachim 1 18:21)?!  Do we believe in the Revealed Redemption or not?!"

Q: When should one get a haircut or shave, since Erev Yom Ha-Atzmaut is Remembrance Day for the Fallen Soldiers of Tzahal?


A: One should do so a little bit before the holiday begins.  For example, if Ma'ariv is at 7:00 PM, he should shave at 6:00 PM.