Leiluy Nishmas Sonia Bat Michlya.


Laws of Yom Tov (holidays).


1. We will first discuss the positive mitzvos of the holidays and afterwards the forbidden works.


2. One of the Torahís mitzvos is to enjoy Yom Tov.We make our holidays special, just as we separate the Shabbos from all the other days. We are commanded to wear our best clothes; we conduct our conversations and walk differently from any other day. There is also a mitzvah to give Tzedaka to the poor before the holidays, so that they can also enjoy these days properly. On a holiday we make Kiddush before the meals. One may accept the Yom Tov and make Kiddush before sunset, just as on Shabbos. However, on the first days of Pesach, Sukkos and on Shmini Atzeres, one should make Kiddush only after it gets dark. On the second day of every Yom Tov we always wait for darkness and only then make Kiddush.


3. On a holiday we eat at least two meals, even though on Shabbos we have to eat three. As on Shabbos, one should say a blessing over two chalas before each meal. After the holyday is over, Havdallah should be made, but, one should omit the blessing over the fire and the spices. The reason for this is as follows. During Shabbos one is forbidden to make fire, which is why we light a candle after Shabbos is over, thus showing that the prohibition is over as well. On Yom Tov one may light fire from an already burning one, and therefore there is no need to make a blessing over fire after the holiday is over. As for the spices, they compensate a spiritual fall down Ė the loss of additional spirituality, after Shabbos is gone. On a holiday the spiritual worlds do not raise as high as on Shabbos. Therefore, once the Yom Tov is over we donít need to compensate the spiritual loss by smelling the spices. Certainly, when the last day of Yom Tov falls on a Shabbos, the Havdallah is made the same way as after a regular Shabbos.


4. In the Land of Israel any holiday, except Rosh Hashanah, is celebrated once, while outside the Land of Israel one should keep it for two days. The simple reason for this is that in the old times our calendar was not fixed, but depended on the witnesses seeing the new moon. Their testimony was accepted in the central Rabbinical court, and the new month started. Messengers were sent to all states to inform everybody on which day the first day of the new month befell, and consequently, when one should keep the holidays. Jews, living far from the Holy Land, had to celebrate each holiday for two days, because they were not sure, which day of the month was sanctified to be the first. Rosh Hashanah had to be celebrated during two days even in the Land of Israel, because it falls on the first day of the month, and one could never know, when the witnesses would come. According to Kabala, two days are required for those, living outside the Holy Land, to perform the rectifications in the spiritual worlds that can be done in the Holy Land in one day. In our day, even those living in the Holy Land celebrate Rosh Hashanah for two days to achieve complete rectification.


5. According to the Torah law, only one of the two days is holy, and this is why on the first day, we are forbidden to prepare anything for the second day (e.g. cook a meal for the evening of the next day). For this reason, we light the candles for the second day, only after the stars come out, that is, only after the first day is over.


6. If the days of a holiday fall on a Friday and Shabbos, or on a Thursday and Friday, we have to do Eiruv Tavshilin, a special procedure, which permits us to cook for the Shabbos on Friday. In this case on Friday one may cook the meal, which will be consumed on Shabbos. Eiruv Tavshilin will also give us permission to light Shabbat candles from the already burning fire, on Friday before sunset.


7. For Eiruv Tavshilin one should take before Yom Tov an egg-size lump of cooked food, and a slice of bread, make blessing over it and say, that with the help of this Eiruv we should be permitted to cook, bake and light candles on the eve of Shabbos. The food, used for Eiruv, can be eaten on Shabbos.


Laws of work, forbidden on Yom Tov.


1. The majority of works, forbidden for Shabbos, are forbidden on holidays as well. There are however some exceptions, including cooking, lighting the fire and carrying objects outside our homes. Let us look at each of them closer.


2. Although on Shabbos one is forbidden to light or increase the fire, on a Yom Tov it is permitted to light the fire from an already burning one, and also, to increase it. However, one is still forbidden to reduce or to extinguish fire. In case the fire is too big for a certain dish, one should cover it with a metal dish or tray, to reduce its power, but not the fire itself. If it seems impossible for some reason, most Rabbis advise to light a second burner, from an already burning fire, rather than reduce this one. Lighting fire for no reason is still forbidden. This is the general rule: even the permitted types of work have to be done only for immediate purpose of a Jew during the holiday. That is why making fire for use after the holiday, carrying objects for use after the day is over, or cooking for non-Jew is forbidden.


3. One may carry objects, only if he needs them. If one brought a Siddur to the synagogue, and has no place to store it after the service, he may carry it back home, although he wonít need it any more on this day. The reason for this permission as follows: if one would not be able to take his Siddur back home, he might decide not to bring it to the synagogue in the first place.


4. Cooking is allowed on holidays. One is allowed to kneading and bake the dough, and one is allowed to separate chala from it. However, if the dough was prepared before the holiday, chala can not be taken from it on Yom Tov. On Shabbos, if one has a mixture of objects, he can only take out those objects that are needed now. On holidays one is also permitted to take out those objects that are not needed and to leave what is needed, if this is easier. Also, on holidays there are certain leniencies regarding crushing and sieving foods, but regarding the exact details, one should consult a Rabbi.