Skip to main content

Thought for the Day: Preparing for Second Day of Yom Tov on First Day/Lifetime of Learning

I just listened to the third of R' Fuerst's shiurim on preparing from one day of Yom Tov to the next (or from Shabbos to Yom Tov or vice versa... all the same question).  The basics are are well known: it is forbidden to prepare from one day of Yom Tov to the next.  But why?

To get to why, let's start with an interesting חידוש of the Chayei Adam: one is permitted to take food out of the freezer on the first day for the second day, but only as long as the food is taken out early in the the day, but not close to sundown.  Hang on there, quicks draw.  If that's called preparing (and there is not apparent reason to think it isn't), then why is it permitted at all?  On the other hand, if that is not called preparing (we'll need to understand why not), then what difference does it make whether it is early in the day or close to sundown?

First let me forestall answering: "Heck!  It's not no work at all and barely takes a few seconds."  That doesn't help, as we see from the fact that one is not allowed roll the sefer Torah on the first day of Yom to the right place for the second day -- even though that would only take a few seconds and could certainly be done while reading the cholim list.  So magnitude of work is not the issue.

R' Fuerst said he looked high and low for days until, בסיעתא דשמיא, he found an explanation from the Steipler.  The entire issue is one of זלזול/disparagement for the Yom Tov and is founded on the איסור of  ממצוא חפצך -- that you need to refrain from your own desires on Shabbos and Yom Tom in deference to HaShem's.  When I take out the kugel from the freezer close to sunset on the first day, I am announcing with my actions that my needs (I want to have hot food earlier) override the holiness of the day.  That is, I am explicitly stealing moments from the first day of Yom Tov for my own, selfish use.  That is degrading the the holiness of the day.  If, on the other hand, I take the food out early in the day, then it is not obvious at all that this is for the second day.  There is no disparagement in that case.  (Please note that no actual מלאכה is being done; that is certainly forbidden.)

In the shiur R' Fuerst mentioned that R' Shlomo Zalman Auerbach had wanted to make even a bigger חידוש -- that one should be able to take the food out even right before sundown because you weren't doing anything; you were simply stopping the process of keeping it cold.  However, R' Shlomo Zalman Auerbach later retracted because he saw a Mishna Brura (254:26) that says one is not allowed to remove bread from the oven on Shabbos.  Now, all one is doing is stopping the heating process, yet is it still forbidden.  Therefore, stopping the removal of head should also be forbidden.  What amazed me about that story was that R' Shlomo Zalman Auerbach had surely seen that Mishna Brura before -- many times before, I am certain.  Yet, when he saw it one more time, he again contemplated its meaning and found he needed to change his p'sak and behaviour.

To the world, "live and learn" is a cliché that one's knowledge increases with experience.  The our sages it is anything but a cliché, it is an imperative: live and also learn.


Popular posts from this blog

Thought for the Day: Battling the Evil Inclination on all Fronts

Yom Kippur.  When I was growing up, there were three annual events that marked the Jewish calendar: eating matzos on Passover, lighting candles on Chanuka, and  fasting on Yom Kippur.  Major news organizations around the world report on the "surreal" and "eerie" quiet of the streets in even the most secular neighborhoods of Israel.  Yom Kippur.

As you know, I am observant of Jewish law.  Some have even called me "ultra orthodox" (not in a kind way).  Given that, I have a question.  How likely do you think that I would be tempted to eat on Yom Kippur, that most holy day of the year?  Let's make the scale zero to ten, where zero is "as likely as driving through McDonald's on Shabbos and ordering a Big Mac with extra cheese." and ten is "as likely as breathing regularly".  Take your time.  If you answered "zero"; thank you, but -- sadly and penitently -- no.  The answer is more like nine; I'd like to say lower, but i…

Thought for the Day: Coming Into This World for Torah, Avodah, and Acts of Loving Kindness

This TftD is so self-serving that I should be embarrassed.  But I am not... talking about grandchildren is always off budget.  I have, bli ayin hara, a beautiful new grandson; born at 6:11 PM CDT last Friday night.  The secular (aka -- by me, anyway -- slave) date is October 20, 2017 CE.  The Hebrew (aka Real) date is certainly Rosh Chodesh חשון/Cheshvan and certainly in the year 5778 since Creation.  The date, you ask... good question!

Sundown on Friday night was 6:01 PM CDT, which means he was born either at the end of the last day of תשרי or the beginning of the first day of Cheshvan; a period know as בין השמשות/twilight.  What's the big deal, you ask... I am so glad you asked.  We all deal quite handily with בין השמשות every week and every holiday; we're just stringent.  We start Shabbos and the first day of Yom Tov before בין השמשות; that is, before sundown.  Likewise, we end Shabbos and the first day of Yom Tov after בין השמשות; some 42, 50, 60, or 72 minutes after sundo…

Thought for the Day: Prayer II -- How?

Now that we know that the obligation to pray is nothing more (nor less!) than a divine decree, we are going to also need instructions from heaven on how to implement that decree.  I cannot stress enough how important it is to have instruction from heaven how to implement heavenly decrees.  One only needs to look at the shambles that one modern ism has made of the very important Torah principle of תיקון עולם/improving and fixing the world.  They have taken words out of context and used them to support their own nefarious schemes.  (To the point that Google Translate actually translates -- not transliterates -- תיקון עולם as Tikkun Olam.  Amelia Bedelia would be proud; we are not amused.

The Torah teaches us how to pray in two complementary fashions.  One is the way in which the concept is presented as an obligation, the other is by giving us examples of how to practically implement those instructions.

The obligation is introduced in the second paragraph of "sh'ma" -- וּלְ…