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Thursday, March 28, 2024

The יהי רצוןs that follow Torah Reading when Tachanun is Cancelled for a Bris or a Baal Bris

 Being a mohel and also a rabbi of a shul, it happens often enough that I am able to daven in shul in the morning when I have a bris later in the day. I’ve written about this here:

On Mondays and Thursdays, this presents us with a dilemma. While “everyone knows” that the presence of a Baal Bris cancels Tachanun, (see the last 4 paragraphs in the link to the left/above line), many also know that the יהי רצוןs recited as the Torah is being rolled up on Mondays and Thursday are also connected to the saying of Tachanun. The general rule is “when we don’t say Tachanun, we don’t say the יהי רצוןs” (See the Levush on Orach Chaim 429:2, and Ateres Zekenim also 429:2).

For many years now, whenever this circumstance happens – there is a mohel present (me) who has a Bris later in the day, but the Bris is not taking place here – I have announced “If the DAY cancels Tachanun, then the DAY cancels the יהי רצון. If an EVENT cancels Tachanun, then we still say the יהי רצוןs.”

Over the years I have gotten minimal backlash over this pronouncement, but a few people have asked me for the “Lomdus” behind it. I will admit there isn’t great “Lomdus” behind it, but as I feel there is merit to the argument, and a reasonable svara (thought process behind it), I now present it all here.

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Abudirham (or Abudraham) on Cleanliness

In the Shulchan Arukh, there is a description of a Bris ceremony that includes the recitation of the blessing that follows the circumcision (the Mohel's blessing is right before the incision, and the father's blessing is at the moment of the incision), and the Rama adds an insight from Abudirham.

שולחן ערוך יורה דעה הלכות מילה סימן רסה

ואומר: בא"י אלהינו מלך העולם אשר קדש <ה> ידיד (ד) מבטן וכו'. ו ט] ונוהגין שכשמגיע י] לבדמיך חיי, נותן מהיין באצבעו <ו> בפי התינוק. (וכשהמוהל מברך ברכה זו, רוחץ תחלה ידיו ופיו, כדי שיברך בנקיות) (אבודרהם). 

When the Mohel recites that blessing, he should first wash his hands and mouth in order to recite a blessing in cleanliness.

This assumes that the mohel practices in a manner that does not utilize this hygiene enhancing medical supply item and this hygiene enhancing device.

Those of us who use them never have a concern as our hands and mouths are clean.

Thursday, March 14, 2024

Purim and a Bris

 Purim is a little over a week away.

Click here for a brief summary of what might be different on Purim.

An interesting question can be raised regarding a Purim Bris. 

Since the Bris is a mitzvah which is typically accompanied by its own Seudas Mitzvah, AND there is a Rabbinic Mitzvah to have a special meal on Purim, can the meals be combined? Do there need to be 2 separate meals?

In a simple sense, the halakha recommends that the Purim Seudah be in the afternoon, presumably so that all the other obligations of the day are over - one has already given Matanos L'Evyonim, one has delivered Mishloach Manos, one has heard the Megillah... now a person can relax, drink a little extra (slightly more than usual), and if necessary fall asleep. However, the Seudah MAY take place in the morning, if that is one's preference.

A bris celebration often takes place in the morning, due to the attempt to fulfill the concept of זריזין מקדימין למצוות - those who are punctilious rush to do mitzvos as early as possible. 

While I am sure it happens all the time, I only recall one time that I had a bris on Purim. The family chose to have the bris in the afternoon, at Mincha, and invited their guests to a co-Purim-and-Bris celebratory meal.

Could they have had a normal bris meal and later had Purim Seudah with their normal "family crowd?"

Absolutely. While one is only obligated to have one Purim Seudah, it does not mean someone is not allowed to have two celebratory meals on Purim day. 

Mazal tov! Enjoy! And it is wonderful to have added Simcha!!!