Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Erub Tabshilin

Erub Tabshilin is a procedure which enables us to cook and prepare food from Yom Tob to Shabbat.

We do Erub Tabshilin every time Yom Tob is followed by Shabbat. This year, Sukkot falls on Thursday (Wednesday night) and Friday. If you want to cook on Friday for Shabbat, you need to prepare the Erub.

What is the Erub?

Erub (or Eiruv, in Ashkenazi pronunciation) basically means an "extension." There are many types of Erubim. One example: There is an Erub all around Great Neck that 'extends' all our properties, transforming Great Neck into one big property or 'community' where we are allowed to carry on Shabbat as we carry in our own homes.

The Erub we are referring to here is known as Erub Tabshilin, whereby by preparing a meal prior to the Holiday we are allowed to cook for Shabbat. Why? Because on Yom Tob, the food we cook will be an extension/addition of the food we already prepared for Shabbat.

Cooking is allowed on Jewish holidays (Yom Tob), but we can only cook what we will use and eat during that same day, not for the next day. We are not allowed to leave all the cooking for Shabbat to be done on Yom Tob! However, when a holiday occurs on Friday, it is allowed to cook on Yom Tob for Shabbat, provided we have prepared some part of the food for Shabbat prior to that Holiday.

So we prepare and put aside an egg (or something cooked) and a small loaf of bread (or something baked) and today, Wednesday , before the Holiday begins we recite the following berakha while holding the plate (Erub) in our hands:

"Baruch Ata A-donay E-lohenu Melech ha'Olam Asher Kiddeshanu beMitzvotav
veTsivanu al Mitzvat Erub".

Then, we keep the plate in the refrigerator to be eaten at some point during Shabbat.

For the purpose of the Erub, we are considered all as one extended family/community, so if someone forgets to prepare his or her own Erub, they can still cook from Yom Tob to Shabbat relying on the Erub that the rabbi of the community prepares for all community members.

NOTE: Please remember that cooking on Yom Tob is permitted but we have to have a previously lit flame, or an oven that is already turned on or activated by a timer, etc.

Rabbi Yosef Bitton. YMJC | 130 Steamboat Rd. | Great Neck | NY | 11024

SUKKOT: Shake it ... or move it!

14th of Tishri, 5771

Before we hold the lulav (and hadasim, and arabot) and etrogin our hands (Lulav: R.H.; Etrog, L.H.) we recite the berakha al netilat lulav.

Some people hold the Etrog upside down until after the recitation of the berakha (blessing) becuase otherwise the berakha will be said afterthe Mitzva is performed (This Mitzva is performed when we hold the four species together, but they must be held in the direction they
grow on the tree), and as a rule all berakhot should be said BEFORE we perform the Mitzva.

The Sephardic custom is not to 'shake' (rattle) the lulav but to 'move it' (lena'anea) in
different directions. During the Halel, for example, we move the lulav clockwise: south, then north, then east, then up, then down and finally west. This is done following the instructions
of Kabbalist Rabbis (Ari haKadosh).

When waving it downward, we should not turn the lulav upside downso that its head is facing downward, but simply moving it with our hands in the direction of the floor. We should turn our whole body as we face the direction we move the lulav.

We do not take the lulav and etrog on Shabbat.

Women are exempted from taking the lulav, however, the tradition in most communities
is for women to take the lulav.

Rabbis are divided on the issue of women reciting the berakha.

Everyone should follow his or her family's traditions.

The Ultimate Shelter:


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

SUKKOT: The Fantastic Four

And, you shall take on the first day (of Sukkot) a fruit of a citric tree (etrog), branches of palm trees (lulab), a bough of myrtle (hadas)and willows of the brook (araba), and you shall rejoice before HaShem, your G-d, or seven days. (vaikra 23)

The commandment of taking the four species is for all seven days of Sukkot. Two blessings are said the first day, al netilat lulab and she'hecheeyanu and one berakha, al netilat lulab, is said for the other six days. One lulab, one etrog, two arabot, and three hadasim are taken on Sukkot.

The etrog is taken on the left hand and the lulab on the right hand.

The four species are not taken on Shabbat even when it falls on the first day of Sukkot. The mitzvaapplies during the day but not at night. On the first day of Sukkot, a person must be careful to take his own lulab and etrog. On the other six days, the lulab can be borrowed from somebody else. The etrog or Citron, resembles in its shape, the heart, the driving force behind all our actions. The lulab, a palm branch, resembles the spine, which holds the body together and, without which, we would be unable to move. The hadas - myrtle branches - resemble, in their almond-shape, the eyes, with which we behold God's world. And the arabot, the willow branches, resemble the lips, with which we give expression to our thoughts and feelings.

A MUST SEE: Four short videos detailing everything you need to know about the Fantastic
Four []

Rabbi Yosef Bitton. YMJC | 130 Steamboat Rd. | Great Neck | NY | 11024

Monday, September 20, 2010

SUKKOT: A nation under God

Halakha of the Day
12th of Tishri, 5771

Immediately after Yom Kippur ends, that same night, we start building a Sukka.

The Sukka is a 'hut' consisting of four walls and a very fragile covering or 'sekhakh'.

The Torah says: 'In Sukkot you shall dwell seven days... that your generations shall know, that in Sukkot I hosted the children of Israel, when I brought them forth from the land of Egypt.. (Vaikra- Leviticus Chapter 23)

During seven
days we abandon our homes and establish ourselves in the Sukka. We eat, study, and -weather permitting- sleep in the Sukka. We bring part of our furniture to the Sukka and make it as comfortable and beautiful as possible.

Sukkot commemorates the forty years journey of the Jewish people. When we left Egypt in route to the Promised Land. During those years, HaShem Almighty protected us in the dessert from weather inclemency, wild animals and other dangers. He provided us with food and water and satisfied all our needs. By living in the Sukka, in a sense, we re-live those glorious days, leaving the safety and security of our houses and putting ourselves, once again, under His direct protection, which ultimately, is the one that matters.

There are many details and specifications as how to build the Sukka.

The basic principles are:

-The walls must be built first. They could be done by any material capable of withstanding
an "average" wind.

-Then we do the 'sekhakh' or covering for which we can use wood of all kinds, including bamboo branches, leafy branches, tree branches etc.

The 'sekhakh' should provide shadow but it does not suppose to protect us from rain.

For more information about building your Sukka go to []

For very interesting articles and videos on Sukkot click here []

Rabbi Yosef Bitton. YMJC | 130 Steamboat Rd. | Great Neck | NY | 11024