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Firsts (Reishit) – Including Pidyon HaBein
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Introduction Jews thank God for His blessings by giving Him the “first” (reishit) of various products (as well as a tenth/ma’aser of agricultural and other wealth). “First” applies to: First-Born/Petter Rechem First-born male children/petter rechem (redeemed with money). First-born male kosher domestic animals (calf, lamb, kid)/petter rechem (in Temple times: sacrificed on altar; now, permanent holy status). First-born male donkeys/petter rechemchamor (redeemed with […]
Orla
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Which Fruit Is Orla Do not eat tree fruit for the first three years of the tree (orla); any tree fruits from the fourth year (neta revai) must be redeemed with a pruta before eating, even outside of Eretz Yisrael. NOTE: It is not possible to redeem neta revai in the old city of Jerusalem! Which Uses Are Prohibited You may […]
Forbidden Mixtures (Kilayim)
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Introduction to Forbidden Mixtures/Kilayim The limits of kilayim keep: Individual creations true to themselves, in the way they were created by God, and Different, or opposing, spiritual forces governing creation in their own places and within their own bounds. In the holiness of the Tabernacle or Temple, where opposites were peaceably and constructively resolved, kilayim in the form of sha’atnez was not only permitted but […]
Brit Mila
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Introduction to Brit Mila Avraham was commanded to circumcise himself and all males in his household. From then on, all healthy Jewish males were to be circumcised when they reached 8 days old. If there is any question about the baby’s health, the circumcision is delayed or, in rare cases, not done at all. The […]
Yom Tov Activities: R-W
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REFRIGERATORS Opening Refrigerator Door with LEDs As on Shabbat, do not open a refrigerator door that has LEDs that illuminate when the door is opened on Jewish festivals. ROOM SENSORS Covering Motion Detectors SITUATION: A motion detector will light up when you move. WHAT TO DO: You must cover the detector or turn off the […]
Yom Tov Activities: M-P
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MAIL AND PERIODICALS Bringing Mail inside House Do not bring mail inside the house on Jewish festivals, unless it was delivered: Open REASON: Most mail is muktza on Jewish festivals since it cannot be opened or used without doing melacha, AND From within techum Shabbat, AND By a non-Jew. Bringing Newspaper inside House You may […]
Yom Tov Activities: G-L
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GLASSES (i.e., eye glasses) You may wash reading glasses or sunglasses using liquid soap on Jewish festivals. GRAMA On Jewish festivals, “grama” (indirect action) is permissible. HAIR/BEARDS Brushing You may brush your hair on a Jewish festival, but only if the brush bristles bend easily. You may not use stiff bristles or combs since they might […]
Yom Tov Activities: D-F
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DOORS Replacing Doors You may not replace a door on its hinges and you may not replace a sliding door onto its track on Jewish festivals. REASON: This is due to the melacha of boneh (building). ELECTRICITY Turning Off Electrical Devices You may not turn off or disconnect an operating electrical device (such as an […]
Activities Permitted and Forbidden on Yom Tov: C
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CHILDREN Children and Melacha As on Shabbat, you may not have a child, even younger than gil chinuch, do melacha for you on a Jewish festival. CHILDREN’S GAMES Ball Playing in Yard or Eruv Playing ball is not forbidden on Jewish festivals, as long as the Jewish festival does not coincide with Shabbat (in which […]
Activities Permitted and Forbidden on Yom Tov: A-B
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ACQUISITIONS You may not acquire items (kinyan) on Jewish festivals unless they are needed for that Jewish festival or for a mitzva. The classic example is bringing food or wine to a house for Jewish festival lunch, which the house owner acquires on the Jewish festival for the Jewish festival. Other permissible kinyan on Jewish […]