If you’ve been on the OU web site since Purim – and if you’re reading this, then you certainly have – you’ve probably noticed a lot of material to help you get ready for Pesach – on OU Kosher, OU Torah, OU Holidays and OU Life – even from the OU Daf Yomi Initiative! And this makes perfect sense; not only is Pesach a central event in Jewish life, it takes a lot of prep work!
But what to do when 17 Nisan rolls around? (Or, if you live in Israel, 16 Nisan?) The shopping is done, the house is all turned over, the Sedarim are finished (the one Seder in Israel)… so, now what?
Well, now several things begin!
First off, it’s chol hamoed – the intermediate days of the Festival, which are quasi-yom tov! (They’re both “chol” – weekdays – and “moed” – holidays.) If you look on the various OU sites (linked above), you’ll find lots of content to enhance your chol hamoed experience. Examples include Rabbi Y. Dov Krakowski on Hilchos Chol HaMoed, Daniel Adler on Tefillin on Chol HaMoed, Rabbi Dr. Gidon Rothstein’s A Responsum a Day on Writing on Chol HaMoed, Rabbi Ephraim Glatt, Esq.’s Mishnah Brurah Iyun Chaburah on Chol Hamoed Trips and Tefillas Haderech, and a series on chol hamoed from HaShoneh Halachos 2: Mishneh Torah that begins here.
Next, while they don’t have all the pomp of the first days, we should not overlook the last days of Pesach (last day in Israel). In OU Holidays, you’ll find a number of special shiurim, including Rabbi Yochanan Bechhofer on First Day of Pesach vs. the Seventh Day, Rabbi Menachem Leibtag on Shvii Shel Pesach – the 7th Day of Chag HaMatzot and Rabbi Daniel Glatstein on Shvi’i Shel Pesach: Cashing in at the Sea. Over in OU Torah, there’s the Haftorahman with shiurim on the haftaros for the seventh and eighth days of Pesach. (And let us not forget that there’s Yizkor!)
Finally, on the second day of Pesach, we start counting sefiras ha’omer, which lasts until the day before Shavuos. On OU Torah, you’ll find a variety of shiurum on sefirah, including Rabbi Shai Finkelstein on Aveilut During Sefirat HaOmer, Rabbi Anthony Manning on Music, Sefirah and Yom Ha’atzmaut, and Rabbi Ari Enkin’s Dalet Amot of Halacha on Sefirat Ha’omer Restrictions. You can even hear the Rav, Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik ztz”l, speaking about sefiras ha’omer in his own voice! (Please pardon the sound quality of the latter. Cassette recorders in 1981 were not up to modern MP3 standards.) Of course, OU Holidays has a whole section dedicated to Sefiras Ha’Omer, including such shiurim as Sefirat HaOmer: The Inner Count by Shira Smiles and The Students of Rabbi Akiva by Rabbi Dr. Sholom Gold. And remember to sign up for sefirah reminder emails from the OU, and to download a chart of the daily count!
So even after the Seder is/Sedarim are finished, there’s still a lot of excitement in Jewish life to keep us busy, even if not quite as busy as the weeks leading up to Pesach! Find these shiurim and more on OU Torah and OU Holidays. And remember to download the OU Torah app for iOS and Android.