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11

Yeah, especially when a diaspora yom tov is adjacent to Shabbat, it sometimes feels like a long slog. I sometimes feel like I'm fighting an uphill battle because I didn't do this from birth -- it isn't a life-long routine. Here are some things that help me. (Some of these are dependent on your family and community situations, which I don't know.) Board ...


10

The current fixed calendar is arranged (by adding or taking out an extra day in Marcheshvan or Kislev) such that Yom Kippur can't fall on Friday or Sunday (so there won't be two days in a row where no work at all can be done) and such that Hoshana Rabba can't fall on Shabbat. Most months are of fixed length, so this effectively limits all holidays in some ...


9

I will start with the disclaimer that when I became religious, Yom Tov was a highlight for me, so I don't know how you will relate to what makes Yom Tov exciting for me. I am generally more of an intellectually-stimulated person, but something I found exciting about many mitzvos, but perhaps more so by Yom Tov, was understanding the meaning of the theme and ...


6

My parents were observant from before I was born, and I have been Shabbat- and Yom-Tov-observant my whole life. I can honestly say that I don't believe I have ever intentionally violated either. So no, based on one counterexample from personal testimony, for what that's worth, not everyone cheats. I do find that observance of Shabbat and Yom Tov, especially ...


6

I don't think there's a formal English terminology what people would call "festival" vs. "holiday", but there certainly are distinctions. The Jewish holidays such as Passover, Sukkot [booths], Rosh Hashanah (new year) and the like are spelled out in the Five Books of Moses. They all include "no-work" days. So you will not see an observant Jew at the office ...


5

I sympathize with your story, but let's focus on the questions you stated: Does everyone actually cheat? Absolutely not. Most people who keep Yom Tov follow the normative Halacha. Why don't you hear other complainers? Try looking harder, as there are people willing to complain about anything and everything ; ) What do people actually do? They learn how to ...


4

Only the years we had a Mishkan (year 2 of the Exodus) through a few years after Shelomo's reign. Rashi (Qoheles 1:1) quotes a tradition that Shelomo haMelekh calls himself Qoheles at the beginning of the book because he saw through Ruach haQodesh that he would be the only king -- until the messianic one -- to perform the mitzvah of haQhel. The mitzvah ...


4

This isn't quite in print, but you can see the Rosh Hashanah one in full here: http://hebrewbooks.org/42793 The others may be online, too.


4

As DanF already answered, the Torah only commands us to go for the 3 festivals. However, if you look in the Mishna in Yoma, 7:2, and its commentators, you will learn that there were people who attended the Yom Kippur services in the Bet HaMikdash - and that it was a Mitzva to do so. Mishna: הָרוֹאֶה כֹהֵן גָּדוֹל כְּשֶׁהוּא קוֹרֵא, אֵינוֹ רוֹאֶה פַר ...


3

B"H, I have solved my problem. I will post my experience here in case it could help anyone else. It turns out that what was making Yom Tov impossible for me was the fact that I lived alone and spent most of the time alone, except for going out to shul and perhaps one seudah a day. I would not recommend this to anyone. If you have ever tried it--please don'...


3

You can add the Shem MiShmuel by Rabbi Shmuel Bornsztain, the second Sochatchover Rebbe, to your list. Also, the Maharal MiPrague predates Hassidism but has been described as a forefather of Chassidus in terms of machshavic thought. (I believe he heavily influenced Rav Tzadok.) He has works related to many of the moadim including Gevurot Hashem on Pesach, ...


3

This 17 volume set covers everything you're looking for. Each sefer covers both halacha, customs and Chassidic insights as explained by the Lubavitcher Rebbe. There are extensive footnotes to look up original sources. http://store.kehotonline.com/prodinfo.asp?number=HRE-SHAAM.S This second set, Nitai Gavriel, is not specifically Chassidut. It is Halacha. ...


3

The day begins at sunset, based on Bereishit 1:5 "and there was evening and morning, one day". However, doing creative work (melacha) on a major holiday or on Shabbat is a violation of biblical law, so to be safe we add some time to both ends. Most communities (not all!) begin Shabbat or a holiday 18 minutes before sunset and end it about an hour after ...


3

To publicize that it's rosh chodesh. Rama, OC 48. (Everyone already knows it's yom tov by yom tov morning. MB there, citing the L'vush. And on Shabas, as you mention in the question, we don't read the verses from the Torah scroll, so we recite them earlier. SA there.)


2

It's the other way around. Every date in the Jewish calendar has a particular nature, and gives that date the potential for particular things to happen on it. So the 14th Adar had always had the nature of being the holiest day of the year, it was just revealed when Purim happened. Rav Dessler speaks about this in Michtav HaEliyahu (sorry, don't have an exact ...


2

Although not too many earlier commentators seem to have been bothered by this issue, there are a few who have mentioned it: Seforno: it is a completely unique holiday in that it has an eighth day, and requires moving to another dwelling place as well as taking four plants Personally, I'm not sure what the big deal is regarding the "special mitzvos" of ...


2

It's hard to answer this question concretely because "festival" is an English word and Jewish concepts are not generally categorized by English words. But I will attempt to answer this question as well as I can. In my experience, with respect to Jewish observance, the word festival usually has one of two meanings. The first corresponds to the three ...


2

Nesivos Sholom Moadim volume, from the Slonimer Rebbe. Also there are Lubavitcher Rebbe Moadim Sichos.


2

Bnai Yissaschar is based on the months and thoroughly goes through each Yom Tov.


1

Nefesh Shimshon based on the lectures of Rabbi Shimshon Pinkus is one of those modern classics that has found a wide audience in this area. The series does not cover all the moadim as of yet, see the list of works here


1

Well there's this Rabbi Adir HaKohen who brings a small siman (from Rosh HaShanah daf 14b) for why the focus is the evening. In addition, here's a collection of halachos for Tu BiShvat, where the rabbi brings one source for day (Even Yisrael) and two for night (Yafe LaLev and Moed Lekol Chai). Do not know these sources well enough, sorry :)


1

i don't think there is an ideal answer for you, because you are basically saying "it's too hard for me, so i can't do it." And to certain Jewish groups, they would view this kind of statement as some sort of laziness, or lack of faith, rather than trying to respond to something very legitimate that a person is explaining. And so answers of "try harder" or "...


1

Okay, I will share the one thing that has sorta-kinda worked for me...to plan reading marathons with massive goals for the 2-3 days of Yom Tov. That way I don't feel like Yom Tov is חס לי a total waste, and I can take my frustrations out on the books. To anyone in the same boat as me: try this.


1

look at the biur halacha 695, d.h. "chayav inish", who spells out the potential problem: חייב איניש וכו' - וא"ת האיך יחייבו חז"ל מה שנזכר בתורה ובנביאים בכמה מקומות השיכרות למכשול גדול וי"ל מפני שכל הניסים שנעשו לישראל בימי אחשורוש היו ע"י משתה כי בתחלה נטרדה ושתי ע"י משתה ובאה אסתר וכן ענין המן ומפלתו היה ע"י משתה ולכן חייבו חכמים להשתכר עד כדי שיהא נזכר ...


1

I do not think that there is a halachic difference. From a linguistic point of view a חג is a periodic event (לחוג means to circle around something) whereas a מועד is a time for gathering together (from the same root as ועד).


1

This website gives the range of Koren machzorim including the ones with a commentary by Lord Rabbi Sacks. The blurb reads: The Koren Sacks Rosh HaShana Mahzor and the Koren Sacks Yom Kippur Mahzor are a pair of Hebrew/English prayer books for the High Holidays with translation and commentary by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, one of today's leading Jewish ...


1

The term Chag traditionally means "festival", whereas "holiday" doesn't necessarily have a strict Hebrew translation. Chagim in its strictest sense refers to Passover, Shavous, and Sukkos (Rosh Hashanah as well as seen in Talmud Rosh Hashanah on Tehillim 81:3). Hannukah, Purim, Shabbos, etc. are not traditionally "chagim." I have even heard that technically ...


1

In addition to the answers above, perhaps I can summarize things in terminology. As stated, the term "festival" or "holiday" doesn't translate well into a specific Hebrew word, when discussing the "important" days mentioned in the Torah. Let's view a key verse in the Torah that appears before the entire list of holidays. Focus on the bolded Hebrew terms ...


1

The Seforno on 23:29 answers your question: אך בחמשה עשר יום אחר שהזכיר את הדברים הכללים שכל המועדים מסכימים בהם וזה במה שכולם מקראי קדש וטעונים קרבן מוסף כאמרו אלה מועדי ה' אשר תקראו אותם מקראי קדש להקריב אשה וכו' אמר אך בחמשה עשר יום וכו' והודיע שחג הסכות נבדל משאר המועדים ראשונה שהשמיני שלו מקרא קדש כאמרו וביום השמיני שבתון לא כן בימי השבוע ובימי חג ...



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