Update: After speaking to the person who originally asked the shailo I have since updated the question to reflect what their original kavana was.

When Yom Tov comes out Motzei Shabbos when we make Havdallah in Kiddush we then don't make a bracha on besamim. The reason being is because one doesn't need to do anything for the neshema yesira that is leaving because we have now the simcha of Yom Tov.

Someone asked if the same would apply by Motzei Shabbos Chol HaMoed. Does Chol HaMoed have a similar "simcha" at all like Yom Tov to say that one wouldn't need besamim. This person remembered a makor in Tosfos. Is there in fact any makor for this?

  • This also applies motzaei first day yom tov that falls on shabbos, not just shabbos chol hamoed.
    – Double AA
    May 4, 2022 at 13:21

2 Answers 2


Yeshiva.org.il Ask the Rabbi writes:

Both opinions are mentioned. I personally use besamim. On Motzei Shabbat which is yom tov, no besamim are used since the bessamim "revive " us from the shock of losing our elevated status (neshama yetara), but the joy of yom tov makes this unnecessary. Chol Hamoed also has joy, but not to the same degree.

Hence, I assume those who think there is plenty of joy on Chol Hamoed do not use besamim.

Rabbi Menachem Posner at Chabad.org writes

When Shabbat is followed by the intermediate days (chol hamoed) of Sukkot, fragrant spices are used. On chol hamoed Pesach, however, the Chabad custom is not to use spices (lest they contain chametz).

In footnote 65 of this Chabad book it points out that other than the problem of chometz, it would be correct to use spices on Motzei Shabbat Chol Hamoed Pesach.

  • The note 65 seems a little bit off. The word "tziporan" doesn't appear in the SA HaRav Siman 467 Sif 22. Unless they mean "karkom" which he does right there. Is that also considered to be "cloves" I always thought karkom was something else.
    – Yehoshua
    Mar 31, 2013 at 12:00
  • @Yehoshua Googletranslate supplies "Turmeric". Can we assume that what he says about the problem only being chometz is right (even though he quotes the wrong spice)? Mar 31, 2013 at 12:16
  • I do remember hearing this chashash. However I don't have a makor. Perhaps this is where the person was getting it from.
    – Yehoshua
    Mar 31, 2013 at 12:20

Nitei Gavriel Pesach chelek 2 Perek 62 seif 5 discusses this and gives additional sources. Piskei Teshuva Siman 467 seif 10 also discusses this issue. From both it seems that it is a Chametz issue and not a Chol hamoed issue and therefore the question would not apply to Chol hamoed Succos.

  • Since you are posting this as an answer maybe you could do me a favor. All of the mareh makomos from the Nitei Gavriel seem waaayyy off. Is there any correction to this?
    – Yehoshua
    Apr 1, 2013 at 17:25
  • Very sorry. The reference I gave was for smelling besamim on Yom Tov. The correct reference is chelek 3 Perek 11 seif 17. In rough paraphrase he says, that on Motzoei Shabbos Chol Hamoed one should take besamim that have been watched for Pesach or hadasim, but not to use cloves that are normally used on Motzoei Shabbos because there is a possibility of chametz with them.
    – mocdeg
    Apr 3, 2013 at 16:58

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