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In some Mediterranean communities, there is a custom of having weeks called Chol HaMuad. What are the halachot for these times?


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The holiday of Chol Hamuad has long been disputed among our sages, and many different customs are recorded as being practiced during this week.

Ponim Chaloshaus records that during the week of Chol Hamuad the holy community of Madrid would treat all oxen as מועדים regardless of their true status. However, he denounces this practice claiming that it was originated by tort lawyers operating on commission. Rather Chol Hamuad is celebrated the week of Parshas Mishpatim, when the bullfighter's guild sponsors kiddush in shul.

A noted contemporary posek who disagrees with the Ponim Chaloshaus is the Dayan of Yehupitz, who defends the ancient tradition of treating all oxen as מועדים on the grounds that oxen are expensive and that division is ossur because of a ch'shash minus on multiple fronts. Also, since chol hamuad is the week before Rosh Chodesh Nissan, the dayanim are still celebrating Purim and are forbidden to pasken, so the owner of the ox just pays up.

  • I didn't even realize how many puns were involved! I was just grumbling about the sorry state of secular education in Yeshivos. – Yitzchak Feb 19 '15 at 20:19
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It depends on whether we say Yesh Eim LaMikra or LaMesores.

If we say Yesh Eim LaMikra it would be "מועד" (as in אדם מועד לעולם) or Moed. This means that the sand tell time. The custom would be to use an hourglass.

If we say Yes Eim LaMesores it would mean the "the warned sand".

The custom would be to throw sand at people to commemorate the saving of Nachum Ish Gamzu through the hands of sand. As we're commemorating the dangerous sand which Nachum Ish Gamzu brought, the sand must be thrown hard enough to hurt.

The question is what does someone pay when damaging another. That's what the week tells us, Adam (and anything coming from him (El Afar Tashuv)) Muad LeOlam and you have to pay full price.

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