Shabbos Bereishis-Importance, laws & Customs

Shabbos Bireishis:

Its effect on the entire year:[1] The Rebbe Rayatz stated in the name of the Alter Rebbe and in name of the Baal Shem Tov that Shabbos Bereishis, which is the first Shabbos of the year which follows the holiday season, has ability to effect one’s entire year. In his words “The way one stands on Shabbos Bereishis, so is drawn onto the entire year.” On this Shabbos there is a light of Chochmah which shines and this light extends to every day of the year, and all its important events, general and personal, including: Shabbos, Yomim Tovim, Hachnasa’s Lecheder, Bar Mitzvah’s,e tc. All these events receive from the light of Shabbos Bereishis.[2] The decrees that were written on Rosh Hashanah, sealed on Yom Kippur, and packaged on Hoshanah Raba, do not leave for shipment until Shabbos Bereishis.[3]

Yaakov Halacha Ledarko:[4] On Motzei Shabbos Bereishis we pronounce “Yaakov Halacha Ledarko,” that Yaakov Avinu has begun his journey. 

Kiddush between 6-7: See next!

 

 

When do we change the mantel on the Bima and Aron from white to colored?[5]

Some Chassidic communities are accustomed to leave the white Paroches on the Aron and Bima until after Simchas Torah, and some leave it until after Shabbos Bereishis. The custom in 770 is to leave the white Paroches on the Bima and Aron until after Simchas Torah.[6]

 

Not to make Kiddush during the seventh hour:[7]

The Halacha:

Some[8] are careful to avoid saying Kiddush during the first hour of the night[9], (which is during the 7th hour past midday).[10] Rather, they recite Kiddush either prior to nightfall, or after an hour into nightfall. It has already been explained that initially one is to recite Kiddush immediately upon returning from Shul even if it is still day [and is prior to the first hour of the night].[11] [Today, however, that the custom is to Daven Maariv after nightfall, and hence one only returns home within the first hour of night, therefore, those who beware not to make Kiddush during the first hour are to delay Kiddush until the end of the first hour. Practically, the Chabad custom is to avoid making Kiddush throughout the 7th hour after midday, as brought above.[12] This applies likewise in Eretz Yisrael.[13] Other communities however are not accustomed to avoid this, especially in Eretz Yisrael.[14] The Rebbe was very careful not to make Kiddush in the 7th hour.[15]]

 

How to calculate the 7th hour:[16]

Ruling of Admur in Shulchan Aruch: According to the ruling of Admur in the Shulchan Aruch [brought above] and other Poskim[17], the 7th hour is always the first hour of the night of Shabbos, which is the 7th Zmaniyos hour past the midday of the current day.[18] Accordingly, on every Shabbos one is to avoid saying Kiddush within an hour into Shabbos[19], as the seventh hour past the real midday is always the start of Shabbos. Other Poskim[20] however argue on this calculation. Practically, the custom does not follow the above calculation of Admur, as explained next. 

Final ruling-Custom:[21] The custom is to calculate midday and the seventh hour as 60 minute hours throughout all times of the year and in all places.[22] Likewise, the custom is to calculate the 7th hour from the average Chatzos [Chatzos Haemtzai] as opposed to the real Chatzos. [Chatzos Haamiti].[23] Thus, the time of midday and the 7th hour remains the same throughout the year in all areas and does not fluctuate with summer/winter.[24] In general, the average Chatzos is at 12:00 pm. Accordingly, the practical custom is to avoid saying Kiddush from 6:00-7:00 throughout all times of the year and in all places [except for when DSL is active].[25] Nevertheless, in many countries, due to the change of time zone, the average Chatzos is before or after 12:00. For this reason, the custom in Eretz Yisrael is to view the average Chatzos as 11:40, and hence avoid Kiddush from 5:40-6:40.[26] However some Rabbanim[27] negate this matter, and state one is to always follow 12:00 p.m. as Chatzos irrelevant of his time zone, and hence avoid Kiddush from 6:00-7:00 in all places. One is to follow his community’s custom in this regard. The custom in N.Y. is to avoid Kiddush between 6:00-7:00 and in Israel to avoid Kiddush between 5:40-6:40. Thus, this entire matter of adherence is only in the winter, when 6:00-7:00 falls after the entrance of Shabbos, and not in the summer when 6:00-7:00 falls before the entrance of Shabbos.

Daylight savings time:[28] During those months in which DST is active, the 7th hour of the day is pushed up one hour, and hence one is to avoid making Kiddush from 7:00-8:00, [or in Israel from 6:40 -7:40].[29]

 

Summary:

Some are careful to avoid saying Kiddush during the 7th sixty-minute hour past the average midday and so is the Chabad custom. In New York this is between 6:00-7:00 pm throughout the year, except for when DST is active in which case it is between 7:00-8:00. In Eretz Yisrael, this is between 5:40-6:40 pm throughout the year except for when DST is active in which case it is between 6:40-7:40. Some Rabbanim however rule one is to always avoid Kiddush from 6:00-7:00 in all places. One is to recite Kiddush either prior to this time, or afterwards. Initially one is to recite Kiddush immediately upon returning from Shul and hence if he arrives home before the start of this time he should hurry and make Kiddush beforehand. 

 

Q&A

Does the above custom apply also against making Kiddush on white wine?

Yes.[30] Those who are careful to avoid Kiddush during the 7th hour avoid it with all forms of wine, irrelevant of color.

Does the above custom apply also against making Kiddush on bread?

Yes.[31] Those who are careful to avoid Kiddush during the 7th hour, avoid doing so even over bread.

If one made Kiddush before the 7th hour may he continue drinking wine throughout the 7th hour?

Yes.[32]

 

May one who is particular to normally avoid Kiddush in the 7th hour recite Kiddush during the 7th hour for the sake of guests?

No.[33] However, some Poskim[34] are lenient in this matter and rule that if there are hungry guests at the table then the Mitzvah of Hachnasas Orchim will protect him of any danger.

Are those who are particular to avoid Kiddush in the 7th hour of Shabbos to avoid it also on Yom Tov?[35]

No. There is no need to avoid making Kiddush during the 7th hour on Yom Tov.[36]

 

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[1] Sefer Hasichos 5704 p. 44; 5705 p. 65 [in name of the Alter Rebbe, and that the Mittler Rebbe discusses this in length]; 5707  p. 80; 5710 14th Tishreiy, printed in Sefer Hamamarim 5711 Melukat p. 59 [in name of Alter Rebbe who received it from his teachers]; Likkutei Sichos 1:1; 2:449 in name of Tzemach Tzedek; 10:190; 20:556; Hisvadyus 5752 1:188; Igros Kodesh 3:201 in name of Maggid and Baal Shem Tov; Otzer Minhagei Chabad Tishreiy 108; Keser Shem Tov Hosafos p. 283

[2] Sefer Hasichos 5710 14th Tishreiy p. 356, printed in Sefer Hamamarim 5711 Melukat p. 59, in name of Alter Rebbe who received it from his teachers; See Toras Meanchem 5714 1:106

[3] Statement of Rebbe Rayatz made on Simchas Torah 5691, printed in Likkutei Dibburim p. 711

[4] Likkutei Sichos 20:269

[5] Nitei Gavriel 4

[6] Otzer Minhagei Chabad 29

[7] Admur 271:3; M”A 271:1; Beir Heiytiv 271:1; Kaf Hachaim 271:2; Piskeiy Teshuvos 271:4

[8] Tikkunei Shabbos; Maharil 163

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule there is no need to worry of this issue as the Jewish people are not under the authority of the Mazalos, and certainly on Shabbos there is no need to worry of this matter. [Aruch Hashulchan 271:11 vehemently negates this matter; Mishmeres Shalom Kudinov 27:3; See Poskim and Rabbanim in Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid footnote 45-46; This entire Halacha is omitted in M”B 271]

[9] Admur ibid; first hour of night is not mentioned in Poskim ibid, and they simply state “the beginning of the night”

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule the seventh hour is calculated in 60 minute hours at all times of the year and in all places. Thus, the time of the 7th hour remains the same throughout the year in all areas and does not fluctuate and is not always the 1st hour of the night. [Machatzis Hashekel 271 on M”A ibid; Igros Kodesh 12:226; 13:120 printed in Shulchan Menachem 2:71; See Maharil ibid who implies like Machatzis Hashekel; Piskeiy Teshuvos 271:3] Accordingly, due to the above, some Poskim rule that the entire issue of the 7th hour only applies by those times of the year that the night and day have exactly 12 hours, as only then does the 7th 60 minute hour fall out on the 1st hour of the entrance of Shabbos. [Machatzis Hashekel 271 on M”A ibid; See Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid footnote 38] 

[10] The reason: As during the first hour of the night the Mazal of Maadim and Samal rule over the person. [Admur and Poskim ibid; See the following for the exact calculation of the schedule of the Mazalos: Rashi Shabbos 129b; Machatzis Hashekel on M”A ibid; Levush 428; Igros Kodesh 13:120, printed in Shulchan Menachem 2:71; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid] The Mazal of Madim is in charge of destruction and war, and is under the authority of the Satan. [Machatzis Hashekel on M”A ibid]

[11] Admur ibid

Alternative reasons for saying Kiddush before 7th hour: Some Poskim write one is to specifically say Kiddush in the 6th hour, prior to the 7th hour, not because of the requirement to say Kiddush immediately upon arrival, but because during the 6th hour the Mazal of Tzedek shines, and one should make Kiddush during this Mazal. [M”A ibid; Tikkunei Shabbos ibid; Beir Heiytiv ibid] Vetzaruch Iyun why this was omitted by Admur

[12] See Shulchan Menachem 2:71-75

[13] So is the practical custom today; See Igros Kodesh 12:226; 13:120; letter printed in Shulchan Menachem 2:71; Oholei Sheim 7:206; Hiskashrus 379 footnote 32

[14] See Poskim and Rabbanim in Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid footnote 45-46; See Igros Kodesh ibid that people wrote to the Rebbe that the custom in Eretz Yisrael is not to be careful in this. In one letter the Rebbe asks for verification of the source of this custom and for its reason. In a later letter the Rebbe suggests that if this custom is correct, then perhaps the reason is because one who guards a Mitzvah knows no evil, and hence they never accepted this custom to begin with. However, the Rebbe negates the suggestion that the reason is because there are no mazalos in Eretz Yisrael as in truth there are. See Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid that many communities in Eretz Yisrael are careful.

[15] Heard from Rav Groner

[16] See Shulchan Menachem 2:71-75 for letters of Rebbe on subject; Piskeiy Teshuvos 271:4; Nesivim Besidei Hashlichus 1:57; Minhag Avoseinu Biyadeinu 115; Hiskashrus 379

Background:

Above we stated that some avoid making Kiddush during the 7th hour and that so is the Chabad custom. There are various methods of how to calculate the 7th hour, based on difference of Chatzos and the time span of each of the seven hours.

When is Chatzos? The time of Chatzos:Midday is the time between sunrise and sunset. Accordingly, the time of the 7th hour fluctuates every Shabbos based on that day’s sunset and sunrise and subsequent Chatzos, and this is how Admur rules in the Shulchan Aruch. Nevertheless, the custom is to calculate the 7th hour from the average Chatzos [Chatzos Haemtzai] as opposed to the real Chatzos. [Chatzos Haamiti].

How long is each hour? There are two calculations of hours available. One is based on an equal 60 minute hour, while the second is called Shaos Zmaniyos, which is based on the amount of minutes in the day divided by 12. Admur ibid rules we follow Zmaniyos hours. Nevertheless, the custom is to calculate 60 minute hours.

The three calculations: Based on the above, there are three possible calculations of the 7th hour: 1) The seventh Zmaniyos hour past that days true midday. [Admur ibid; Implication of M”A ibid; Poskim in Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid footnote 4] 2) The seventh 60 minute hour past that days true midday. [Option in Igros Kodesh ibid, brought in Shulchan Menachem ibid; 2nd option in Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid footnote 38] 3) The seventh 60th  minute hour past the general average midday. [Machatzis Hashekel ibid; Letters in Shulchan Menachem ibid; 1st option in Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid footnote 38]

[17] Implication of M”A ibid; Third option brought in Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid and Poskim there in footnote 41

[18] The time of Chatzos:Midday is the time between sunrise and sunset. Thus, according to Admur ibid, the time of the 7th hour from midday fluctuates every Shabbos based on that day’s sunset and sunrise and subsequent Chatzos. According to Admur one must say that Chatzos is the Chatzos Haamiti, and that the hours are calculated as Zmaniyos, as otherwise the first hour of Shabbos would not always be the seventh hour.

[19] See Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid footnote 41 that this should follow the first hour from sunset, although the custom is to calculate one hour from Tzeis.

[20] Some Poskim rule the seventh hour is calculated in 60 minute hours at all times of the year and in all places. Thus, the time of the 7th hour remains the same throughout the year in all areas and does not fluctuate and is not always the 1st hour of the night. [Machatzis Hashekel 271 on M”A ibid; See Maharil ibid who implies like Machatzis Hashekel; Igros Kodesh 12:226; 13:120; Likkutei Sichos 16:576, printed in Shulchan Menachem 2:71; Piskeiy Teshuvos 271:3]  Accordingly, due to the above, some Poskim rule that the entire issue of the 7th hour only applies by those times of the year that the night and day have exactly 12 hours, as only then does the 7th 60 minute hour fall out on the 7th hour of the entrance of Shabbos. [Machatzis Hashekel 271 on M”A ibid; See Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid footnote 38] 

[21] Igros Kodesh 12:226; 13:120; Likkutei Sichos 16:576, printed in Shulchan Menachem 2:71

[22] Machatzis Hashekel ibid; Igros Kodesh ibid; There are two calculations of hours available. One is based on an equal 60 minute hour, while the second is called Shaos Zmaniyos, which is based on the amount of minutes in the day divided by 12. Regarding the above matter we follow 60 minute hours throughout the year, and not Shaos Zmaniyos.

The reason: The reason for this is because the Mazalos do not follow Shaos Zmaniyos, but rather an exact 60 minutes. [Igros Kodesh 12:226, printed in Shulchan Menachem 2:71]

[23] Likkutei Sichos ibid

[24] Igros Kodesh ibid

[25] Igros Kodesh ibid

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule based on the above that the entire issue of the 7th hour only applies by those times of the year that the night and day have exactly 12 hours, as only then does the 7th 60 minute hour fall out on the 7th hour of the entrance of Shabbos. [Machatzis Hashekel ibid; See Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid footnote 38]

[26] Shulchan Menachem ibid footnote 5; Piskeiy Teshuvos 271:3, See there footnote 39 in length for the exact times in Israel and New York and London, and how to calculate the average Chatzos.

Explanation:  Israel has an earlier sunrise than Egypt, however the clock of Israel is symmetric to the clock in Egypt even though in truth we are several minutes ahead of Egypt; when it is 12:00 in Israel it is 12:00 in Egypt. Thus the average Chatzos in Israel is earlier than the average Chatzos in Egypt, which is at 12:00, and hence the true average Chatzos in Israel is when it is 11:40 in Israel. For this reason the custom in Eretz Yisrael is to view Chatzos from 11:40-12:40. [See Shulchan Menachem ibid footnote 5; Yisrael Vehazmanim 1:43-44]

[27] Directive of Rav Z”S Dworkin; Rav Groner states that the Rebbe negated the former opinion and held of 6:00-7:00 in all places; See also Igros Kodesh ibid where the Rebbe mentions 6:00-7:00

[28] Pashut! Piskeiy Teshuvos 271:4; Directive of Rav Z”S Dworkin brought in Kovetz Oholei Torah; Custom of Rebbe not to make Kiddush during DSL from 7:00-8:00. [Heard from Harav L. Groner]

[29] As the average Chatzos is really at 1:00 during DST, as the clock has been pushed up an hour, and hence the true time at 1:00 is 12:00, and hence the true time as 7:00 is 6:00. Upashut!

[30] The reason: There is no source to limit the prohibition to red wine and not white wine. On the contrary, the fact that no Posek makes any differentiation is a clear ruling that in truth the wine color makes no difference, and so is the custom. Rav Leibal Groner related to me that “The Rebbe said that we do not make kiddush at that time no difference what color wine.”; Rav Eli Landa Shlita relates that there is no source or reason for allowing white wine and those who do so are performing “Purim Torah”; Nonetheless, the ruling of Rav Levi Bistritzky Z”al of the Tzvas community was to permit white wine.

[31] The reason: As the danger is in making Kiddush. No mention is made of certain forms of Kiddush being allowed.

[32] We have no source that there is danger to drink wine during this hour but simply that making Kiddush is dangerous.

[33] Letter of Rebbe printed in Shulchan Menachem 2:75

[34] Piskeiy Teshuvos 271:4 in name of Likkutei Maharich

[35] See Piskeiy Teshuvos 271:4 footnote 45

[36] The reason: Mazal Madim only shines on the first hour of the night on Friday night and not on any other night. [See Machatzis Hashekel ibid]

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