Melacha on Rosh Chodesh #2



Rosh Chodesh reminders

  • No laundry
  • No cutting nails, hair
  • Eat festive meal
  • Yaleh Veyavo in Davening
  • Yaleh Veyavo in Bentching
  • Tehilim with commentary


Elul Reminders

  • Blow the Shofar Tashrat-Tashat-Tarat after Shacharis.
  • Recite the three extra Kapitlach of Tehillim per day, after Davening.
  • Recite Ledavid Hashem Ori in Shacharis, after Shir Shel Yom, and in Mincha, before Aleinu, starting from the 1st day of Rosh Chodesh until Hoshanah Raba.


Saying three chapters of Tehillim a day:[1]

From the second day of Rosh Chodesh Elul it is customary to recite three chapters of Tehillim a day. We start from the first chapter, each day moving forward another three chapters. The final chapters are recited on Yom Kippur.[2] One is not to recite more than the allotted three chapters a day as part of this order.[3]

If one missed a day:[4] If one missed the three chapters of a given day, then he should first recite the current day’s three chapters and make up the chapters he missed on a later occasion.

When is the Tehillim to be recited; before or after the daily Tehillim?[6] rule that a single girl is permitted to do Melacha on Rosh Chodesh.


Is it proper for also men to refrain from work on Rosh Chodesh?[7]

It is not customary for men to refrain from work on Rosh Chodesh and those that do so carry no Halachic significance.[8] It therefore does not even require Hataras Nedarim if one who was accustomed to refrain from Melacha now desires to do Melacha.[9]


By a two day Rosh Chodesh are women to refrain from work on both days?

In months that Rosh Chodesh is two days, the 30th of previous month and the first of the new month, it is disputed as to whether the customary prohibition against Melacha applies on both days of Rosh Chodesh or only on one day. Some Poskim[10] rule a woman is to refrain on both days from Melacha. Other Poskim[11] however rule a woman is only required to refrain from Melacha on one day of Rosh Chodesh, and hence in such a case she is to refrain from Melacha only on the second day.[12] One should do according to their custom.[13]


[1] Sefer Haminhagim [English] p. 113; Hayom Yom 1st of Elul


This custom was told to Tzemach Tzedek by his grandfather the Alter Rebbe when he was nine years old. The Alter Rebbe told him “I received from my master the Maggid, who received from his master the Baal Shem Tov, who received from his known teacher [Achiya Hashiloni].” Thus the custom dates back to Achiya Hashiloni which was one of the Sages listed as part of the continuity of the Torah Shebaal Peh. [Rambam Hakdama]

Other customs of Tehillim: Some have the custom to recite ten chapters of Tehillim daily after Shacharis starting from Rosh Chodesh Elul. They intend to complete the entire Sefer twice in correspondence to the Gematria of “Kaper” which is 300. After Rosh Hashanah they say Tehillim daily in a way that they complete the Sefer prior to Yom Kippur. [Mateh Efraim 581/8; M”B 581/3; Kaf Hachaim 581/22] The Rebbe Rashab stated that the month of Elul is the month of Tehillim. [Shemuos Vesippurim 1/97] Some Chabad Chassidim in Russia were accustomed like the above mentioned Minhag to recite ten chapters of Tehillim daily after Davening. [Reshimos of Rav Chitrig; Otzer p. 13]

[2] As brought in the table below.

[3] Koveitz Michtavim Tehillim p. 208

[4] Hayom Yom ibid

[5] Otzer Minhagei Chabad Elul 13; Shevach Hamoadim 1/7; This is despite the fact that in the original source it states to recite it throughout the day.

[6] Rav Asher Lemel Hakohen

[7] SH”T 517/3

[8] It is considered a Minhag Borus [custom of ignorance] for a man to do so. [Peri Chadash; Divrei Yosef 45; Birkeiy Yosef 417/4]

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule it is proper even for men not to do Melacha on Rosh Chodesh. [Seder Hayom; Chida in Yosef Ometz 6; Shiyurei Bracha 417]

[9] Peri Chadash; Divrei Yosef 45; Birkeiy Yosef 417/4

[10] Rokeaich brought in Beis Yosef

[11] Shivlei Haleket

[12] Peri Chadash 417; M”B ibid

[13] P”M 417/1; M”B 417/4

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