Halachos of Shavuos (2016)

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  • We do not say תחנון from Rosh Chodesh Sivan until Isru Chag Shavuos. Some have the custom not to say Tachanun until the thirteenth of Sivan – six days after Shavous.
  • This year Erev Shavuos is on Shabbos. One is not supposed to say on any Shabbos, “I have to get a good sleep on Shabbos afternoon because I have to travel on Motzei shabbos, or because I have work to do on Motzei Shabbos.”
  • What if you are going to do a mitzvah Motzei Shabbos? May one say, “I have to go to sleep on Shabbos afternoon because I have a mitzvah to do on Motzei Shabbos,” i.e. I want to stay up learning on Motzei Shabbos, Shavous night?
    No. However, one is permitted to think to himself on Shabbos that he must go to sleep on Shabbos afternoon because he is planning to stay up all night learning.
  • In some places, there is a custom to decorate the shul and houses with flowers as a remembrance of Har Sinai. Some places decorate the shul with trees, for on Shavous we are judged on the fruit of the trees. Trees that are used as decorations are not Muktzeh and are allowed to be moved on Yom Tov; however, leaves that fall from them are Muktzeh.
  • On Shavous night, one should not daven Maariv and say kiddush before צאת הכוכבים in order to have 49 complete days of the Omer. However, women may light the candles earlier; some light before nightfall, as is done on every Erev Shabbos.
  • There is a mitzvah of תוספת יום טוב – to accept on yourself Yom Tov before nightfall, like all other Yom Tovim.
    There is a custom based on the Zohar to be awake all night and learn.
  • One who after eating his Shavous seudah was tired and went to sleep in bed for a half an hour before going to the bais medrash, should say birchas haTorah before beginning to learn.
  • One who stays up learning the whole night, does not need to stop learning after alos hashachar (daybreak) to hear birchas haTorah and to wash negel vasser, he could wait until before davening.
  • In the morning, after staying up the whole night, one is not allowed to say the following brachos: al netilas yodayim, birchas haTorah, elokai nashamah, and hamavir shainah me’ainoy. However if one uses the bathroom, he may wash his hands and also say al netilas yodayim. If one slept in a bed during the previous day, he may say birchas haTorah in the morning.
  • If one slept for an hour in the middle of the night at his shtender, he still may not say all the brachos, unless it was for more than three hours.
  • After alos (daybreak) one is prohibited to eat, and may only drink water (even with flavors), tea or coffee.
    One should not put on his Talis until the time that one can differentiate between white and blue – משיכיר בין תכלת שבה ללבן שבה.
  • One who stayed up the whole night learning, and when it came time for davening felt very exhausted and wanted to go to sleep and get up later for davening, can go to bed, but he must make a shomer to wake him up.
    There is a custom to read אקדמות before the Kohen says the bracha on the Torah.
  • There is a custom to stand by the reading of the עשרת הדברות. However, the Rambam wrote in a response against such a practive; each person should follow his custom.
  • There is a custom to eat dairy on Shavous. Some have the custom to drink beer on the evening of Shavous.
    The bracha on cheesecake made with a pie or cake crust on the bottom and then baked together is mezonos, unless the crust is so thin that it does not give taste and is only there to keep the cheese from falling apart. However, if the cheese filling and the crust were not baked together, and both are there for their taste, one would say first mezonos on the crust and then shehakol on the cheese. The same is true with ice cream in a sugar cone and an ice cream sandwich (that one should make two brachos).
    The bracha acharona depends on how much one ate from the mezonos.
  • Before preparing for the second night one should wait the time he normally does after Shabbos before doing work.
  • A בן חוץ לארץ  who heard megilas Rus on the first day does not need to hear it again on the second day.