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Crying On Rosh HaShanah?

Updated: Sep 12, 2023

The Daily Halacha Moment - Crying on Rosh Hashana 😢

‎״כל השונה הלכות בכל יום - מובטח לו שהוא בן העולם הבא״ (נידה עג ע״א, מגילה כח:)

“Anyone who studies Halachot every day is guaranteed that he is destined for the world-to-come” (Megilla 28b, Niddah 73a)


May one cry on Rosh Hashana?


On Rosh HaShanah, one should not purposely bring himself to tears, since it is a Yom Tov, and one should trust in Hashem that his coming year will be judged for good. However, it is permissible to unexpectedly cry from the enthusiasm and intensity of the prayers.[See footnote 1 for a further explanation]

Adapted From R' Yonatan Nacsons "Laws Of The Holidays"


[1]. Rabbi Chaim Vital in Shaar HaKavanot, p. 40a writes that the Arizal would cry excessively on Rosh HaShanah even though it is a Yom Tov. He would even say that those who do not cry on Rosh HaShanah show signs of imperfection in their neshamot. See also Moreh BaEtzba, siman 9, §250, 259, & 267, which also states that one should cry during the tefillot of Rosh HaShanah. Mateh Ephraim §28 adds that one should even cry when Rosh HaShanah is on Shabbat. See also Pele Yoetz, “Bechiyah.” This is also the view of Moed LeChol Chai 13:10 and Kaf HaChaim (Sofer), 60. See also Amudei HaHoraah, p. 177 and VaYashov HaYam 3:23. However, Maaseh Rav §207 says in the name of the Vilna Gaon that one should not cry on Rosh HaShanah because it is a Yom Tov. This is also the opinion of Chacham Ovadia Yosef in Chazon Ovadia, Yamim Nora’im, p. 87 and Yechaveh Daat 2:69, who writes that the Vilna Gaon is not arguing with the Arizal; rather, the Arizal is referring to crying impulsively, and the Vilna Gaon is referring to not crying during times other than tefillah. See also Yalkut Yosef, Yamim Nora’im, pages 191– 192; Torat HaMoadim, Yamim Nora’im, p. 42; Moadim U’Zemanim 2:268; and Hilchot Chag BaChag, Yamim Nora’im §52, footnote 43.

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