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Erev Rosh HaShanah

Updated: Sep 12, 2023

The Daily Halacha Moment - Erev Rosh HaShanah 🍯 🍏

״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)


What are some erev Rosh HaShanah customs?


We've mentioned in previous Halacha Moments that on erev Rosh HaShanah many men have the custom to fast although not obligatory. We also mentioned that we have the custom to do Hatarat Nedarim (nullifying our vows). Refer to previous Halacha Moments :)

On erev Rosh HaShanah, one does not recite Tachanun during Shacharit, similar to other Yamim Tovim. Similarly, one does not recite LaMenatze’ach Mizmor LeDavid, Yaancha Hashem BaYom Tzarah, and Tefillah LeDavid. However, if one said Selichot at night or before alot hashachar, then Tachanun is recited during Selichot. Tachanun is also recited in Minchah on the day before erev Rosh HaShanah. [1]

It is a praiseworthy custom to take a haircut on erev Rosh HaShanah in honor of the Yom Tov, and to wear fresh and respectable clothing, to show Hashem that we trust that our judgment will be in our favor. [2]

One may not blow the shofar on erev Rosh HaShanah. However, a baal toke’a who needs to practice may do so in a closed room.[3]

It is a praiseworthy custom for men to go to the mikveh on erev Rosh HaShanah. Preferably, one should go to the mikveh earlier than about an hour before chatzot. [4] One who is unable to should pour on himself around 12.5 liters (or 600 grams) of water. This can be accomplished by turning on the shower and standing under it. There is no difference between using hot water and cold water. [5]

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


[1]. Shulchan Aruch 581:3; Kaf HaChaim §73–74; Chazon Ovadia, Yamim Nora’im, p. 46; Torat HaMoadim, Yamim Nora’im, p. 27, 4; Yalkut Yosef, Yamim Nora’im, p. 135.

[2]. Shulchan Aruch 581:4. Kaf HaChaim §81 adds that it is also customary to cut one’s nails. The Ben Ish Chai in Netzavim 1:3 writes that one should cut one’s hair before chatzot.

[3]. Rama 581:3. See also Ben Ish Chai, Netzavim 1:2 and Kaf HaChaim §76, which state that even during the nighttime, one may not blow the shofar. See also Yalkut Yosef, Yamim Nora’im, p. 136.

[4]. Mishnah Berurah 581:26; Kaf HaChaim §82.

[5]. See Ben Ish Chai, Netzavim 1:3. Chazon Ovadia, Yamim Nora’im, p. 57 stresses that one may not recite a berachah on this tevilah, and one who does has recited a berachah levatalah. See also Yalkut Yosef, Yamim Nora’im, pages 149–155; Torat HaMoadim, Yamim Nora’im, p. 29 and on; and Orchot Maran, vol. 1, p. 252.

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