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Ask the Rabbi
News & Call-In with Tamar Yonah
Batya Medad made aliya from New York to Israel in 1970 and has been living in Shiloh since 1981. Recently she began organizing women's visits to Tel Shiloh for Psalms and prayers. (For more information, please email her.) Batya is a newspaper and magazine columnist, a veteran jblogger and recently stopped EFL teaching. She's also a wife, mother, grandmother, photographer and HolyLand hitchhiker, always seeing things from her own very unique perspective. For more of Batya's writings and photos, check out:
"1 or 2" refers to the Seder
"7 or 8" refers to the days of the Passover Holiday.
Jews who live out of Israel and are out of Israel at the time of the holiday are required to celebrate two s'darim (the plural of seder) and a total of eight days for the Passover Holiday.
Those of us who live in Israel and are present in Israel for Passover only have to celebrate one seder and seven days of Passover.
All variations are complicated, because different rabbis give different instructions. Beca
Tonight is Ha-yom sh'mona yamim, shehaym shavu-a e-chad v'yom e-chad la-omer.
Today is the eighth day, which makes one week and one day of the Omer
use I'm not a rabbi, just a housewife/English Teacher/blogger/photographer etc, I feel more comfortable writing/posting this after Passover. Nobody should consider what I write as a "psak," rabbinic decision. I'm not quoting specific rabbis here, primarily, since I really don't know to whom to attribute some of these instructions.
The "classic" psak is that if you're temporarily, and that doesn't mean some Israeli temporarily in Brooklyn for 15 years, in Israel or Chul, round-trip ticket, you keep what you would keep at home.
We know of people who when working abroad used to park their cars far from home and dressing in special "yom tov sheini b'galut" clothes to make them blend into the non-Jewish surroundings and take special family trips on "second day yomtov." Others conducted themselves, as if they permanently lived abroad, including second day yomtov. When we were on shlichut in London, the Israelis got together for a special minyan for Simchat Torah according to when it was in Israel.
In Israel, some tourists follow the psak that once you're here, you're forbidden to plan on leaving, even if you have a ticket for just after the Holiday, so they keep one seder and seven days of Pesach. Others keep the Holiday, as if they were home. We once left a guest to babysit while she was doing the second seder for herself. We went to the movies. Other chutz l'Aretz Jews in Israel for the Holiday will just refrain from what's forbidden and not do the positive commandments. They may, also, ride in a car if another is driving, opening the doors, paying for the bus. There's no "marat eyin," giving the wrong impression when it's all permitted to local Jews. Many of us have had to keep the house Kosher for Passover an extra day for foreign guests.
The difference in Holiday length sometimes causes a lack of unity, because we (Israeli and chutz l'Aretz Jews) end up reading different Torah Portions when Jews abroad fall behind, if there is an extra day of Holiday on Shabbat. Then sometimes Bar Mitzvah boys come to Israel and discover they've prepared the wrong week's reading.
It's easy to write that the solution is that everyone make aliyah to Eretz Yisrael, but we know if won't happen. Even the Biblical Jewish heroes, Mordechai and Ester of Purim fame, didn't live in here in Israel. But that doesn't mean that everyone shouldn't try.
Happy Sfira counting. Tonight is Ha-yom sh'mona yamim, shehaym shavu-a e-chad v'yom e-chad la-omer.
Today is the eighth day, which makes one week and one day of the Omer. Less than forty to go, and then we celebrate Shavuot!