Shabbat Laws #6

Translated/adapted from "A Summary of the Shabbat Laws" (published by Machon Ohaley Shem)

Laws 1-21

Laws 22-53

Laws 54-103

Laws 104-149

Laws 150-195

Laws 198-214:
Shabbat Morning Prayers
Law 215:
Visiting the sick and mourners
Laws 216-223:
Shabbat Afternoon
Laws 224-228:
Shabbat Afternoon Prayer
Laws 229-237:
Third Meal
Laws 196-197
Shabbat Morning Prayers

Law #196

It is customary to begin synagogue services later on Shabbat than during the week, since sleeping is part of enjoying Shabbat. However, the minyan should not start so late as to miss the appointed time for reciting Shema and prayers. Since in the winter, the hour for Shema is much earlier, the Shabbat morning prayers should be held earlier too.
Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi writes that one should not wait till the end of the time limit for reciting Shema, rather he should do so ¾ of an hour before the deadline.
It is a tradition from the Ari z"l and emphasized by the Ba'al Shem Tov, that men should immerse in a mikveh on Shabbat morning, (even if he does not need to according to "tvilat Ezra" and) even if he immersed Shabbat eve. The reason is that Shabbat day has an added dimension of holiness over Friday night.

Law #197

On Shabbat it is customary to increase in prayers of praise, as well as to increase in tunes and songs during the Shabbat prayers in order to honor the day. This regards the melodies often sung during Psukei D'Zimra, and not the lengthy cantorial singing, about which many Rabbis disagreed as to its virtues. Although one should not discourage a cantor from singing at length, even if one's intent is in order to have more time to learn Torah, still, a cantor's singing should not prevent people to make it in time to eat before midday.

Laws 198-206
Shabbat Morning Prayers

Law #198

It is a tradition handed down from Moses that five men are called to the Torah on holidays, six on Yom Kippur; and seven on Shabbat. The ascending number of men correlates to the increasing amount of holiness of different days (Shabbat being the holiest). Although according to halacha, the congregation may add to the number of men called to the Torah on holidays and Yom Kippur, this is rarely practiced (so as not to equate holidays to Yom Kippur and Yom Kippur to Shabbat), except on Simchat Torah when all men are usually called to the Torah.

Law #199

Many communities do not increase the number of seven men called to the Torah on Shabbat. The reason is that a man called up to the Torah after the first seven would recite blessings that are not necessary, and also not to inconvenience the other congregants. And so it is recommended

Law #200

The person who is called to maftir (the last Torah aliyah preceding the reading of the haftara) must bless and read from the Torah, and after this he may read the haftara from the Prophets. If he would not first read from the Torah, it would be as though one begins reading the Prophets in the same manner as reading the Torah, and the two could be equated.
Although technically, maftir could be counted among the seven aliyahs, it is a long accepted custom that is not included in the seven, and an 8th person is called to the Torah. The maftir is read in order to increase the honor of the Torah over that of the Prophets, and likewise for this reason, it is not included in the number of aliyahs read on holidays and shacharit of Yom Kippur. However, at mincha of Yom Kippur and the other fasts, and both Torah readings of Tisha B'Av, maftir is included with the third aliyah.

Law #201

The Sages instituted the recital of the kaddish prayer between the first seven aliyahs to the Torah and the reading of maftir, so that maftir remains distinct from being included in the seven. Thus the 7th aliyah completes the weekly reading, after which kaddish is recited, and then maftir repeats at least the last three verses of the 7th aliyah. (This is also so that kaddish does not interrupt the consecutive reading of the parsha.)

Law #202

The kaddish which is usually recited before maftir is NOT said on Tisha B'Av in shacharit or mincha prayers, nor on Yom Kippur and other fast days at mincha. On a day when two Torah scrolls are read from, the first seven aliyahs are read from the first Torah, then kaddish is recited, and maftir is read from the second Torah. On a Shabbat when three Torah are read from (such as Rosh Chodesh Tevet which falls on Shabbat, and Simchat Torah), the seven aliyahs are divided between the first two scrolls, then kaddish is said, and maftir is read from the third Torah.

Law #203

On a day when two Torah scrolls are read from, the first seven aliyahs are read from the first Torah, then kaddish is recited, and maftir is read from the second Torah. On a Shabbat when three Torah are read from (such as Rosh Chodesh Tevet which falls on Shabbat, and Simchat Torah), the seven aliyahs are divided between the first two scrolls, then kaddish is said, and maftir is read from the third Torah.

Law #204

If the person reading the Torah accidentally called only six people to the Torah, finished the entire reading and said kaddish, he should not call up a seventh person. Instead, he should call up the man for maftir (who will, in this case, count as the seventh aliyah) and read what was read with the sixth man. If the Torah reader did not yet say kaddish, a seventh man should be called to the Torah and read again the last three verses read from the portion. After this, a man for maftir should be called and those same three verses read once more. This is done since it is preferable that the maftir not count as the seventh aliyah.

Law #205

Everyone is obliged to hear the Torah reading as well as the blessings read by those called up to the Torah. This means that everyone must carefully listen and not speak during the Torah reading, even other words of Torah. (One may speak words of Torah during the Mi Sh'berach.) It is permissible to quietly read along with the Torah reading in order to better concentrate on the words being read.

Law #206

In our generation, the person called to the Torah does not himself read the Torah. Rather someone else is the designated Torah reader who reads aloud for all to hear so they may fulfill their obligation to hear the reading. Nevertheless, one called to the Torah should quietly read each word of the reading along with the designated reader. In extenuating circumstances, such as if one was in the middle of praying 'Shma', a man should read not along with the Torah reader, and should instead rely on the Rabbinic opinion that his blessing on the Torah can apply to hearing the Torah read.

Law #207

A boy before Bar Mitzvah cannot read from the Torah in order to release those called up to the Torah and the whole congregation from their obligation. The reason for this is that he himself has not yet reached the age when he is required to hear the Torah reading. A boy before Bar Mitzvah can be on of the seven called to the Torah on Shabbat, though this is not practiced. However, he may be called up for maftir, if he understands to Whom he is blessing. This is true even for maftir of Shabbat Zachor, which every Jewish adult is obliged to hear, since the boy himself is not reading the Torah, rather the designated reader reads for everyone.

Law #208

An unlearned man who knows how to read the Torah portion, but does not comprehend their meaning, may nevertheless be called to the Torah for an aliyah and make the appropriate blessings. It is permissible to give an aliyah to an unlearned man who is respected, well-to-do, and in high standing in the generation, before giving an aliyah to a man very learned in Torah. This is not a slight to the Torah scholar but rather an honor for the Torah in having great men called up for aliyahs.

Law #209

On Shabbat morning, if the Torah reader skipped a word, or even a letter, from the reading, he must re-read that verse along with the preceding and following verses. The blessings before and after the reading must be recited also. If they congregation already finished the Torah and Haftorah readings and had even prayed the Musaf prayer, they must still have someone read the three required verses, and have a man called to recite the blessings before and afterwards.

Law #210

If a man had an aliyah to the Torah, and then went to another synagogue and was called up for the very same aliyah, he must still recite the proper blessings before and afterwards.

Law #211

The Sages established taking out a second Torah scroll on holidays for maftir, and reading the sections in which are described the musaf offerings of the holidays. They did not make a similar ruling regarding the Shabbat musaf offerings since there are only two verses on this topic, and we do not read less than three verses from a Torah.
Another reason is that when the maftir portion is not a repetition of the parsha's final verses, but a separate matter read from a different Torah scroll, then the haftara (from the Prophets) must correspond to the topic read about in the maftir. If every week a maftir about Shabbat was read, then the hafatra would also be the same every week.

Law #212

The Haftorah that is read on Shabbos should be at least 21 verses. This is because when the Torah is read, seven Jews are called up to read at least three verses each. When a decree was enforced upon the Jews, prohibiting them from reading from the Torah, the sages decreed to read from the Neviim [prophets] instead a section about an idea related to that week's Torah portion. Seven people were called to each read 3 verses from this 'haftorah,' in order that the Torah reading practice should not be forgotten.
After the decree was nullified, and they were once again able to read from the Torah, the sages proclaimed that one should not retract the haftorah custom which had been started and should rather increase in such a holy practice. Therefore, after each public Torah reading a haftorah of at least 21 verses from the Prophets is still read, unless the theme is completed in less than 21 verses, in which case it is not necessary to add verses solely to complete the 21. However, if the Torah portion was not read from a scroll but from a printed book, the haftorah is still read, but without its blessings.

Law #213

The haftorah read from the prophets may be only a section from a book; the entire book does not have to be read. And unlike the reading of the Torah, which must be read from the hand-written parchment, one is permitted to read the haftorah from a printed book. One should not recite the haftorah by heart. However, if a written section is missing a few words, it is permitted to recite those few missing words by heart. A boy under the age of Bar Mitzvah may read the haftorah if he is able to decipher the letters of the Alef -Bet with precision, and understands who is being blessed. It is customary not to allow a minor to read on 3 occasions: the haftorah of Ezekiel that is read on the first day of Shavuot, the song of David which is read on the final day of Passover and the haftorah which is read on Shabat Shuva.

Law #214

The sages instituted that 7 blessings are said on the Haftorah, corresponding to the 7 people who read from the Torah. The first two blessings are recited over reading the Maftir portion of the Torah. The next is read as a preliminary to the haftorah and the last four upon its conclusion. One should concentrate on which blessing is being recited and answer 'amen' upon hearing it. The one who calls up the Haftorah reader should be knowledgeable and able to read the haftorah himself. Ideally one should stand up for this reading, out of respect for the community. It is incumbent upon everyone to hear the reading of the Haftorah just as it is for the reading of the Torah. Therefore the reader should pronounce the words clearly and loudly. It is customary to read the words to oneself quietly as it is being read.

Law #215

It is permitted to visit the sick on Shabbat. One should not, however, recite the regular verses of the prayer for the sick "May the almighty have mercy..." as one would during the week, for this can bring the sick person to a state of sadness. Rather, one should use words of encouragement and comfort, so that one should not cause any pain on Shabbat, as it says "Shabbat heals and hastens the recovery."
One is permitted to visit mourners on Shabbat and, as during the week, it is customary to say the verse "May the Almighty comfort you along with the other mourners of Zion and Jerusalem," since these words of comfort do not evoke crying. Since the Rabbis only allowed these visits in order to diminish the pain, we should not specifically choose the day of Shabbat to make these visits as opposed to the other days, but only if it is in addition to the weekday visits.

Laws 216-223
Shabbat Afternoon

Law #216

The "Mussaf" service begins immediately after the morning "shacharit" service on Shabbat. Even if one prayed the Shacharit service very early on Shabbat morning, he can pray the Musaf service thereafter, just as the bringing of the offerings in the Temple began with the "Tamid shel Shachar" ['Morning sacrifice'], and was followed (on Shabbat, Yom Tov, Rosh Chodesh, and Chol HaMoed) by the "Tamid haMusaf" ['Additional sacrifice']. However if one prayed Musaf before he prayed the Shacharit, he has fulfilled his obligation. Had it been in the times of the Temple, the sacrifice of Musaf would not be accepted without the Shachar sacrifice, yet, in prayer, the Rabbis did not apply this stringency. One should not pray Musaf past an hour after mid-day. If one prayed Mincha [the afternoon service] before Mussaf, he should go back and pray Musaf.

Law #217

It is permissible to eat after the Shacharit [morning service] and before the Musaf service. Regarding fruits, there is no specific requirement, but with bread, one may not eat more than a "kvaitza (2 oz.)". One should make Kiddush before eating and drink a 1/4 cup of wine, and eat a kezayit (1 oz.) of one of the 5 types of grains immediately following Kiddush.

Law #218

On Shabbat day, after one comes home from shul, it is proper to have a set table with bread [covered by a cloth]. One should eat a respectable meal just as one would customarily do on Friday night, out of respect for the Shabbat. The importance of this meal even supersedes that of Friday night. One should not differentiate between Friday Night and Shabbat day. Therefore for both meals one should make Kiddush over a cup of wine

Law #219

On both Friday Night and Shabbat day, it is customary not to eat anything after the prayer services until one makes Kiddush over the wine. [Drinking water is permissible]. One should try to recite Kiddush over wine and if wine is inaccessible, one may use chamar hamdina - a prominent local beverage. This applies to Shabbat day. On Friday night it is preferable to do Kiddush over the Challah rather than the wine substitute. The reason is that the blessing on Friday night is longer and it will remain apparent that one is doing Kiddush, while on Shabbat day, the short blessing may go unnoticed.

Law #220

It is customary to say 100 Brachot [blessings] on Shabbat. Therefore one should serve fruits and delicacies and possibly even have beautiful scents upon which to recite the blessings. If one is accustomed to sleeping on Shabbat afternoon, he should do so, for it is adds a dimension of pleasure to the Shabbat for him. Every community should try to establish a shiur, a learning group and study 'Midrash' on Shabbat. This idea is derived from Moshe, who gathered the people in groups to teach them Torah.

Law #221

Our sages teach us that the Shabbat and festivals were given to us in order that we should immerse ourselves in the study of the Torah. For the entire week one is occupied with work and unable to set up fixed times for learning. On Shabbat, people are free from working obligations and should dedicate themselves to the study of Torah, increasing the pleasure of Shabbat, aside from just eating and drinking. One is prohibited from setting up a meal during the study of Torah in the shul. It must either be done beforehand or afterwards, but should not interfere with the concentration of those who came to hear words of Torah from a teacher or to learn on their own.

Law #222

If a synagogue was to have a prominent and genuine Torah leader (as opposed to a good but not outstanding teacher) teach Torah laws and guide Jews in the fear of Heaven, but he arrived late in the afternoon, the 'third Shabbat meal' should not preempt the lesson, since teaching Torah and fear of Heaven to the many takes precedence over all the other commandments.

Law #223

The main purpose of Shabbat and holidays is that the Jewish people can learn Torah. During the week, we are busy with work and do not have enough time to dedicate to Torah learning. On Shabbat we are free of work and can properly devote ourselves to learn Torah.
Therefore, businessmen who are busy working during the week and do not have set times for Torah learning should not spend excess time in eating and drinking on Shabbat. Rather, they should suffice themselves with a little extra and dedicate the rest of their time to Torah.
On the other hand, men who spend their whole week learning Torah may partake more in eating and drinking on Shabbat since the rest of the week they enjoy Torah learning. Even still they must do some Torah learning, and not only enjoy Shabbat through eating, drinking, and sleeping, for it is written, "Shabbat is for the L-rd, your G-d" (Exodus 20/10).

Laws 224-228
Shabbat Afternoon Prayer

Law #224

Before the Shabbat mincha Torah reading, it is the custom to recite the verse "V'ani tfilati…" ('And I pray…'). This is according to the verse, "Those that sit at the gates will speak of Me, and those that drink alcohol will sing" (Psalms 69/13). The following verse (14) includes the words "V'ani tfilati". In these verses, King David was saying to G-d, 'Master of the universe, this nation is different from the other nations of the world. When the nations become drunk they are rash. We are not like this. Even though we drink alcohol, we still "and I pray…"' We say this verse before the Shabbat mincha reading specifically, since we are doing this special reading for the sake of the laborers who do not hear the Torah read during the week. We want to emphasize to G-d, that even these workmen gather to hear the Torah reading.

Law #225

On a holiday which falls on a weekday, we do not recite "V'ani tfilati…" ('And I pray…') as part of the Mincha afternoon prayers since we do not read the Torah then. (The verse is not read on Yom Kippur, even when it falls on Shabbat.) So too, when praying Mincha in a place that does not have a Torah scroll, it is not required to recite this verse; nevertheless, we do always say the verse on Shabbat since this is the accepted custom for various other reasons.

Law #226

The Kaddish prayer is not recited after the Torah reading of Mincha on Shabbat. The reason is that there is no prayer to separate between a Kaddish after the Torah reading and the Kaddish recited before beginning the 'amidah' prayer, and the recital of consecutive Kaddish prayers is not permitted. (The recital of the single verse 'Yihalilu' after the Torah reading is not considered a significant enough separation.) According to the Rebbe Rayatz, the Lubavitch custom is to recite the 'half Kaddish' towards the end of rolling up the Torah scroll (glillah), which is performed quickly. The half Kaddish is said slowly enough that it is finished only after the Torah has been replaced in the ark, so that the half Kaddish will be completed as close to the amidah as possible.

Law #227

In a place that does not have a Torah scroll, only one kaddish is recited. "V'Ani Tfillati" should be said before kaddish, immediately following "Seder Kedusha" ("Uva L'Tzion Go'el"). This is so there will be no break at all between kaddish and Shmoneh Esray, as we always precede Shmoneh Esray with Kedusha (except in Shacharit morning prayers that we connect the blessing for the redemption with Shmoneh Esray).

Law #228

After Shmonah Esray, it is the custom to recite the three verses of "Tzidkatcha", which serve to justify the judgment of Yosef, Moshe, and King David, who all passed away at this time of Shabbat afternoon. However, on a Shabbat that, if it would be a weekday upon which Tachanun is not recited (like Rosh Chodesh or Chanuka), we do not recite Tzidkatcha. So too, if Shabbat precedes a day of Rosh Chodesh or a holiday, we do not recite Tzidkatcha, either (as we would not say Tachanun at Mincha on a weekday that precedes a holiday or Rosh Chodesh). No sermon is made between Mincha and Ma'ariv, since a wise man who passes away (at that time of day), his study house is cancelled. However, learning in partners at home is fine. The prevalent custom is to make sermons before Mincha, though Chassidim often have a person say a memorized discourse between Mincha and Ma'ariv.

Laws 229-237
Third Meal

Law #229

One should be careful to eat 'Se'udah Shlishit' (the third Shabbat meal typically eaten during the late afternoon before sunset). Even if one is still full, he should try to eat a k'baitzah (2 oz.) of bread. If this is too difficult he should eat at least a k'zayit (1 oz) of bread. If one will be eating less than a k'baitzah of bread, then he should wash his hands as is done before eating bread, but NOT recite the blessing "Al netilat yada'im"..

Law #230

There are those who are lenient and rule that bread is not required for se'udah shlishit. They rule that any food made of the five grains over which we bless "boray minay m'zonot" can suffice, since these are called "mazon"-food. Others, who are even more lenient, say that se'udah shlishit can be fulfilled by eating meat or fish, or other foods commonly accompanying bread. Others, who are more lenient still, rule that se'udat shlishit can be fulfilled by eating fruit. However, one should not resort to any of these leniencies unless he is truly full, and eating bread would cause him great discomfort. Chabad tradition, however, is not to eat bread, but rather to eat food of any type for se'udat shlishit.

Law #231

One who feels he really cannot eat anything at all for seudah shlishit, is not required to force himself to do so, because Shabbat meals are meant to increase our joy and not cause distress. However, someone with forethought will not overeat at the second Shabbat meal (lunch), so he will have room to eat seudah shlishit.

Law #232

One should begin seudah shlishit with two loaves of bread, just as he has two loaves at the other Shabbat meals. If he does not have two loaves, he should use no less than one whole loaf. These laws of seudah shlishit and having two loaves at every meal apply to women just as for men, since all Shabbat related deeds apply equally to them. According to Kabbalah, it is good to eat fish at seudah shlishit, even more than the other Shabbat meals.

Law #233

The Third Meal, seudah shlishit, is eaten from the time of 'mincha gedolah' which is from the sixth and one half hour of the day, until evening. If one ate seudah shlishit before the 6th and 1/2 hour, he has not fulfilled his obligation, unless he ate more than 2 oz. (or at least 1 oz.) after the 6th and 1/2 hour, but it is preferable that he begin eating after that hour. One must at least begin eating before sunset. Likewise, he must eat the above amount before sunset, to fulfill his obligation.

Law #234

It is customary to pray Mincha before eating seudah shlishit (Third Shabbat Meal). If, immediately following Shabbat a holiday will begin, one should eat seudah shlishit before the tenth hour, in order to have an appetite to eat the holiday meal that night. If, however, he forgot and began eating after the tenth hour, he can still eat seudah shlishit later.

Law #235

On reciting Grace after eating seudah shlishit, if one forgot to say the extra verses for Shabbat ("Ritzay…") and already began the fourth paragraph of Grace, he need not begin Grace again. The reason for this is that we may rely on the Rabbis who rule that eating bread-and the resulting recital of Grace-is optional at this meal, and therefore repeating Grace would cause one be saying a blessing in vain. Similarly, if on a holiday, one chose to eat a third meal with bread, and forgot to recite the special paragraph added for holidays ("Ya'aleh v'yavoh…"), he should not repeat Grace, since eating a third meal on a holiday is not required at all.

Law #236

When reciting Grace after the Third Meal, if one forgot to say the extra verses for Shabbat in the third paragraph but remembered before beginning the 4th paragraph, he should say the added blessing "Bless You…Who gave Sabbaths for rest…bless You…", but only if it is still before sunset.

Law #237

If one continues eating seudah shlishit into the night, even if it is quite late into the night, he must still say the added verses for Shabbat upon reciting Grace. The reason for this is that it goes according to when the meal was initiated, and at that time one was obliged to mention the day (Shabbat). The obligation to mention Shabbat remains even if Shabbat has passed.

Laws 232- 309

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