Volume 30 Number 06
                 Produced: Fri Nov 12  5:12:03 US/Eastern 1999

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Leviyim handwashing of Cohanim issues (5)
         [Gershon Dubin, Shmuel Himelstein, Daniel Israel, Danny
Schoemann, Michael &Michelle Hoffman]
Succos laws
         [Gershon Dubin]
Taking down Sukkah right after Yom Tov (3)
         [Dov Weinstock, Danny Schoemann, David I. Cohen]


From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 1999 11:53:21 -0500
Subject: Leviyim handwashing of Cohanim issues

From: <Phyllostac@...>
> As a Levi, over the years I have been involved quite a few times in 
> the washing of the hands of Cohanim before birchas Cohanim (the priestly
> blessing) on Yomtov. This has led me to give some thought to the 
> matter re the ideal ways to conduct this procedure, as follows. I would
> welcome feedback on this topic.>>

	I asked the Rov of my shul, who is a Levi, why he did not
participate in washing the hands of the Cohanim.  He replied that since
he has great difficulty standing and walking, and the mitzva is done by
others, he need not participate.  Given this understanding, a
rotation/lottery might be preferable to the "one finger on the cup"

Gershon (a Yisroel)

From: Shmuel Himelstein <shmuelh@...>
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 1999 12:46:09 +0200
Subject: Leviyim handwashing of Cohanim issues

As a Kohen living in Israel, I'm very much aware of the fact that
certain Levi'im do not go out to wash the Kohanim's hands - one claiming
that this is "only by Kabbalah," and not in the Talmud, and therefore
evidently "not binding."

Just this morning, a fellow-congregant drew my attention to a comment by
Rav Moshe Feinstein (Orah Hayyim Part 4, p. 216), where he writes:

Regarding the fact that in Eretz Israel where there is Birkat Kohanim
each day and on occasion [the Kohanim] wash their own hands and this is
not done by the Levi'im, who do not come to wash the hands of the
Kohanim, this is not proper, because the Mehaber (i.e., R' Yosef Karo)
in Section 128:6 wrote that the Levi washes the hands of the Kohanim,
even though he was a Sefaradi who had the custom of Birkat Kohanim each
day; nevertheless [he ruled that] the Levi is to wash. It is totally
obvious that this is improper behavior, [based on their view that] in
the weekdays there is effort involved and they don't have the time, [and
the claim that] there is no basis for this except in the Zohar which is
Kabbalah, so that [the Levi'im] are lenient toward themselves during the
weekdays [and do not wash the hands of the Kohanim].  In any event, such
conduct is not proper.

Shmuel Himelstein

From: Daniel Israel <daniel@...>
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 1999 14:55:41 -0700 (MST)
Subject: Re: Leviyim handwashing of Cohanim issues

I vaguely remeber being told that, like dressing someone, washing
someone should not be done by two people, since that is how we wash (and
dress) a meis [dead person].  Is that not an issue w.r.t. washing before

Daniel M. Israel
University of Arizona
Tucson, AZ

From: Danny Schoemann <dannys@...>
Date: Thu, 11 Nov 1999 11:50:41 +0200
Subject: Re: Leviyim handwashing of Cohanim issues

Where I grew up it was self understood that the Leviyim did the washing
based on age.

I've also been to places where the Gabbai decides on which Levi gets a

In Israel, it's usually a first come first serve basis. You wash a Cohen
and then let the next Levi in line have a turn.

> 3)<snip>
> Sometimes this is taken to an extreme and some of the Leviyim hold on
>to/touch any piece of the cup they can-even if at times they are just
>barely touching part of the surface of the cup-but not contributing
>significant (or any) energy toward the pouring of the water. Is this
>desirable/fullfilling of their goal?

I assume this has to do with showing a love for the mitzva.

> 5)I think some people think that if a Levi doesn't get to participate
>in the handwashing of the Cohanim,he can gain a level of
>participation,albeit perhaps on a lesser level,by assisting in the
>process,e.g.by handing paper towels to the Cohanim to dry their hands
>with after the washing.What kind of status might such lesser
>participation have?Perhaps it would be a way for children to participate
>also,if there is no slot for them to do the actual washing.

Where I grew up the younger Leviyim were given the honor of handing out the

>That makes me
>think of another question-should children that are not yet bar mitzvah
>ever be allowed to wash the hands of adult Cohanim?Perhaps they should
>be assigned to wash the hands of similar aged young Cohanim?

I've never heard a Cohen complain when I sent my son to wash them, and
we're talking of a Yeshivish crowd that supposedly has learnt the
subject in depth.

> 7)I heard from a Kohen friend that when he first came to Eretz
>Yisroel,he waited in vain to have his hands washed by a Levi,only to
>learn that the Kohanim there wash their hands by themselves.Is this
>correct?Everywhere?Always?Why is this so-Is the reason Leviim wash the
>hands of Kohanim in chutz laaretz not applicable in Eretz Yisroel?

I've been in Eretz Yisroel for over a decade and have never heard of
such behaviour. Usually there's a line a Leviyim who hope to wash some
Cohanim.  Ocasionaly you'll even find a Bechor [first born] who hopes
that no Leviyim are around.

The Mishna Brura does mention that a Levi-Talmid-Chacham should not wash
the hands of an Cohen-Am-HaAretz, unless there's at least one
Cohen-Talmid-Chacham amongst those being washed, in which case he has a
CHIYUV to wash them all. The BeEr Haitev also mentions a few times the
CHIYUV of a Levi to wash.

I've always wondered, what is the source for the Leviyim washing the
Cohanim's hands? The Be'er Hagola brings the source as the Bes Yosef in the
name if the Zohar Parshas Naso. Can anybody shed light on this issue?


Danny Schoemann

From: Michael &Michelle Hoffman <hoffmanm@...>
Date: Fri, 12 Nov 1999 09:10:33 +0200
Subject: Re: Leviyim handwashing of Cohanim issues

 One or two he'oros.
 The Tur O"H 128 doesn't mention Leviim at all, just that the Kohen is
 chayav to do netilah.
 It seems from the Beis Yosef (quoting the Zohar, which is the mokor for us
 Leviim to wash the hands of the Kohanim) that the chiyuv lies upon the
 Kohen to arrange to have his hands washed by a Levi. There is no chiyuv on
 the Levi. The same source also states that when the Levi does netila for
 the Kohen, he should first do netila himself so that the Kohen becomes
 "mekudash" by a "mekudash" - but the Darkei Moshe says that we do not have
 this minhag. (See the Prisha)
 However, in the Shulchan Aruch it is mashma that it is a chiyuv on the Levi
 to wash the Kohen's hands. The Sh"A says: "ve'haLevi yotzek mayim al
 y'deihem..." and it does not direct the chiyuv to the Kohen.
 The Aderes addresses this issue in Tefillah L'Dovid (printed in back of
 Siddur Olas Reiyah of Rav Kook)
 He states that there is no chiyuv on the Levi, and that the Leviim miss out
 on chazoras haShatz without reason. It is enough that one Levi takes care
 of washing all the Kohanim, and the others should remain in shul.

 Kol Tuv,


From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Tue, 9 Nov 1999 12:12:16 -0500
Subject: Succos laws

> From: Stuart Wise <swise@...>
> 1) Other than the first night of Succos, is one required to wait out
> inclement weather before eating. Where I spent Succos, it seems that
> some people were, in effect, fasting on a rainy day, refusing to eat
> until the rain abated to make it possible to eat in the sukkah.  It 
> was around 1:30 before my host ate.

I believe that while one is required to wait on the first night, there
is a limit to how long and 1:30 sounds way beyond.  I would check
Shulchan Oruch or LOR for the specifics since I have no seforim here at

Upon rereading this, I realize that you meant 1:30 PM during the day,
not 1:30 AM the first night.  In that case, there is no need to wait at
all.  (I am not aware of such, but it might be a midas chasidus
(praiseworthy act) to wait a few minutes if it looks like it will clear.
Otherwise, especially for long periods of time and especially keeping
people waiting, there is no basis.)  See comment below on sleeping.

> 2) If it is raining and one cannot sleep in the sukkah, is there any
> basis for a person to refrain from sleeping altogether if it can't 
> be done in the sukkah?

Not any more than not eating if you can't eat in the sukkah.  The
Gemara has nasty things to say about people who are exempt from a mitzvah
requirement  and do it anyway.

> 3) Is there such a concept of "Oneg Yom Tov docheh Shabbos" -- that 
> the enjoyment of Yom Tov can push off Shabbos?  In this same community,
> in a year when Simchas Torah fell out erev Shabbos, the yeshiva finished
> about an hour before candlelighting and people nevertheless 
> proceeded to sit down to the seudah (holiday feast) so close to
> candlelighting. 

Some yeshivas who finish that late routinely eat their Simchas Torah
seudah before hakafos.  

What about if Simchas Torah does **not** come out on Erev Shabbos-is it
Oneg Yom Tov to sit down to a Yom Tov meal at 6:00 PM after noshing cake
and junk all day?  I think not.  If it *does* come out Erev Shabbos
there is that little halacha about not eating Erev Shabbos after mincha
time, which AFAIK includes Yom Tov.  Bottom line: better planning and
common sense.

> 4) While Torah study may be the most important thing of all, is 
> there any basis for delaying the making of kiddush in order to have a 
> shiur (study class).  Is it wrong to delay kiddush well beyond the time
> when it is able to be said?

You did not provide paticulars on this, but it is a time honored
tradition in some communities to have a shiur before going home for
kiddush.  As long as it does not go too long (past midday, for example,
by which time one must have eaten something at least) it is good thing.
How long did this last so kiddush could not be said-kiddush can be said
all day?



From: Dov Weinstock <dov@...>
Date: Thu, 11 Nov 1999 11:12:21 -0500
Subject: RE: Taking down Sukkah right after Yom Tov

 >From: Mordechai <Phyllostac@...>
 >I was thinking recently after Simchas Torah-that just like we have a
 >halacha that someone should not rush out of a Shul after
 >davening, because it could appear as if Davening is a burden to him and
 >similarly,there is a teaching on the words 'Vayisu mehar Hashem' in the
 >Torah-that it is a bad thing said about the Jews at that time-that they
 >left the mountain of G-d hurriedly-as a child runs away from school-so
 >perhaps it is not a good thing for a person to take down their Sukkah
 >too quickly after Yomtov-esp. on Motzei Yomtov perhaps-because it could
 >appear that they want to quickly pack the mitzvah away-unlike the
 >attitude expressed in the Yomtov of Shmini Atzeres of 'kashe ali
 >praidaschem' (your departure is difficult to me).Maybe they should leave
 >it up at least through Isru chag-if possible.Perhaps if there is a need
 >to remove it quickly (e.g. if their landlord orders that or if they need
 >the space for parking,etc.),that could be considered a legitimate
 >extenuating circumstance.

	The examples that you cite, are not necessarily comparable to
the case of the Sukkah.  In all examples, there is a Kedusha, that, if
desired, may be extended.  Until one decides to make Havdallah, he can
consider it Shabbos.  A person never really finishes Davening, even if
the specific Tefillah has ended.  He could remain in the sanctity of the
B"M and continue to Daven or learn Torah etc.
	In contrast, when Sukkos is over and Havdallah is made, the
Mitzvah of Sukkah no longer exists.  There are specific Halachos with
regard to the treatment of objects used for Mitzvos.  However, the
Sukkah, currently, is no more than a hut.  As such, I don't think there
would be an issue over taking it down too quickly, just as there is no
problem putting away a Shofar on Motzei Rosh Hashana.

Dov Weinstock

From: Danny Schoemann <dannys@...>
Date: Thu, 11 Nov 1999 13:26:29 +0200
Subject: Re: Taking down Sukkah right after Yom Tov

In mail-jewish Vol. 30 #04 Mordechai <Phyllostac@...> suggested that
taking down a Sukka right after Sukkos makes it appear as if it were a

I'd like to compare this to Pessach where there is a minhag (apparently
from the Gro, and definitely by the Sefardim) to eat Chametz as soon as
possible after Pesach. The reasoning being that we want to show that we
ate Matza ONLY because we were commanded to, and we can't wait to eat
some bread.

Once Sukkos is over, the Sukka becomes a "box" and leaving it up doesn't
serve much purpose besides aging the material. Putting it away
immediately, shows that we only put it up because we were commanded to,
and that we want to keep it in good shape for next year.

That said, I do not recommend taking the Schach down at night before
checking that it's not damp from the dew.

On a related topic we could discuss why certain healthy people with nothing
urgent to do always daven the earliest Mariv on Motzai Shabbes, or take off
their Tefilin as soon as possible, or leave shule before davening ends...

Danny Schoemann

From: David I. Cohen <BDCOHEN613@...>
Date: Thu, 11 Nov 1999 18:57:44 EST
Subject: Taking down Sukkah right after Yom Tov

Just a practical thought:
It might be best to take the Sukkah down as quickly as possible, so that it 
will not be exposed to the elements for longer than is necessary. It'll then 
last longer.(especially true for the decorations)
David I. Cohen


End of Volume 30 Issue 6