With gratitude to the Almighty for the opportunity to study and teach Torah, we are proud to present the seventh English volume of Peninei Halakha. This volume codifies the laws of the Yom Tov and Ḥol Ha-mo’ed. The first eight chapters cover the laws of Yom Tov – those holidays on which the labors prohibited on Shabbat, with a few exceptions, are prohibited. These are the first and last days of Pesaḥ and Sukkot, Shavu’ot, and Rosh Ha-shana. The ninth chapter addresses the unique laws of the second day of Yom Tov observed outside of Eretz Yisrael, including a discussion of who is considered a resident of Eretz Yisrael and who is not. Chapters 10-12 address the laws of Ḥol Ha-mo’ed, the intermediate days of Pesaḥ and Sukkot, and the unique parameters of what is permitted and prohibited on those days. The thirteenth and final chapter addresses the laws and customs of the holiday of Shavu’ot, the sole holiday for which no separate volume of Peninei Halakha is planned.
This volume joins Peninei Halakha: Laws of Pesaḥ, Peninei Halakha: Zemanim, and two volumes of Peninei Halakha: Laws of Shabbat in addressing the annual cycle of observances and holidays. Volumes on Rosh Ha-shana, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot are part of our future plans, God willing.
In this volume, as in the previous ones, my objective is to summarize the fundamentals of halakha, emphasize and explain its principles, and then move to the practical law. The goal is to be as concise as possible so that one can learn a great deal in a short amount of time. The notes expand on the reasons and sources for particular rulings, introduce additional halakhic complexities, and mention halakhot that rarely come up in practice but are still worth noting.
So as not to weigh the text down with limitless detail, I mention mainly the best-known sources – Shulḥan Arukh, Mishna Berura, and Kaf Ha-ḥayim – where interested readers can find references to most poskim and commentators. When a particular view is identified with a specific posek, I mention that posek without mentioning all the poskim who concur.
I would like to express my heartfelt appreciation to my father and teacher – Rabbi Zalman Baruch Melamed, Rosh Yeshiva and rabbi of Beit-El – to my mother and teacher, and to my dear wife. May it be God’s will that we be privileged to see all our offspring – sons and daughters, grandsons and granddaughters – advance in Torah and mitzvot, establish wonderful families, and increase truth, ḥesed, and peace forever.
I would also like to thank R. Yaakov Katz (Ketzaleh), R. Yaakov Weinberger, R. Dudu Sa’ada, and R. Yisrael Sa’adia, who administrate so many of the institutions that were instrumental in enabling this project. May God grant all who help and assist the necessary wisdom and strength to succeed in their work. May they be privileged to establish beautiful families, and may God fulfill all their hearts’ desires in the best possible way.
I am thankful to the residents of Har Bracha and the students of its yeshiva. It is through the daily classes to them that the issues addressed in the book are clarified. They, too, are partners in this endeavor. In particular, I would like to single out Rav Shlomi Badash for his enlightening comments, Rav Yonadav Zar for his help with the glosses and notes, Rav Refael Deluya for his expertise in the customs of Moroccan and North African Jewish communities, and my old friend Rav Ze’ev Sultanovitch for his wise suggestions and comments. The team that rendered this volume in English also deserves special mention: Dr. Yocheved Cohen, who translated this volume, Rav Elli Fischer, who edited the volume and is the general editor of the English series, and Rav Maor Cayam, who meticulously checks that the English translation is fully consistent with the Hebrew original, and that no slight change in meaning, which could alter the halakhic ruling, creeps into the text.
May we all merit magnifying and glorifying the Torah, participating in the rebuilding of our holy land, and witnessing the arrival of the just redeemer and the building of the Temple, speedily in our day.