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Chol HaMoed are the intermediate days of the holidays of Sukkot and Pesach. In the diaspora, on Pesach, Chol HaMoed spans from the third day of Pesach until and including the sixth day, and on Sukkot from the third day of Sukkot until Shemini Aseret. In Israel, on Pesach, Chol HaMoed starts on the second day of Pesach and lasts until and including the sixth day, and on Sukkot from the second day of Sukkot until Shemini Aseret.
- 1 Kavod and Oneg
- 2 Simcha
- 3 Special parts of Davening
- 4 Forbidden work
- 5 The Principle Reasons to Permit Melacha
- 6 Tzorech HaMoed
- 7 Preparation of food
- 8 Preliminary preparations for food
- 9 Physical Needs
- 10 Hiring Workers
- 11 Taking a Haircut
- 12 Nail cutting
- 13 Laundry
- 14 Moving Houses
- 15 Buying and Selling
- 16 Traveling
- 17 Writing
- 18 Going to Work on Chol HaMoed
- 19 Having Simchas
- 20 Tefillin
- 21 Work Through a Non-Jew
- 22 Links
- 23 Related Pages
- 24 Sources
Kavod and Oneg
- There’s a requirement of Kavod and Oneg on Chol HaMoed. This includes having special food, drinks, and clothing, but it is more lenient than Kavod of Yom Tov.
- As part of Kavod, one should wear clothes that a little better than weekday clothes. Some have the minhag to wear Shabbat clothing on Chol HaMoed.
- As part of Kavod, some have the practice to leave the table cloth on the table all of Chol HaMoed.
- As part of Kavod, one is not obligated to have a bread meal, however, it is preferable to do so.
- There’s a requirement of Simcha on Chol Hamoed just like there is on Yom Tov.
- One should fulfill simcha of Chol HaMoed with what makes each person happy, men should drink wine, women should be given and wear new clothing, and children should get candies.
- According to those who fulfill simcha on Chol HaMoed like simcha on Yom Tov, men should fulfill simcha with wine and not grape juice.
- Initially one should have two bread meals on each day of Chol Hamoed, once at night and once during the day but it isn't an absolute obligation.
- It is forbidden to get married on Chol HaMoed because such an occasion would infringe on the mitzvah of simcha of the holiday. However, it is permitted to get engaged, which isn't the same as halachic Kiddushin on Chol HaMoed.
Special parts of Davening
- On Chol HaMoed, one should insert Yaaleh VeYavo in Shmoneh Esrei during the Bracha of Avoda (Retzeh). If one forgot to say Yaaleh VeYavo and remembered before concluding Shmoneh Esrei (with Yeyihu LeRatzon) one should return to Retzeh and continue from there. However, if one only remembered after finishing Shmoneh Esrei, one must repeat Shmoneh Esrei.
- On Chol HaMoed, one should insert Yaaleh VeYavo in the middle of the third Bracha of Birkat HaMazon.
- If one forgot Yaaleh VeYavo and one realized:
- before saying Hashem’s name at the end of the third Bracha, one should return to Yaaleh VeYavo and then continue from there.
- after saying Hashem’s name but before saying Boneh Yerushalayim, one should immediately say למדני חוקיך which is the conclusion of a פסוק in Tehillim and then return to Yaaleh Veyavo and continue from there.
- after finishing the third Bracha before starting the fourth Bracha one should insert a special Bracha ברוך אתה ה' אלקינו מלך העולם שנתן מועדים לעמו ישראל לששון ולשמחה את יום חג (פלוני) הזה 
- within the first six words of the fourth Bracha (ברוך אתה ה' אלקינו מלך העולם), one should continue with the special Bracha (שנתן...) mentioned in the last option.
- after one said the seventh word in the fourth Bracha, one should continue and not repeat Birkat Hamazon.
- On Shabbat Chol HaMoed, both on Sukkot and Pesach, the Torah reading is from Reah Atta, which on a regular week is Shelishi of Ki Tisa, until the end of Parshat Ki Tisa.
- The Haftorah for Shabbat Chol HaMoed Sukkot is Bayom Bah Gog (beginning from Yechezkel 38:18) and the Haftorah for Shabbat Chol HaMoed Pesach is Atzamot Yeveshot (beginning from Yechezkel 37:4).
- There’s a dispute whether work on Chol HaMoed is a biblical prohibition or a Rabbinic one. According to Sephardim, the halacha is that work on Chol HaMoed is a Rabbinic prohibition.
Tircha without Melacha
- A strenuous activity (one that involves exertion) is forbidden even if it doesn’t involve any Melacha.
- For example, it’s forbidden to move heavy furniture (unless there’s a need see below).
Degradation of the holiday
- Certain activities must be limited to avoid degradation of the holiday. For this reason, even when commercial activity is permitted it should be done in private.
- For example, it’s forbidden to paint one’s apartment on Chol HaMoed to improve its appearance.
Which Melachot are entirely permitted?
- The forbidden melachot includes all 39 melachot and derabbanan’s of Shabbat and Yom Tov except for: carrying, going beyond techum (2000 amot), muktzah, VeDaber Dvar (preparing or talking about business issues), Havarah (lighting a fire), Tevilat Kelim, and removing Trumah.
- Shevitat Behemto (having one’s animal work or renting it out), and Mechamer (leading one’s animal) according to some apply on Chol HaMoed and some say that it doesn’t apply and there’s what to rely on to be lenient.
- It’s permitted to go biking since that’s not considered a melacha.
Is work done in violation forbidden from benefit?
- If one did violate Chol HaMoed unintentionally, one may be lenient and benefit from the work that day. However, if one violated the Chol HaMoed intentionally, that individual shouldn’t benefit from it forever, and others may benefit for it after the holiday.
The Principle Reasons to Permit Melacha
- Melacha on Chol HaMoed is forbidden just like Yom Tov, however, there are five major leniencies to permit Melacha on Chol HaMoed which are: 1) Tzorech HaMoed (work done for work a need for the holiday), 2) Tzorech Ochel Nefesh (work to prepare food), 3) Tzarchi Rabim (work needed for communal purpose), 4) Dvar HaAved (work done to avoid a loss), 5) Poel Shein Lo Mah Yochal (work done by a laborer who doesn’t have food to eat).
Comparison of the Reasons for which Melacha is Permitted
|General Holiday Needs||Making Food||Communal Need||Financial Loss||A Very Poor Worker|
|Professional Labor||Forbidden ||Permitted ||Permitted (under certain conditions) ||Permitted ||Permitted |
|Excessive Exertion||Forbidden (see footnote for exceptions) ||Permitted ||Permitted ||Forbidden ||-|
|Work Delayed for the Holiday||Forbidden ||Permitted ||Permitted ||Forbidden ||-|
|Paying for the Work||Forbidden ||Permitted but preferable to get a goy ||Permitted ||Permitted ||Permitted |
|Working in Public||Professional - forbidden; Non-professional - permitted ||Forbidden for uman||Permitted ||Forbidden ||Forbidden |
|Preparing for after the Holiday||Forbidden ||Forbidden ||Permitted ||-||-|
- One may do unskilled work on Chol HaMoed for a holiday need. However, skilled work is forbidden even for a need of the holiday.
- Tzorech HaMoed is only permitted if the work entails no tircha (exertion) 
- It’s permitted to do an action even if it will involve violating a melacha indirectly if there’s a holiday need. For example, it’s permitted to cut branches in order to make Sachach for the Sukkah as long as one makes sure to only cut from one side of the tree. Another example, it’s permitted to wash one’s hands over grass.
What’s called a “holiday need”?
- Anything where there’s a likely possibility that the work is needed is considered Tzorech HaMoed.
- One may not delay doing a certain work from before Chol HaMoed and do it on Chol HaMoed.
- Fixing a broken object is called a holiday need if the object will be needed, however, if there’s a replacement that can be used instead or one could easily borrow a replacement, fixing the object isn’t a holiday need.
- It’s permissible to vacuum in an area you usually vacuum once a week.
- Some say it’s forbidden to nail a picture to a wall for decorative purposes, while others permit since it involves no skilled work or exertion.
- It’s forbidden to garden, plant, dewed, or move grass on Chol HaMoed. Watering is only permitted if the plant is in danger of dying.
- It’s permitted to pick flowers in order to decorate for the holiday.
- An activity that brings one simcha is considered a holiday need as it’s a mitzvah to have simcha on the holiday. For example, going on a family trip is considered simchat hachag and so it’s permissible to wash one’s car windows or fill up the tank in order to drive to the park.
- For example, since playing music is considered a simchat hachag, it’s permitted to fix (in an unskilled fashion) an instrument in order to play music for the holiday.
Preparing from Chol HaMoed to Yom Tov
- It’s permitted to do work for a Tzorech HaMoed from one day of Chol HaMoed in preparation for the other days of Chol HaMoed or for days of Yom Tov.
Melacha needed in preparation for a Tzorech HaMoed
- Just as unskilled work is permitted for a Tzorech HaMoed, so too it is permitted to do necessary preparations for work that is done for a Tzorech HaMoed.
- For example, one may sharpen a pencil in order to writes a social letter for the Moed.
Needs for others
- Unskilled work is permitted even for the need of others as long as one isn’t being hired.
- One is allowed to hire a non-Jew to do work that’s permitted for a Jew to perform and it’s permitted to pay the non-Jew for the work.
- For example, if a chair broke, it may be fixed in an unskilled manner is the chair is needed for the holiday, however, if another chair could be used or a chair could be borrowed one shouldn’t fix the chair. Additionally, if it takes carpentry skills to fix the chair or it was broken before the holiday and could have been fixed then, one may not fix the chair.
- For example, it’s permissible to change a tire, jumpstart a car, or change it’s battery if the car will be used for festival purposes. However, making other car repairs which require skilled work are forbidden to make (unless there’s a financial loss like having to leave your car on the road and having to return for it). 
- Purely preparatory actions are allowed, provided that they are necessary. Thus, washing a car’s windows or getting gas are permitted. However, preparatory actions that are purposely delayed until Chol HaMoed may not be done on Chol HaMoed.
- Washing or vacuuming the floor which is usually cleaned once or more times a week is permitted during Chol HaMoed.
- One may change the tire of a car if the car is needed for use during the holiday. One may also change the tire for a friend’s car if one isn’t being paid.
- Many forbid fishing for pleasure on Chol HaMoed, while some are lenient. If the fish will be eaten one may be lenient.
- For a person who isn't a tailor and isn't adept at sewing, sewing is considered not a Maaseh Uman. However, the average women is proficient at sewing and so is considered an Uman.
- A skilled worker may sew with a Shinui, meaning, making long stitches and alternating between high and low stitches (forming a zig-zag).
- When sewing on a button, many hold that it is a sufficient Shinui to sew it loosely and only use 2 out of 4 holes (such as two diagonal ones). However, some say that it is an insufficient Shinui unless one has no other clothes to wear.
- According to some authorities, it’s never considered a Shinui if a skilled person sews with a sewing machine while others are lenient if one makes a Shinui.
Preparation of food
- It’s permissible to do melachot in order to prepare food for the holiday (from one day of Chol HaMoed to another day of Chol HaMoed or from Chol HaMoed to Yom Tov).
- It’s permissible even if the melacha was deliberately pushed off to doing it on Chol HaMoed.
- If one has adequate supply of the specific food one shouldn’t cook that food on Chol HaMoed unless the fresher food will be tastier.
- It’s permissible to take wages for cooking on Chol HaMoed food that’s needed for the holiday, however, it’s preferable to have a non-Jewish cook do it.
- It’s permissible to fish on Chol HaMoed or to pick fruit on Chol Hamoed with intent to eat the fish or fruit. It’s permissible to fish or pick fruit abundantly so that one will be able to choose the choicest among them to eat.
- One may not cook on Chol HaMoed in order to have food after the holiday, however it’s permissible to cook generously without calculating precisely and if there’s leftovers, it’s permissible to have them after the holiday.
- If one transgressed and did cook for after the holiday it’s still permissible to eat it.
- It’s permissible to cook for fellow Jews, but one may not do extra work in cooking for a non-Jew. If one is just adding more ingredients to the pot (not considered extra work for the non-Jew) it’s permissible.
- It’s permissible to prepare food for guests even though it’s uncertain that they will come (as long as there’s a reasonable possibility).
Preliminary preparations for food
- Preliminary preparations such as sharpening a knife or repairing a stove in order to make food for Yom Tov is permissible if one wasn’t able to fix in before Yom Tov.
- It’s permissible to do preparations even in a skilled fashion and even if it involves excessive effort.
- However it’s forbidden to intentionally postpone preliminary preparations from before the holiday until Chol HaMoed and if one did so, one may not work on it on Chol HaMoed.
- One may only do work that would cause an improvement to the food itself which is true of a knife or stove, however, one may not fix a can-opener or a table as these do not enhance the food but rather these can only be fixed with unskilled work.
- It’s permissible to do work for the physical needs of a person (Tzarchei HaGuf) on Chol HaMoed even if it involves skilled work or excessive effort.
- Therefore, one may shower with hot water and soap, brush one’s teeth on Chol HaMoed. Similarly, a woman may apply cosmetics or tweeze eyebrow or body hair.
- If one’s only pair of glasses break one may fix it or have a professional optician fix it.
- It’s permissible to have a heater fixed if it’s very cold and an air conditioner fixed if it’s very hot on Chol HaMoed.
- A person who is already sick can go to the doctor for treatment because a treating the sickness is a physical need.
- It’s permissible to treat a person’s health from illness or preventing a decline in health. However, many forbid doing work for a small ache or pain.
- It’s permissible to take medications on Chol haMoed.
- Some permit a regular medical checkup, whereas others advise avoiding it on Chol HaMoed.
- It is prohibited to hire workers to do melacha on Chol HaMoed. This prohibition applies even if the action one is hiring another to do would be permitted if one was doing this activity for oneself or for another free of charge. However, if one does not give the worker a set salary and pays him with food that he eats with the owner, then paying a worker on Chol HaMoed would be allowed.
- If the work is a pressing need to the point that it would cause a substantial loss if not performed (davar ha’aveid), then it would be permitted to hire a worker to perform the work, even if the work is not necessary for the holiday (litzorech hamoed) and involves skilled labor (maaseh uman). In such a case one may even pay the worker.
- One may hire a worker who has nothing to eat in order that he will be able to sustain himself. 
- Someone who has no food at all, or one who has food but does not have his needs for the holiday (tzorchei hamoed), is considered someone who has no food and is allowed to work on Chol HaMoed.
- If one stipulates with a non-Jew that the non-Jew should do work for him after Chol HaMoed, but the non-Jew starts the work immediately during Chol HaMoed, one need not stop the non-Jew because he instructed the non-Jew that he should perform the work after the moed.
Taking a Haircut
- It’s a mitzvah to take a haircut on Erev Yom Tov.
- It’s forbidden to take a haircut on Chol HaMoed. The rabbis prohibited this so that people would prepare properly before the holiday. It’s forbidden to take a haircut even if one took one before the holiday.
- Chazal did not make an exception for someone who was sick and was unable to cut one’s hair before the holiday and forbid him as well.
- Chazal made a few exceptions and permitted certain people to cut hair on Chol HaMoed including a person who was released from prison on the holiday or late on Erev Yom Tov, one who arrives from over seas on Erev Yom Tov and was unable to cut one’s hair all of Erev Yom Tov, and one who was a mourner for a relative other than a parent, whose seventh day of mourning occurred on Erev Yom Tov which was Shabbat (and so he was unable to shave before the holiday). Those who Chazal permitted to permitted to cut one’s hair should do so in private.
- Cutting one’s hair for medical reason is permissible.
- It’s permissible to comb or wash one’s hair even though predictably hairs will be pulled out.
Women and Children
- This prohibition applies both to men and women  but not to children below the age of Bar or Bat Mitzvah if it is causing them discomfort.
- Some poskim are strict about fixing a wig on Chol Hamoed.
- A woman may remove other hair on her body besides for on her head.
Shaving on Chol HaMoed
- In general, it's forbidden to shave on Chol HaMoed unless this jeopardizes one’s job.
- Many Ashkenazic authorities permit shaving on Chol HaMoed for someone who shaves regularly, at least once every three days, on condition that (1) he shaved on Erev Yom Tov and (2) there's a great need or is pained by not shaving. Also, one who relies on this only to look presentable doesn't have to be protested. Some authorities are even more lenient and say that if one shaves daily and shaved on Erev Yom Tov one should shave on Chol HaMoed. However, many poskim rejected this leniency  including most sephardic poskim 
- A man may trim his mustache even if it does not interfere with his eating.
- Ashkenazim hold that it’s forbidden to cut one’s nails on Chol HaMoed, while Sephardim hold that it’s permissible.
- If one cut one's nails on Erev Yom Tov one may cut them on Chol HaMoed.
- It’s permissible to cut one’s nails with one’s hands or teeth.
- If one usually cuts one’s nails on Erev Shabbat, it’s permissible to cut them on Chol HaMoed Erev Shabbat.
- It’s permissible for a woman to cut her nails before going to the mikveh. If a man has the custom to go to the mikveh before every Shabbos then some poskim permit cutting nails.
- Whenever it is permissible to cut one’s hair, it is also permissible to cut one’s nails.
- It is permissible to cut one’s nails for medical reasons.
- It is permissible to cut one’s nails if they are making it difficult to put on shoes.
- It’s forbidden to launder clothing, towels, linens, or tablecloths on Chol HaMoed as the rabbis prohibited this so that people would prepare properly before the holiday. It’s also forbidden to launder clothing in a washing machine.
- If a child’s clothing are insufficient because they are soiled frequently it’s permissible to launder them on Chol HaMoed. If one is laundering them in a machine one may wash a full load of children’s clothing but adult’s clothing may not be added.
- Some allow cleaning an adult's undergarments if they were all cleaned before the holiday and then because they frequently get sweaty or dirty need to be laundered and there aren't any other available, can be washed in the washing machine on Chol Hamoed. Similarly, a niddah who needs to change her white underwear for Shiva Nekiyim and doesn't have enough can launder it on Chol Hamoed.
- One may launder guests' sheets and towels on Chol HaMoed.
- Chazal did not make an exception for someone who was sick and was unable to do laundry before the holiday and forbid him as well.
- Chazal made a few exceptions and permitted certain people to do laundry on Chol HaMoed including a person who was released from prison on the holiday or late on Erev Yom Tov, one who arrives from over seas on Erev Yom Tov and was unable to do laundry all of Erev Yom Tov, and someone who was a mourner for a relative other than a parent, whose seventh day of mourning occurred on Erev Yom Tov which was Shabbat (and so he was unable to do laundry before the holiday). Those who Chazal permitted to cut one’s hair should do so in private.
- It’s permissible for a women to launder her support hose, nursing bras, and white underwear if she becomes Niddah on Chol HaMoed if she has insufficient to last for the whole holiday.
- Dry cleaning is also forbidden like laundering. If one’s only suit became so soiled that it’s impossible to worn, some permit it to be dry cleaned, and one should consult a competent rabbinic authority.
- If one’s only suit was stained, it’s permitted to remove the stain.
- If a garment has a tough stain that won’t be removed if one waits until after the holiday, cleaning is permissible.
- Ironing is permissible but pressing by a profession is forbidden.
- Making pleats in a skirt or pants is forbidden.
- There is a dispute whether it’s permissible to polish one’s shoes on Chol HaMoed, while everyone agrees one may brush it off.
- It’s permissible to vacuum or wash floors that are usually cleaned at least once a week.
- It is forbidden to move homes on Chol Hamoed.
- Nonetheless, if it’s intolerable to live under present conditions, there’s a loss of money one may certainly move homes. However, if one is moving from a rented house to one that one owns, or from a home which one splits with others to live in one’s own home there’s room to be lenient and preferably one should ask a rabbinic authority.
- One may not set aside time to move around and organize inventory for business on Chol Hamoed.
- It is forbidden to contract a house to be built on Chol Hamoed.
Buying and Selling
- One is not permitted to purchase or sell an item that will not be needed for the festival.
- One is permitted to buy or sell if by not undergoing the transaction he would experience a loss. Accordingly, if there is an opportunity such as a sale that is passing and the sale will not happen again, one may purchase the object at the discounted price.
- One may purchase or sell something that is generally bought or sold for the festival even in public.
- One may not return an item unless one would not be able to return the item after the festival.
- One should not shop online during Chol HaMoed unless there is no money is being paid.
- One should not pick up an item from a store even if one ordered it before the holiday and even if the store is a non-Jewish store.  If the item is necessary for the holiday it can be picked up on Chol Hamoed. If it is a mitzvah item even if it isn't necessary for the holiday it can be picked up on Chol Hamoed.
- If one traveled during the moed and found a unique object that he will not be able to find when he returns from his trip, he may purchase such an item.
- One is permitted to undergo a sale if he is poor and the sale will provide him with more money that he can spend for the moed.
- Taking a trip for pleasure is considered a legitimate festival need and thus may be done on Chol HaMoed 
- Modes of transportation that are forbidden on a Torah level on Yom Tov (e.g. a car) may not be used on Chol HaMoed without need,  while other modes of transportation (e.g. a bicycle) may even be used without need.
- Writing in a non-professional manner such as regular handwriting is permissible for a need of the holiday, public need, a loss of money, or a passing mitzvah. It is customary when writing for this purpose to alter the way in which one writes.
- Writing in a professional manner/calligraphy is only permissible if there’s a public need, a loss of money, or a passing mitzvah.
- Because of ‘need of the holiday’, it’s permissible to write a shopping list or a social letter. Additionally a child may draw. Some say that one should write on a slant so as to function as a Shinui (change from the norm). 
- Because of ‘a loss of money’ it’s permissible to write down a Torah thought (חידוש), take notes in a vocational course, write homework for school, or to write a bank deposit (if one fears losing the money).
- Some permit using a copy machine (since it’s not similar to writing) for a ‘need of the holiday’, while some only permit in order to prevent a loss.
- It’s permissible to use a tape recorder on Chol HaMoed.
- Some consider typing on a computer like non-professional writing and so it’s permissible if there’s a ‘need of the holiday’. However, some consider typing like professional writing which is only permissible is there’s a public need, a loss of money, or a passing mitzvah.
- There is a further dispute whether printing from a computer is considered like professional or ordinary writing.
- Some permit using a camera (since it’s not similar to writing) for a ‘need of the holiday’, while some only permit if there’s a loss (such as if one will miss a rare opportunity to take such a picture).
- Many permit taking pictures with digital cameras or camcorders. The files from cameras or camcorders may be transferred to a computer.
- Burning pictures onto a disk is permitted by many authorities. Others say it is only allowed in cases of necessity for the Moed or monetary loss.
- Many permit the use of a film camera unconditionally;  others permit only for a rare photo opportunity.
- One should not have pictures developed on Chol Hamoed.
Going to Work on Chol HaMoed
- If one may lose one’s job or if one can’t explain it to one’s employer and one will lose a promotion then it’s permissible to go to work. Additionally, it’s permissible to work for needs of the public community such as a work for the Shul.
- If one will lose one’s usual customers if one doesn’t open one’s store on Chol HaMoed and not just a loss of income then it’s permissible to open one’s store on Chol HaMoed but still one should minimize one’s hours.
- It’s forbidden to have a wedding on Chol haMoed because of Ein Maarivin Simcha BeSimcha (one may not mix different Simcha’s).
- It’s permissible to have a Brit Milah, Pidyon HaBen, or Siyum.
See the full in depth discussion about Tefillin on Chol HaMoed here.
- The minhag of some Ashkenazim is to wear Tefillin on Chol HaMoed, however, the minhag in Israel and minhag of Sephardim is not to wear Tefillin on Chol HaMoed. Someone who doesn’t have a minhag should not wear Tefillin on Chol haMoed. 
- One who wears Tefillin should stipulate before wearing the Tefillin that if there’s an obligation then I wish to fulfill that obligation, and if not, I have no intention of fulfilling the mitzvah with my action. 
- If one wears Tefillin on Chol HaMoed one shouldn’t wear Tefillin of Rabbenu Tam (even if one usually wears Tefillin of Rabbenu Tam). 
- Some authorities hold that if some people in the Shul wear Tefillin and others don’t there’s a violation of Lo Titgodidu (don’t cause factions in observance of Torah) and so they advise that one should either find a shul that has your minhag or pray in different locations in the same shul. 
Work Through a Non-Jew
- It is forbidden to instruct a non-Jew to do any activity that’s forbidden for a Jew to do on Chol HaMoed.
- It is forbidden to have a non-Jew build one's house on Chol Hamoed. This is forbidden even if it is contracted and isn't fired per hour or day. It is forbidden even if it is outside of the town.
- For a mitzvah it is permitted to ask a non-Jew to do construction on Chol Hamoed.
- Contemporary Applications of Hilchos Chol HaMoed by Rabbi Elchanan Adler
- Hilchos Chol Hamoed by Rabbi Hershel Schachter
- Sh”t Rabbi Akiva Eiger 1 (in the Hashmatot) and S”A HaRav 529:5 write that there’s no Kavod and Oneg on Chol HaMoed. On the other hand, Magen Avraham 530:1, Mishna Brurah 530:1, Sefer Chol HaMoed (pg 1; by Rabbi Dovid Zucker) write that there’s Kavod and Oneg on Chol HaMoed, however, Shaar Tzion 530:4 points out that it’s not as strict as Kavod of Yom Tov. Yalkut Yosef (Moadim pg 502) agrees.
- Mishna Brurah 530:1, Yalkut Yosef (Moadim pg 502), and Aruch HaShulchan 530:4 write that there’s an obligation to wear clothing which is a little nicer than regular weekday clothing. Nimukei Orach Chaim 530:3 and Chaye Adam 106:1 hold that one should wear Shabbat clothes, but one doesn’t need to wear Yom Tov clothing which are supposed to be a little better than Shabbat clothing. Mishna Brurah 530:1 writes that the Maharil's practice was to wear Shabbat clothes on Chol HaMoed.
- Pri Megadim 639 (M”Z 639:1) and Aruch HaShulchan 530:4
- S”A 188:7 writes that since there’s no obligation to have a meal on Chol HaMoed is one forgets Yaaleh VeYavo one doesn’t repeat Brikat HaMazon. Magen Avraham 530:1, Mishna Brurah 530:1, and Yalkut Yosef (Moedim pg 502) write that it’s preferable to have bread since Kavod is with food and the most important food is bread. Regarding having nice meals on Chol HaMoed, see Rashi's comment to Avot 3:11.
- Rambam Hilchot Yom Tov 6:17. This is codified as halacha by Shulchan Aruch HaRav 529:6-7 and Yalkut Yosef (Moadim pg 502).
- Regarding simcha of Yom Tov, the Gemara Pesachim 109a says that since there's nowadays there's no Korbanot Shlamim, one fulfills simcha with wine. The Gemara continues that women fulfill their simcha with new clothes and children with toys and candies. This is codified as halacha by the Rambam (Yom Tov 6:17) and Shulchan Aruch O.C. 529:2. Rambam (Mitzvah 54) and Sefer HaChinuch (Mitzvah 488) hold that Simcha is a Mitzvah Deoritta nowadays, however, Tosfot (Moed Katan 14b s.v. Aseh) holds that Simcha is only Derabbanan nowadays.
- According to the Magen Avraham 530:1, Nimukei Orach Chaim 530:2, Moadim UZmanim 1:29 there’s no obligation to have wine on Chol HaMoed (this may be based on Sukkah 47b). However, Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (by Rabbi Dovid Zucker Siman 1) writes that from Rambam 6:17 it seems that all the days of the holiday are equal in fulfilling the mitzvah of Simcha. Similarly, Sh”t Rabbi Akiva Eiger 1 (in the Hashmatot), Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (Buir 1) in name of Rav Yacov Kamenetsky, Rav Moshe Feinstein and the Debersiner Rav hold that there’s a reason to have wine to fulfill simcha. Yalkut Yosef Moadim p. 502 agrees that men should have wine and meat each day. Rav Elyashiv in Kovetz Teshuvot 1:57 writes that one should drink wine every day of chol hamoed and Rav Chaim Kanievsky quoted this from the Chazon Ish as well.
- Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (Buir 1:2) quotes Rabbi Moshe Feinstien and the Debersiner Rav who say that grape juice doesn’t fulfill the mitzvah of simcha. Nemukei Orach Chaim 529:2 writes that one should have a reviyat of wine, while Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 3; based on Sh”t Rosh 25:1) writes that a Meloh Lugmav is sufficient.
- Yalkut Yosef Moadim p. 502
- Moed Katan 8b, Shulchan Aruch 546:1
- Taz 546:2, Chol HaMoed KeHilchato 1:32
- Shulchan Aruch 124:10, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 19:11, Tefillah KeHilchato 23:106
- S”A 188:4 and 5
- Halachos of Brachos (pg 510)
- Halachos of Brachos (pg 510)
- Halachos of Brachos (pg 513) writes that the special Bracha to insert on Chol HaMoed is ברוך אתה ה' אלקינו מלך העולם שנתן מועדים לעמו ישראל לששון ולשמחה את יום חג. (פלוני) הזה. This is based on Mishna Brurah 188:27 who writes that the special Bracha of Chol HaMoed doesn’t have a conclusion like the Bracha of Rosh Chodesh.
- Halachos of Brachos (pg 515)
- S”A 188:7 writes that one doesn’t need to repeat Birkat HaMazon if one forgot Yaaleh VeYavo on Chol HaMoed because there’s no obligation to have a bread meal on Chol HaMoed.
- Rav Huna in Gemara Megillah 31a says that on Shabbat Chol HaMoed we read the portion beginning with Reah Atta. Rashi explains that we read this portion because it includes the mitzvot of shabbat, the regalim, and a reference to Chol HaMoed (derived by chazal in gemara Chagiga 18a).
- Gemara Megillah 31a
- Tosfot (Chagiga 18a s.v. cholo) and Rosh (Moed Katan 1:1) hold that the entirety of work on Chol HaMoed is derabanan. Such is the opinion of the Rambam (Yom Tov 7:1), Mordechai (Moed Katan n. 835), and Nemukei Yosef (Moed Katan 1a s.v. Gemara). On the other extreme, the Rashbam (Pesachim 118a s.v. kol) and Yereyim (Mitzvah no. 304) hold that melacha on Chol HaMoed is forbidden by the Torah. Several statements of Chazal indicate this position including Chagiga 18a and Moed Katan 11b. However, Tosfot answer that these Gemaras mean that there is an allusion in the pasuk to the prohibition.
The Ramban (Moed Katan 2a s.v. od ani) and Rashba (cited by Maggid Mishna Yom Tov 7:1) arbitrate between these two positions and consider melacha on Chol HaMoed from the Torah’s perspective to be dependent solely on whether the melacha is necessary for the holiday. If it is necessary for the holiday, then the melacha is permitted from the Torah and, if not, it is forbidden. The Bach 530:1 supports such an explanation based on the pesukim. On Yom Tov the Torah forbids “melechet avoda” (Vayikra 23:8) and Rashi explains this to mean that one is prohibited to perform even work that will cause one to experience a loss if not done today. The Torat Kohanim (Emor 12:5) states that the prohibition of “melechet avoda” does not apply to Chol HaMoed; therefore, concludes the Bach, it is biblically permitted to do a melacha for the need of the holiday.
In a similar vein, Rav Sobolofsky (“Issur Melacha on Chol HaMoed,” min 12-15) explained based on the Ritva (Moed Katan 13a s.v. elah) that the primary principle underlying the laws of Chol HaMoed is that one should enjoy the holiday. Thus, activities that further this purpose are permitted, while those which hinder this goal, especially ones that involve excessive effort, are forbidden.
The Sefer HaChinuch (n. 323) explains that the determination of which melachot are biblically forbidden is left in the hands of the rabbis.
- Yalkut Yosef (Moadim pg 504) writes that one may be lenient like Shulchan Aruch and if there’s a safek one can be lenient as it’s only derabbanan.
- S”A 535:1 writes that one may not move homes on Chol HaMoed. Mishna Brurah 535:1 explains that it’s forbidden because of the tircha (exertion) involved.
- Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 7) brings this as an example of forbidden exertion on Chol HaMoed.
- Beiur Halacha 539 s.v. Eino Mutar, quoted by Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 8)
- Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 8) in name of Rav Moshe Feinstein. Or Letzion 3:24:6 writes that it is permitted to have a non-Jewish painter paint a yeshiva during Chol Hamoed if it isn't possible another time because it would interrupt the learning.
- Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 8-9) writes that there’s four exceptions to the forbidden melachot of Chol HaMoed including: carrying, techum, muktzah, and VeDaber Dvar. Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 68:26 writes that besides these four there’s also no melacha of Havarah (lighting a fire), Gezerah about Tevilat Kelim and removing Trumah.
- Yalkut Yosef (Kitzur S”A 530:5) writes that Shevitat Behemto and Mechamer don’t apply on Chol HaMoed. However, Beiur Halacha (536 s.v. UMutar Lirkov) writes that there’s a Safek Safeka to be lenient and one shouldn’t protest those who are lenient in this case. Chol HaMoed KeHilchato 2:14 writes that the only reason to be lenient is the Safek Safeka and those who hold melacha is Deoritta would hold it’s forbidden. Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 68:26 writes that there’s room to be lenient unless the animal is doing a Deoritta prohibition.
- Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 22)
- S”A 318:1 rules that if one violates Shabbat unintentionally, the work is prohibited from benefit until after Shabbat and for intention violations, the work is prohibited for the perpetrator forever and everyone else is permitted after Shabbat. Magen Avraham 538:2 says that this same prohibitions would apply to someone who violates Chol HaMoed according to those that melacha on Chol HaMoed is s.v. HaMivashel who writes in name of the Gra and Chaye Adam that a Derabbanan Melacha is permitted on Shabbat itself.) Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 15) writes that for this safek one can be lenient based on the fact that the entire prohibition is a rabbinic penalty. However, writes the Hilchot Chol Moed, for an intentional violation, there’s more reason to be strict based on Mishna Brurah 538:16.
- Tur 530 writes that all of the melachas of Shabbat and Yom Tov apply to Chol HaMoed with five reasons to permit Melacha. This is codified by Biur HaGra 530:1 and Mishna Brurah 530:1.
- Mishna Brurah 530:1, Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 11)
- Mishna Brurah 530:1, Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 36)
- Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 47). Sheloshim Yom Kodem HaChag (vol. 1, p. 168) writes that one may only perform melacha via professional labor for a communal need, provided that all three of these conditions are met: 1) the melakha is l'tzorekh haguf (such as fixing public roads so people don't get hurt or eating/drinking), 2) the community needs it on the holiday itself, and not after the holiday, and 3) one can complete the melakha on the holiday. If one of these conditions is absent, only maaseh hedyot (improfessional labor) is permitted to acomplish the task (ibid).
- Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 51)
- Shulchan Aruch O.C. 540:2, 534:3
- Chol HaMoed K'Hilchato (perek bet seif 36 & footnotes). Aruch HaShulchan 540:4 forbids great exertion. Pri Megadim M”Z 540:3 permits even great exertion. (Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 66:38 adds that the pri megadim means that it’s permitted if it’s a maaseh hedyot or shinui.) See Nishmat Adam 110:1. Netivei Moed 7:2 says tzorech hamoed must be hedyot and one should still minimize the exertion. Sheloshim Yom Kodem HaChag (Chol HaMoed p. 163) writes based on Zichron Shlomo that exertion is prohibited whenever the tircha is great relative to the desired outcome. According to this approach, great exertion would be permitted for a great need, and small exertion would be permitted for a small need. But great exertion would not be permitted for a small need. However, Chol HaMoed KeHilchato (perek bet footnote 98) quotes this position of the Zichrom Shlomo and writes that the purpose of his distinction is only to explain contradictions in the poskim and cannot be used to establish new halachic principles. See Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 17). See also Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 17)
- Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 36)
- Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 47)
- Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 52)
- Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 61)
- Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 36)
- Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 47)
- Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 61)
- Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 16)
- Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 36)
- Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 47)
- Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 51)
- Shulchan Aruch 540:2
- Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 23); Shulchan Aruch 540 and 541 give examples of tzorech hamoed and never mention that it needs to be in private. Ramban Chidushim Moed Katan s.v. ulinyan writes that we don't find the concept of doing the melacha in private on chol hamoed except for a professional work and certain cases of selling but not non-professional work done for the need of the holiday. Shulchan Aruch OC 533:5 writes clearly that melacha for a need of the holiday when done by a professional needs to be in private.
- Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 37)
- Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 47)
- Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 52)
- Mishna Brurah 534:18
- Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 18)
- Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 37)
- Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 47)
- Shulchan Aruch 540:1, Mishna Brurah 540:1, Biur HaGra 530:1
- Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 66:38 based on Mishna Brurah 540:7. Aruch HaShulchan 540:4 forbids great exertion. Pri Megadim M”Z 540:3 permits even great exertion. (Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 66:38 adds that the pri megadim means that it’s permitted if it’s a maaseh hedyot or shinui.) See Nishmat Adam 110:1. Netivei Moed 7:2 says tzorech hamoed must be hedyot and one should still minimize the exertion.
- Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 18-9), Pitchei Teshuvot 530:1
- Pri Megadim A”A (intro to 537) writes that even if there is only a doubt if there will be a Dvar Aved one may do work on Chol HaMoed. Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 17) writes that it is sufficient if there is a reasonable possibility of a Dvar Aved. However, the Mishna Brurah 537:1 writes that it must seem as being "close to" a Tzorech HaMoed. Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 66:34 agrees.
- S”A 536:1
- Based on Bet Yosef 534 and Magen Avraham 544:1, Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 12) writes that if one can borrow a replacement one must not fix the broken object.
- Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 19)
- Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 19-20)
- Shulchan Aruch 537:1, Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 21)
- Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 21), Chol HaMoed KeHilchato (7:4 pg 234)
- Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 22), Shulchan Aruch 536:1
- Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 21)
- Pri Megadim 533 M”Z is in doubt whether one may cook from one day of Chol HaMoed for another. However, Kaf HaChaim 533:6 and Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 18) rule that it is permissible. Additionally, Hagahot Rabbi Akiva Eiger 539:11, Eshel Avraham 330, and Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 18) write that it’s permissible to cook from Chol HaMoed to Yom Tov including Yom Tov Sheni of Galiyot.
- Magen Avraham 545:25 and Mishna Brurah 545:48 say that preparatory work that’s necessary for a Tzorech HaMoed is permissible such as preparing a quill and ink to write things that are permitted to write on Chol HaMoed.
- Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 17)
- S”A 542:1
- Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 16) based on Beiur Halacha 541 s.v. Elah and 542 s.v. Afilu.
- Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 12) based on the principles of Tzorech HaMoed.
- Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 15, 22)
- Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 23), Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 66:59, for further analysis see R’ Nebenzahl’s Yerushalayim BeMoadeha pp. 279-282..
- S.A. 536:1. M.A. there quotes the Maharik that if this was done, the use of the item is forbidden.
- Minchat Yom Tov 104:2 writes that since it’s normal to wash the floor twice a week it’s permissible to wash the floors on Chol Hamoed even if it’s a excessive work, however, scrubbing the floor to remove dirt is forbidden as it involves a melacha and requires excessive effort. Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 19) extends this to floors that are cleaned once a week, and permits vacuuming as well.
- Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 15) rules like Sh”t Shevet HaLevi 1:166(3) even though he quotes the Debrinsiner Rav who says that it’s a maaseh uman and involves a tircha.
- Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 38) writes in name of the Debreciner Rav that it’s forbidden to fish for pleasure and points out that Rav Moshe Feinstein permits. However many others side are strict including Sh”t Rivevot Efraim 1:356(2) and Chol HaMoed KeHilchato in name of Rav Shlomo Zalman Aurerbach and Rav Wosner. Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 38) writes that (according to all) one can be lenient if the fish will be eaten.
- Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 14) writes that nowadays most men aren’t adept at sewing.
- Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 14)
- Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 14) quotes Rav Yacov Kamenetsky and the Debrinsiner Rav who allow if the action is significantly changed such as it’s loose and one only sews it through 2 holes. Hilchot Chol HaMoed continues to quote Rav Moshe Feinstein who forbids unless there’s no other clothes to wear.
- Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 37)
- S”A 533:1
- S”A 533:1 writes that if one already has flour one should not ground new flour; however, even if one has bread one may cook new bread since hot bread is tastier. Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 37) agrees.
- Beiur Halacha 542, Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 36)
- Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 38). S”A 537:15 regarding fruits, Mishna Brurah 533:14, 18 regarding fish.
- S”A 533:1
- S”A 527:23 rules this regarding Yom Tov and Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 38) writes that this is true regarding Chol HaMoed as well.
- Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 36)
- Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 37)
- S”A 540:7-8, Mishna Brurah 540:27
- Mishna Brurah 540:18 and 537:15, Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 39)
- Mishna Brurah 540:27, Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 40)
- Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 40)
- Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 41). What’s the basis for this leniency? Ritva (Moed Katan 9a s.v. oseh, 14a s.v. veshaar) explains that attending to one’s physical needs is considered Ochel Nefesh. See also Pirush Mishnayot of Rambam (Beitzah 2:4).
- Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 41)
- Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 42). Igrot Moshe 3:78 writes that it is permitted to fix one’s glasses on Chol HaMoed. He adds that one could fix sunglasses if one needs them to see outdoors. Shevet HaLevi 4:214 adds that one could even have a professional fix one’s regular glasses if one needs them to see.
- Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 43)
- S”A 532:2 writes that it is permitted to treat a sick patient on Chol HaMoed. Mishna Brurah 532:5 adds that even melachot can be performed in order to heal a person on Chol HaMoed.
- Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 45)
- Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 45)
- Rav Hershel Schachter min 29-30 holds that it’s permissible to schedule a doctor’s appointment even lechatchila and even if you planned to go on Chol HaMoed. Similarly, Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 46) quotes Rav Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg and Rav Elyashiv concur and explain that just like it is permitted to do Ochel Nefesh on Chol HaMoed even if it is planned for then, it is similarly permitted to go for a checkup even if it is scheduled for Chol HaMoed. He assumes that a checkup is considered in the category of medical attention. Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 46) quotes Rav Moshe Feinstein saying that one should not have a routine checkup if it does not involve a Melacha such as drawing blood. Igrot Moshe 3:78 writes that the leniency of doing melacha for physical need on Chol HaMoed only applies if a person is in pain or is afraid that not going to the doctor will make the condition worse. However, a healthy person shouldn’t make a dentist appointment on Chol HaMoed since it involves melachot and can be done afterwards. Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 62) follows the opinion of Rav Moshe and extends it to any routine medical checkup. Furthermore, Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg. 46) quotes Rav Moshe as saying that in order not to degrade the sanctity of the holiday one shouldn’t go for a checkup even if no melacha is involved.
- S.A. 542:1. M.B 542:2 explains that the prohibition is uvda dichol. The M.B notes that some poskim permit one to pay a worker to do work if 1) the person cannot perform the work himself, 2) the workers will not do the work unless they are paid, and 3) it is litzorech hamoed.
- Shulchan Aruch 542:1
- Rama 542:1 and M.B 542:5. The Biur Halacha explains that is preferable for one to hire a non-Jew in this situation. M.B 540:2 states that if it would only be a minor loss, one may only do non-skilled labor (maaseh hedyot) to prevent the loss.
- S.A. 542:2. The M.B there cites the Magen Avraham as saying that if the poor person has bread and water, then it is prohibited to employ him. Magen Avraham 534:7 writes that ideally one should only employ such a person in a private setting because other people may not know that this poor person has a special exemption to do melacha on Chol HaMoed.
- M.B. 542:7. See the Magen Avraham cited by the M.B who holds more stringently and says that if one has bread and water, one may not work on Chol HaMoed.
- Rama 543:3 as explained by M.B 543:11
- S”A 531:1
- S”A 531:2.
The Mishna in Moed Katan 13b lists the people who are permitted to shave on Chol HaMoed. The list includes those who were unable to do so before Yom Tov such as someone who just arrived from his travels abroad. The Gemara on 14a explains that the reason that the Rabbis forbade shaving on Chol HaMoed is to encourage people to shave in honor of Yom Tov before Yom Tov. If one were allowed to shave on Chol HaMoed, we are concerned that he would not shave on Erev Yom Tov and he would enter Yom Tov unkempt. S”A 531:1 writes that it is a mitzvah to shave before Yom Tov and in 531:2 records the prohibition to shave on Chol HaMoed.
- S”A 531:2.
Rabbenu Tam (cited in Tur 531) held that since that is the reason for the rabbinic enactment, if one shaved before Yom Tov, he can shave on Chol HaMoed and the enactment would not apply. The Tur himself rejects this logic for two reasons: 1. If someone who shaved before Yom Tov could shave on Chol HaMoed, why is he not listed in the Mishna among the people who can shave on Chol HaMoed? 2. It should be forbidden because nobody can tell that he shaved before Yom Tov. This second reason is based on a question raised in the Gemara there about someone who was too busy to shave on Erev Yom Tov because he was looking for something that he lost. Though the Gemara leaves this question unresolved, the Tur here rules strictly, saying that since nobody can tell why he did not shave before Yom Tov, it is forbidden to do so. Thus he applies the same logic to one who already shaved before Yom Tov and forbids him from shaving on Chol HaMoed itself. S”A 531:2 rules explicitly against Rabbenu Tam and says that even one who shaved before Yom Tov cannot shave on Chol HaMoed. Though most rishonim and acharonim rejected the idea of the Rabbenu Tam, the Noda Biyehuda Mahadura Kamma 13 writes that one may rely on Rabbenu Tam on condition that the one cutting his hair is a poor person who does not have what to eat. When asked why he printed such a novel idea, in Nodah Biyehuda Mahadura Tinyana 99-101 he explains that if he didn’t print it, people would go to non-Jewish barbers who use razors and he had another secret reason. The Chatam Sofer 154 writes that the Nodah Biyehuda’s hidden reason was that there were some who shaved daily with a razor and by allowing them to shave on Chol HaMoed he would save them from a biblical prohibition of shaving with a razor as long as their hair stayed below some minimal level. In conclusion, the Chatam Sofer disagrees with the Nodah Biyehuda’s leniency as did most other acharonim (see Chida in Yosef Ometz Siman 7)
- S”A 531:3
- S”A 531:4, Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 27)
- S”A 531:5
- Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 29) quoting Mishna Brurah 531:21
- Rama 531:8, Shemirat Shabbat Kehilchita vol 2. 66:32, Aruch Hashulchan 531:8, Yalkut Yosef Moadim pg. 517
- Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 26), Mishna Brurah 546:16 based on Pri Megadim 546:9 and Gra 546:5, Kaf Hachaim 546:28, Shemirat Shabbat Kehilchita vol. 2 66:23.
- Mishna Brurah 531:16. S”A 531:6 permits haircutting for a child. M”B 531:15 says that this is specifically if the hair is causing discomfort. Aruch Hashulchan 531:6 agrees. Magen Avraham 531:9 writes that if the child looks like he is older than bar/bat mitzvah one should not give him a haircut publicly. Shaare Teshuva 531:2 quotes the Gan Hamelech who allows an Upshirin on Chol Hamoed for a baby whose third birthday falls out on Chol Hamoed Sukkot or Pesach. He even quotes poskim who allow delaying it until Chol HaMoed if the birthday falls out earlier. Piskei Teshuvot 531:3 agrees.
- Rav Moshe Feinstein (quoted in Dirshu M”B 531:note 4) is strict regarding fixing a wig on Chol HaMoed, while Beer Moshe 7:5 is lenient.
- Shulchan Aruch O.C. 546:5, Aruch Hashulchan 531:8
- Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 26)
- *Nodeh BeYehuda 1:13 writes that one may rely on the opinion of Rabbenu Tam who holds that one who shaved on Erev Chag may shave during Chol HaMoed on condition that the one cutting the hair is a poor person who doesn’t have what to eat. When asked why he printed such a novel idea, in Nodeh BeYehuda 2:99-101 he explains that if he didn’t print it, people would go to non-Jewish barbers who use razors and he had another secret reason. The Chatom Sofer 154 writes that the Nodeh BeYehuda’s hidden reason was that there were some who shaved daily with a razor and by allowing them to shave on Chol HaMoed he would save them from a biblical prohibition of shaving with a razor as long as their hair stayed below some minimal level. In conclusion, the Chatom Sofer disagreed with the Nodeh BeYehuda’s leniency.
- Based on the opinion of Rabbenu Tam, Sh”t Igrot Moshe OC 1:163 rules leniently for someone who shaved on Erev Yom Tov and regularly shaves at least once in every 3 days, and he’s pained by not shaving or has a great need to shave. His logic is that even the Tur who disagreed with the Rabbenu Tam would agree nowadays, since many people shave regularly and it is well known that one who shaved on Erev Yom Tov will still have to shave on Chol HaMoed. This addresses the Tur's first question on Rabbenu Tam, however, with regards to his second claim, Rav Moshe offers several potential answers. Rabbi Shmuel Marcus explains this teshuva of Rav Moshe.
- Rav Schachter (min 50-53) quotes Rav Soloveitchik who said that anyone who had permit to shave should shave in order to look presentable for the holiday. This is also recorded in Nefesh HaRav (p. 189) and "Halakhic Positions of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik" pg. 25. Rav Aharon Lichtenstein (cited in Techumin 2:133 note 37) agrees with this ruling of Rav Soloveitchik.
- Rav Chaim David Halevi (Aseh Lecha Rav 1:39) notes that most contemporary poskim reject Rav Moshe’s leniency. Shemirat Shabbat Kehilchita (Vol. 2 66:23) is also strict. Rav Avigdor Neventzal (Yerushalayim Bimoadeha Chol HaMoed pg. 237) is strict even for a date or a business meeting.
- Chazon Ovadyah (Yom Tov pg 190), Yalkut Yosef Moadim pg. 516) and Rabbi Shalom Mesas (Tevuot Shemesh OC 55-56), Rabbi Eli Mansour on dailyhalacha.com
- Shulchan Aruch O.C. 531:8, Mishna Brurah 531:21, Kaf Hachaim 531:39
- S”A 532:1 holds it’s permissible, while the Rama 532:1 writes that the Ashkenazic minhag is to refrain from cutting one's nails on Chol HaMoed. Yalkut Yosef 531:10 writes that Sephardim follow S”A. Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 29) writes that the Ashkenazic minhag is like the Rama. See, however, the Aruch HaShulchan 532:2 and Magen Avraham 532:1 who write that in extenuating circumstances, a person who didn't get to cut his nails before Chol HaMoed because he was very busy, may cut his nails on Chol HaMoed. Rabbi Eli Mansour on dailyhalacha.com also writes that the Sephardic minhag is to permit cutting nails on Chol HaMoed, whereas Ashkenazim refrain.
- Mishna Brurah 532:2
- Mishna Brurah 532:3
- Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 30) quoting Ba'er Hetiev 532:1
- Rama 532:1
- Shu”t Nachalat Shivah (Chelek 1, Siman 57). Shevut Yaakov disagrees (Chelek 1, siman 17 cited by Shaarei Teshuva siman 468:1).
- MB 532:2, Aruch HaShulchan 532:2
- S”A 532:2
- Rav Nissim Karelitz - Chut Hashani Chol HaMoed pg.227. Because he writes that the gezeira against cutting nails was so that one does not plan to cut them after the holiday starts and enter the holiday looking disgusting/unkempt. But in this case the cutting is in order to fix the nails, and one can therefore rely on the opinions that allow cutting nails on Chol HaMoed.
- Gemara Moed Katan 14a, Shulchan Aruch 534:1, Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 34). The Mishna (13b) states that it is forbidden to launder clothing on Chol HaMoed. Even though it should have been considered a need of the holiday and permitted, Chazal (Gemara Moed Katan 14a) made a specific gezerah not to do laundry on Chol HaMoed lest one neglect to prepare properly for the holiday and not launder his clothing until the holiday comes. Shulchan Aruch 534:1 codifies this as halacha.
- Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 30). Rav Ovadia Yosef (Yabia Omer 7:48:1) writes that it is forbidden to do laundry with a laundry machine on Chol HaMoed since the reason of Chazal, to prevent a person from being unprepared for the holiday, still applies whether or not it takes a lot of effort. Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 66:63 agrees.
- Mishna Brurah 534:11 and Aruch HaShulchan 534:8. Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach in Shulchan Shlomo 534:3 says that this age is until at most 6 or 7 years old.
- Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 32)
- Yalkut Yosef 534:8 based on Magen Avraham 534:2 and Shraga Hameir 7:43:3
- Yalkut Yosef 534:6 based on Meiri Moed Katan 14a
- Weekly Hilchos Shabbos Shemini quoting Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata (66 note 263). Mishna Brurah 534:6 explains that it is permitted to launder clothing that get dirty all the time since it is evident that even if one were to clean in advance of the holiday, they would need to be cleaned again on the holiday. Similarly, Chaye Adam adds that it is permitted to clean a handkerchief that gets dirty frequently. Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata (66 no. 263) writes that as an application of this Mishna Brurah one is permitted to launder towels and guest sheets on the holiday since those are frequently cleaned on a regular basis. Interestingly, Shevet HaLevi 8:124 is hesitant to permit laundering undergarments which become dirty frequently on Chol HaMoed if one can wear them again without great discomfort.
- Mishna Brurah 534:2, Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 30)
- S”A 534:1, Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 30)
- Rama 534:1
- Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 32-3)
- Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 33) citing Shemirat Shabbat Khilchata 66:72
- Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 33). Rav Moshe Feinstein (Igrot Moshe 5:36:1) writes that cleaning a stain is considered a simple task (melechet hedyot) and does not constitute actual laundry which Chazal forbade. However, giving clothing to a laundromat is forbidden even if it is a simple task. Chazon Ovadia (Yom Tov p. 200) agrees. Shemirat Shabbat Kehilchata 66:72 and Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg. 33) also allow one to clean a stain if one does not have other suitable clean clothing. Rav Nissim Karelitz in Chut HaShani (Chol HaMoed p. 238) however, does not allow one to wash out a stain unless one is wearing the clothes and one does not have other clothes to wear.
- Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 33)
- Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 33-4)
- Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 33)
- Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 34)
- Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 34)
- Based on Moed Katan 13a, Shulchan Aruch O.C. 535:1 writes that one may not move homes on Chol HaMoed. Mishna Brurah 535:1 explains that it’s forbidden because of the tircha (exertion) involved. S”A writes that it’s only forbidden to move from one courtyard to another, however within the same courtyard it’s permitted. Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 7) writes in name of the Drinsiner Rav that since nowadays people have many possessions and moving always involved exertion it’s forbidden in any manner. Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 68:24 (footnote 86) seemingly disagrees with this and yet leaves the leniency of moving within the chetzer out of the halachas probably because nowadays we don’t have groups of houses in small courtyards.
- Shulchan Aruch 535:1 writes that one may not move homes from one courtyard to another, however, in 535:2 he permits if one is moving from someone else’s home to one’s own home. Mishna Brurah 535:7 explains that moving to one’s own home is permitted because it’s a Simcha for him, yet, it’s not permitted if one is just moving from a ugly or small house to a nicer or bigger one. Shaar Tzion 535:5 writes that the same leniency would be true if one is moving from a joint home to one’s own home. Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 68:24 quotes this as halacha. However, Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 7) writes that one shouldn’t move unless there’s more serious needs such as if the living conditions are intolerable or there’s a loss of money. Mishna Brurah 535:7, Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 7), and Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 68:24 write that each case should be judged by a rabbinic authority.
- Shevet Halevi 6:67 writes that moving around and organizing business inventory is a tircha and forbidden just like it is forbidden to turn over one's fruit unless they're going to rot. Another proof is that it is forbidden to bring utensils back from a worker on Chol Hamoed. Also, it is forbidden to move one's residence from place to place because of tircha.
- Shulchan Aruch OC 543:2 writes that one can't contract a house to be built by a non-Jew on Chol Hamoed. Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 100) writes that if the custom is that everyone contracts their house to be built with a contract (kablanut) and not by individual day workers (sachir) it is a discussion if it can be built on Chol Hamoed and a person must ask a posek if they can rely on that leniency.
- M.B 539:1 writes that buying and selling is forbidden on Chol HaMoed because it is burdensome. The Levush 539:1 writes that if a sale or purchase comes his way that will provide him great gains he can undergo the transaction in private, as long as he ensures to spend more than he would have otherwise from the funds he receives from the transaction to add to the joy of the holiday. The Aruch Hashulchan 539:3 explains that it is because the atmosphere of the day is supposed to be one of joy and involved with Torah and one may get caught up in doing business and shopping that it will become like a normal day. S.A 539:12 forbids transactions not needed for the moed; however, the Rama writes that one may purchase items which are not needed for the Yom Tov in private. M.B 539:43 limits this leniency to items one will not be able to acquire at a discounted price after the festival because, as explained by M.B 539:18, this is similar to dvar heaved.
- Shulchan Aruch OC 539:1. An example would be if a lock broke you would be able to replace it so that the items inside will not be stolen. A dvar heaved is something that is already considered yours and there is a fear that you will lose it if you do not act.
- Chol HaMoed by Rabbi Dovid Zucker/ Rabbi Moshe Francis pg 101. However it is better for one to wait, if the sale will happen again.
- S.A 539:10. Chol HaMoed By Rabbi Dovid Zucker/ Rabbi Moshe Francis p105 quotes a machloket regarding whether one is allowed to buy more than is necessary for the festival.
- Chol HaMoed p. 108 cites Rav Moshe Feinstein who says that one may not return for a refund. However, if by waiting one will no longer be able to return the object this is considered a dvar heaved and may be returned.
- Chol HaMoed p. 108
- Gemara Moed Katan 13b, Shulchan Aruch 534:3, Mishna Brurah 534:16 explains that some say it is because of tircha (unnecessary effort) to pick up something at the store and some say it is because it is going to look like it was commissioned to be done on chol hamoed. According to the last reason it is forbidden even if it is at a non-Jewish store. Chol HaMoed p. 107 agrees.
- Gemara Moed Katan 13b, Shulchan Aruch 534:3
- Mishna Brurah 534:15 citing the Pri Megadim
- Chol Hameod p 106-107 Rav Moshe Feinstein says that this is considered a dvar heaved because it will save him the trip in the future. However, Rav Moshe says that it is better for one to extend his trip until after the Chag. This leniency only applies if he will not be returning to this city after the festival. Similarly, if a child is visiting a parent during Chol HaMoed and the parent will buy the item for the child, whereas if the parent does not purchase the item, the child will have to buy it himself this is considered a dvar heaved and one may allow his parents to buy it for him on Chol HaMoed.
- Shulchan Aruch OC 539:4. Here the S.A is discussing someone who does not have enough money to spend for Yom Tov, not merely someone who has stingy, but would spend more if he had more money.
- S.A. 536:1. It is problematic, however, to engage constantly in pleasure trips without enjoying the Moed through festive meals and Torah; see Kol Bo and M.B. 530:2.
- As a basic extension of the laws of the Chol HaMoed. However, R’ Moshe Feinstein (Piskei Halachos 6) permits the use of a car even for walkable distances.
- Mo’adei Hashem 34. See Rama 536:1 for the parallel case of riding an animal.
- Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 73-7).
The Mishna (Moed Katan 18b) establishes that in general one may not write on Chol HaMoed. Rambam (Chol HaMoed 7:13) and S”A 545:1 codify this. Just like other melachos on Chol HaMoed, there are two categories of writing. The Rama 545:1 quotes two opinions about whether ordinary writing is considered professional and says that the minhag is to be lenient. Based on this and other reasons, Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (p. 87) writes that ordinary writing is maaseh hedyot. S”A 540:1 and Mishna Brurah 540:1 clarify that maaseh hedyot is muter for a tzorech hamoed. Mishna Brurah 545:4 writes that writing of a sofer is considered professional and would not be permitted even for a holiday need.
- M.B 545:5
- Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 72-73). Background: The Mishna in Moed Katan 18b states that one may not write a loan unless the lender doesn’t trust the borrower and could potentially lose his capital. The Rambam (Chol HaMoed 7:13) and S”A 545:1 generalize this by stating that one may not write on Chol HaMoed if there’s no potential loss of money.
- Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 75-6)
- Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 76-77)
- Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 79) quotes Rav Moshe as permitting and Rav Yacov Kamenetsky as forbidding.
- Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 79)
- The Mishna (Moed Katan 18b) establishes that in general one may not write on Chol HaMoed. Rambam (Chol HaMoed 7:13) and S”A 545:1 codify this. Just like other melachos on Chol HaMoed, there are two categories of writing. The Rama 545:1 quotes two opinions about whether ordinary writing is considered professional and says that the minhag is to be lenient. Based on this and other reasons, Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (p. 87) writes that ordinary writing is maaseh hedyot. S”A 540:1 and Mishna Brurah 540:1 clarify that maaseh hedyot is muter for a tzorech hamoed. Mishna Brurah 545:4 writes that writing of a sofer is considered professional and would not be permitted even for a holiday need. A very practical question to ask is how this halacha translates to typing on a computer. Is that considered like regular writing or professional writing?
- Rav Ovadia Yosef (Sh”t Yabia Omer 8:48(5)) writes that typing on a computer is considered non-professional writing and would permit typing up divrei torah one might forget or sending greetings for a holiday need. Similarly, Igrot Moshe EH 4:73(4) implies that typing on a computer isn’t considered a melacha. Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata Ch. 66 n. 211 adds that typing is permitted because it isn’t permanent. However, saving the information to the hard-drive is problematic because of boneh as the disk is improved when information is saved. See Sh"t Shevet Halevi 6:37 s.v. VeAf as to whether typing is considered like writing for the purpose of Chol HaMoed.
- Regarding printing, Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 78) records a dispute between Rav Moshe Feinstein who considers printing to be non-professional writing and Rav Yacov Kamentsky who argues that printing is considered professional writing.
- Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 78) quotes Rav Moshe Feinstein (see Piskei Halachos 30,31) as permitting this because it is a maaseh hedyot, an action that does not require expertise. He also quotes Rav Yacov Kamenetsky as forbidding, arguing that it is a maaseh uman, and thus it is not allowed except in a case of monetary loss. R’ Shlomo Zalman Auerbach (Shemiras Shabbos Kehilchesa 66 note 209) agrees with the lenient opinion.
- This follows from the idea that “writing” on an electronic screen is not considered writing at a Torah level and there is no effort involved. See the responsa of R’ Moshe Stern (siman 56), which discusses a using calculator. See Shemiras Shabbos Kehilchesa 66:55, which permits such activities because the writing is not at all permanent. R’ Yosef Shalom Elyashiv is also quoted (Mevakshei Torah p. 473 note 85) as permitting writing on a computer screen, if necessary for the Moed, because it is not considered writing.
- While R’ Moshe Feinstein allows this (Piskei Halachos 32), R’ Shlomo Zalman Auerbach (Shemiras Shabbos Kehilchesa 66 note 211) contends that it is problematic because of the melacha of boneh, building. There is some contention, however, whether this would still be the case for a memory storage device that already has data on it, or can be rewritten; see Shulchan Shlomo Hilchos Yom Tov veChol HaMoed 545:5 in the margins, and also Nishmas Avraham O”CH 340.
- R’ Moshe Feinstein (Piskei Halachos 31,32) allows using a film camera, since the “writing” which occurs before the film is developed is not considered substantive. However, R’ Chaim Kanievsky writes in the name of the Chazon Ish that it is forbidden. See Shemiras Shabbos Kehilchesa 67:19 and note 105 in the name of R’ Shlomo Zalman Auerbach.
- See the responsa of R’ Moshe Stern 55.
- Yabia Omer OC 11:53 writes originally he thought that a professional picture is a maaseh uman based on the discussions of printing presses. However, he concluded that it wasn’t maaseh uman but still it was forbidden to let the pictures be developed on chol hamoed.
- Rav Schachter on OU Pre-Pesach Webcast 5771 between minutes 62 and 64:15
- Rav Schachter on OU Pre-Pesach Webcast 5771 between minutes 62 and 64:15
- S”A 546:1
- Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (pg 106-7)
- Shulchan Aruch and Rama 31:2, Sh”t Yabia Omer 3:5(3), Ben Ish Chai Parashat Vayera Halacha 12, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch of Rav Rephael Baruch Toledano, siman 10, laws of tefilin on shabbat and yom tov, seif 1.
- Some rishonim forbid tefillin to be laid on Hol HaMoed as they consider the days have the same status as a festival which in itself constitutes a "sign" making the laying of tefillin unnecessary. These Rishonim include: Baal Halachot Gedolot (cited by Tosafot Moed Katan 19a s.v. Rabbi Yosi), Rambam (Hilchot Yom Tov 7:13; explained by Kesef Mishna), Rashba (Sh"t HaRashba 1:690), and Ri (cited by the Hagahot Maimoni Hilchot Tefillin 4:9).
- Other rishonim argue and hold that Chol HaMoed does not constitute a "sign" in which case tefillin must be laid on Hol HaMoed. These Rishonim include: Rambam, Rosh (Hilchot Tefillin 16), Or Zarua 1:589, and Maharam of Rothenburg cited by the Mordechai.
- The Bet Yosef writes that the minhag of Sephardim is not to wear Tefillin on Chol HaMoed based on Kabbalistic sources. This is also the opinion of the Vilna Gaon (Bi'ur ha-Gra Orach Chayim 31:2 s.v. V’yesh Omrim and Maaseh Rav n. 174). Igrot Moshe 4:105:5 writes that the minhag of Israel is not to wear Tefillin.
- The Tur (Siman 31) quotes some rishonim who are uncertain whether one must lay tefillin on Chol HaMoed and concludes that one should wear Tefillin without a Bracha. These opinions include the Ritva (Eruvin 96a), Smag (Eruvin 153), Meiri (Moed Katan 18b), and Taz 31:2. The Mishna Brurah recommends that on Hol Hamoed one make a mental stipulation before donning tefillin: If I am obligated to don tefillin I intend to fulfill my obligation and if I am not obligated to don tefillin, my doing so should not be considered as fulfilling any obligation; and that the blessing not be recited. The Rama writes that the Ashkenazic custom is to wear Tefillin with a Bracha which is to be made in an undertone. See further: Rabbi Jachter on koltorah.org.
- Sh”t Teshuvot VeHanhagot 2:332
- Mishna Brurah 31:8
- Mishna Brurah 31:8
- Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 10:25 writes that there is an issue of Lo titgodedu for some people in the shul to wear Tefillin on chol hamoed and others not to wear Tefillin. Rav Moshe Feinstein in Sh"t Igrot Moshe O"C 4:34 dated Kislev 5737 state clearly that one should follow the minhag of the Shul and if the minhag is to wear Tefillin one should also, and abrogating the minhag of the Shul would be Lo Titgodedu. Hilchot Chol HaMoed Zichron Shlomo (in the hebrew section pg 39-40) prints a copy of this letter. However, Rav Moshe Feinstein in Sh”t Igrot Moshe O”C 5:24 (pg 79 s.v. Al Kol Panim) dated Kislev 5743, writes that in crowded shuls where there’s many who wear Tefillin and many who don’t there’s no issue of Lo Tasu Agudot since it’s clear that there’s two different minhagim. However, Rav Moshe adds that preferably someone who is praying in a shul that wears Tefillin should also wear Tefillin. Sh”t Teshuvot VeHanhagot 2:332 holds that there’s no real issue of Lo Titgodedu but preferably one should be concerned for those who hold that it’s an issue. Rabbi Schachter on yutorah.org (min 36-7) ruled that it is an issue for some people in one minyan to wear Tefillin and others not to wear Tefillin, however, two minyanim in one shul may not be an issue.
- Shulchan Aruch O.C. 543:1
- Gemara Moed Katan 12a, Shulchan Aruch O.C. 543:2
- Mishna Brurah 543:1, Shemirat Shabbat Kehilchata end of ch. 68
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