Newsletter Parashat Bamidbar – Shavuot

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Q & A Parashat Bamidbar

All references are to the verses and Rashi's commentary, unless otherwise stated

  1. Why were the Jewish People counted so frequently?
    1:1 – They are very dear to G-d.
  2. What documents did the people bring when they were counted?
    1:18 – They brought birth records proving their tribal lineage.
  3. What determined the color of the tribal flags?
    2:2 – Each tribes flag was the color of that tribes stone in the breastplate of the kohen gadol.
  4. What is the difference between an "ot" and a "degel"?
    2:2 – An "ot" is a flag, i.e., a colored cloth that hangs from a flagpole. A degel is a flagpole.
  5. How do we see that the Jews in the time of Moshe observed techum Shabbat– the prohibition against traveling more than 2,000 amot on Shabbat?
    2:2 – G-d commanded them to camp no more than 2,000 amot from the Ohel Moed. Had they camped farther, it would have been forbidden for them to go to the Ohel Moed on Shabbat.
  6. What was the signal for the camp to travel?
    2:9 – The cloud over the Ohel Moed departed and the kohanim sounded the trumpets.
  7. What was the sum total of the counting of the 12 tribes?
    2:32 – 603,550.
  8. Why are Aharon's sons called "sons of Aharon and Moshe"?
    3:1 – Since Moshe taught them Torah, its as if he gave birth to them.
  9. Who was Nadav's oldest son?
    3:4 – Nadav had no children.
  10. Which two people from the Book of Esther does Rashi mention in this week's Parsha?
    3:7 – Bigtan and Teresh.
  11. Why did the levi'im receive ma'aser rishon?
    3:8 – Since the leviim served in the Mishkan in place of everyone else, they received tithes as "payment."
  12. Which groups of people were counted from the age of one month?
    3:15, 40 – The leviim, and the firstborn of Bnei Yisrae l.
  13. Name the first descendant of Levi in history to be counted as an infant.
    3:15 – Levis daughter Yocheved was born while the Jewish People were entering Egypt. She is counted as one of the 70 people who entered Egypt.
  14. Who assisted Moshe in counting the levi'im?
    3:16 G-d.
  15. Why did so many people from the tribe of Reuven support Korach in his campaign against Moshe?
    3:29 – The tribe of Reuven was encamped near Korach, and were therefore influenced for the worse. This teaches that one should avoid living near the wicked.
  16. Why did so many people from the tribes of Yehuda, Yissachar and Zevulun become great Torah scholars?
    3:38 – The tribes of Yehuda, Yissachar and Zevulun were encamped near Moshe, and were therefore influenced for the good. This teaches that one should seek to live near the righteous
  17. In verse 3:39 the Torah states that the total number of levi'im was 22,000. The actual number was 22,300. Why does the Torah seem to ignore 300 levi'im?
    3:39 – Each levi served to redeem a first-born of the Jewish People. Since 300 leviim were themselves firstborn, they themselves needed to be redeemed, and could therefore not redeem others.
  18. The firstborn males of the Jewish People were redeemed for five shekalim. Why five shekalim?
    3:46 – To atone for the sale of Yosef, Rachels firstborn, who was sold by his brothers for five shekalim (20 pieces of silver.)
  19. During what age-span is a man considered at his full strength?
    4:2 – Between the ages of 30 and 50.
  20. As the camp was readying itself for travel, who was in charge of covering the vessels of the Mishkan in preparation for transport?
    4:5 – The kohanim.

The following essay is excerpted from
the 3 volume Book of Our Heritage , Hebrew original by Rabbi
Eliyahu KiTov, English translation by Rabbi Nachmun Bulman. Published by Yad
Eliyahu Kitov and
Feldheim Publishers Jerualem. The books are
available from Ben Arza Judaica Books POB 894 Jerusalem, Israel, Telephone
972-2-272795, Fax 972-2-274744, or your local Jewish bookseller. Used with
permission. © by the Publishers. All Rights Reserved.

Customs of Shavuot


The order of prayer and kidush is the same for Shavuot as for the Shalosh
Regalim, (the three pilgrim-festivals), with specific reference made however,
to 'this festival of Shavuot, the time of the giving of our Torah.' During
musaf the 'additional-sacrificial-offerings' and the 'new-gift-offering' for
Shavuot are mentioned as is the passage Uveyom Habikurim. Hallel is likewise
said in whole, in accord with the practice followed during the Shalosh Regalim.

During the kiddush, shecheyanu is said. Women recite shecheyanu together
with the brachah over the candles, prior to lighting them. Again in keeping
with Yom Tov practice, it is obligatory to partake of two meals – to include
meat and wine.

It is customary to practice immersion in a mikvah (ritual bath) on Erev
Shavuot (the eve of Shavuot), for one is obliged to purify himself at the
advent of a Yom Tov. There are some who practice immersion also on Yom Tov.
There are some who practice immersion also on Yom Tov morning, in remembrance
of Israel's purification during the 'days-of-abstinence,' prior to their
receipt of the Torah.

Though it is generally customary to recite the ma'ariv prayers somewhat
earlier than usual on Erev Yom Tov, the first night of Shavuot, however,
ma'ariv is delayed till after the appearance of the stars. Seven whole weeks
are to elapse counting from the second day of Pesach till the advent of
Shavuot. And, if the sanctity of Yom Tov is 'accepted' before the forty ninth
day is concluded, the days-of-the-counting will not have been whole. Similarly,
the Shavuot kiddush is not recited till certain nightfall.

It is customary to decorate the synagogues and home with greens. And some
decorate the Torah scrolls with roses. If the greens were not prepared before
Shavuot, it is forbidden to use unprepared leaves – though they were cut before
Shavuot – for decoration. If the greens were however prepared for the sake of
the festival, but were not arranged out of forgetfulness, they may be arranged
on Yom Tov.

There is a custom of placing tree branches and boughs about the 'bimah'
(Synagogue pulpit) in the Synagogue, to recall that Shavuot is the time of
judgment for the fruit of the trees, so that prayers might be uttered in their
behalf. The Gaon of Vilna however, suspended this custom in many communities
since it had become an established practice in gentile religious festival usage.

It is customary to remain awake through the night for study of Torah and the
reading of the Tikun-for-the-Night-of-Shavuot.

Special care should be exercised not to slumber during the 'shacharit'
prayers, the Torah reading, and especially during 'musaf', which 'seals' the
Omer-period. (The reference is to the 'new-gift-offering' brought on Shavuot
morning upon the termination of the Omer-count days).

Those who remain awake through the night wash their hands in the morning,
but do not recite 'al netilat yadayim,' and 'Birkot Hashachar.' They are
required only to hear these brachot recited by one who is obligated to say
them, and to answer Amen.

Reasons for eating
Milk foods on Shavuot


  1. "Shavuot
    is an extension of Pesach and its conclusion. Just as we eat two cooked
    dishes on Pesach in memory of the Paschal-Lamb and the Chaggigah offering
    of Pesach, we likewise eat two cooked foods on Shavuot; one a milk dish,
    and the other a meat dish. Since one may not eat from the same loaf of
    bread with both meat and milk dishes, this custom is a memorial of the two
    breads brought on Shavuot" (Rabbi Moshe Isserles – Rama).
  2. 'The day
    when Moshe was drawn out of the water was the 6th of Sivan, and he was
    willing to be nursed only by a Hebrew woman. Therefore we recall this
    merit of his, through eating of milk foods on the same day' (Sefer
  3. 'Till
    the giving of the Torah, the Jews were permitted to eat meat of animals
    which were not kosher as well as meat of animals that had not been
    slaughtered in accord with the laws of shechitah. After the giving of the
    Torah, shechitah and the laws of forbidden foods were prescribed for them.
    Since all their utensils and dishes thereby became prohibited and they
    were unable to make them kosher, they could only eat milk foods' (Ge'ulat
  4. 'The
    Numerical value of the Hebrew letters which constitute the Hebrew for
    Milk, chalav, add up to forty, corresponding to the forty days spent by
    Moshe on Mount Sinai' (Rabbi Shimshon of Ostropol).

Matan Torah -The
Giving of the Torah


The Children as Guarantors

At the time of the giving of the Torah all Israel guaranteed
for each other. How? When G-d wished to give the Torah to Israel, He said to
them: 'Give Me guarantors that you will observe the Torah.' Said they to Him:
'"Are not the Patriarchs guarantors for us?' Said He: 'They are indebted
to Me, would that they be able to stand for themselves.' The matter is likened
to one who needs a loan. He was told: 'Bring a guarantor, and take as much as
you wish.' Whereupon he went and brought someone who also was indebted to the
lender. His would-be creditor then said: 'You have brought someone who is
indebted to me. Would that he be able to stand for himself. Come and bring one
who is not indebted to me.' Thus did G-d say to Israel: 'Have you brought Me
the Patriarchs – who themselves owe me a variety of debts – as guarantors?
Rather give Me guarantors who are not indebted ot Me. And who are those who are
not indebted to me?' He said to them: 'The children.' They immediately brought
Him the children … G-d said to them: 'Do you stand as guarantors that if I
give your parents the Torah, they will observe it; and if not, will you be
responsible for them?' They answered, 'Yes!' said He, "I am the Lord your
G-d.' They answered: 'Yes!…'

Why the Torah was Given in the

'And they encamped in the wilderness' (Shmot 19). The Torah
was given freely, publicly, in an ownerless place. For if it had been given in
the Land of Israel, the nations of the world would say that they have no
portion in it. Therefore, the Torah was given in this manner, so that whoever
wishes to accept it may come and accept it.'

'If it had been given in the Land of Israel, the people of Israel would have
said to the nations: 'You have no portion in it.' It was not given in the Land
of Israel in order not to create dissension among the tribes.'

'And why was it given in the wilderness? Just as the wilderness is empty of
all luxuries, likewise do the words of the Torah endure only with one who
refrains from all luxuries.'

'I Am the Lord Your G-d'

Why were the Ten Commandments said in singular? To teach you
that each and every Israelite should say: the Ten Commandments were given for
my sake and I am obligated to fulfill them. And that one should not say, it is
sufficient for the Torah to be fulfilled by others

'You Shall Have No Other gods'

Rabbi Eliezer said: 'Other gods' – they fashioned for
themselves new gods daily. If one of them had a golden god and he needed the
gold, he made himself a silver god. If he had a silver god and needed the silver
he made one of copper. If he had a copper god, and needed the copper, he made
one of iron and lead. And thus it is said, 'New gods that came up of late'
(Dvarim 32).

Reading Ruth on


  1. 'Ruth is
    read Shavuot because the timing of its events occurred 'at the beginning
    of the barley harvest,' and this period is also the time of Shavuot' (Abudraham).
  2. 'The
    reading of Ruth on Shavuot is a reminder of the stand at Mt. Sinai, when
    the people of Israel received a total of six hundred and thirteen mitzvoth
    – six hundred and six mitzvoth in addition to the seven previous Noahide
    Laws. The numerical value of Hebrew letters which comprise the word Ruth
    is six hundred and six' (Teshu'ot Chen).
  3. 'From
    her very birth, Ruth was worthy of accepting upon herself the yoke of
    mitzvoth; and the very letters of her name bear witness to it. The letters
    for Ruth add up to six hundred and six which together with the seven
    Noahide Laws add up to six hundred and thirteen' (the Gaon of Vilna).
  4. 'Our
    fathers had the status of converts when they accepted the Torah (in order
    to enter the covenant they were required to undergo circumcision and
    immersion as is the case with converts). In honor of Ruth who was a
    convert and became the mother of Israel's royal family, we say, 'When we
    received the Torah, we were all converts' (Agan).
  5. 'Megilat
    Ruth was written by the Prophet Samuel, to indicate the genealogy of Kind
    David for Ruth the Moabite. We learn from the writing of this Megilah that
    there was Divine assent in the matter, for the end of the Megilah recounts
    David's ancestry and David was born on Shavuot and died on Shavuot' (Bechor
  6. The
    story of Ruth is read at the time of the giving of the Torah so that we
    might know that the written Torah and the Oral Torah, are together one
    Torah, and one is not Possible without the other. For David, the anointed
    of G-d unto all generations, was descended from a Moabite woman, and his
    legitimacy depended on the Oral Torah – which declared that only a Moabite
    man was prohibited from entering the fold of Israel – but not a Moabite
    woman. On the foundations of the House of David, the whole people of
    Israel is supported. All this could only come about through the authority
    of the Oral Torah


Halachot from Maran Rabbi Ovadia Yosef Z'l

חג השבועות

נאמר בפרשת מתן תורה, "ויסעו מרפידים ויבאו
מדבר סיני, ויחנו במדבר, ויחן שם ישראל נגד ההר". (שמות יט

רבינו חיים בן עטר, ה"אור החיים"
הקדוש הקשה, שהרי בפסוקים שקודם לכן כבר נאמר "לצאת בני ישראל מארץ מצרים,
ביום הזה באו מדבר סיני", ואם כן לכאורה, מדוע כפלה התורה וכתבה שוב
"ויחנו במדבר", הרי ברור הדבר שאם הגיעו למדבר גם חנו שם
, ואם כן מה באה ללמדינו התורה בדבר זה?

ומסביר האור החיים הקדוש, כי פסוק זה בא ללמדינו
שלשה עיקרים בקבלת התורה, שמבלעדי שלשת הדברים הללו אי אפשר היה לקבל את התורה,
ועל ידם נתרצה הקדוש ברוך הוא לתת לבני ישראל את התורה

הראשון, "ויסעו
מרפידים", שקודם קבלת התורה, היו עם ישראל ברפיון ידים ועצלות גדולה, כדרכם
של עבדים משוחררים, ואף על פי כן הם הכינו עצמם והתגברו על מדותיהם הטבעיות, לקבל
את התורה בזריזות ובחשק, וקבלו על עצמם שלא להתעצל בלימוד התורה. כי כך טבע הדבר
בלימוד התורה, שדברי תורה צריכים חיזוק כל העת, ולכן התורה טורחת בכל פעם שהיא
מזכירה ענין לימוד התורה, לתת תוספת חיזוק, כמו שנאמר "לא ימוש ספר התורה הזה
מפיך, והגית בו יומם ולילה, הלא צויתיך חזק ואמץ", וכן על זה הדרך. ולפיכך
הוצרכה התורה לציין "ויסעו מרפידים", שהיו נרפים מאד, ברפיון ידיים, ואף
על פי כן זרזו עצמם לקבלת התורה בחשק ושמחה,  ו"יסעו" מאותו הרפיון
שהיה להם קודם לכן. שזהו עיקר גדול ותנאי לזכות לכתרה של תורה

העיקר השני, "ויבאו מדבר
סיני ויחנו במדבר", שהכוונה בזה שהגיעו עם ישראל למדרגה רוחנית שהיא בבחינת
מדבר, שהכל דשין ודורכין עליו, והוא מקום הפקר לכל, כמו כן ישראל הגיעו למצב של
ענווה ושיפלות רוח, כי מבלעדי זה אי אפשר לזכות לתורה
, כי אין התורה
שורה על גסי הרוח, ועל כן משה רבינו זכה שהוא יקבל את התורה
, לפי שהוא היה סמל
ואות למופת של ענוה גדולה שלא היה עוד כמותה. גם לא ניתנה התורה אלא על ההר הנמוך
שבהרים, הר סיני, כי אין השכינה שורה על גסי הרוח וגבהי הלב, ורק בזכות הענוה זכו
ישראל לכתר תורה

והעיקר השלישי, "ויחן שם ישראל כנגד
ההר", אשר כמו שפירשנו כבר, לשון "ויחן" הוא לשון יחיד, מפני שעם
ישראל באותו הזמן היתה בינהם אחדות גדולה, כאיש אחד בלב אחד, וגם זה הוא תנאי גדול
לזכות לתורה, כי אין קבלת התורה רק ליחידים שבישראל, אלא דוקא לכל כלל ישראל יחד,
ועל כן התורה צריכה תמיד להיות נלמדת בציבור, ואמרו רבותינו "חרב אל הבדים",
חרב אל אותם שלומדים בד בבד, כלומר לבדם, כי אין אדם זוכה לישרות בתורה, אלא כשהיא
נלמדת עם עוד אדם, שיעיר את תשומת לב חבירו כשהוא טועה בלימוד. (ואחר שידע כבר את
עיקרי לימוד התורה בדרך נכונה, יוכל ללמוד לבדו מתוך ספרי האחרונים, אשר גם על ידי
העיון בהם יוכל לעמוד על טעותו), ואשרי העם שהם באים בליל שבועות ללמוד תורה
, במקום שהשכינה שורה בו, אשר על כגון זה נאמר
"ויחן שם ישראל כנגד ההר", כי כאיש אחד, זכו לקבל את התורה, וכמו כן
אנו, נזכה לאורה של תורה, משאת חיינו, בזכות ענוה ושפלות רוח, לקבל מהגדולים
מאיתנו את האמת, ולהודות תמיד על האמת, ולהשתדל כמה שאפשר להיות באחדות גדולה,
שמתוך כך תשרה עלינו השכינה הקדושה, ונזכה לכתרה של תורה

The Holiday of Shavuot

Regarding the giving of the Torah, the Torah states
(Shemot 19): “And they travelled from Refidim and they arrived at the Sinai
Desert and they camped in the desert; and Israel camped there opposite the

Rabbeinu Chaim ben Atar, the saintly “Or Ha’Chaim,” asks
that in the previous verses the Torah states, “On the third month of the Jewish
nation leaving Egypt, on this day they had come to the Sinai desert.” If so,
why does the Torah repeat the fact that they “camped in the desert”? Is it not
clear that if they arrived at the desert that they camped there as well? What
does the Torah mean to teach us by writing this?

The saintly Or Ha’Chaim explains that the Torah is trying
to convey to us three key principles regarding receiving the Torah without
which accepting the Torah would have been impossible and because of which
Hashem decided to give us the Torah.

The first is “Travelling from Refidim” (in Hebrew,
“Refidim” is similar to the word “Rifyon” meaning laxity) before the giving of
the Torah, for the Jewish nation experienced great carelessness and lethargy as
all freed slaves do and even so, they prepared themselves and overcame their
natural character-traits in order to be able to accept the Torah in a zealous
and energetic manner by accepting upon themselves not to become lazy in their
Torah learning. This is indeed the natural course of Torah learning that the
Torah needs strengthening and recommitment at all times. It is for this reason
that any time the Torah mentions learning Torah, the Torah adds a boost of
encouragement as the verse states, “This Sefer Torah shall not budge from your
lips and you shall delve in it day and night etc. have I not commanded you to
be strong and courageous?” The Torah therefore needed to point out that they
“travelled from Refidim,” for they had truly been slacking off, but even so
they had energized themselves to accept the Torah with desire and joy and they
had thus “travelled away” from the laxity they possessed beforehand, for this
is a great principle and important condition for meriting receiving the Torah’s

The second principle is “And they arrived at the Sinai
desert and they camped in the desert.” This means that the Jewish nation
reached the lofty level wherein they made themselves like a desert which is
ownerless and everyone walks through and tramples on. Similarly, the Jewish
nation reached a high level of humility and submissiveness, for without doing
so, one cannot merit accepting the Torah as the Torah does not identify itself
with the arrogant. It is also for this reason that Moshe Rabbeinu was the one
chosen to receive the Torah, for he served as an outstanding symbol of extreme
humility, the likes of which the world had never seen. Additionally, the Torah
was given only on the lowest of mountains, Mount Sinai, for Hashem’s presence
does not rest on the arrogant and the haughty; only because of their humility
did the Jewish nation merit receiving the crown of Torah.

The third principle is “And Israel camped there opposite
the mountain.” The Torah uses the singular form of the word “camped” in order
to teach us that the Jewish nation was completely unified at that time, like
one man with one heart. This also serves as an important condition in order to
receive the Torah, for the Torah was not given to individuals among the Jewish
nation; rather, it was given to the entire nation as one. It is for this reason
that the Torah must be read in public. Indeed the verse states, “May a sword be
to the loners” referring to those who learn Torah alone, for one cannot merit
having a correct understanding of the Torah unless he learns with someone else
who will be able to bring the errors he has made in his learning to his
attention. (Once one masters the principles for how to properly learn Torah,
one may then learn from the works of the Acharonim alone, for by delving in
them one will likewise be able to realize if he has erred.) Praiseworthy is the
nation whose people come together to learn Torah on the night of Shavuot in a
place where the holy presence of Hashem rests. Regarding this does the verse
state, “And Israel camped there opposite the mountain,” for they merited
receiving the Torah as one. May we likewise merit gleaning from the eternal
light of the Torah by virtue of our true humility through accepting the true
interpretation of the Torah from those greater than us and admitting that their
interpretation is indeed true. Let us try our very best to always be completely
unified, for this will cause Hashem to rest His holy presence on us and we will
thereby merit receiving the crown of the Torah.


 ברכות הנהנין וקריאת שמע בליל שבועות

קריאת תיקון
"קריאי מועד
נבאר לגבי מה שכתבנו, שנכון לקרוא בליל שבועות את התיקון הנדפס בספר קריאי מועד

אף על פי שכן הוא מנהג הספרדים, וכמו שכתבו רבותינו המקובלים, מכל מקום אותם
הנוהגים ללמוד בלילה ספר המצות להרמב"ם, ולשמוע שיעורי תורה, יש להם על מה
שיסמכו, בפרט אם נראה לרבנים הנמצאים באותו מקום שהתועלת היוצאת מלימוד זה מרובה
יותר, כגון אותם סדרי לימוד הנערכים במקומות שיושביהם רחוקים מן הדת, ויש לעוררם
ולקרבם בדברי תורה נעימים, להטות למוסר אזניהם
. ובקריאת התיקון
נראה שלא תצא תועלת כל כך

מרן רבינו שליט"א
(בספרו על הלכות יום טוב עמוד שיא), שרבים
מגאוני אשכנז, ובהם הגאון ראי"ה קוק, נהגו ללמוד בליל שבועות בספר המצות
להרמב"ם. וכן בבית הכנסת של מרן שליט"א, נוהג ללמד ברבים ממדרשי
חז"ל וביאורי הלכות (מלבד קריאת התיקון
). ומכל מקום במקום
שהציבור קוראים את התיקון מספר קריאי מועד, לא נכון לשנות מכלל הציבור, ויש לקרוא
התיקון כמו שכתבו המקובלים

על מאכל ומשקה בליל שבועות

בתורה בלילה, ומגישים בפניהם מדי פעם בפעם תה או קפה וכדומה, עליהם לברך בפעם
הראשונה שישתו, ואחר כך אינם חוזרים לברך שוב בכל פעם. ואפילו אם יש שהות של יותר
משעה ורבע בין שתיה לשתיה, אין לברך שנית, כי נפטרו מן הברכה בפעם הראשונה שבירכו

לכוין בפירוש בתחילה, שדעתו לפטור בברכתו את כל מה שיוגש לפניו בלילה

הדבר ברור, שאם יצא מבית הכנסת החוצה, ובחזרתו הוגשו לפניו שוב משקאות
לחזור ולברך שנית, כי היציאה מבית הכנסת נחשבת "היסח הדעת", ושוב אינו
נפטר בברכתו הראשונה. (חזו"ע עמוד שיא


לקרוא קריאת שמע בליל שבועות, לפני זמן חצות הלילה. כפי שנהגו בבתי הכנסת. (שם

השחר וברכות התורה

לברך ברכות השחר אלא אחרי "עלות השחר" (וזמן עלות השחר מודפס בלוחות
השנה). ואף מי שלא ישן כל הלילה, רשאי לברך ברכות התורה בעלות השחר. ומלבד ברכות
התורה, יש לברך את כל ברכות השחר, כולל ברכת "אלקי נשמה", מלבד ברכת
"על נטילת
ידיים", שמי שלא ישן בלילה, נוטל ידיו בלא ברכה. (וברכת "אשר יצר"
יש לברך, רק למי שהוצרך לברכה זו, כפי הדין בכל ימות השנה

Blessings of Enjoyment and Keri’at Shema on the Night of Shavuot

the Order of the “Keri’eh Mo’ed”

Let us first discuss that which we have mentioned that it is proper to read the
order of learning for the night of Shavuot which is printed in the Sefer
Keri’eh Mo’ed.

Although this is indeed the custom of Sephardic Jewry based on the writing of
the Mekubalim, nevertheless, those who customarily learn the Rambam’s Sefer
Ha’Mitzvot or listen to Torah lectures on this night have on whom to rely. This
is especially true if the rabbis in a specific place feel that such a learning
schedule is more beneficial for the congregation, for instance, if the learning
is being held in a location where most of the audience is not particularly
religious in which case it is important to draw them closer with pleasant words
of Torah as opposed to merely reading the order of Shavuot which may not be so
constructive for them.

Maran Shlit”a writes (in his Chazon Ovadia-Yom Tov, page 311) that many great
Ashkenazi luminaries, among them Hagaon Harav Avraham Yitzchak HaKohen Kook zt”l customarily learned the
Rambam’s Sefer Ha’Mitzvot on the night of Shavuot. Similarly, in the synagogue
of Maran Shlit”a, he customarily publicly expounds some Midrashim of our Sages
as well as some pertinent Halachot (in addition to reading the order of
Shavuot). Nevertheless, in a place where the congregation is reading from the
Sefer Keri’eh Mo’ed, it is improper to deviate from the congregation’s custom
and one should indeed read along with them as per the custom of the Mekubalim.

Blessings on Food and Drink on the Night of Shavuot
Those who delve in Torah all night and are occasionally served tea, coffee, and
the like, they must recite a blessing before the first time they drink and then
they no longer repeat the blessing every other time. Even if there is a pause
of an hour and a quarter between each drinking, one does not recite the
blessing again, for he has fulfilled his obligation with the blessing he has
recited the first time.

It is preferable though that one have specific intention the first time he
blesses that his blessing should exempt any other item brought before him.

However, if one leaves the synagogue and goes outside and when he returns he is
served beverages once again, he must recite another blessing, for leaving the
synagogue constitutes an interruption and he is no longer exempted by his
original blessing (See Chazon Ovadia ibid.).

Keri’at Shema
One should recite Keri’at Shema before halachic midnight on the night of
Shavuot as is customary in all synagogues. (ibid.)

The Morning Blessings (Birkot Ha’Shachar) and the Blessings on the Torah
One should only recite the morning blessings after dawn (the time for which is
printed in various calendars). Even one who has not slept all night may recite
the Blessings on the Torah after dawn. Besides for the Blessings on the Torah,
one should recite all of the Morning Blessings, including “Elokai Neshama,”
besides for the blessing of “Al Netilat Yadayim,” for one who has not slept at
night washes his hands in the morning without reciting this blessing.
(Regarding the “Asher Yatzar” blessing, only one who has used the facilities
should recite this blessing as is the case during the rest of the year.)


Shabbat Shalom

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