Halachos of Rosh Hashana - Yom Kippur, Rabbi Tzvi Yaakov Stein

First night Slichos is supposed to be said at night
If Slichos are going to be said at night, it can’t be before chatzos
In desperate situations, for example, it’s dangerous to go outside, it can be said two hours before chatzos but not before that
In the morning, Birchas Hatorah should be said before Slichos
Even those that come late to Slichos should say Ashrei before Slichos
Anything that’s in Aramaic and the י״ג מדות should only be said with a minyan
If the minyan is up to the ,י״ג מדות skip to it and go back to where you were up to later

Hataras Nedarim
Any three visibly adult males can be on the beis din
They have to know what they’re saying
Relatives are allowed
It only works for nedarim that aren’t known
If there’s a specific neder that needs annulment it should be specified to at least one of the judges
It must be done by the person himself not by someone on his behalf
The minhag is that women don’t say hataras nedarim. They should have it in mind when they say Kol Nidrei on Yom Kippur
A husband can say hataras nedarim on behalf of his wife and he should tell the judges that he’s also having his wife in mind

Many have the minhag to fast until chatzos
If possible it’s better to fast until after mincha so that aneinu can be said in shemona esrei
Some have the minhag to go daven at the cemetery

Many have the minhag to go to mikva on Erev Rosh Hashana
It’s best not to go earlier than an hour before chatzos
If it’s difficult to go to mikva then a swimming pool is allowed – preferably with the filter off
If it’s difficult to go then at least take a long shower
It’s better not to have relations Rosh Hashana at night unless it’s mikva night. If there’s desire then it’s better to be together but go to mikva in the morning before davening

First night
The minhag is to eat special foods that will be a siman for a good year and say a special יהי רצון for each one
The foods that are mentioned in the Gemara are: ,קרא תמרי ,סילקא ,כרתי ,רוביא
יהי רצון can be said on anything that infers having a good year
Some say that the foods don’t have to be eaten, just looked at
Not getting angry is a very good siman for a good year
The minhag is not to eat walnuts on Rosh Hashana
Some say all nuts shouldn’t be eaten
Peanuts are not nuts and can be eaten
The minhag is not to eat sour foods however if you don’t taste the sour ingredients in the food then it’s allowed
Sharp/hot foods are allowed
The minhag is to dip the challah into honey
A Bracha of Haetz is said on the fruits
No Bracha is necessary on vegetables that are eaten for the Simanim
If using an apple for the first siman, it’s best to leave the pomegranates and dates in a different room but make sure to have them in mind with the Bracha of haetz
The first יהי רצון shouldn’t be said before making the Bracha of Haeetz and not immediately after the Bracha. It should be said after eating a little bit of the fruit
All the subsequent יהי רצון should be said before the eating
The shechayanu fruit is meant for the second night not for the first night

Second night
Because Rosh Hashana is one long day, there’s some doubt as to whether or not shechayanu should be said at Kiddush. Therefore, a new fruit should be on the table during Kiddush
Some have the minhag to eat the new fruit immediately after Kiddush before eating challah, others eat it after the challah
The new fruit should be on the table for candle lighting so that shechayanu can be said when lighting the candles
Some have the minhag to say the יהי רצון on the second night too. If that’s not your minhag then do it without saying Hashems name

We’re not supposed to sleep on Rosh Hashana because we don’t want our Mazal to sleep (not because we’ll have a sleepy year)
Many say that after chatzos (midday) this doesn’t apply
Sitting around and doing nothing is the equivalent of sleeping
Some get up before daybreak so that they won’t be sleeping on Rosh Hashana but most don’t get up
We’re ALLOWED to daven for personal requests on Rosh Hashana
If yaleh viyavo was forgotten in birchas hamazon, do NOT repeat it

It’s best to not eat before Shofar
If eating cake, it can’t be more than the equivalent of a half of a piece of rye bread. Fruits, vegetables and drinks can be unlimited
There’s no talking from the Bracha before shofar until after the last tekiyos
Learning is allowed but it can’t be verbalized
Tehilim is allowed
Asher yatzar after using the bathroom is allowed

Aseres Yimei Teshuva
If zachreinu, mi chamocha, etc. that are added in shemona esrei are forgotten, don’t repeat
If Hamelech Hamishpat was forgotten, don’t repeat Shemona Esrei
Since it’s a machlokes about the above Halachos, be very careful not to forget to say them
If Hamelech Hakadosh was forgotten, shemona esrei is repeated
Those that are lenient to eat bakery bread that’s baked by non-Jews during the year should be strict during these days to only eat bread baked by a yid
If it would take more than eighteen minutes to get bread baked by a yid then the other bread is allowed
Cakes, cookies, pretzels etc. should be considered like bread
Cereals are not considered like bread
We should try and do better than normal during these days and it’s not considered faking

If necessary, two or more males can use one male chicken and females a female chicken
Pregnant women should use two chickens, a male and female
It’s best not to use maaser money for kaparos
If you’re paying extra because the money is going to tzedaka, it can be taken from maaser

Erev Yom Kippur
Some say there’s a mitzvah to eat the night before also
One should have in mind that there’s a specific mitzvah to eat on Erev Yom Kippur
All men are supposed to go to the Mikva
Nothing foreign should be on the body when going to the Mikva
It’s best to dip three times
The Minhag is for parents to give a Bracha to their children
Pills and vitamins that make the fast easier, are allowed to be used
Melacha and eating have to be stopped a few minutes before sunset
Women are allowed to light candles and then drive to shul if they don’t accept Yom Kippur on themselves until later. If so DON’T make the Bracha of Shechayanu when lighting candles. Wait until after Kol Nidrei
The minhag is for every household to have a candle lit for the entire Yom Kippur. Fire from that candle should be used for havdala
Hot foods to be eaten after Yom Kippur are not allowed to be kept in a crockpot/oven. However, if it’s for children to eat on Yom Kippur then it’s allowed
Women are allowed to wear gold on Yom Kippur. However, it’s better not to put on Shabbos/Yom tov or special jewelry
Make sure to put the Talis on before sunset in order to make a Bracha. If not, a Bracha can still be made up until nine minutes after sunset

Yom Kippur
The main mitzva is to fast, even if it means resting and not davening
The husband should stay home if that will enable the wife to fast but it’s better to hire a babysitter
All harchakos have to be kept like hilchos nidda
No washing any part of the body, even with cold water
If any part of the body gets dirty, it can be washed
In the morning, hands should be washed until where the knuckle meets the palm of the hand
Kohanim wash the full hand before birchas kohanim
One who’s sick can wash but not for pleasure
Washing food for children, for example fruits, is allowed even if the hands get wet
It’s preferable not to touch food unless necessary
No deodorants, perfumes or mouthwash
Pills that don’t taste good can be swallowed
Medications that are necessary can be taken with an oz. of bad tasting liquid

Motzai Yom Kippur
Water is allowed before havdala but say Baruch hamavdil bein kodesh lechol first
Women who want to eat before the men come home from shul, should make havdala themselves
If for whatever reason they can’t, eating is allowed after saying Baruch hamavdil
Havdala has to be with a fire that came from a fire that was lit over Yom Kippur
Normally there’s no bracha of besamim after Yom Kippur but this year that it’s Shabbos we do make the Bracha on besamim
It’s better to do something for sukkos on motzai Yom Kippur

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