Friday, January 13, 2006

Tachanun at Night

I'm trying to make this somewhat of a diverse blog, therefore every now and again I will post a very specific halachic topic and try to tackle it. Sorry if you're not into this stuff...but most know that I certainly am.

Today's topic: saying tachanun at "night" (we will discuss what night means). I was in College Park this past semester davening mincha and Chazaras haShatz finished after shkiya (sunset), and they did not say tachanun. This did not pass the smell test for me, so I did a bit of research. Here are my findings.

Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach (which I will refer to as RSZA) says in his work Halichos Shlomo, that the minhag of Jerusalem was not to say Tachanun "balailah". The footnote says it is because of some sort of Kabbalistic danger. However, the footnotes at the bottom quote the Taz and the Shulchan Aruch harav which state that it may be said at what gives?

The Mishna Berurah (MB) seems to reconcile these two views by saying that neflias apayim may be be said during Bein hashmashos (safeik lailah) but not after tzeis (vadai lailah).

However, the question that arises from this is: when the MB says that nefilas apayim may be said during bein hashmashos, does that mean that the entire nusach could be said WITH the nefila, or maybe just the words of tachanun could be said, with no nefila.

Sefer Ishei Yisrael seems to clear this up by saying "one cannot say tachanun bnflias apaim at night, but one is able to say the mizmor of tachanun without nefilas apaim, and bein hashmashom one is able to be yipol al panav, therefore if they didnt finish mincha before shkiya one is able to say tachanun with neflias apaim until tzeis..."

according to everyone (at least that i have seen), tachanun can be said after shkiya WITH nefliah
according to most, even AFTER TZEIS!!! tachanun could be said WITHOUT nefila
when RSZA says that the minhag yerushalayim was not to say tachanun at night, he was referring to night as tzeis.

Let me know if you disagree, or are privy to other sources on the matter...

Next halachic topic to be dealt with: A Megilla (Esther) on Shabbos: Muktzah or not?


Blogger ADDeRabbi said...

"The MB s.k. 17 mentions that during twilight the custom is TO SAY tachanun. But in my experience, many congregations seem to have the custom to refrain from saying tachanun during twilight - even during twilight of the Yere'im (see the Bi'ur Halakha siman 261 s.v. Mi-techilat ha-sheki'a)."
From R' Asher Meir's Mishna Berurah shiurim on the VBM, here. so your minyan seems to be in good company.

See also R' Ovadya Yosef in Yecvhaveh Da'at 6:7, from which a less than clear picture emerges: he writes that he's trying to justify the minhag in E"Y where nefilat apayim IS done even after shki'a, and he quotes sources, Ashkenazi and Sephardi, on either side of the issue.

I'd add that the notion of saying tachanun without doing 'nefilat apayim' is relatively recent(from the Eliyahu Rabbah). The obligation is to do nefilat apayim, but the recited text is flexible (ashkenazim and sephardim use different mizmorim).

check out magen avraham 131:9 - it's unclear what 'night' means for him ('vadai layla', for the M"A, would be EXTREMELY late). MB, by saying it must mean vadai layla, is going w/ the Taz (R' Ovadya, i now see, also thinks it's a machloket ta"z M"A).

4:10 PM, January 16, 2006

Blogger ADDeRabbi said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:14 PM, January 16, 2006

Blogger AlanLaz said...

Thanks for the info. That's why it's good to be a Rav, and actually know what the general minhag ha'olam is (as opposed to being a young punk trying to put stuff together). However, at the end of the day I do still believe that my original conclusions hold up...

6:31 PM, January 16, 2006

Blogger ADDeRabbi said...

you're right. which is why a blog is an excellent way to say what you want in a completely productive manner. given that there's a real diversity of minhagim and psakim, it's not even up there with amein yesoma/chatufa :-)

11:35 AM, January 17, 2006


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