Isru Chag

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By: Rabbi Ari Enkin

The day after Pesach, Shavuot, and Sukkot is referred to as “Isru Chag”, “wrapping up the holiday” and is awarded some degree of sanctity. It is the day that bridges the sanctity of the holiday and the mundane nature of the coming weekdays. As such, it is a quasi-holiday of sorts with a festive flavor, though there is no restriction on work or the like. The origins of the name “Isru Chag” derive from Tehillim 118:27 where it reads “bind the festival offering (“Isru Chag”) to the corners of the altar.” The Arizal teaches that the holiness of the holiday lingers on Isru Chag, as well.[1]

Although there are no specific mitzvot that are observed on Isru Chag, one is encouraged to indulge in more elaborate meals than usual. Our sages teach that one who honors Isru Chag by eating and drinking is considered to have built an altar and offered a sacrifice.[2] The observance of Isru Chag is especially symbolic in Israel as it ensures that both those who live in Israel as well as those who live in the Diaspora are observing the day with some festivity, together.[3]

Isru Chag also recalls the pilgrims in ancient times who would return to their homes with renewed excitement and inspriation after having celebrated the holiday in Jerusalem.[4]  The tachanun prayers are omitted from the day’s prayers and one is not allowed to fast on Isru Chag. Many have the custom to wear their Yom Tov clothes on Isru Chag, as well.[5] There have been communities in which Isru Chag was treated like Chol Hamoed.


[1] Torah Lishma 140

[2] Sukka 45b, Rema O.C. 429:2

[3] Piskei Teshuvot 429:6. See all Piskei Teshuvot 496 footnote 20

[4] Piskei Teshuvot 429:6

[5] Zohar Chadash;Pinchas 231

[6] Chagiga 17a, Mo’ed Lekol Chai 8:43, Shulchan Aruch Harav 494:20, O.C. 131:7

About Ari Enkin

Rabbi Ari N. Enkin, a resident of Ramat Beit Shemesh, is a researcher and writer of contemporary halachic issues. He is the author of the “Dalet Amot of Halacha” series (8 volumes), Rabbinic Director of United with Israel and a RA"M at a number of yeshivot. www.rabbienkin.com

11 comments

  1. “Many have the custom to wear their Yom Tov clothes on Isru Chag, as well.”

    Just because the Zohar Chadash says so doesn’t mean that people do it. Who are these many?

  2. What are you talking about? There are tons of chassidim who wear streimels and white socks, like on Shabbat, on Isru Chag.

    Ari Enkin

  3. Although you mention shvuous I think the whole week is treated the same. Although for some reason the chasidim dont wear their yomtov clothes all week.

  4. MiMedinat HaYam

    most korban chagigah/ot were offered on isru chag, since the mizbeach was too “busy”, and isru chag is the last day eligible.

    therefore, it is considdered a “yom tov” since one offerered a korban that day.

  5. Rabbi Enkin,

    Like after reading many of your articles, I am left asking, ‘what does this contribute to the discussion?’

    What new insight or analysis have you provided? What can the reader glean from the article that he could not find, say, by opening up the Piskei Teshuvos himself?

  6. Dude-

    For the most part, I would like to think that most of my postings offer interesting and lesser-known material.

    Sure, this week’s posting is nothing earth shattering, but most people do not examine Isru Chag at all.

    Ari Enkin

  7. Interestingly, even secular Israelis are aware of Isru Chag…

  8. MiMedinat HaYam

    also, note “chag haMimouna” for morrocans on isru chag pesach.

    IH 932am — any excuse not to work. (prob doesnt work, but we’re talkng about israelis.)

    dude — this Is a good post. more like these, please, r ari.

    meir — i recall an event on a weekday, and the picture in the algemeiner (yiddish newspaper) noted the rebbe was wearing his “weekday” shtreimel. looked the same.

  9. Tachanun?

    Isn’t Tachanun anyway omitted throughout Tishrei, Nisan and in Sivan until the 12th? So how is the non-recitation on Isru Chag a sign of a holiday?

  10. The minhag of many ashkenazim is to begin tachanun after isru chag of succos.

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