Chol Hamo’ed: Meat, Wine, and Clothing

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

meat_wineby R. Ari Enkin

The Torah [1]Devarim 16:14. requires one to be “b’simcha,” to be happy, on Yom Tov. One must also ensure that the members of one’s household are in a joyous mood, as well. [2]OC 529:2. This mitzva is known as “simchat yom tov.” Although many don’t realize it, the requirement of “simchat yom tov” includes Chol Hamo’ed and not just the days of “Yom Tov.” [3]Sukka 42b, 48a; Rambam, Hilchot Yom Tov 6:17; OC 529:2; Magen Avraham 530; Mishna Berura 530:1.  One should be sure to greet others on Chol Hamo’ed with “Mo’adim L’simcha” or other holiday greeting, and not merely with an ordinary “good morning” and the like. [4]Maaseh Rav 174.

Historically, the mitzva of simchat Yom Tov was fulfilled by eating the meat of the special holiday offerings, known as the shalmei simcha. Today, however, since there is no Beit Hamikdash, and by extension, no offerings, there is much discussion on how the mitzva of simchat Yom Tov is to be fulfilled. Indeed, because there are no offerings in our day, many authorities rule that the mitzva of simchat Yom Tov is now a rabbinic mitzva rather than a biblical one. [5]Tosfot, Moed Katan 14b.

The Talmud teaches that nowadays, in the absence of the Beit Hamikdash and the accompanying sacrifices, the mitzva of simchat yom tov is fulfilled by drinking wine. [6]Pesachim 109a. As such, many authorities rule that one is required to drink wine at least once a day on Chol Hamo’ed, and one should make an effort to comply with this view. [7]OC 529:1;Biur Halacha 529;  Mishna Berura 530:1; Mishne Halachot 8:78; Emet L’yaakov 530 note 483; Chol Hamo’ed K’hilchata 1:12. One who does not like wine may drink other alcoholic beverages that one enjoys for this purpose. [8]Rivevot Ephraim 1:350:1; Piskei Teshuvot 529:9. According to most authorities, one does not fulfill the mitzva of simchat yom tov with grape juice, [9]Rashi, Bava Metzia 66b. though some authorities sanction the use of grape juice should one prefer it over wine. [10]See: Mikraei Kodesh, Pesach, 2:35; Emet L’yaakov 530 note 483; Shulchan Shlomo Siman 529 note 6.

One should also make an effort to eat meat every day of Chol Hamoed. [11]Pesachim 109a; Rambam, Hilchot  Yom Tov 6:18; Biur Halacha 529;  Be’er Heitev 551:28; Igrot Moshe, OC 3:68; Shevet Halevi 3:18:2.  One who does not enjoy meat may fulfill the mitzva of simchat yom tov with any food that one enjoys. For example, one who prefers chicken or turkey may use those foods for one’s simchat yom tov requirement. [12]Yad Ephraim, YD 1; Shevet Halevi 1:18. See also Chavot Yair 178. A fish dish is also said to reflect the joyous nature of a meal or event. [13]OC 552:2; Magen Avraham 533:8; Shevet Halevi 1:18. Once again, these foods should be enjoyed daily on Chol Hamo’ed, as well. One is encouraged to eat at least one bread meal every day of Chol Hamo’ed, and preferably two, though there is no true obligation to do so. [14]OC 188:7; Magen Avraham 530; Mishna Berura 530:1. See also Rivevot Ephraim 1:350:1,2; 3:472. Some are even accustomed to recite the hamotzee blessing over “lechem mishna” on Chol Hamo’ed. [15]Rivevot Ephraim 1:352. Even eating cake, cookies, and other mezonot products in honor of the holiday has much merit. [16]Aruch Hashulchan, OC 530:3. The table should be covered with a nice tablecloth on Chol Hamo’ed. [17]Aruch Hashulchan, OC 530:3; Kaf Hachaim, OC 530:11.

As mentioned, many authorities rule that simply indulging in the foods that one enjoys most is a fulfillment of the mitzva of simchat yom tov. The Rambam, basing himself on the Talmud, writes that children enjoy candies, women enjoy nice clothes, and men enjoy meat and wine. As such, one should purchase clothes for one’s wife and candies for one’s children for them to enjoy during the holiday. [18]Rambam, Hilchot Yom Tov 6:17,18; OC 529:2; Nishmat Adam 2:104:1. See also Shaagat Aryeh 65. If one has only enough money to purchase new clothes for oneself or one’s wife, one’s wife takes priority. [19]Kaf Hachaim (Palagi) 24:2; Ruach Chaim (Palagi) 157.

The clothes that one wears on holidays, including Chol Hamo’ed, should actually be nicer than those worn on Shabbat! [20]OC 529:1; Mishna Berura 530:1. This is because there is no requirement for one to be “b’simcha” on Shabbat as there is on Yom Tov. [21]Rambam Yom Tov  6:17-18. One will recall that the primary theme of Shabbat is “oneg,” pleasure, which is distinct from “simcha,” happiness. There are, however, a number of … Continue reading Indeed, we are taught that one of the ways of arousing feelings of happiness is by wearing exceptionally lavish clothing. [22]Mishna Berura 529:12. Nevertheless, one who must work on Chol Hamoed, and whose job requires him to wear lower quality or even dirty clothes, such as a painter or car mechanic, is permitted to do so. [23]Be’er Moshe 7:3. It is taught that whatever one spends in honor of the holidays will be paid back double. [24]Sdei Chemed. Chol Hamoed 7.

 

Endnotes

Endnotes
1Devarim 16:14.
2OC 529:2.
3Sukka 42b, 48a; Rambam, Hilchot Yom Tov 6:17; OC 529:2; Magen Avraham 530; Mishna Berura 530:1.
4Maaseh Rav 174.
5Tosfot, Moed Katan 14b.
6Pesachim 109a.
7OC 529:1;Biur Halacha 529;  Mishna Berura 530:1; Mishne Halachot 8:78; Emet L’yaakov 530 note 483; Chol Hamo’ed K’hilchata 1:12.
8Rivevot Ephraim 1:350:1; Piskei Teshuvot 529:9.
9Rashi, Bava Metzia 66b.
10See: Mikraei Kodesh, Pesach, 2:35; Emet L’yaakov 530 note 483; Shulchan Shlomo Siman 529 note 6.
11Pesachim 109a; Rambam, Hilchot  Yom Tov 6:18; Biur Halacha 529;  Be’er Heitev 551:28; Igrot Moshe, OC 3:68; Shevet Halevi 3:18:2.
12Yad Ephraim, YD 1; Shevet Halevi 1:18. See also Chavot Yair 178.
13OC 552:2; Magen Avraham 533:8; Shevet Halevi 1:18.
14OC 188:7; Magen Avraham 530; Mishna Berura 530:1. See also Rivevot Ephraim 1:350:1,2; 3:472.
15Rivevot Ephraim 1:352.
16Aruch Hashulchan, OC 530:3.
17Aruch Hashulchan, OC 530:3; Kaf Hachaim, OC 530:11.
18Rambam, Hilchot Yom Tov 6:17,18; OC 529:2; Nishmat Adam 2:104:1. See also Shaagat Aryeh 65.
19Kaf Hachaim (Palagi) 24:2; Ruach Chaim (Palagi) 157.
20OC 529:1; Mishna Berura 530:1.
21Rambam Yom Tov  6:17-18. One will recall that the primary theme of Shabbat is “oneg,” pleasure, which is distinct from “simcha,” happiness. There are, however, a number of authorities who rule that there is an obligation to be “b’simcha” on Shabbat as well, though the halacha is not in accordance with this view. 
22Mishna Berura 529:12.
23Be’er Moshe 7:3.
24Sdei Chemed. Chol Hamoed 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

One comment

  1. Joseph Kaplan

    I’m not sure having at least one “bread” meal is such a good idea next week. ☺ CKV.

Leave a Reply

Subscribe to our Weekly Newsletter


The latest weekly digest is also available by clicking here.

Subscribe to our Daily Newsletter

Archives

Categories

%d bloggers like this: