24 March 2020


28 Adar 5780

Prepare yourself now to observe a proper Yom Kippur Katan this Erev Rosh Chodesh Nisan on Wednesday, March 25, 2020.  This is a unique opportunity to bring the geulah shleimah this Pesach!
Israel's Chief Rabbi calls for public fast day amid coronavirus outbreak

As the coronavirus outbreak continues, Israel's Chief Rabbi David Lau called on the public to fast at least half a day on Wednesday, which marks the eve of the first day of the Hebrew month of Nisan, according to Srugim.

"Difficult days are affecting all of Israel and the entire world," wrote Lau in a letter on Sunday. "At this time, it is on us to do some soul-searching."

The chief rabbi called for everyone to better their ways concerning commandments which determine behavior between each person and their fellow and concerning commandments between man and G-d.

The Hebrew month of Nisan was referred to as the first month of the Hebrew calendar in the Torah and, according to the opinions of some Jewish scholars, the first day of the month was when the creation of the world occurred and is a day of prayer and supplication, similar to Rosh Hashana, celebrated in the Hebrew month of Tishrei.

The rabbi asked all who can to fast for at least half a day on Wednesday. For those who can't fast due to the difficulty or because of health reasons, Lau asked that they take on a "ta'anit dibur," a practice in which one abstains from all speech that does not concern Torah or prayer.

Lau also asked that during the afternoon prayers of Mincha, people add the Selichot, prayers for forgiveness, that are recited as part of a practice observed by some on the eve of the first day of each month called "Yom Kippur Katan," a Minor Day of Atonement, including fasting and supplication. Those praying without a minyan, a congregation of ten, should also say the Selichot.

"The good Lord will listen to our prayers and answer us and redeem us from all the harsh decrees, He will save in His great mercy his people Israel and all the children of the world who need it. A petition looking to Divine Mercy," concluded Lau.

Jewish communities throughout the world have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, with many communities temporarily shuttering synagogues, schools and community establishments in order to prevent the spread of the virus.
Rabbi Kanievsky makes the same call...
Hagaon Harav Chaim Kanievsky Calls To Fast For Half A Day On Erev Rosh Chodesh

Hagaon Harav Chaim Kanievsky called for the public to fast for half a day on Wednesday, Erev Rosh Chodesh Nissan in a special letter published in the Hebrew Yated Ne’eman on Monday morning.

HaRav Chaim wrote: “There has been much bittul Torah in the past year.” Those close to the Gadol say that Harav Chaim is apparently referring to the bittul Torah caused by the three election campaigns over the past year (four if the municipal elections for mayor are included).

“Each person should be mechazeik with all his koach and try to increase limud haTorah which has the koach to protect and provide relief from all negative things,” Harav Chaim continued.

The full letter in English:

“It says in Yevamos (ס”ג א’) that no punishment comes to the world except for Yisrael. In the past year, due to our many sins, there was much bittul Torah. Therefore it is incumbent upon each and every person to be mechazeik with all his strength to try and increase limud haTorah, which has the koach to protect and save from all illnesses as we are taught in Sotah (21a).

“Also, it is recommended at this time to fast a half a day on Erev Rosh Chodesh Nissan and to recite the Tefillas of Yom Kippur Katan, and the ikar of a taanis is Tefillah. The main part of any fast is the Tefillah, and may Hashem listen to our cries and say enough to our tzaros and send a speedy refuah shleimah to all cholei amcha Yisrael.”

“Whoever wants to fast the whole day or half a day should remember to accept the fast on Tuesday in tefillas Mincha and then he can say Aneinu in Mincha on Wednesday. B’dieved it’s possible to accept [the fast] until nightime and some are matir [to accept the fast] also at nightime.

“One who fasts half a day without a kabalah cannot say Aneinu but it’s still a zechus [to fast]. One can say at the time of the kabalah ‘Bli neder’ or ‘until I want’ [but if he didn’t fast until after Mincha he shouldn’t say Aneinu].”

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