Moed Katan

Introduction to Moed Katan

Introduction to Moed Katan   Moed Katan is about the halakhot governing the intermediate days of Pesah and Sukkot (called Hol Hamoed, which means the non-sacred days of the festival). The Torah says that one cannot do work on the first and seventh days of Pesah, on the first day of Sukkot and on Shmini […]

Moed Katan, Chapter 1, Mishnah 1

Moed Katan, Chapter One, Mishnah One   Introduction The first mishnah of Moed Katan deals with watering a field during the festival.  Watering a field is sometimes necessary or the crops will be lost.  Therefore, watering in these types of situations tends to be permitted.  However, watering is also quite laborious and hence some types […]

Moed Katan, Chapter 1, Mishnah 10

Moed Katan, Chapter One, Mishnah Ten   Introduction The final mishnah of this chapter introduces two more categories relevant to the laws of the festival. While some work may be done during the festival, one should not leave work for the festival that could have been done beforehand.  Second, one should not use the festival […]

Moed Katan, Chapter 1, Mishnah 2

Moed Katan, Chapter One, Mishnah Two   Introduction This mishnah continues to discuss irrigation on the festival and sabbatical year. It then proceeds to deal with the more general topic of repairing community property.  As we shall see, this is another category that makes something more permitted during the intermediate days of the festival.   […]

Moed Katan, Chapter 1, Mishnah 3

Moed Katan, Chapter One, Mishnah Three   Introduction This mishnah returns to the subject of irrigating during the festival.   As an aside, the fact that the first three mishnayot of this tractate are dedicated to this subject testifies to how crucial irrigation was in Israel, especially during Sukkot and Pesah.    Mishnah Three 1)      Rabbi […]

Moed Katan, Chapter 1, Mishnah 4

Moed Katan, Chapter One, Mishnah Four   Introduction The first section of the mishnah deals with trapping pests in a field and the second half deals with repairing breaches in a fence surrounding a field.  Both of these may need to be done in order to protect the crops and therefore they may be permitted. […]

Moed Katan, Chapter 1, Mishnah 5

Moed Katan, Chapter One, Mishnah Five   Introduction The first section of this mishnah deals with a priest inspecting leprous symptoms on a person.  Leprosy (or some other similar type of skin disease) is dealt with in Leviticus 13. The second part of the mishnah deals with certain acts of mourning during the festival. It […]

Moed Katan, Chapter 1, Mishnah 6

Moed Katan, Chapter One, Mishnah Six   Introduction It was certainly permitted to bury the dead on the festival.  It would hardly be possible or desirable to wait an entire week to buy a body.  Since burials would have taken place quite frequently during a festival, this mishnah deals with the critical subject of digging […]

Moed Katan, Chapter 1, Mishnah 7

Moed Katan, Chapter One, Mishnah Seven   Introduction This mishnah prohibits marriage during the festival.  It seems that the central idea is that one should use the festival to celebrate the festival and not as an opportunity to celebrate something else.  The rabbis did not want people to say, “Since I can’t work on the […]

Moed Katan, Chapter 1, Mishnah 8

Moed Katan, Chapter One, Mishnah Eight   Introduction This mishnah deals with sewing on the festival.  It introduces a principle which we have not yet seen in the previous mishnayot.  There are certain types of labor that may be done by a non-professional but not by a craftsman.  This prevents professionals from working on the […]

Moed Katan, Chapter 1, Mishnah 9

Moed Katan, Chapter One, Mishnah Nine   Introduction This mishnah deals with setting up various instruments needed for the preparation of food.    Mishnah Nine 1)      They may set up an oven, stove or a millstone during the festival. 2)      Rabbi Judah says:  they may not roughen millstones for the first time.   Explanation Section […]

Moed Katan, Chapter 2, Mishnah 1

Moed Katan, Chapter Two, Mishnah One   Introduction The beginning of chapter one introduces yet another criterion used in determining whether work is permitted on the festival. We have already learned that one should not save work to be done on the festival. Things that can be done before the festival cannot be done during […]

Moed Katan, Chapter 2, Mishnah 2

Moed Katan, Chapter Two, Mishnah Two   Introduction This mishnah is similar to yesterday’s mishnah but deals with the production of wine instead of olive oil.   Mishnah Two 1)      Similarly, if one had his wine [already] in a cistern and mourning or some unforeseen circumstance befell him, or workmen misled him, he may draw […]

Moed Katan, Chapter 2, Mishnah 3

Moed Katan, Chapter Two, Mishnah Three   Introduction There are certain labors that are permitted on the festival because if they are not done immediately, the product will be ruined.  However, this is only permitted if he did not purposely set his schedule so that the work would end up needing to be done during […]

Moed Katan, Chapter 2, Mishnah 4

Moed Katan, Chapter Two, Mishnah Four   Introduction This mishnah deals with two subjects: 1) buying large items on the festival; 2) using the festival as time to move one’s belongings.   Mishnah Four 1)      They may not purchase houses, slaves or cattle unless it is for the needs of the festival, or the need […]

Moed Katan, Chapter 2, Mishnah 5

Moed Katan, Chapter Two, Mishnah Five   Introduction The final mishnah of this chapter deals with people whose work might be necessary during the festival. The general rule is that while they may engage in their work, they should do so in as private a manner as possible.   Mishnah Five 1)      They may cover […]

Moed Katan, Chapter 3, Mishnah 1

Moed Katan, Chapter Three, Mishnah One   Introduction Generally speaking one may not cut one’s hair/shave during the festival. This is not because cutting hair was a lot of work. Rather it was to encourage people to get a hair cut and shave before the festival, so that they would be properly groomed when the […]

Moed Katan, Chapter 3, Mishnah 2

Moed Katan, Chapter Three, Mishnah Two   Introduction For the same reason that it is prohibited to shave/cut hair during the festival, it is also prohibited to wash one’s clothes—the prohibition during the festival encourages people to wash their clothes before the festival.  As was the case with yesterday’s mishnah, today’s mishnah lists the exceptions, […]

Moed Katan, Chapter 3, Mishnah 3

Moed Katan, Chapter Three, Mishnah Three   Introduction Writing was not nearly as common of a skill in the time of the mishnah as it is now.  Indeed, most people could probably not write, and if they could, they could write only simple things.  Since writing was not common it was considered a professional skill.  […]

Moed Katan, Chapter 3, Mishnah 4

Moed Katan, Chapter Three, Mishnah Four   Introduction Most of this mishnah continues to deal with writing on the festival.    Mishnah Four 1)      They may not write loan documents during the festival; but if he [the creditor] does not trust him or he does not have food to eat, he may write. 2)      They […]

Moed Katan, Chapter 3, Mishnah 5

Moed Katan, Chapter Three, Mishnah Five   Introduction From here until the end, Moed Katan deals with mourning practices. There is no separate tractate in the Mishnah concerning mourning so the few halakhot that the Mishnah does contain are placed here. There are probably several reasons for this. First of all, as we shall see […]

Moed Katan, Chapter 3, Mishnah 6

Moed Katan, Chapter Three, Mishnah Six   Introduction The festivals which most clearly put an end to shivah and shloshim are Pesah and Sukkot since they are both seven or if you include Shmini Atzeret (the last day of Sukkot), eight days long.  In contrast, Shavuot, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur last only one day.  […]

Moed Katan, Chapter 3, Mishnah 7

Moed Katan, Chapter Three, Mishnah Seven   Introduction   Mishnah Seven They do not rend [their clothes] or bare [their shoulders], or provide a meal [for the mourners] except for the relatives of the dead. And they do not provide a meal except on an upright couch.  They do not bring [food] to the house […]

Moed Katan, Chapter 3, Mishnah 8

Moed Katan, Chapter Three, Mishnah Eight   Introduction This mishnah continues to deal with mourning practices during the festival.   Mishnah Eight 1)      They do not place the bier on the thruway [during the festival] so as not to encourage eulogizing. 2)      And the bier of women is never [set down on the thruway] for […]

Moed Katan, Chapter 3, Mishnah 9

Moed Katan, Chapter Three, Mishnah Nine   Introduction The last mishnah in Moed Katan continues to discuss womens’ mourning practices during the festival.  It concludes with a note of hope for the future, for a messianic age when God will conquer death.   Mishnah Nine 1)      On Rosh Hodesh, on Hannukah and on Purim they […]

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