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Refraining from Melacha While the Candles Burn
Women have a custom to abstain from certain  melachos for the first half hour that the menorah is lit. They refrain from working in order to demonstrate that it is forbidden to benefit from the light of the menorah. This custom is specific to women, since a significant part of the Chanuka miracle happened through a woman. There were places that men also refrained from working during this time but this is not the prevalent custom today. Which melachos are included? Some poskim limit the forbidden work to sewing and similar jobs, but not cooking, etc. Jobs that require effort (e.g. washing floors, extra dirty dishes) should also be avoided. Other poskim hold that any job that would take the woman's focus off of Chanuka is forbidden. Such work includes cooking, grocery shopping or washing clothes by machine. It is reported that Rav Yisrael Yacov Fisher said that the minhag in Yerushalayim was that ladies refrained from melachos like cooking. The women of Rav Shlomo Zalman's house would cook only foods needed immediately (e.g. latkes). The minhag forbidding women from working is not a sever issur, and when there is a pressing need women are permitted to do melacha.
( שו"ע תרע, א ומשנ"ב א-ג; ביאורים ומוספים 'דרשו', 15)

Hilchos Kriyas Shema 65 (page 196)
מתחילת סימן סה עד סעיף ב

Length Of Time Permissible To Pause During K'riyas Shema
If K'riyas Shema Was Interrupted With Too Long A Pause
If Shemoneh Esrei Was Interrupted With Too Long A Pause

Length of time permissible to pause during K'riyas Shema
While reciting a blessing, K'riyas Shema, Shemoneh Esrei, Halel, Birchas Kohanim, or Megillas Ester one should not interrupt it with a pause of silence more than " kdei ligmor es kulah", which refers to the length of time that is necessary to recite the entire subject from beginning to end. This time is determined for each person according to the pace of his recitation. If his pace varies, it is measured with the pace of this specific recitation which was interrupted. If one hums during the pause, it is not considered an interruption. Therefore, to avoid an interruption of silence while the congregation recites Ribono Shel Olam during Birchas Kohanim, the kohanim hum.
( ס"ק ג, ד ו-ז, וביה"ל ד"ה קראה; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 8, 9, ו-13)
If K'riyas Shema was interrupted with too long a pause
If one interrupted K'riyas Shema with silence for longer than kdei ligmor es kulah, the Mechaber permits him to continue reciting from where he paused. The Rama differentiates between an unnecessary pause, after which one is permitted to continue, and between a halachically necessary pause (such as the person or place being unclean) which requires him to return to the beginning of K'riyas Shema. According to the Rama, if one interrupted Birchas K'riyas Shema with a pause longer than kdei ligmor es kulah, he needs to return to the beginning of the blessing that he interrupted. If it was the brochah after K'riyas Shema ( Emes V'yatziv in the morning or Emes V'emunah at night) he should also repeat K'riyas Shema. If he interrupted Hallel or Megillas Ester with such a pause, he should repeat them without their blessings.
( סעיף א, ס"ק ב, ה, ו-ו, וביה"ל ד"ה קראה וד"ה חוזר; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 12)
If Shemoneh Esrei was interrupted with too long a pause
If one interrupted Shemoneh Esrei with a pause longer than kdei ligmor es kulah, according to the Mechaber he must repeat it from the beginning regardless of whether the pause was voluntary or involuntary. According to the Rama, if the pause was voluntary he should continue from where he paused, but if it was involuntary (an ones) he must return to the beginning of Shemoneh Esrei. If he did not return to the beginning, and continued until the end of Shemoneh Esrei, there is a differentiation between two types of involuntary pauses; a halachically necessary pause requires that the entire Shemoneh Esrei be repeated again, and a halachically unnecessary pause does not require a repetition.
( ס"ק ד וד"ה קראה; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו 4)

  • The words and verses of K'riyas Shema must be recited in order. If they were recited out of order, they must be repeated. Lechat'chila, the parshiyos should also be recited in the order of their arrangement in K'riyas Shema.
  • If a verse of K'riyas Shema was skipped, one must go back and repeat from that verse until the end of that parshah.
  • One who finds himself in the verse, "Uch'savtam al mezuzos" and is uncertain in which parshah he is holding, must continue by beginning the second parshah. However, if he finds himself following with the verse, "Lema'an yirbu y'meichem" of the second parshah, he can assume that was where he was holding and continue from there.

  • The obligation to accept the yoke of Heaven with the congregation

  • Responding "Shema" not of K'riyas Shema with the congregation

  • Saying Aleinu with the congregation



PLEASE NOTE:  The information in this email is for learning purposes only. Please review the Mishna Berura and Biurim U'Musafim before making a halachic decision. Hebrew words are occasionally transliterated to enable a smoother reading of the text. Common Ashkenazi pronunciation is generally used in these cases.