By HaRav Shimon Anshin shlit”a
A. Does one mention “Yaaleh V’Yavoh” at the 3rd Meal?
In the case where Motzei Shabbos falls out on Rosh Chodesh, one who makes Birkas Hamazon at night (Tzeis Hakochavim), raises the question as to whether or not to say “Retzei” as one does on Shabbos itself, or “Yaaleh V’Yavoh” as we will clarify below according to the Poskim (Shulchan Aruch – 188).
- If one finishes the Seuda before sunset even if he only benches Birkas Hamazon at night (Tzeis Hakochavim), he only mentions “Retzei”.
- If one finishes the Seuda bein Hasmashos (between sunset and Tzeis Hakochavim), there are those who say that the law goes according to one who finishes the Seuda before sunset according to point A. above and therefore one would only mention “Retzei”.
- If one continued to eat bread after Tzeis Hakochavim, there is a difference of opinion among the Poskim as what to say:
1. There are those that say only to mention Yaaleh V’Yavoh in as much as that if one said “Retzei” it would be as if one “contradicted” the other. Since, on the one hand one is still considering the time to be Shabbos yet on the other hand by saying “Yaaleh V’Yavoh”, one is considering it to be Rosh Chodesh (in which case it would no longer be Shabbos!) – (Magen Avraham and many of the Achronim).
2. There are those that say to mention both “Retzei” and “Yaaleh V’Yavoh” and hold that mentioning the two insertions do not contradict one another – (Taz and Baal HaTanya)
3. There are those that say only to mention “Retzei” (Bach, Aruch Hashulchan and the Ben Ish Chai)
Based on the differing opinions above then, it would be best not to continue eating bread after sunset in order not to enter into any doubt and therefore avoid having to deal with the 3 differences of opinion above.
- If one did in fact continue to eat bread between sunset and Tzeis Hakochavim, it would seem preferable to say “Retzei” only.
- If however, one continued to eat bread after Tzeis Hakochavim, whether one said just “Yaaleh V’Yavoh” or “Retzei” and “Yaaleh V’Yavo” there are those on whom to rely. But if one said only “Retzei” (albeit not preferable), the Poskim do not “object.”
- If however, one prayed Maariv before Birkas Hamazon, one only mentions “Yaaleh V’Yavoh”.
- If one did not eat bread after sunset or Tzeis Hakochavim, but only ate other items (or a kazayis of bread in more that the allotted amount of time for eating the kazayis (“achilat pras”), one only mentions “Retzei”.
B. The prohibition of Women to perform Melachos on Rosh Chodesh.
Women are prohibited to perform Melachos on Rosh Chodesh, however within these prohibitions, there are a different Minhagim:
a) Those that do not perform any Melacha at all.
b) Those that do not sew, knit and wash clothes other that for specific needs on the day.
c) Those that do not sew and knit but wash clothes per usual (especially since today we have washing machines and therefore many are lenient in this way). The same also applies to ironing and the way it is done today.
However with regards to baking and cooking, there is no minhag to be stringent and refrain.
If there is a known minhag in the community, one should do according to the Minhag of the place (minhag hamakom). If however, there is no established minhag in the community, one should go according to the minhag of her mother. But if one has neither minhag, a woman should ask her Rav.
Women working for a living:
If a woman is an employee and it would be difficult to stop working on Rosh Chodesh, she should work as per usual. Even if she is an independent contractor, according to the Aruch Hashulchan, she is permitted to work as per usual.
The Night of Rosh Chodesh:
The prohibition of melacha on the night of Rosh Chodesh itself also depends on the minhag of the community.
Two-day Rosh Chodesh:
If Rosh Chodesh is two days, there are those that are stringent not to perform melacha on both days but others are stringent only on the 2nd day and not on the 1st.
All of the above points apply ONLY to married woman, but with regards to unmarried women, there are those that say there is no prohibition against Melacha at all, but those that are stringent however, find blessing.
C. Seudas Rosh Chodesh:
- There is a specific mitzvah to eat plenty at the Seudas Rosh Chodesh day and one who spends money and eats and drinks in its honor is praiseworthy as the Talmud states: “all the nourishment of a person is determined on Rosh Hashanah except for Shabbos, Yom Tov and Rosh Chodesh and if one adds for this purpose, they enable him from Above” – Shulchan Aruch Siman 419.
(Many people are not careful with this law, not even aware that this is specific law outlined in the Shulchan Aruch and they therefore worry about spending money on this Seuda not realizing that they are not loosing anything as it is not part of their livelihood allotted on Rosh Hashanah.)
- It is preferable to eat bread on Rosh Chodesh day for the Seudas Rosh Chodesh.
- If Rosh Chodesh falls on Shabbos, one should add additional food specifically in honor of Rosh Chodesh.
As this is a translation of the original Hebrew, if you are unclear on any of the Laws outlined herein in any way whatsoever, please consult with a Posek.