Wednesday, September 24, 2008

One Day, Two Day, Rain Day, Dew Day

Erachet was visiting us this evening, and brought up an interesting question. Her family lives here in the United States, but a number of years ago purchased an apartment in Israel as well. They will be traveling to Israel for Sukkos (Tabernacles), but returning before Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah. The question is how many days of Yom Tov will they keep in each place?

For most people, this would be a simple discussion. If they live in Israel, but merely are visiting the United States, then they would keep but one day of Yom Tov for Sukkos and one for Shemini Atzeres/Simchas Torah. If it were the reverse, they would keep two days each time. Erachet's family, however, actually owns the place they will be living in, and apparently will be keeping only one day while in Israel, but two days when they come back to the United States.

Erachet questioned this, finding it really odd: How could her family essentially change status in the middle of a holiday!? How could they keep one day for one half, and two for the next? Of course, we quickly noted that this wasn't quite the case - Sukkos and Shemini Atzeres, though closely connected, are not the same holiday. The family isn't changing in the middle of a holiday; they're merely keeping each holiday according to the place they are in.

A more interesting dilemma would be if her family would go to Israel for part of Pesach (Passover). Would they only have one seder, but then not have chometz for 8 days? Can someone change status during a Yom Tov from being considered a yosheiv Eretz Yisroel (someone who lives in Israel) to someone who resides outside the land, or vice versa? I think the question is a fascinating one, however rare it might be; I'm sure* there are poskim who hold that as their primary residence is outside, they are considered outside, while others might hold that owning land in Israel places them in the status of those who live there. I'm more concerned with what the ruling would be according to this opinion they seem to be following that it depends on where they are located, since they own land in each place - could they actually change their Halachic status within the same Yom Tov?!

This is likely far more common among Sephardim who follow R' Ovadia Yosef, who (IIRC) rules that a person must go by wherever they are whether they own land or not. This means that any Sephardi who travels in or out of Israel during Pesach should have this issue, though perhaps that is different because he rules based primarily on where the person is and not based on what status they fall under.

* I vaguely recall studying this in depth in a dorm room in Chofetz Chaim in Sanhedriya Murchevet on Sukkos one year - it's fascinating to read through all the opinions and their reasonings on the subject in general, though I don't recall reading about a person who owns land both in and out of the land and is traveling between the two.


  1. Note: I don't think we're 100% keeping one day there and two days here. It was just brought up as a (very probable) possibility. I said I felt very weird about that, but it's still up for discussion in my family.

  2. According to the Hhakham Tzevi, all that matters is where you are, not where you're from or where you're going to or where you generally live or where you own land.

    Based on that ruling, i once kept the First Day (sic) of Pesahh in Israel, and the Last Days (sic) of Pesahh in the USA.

  3. What Steg said. Whether or not one is a toshav would be irrelevant according to the Ch"Tz.

    If one follows the rov poskim who argue with the Ch"Tz, though, it seems likely that one would go by one's primary residence (leaving aside complications such as living in EY for a full year, etc.), rather than where one happens to own land, unless there's a third shita that I'm unaware of (which very well may be the case).

    I don't think things would be any different for Pesach, as yomtov sheni is a din in the safeik (lav davka) of the individual day, not having anything to do with the complete chag as a unit.

  4. Josh - But wouldn't it be odd to treat the safeik one way then another within the same Yom Tov? It's like changing a minhag in the middle of something (can't think of a great example).

  5. the question does not apply to most poskim, as most poskim do not just base how many days to keep solely on where you are currently located.

    However, according to the chacham tzvi, it would be a shailoh, but I think it is clear he would keep one day in Israel and 2 in the US. I think Rav Ovadia holds that way as well (for single people) - he says that someone, an unmarried person, visiting Israel, while in Israel, holds one day YT. I think if that person would travel to the US during YT, he would keep 2 days for the last part (or vice versa)

  6. My parents own both and have yet to keep one day when they were there.
    I think their logic is that it depends on where you live rather than where you own.

  7. Ezzie - AIUI, the fulfillment of "hizaharu b'minhag avoseichem b'yadeichem" has to do with the erstwhile sefeikos as to which day is really the 15th day of Tishrei/Nissan and which day is really the 22/21st day of the respective months. Although the two sefeikos are virtually always bound together in practice, the theory behind them does not bind them so.

    Another case (relevant before the 4th century CE): What if, for whatever reason, the eidei chodesh did not arrive to a given region of Israel until Chol HaMoed? The people would have been compelled to keep two days of Yo"T rishon because of the real safeik, but would they have been compelled to also keep two days of Yo"T acharon despite the safeik having been resolved? NL not.

  8. Josh M - I agree in the case of the eidim; but say a person lived in EY, had just one day, then traveled for a few days to a place where the eidim had not gotten for whatever reason. Would they be compelled to keep two days as the people there were doing? Or would they keep one, since they had no safeik?

    Moreover, nowadays is not about the actual safeik, so it would make it even more complicated.