Minyanim and other Gatherings in the Current Situation
May 22, 2020
Minchat Asher: Inyanei Corona – Third Edition
May 28, 2020

A Guide for Shavuos Without a Shul

May 24, 2020 – Rav Yaakov Hoffman

Erev Shavuot, Thursday, May 28

  • Make an Eiruv Tavshilin. Set aside a cooked food that will not be eaten before Shabbat, and a baked food (the baked food is not absolutely essential), and state “by this Eiruv it is permissible for us to cook and bake and do all our needs on Yom Tov for Shabbat.”
  • One should make an effort to daven Mincha before plag ha-mincha (6:45pm).
  • Candles should be lit at 8:01pm. Many women have the custom to recite shehecheyanu immediately after lighting candles (note: women who will be reciting Kiddush themselves may not recite shehecheyanu at candle lighting).
  • On the first evening of Shavuot, it is customary to recite Kiddush and begin the meal after nightfall (8:58pm). Our minhag is that this applies to making Kiddush only; in shul, we do not wait until nightfall to daven Maariv. When davening at home, however, it is advisable simply to daven Maariv after nightfall and make Kiddush immediately thereafter.
  • Those who are ill or find it very difficult to eat late may light candles, daven Maariv, and make Kiddush after 7:00pm. If possible, one should wait until after sunset (~8:20pm) to recite Kiddush. One must remember to repeat the Shema after 8:58pm.

First Day Shavuot, Friday, May 29

  • Regular davening for Yom Tov that falls on a weekday, with insertions for Shavuot. Full Hallel with a bracha.
  • The Torah service is omitted entirely. If one chooses, however, it is of course appropriate to study the day’s Torah reading (Exodus 20) and the poem Akdamut.
  • One recites Ashrei, Musaf for Shavuot, Ein Keloheinu, Aleinu, Shir Shel Yom.
  • It is customary to eat dairy on Shavuot. However, this should not supplant the eating of meat. On different methods for fulfilling this custom, see here.
  • One may cook and prepare for Shabbat any time during the day.
  • Recite Mincha after 1:31pm and preferably before plag ha-mincha (6:46pm).
  • One may light Shabbat candles, daven Maariv (for Yom Tov with insertions for Shabbat), and make Kiddush after 7:00pm. Repeat Shema after 9:00pm.
  • Those who are not accepting Shabbat early should light candles at 8:01pm.
  • Preferably, the Shabbat candles should be lit in a dark place where their light is needed.

Second Day Shavuot, Shabbat, May 30

  • Shacharit and Musaf are the same as the previous day but with insertions for Shabbat.
  • The Book of Ruth need not be recited, but of course may be chanted or studied (without a bracha) if one wishes.
  • Yizkor may be recited without a minyan. Please bear in mind that the main purpose of Yizkor is to pledge to Tzedaka in memory of the deceased; this year, due to the current situation, it is appropriate to increase the amount of one’s pledges.
  • Wash for the morning meal before 12:53pm. A convenient suggestion for Shavuot which falls on Shabbat is to eat dairy at the morning meal and meat at se‘udah shlishit, or vice versa. 
  • Daven Mincha after 1:31pm and before eating se‘udah shlishit.
  • Begin se‘udat shlishit before 8:19pm.
  • Shabbat/Yom Tov ends at 9:10pm. Maariv and Havadalah are identical to those on a regular motza’ei Shabbat.

Leave a Reply