Jun 1, 2009

Becoming an Israeli while abroad

A friend told me of an interesting situation he was just witness to, and it reminded me of a similar story that happened to a friend of mine many years ago.

This friend told me about a relative of his who just got married. He is from Israel, but his bride is from abroad, and the wedding was abroad. They were there over the recent Shavuos holiday.

This situation meant the husband was keeping one day of yom tov, and the wife keeping two days of yom tov. Normally, when a man and woman get married, the wife starts keeping her husband's customs, at least for the most part. This is not regulated by custom, even though the reason we still keep two days of yom tov in the diaspora is because of custom, rather it is regulated by a persons status - in this case the husband is a ben eretz yisrael - an Israeli - and the wife was still a bas chutz la'aretz - from abroad.

This meant that while he had to make kiddush for shabbos, she needed kiddush for holiday. He had to daven for shabbos and hear Torah reading for shabbos, and the local shuls were davening holiday davening (he told me the chosson was told by the rabbi to stay home and not go to shul - how come I never get psak like that??!!). etc.

This reminded me of a similar situation a friend of mine had been in many years ago. He had been in Israel a number of years and was already keeping 1 day yom tov as an Israeli. His kallah was from abroad. They were going to be moving to Israel right after the wedding, but were spending the upcoming holiday of Pesach in the US right after the wedding.

This presented him with the excat same situation - he would be keeping one day, and his wife would be keeping two days. I remember he asked one of the more prominent rabbis in his town what to do and if she should keep one or two days. The answer given was that she cannot switch her status from an American to an Israeli while in the United States. Only once in Israel can that status be changed. So she had to keep two days, and he had to keep one day of yom tov.

An interesting halchic twist.

13 comments:

  1. In cases where the husband works in the US and perhaps even maintains an apartment there, but the wife and family live in Israel - with the husband spending some time in Israel and some time in the US, the question arises of 1 or 2 day yom tov.

    I've heard the answer is "where the wife resides", as the wife is the 'home'. I'm surprised that didn't come into play in the 2 instances you described.

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  2. could be the difference is in your example, the husband does nto really have a permanent spot. he travels a lot and can be found in either place at any time. In these two instances, the man had a home, just was out of it for the holiday.

    interesting point though. I never heard that logic before.

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  3. Akiva,

    If the husband lost his job or retired, would he remain in the States (assuming the loss of his job per se did not cause a situation which would cause the family to relocate)? That should be the most telling answer relating to whether he is a ben eretz yisrael or ben chu"l.

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  4. Yoni, naturally the assumption is he would go to be with his wife and children.

    Rafi, here's a twist for you. Lubavitch chassidim living in Israel would hold 2 days when they went to be by the Rebbe (in NY) for Yom Tov - for when you're by the Rebbe you're home.

    Are you familiar with the day and a half shita? Chutzniks when in Eretz Yisroel who hold 1 day of yom tov, and then the 2nd day do no malacha but daven weekday (or chol hamoed).

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  5. This is more of a tangential point, but why would the wife need to make Yom Tov kiddush at all? Kiddush on Yom Tov is a mitzvas aseh (d'rabbanan) shehazman grama, and there's no hekesh of "shamor" to "zachor" like there is on shabbos. Lichora, in the case of Shavuos 2nd day on shabbos she could hear her husband saying shabbos kiddush and that would be enough for her, and as for the Pesach case that didn't involve shabbos at all, she shouldn't have to make any kiddush at all...?

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  6. shaul - in neither case was it a problem (though I do not remember if the issue then was just second day yom tov or also shabbos), as they were with other family, and other people were making kiddush for yom tov.

    It is just an interesting situation...

    Akiva - I kept 1.5 days for 2 chagim when I was in yeshiva, as per my rosh yeshivas instructions, until he tiold me I could switch to 1 day.

    I heard chabad they keep 2 days in chu'l and 1 in Israel, but I was not aware the reason is because you are by the rebbe and that is home. interesting.

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  7. Rafi G. said...

    I heard chabad they keep 2 days in chu'l and 1 in Israel, but I was not aware the reason is because you are by the rebbe and that is home. interesting.

    ===============================
    I looked up and down Youtube for a clip of Arte Johnson's one liner as a WWII German soldier on Laugh-In to describe what I think of this.

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  8. i thought an israeli in america is supposed to keep 2 days anyway, or is there at least a shittah like this or am i making it up

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  9. Anonymous said...

    i thought an israeli in america is supposed to keep 2 days anyway, or is there at least a shittah like this or am i making it up
    ===============================
    Every opinion under the sun is available on the 1-day 2-day issue on both sides of the ocean.

    When we were outside of Israel once for Pesach, we kept one day but were only allowed to behave as if it's Chol Hamoed on the 2nd day Be'tzinah, in the privacy of the apartment we were staying in, and even there, not in the presence of the locals residing therein.

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  10. Rafi - the reason Lubavitchers keep one day in E"Y and two in CHU"L is not because of anything to do with the Rebbe being "home". It's based on the Psak of the Shulchan Aruch HaRav, who holds that one goes by the Minhag of the place where one actually is for Yom Tov. I believe this may be the Psak of the Chacham Tzvi as well.

    Re: the "commuter husband" mentioned - at one point in the past, I was commuting regularly for business, spending up to three weeks at a time in the US, where I had an apartment, and only a maximum of one week in Israel, where I owned my apartment and my wife and children were. I was given a psak that as I spent all Yommim Tovim in Israel with my family, and also owned a home in Israel, I was clearly a Ben Eretz Yisrael and should keep one day only.

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  11. We covered as similar interesting case in shul. An Israeli who's Bar Mitzvah falls out on Erev Pesach. His family decided to go Chul for Pesach.

    He has lived in Israel his whole life but as a gadol he has never been to Israel. He brought down a chidush that the boy would have to hold two days and two sedarim as if he was from Chutz L'Aretz while the rest of his family would keep second day in accordance with an Israeli being in Chutz L'Aretz.

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  12. i believe women are obligated in kiddush on yom tov and aren't allowed to eat before kiddush just as on shabbat see
    http://www.dailyhalacha.com/Display.asp?ClipDate=3/18/2007

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  13. Once when I lived in Israel, I traveled to the USA to my sister and family for a chag (sukkot, I think) and obviously had to "keep" the second day due to maarit ayin (but davening for chol hamoed). But my nephew got sick that evening, and I dealt with the doctor and got a prescription, and I drove (at night, not dressed in yom tov clothes, and with a baseball cap on my head) to the pharmacy to get the prescription filled because it wasn't chag for me. I remember how useful everyone thought having an Israeli in the house that chag :-)

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