SALT - Parashat Tzav 5781 / 2021

  • Rav David Silverberg
 
 
In memory of Lieutenant Daniel Yaakov Mandel HY"D,
killed in battle in Nablus on Yud Gimel Nissan, 18 years ago.
Yehi zikhro barukh.
 
 
Motzaei Shabbat
 
            Parashat Tzav begins with the mitzva of terumat ha-deshen – the removal of ashes from the altar each morning.  The daily series of rituals in the Beit Ha-mikdash began with a kohen ascending the ramp to the altar, collecting some ashes, and placing them on the ground alongside the altar.
 
            The Gemara in Masekhet Yoma (24a) addresses the question of how much ashes the kohen was required to collect and remove from the altar each morning.  The Torah (6:3) formulates this command with the word “ve-heirim” (“he shall lift,” or “he shall remove”), a term which resembles the Torah’s formulation in Sefer Bamidbar (18:26,28) in presenting the command of terumat ma’aser, the tithe taken by the Leviyim from the portions of produce they receive (“va-hareimotem,” “tarimu”).  Accordingly, the Gemara considers, perhaps the kohen was required to remove each day one-tenth of the ashes on the altar.  However, the Gemara notes that the term “va-hareimota” is used also later in Sefer Bamidbar (31:28) in reference to the 1/500th of the spoils taken by the nation’s soldiers from Midyan as a donation to the Mishkan.  Perhaps, then, the kohen was required to take only 1/500th of the ashes each day.  The Gemara concludes that neither figure is correct, as in truth, the kohen is required to take a fistful of ashes.  The word “ve-heirim” is used later in Parashat Tzav (6:8) in reference to the kohen’s removing a fistful from the mincha (grain offering) and placing it on the altar.  Accordingly, the command of “ve-heirim” in the context of the terumat ha-deshen, too, requires removing a fistful of ashes.
 
            Rashi, commenting on the Gemara, clarifies that this does not mean that the kohen actually takes ashes with his hand from the altar.  After all, as the fire on the altar consistently burned, the ashes were always very hot, thus making it impractical for the kohen to take ashes with his hand.  Rather, the Gemara speaks here of the minimum required quantity of ashes, which were taken with a special pan designated for this purpose.  Rashi writes that if the kohen wished, he could remove even more than a fistful of ashes.
 
            Interestingly, both in Rashi’s Torah commentary here in Parashat Tzav (6:3), and in his commentary to Masekhet Yoma (12b), Rashi writes that the kohen would take a “melo machta” – the amount that would fill the pan used for the terumat ha-deshen.  The Maharal of Prague, in his Gur Aryeh (in Parashat Tzav), explains that this is the maximum amount allowed.  Rashi does not mean that the kohen must, or optimally should, remove a “melo machta” from the altar, but rather mentions this amount as the maximum quantity that would be removed each day.
 
            Elsewhere, Rashi appears to point to a practical halakhic difference between the first kometz (volume of a handful) removed by the kohen, and the additional ashes.  The Gemara in Masekhet Temura (34a) speaks of the prohibition to derive benefit from the ashes removed from the altar as part of the terumat ha-deshen ritual (such as using them as fertilizer).  Rashi, curiously, comments that this refers to the kometz of ashes removed by the kohen.  Although Rashi, as we have seen, maintains that a kohen could remove as much as a “melo machta,” here he specifies the minimum required amount of a handful.  The Vilna Gaon, in his notes to Masekhet Temura, suggests that Rashi perhaps maintained that only a handful’s worth of the ashes removed from the altar becomes forbidden for benefit, whereas the additional ashes do not.  As the mitzva requires removing only a handful, the excess ashes are not included in the prohibition against deriving benefit from the terumat ha-deshen ashes.
 
            Rav Eliyahu Sosevsky, in his Lefanai Tamid commentary to Masekhet Tamid (p. 22), suggests further explaining Rashi’s view in light of Rashi’s remarks elsewhere in his writings.  The Gemara in Masekhet Yoma (21a) teaches that certain forms of refuse in the Beit Ha-mikdash were miraculously absorbed by the ground.  Specifically, the Gemara mentions the portions of bird offerings which are removed from the bird and not placed on the altar (see Vayikra 1:16), the ashes which collect on the incense altar, and the refuse from the lamps of the menorah.  Rashi, both in his Torah commentary (Vayikra 1:16) and in his commentary to the Gemara (Pesachim 26, Me’ila 11b), maintains that the ashes of the teruma ha-deshen were likewise included in this miracle, and were supernaturally absorbed by the ground of the Temple courtyard.  (Rabbeinu Tam, cited by Tosafot in Me’ila (11b) and Zevachim (64a), disagreed.)  Conceivably, Rav Sosevsky writes, Rashi maintained that only a handful’s worth of ashes would be absorbed in the ground, and then the remaining ashes were permitted for use.  As a practical matter, the kohen had no possibility of removing only a handful ashes, and so he needed to remove more, but the subsequent miraculous absorption of the ashes revealed which ashes fulfilled the mitzva, and which were the excess.  Therefore, once a handful’s worth of ashes was absorbed into the ground, the remaining ashes were permissible, as they were shown not to have been the ashes through which the mitzva of terumat ha-deshen was fulfilled, and thus they are not included in the prohibition against using the terumat ha-deshen ashes.
 
Sunday
 
            In concluding its discussion in Parashat Tzav of the mincha (grain offering), the Torah discusses the distribution of the offering among the kohanim (7:9-10).  The Torah appears to distinguish in this regard between different types of mincha sacrifices, awarding some types exclusively to the kohen who tended to the sacrifice, whereas requiring others to be distributed among all kohanim.  Rashi (7:9), however, citing Torat Kohanim, clarifies that in truth, all mincha offerings – and, in fact, all sacrifices – are distributed among the kohanim of the beit av – the shift serving in the Temple that week.  All sacrificial food which the Torah grants to the kohanim is divided among the kohanim of that week’s beit av.
 
            The Torah presents this law by stating that the food is given to the kohanimish ke-achiv” – “each like his fellow” (7:10), indicating that all members of the beit av receive an equal share.  However, the Gemara in Masekhet Pesachim (3b) relates a story which appears to indicate otherwise.  The Gemara tells of three kohanim in the Beit Ha-mikdash who were discussing the sizes of the portions they had received.  (Rashi explains that they were speaking of their portions of the lechem ha-panim, the special bread which sat on the table in the Temple all week and was then eaten by the kohanim on Shabbat.)  One kohen lamented that he received just a portion the size of a bean; a second shared that his portion was the size of an olive; and a third complained that his was the size of a lizard’s tail.  (The Gemara relates that the third kohen’s mention of a lizard’s tail was deemed inappropriately crass, prompting the officials to research his pedigree, and they found that, indeed, this kohen was actually not qualified to serve in the Beit Ha-mikdash.)  This account certainly seems to suggest that different kohanim received different sized portions of the sacrificial food – in direct contradistinction to the implication of the verse in Parashat Tzav, which instructs that the sacrifices are distributed among the kohanimish ke-achiv.”
 
            The Chatam Sofer, in his commentary to Masekhet Pesachim, explains that in truth, all these kohanim were given portions of the same sizes, but they perceived them differently.  The first kohen, the Chatam Sofer explains, lamented the small size of his portion, which he regarded as insignificant as a small bean, but the second retorted that in his view, this small portion received by each kohen was as considerable as an olive.  In Halakha, the consumption of the volume of an olive is considered a significant act of eating, and thus the second kohen’s response meant that he felt privileged and blessed to receive his small portion of hallowed food.  The third kohen replied that to the contrary, the priesthood, in his view, is like a lizard’s tail after it is severed, which convulses, appearing alive, when in truth it is lifeless.  The priesthood, in the eyes of this kohen, has an aura of stature and distinction, but is, in truth, worthless – as evidenced by the small portions of food kohanim receive.
 
            The Chatam Sofer’s reading of this story demonstrates how different people can observe the same reality but perceive it in three drastically different, and even opposite, ways.  One person sees the blessings presented by current circumstances, whereas others complain about the situation, focusing their attention on what is missing and what could be better.  People who receive an “equal portion,” experiencing the same reality, react very differently.  We must strive to see all we are given in life as a “ke-zayit,” as a precious blessing to appreciate and be thankful for, rather than complain about the larger portion which we desire but are as yet denied.
 
Monday
 
            The second half of Parashat Tzav describes the seven-day miluim period, during which Aharon and his sons were formally consecrated as kohanim.  God commanded Moshe to assemble the entire nation to the area by the entrance to the newly-constructed Mishkan to witness the events (8:3).  Rashi, citing the Midrash (Vayikra Rabba 10:9), comments, “This is one of the places where the small contained the many.”  The Midrash here points to the miracle that was needed for the entire nation to come together in the small area in front of the Mishkan, which was too small to contain them.
 
            The Chatam Sofer suggests an explanation for the significance of this unusual miracle.  He writes that God sought to teach Benei Yisrael the importance of the quality of “histapkut” – feeling content with even a small amount which one receives.  As God was now bringing His presence to reside among the people, He wanted them to experience the “miracle” of “histapkut,” to recognize that we can, contrary to what we might at first think, manage with whatever small portion we are given.  As Benei Yisrael crowded together by the entrance of the Mishkan, it appeared as though there would not be enough space for them all – but in the end, there was.  Similarly, we often feel that we are unable to survive with anything less than the comfortable lifestyle we desire.  The miracle at the entrance of the Mishkan shows us that we can, in fact, manage with even a small “space,” even with few possessions and without comforts and luxuries.
 
            This lesson was conveyed now, when the divine presence took residence among Benei Yisrael, perhaps to teach that in order to “make room” for God, for sanctity, we need to be prepared to compromise, to some degree, our standards of material comfort.  If we are unable to accept limits on our physical “space,” on luxury and enjoyment, then we will always be too preoccupied with expanding our “space” to devote time and attention to the Shekhina.  Imbuing our lives with sanctity requires that we develop the quality of “histapkut,” and accustom ourselves to feeling satisfied and content even with modest material standards.
 
Tuesday
 
            The Shulchan Arukh (O.C. 444:1) rules that when Erev Pesach falls on Shabbat, bedikat chametz (the search for chametz) is performed on Thursday night, the night of the 13th of Nissan.  Normally, of course, we perform the search the night before Erev Pesach – the night of the 14th of Nissan.  If, however, this night is Shabbat, when the search cannot be performed, then we conduct the search the previous night, the night of the 13th of Nissan.
 
            At first glance, the search conducted on the night of the 13th can be perceived in two different ways.  On the one hand, we might explain that Chazal formally instituted only one date for bedikat chametz – the night of the 14th – but when this is not possible, we have no choice but to search the home earlier.  According to this perspective, the situation of Erev Pesach which falls on Shabbat resembles the case of a person who leaves home for a trip before the night of the 14th of Pesach (“ha-mefaresh ve-yotzei be-shayara”), who performs bedikat chametz the night before he departs (Shulchan Arukh, O.C. 436:1).  The formal obligation of bedikat chametz cannot be performed in such a year, but we must nevertheless search to ensure the absence of chametz, just as in the case of one who, in a regular year, will be away from home on the night of the 14th.  Alternatively, we might explain that the initial enactment of bedikat chametz took into account that Erev Pesach on rare occasions falls on Shabbat, and Chazal instituted from the outset that in such a year, the search should be held on the night of the 13th.  According to this understanding, we fulfill the formal obligation of bedikat chametz in such a year on the night of the 13th no less than we do in a regular year, when we search on the night of the 14th, because Chazal formally designated the night of the 13th as the time for bedikat chametz in such a year.
 
            One practical difference between these two outlooks concerns the case of one who performed bedikat chametz earlier than the night of the 13th in such a year.  The Chafetz Chaim, in Mishna Berura (433:1) and Sha’ar Ha-tziyun (433:5), cites different opinions as to whether – on a regular year – one who performed a proper search before the night of the 14th, and ensured not to bring any chametz into the home thereafter, must repeat the search on the night of the 14th.  Most poskim maintain that if the person searched thoroughly as Halakha requires, then he does not need to search the home again on the night of the 14th.  Some poskim, however, disagree, and require one to search his home on the night of the 14th even if he had checked properly on a previous night and did not bring any chametz into the home since then.  The Bach and (his son-in-law) the Taz explain that since Chazal instituted a requirement to search on the night of the 14th, one must search on this night even if he had searched earlier.  (The Levush also requires searching on the night of the 14th in such a case, but for a different reason – because people cannot be assumed to avoid bringing chametz into the home earlier than the night of the 14th.)  The question arises as to whether the Bach and Taz would apply this ruling also in a year when Erev Pesach falls on Shabbat.  According to the first perspective presented above, in such a year, we in any event cannot fulfill the formal obligation of bedikat chametz, which was instituted to take place on the night of the 14th.  As such, one who prefers performing the search earlier than the night of the 13th of Nissan may do so, and then will not be required to search on the night of the 13th.  According to the second perspective, however, the night of the 13th in such a year is no different than the night of the 14th in a regular year.  Chazal from the outset instituted bedikat chametz on the night of the 14th in a regular year, and on the night of the 13th when Erev Pesach falls on Shabbat.  Therefore, according to the Bach and Taz, one would be required to search in such a year on the night of the 13th even if he had searched earlier.
 
            The answer to this question may perhaps be found in the ruling cited by the Mishna Berura (470:6) from earlier poskim (Maharil, Magen Avraham, and others) that even when bedikat chametz is performed on the night of the 13th, one should not eat that night before performing the search.  Just as in a regular year, when the search is performed on the night of 14th, one should not eat once night falls until he completes the search, in a year when Erev Pesach falls on Shabbat, too, one should refrain from eating on the night of the 13th until he performs bedikat chametz.  This would appear to prove the second perspective presented above, that the search on the night of the 13th in such a year fulfills the formal bedikat chametz obligation just as one does on the night of the 14th in a normal year.  After all, if in such a year we cannot fulfill that formal obligation of bedikat chametz, and we search out of necessity earlier like in the case of one who leaves for a trip before the night of the 14th, there would seem to be no reason to refrain from eating before the search.  This prohibition applies only when we have a formal obligation to fulfill that night – just as, for example, one should not eat at night during Chanukah before lighting the candles.  The fact that Halakha requires refraining from eating before searching for chametz on the night of the 13th in a year when Erev Pesach falls on Shabbat would seem to suggest that in such a year, the formal obligation of bedikat chametz is transferred to the 13th.  In such a year, we do not search earlier because we cannot search when Chazal required, but rather search on the night on which Chazal required searching in a year when the 14th of Nissan falls on Shabbat.
 
(Taken from Rav Raphael Binyamin Cohen’s article in Umka De-parsha, Shabbat Parashat Vayikra, 5771)
 
Wednesday
 
            Yesterday, we addressed the well-known halakha (Shulchan Arukh, O.C. 444:1) that when Erev Pesach falls on Shabbat, such that bedikat chametz cannot be performed on the night of the 14th of Nissan as usual, it is performed the previous night, on the 13th of Nissan.  As we saw, this halakha could, in theory, be perceived in two different ways.  One possibility is to compare this situation to one of “ha-mefaresh ve-yotzei be-shayara” – one who leaves on a trip before the night of the 14th of Nissan, and will not be home on that night, and thus performs bedikat chametz the night before he departs (Shulchan Arukh, O.C. 436:1).  According to this perspective, Chazal instituted only the 14th of Nissan as the time for bedikat chametz, and in a year when this night is Shabbat, we by necessity search earlier, but this search does not fulfill the formal requirement of bedikat chametz.  Alternatively, however, we might understand that Chazal from the outset instituted bedikat chametz to be performed on the night of the 14th in a regular year, and on the night of the 13th in a year when the 14th is Shabbat.  According to this understanding, searching on the night of the 13th in such a year fulfills the formal obligation of bedikat chametz no less than searching on the night of the 14th in a regular year.
 
            Seemingly, we may prove the second perspective from the fact that a berakha is recited over bedikat chametz even in a year when Erev Pesach falls on Shabbat, and the search thus takes place on the night of the 13th.  In the case of “ha-mefaresh ve-yotzei be-shayara,” although some opinions (as cited in Biur Halakha, 436) require the individual to recite a berakha when he searches the night before his trip, the Rama (436:1) ruled that no berakha is recited in such a case.  The Shulchan Arukh Ha-Rav explains that the traveler does not recite a berakha because he does not perform the search at the time when Chazal instituted.  Accordingly, we might deduce from the fact that a berakha is recited when searching the night of the 13th when the 14th is Shabbat, that the search in such a case indeed fulfills the actual obligation of bedikat chametz, which from the outset was scheduled for the night of the 13th if the 14th falls on Shabbat.  (We should emphasize that the Shulchan Arukh Ha-Rav himself rules that one recites a berakha over bedikat chametz when searching on the night of the 13th in a year when the 14th falls on Shabbat.)
 
            It should be noted, however, that the Vilna Gaon (cited by the Mishna Berura, 436:4) offers a different reason for why (according to the Rama) the berakha is not recited in the case of one who leaves home before the night of the 14th in a regular year.  The berakha recited over bedikat chametz is “al biur chametz” – making reference to the obligation to eliminate one’s chametz on the 14th of Nissan.  The search for chametz is performed for the purpose of fulfilling the requirement to eliminate one’s chametz, and so the berakha is formulated in this manner, in reference to the mitzva of bi’ur – eliminating the chametz.  In the case of “ha-mefaresh ve-yotzei be-shayara,” the Vilna Gaon explained, the person intends not to eliminate the chametz, but rather to remove it from the home, because he will not have the opportunity to do so later, when required.  Conceivably, he might still eat or sell this chametz, as plenty of time remains before the 14th of Nissan, when eating and owning chametz becoming forbidden.  Therefore, this search cannot be said to be performed as part of the bi’ur process, and thus the berakhaal bi’ur chametz” is not recited.  This explanation is not applicable to the situation when Erev Pesach falls on Shabbat, because the search on the night of the 13th indeed serves the purpose of bi’ur chametz, as we eliminate the chametz the following day, on Friday (saving some chametz for Shabbat).  According to the Gaon’s understanding, then, the fact that we recite the berakha over bedikat chametz in such a case does not prove that the search on the night of the 13th differs from the case of “ha-mefaresh ve-yotzei be-shayara” and fulfills the formal bedikat chametz obligation.
 
(Taken from Rav Raphael Binyamin Cohen’s article in Umka De-parsha, Shabbat Parashat Vayikra, 5771)
 
Thursday
 
            The Gemara in Masekhet Pesachim (115b) establishes that if one swallows matza whole at the seder on Pesach, without first chewing it, he has fulfilled his obligation to eat matza on this night.  However, if one swallowed marror at the seder without chewing it, then he has not fulfilled his obligation to eat marror.  The answer, as Rashi and the Rashbam explain, is that marror – a vegetable with a bitter taste – is meant to commemorate the “bitterness” of our ancestors’ enslavement in Egypt.  Therefore, one who does not chew the marror, and thus has not experienced its taste, does not fulfill his obligation.  Likewise, the Gemara earlier instructs that although one must dip the marror in the sweet charoset before eating it, one must not keep it in the charoset for too long, as it may then lose its taste, and, in the Gemara’s words, “ba’inan ta’am marror ve-leika” – “we require the taste of marror, and it is not there.”  Both laws are codified in the Shulchan Arukh (O.C. 475:1,3).
 
            The implication of these rulings is that one does not fulfill the mitzva of marror if he does not experience its bitter taste.  This is indicated also by the hymn recited by some congregations on the Shabbat before Pesach, written by Rav Yosef Tuv Elem (one of the Tosafists), which says, “miba’i lei le-kaskusei tuva” – one must chew the marror very well.  The Or Zarua (Pesach, 256) explains that one must chew the marror in order to experience its bitter taste.
 
            Accordingly, the Chazon Ish (O.C. 124) ruled that although it is accepted to fulfill the mitzva of marror with lettuce, which does not have an especially bitter taste, nevertheless, one must not use the soft pieces of lettuce which have no bitter taste at all. 
 
            Rav Menashe Klein, in his Mishneh Halakhot (6:92, 7:68), disagrees.  In his view, since lettuce generally has a somewhat bitter taste, the marror obligation may be fulfilled even with pieces of lettuce that have no bitter taste.  He notes that the Gemara disallows dipping the marror in charoset for an extended period not because the marror will lose its bitter taste, but rather that it will lose “ta’am marror” – the taste of marror.  Meaning, Halakha requires experiencing the taste of an herb that generally tastes bitter, and the taste is lost if the vegetable is excessively sweetened by the charoset.  Rav Klein thus maintains that one may fulfill the mitzva of marror by eating lettuce leaves that have no bitter taste.
 
            This question perhaps becomes relevant for patients stricken with the coronavirus who are unable to taste their food.  It would seem that according to both opinions, such a patient cannot fulfill the mitzva of marror, because he cannot taste the vegetable.  Although, Rav Asher Weiss (Minchat Asher – Corona, pp. 270-272) raises the possibility of distinguishing between this case and that of one who eats a vegetable without any bitter taste, or who swallows the vegetable without chewing it.  In the case of a coronavirus patient, he eats a vegetable that qualifies for the mitzva, and in a manner that should normally allow him to experience the vegetable’s taste, but as a practical matter, due to his condition, he cannot taste the flavor.  One could perhaps argue that since the patient eats a suitable vegetable in the proper manner, he fulfills the mitzva despite being unable to taste the marror.  Nevertheless, as this line of reasoning is far from conclusive, Rav Weiss rules that a coronavirus patient who is unable to taste food should eat marror without reciting the beracha of “al akhilat marror,” in order to satisfy both possibilities.
 
Friday
 
            The Tur (O.C. 487) observes the custom observed in some communities to recite the full hallel, with the introductory and concluding berakhot, in the synagogue on the first night of Pesach (and, in the Diaspora, on the second night), after arvit.  The source of this practice, as cited by the Tur, is Masekhet Sofrim (20:9), which lists the first night of Pesach among the occasions when the full hallel is recited.  The reason for this custom, the Tur explains, is that we will not have to recite a berakha over the hallel recitation at the seder that night.  It seems that in principle, the hallel recitation at the seder requires a berakha, but in practice, a berakha is not recited, and so the custom evolved to recite hallel in the synagogue with a berakha to satisfy the requirement to recite a berakha.  The likely explanation is that at the seder we divide the hallel into two sections – reciting the beginning of the hallel text at the end of maggid, before the meal, and reciting the rest of hallel after the meal.  The meal would constitute an interruption in between the introductory berakha and the rest of hallel, and so we cannot recite the introductory berakha at the seder.  According to the Tur, this is the reason why it became customary to recite hallel in the synagogue.
 
            Others, however, explain this practice differently.  The Tosefta (Pesachim 10:8), cited by Tosafot (Berakhot 14a), indicates that it became customary in some places to recite hallel in the synagogue for the benefit of those who were unable to recite it themselves.  In communities where there were people who did not know the hallel text by heart and did not have access to printed texts, hallel was read for them in the synagogue, so they could fulfill their requirement by listening to its recitation.  Conceivably, this is the origin of the practice observed in some communities to recite hallel in the synagogue on the night of the seder.
 
            Yet another view is cited by the Ran (Pesachim 26b in the Rif) in the name of the Rashba, who maintained that “ikar takanat keri’ato be-veit ha-kenesset haya, ve-lo ba-bayit” – the primary hallel obligation on this night is to recite hallel after arvit in the synagogue.  According to the Rashba, the synagogue recitation fulfills the formal hallel obligation of this night, which is why a berakha is recited over this recitation.  This is in contradistinction to the conventional understanding – and the Tur’s explanation – that the primary obligation is to recite hallel at the seder, and the recitation in the synagogue is merely a custom that developed later.
 
            The Shulchan Arukh (487:4) records this custom, whereas the Rama observed that Ashkenazic communities in his time did not recite hallel in the synagogue on the night of the seder.  The Vilna Gaon (Bi’ur Ha-Gra) suggests that these two views reflect the different opinions as to the origin of this practice.  The Rama perhaps maintained that this custom developed for the sake of those who were unable to recite it themselves, and so nowadays, when people can recite it themselves, there is no need to recite hallel in the synagogue.  The Shulchan Aruch, by contrast, followed the position that Chazal established a formal requirement to recite hallel in the synagogue on this night, and so this practice must be observed even in our times.
 
            Interestingly, the Vilna Gaon in a separate context seems to point to a different perspective on the halllel recitation in the synagogue on the first night of Pesach.  Commenting on the practice to light Chanukah candles in the synagogue each night (Bi’ur Ha-Gra to O.C. 671:7), the Vilna Gaon writes that this custom resembles the custom to recite hallel in the synagogue on the night of the seder.  In both instances, the Gaon explains, the custom developed to perform publicly, in the synagogue, a mitzva which is performed in one’s home, for the purpose of pirsumei nisa – to make a public celebration of the miracle.  According to the Vilna Gaon, then, the custom to recite hallel in the synagogue on the first night of Pesach serves to publicize the miracle of the Exodus.  (See Minchat Asher – Moadim, vol. 3, chapter 7.)
 
            Conceivably, these different approaches would affect the question of whether one who, for whatever reason, cannot attend the synagogue on this night nevertheless recites hallel after arvit, if this is his normal custom when praying in the synagogue.  If this hallel recitation continues the ancient practice of reciting hallel in the synagogue for the benefit of those who could not recite it on their own, then it would seem that this custom requires reciting hallel only in the synagogue.  And, certainly, according to the Vilna Gaon, who understood that the purpose of this custom is to make a public celebration, it applies only when praying publicly.  According to the Tur, however, hallel is recited after arvit to avoid having to recite the berakha over hallel at the seder, and this is relevant even if one prays privately.
 
            Regardless, Rav Asher Weiss (Minchat Asher – Corona, pp. 262-265) ruled that in those communities which follow the practice of reciting hallel in the synagogue on the first night of Pesach, even one who prays privately recites hallel after arvit.  Although this halakha should depend on the reason for the synagogue halllel recitation, as discussed, Rav Weiss explains that since this practice is based on Sephardic custom, its parameters are determined based on that original custom.  And a number of Sephardic poskim, including the Chida (Birkei Yosef, 487:8; Sheyarei Berakha, 487:3; Moreh Be-etzba, 207) and the Kaf Ha-chayim (487:39-42), mention that even those who pray privately recite hallel after arvit.  Therefore, this is the policy that should be followed by those who normally recite hallel in the synagogue on the first night of Pesach but now find themselves praying privately.
 
 
 
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