The current series, which will cover seudos Shabbos and fasting on Shabbos, is available for sponsorship. Please contact Rabbi Reingold for more information. We are beginning siman 11. The Chayei Adam writes that the halachos of tefillos shabbos, including reciting the wrong tefillah, can be found in hilchos tefillah. The halachos of birchas hamazon, including what to do if one forgot retzei, can be found in hilchos birchas hamazon. The Chayei Adam writes that there are different minhagim regarding the tefillah of av harachamim. The tefillah was instituted due to the crusades, when there was a tremendous slaughter of Klal Yisroel, and it primarily took place between Pesach and Shavuos. In fact, Rav Hirsch writes that the minhag of the Yekkish community is to recite Av Harachamim only during those six weeks. It appears that the original minhag was only to recite it during that period, and eventually it was extended to the rest of the year. Since the primary slaughter of the Crusades took place between Pesach and Shavuos, during that time period we recite Av Harachamim even if there are added elements of simcha on a particular Shabbos. During the rest of the year, since Av Harachamim is a somber tefillah, if there is an added element of simcha to that Shabbos, Av Harachamim is not recited. Thus, the Chayei Adam writes that the standard minhag is that during sheva brachos, the day of a bris, or any other day on which tachanun would not be recited, Av Harachamim is not recited. During sefira, Av Harachamim is recited even on those days. We do not recite Av Harachamim on Shabbos Mevorchim. Even though it is not a time of simcha, per se, the mention of rosh chodesh is enough to refrain from reciting Av Harachamim. The only exception is the Shabbos Mevorchim of Rosh Chodesh Iyar, even though it is within the month of Nissan, and even if there were to be a bris on that Shabbos. However, if Rosh Chodesh Iyar itself falls out on Shabbos, Av Harachamim is not recited. On Shabbos Mevorchim of Rosh Chodesh Av, we do not recite Av Harachamim, even though it is during the three weeks. One would have thought to compare it to Shabbos Mevorchim of Iyar and recite Av Harachamim due to the sadness of the three weeks. He explains that since Av Harachamim was not originally instituted for the three weeks, the simcha of Shabbos Mevorchim will override Av Harachamim, the sadness of the three weeks notwithstanding. The standard minhag Ashkenaz is to follow the Chayei Adam on this point, although there is another, less accepted, minhag to recite Av Harachamim. Summary
- Av Harachamim was instituted due to the slaughter of the Crusades, which primarily took place during sefira. Therefore, Av Harachamim is always recited during those weeks, even if there are semachos.
- The only exception is if Rosh Chodesh Iyar falls out on Shabbos
- During the rest of the year, Av Harachamim is not recited if there is a simcha which would exempt the tzibbur from tachanun, or if it is shabbos mevorchim.