By Rabbi Yair Hoffman


Leading up to the Pesach break this year, Rav Chaim Kanievsky penned a letter to yeshiva students regarding bein hazmanim. In it, he delineates four obligations of yeshiva students. Below is a translation of the letter made by the Five Towns Jewish Times.

Motzai Shabbos Kodesh, Parshas Mishpatim and Shkalim 5778

I would almost have suggested to abolish bein hazmanim and outings and other such things altogether.

Bein hazmanim was established solely for the purpose of relaxing the mind which had studied strenuously throughout the zman, as the Rambam has written. All this is almost impossible, however, in modern times.

Nonetheless, all those who do go on vacation are obligated to be very careful not to lose all they have gained during the zman (all the lofty levels that they have achieved through toiling in their Torah studies). Therefore, they are obligated to:

  • Be most careful in establishing set times to study Torah each day. This must be chok velo yaavor, not a negotiable issue at all, as it is stated in Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 155 and Mishnah Berurah there.
  • They must also be careful to guard their eyes which are the brokers of grave sins as is brought down in the Yerushalmi in Brachos (1:5). They should also make sure not to make their eyes hefker.
  • They should be careful not to be in any room that contains impure devices (it must be exactly as one is careful to do during the zman).
  • They should further make sure to be careful in all matters of tefilah and its halachic details that are explained in Shulchan Aruch OC 90. For example, to daven with a minyan davka, and that there be Birkas Kohanim (in Eretz Yisroel) and Krias HaTorah from a kosher Sefer Torah and to read the haftorah from a Navi and from a parchment scroll.

Therefore, it is a good thing that the rabbanim, shlita, are arranging an event to correct the aforementioned matters. Through this, may we merit to increase kavod shamayim, and may we merit the complete redemption speedily in our days! Amein.

Chaim Kanievsky

Rabbi Hoffman can be reached at


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