Spring Mesorah Challenges – מסורה בשבוע אחר פסח

We have just finished Pesach, a יום טוב in which our traditions are shared and passed on to children and descendants.

Right afterward, however, we are already confronted with some challenges which test if we have sufficiently internalized the importance of מסורה.

The very evening of מוצאי פסח, some people try to impress upon us their custom of greetings others then with the words “א גוטען זומער” (“a gutten zummer” – “a good summer”). But we know that summer does not start in the month of ניסן, not even in the end of the month. We know that חז”ל comment, referencing the words מוציא אסירים בכושרות – that Hashem took us out of מצרים in a nice month, without extreme weather (not summer or winter, for example), in a time that was conducive to journeying. We also know that חודש ניסן is called by the Torah חודש האביב, the month of spring. In פרשת נח we are told of six seasons of the year, two months for each. It is clear then that Nissan is not the summer. שמור את חודש האביב – watch the month of Nissan – don’t call it something it isn’t, such as summer.

Another example comes a short time later, as the first Shabbos after Pesach approaches. Some of the same circles then are promoting a custom of ‘schlissel challah’ (שליסעל חלה), a practice from outside of מסורת אשכנז that has been questioned on various grounds. While its proponents would like you to believe that “everyone is doing it”, actually, not only it is not part of the mesorah of great segments of כלל ישראל, such as יהדות אשכנז, אובערלאנד, ליטא, ספרד, תימן, וכו, it is not even universally practiced in their own Chasidic camp (for example, אוצר מנהגי חב”ד, p.253, reports that it is not minhag Lubavitch).

No one should be ‘stampeded’ into adopting such practices foreign to their mesorah, in the mistaken belief that ‘everyone is doing it’. Because it just ain’t so. “Everyone” is not doing it. A mythical “everyone” is not our פוסק anyway.

In שיר השירים, which we read on Pesach, we are given guidelines for how we should conduct ourselves. We are told צאי לך בעקבי הצאן – go in the footsteps of your holy ancestors. Our ancestors were not fools, ח”ו. If they did not follow these new practices, we should not either.

In the זכות of going in the ways of our holy מסורה, may we be זוכה to a strengthening and intensifying of our connection with the תורה הקדושה, as we are taught in Pirkei Avos that מסורת סייג לתורה.

א גוטען שבת און א גוטען חודש

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10 Responses to “Spring Mesorah Challenges – מסורה בשבוע אחר פסח”

  1. Richie Says:

    What about saying Yotzros this Shabbos, while still in the month of Nissan?
    Minhag Polin (Poland) do say. But Minhag Ashkenaz do not.

  2. Snag Says:

    For how many generations was it the minhag to say Shir Hashirim on Pesach? Not many.

  3. r.b. Says:

    So what is the proper greeting to greet someone on motzei Pesach according to minhag Ashkenaz?

    • Treasures of Ashkenaz Says:

      What is wrong with a regular gut voch, or א גוטע וואך (especially this year, as it was מוצאי שבת as well)?

      If you want something more elaborate, you could wish a gutten friehling (Yiddish language word for spring season). But it is definitely not summer yet on the night Pesach concludes. Perhaps מוצאי שבועות.

      Maybe someone can come up with an Omer related salutation?

    • mendy Says:

      Maybe “RumpleGut”- since this was called “Rumple Nacht” for the clatter of putting away the dishes. I heard that some Bnei Ashkenaz say (but I never heard it said) “Hast gut Gebowt” on Pesach, after the German translation of Adir Hu printed in the Siddur Hashelah- which uses the refrain “Nu Bow, Nu Bow” throughout the song.

  4. Noach Says:

    Not only is schlissel challoh not Minhog Ashkenaz, it’s a chukas hanotzrim! Many Christians, at least in France and Poland, where cakes with baked-in items are made for Joschke’s bris and the Sunday of Pesach

  5. Treasures of Ashkenaz Says:

    Have you seen it personally?

    A difficulty that arises nowadays when we research practices that arose in other places and times, is that sometimes we are lacking in knowledge of the historical background and context of the practice, which can hinder our understanding.

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