The day after each of the three Holidays is called Isru Chag. The name Isru Chag derives from the verse “Isru Chag Baavosim Ad Karnei Hamizbeiach”. This means to say that this day is to be attached [i.e. Isru] to the Holiday itself, and by doing so the verse considers him to have built an Altar and sacrificed on it an offering. For this reason, the following customs are relevant on Isru Chag:
Increasing in eating and drinking on Isru Chag:
One is to increase a little in eating and drinking on Isru Chag, the day after each of the three festivals.
Fasting on Isru Chag:
It is forbidden to fast on Isru Chag, the day after each of the three festivals. Even a Chasan and Kallah which are getting married on Isru Chag [as they follow the customs of Sefirah only after Rosh Chodesh] are not to fast that day. Similarly, a child may not fast on his parent‘s Yartzite that falls on Isru Chag.
One is to increase a little in eating and drinking on Isru Chag. Even a Chasan and Kallah on the day of their wedding may not fast on this day. Similarly, a child may not fast on his parent‘s Yartzite.
Do the customs of Isru Chag apply also on the night after [i.e. Motzei] Isru Chag?
Some Poskim write that the customs of Isru Chag [increasing in food and drink] apply also to the night after, which is Motzei Isru Chag.
Is one to wear Shabbos clothing on Isru Chag?
Some Poskim rule that one is to wear Shabbos clothing on Isru Chag.
Sparks of Kabalah:
The Arizal taught that on the day after Yom Tov, Isru Chag, a ray of the Holiday still shines.
 Admur 429:17
 Admur 429:17; Sukkah 45b
 Admur ibid; Rama 429:2
 Admur 429:17; Rama 429:2; Sukkah 45b based on second explanation of Rashi ibid [according to his 1st explanation, the Mitzvah is to increase on Yom Tov itself, and not the next day]
 The reason: Anyone who attaches [Lit. Issur which means bound] the day after the festival to the festival itself with eating and drinking, meaning through increasing slightly in eating and drinking the day after the Holiday, and thus makes that day attached [Lit. Tafal which means secondary, or attached] to the Holiday itself, the verse considers him to have built an Altar and sacrificed on it an offering. This is based on the verse that states “Isru Chag Baavosim Ad Karnei Hamizbeiach”. Meaning to say that when one makes an Issur, a secondary day, to the festival, then Baavosim, it is considered as if he brought large and fat animals to the altar. For this reason the custom is in these provinces to increase a little in eating and drinking on the day after each of the three festivals. [Admur ibid; Sukkah ibid]
Other reasons: Some write that the celebration of Isru Chag began in Eretz Yisrael in order to show some sign of festivity on the second day of the festival of the Diaspora. This then spread to the Diaspora itself, on their Isru Chag. Alternatively it corresponds to the sacrifices which were able to be eaten for two days and one night. [Sdei Chemed Kelalim Alef 154] Alternatively it is in memory of the pilgrimage which would return home on Isru Chag. [Glosses of Chasam Sofer 429]
 Admur 429:17; M”A 429:8
 Custom or prohibition? The above prohibition however is only a custom, however from the letter of the law there is no prohibition to fast, although one who refrains from doing so is praised. [Admur ibid; M”A 429:8] This however only applies to the day after Pesach and Sukkos, however on the day after Shavuos from the letter of the law it is forbidden to fast. [Admur 429:18] The reason for this is because on the night of Isru Chag of Shavuos all the sacrifices of the pilgrimage were offered in the Temple, and it was thus made a festival. [494:19; Seemingly according to this also Erev Pesach should be forbidden from the letter of the law, being that all the peach sacrifices were brought then. However in 429:10 it is not mentioned in the list of days that are prohibited from the letter of the law to fast. Vetzaruch Iyun. The practical ramification is in whether one may make up a Taanis Chalom on that day.]
A Taanis Chalom: It is certainly permitted to fast a Taanis Chalom on Isru Chag, as even o9n Shabbos it is permitted. Nevertheless Tzaruch Iyun if such a fast requires a second fast as a Kaparah.
 Admur ibid; M”A 573:1
 Admur ibid; Rama 429:2 regarding all days of Nissan; See also Rama 568:9
Fasting on the Yartzite of parents on other days in Nissan: From here it is implied that one may fast on a Yartzite on the remaining days of Nissan. However, in 429:9 Admur clearly rules as writes the Rama 429:2 that a Yartzite fast may not be done at all during Nissan.
 Ashel Avraham of Butchach 429
 The reason: As this is similar to Kodshim in which the night follows the day in terms of the burning of the offerings from the sacrifice. [ibid]
 Torah Leshma 140; Darkei Chaim Veshalom 524
 The reason: This is done in order to actively show the continued Holiness of the festival that is relevant to this day, and so one does not treat it like a regular weekday. [Torah Leshma ibid]
 Torah Leshma 140
Kneading a key into Challah the first Shabbos after Pesach:
Many are accustomed to braid the Challah in the shape of a key on the first Shabbos after Pesach. Others knead a key within the Challah dough on the first Shabbos after Pesach. Some record that the above custom is not followed by Chabad Chassidim.
The reason behind the custom:
On Pesach all the heavenly gates were open. After Pesach they are closed. The symbol of the key on the Challah is to show that we are opening the gates slightly through our honor of Shabbos, and Hashem will then open it fully for us. Alternatively, it represents the opening of the gates of Parnasa, as after Pesach the Mun stopped falling and we were required to fend for our own livelihood. [Oheiv Yisrael of Rav Avraham Yehoshua Heshel of Apta]
Is the key Challah sourced in Christian doctrine and thereby its custom should be abolished?
Although some self-acclaimed historians argue that the custom of making key shaped, or key filled, Challah’s is also sourced in Christian or even pagan culture, and should hence be banished from amongst Jewish tradition, practically, the above custom is an authentic Jewish custom that may and should be honored by those who traditionally abide by it. The Halachic criteria of banning an activity due to idolatry or Darkei Emori is not satisfied by simply drawing historical sketches of a similar custom to that of other societies, as aside for the burden of proof to historically conclude that the innovation originated from those, and not Jewish, cultures, an action that contains a permitted logical symbol and representation which was never originated for the sake of idolatry is permitted to be adapted by Jews even if it originated from gentiles. Certainly there is no issue of Darkei Emori for one to perform an action customarily done by Jews for righteous reasons, even if there are gentiles who do so for the wrong reasons, as he is doing it to mimic his Jewish tradition and not that of the gentiles. This is aside for the Talmudic and Halachic dictum of “Minhag Yisrael Torah Hi” and thus certainly a custom which has been handed from generation to generation, and mentioned in Sefarim of Tzadikim, and is done for specially Kosher and Jewish oriented reasons, does not need any further defense or legitimization to legalize its continuity. We find many precedents of Jewish customs that can be argued to be considered Darkei Emori and are nonetheless traditionally done, and defended by the great Poskim, Rishonim and Achronim. Accordingly, we humbly suggest that historians [especially those who are self-acclaimed] stick to their field and not try to spread Halachic conclusions based on their ignorance of the workings of Halacha, and the criteria’s needed to be met in order for a matter to be forbidden. Whatever the case, as in all matters of Jewish law, this is an issue that requires arbitration from a licensed and practicing Posek and not an amateur who claims to specialize in the field of history.
 Nitei Gavriel 39:1 writes that the custom is to shape the Challah like a key. The wording of the custom in Taamei Haminhagim is “Minakdim es Hachalos Bemafteichos”. It is unclear as to the meaning of this word Minakdin. It comes from the word Nekuda which means vowel. Seemingly this word refers to the shape of the Challah.
 Imrei Pinchas 298; Oheiv Yisrael [of Rav Avraham Yehoshua Heshel of Apta] Likkutim on Pesach; Taamei Haminhagim 596-597; Kol Naftali Megillas Rus p. 62; See Olas Moed Shevi’i Shel Pesach; Nitei Gavriel ibid
The reason behind the custom: On Pesach all the heavenly gates were open. After Pesach they are closed. The symbol of the key on the Challah is to show that we are opening the gates slightly through our honor of Shabbos, and Hashem will then open it fully for us. Alternatively, it represents the opening of the gates of Parnasa, as after Pesach the Mun stopped falling and we were required to fend for our own livelihood. [Oheiv Yisrael of Rav Avraham Yehoshua Heshel of Apta]
 Otzer Minhagei Chabad p. 243; Some report of an answer of the Rebbe stating that it is not our custom to do so. I have not seen this answer.
 See Rama Y.D. 178:1 “This is only forbidden if the clothing of the gentiles are worn by them for sake of frivolity [pritzus] or it is a gentile custom that has no logic behind it, as in such a case there is room to suspect that the custom derives from the Emorite customs, and that it derive from practices of idolatry passed down from their forefathers.”; Maharik 88; See Kapos Temarim Yuma 831 and Chavos Yair 234 that Darkei Emori applies towards practices that the gentiles developed as a result of idolatry, that they believed that these actions invoke their G-ds to give assistance. See also Ran on Shabbos 67a; See Admur 301:33 “Any medical treatment that works in accordance to Segulah [i.e. supernatural causes] rather than natural cause and effect [i.e. scientifically based] does not contain the prohibition of Darkei Emori so long as it is recognizable [to the onlookers] that it’s intent is for the sake of healing”; See Igros Moshe E.H. 2/13; Y.D. 4/11-4; O.C. 5/11-4
 See Admur 180:6 [not covering knife on Shabbos]; 432:11 [scattering 10 pieces of bread]; 452:4 [Hagalah]; 494:16 [Dairy on Shavuos]; M”A 494:6; Tosafus Menachos 20b
 See Rama 605:1 regarding Kaparos
Reciting Pirkei Avos:
It is customary to recite Pirkei Avos on every Shabbos between Pesach and Shavuos. Some are accustomed to continue reciting it after Shavuos, throughout the summer months, until Rosh Hashanah. [Practically, the Chabad custom is to say Pirkei Avos until Rosh Hashanah. On the Shabbosim which are in approximation to Rosh Hashanah, two chapters of Pirkei Avos are read, in order to complete the cycle prior to Rosh Hashanah.]
Reciting “Kol Yisrael…” prior to each chapter and “Rebbe Chanania Ben Akashyia…” at the end of each chapter: One is to recite the Mishnaic saying of “Kol Yisrael…” prior to beginning the chapter of Pirkei Avos. At the conclusion of the chapter one is to recite the teaching of “Rebbe Chanania Ben Akashyia.” [On the Shabbosim which are in approximation to Rosh Hashanah, in which two chapters of Pirkei Avos are read, some write one is to read the above opening and closing statements before and after each individual chapter. Others write it is only to be said once; the opening statement at the beginning of the first chapter and the concluding statement after concluding the second chapter. Others write that by the first four chapters that are said together [1-2 and 3-4], one reads the opening statement at the beginning of the first chapter and the concluding statement after concluding the second chapter. However, by the last two chapters [5-6] one reads the opening statement at the beginning of the first chapter and the concluding statement after concluding the second chapter.]
Learning one Mishneh in depth each Shabbos:
It is proper to learn in depth at least one Mishneh of the weekly chapter in Pirkei Avos. One is to learn this Mishneh together with its commentaries.
 Siddur Admur; This custom is recorded in the following Poskim regarding Erev Tishe Beav that falls on Shabbos: Rama 553:2; Maharil; M”A 553:7 in name of Kneses Hagedola
 There are six Shabbosim between Pesach and Shavuos corresponding to the six chapters of Pirkei Avos. The reason for saying Pirkei Avos between Pesach and Shavuos is as a preparation for Matan Torah.
 Admur ibid; See Poskim ibid regarding Erev Tishe Beav that falls on Shabbos
 Sichas Parshas Naso 1982 [Hisvadyus 3:1633]; So was the custom of the Rebbe Rashab. [Rebbe in Reshimos brought in Otzer p. 244]
Background: The widespread Chabad custom until the year 1978 was to learn Pirkei Avos up until Shavuos and not onwards. However, from 1978 and onwards, based on a Sichah of the Rebbe on the Shabbos after Shavuos, the custom became to say Pirkei Avos also on the Shabbosim after Shavuos.
 Siddur; Admur in 54:4
The reason: The reason we conclude with these verses is because it is customary to recite Kaddish after Pirkei Avos, and we do not recite Kaddish unless we read a teaching that contains a verse or an expoundation of a verse. [Admur 54:4]
 Otzer Minhagei Chabad p. 246 based on Sichas Netzavim Vayeilech 1987
Background: The Rebbe in Sichas Parshas Seitzei 1981 plainly mentioned that the custom is to say it only once. However, in later years, the Rebbe publically debated whether it should be said once or twice. [See Hisvadyus 1985 5:2887; Hisvadyus 1987 4:352; Hisvadyus 1989 4:279; Sefer Hasichos 1990 2:681; Sefer Hasichos 1991 2:797] This led to a variety of opinions on this matter.
 Hiskashrus 946 based on Sichas Parshas Seitzei 1981
 Siddur Tehillas Hashem Kehos Eretz Yisrael based on Hisvadyus 1990 4 page 259 footnote 104 and Hisvadyus 1987 4 page 400
 Sichas 1991 2 p. 597
 It is the Ashkenazi custom to read the first chapter of Pirkei Avos on this Shabbos. [Luach Eitz Chaim; Bein Pesach Leshavuos p. 162; Luach Dvar Beito] The Sephardic custom is to begin it only the next Shabbos.
Custom of Tzefas: The custom of Tzefas Jewry is to read the first chapter this Shabbos and to read the first chapter in Miseches Derech Eretz Zuta on the Shabbos. Before Shavuos. [Eretz Chaim 292 in name of Tikkun Yissachar p. 38]
The Chabad Custom: In Sichas Shabbos Parshas Bamidbar 1989 [Sefer Hasichos p. 485 footnote 66] the Rebbe mentions that there are usually six Shabbosim between Pesach and Shavuos corresponding to the six chapters in Pirkei Avos. However, in Eretz Yisrael there are at times seven Shabbosim. The Rebbe then says there are different customs regarding the seventh Shabbos which is directly prior to Shavuos. Some repeat the sixth chapter again while others begin again from the first chapter. This implies that according to all customs they would already begin the reading on the first Shabbos. The Rebbe then concludes that when there is a dispute between the Diaspora and Eretz Yisrael the ruling is like the Diaspora. In Sichas Naso 1982 3:1633 the Rebbe says that in the Diaspora they are learning the first chapter while in Eretz Yisrael they are already learning the second chapter, hence giving credence to the difference of order between Eretz Yisrael and the Diaspora. Practically, in Otzer Minhagei Chabad p. 247 they write, based on the above Sichah, that in Eretz Yisrael they are to study the first chapter that Shabbos. However, Luach Kolel Chabad writes that in Eretz Yisrael one is not to begin Pirkei Avos until the next Shabbos, and so concludes Hiskashrus 45. Their reasoning is in order to avoid making a differentiation between their reading and the reading in the Diaspora.
 So concludes Luach Kolel Chabad; Hiskashrus 45 that is the proper custom to follow.
 As seems to be the Rebbe’s opinion as based on the above Sichas.
 Sichas Naso 1982 3:1633; Luach Kolel Chabad; Hiskashrus
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