1. Question: [Tuesday, 1st MarCheshvan 5783]
We are Davening in a Shiva home today on Rosh Chodesh and would like to know what we should do about saying Hallel. There are lots of opinions amongst the Daveners and there is much confusion as to what we are to do. Skip Hallel, say Hallel? To note, that there are no male mourners present in the Shiva home.
Absent of any clear custom to the contrary in your community, you are to omit the saying of Hallel on Rosh Chodesh when praying in the house of a mourner [i.e. a Shiva home], and upon returning home you are to recite Hallel [with exception to the Avel]. This applies even if the Avel is not participating in the Minyan, such as the Avel is a woman or child, or if the Minyan is taking place in the home of the deceased without any Aveilim, such as when there are no relatives sitting Shiva.
Explanation: When praying in the house of a mourner, the original Ashkenazi custom recorded in the earlier Poskim [Admur, Magen Avraham, Taz, etc] follows as we stated above, to omit the saying of Hallel on Rosh Chodesh when praying in the house of a mourner. The reason for this, states Admur, is because the recital of the verse “Lo Hameisim YeHalleluka-The dead do not praise G-d” within the house of the mourner is making a mock of the deceased. Alternatively, others say the reason is because the Beis Havel is not a place of Simcha. However, later on, the worldly custom, as recorded in the Noda Beyehuda, became to simply ask the mourners to leave the room by Hallel, and have the Minyan say Hallel without them. The mourners then return after Hallel and say Kaddish. Alternatively, the Minyan leaves to a different room for the saying of Hallel. Practically, the Chabad custom should follow the ruling of Admur above that Hallel is completely omitted and the congregants make up its recital after Davening when they return home. The ruling of Admur ibid does not coincide with the ruling of the Noda Beyehuda, being that he states the main reason for omitting Hallel is because the Avel is not in a state of joy, and hence if he leaves Hallel may be said. According to Admur however the reason is because of Loeg Larash, which would prevent it from being said in the Beis Havel even if the Aveilim leave the room; Nevertheless, Rabbi Leibel Groner replied to me regarding the Chabad custom that he has seen both customs performed, and he never inquired from the Rebbe as to what one should do. Rabbi Yosef Simcha Ginsberg replied to me that the custom is like the Noda Beyehuda to have the Avel leave the room and have Hallel recited. So writes also Darkei Chesed ibid
Sources: See in general: Admur 131:5; Nitei Gavriel 96; Pnei Baruch 10:28; Piskeiy Teshuvos 131:20; See regarding the original custom recorded in earlier Ashkenazi Poskim to omit Hallel: Admur ibid; M”A 131:10; Taz 422:2 and in Y.D. 376:2; Rokeiach 316; Tanya 68; Kneses Hagedola 422:5; Peri Chadash 422:2; Elya Raba 131:9; Kaf Hachaim 131:61; See regarding the custom to then recite Hallel after Davening after leaving the Shiva home: Admur 131:5 in parentheses; Kaf Hachaim 131:61 “So seems to be the main ruling”; See Chikrei Halachos 7:28 that Admur placed this ruling in parentheses due to the dissenting opinions brought next; See Darkei Chesed p. 171 that one is not required to repeat Hallel afterwards; See regarding the later worldly custom to recite Hallel in the absence of the Aveilim: Noda Beyehuda Tinyana Y.D. 215, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah 376:2; Kitzur SHU”A 207:6; Nimukei Orach Chaim 131; Gesher Hachaim 20:3-6; Darkei Chesed p. 171; Poskim in Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid footnote 120 and Nitei Gavriel ibid footnote 2; Pnei Baruch 10:28 See regarding the Sephardic custom: Kneses Hagedola 422:5; Peri Chadash 422:2; Kaf Hachaim 131:61;
2. Question: [Tuesday, 1st MarCheshvan 5783]
I sometimes wear a waist pack/pouch when I go out and would like to know if I may wear it during Davening.
You should not wear the pouch during Davening Shemoneh esrei.
Explanation: The Rambam rules that one should not Daven with an Afundaso. Some interpret this to refer to an undershirt, while others interpret this to mean a waist money pouch. It is unclear as to which of the to is the correct interpretation, and the Poskim conclude to suspect for both. Hence you should not wear a wait pack/pouch for Shemoneh Esrei.
Sources: See regarding not wearing the Afundaso: Admur 91:5; Michaber 91:5; Rambam Tefila 5:5; See regarding its definition: Rashi Brachos 54a; Kaf Hachaim 91:21