From the Rav’s Desk: Should one say Besimcha or Berina in Lecha Dodi of Motzei Yom Tov

  1. Question: [Monday, 2nd Sivan 5783]

I am wondering regarding what is the correct Nussach to say in Lecha Dodi in Israel this Friday night. Should we say Berina being that it is no longer Yom Tov, or should we say Besimcha being that we are coming off the joy of Yom Tov just as we skip Lechu Neranina and begin from Mizmor Ledavid?


On Motzei Yom Tov which falls on Friday night one is to recite the regular Nussach of Berina in Lecha Dodi and not Besimcha unless one is reciting Lecha Dodi on Friday prior to the start of nightfall in which case the Nussach of Besimcha is recited.

Explanation: The normal wording in Lecha Dodi as printed in the Siddur is to say Berina Ubetzahala. However, the Rebbe Rashab directed, based on the writings of the Mishnas Chassidim, that when Yom Tov falls on Friday night then one should substitute the word Berina with Besimcha. The term Rina denotes a bittersweet joy, a joy that comes as a result of a previous distance. However Simcha does not have any bitterness mixed with it at all and hence is more befitting to be said on Yom Tov. This directive of the Rebbe Rashab was later recorded in Hayom Yom and Sefer Haminhagim, however only regarding the scenario in which Yom Tov falls on Friday night and not the scenario in which Motzei Yom Tov falls on Friday night. This is in contrast to the ruling brought a few lines earlier in Sefer Haminhagim that we start from Mizmor Ledavid even when Motzei Yom Tov falls on Friday night. This implies that the two matters are not related and although we start from Mizmor Ledavid when Motzei Yom Tov falls on Friday night we do not recite the wording of Besimcha, and so explicitly rules the Mateh Efraim. As for the question of what the differences between the two, the Ketzos Hashulchan explains that once we already mention the term Shabbos in prayer we may no longer make mention of Yom Tov, if it is already the leave of Yom Tov. If however one is saying Lecha Dodi before the leave of Yom Tov then indeed the wording of Besimcha should be recited. All this is unlike the directive written in Sichas Hashavua and Hiskashrus that one is to always say Besimcha even on Friday night which is Motzei Yom Tov and quotes Sefer Haminhagim as their source. Not only does Sefer Haminhagim not say such a thing but implies the exact opposite as we explained above.


Sources: See regarding that when Yom Tov falls on Friday night one should substitute Besimcha for Berina: Hagahos Hasiddur of Rebbe Rashab; Ketzos Hashulchan 77:2; Mishnes Chassidim “Leil Yom Tov” 1:2; Hagahos Mahariy Tzemach in Nagid Mitzvah; Siddur rashkav;  Hayom Yom 17th Tishreiy; Sefer Haminhagim p. 26 and 36 See regarding that when Motzei Yom Tov falls on Friday night one should say the regular wording of Berina: Mateh Efraim 601:11; Ketzos Hashulchan 77 footnote 13 regarding if saying it after nightfall; Nitei Gavriel Yom Tov 2:22-4; Birurei Minhagim [Friedman] p. 35 See regarding that when Yom Tov or Motzei Yom Tov falls on Friday night one starts from Mizmor Ledavid: Siddur Admur regarding Yom Tov; Mateh Efraim 601:11.Ketzos Hashulchan 77:2; Sefer Haminhagim p. 36

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