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8 Shavuos Practices of Rav Chaim Kanievsky zt”l

By Rabbi Yair Hoffman

  1. Rav Chaim zt”l did not put grasses, trees, or plants in his home nor in the Lederman shul on Shavuos. This was in accordance with the view of the Vilna Gaon (see Mishna Brurah 494:10).
  2. Rav Chaim zt”l avoided getting a haircut on Erev Shavuos itself, because of the danger involved in letting blood that day. He was concerned
  3. Rav Chaim zt”l stayed up all night on Shavuos and studied. (See MB 494:1)
  4. After Chatzos, Rav Chaim zt”l would recite the tikkun leil shavuos.
  5. After also hashachar, and before shacharis Rav Chaim would immerse in the Mikvah. When the infirmities of age made this too difficult, he stopped.
  6. He would have the Megillah of Rus read from a klaf and with a bracha.
  7. He would consume milchigs in the morning seudah on Shavuos – without having meat in the same meal.
  8. When he was able to do so, he would stand during the recitation of akdamus.

These halachos were culled from the Schroen Edition of the Siach Sifsosainu Shavuos Siddur written by Rav Lipa Israelson shlita, Rav Elyashiiv zt”l’s grandson.

The author can be reached at [email protected].

For this interested in a parsha newsletter on the virtue of increasing Emes, truth, in our lives, including a translation of Rav Chaim ztl”s writings on emes – please email the author.

2 Responses

  1. One question- Saying Tikun leil shavuos takes about 7 hours, if you then add the whole of tehillim after this it takes another three hours. Did Rav Chaim really spend all night after Chatzos just saying the tikkun?

  2. For someone who it reading this once or twice year, it can take a while, but R’ Chaim knew it all by heart, and was very fluent. If you anything about R’ Chaim this would not shock you at all. He could easily finnish the entire tehillim in about 1 or 1.5 hrs.
    If anybody asked him the first and lst posuk of any given parsha he could do so on the spot. He once made a list of all the letters that never appear next to each other in tanach. (eg. Tes & Gimel) Even WITH a computer that would take someone hours to figure out, checking each combination on a programme.

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