The LINK Kollel in Los Angeles continues its tradition of presenting high-level halachic shiurim on Legal Holidays. On November 26,Thanksgiving Day, Rav Nachum Sauer, Rosh Kollel of the Yeshiva of Los Angeles and a leading halachic authority, offered a majestic analysis of the various halachic issues relating to determining the times of sunset, bein hashmashos (twilight), and tzeis hakochavim (nightfall).
The shiur was proceeded by a complimentary breakfast and a period of directed chavrusa learning, staffed by the Avreichim of the Kollel, in the relevant sugyos. A rapt crowd of more than 40 men enjoyed every word of the nearly 90 minute shiur. Rav Sauer delineated the major differences between the approach of the Gaonim, with which the Vilna Gaon concurred and the view of the Rabbeinu Tam.
According to the former, the twilight period begins immediately after the astronomic sunset and lasts for only 13 ½ minutes. However, adjusting for latitude and the time of the year, it could be as long as 42 minutes. By contrast, the Rabbeinu Tam held that there is another “halachic sunset” which takes place 58 1/2 minutes after the astronomical sunset, and thus nightfall doesn’t begin until 72 minutes after sunset.
He also mentioned the opinion of Rav Moshe Feinstein ZT”L that adjusting for the latitude of New York, one can argue that even Rabbeinu Tam would say that tzeis hakochavim is no later than 50 minutes after sunset. He then proceeded to give many pertinent examples of the halachic differences of these opinions in relation to issues such as the times for davening, beginning and ending of Shabbos, lighting Chanukah candles, and determining the proper day for making a bris milah.
After the shiur, nearly two dozen of the attendees waited patiently in line to discuss various aspects of the limud with Rav Sauer. LINK will offer another Legal Holiday shiur on December 25 on the laws of “Mezonos Bread” from Rabbi Mordechai Lebhar and Rabbi Asher Brander, Rosh Kollel and Dean of LINK, respectively.
On January 1-3, LINK will have the special privilege of hosting a Yarchei Kallah with Rabbi Yosef Kushner of Lakewood, NJ on the topic of “Commerce and Shabbos,”a subject on which R’ Kushner recently published a sefer.