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Browse Zemanim: Pesah: Laws of Yom Tob and Hol Hamoed
Candle Lighting
1. Our custom is to make the blessing before lighting the candles. This applies to Shabbat candles also.

2.There are some women who have been accustomed to saying the blessing Shehehiyanou. at the time they light Yom Tob candles. However, it is better not to say Shehehiyanou at the time of candle lighting because that blessing is going to be said during qidoush at night for everyone.

3. Yom Tob candles can be lit even after sundown (when it is not Shabbat), as long as the flame is taken from an existing fire and not from striking a match or lighter. However, it is preferable to light before sundown if possible.

Qidoush
1. The first two nights of Pesah we say Shehehiyanou during the Qidoush, while one the last two nights of Pesah, we do not say Shehehiyanou during the Qidoush. The reason why we do not recite this blessing is that the seond part of the holiday is not considered a new holiday.

2. In the Qidoush of the morning only one blessing of Boreh Peri Hagefen is said. Shehehiyanou or Asher Bahar Banou is never said in the Qidoush of the morning.

3. The Yom Tob meals are special festive meals that should be eaten with bread which signifies their importance.As the Rabbis have said, "You should rejoice in the festival and be especially happy.” That refers to drinking wine and eating meat which generally makes men happy. But, the sages ask, how do women celebrate the festival? They celebrate by purchasing and wearing new clothing for the festival.

Cooking
On Yom Tob we are commanded not to do any work except what we need to sustain ourselves through cooking.

Our sages have explained one of the reasons for Yom Tob is to remember the miracles that God performed for our forefathers, and pass them down to later generations. Had it been permissible to work on Yom Tob, everyone would be involved in their own affairs, causing the festivals and their teachings to be lost. Therefore, we were commanded not to work, freeing our time to hear the Torah and listen to the expounding of the Torah in classes, thereby remembering and experiencing the miracles of the hag.

Cooking and baking food that is to be eaten on that day are permitted on Yom Tob. However, preparing from the one day to the next is forbidden. On the afternoon of the first day of Yom Tob a person should not cook or bake for the needs of the night, because since there are no more meals of the day, it is obvious the cooking or baking is for the next day. [Only on Firday afternoon with an Erub Tavshilin is it permitted to cook for Shabbat.]

However, in the morning of the first day of Yom Tob before the meal of the day is eaten, it is permissible to cook and bake even though some of that food will be kept for the evening.

Not only is it permissible to cook on Yom Tob, but one can also heat up water to wash oneself, as washing is defined as a bodily need. Therefore, smoking is permissible since it is considered to be a need to many people. [Please Note: all present day poskim agree that since smoking has been medically proven to be a danger to one's health and the health of those around him, a person should not even smoke during the weekday.]

Hol Hamoed
The days between the first and last days of Yom Tob are special holy days that have sanctity. Consequentially, one should dress and eat well during these days in recognition of their special status. In addition, work, which can be delayed until after the hag without monetary loss, should be pushed off until after the festival.
Back to Pesah
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