What is the difference between Israel and                     the Diaspora regarding the second day of                    Yom Tov?

In Israel, the second day of Pesach and Sukkot is the first day of Hol Hamoed, whereas outside of Israel,  it is observed as another day of Yom Tov, during which melachah(forbidden activity) is prohibited just as on the first day, and the Yom Tov prayers are recited and a special Torah portion is read. Just as on the first day, one must recite kiddushand conduct a festive Yom Tov meal with bread. In Israel, this second day is the same as the rest of Hol Hamoed, when certain activities are permissible, andweekday prayers are recited followed by Halleland Torah reading (on Pesach half Hallel). One does not have to recite kiddushon this day in Israel, just as on the other days of Hol Hamoed.

Shavuot is observed for just one day in Israel, whereas in the Diaspora it is observed for two consecutive days.

2            If a kohenwho is visiting from Israel is
in the synagogue during Musafon the                                                last day Pesach, should he participate
in birkat kohanim?

If there are kohanimpresent who are observing Yom Tov that day (meaning, they are not visiting from Israel), then the visitor should join them and recite birkat kohanim, though without the introductory blessing according to Hacham Ben Sion
(Or Letziyon, 3:23:2). Hacham Ovadia Yosef says one who does make a bracha has what to rely on.  If he is the only kohen present, he should recite birkat kohanimwith the introductory blessing.

3                   Do these laws apply if an Israeli resident
is visiting a town in the Diaspora where
no Jews live?

If there are absolutely no Jews at all in that city or in the neighboring areas who will arrive in that city on Yom Tov Sheni, then the visitor may observe only one day of Yom Tov, and may perform on the second day all activities that are permitted on Hol Hamoed. If it is the second day of Shavuot, then he may go to work like on a regular weekday, put on tefillin and pray a weekday prayer (Or Letziyon, 3:23:3). The same would apply for the eighth day of Pesach and Simchat Torah.


               If someone from Israel is visiting in
America for either Pesach or Sukkot, and                      plans on returning to Israel after the                                          holiday, how should he conduct himself
on Yom Tov Sheni?

The visitor must refrain from all activity prohibited on Yom Tov, even in private, but he prays the weekday Hol Hamoed prayer (including, of course, ya’aleh veyavo, Halleland Musaf). Since he prays a weekday prayer, he does not have to pray with a minyan(which is praying a Yom Tov prayer).  Nevertheless, it would be appropriate for him to go to the synagogue after praying privately to hear kaddishand kedushah, and the reading of Parashat Vezot Haberachah on Simhat Torah (Or Letziyon, Volume 3: Chapter 23: Question 1).

If 10 men from Israel are visiting the same town in America, they should not make a minyanfor the Hol Hamoed prayer on Yom Tov Sheni, as this would be an affront to the Yom Tov being observed by the local community.

Hacham Ben Sion explains that on the second night of Pesach, a visitor from Israel should not participate in the seder, and should instead privately recitehavdalah. However, Hacham Ovadia Yosef ruled that it is proper for the visitor to participate in the sederfor the reading of Maggidand the discussion about the Exodus.  He must ensure not to recite any of the berachotat theseder(such as kiddush, the blessing over Hallel, and the special blessings over the matzahand marror). Instead, he should answer “amen” upon hearing these berachotrecited by Diaspora residents.

After the seventh day of  Pesach, a visitor from Israel should recite havdalah, and the next day he recites the normal weekday prayers with tefillin.


               Does an American visiting Israel for
Sukkot eat in a sukkah onShemini Atzeret,
as is done in the Diaspora?

A person in this situation should eat in the sukkah, regardless of whether he is eating in his own sukkah or if he is being hosted by Israeli residents who eat in the home on Shemini Atzeret. However, if this poses great difficulty for the host or for the guest when eating by others, then the guest may eat in the home. (Or Letziyon3:23:11)


               Must an Israeli observe Yom Tov Sheni if he                   does not know when he will be moving back                                to Israel, such as if he is traveling for                                           business and does not know how long the                    trip will take?

If the visitor did not settle down in America, and he intends to return to Israel, he observes just one day of Yom Tov, as discussed above. However, if he has established himself in America, such as by opening a store or purchasing a house, then he must observe two days, even if he plans on moving back to Israel in the future. It must be noted that as many different factors affect the individual’s status in such a case, a competent halachic scholar should be consulted for guidance. (See Rabbi Yerachmiel Dovid Fried’s Yom Tov Sheni Kehilchaso, chapter 5.)

7            Must an American observe two days of
Yom Tov in Israel if he travels there for                                         Pesach and Sukkot every year?

This issue is subject to a debate among recent poskim.  Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv and Hacham Ben Sion Abba Shaul ruled that if one lives all year round in the Diaspora, then even if he visits Israel for the holidays each year, he nevertheless must observe two days of Yom Tov as is done in the Diaspora (and, if possible, he should pray that daywith a minyanof fellow visitors from abroad).  This applies even if he owns a home in Israel. Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, by contrast, ruled that in such a case one is viewed as a resident of Israel regarding this Halacha and observes just one day (though if he cannot make it to Israel for a holiday, he observes two days).

8            Does one observe Yom Tov Sheni if he lives                      half the year in Israel and half the year
in in America?

If the person owns a home in one location and rents in the other location, thenhis primary residence is determined by the home which he owns. And thus if he owns a home in Israel and rents a property in the U.S., he observes only one day of Yom Tov, whereas if he owns a home in the U.S. and rents a residence in Israel, he observes two days. If he rents or owns in both locations, and he spends an equal amount of time in each, then his status is determined by where he spends Yom Tov – if he spends Yom Tov in Israel, he observes one day, and when he spends Yom Tov in America, he observes two days. If he owns or rents both homes but one is his primary residence, then his status is determined on the basis of that home. (See Or Letziyon, 3:23:10.)


               If an American student spends an entire                                          year in Israel, and is there for Yom Tov,
does he observe Yom Tov Sheni?

If the student is young and not yet of marriageable age, and he intends to return to America, he should observe two days of Yom Tov as he would back home. If he is of marriageable age and of Sephardic origin, and he would consider remaining in Israel if offered a shidduchand financial support, then he observes one day of Yom Tov. This applies even if he would consider remaining in Israel for a short time, ex. only 1-2 years. If, however, he would not even consider the possibility of remaining in Israel, then he observes two days. If he is already engaged, and he plans to live in America, then he observes two days of Yom Tov. (According to most Ashkenazic practice, as long as he plans on returning to America he must observe two days, even if he would consider remaining in Israel for a shidduch.)

If the student returns to America for Yom Tov, he keeps two days of Yom Tov like an American resident.


               May burials be performed on Yom Tov Sheni?

Although Yom Tov Sheni is generally observed as a full-fledged Yom Tov, the Sages enacted that when it comes to the needs of a deceased person, Yom Tov Sheni should be treated like a weekday, and thus burials may be performed (Shulhan Aruch, 526:4). However, Rav Moshe Feinstein (Iggerot Moshe, 3:86) asserts that this provision does not apply nowadays, when bodies can be preserved and protected from decomposing, and allowing burials would likely result in the unnecessary violation of Yom Tov. Therefore, the burial should be performed after Yom Tov.  Hacham Ovadia Yosef (Hazon Ovadia – Hilchot Yom Tov, p. 108), by contrast, rules that unless the local rabbi suspects that the burial will result in the unlawful violation of Yom Tov, it should be performed on YomTov Sheni. In such a case, the procession should be by foot, not by car, and the limited members of the Hevra Kadishashould not drive more than is necessary for the purposes of the burial. If possible, the driving should be done by a non-Jew.  Even in such a case, the sitting of shivahdoes not begin until after the holiday.