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QUESTION

If one holds like the poskim that one can be mekabel Yom Tov Sheini early for needs of the family, etc., would it be okay to accept the second day of Pesach after doing Ma’ariv after Plag HaMinchah and then do the seder prep for the second seder, but wait to do Kiddush until nightfall to be mekayeim doing the mitzvot of the seder during nighttime?

ANSWER

There is definitely reason to say that one cannot. See Levush (OC 488:3) and Mishnah Berurah (299:40),

לבוש אורח חיים סימן תפח סע’ ג

ושוהין בין מנחה למעריב עד הלילה כדי שלא יעשו מלאכה מיום טוב זה ליו”ט זה מבעוד יום לצורך הלילה, דשמא שני חול הוא, ואסור להכין מיו”ט לחול, ואפילו להביא יין וכה”ג אסורים עד הלילה עד שיאמר ברכו

משנה ברורה על שולחן ערוך אורח חיים הלכות שבת סימן רצט סעיף י ס”ק מ

ולהביא יין ביום טוב שני אחר שחשכה אף שלא התפלל עדיין וגם לא קידש אפ”ה שרי דהא אין בזה משום מלאכה רק משום הכנה מיו”ט לחבירו וכיון שנתקדש היום שרי.

However, Eliyah Rabah (299:22) seems to allow after Barekhu, even before dark, but the context is not totally clear, it might be after it is already Tzeit,

ולהביא יין מיו”ט לחבירו כיון שאמרו הקהל ברכו מתיר, פיסקי תוס’, כיון שאין אסור אלא משום הכנה ואף שלא התפלל וגם אז וודאי לא אמר ברוך אתה ה’ המבדיל.

Significantly, Teshuvot veHanhagot (3:150) reads all the discussions in the first sources to cases when it is not yet Tzeit, and argues that even before TzeitBarekhu works to allow hakhanah when it is not melakhah,

האמת יורה דרכו, שהמ”ב מיירי בזמן שחשכה אבל עדיין אינו צאת הכוכבים, ובזה כיון שאסור להכין לי”ט שני אם לא שיתפללו קודם, שבזה מקילין הפוסקים להכין ליומו [אך לא למלאכה גמורה דאסור מן התורה להכין מי”ט ראשון לשני, שזה אסור עד צאת הכוכבים], ולכן נהגו להתפלל מעריב לפני שחשכה, ומעת שהתחילו להתפלל מעריב עוד לפני התפילה או קידוש כבר הכינו ליומו, ובזה הא”ר ומ”ב מסכימים דהכנה קיל ומותר אף שאינו צאת הכוכבים, ואפילו עדיין יום טוב ראשון כיון שקיבלו יום טוב שני מותר.

I would agree with that ruling miSevarah: as he writes, once you have davened Ma’ariv you have declared it Yom Tov Sheini, and even though min haTorah it is still Yom Tov Rishon, that designation should be enough to say that what you are doing now is considered being meikhin for the day itself, not for tomorrow.

However, even if you did not bring in Yom Tove Sheini early, there is room to be lenient to perform hakhanot that are not melakhah after Shekiah.

1. The Halakha is that once it is Bein HaShemashot, a person can do an issur derabanan for the sake of a mitzvah (Shulchan Arukh OC 342). Magen Avraham there limits this to Friday Bein HaShemashot, arguing that Saturday Bein HaShemashot is more strict because it is already Shabbat. However, Mishnah Berurah 342:2 comes down on the side of the Achronim who treat the two as the same – even Saturday night after Shekiah on can do issurei derabanan for the sake of a mitzvah, although he does raise doubts as to whether we can consider sunset the definite beginning of Bein HaShemashot. It would seem that given that we are talking about issurei derabanan, and the Shulchan Arukh and the Rambam (Hilchot Shabbat 24:10) don’t distinguish between Friday and Saturday  Bein HaShemashot, we can assume like we always do that Bein HaShemashot starts at sunset. According to this, it means that the prohibitions of hakhanah would not apply Saturday night starting at sunset when it is for the sake of a mitzvah. An important principle to know for many cases!

2. Regarding hilkhot Yom Tov, Shulchan Arukh OC 503 writes that one cannot prepare from Yom Tov Rishon to Yom Tov Sheini. Pri Megadim on Orach ChayimMishbetzot Zahav (503:1) – makes the following comment,

ואפילו. עיין ט”ז. עמ”א ב’ ואי”ה שם יבואר לענין דיעבד, וכל האיסור מדרבנן, דמהתורה הואיל כו’. ובין השמשות של יום ראשון יש לומר דאסור ולא אמרינן ספק דרבנן לקולא לכתחלה. ועוד דאיקבע איסורא, עיין סימן שמ”ב, וסימן תקס”ב במגן אברהם.

That is, there is possible reason to permit hakhanah – even when talking about a melakhah de’orayta – during Bein HaShemashot, since the issur hakhanah itself is a derabanan, based on the principle of הואיל. Thus, we should permit this derabanan during Bein HaShemashot, based on the principle of ספק דרבנן לקולא. He rejects this for two reasons: (1) we don’t allow ספק דרבנן when it is a לכתחילה case, that is to say, when it can be avoided and, (2) we are already starting with the issur of hakhanah, so Bein HaShemashot/safeik isn’t strong enough to change that status. To bolster this last point, he directs us to Shulchan Arukh OC 342 and Magen Avraham 562.

Now, we remember that Magen Avraham there made this distinction – whether the issur had started already – and thus only permitted Bein HaShemashot of Friday to allow issurei derabanan for the sake of a mitzvah, and not Bein HaShemashot on Saturday night. But, the Mishnah Berurah ruled against this distinction, and permitted Saturday night even though the issur had already started.

So – what we have is the following:

a. Issurei derabanan including hakhanah, are permitted after Shekiah on Shabbat or Yom Tov for the sake of a mitzvah (Shulchan Arukh OC 342 and Mishnah Berurah 342:2).

b. The ruling of Shulchan Arukh OC 503:1 that one cannot prepare from Yom Tov Rishon to Yom Tov Sheni logically should not apply once it is Bein HaShemashot, even when talking about an issur de’orayta, since based on הואיל, even an  de’orayta would be a derabanan (Pri Megadim).

b1Pri Megadim in the end rejects this, primarily because of Magen Avraham’s distinction in 342 about whether the issur had begun already.

b2. But Mishnah Berurah ruled that we reject Magen Avraham, and apply the heteirim of Bein HaShemashot even at the end of Shabbat and Yom Tov. Based on this, it would be permitted to prepare from Yom Tov Rishon to Yom Tov Sheni after Shekiah.

c. Thus, on motza’ei Shabbat or motza’ei Yom Tov, it is totally permitted to do hakhanah when not dealing with issurei de’orayta based on (a). Shulchan Arukh OC 503 does not address Bein HaShemashot, and Pri Megadim who does, is forbidding it only because he follows Magen Avraham, whom we reject. (Also, the case he is talking about starts with a de’orayta which becomes a derabanan through הואיל. If one starts with a straight derabanan, there is even more basis to be lenient). The other reason that Pri Megadim forbids is because we don’t do ספק דרבנן לקולא when there are alternatives, but this allowance is not based on ספק דרבנן but rather on the rule that issurei derabanan were not forbidden לצורך מצוה during Bein HaShemashot.

In short – one can do hakhana (and, technically speaking, other issurei derabanan) from Shabbat to Yom Tov Rishon and from Yom Tov Rishon to Yom Tov Sheni once it is after Shekiah.