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A Special Prayer for Ereb Rosh Hodesh Sivan

The fiftieth day of the Omer, which occurs on 6 Sivan, is celebrated as the holiday of Shabuot. When God appeared to Moshe Rabbenu on Mount Sinai before the Exodus, and instructed him to return to Egypt to lead Beneh Yisrael to freedom, He informed Moshe that the nation would come to serve Him on that mountain ("Ta’abdun Et Ha’Elokim Al Ha’har Ha’ze" – Shemot 3:12). The Midrash relates that Moshe then asked God when this would happen, and Hashem answered that it would happen on the fiftieth day after Beneh Yisrael leave Egypt. Thus, at the time of the Exodus, Beneh Yisrael already knew that they would be arriving at Mount Sinai to receive the Torah fifty days later, and they counted the days in eager anticipation of this event. We therefore observe the Misva of Sefirat Ha’omer, counting the days from Pesah to Shabuot, to commemorate Beneh Yisrael enthusiasm and eager anticipation of Matan Torah.

The Shela Ha’kadosh (Rabbi Yeshaya Horowitz, 1565-1630) writes that there is a special prayer that parents should recite on Ereb Rosh Hodesh Sivan (the day before Rosh Hodesh Sivan) on behalf of their children. In general, Ereb Rosh Hodesh is a day of prayer and repentance, and many people have the custom to fast and recite Tehillim on this day. Ereb Rosh Hodesh Sivan, however, is especially designated as a day to pray that one’s children should grow to become righteous Sadikim and Torah scholars. Since Sivan is the month in which we accepted the Torah, the day before the onset of this month is a particularly auspicious time to pray for one’s children’s growth in Torah. Similarly, Rav Haim Palachi (Turkey, 1788-1869) writes that although Bittul Torah (wasting time that could have been used for Torah study) is always deemed a grievous sin, one is held especially accountable for the time wasted during the month of Sivan. As this is the month of Matan Torah, we bear a unique responsibility during this month to use our time for Torah learning.

Although the prayer is often called "the Shela’s prayer," it was actually written by Rav Shabtai Sofer. It is proper for all parents to avail themselves of this opportunity and make a point of reciting this special prayer on Ereb Rosh Hodesh Sivan.

A copy of "the Shela's prayer" is available by clicking (or copying into your web browser) www.dailyhalacha.com/PDF/SivanPrayer.pdf


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