Isru Chag Questions

Question

אסרו חג פסח

1. I saw this word on a memorial plaque.
2. How do you pronounce the first word? Please provide transliteration.
3. I looked up the word and it translates to “banned”, which makes no sense to me.
4. I found out that there is such a day after each of the 3 Regalim: Pesach, Shavuot, Sukkot.
5. To what Hebrew date does each correspond? Is it the same Hebrew date in Israel and Diaspora?
6. What is the significance of this day?

4 weeks

Answers

  1. The name Isru Chag derives from the verse “Isru Chag Baavosim Ad Karnei Hamizbeiach”. This means that this day is to be “attached” or “tied” (i.e. “Isru”) to the Yom Tov. If we do that. it is considered in the Eyes of Hashem as if we have built an altar and sacrificed on it an offering. (Isru has the same root as “assur,” which means “banned” or “forbidden” since being something that is forbidden is like being tied up and not free to be done.)

    Isru is pronounced like “Iss-roo,” with the s sound like the letter s and not like the letter z, and the emphasis on the first syllable of the word.

    Isru Chag is always the day after the last day of a Festival. For example, Isru Chag on Pesach is on the 22nd of Nisan in Israel and the next day outside of Israel. And Isru Chag of Sukkot is on the 23rd or 24th of Tishrei.

    Many years ago I heard a lovely idea that explains where the concept of Isru Chag comes from: It is inconceivable that Jews in Israel should have a regular day on the day that Jews outside of Israel are celebrating Yom Tov. Therefore, we commemorate the day by treating it with slightly more reverence than a regular day.

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team

  2. Isru Chag Shavuot is 7th Sivan in Israel and 8th Sivan in Diaspora.  Is that correct?
    Do Jews in Diaspora do anything special on Isru Chag?

  3. No, not really. In theory, no Tachnun would be recited on Isru Chag but there is no Tachnun recited anyway for at least seven days after Pesach, Shavuot and Sukkot.

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team

  4. What day is Isru Chag Shavuot in Israel vs Diaspora?

  5. In Israel there is only one day of Yom Tov and not two as there is in the Diaspora. Isru Chag is always the day after Yom Tov and that means that Isru Chag will be a day earlier in Israel.

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team