Question:

My wife goes to a French language class on Tuesday evenings. The class is for her pleasure. Although she travels to France somewhat frequently, taking the class is not required for her employment. It is to improve her language skills. The class begins at 7 pm and the second day of Rosh haShanah ends at 7:26 (3 stars). We live outside erez yisrael. Is it permissible to walk to the class building, enter and sit in the classroom, not doing any melacha, in the last half hour before the yom tov ends? Why or why not?

Answer:

Although according to the strict letter of the law it might be permitted for her to attend never the less I still would be hesitant about going. The prevalent custom on Rosh Hashanah is to do things for a good omen and successful year i.e. apple in honey for a sweet year, throwing our sins into the lake, some don’t sleep on Rosh Hashanah so that their “luck” doesn’t sleep etc, there-fore I would be dubious about attending. Perhaps someone can record the class for her or she can come late.

Sources:

O:CH 583 & ibid Mishnah Berurah 9.

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