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I am living in Beersheva and I will be going to Jerusalem for the first time since arriving in Israel tomorrow. What are the important things I should know about doing Kriah as I enter the city and go to the Kosel?

 

When seeing the cities of Judea one should say, “ערי קדשך היו מדבר” and tear Kriah. It is not clear, however, which cities are located in the same area as the ancient ערי יהודה. But the Rebbe writes that certainly there are many such places on the way between Lud and Yerushalayim.

When seeing the Old City of ירושלים one should say “ציון היתה מדבר שממה” and tear Kriah again. If one ripped on ירושלים first, since that is what they saw first, they need not rip afterwards on ערי יהודה.

Upon seeing the Makom Hamikdosh, one should say: “בית קדשנו ותפארתנו אשר הללוך בו אבותינו היה לשרפת אש וכל מחמדנו היה לחרבה” and tear Kriah again. This applies when seeing either the Dome of the Rock  or the Kosel, whichever one sees first.

All top clothing must be ripped except the Tallis Koton and undershirt. However, the common custom is to rip only one garment.

The Kriah is done on the left side of the garment and must be done by hand, but one may start off the Kriah with a razor or knife, provided he rips a Tefach by hand. The Kriah must be done while standing.

One may do several times Kriah on the sane garment, but should leave a space of three Etzbaos, finger-breadths, between each Kriah.

Kriah is done even on days when Tachanun is not recited, but not on Shabbos or Yom Tov.

 

 Sources:

 שו״ע או״ח תקסא, א ואילך. שו״ת  אג״מ או״ח ד, ע, יא. יו״ד ג, נב, ד. או״ח ה, לז, ב. שו״ת מנחת שלמה א, עג. הליכות שלמה תפלה טז בארחות הלכה 17. אשרי האיש עג. וראה אג״ק טו ע׳ תנב. ושם:  שכמה ברכות נמנו בשו״ע או״ח סימן תקסא – ועתה נוגע עוד יותר – להוציא מדעת האומרים שהחלטת  U.N.  בשנת 1948 ביטלה ברכות אלו. (ובאג״ק כ״ק אדמו״ר מוהריי״צ נ״ע ב, ע׳ רה, שעל ירושלים בימינו שבנו בה את התיאטראות וכדומה מותר לקרוע פעמיים).

 


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