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OBSERVING A SECOND DAY OF YOM TOV IN ERETZ YISRAEL


Yom Tov Sheini
(from Shut B'Mareh HaBazak Vol. 4. Also available on our website www.eretzhemdah.org)

Question:
Ten years ago, I left [Eretz Yisrael] for a spiritual mission in the Diaspora. During the first five years, I observed the second day of Yom Tov as a chumrah according to the ruling of Rav Shlomo Goren. I subsequently decided to conduct myself like the Diaspora residents in this case.
My wife and I are planning to come to Israel for a visit this coming Pesach. This will be the first time in the last ten years that we will be coming to Eretz Yisrael for the holiday. Our children permanently reside in Eretz Yisrael. We own an apartment in Israel which we use for vacationing at least once a year.
How should we conduct ourselves regarding the second day of Yom Tov on the upcoming Pesach? Besides the main query, I would appreciate it if you could also respond regarding prayer and putting on Tefillin on Isru Chag [the day after Pesach, which is the eighth day of Pesach for Diaspora Jews] and also regarding eating chometz on Isru Chag.

Answer:
The law of a ben chutz la’aretz [a permanent resident of the Diaspora] is not stated in the Shulchan Aruch.
There are opinions that a Diaspora resident who visits Eretz Yisrael should only keep one day of Yom Tov, just like a resident of Eretz Yisrael, even if it is the visitor’s intention to return to the Diaspora. On the other hand, there are opinions that one should keep all the laws of the second day of Yom Tov since he intends to return to the Diaspora.
It therefore follows that one who wishes to rely on the halachic authorities of the first way and to conduct himself like a resident of Eretz Yisrael has the halachic backing of many important rabbi's.
One who wishes to conduct himself stringently should only do so on matters that have a Torah obligation, such as eating a k’zayit of matzah on the second day of Pesach. However, one should not make the blessing “al achilat matzah,” since there are some who would consider this to be a  prohibition of making a blessing in vain. Similarly, one should not perform melachot that are prohibited by the Torah. Nor should one eat chametz on the eighth day of Pesach. He should pray like residents of Eretz Yisrael since the prayer obligations are rabbinic. On the eighth day of Pesach, he should also put on tefillin.
If you wish, please feel free to contact us for additional sources in Hebrew.

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