THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
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Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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Rosh Hashanah 28
1) BLOWING A SHOFAR FROM A SANCTIFIED ANIMAL
QUESTION: Rav Yehudah says that one does not fulfill the Mitzvah of Shofar
with a horn that came from an animal that was sanctified as a Korban
Shelamim, because by blowing it he transgresses the prohibition of Me'ilah,
using sanctified property for personal benefit. Rava argues and says that
one does fulfill the Mitzvah, because there is no Me'ilah in this case.
Since the only benefit that one receives from the Shofar that is Hekdesh is
the fulfillment of a Mitzvah, it is not considered benefiting from the
Hekdesh, since "Mitzvos Lav l'Hanos Nitnu." Rava, though, agrees in theory
that if blowing the Shofar would have entailed doing an Aveirah, then the
person would not have fulfilled his obligation.
Why exactly would one not fulfill the Mitzvah if there would have been an
(a) The RITVA first answers that one would not fulfill the Mitzvah because
it is a Mitzvah ha'Ba'ah b'Aveirah.
This answer suffices for those Rishonim who maintain that the principle of
"Mitzvah ha'Ba'ah b'Aveirah" is a general principle that applies to all
Mitzvos. However, some Rishonim maintain that the principle of "Mitzvah
ha'Ba'ah b'Aveirah" applies only for a Korban; one may not bring a Korban
that was acquired through an Aveirah, and if one does bring such a Korban,
he has not fulfilled his obligation. The reason why the principle of
"Mitzvah ha'Ba'ah b'Aveirah" is limited to the Mitzvah of bringing a Korban
is because the verse from which this principle is derived is discussing a
Korban, "Sonei Gezel ba'Olah" (Sukah 30a; see RAMBAN Pesachim 35a and
Insights to Sukah 30:1); since the specific purpose of bringing a Korban is
to appease Hashem, Hashem is not appeased when it is done with an Aveirah.
One fulfills any other Mitzvah that is done through an Aveirah, except for
the Mitzvah of Lulav, since Lulav is also for the sake of appeasing Hashem,
like a Korban. According to these Rishonim, the principle of "Mitzvah
ha'Ba'ah b'Aveirah" should not apply to the Mitzvah of blowing the Shofar,
and thus the question remains, why would one not fulfill the Mitzvah if done
with an Aveirah?
The RITVA himself in Sukah suggests an answer to this question. He says that
Shofar, too, is a Mitzvah which is intended to appease Hashem, as the Gemara
earlier in Rosh Hashanah (26a) says, "Since the purpose of the Shofar is to
be a 'Zikaron,' it is as if it is inside the Kodesh Kadoshim."
(b) Other Rishonim maintain that the principle of "Mitzvah ha'Ba'ah
b'Aveirah" applies only when one uses an object that is labeled as Asur due
to an Aveirah, such as an object that was stolen (prior to Yi'ush). In the
case of a Shofar of Hekdesh, then, there should be no problem of "Mitzvah
ha'Ba'ah b'Aveirah," because the object is Hekdesh and is not a stolen or
"sinned-with" object. Even after one uses it and is Mo'el, it is not labeled
as a stolen object but it completely belongs to him.
The RITVA and TUREI EVEN explain that there is another reason why one does
not fulfill the Mitzvah in this case. If, by blowing a Shofar of Hekdesh,
one fulfills the Mitzvah, then he transgressed an Isur of Me'ilah by
benefiting from Hekdesh (Rav Yehudah holds that "Mitzvos l'Hanos Nitnu").
If, on the other hand, one does not fulfill the Mitzvah, then even though he
blew sounds from it, he received absolutely no benefit from the Hekdesh and
thus did not commit Me'ilah. The Torah does not allow a person to fulfill a
Mitzvah when the very fulfillment of the Mitzvah will cause him to be
transgressing an Aveirah. In such a case, the Torah wants to prevent one
from transgressing an Aveirah, and therefore it says that one does not
fulfill the Mitzvah.
2) WHEN DOES ONE TRANSGRESS "BAL TOSIF"
QUESTION: The Gemara concludes that one transgresses the prohibition of Bal
Tosif if he adds to the Mitzvah during the time that he is obligated to do
the Mitzvah (b'Zmano), even if he has no intention to add to the Mitzvah. At
a time when he is not obligated to do the Mitzvah (she'Lo b'Zmano), he
transgresses Bal Tosif only if he has intention to add to the Mitzvah.
Why, then, does the Gemara say earlier (16b) that we blow an extra set of
Teki'os in order to confound the Satan? Blowing the extra Teki'os is done at
the time of the Mitzvah of Shofar, and thus it should be prohibited because
of Bal Tosif, even if one does not have intention to do it for a Mitzvah!
Even if the extra Teki'os are done after one already fulfilled the Mitzvah
of blowing Shofar, it should still be considered "b'Zmano" because one might
be called upon to blow the Shofar for people who have not yet heard it.
Moreover, the Rishonim point out that a person who blows the second set of
Teki'os always has in mind that by doing so he is fulfilling the Mitzvah of
Shofar, and thus even if it is not done at the time of the Mitzvah, he has
intention to do the Mitzvah and should thereby be transgressing Bal Tosif!
The same question applies in a case of a person who eats a second k'Zayis of
Matzah on the first night of Pesach (such as the Afikoman), or a person who
lifts a Lulav a second time in one day (such as to recite Hallel with it).
Even though this person already fulfilled the Mitzvah, when he does the
second act he certainly has in mind to fulfill the Mitzvah, and therefore he
should be transgressing the Isur of Bal Tosif, even if it is "she'Lo
(a) TOSFOS (DH Mena Teimra) answers that doing a Mitzvah two times does not
constitute Bal Tosif. Only if one adds something that is not part of the
Mitzvah is it considered Bal Tosif, such as adding a fifth Min to the
Tosfos asks, however, that according to this answer, if a person places four
Parshios in each of the four sections of the Tefilin Shel Rosh, instead of
one in each section, or if one adds strings to Tzitzis, he should not
transgress Bal Tosif. However, the Gemara (Sanhedrin 88a) implies that one
would transgress Bal Tosif in such cases!
The RITVA (16b) answers that adding another Mitzvah is not a problem as long
as the essential appearance of the original Mitzvah is not altered at all.
By blowing a second set of Teki'os, the appearance of the Mitzvah that was
done is not changed at all. But by adding another string to the Tzitzis, one
changes the appearance of the Mitzvah, and thus there is a problem of Bal
According to the Ritva, if one adds an extra Hadas to his Lulav, there
*will* be a problem of Bal Tosif, because one has changed the Mitzvah
itself, whereas according to Tosfos there is nothing wrong with adding
another Hadas, because one is just repeating the Mitzvah (see Insights to
(b) The RASHBA (16b) says that the extra Teki'os for the sake of confounding
the Satan are a Mitzvah mi'Divrei Sofrim, and whenever one performs such a
Mitzvah d'Rabanan it is not considered Bal Tosif. Since the Rabanan decreed
that we observe this practice, it thereby becomes a Mitzvah from the Torah
for us to do so, as the Torah commands us to listen to what the Rabanan tell
us to do (Devarim 17:11).
(c) The PISKEI HA'RID and the AGUDAH explain that as long as one does not
recite a Berachah on the Mitzvah, one is not considered to have had
intention to add to the Mitzvah. One cannot transgress Bal Tosif when it is
not the time during which the Mitzvah is performed unless he recites a
What about the extra Teki'os? As we explained, it should be considered as
though they are being blown during the time of the Mitzvah since a person
that already blew the Shofar will blow it again if he finds a Tzibur who did
not yet hear the Shofar. If so, he should transgress Bal Tosif even without
intending to be Mosif!
Apparently, the Rid and Agudah are of the opinion that even though he might
blow the Shofar again, it is not considered to be the time for the Mitzvah
of blowing the Shofar. The reason may be that even if one finds people who
have not yet heard the sound of the Shofar, and he blows for them, by doing
so he has not fulfilled a Mitzvah incumbent on *himself*, but rather he has
helped his audience fulfill *their* Mitzvah. (In contrast, a Kohen who finds
another group of people who need to be blessed fulfills a Mitzvah *himself*
by blessing them). (This approach is discussed by the TUREI EVEN)