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Rosh Hashanah 34
ROSH HASHANAH 31-35 (Siyum!) - sponsored by a generous grant from an anonymous donor. Kollel Iyun Hadaf is indebted to him for his encouragement and support and prays that Hashem will repay him in kind.
1) A GEZEIRAH SHAVEH ON TOP OF A HEKESH
QUESTION: The Gemara says that a Hekesh to Yom Kipur is the source for
blowing the sound of the Teru'ah on Rosh Hashanah as well as for blowing a
Teki'ah before and after the Teru'ah. However, the source for blowing three
sets of these blasts is from a Gezeirah Shaveh to Yom Kipur. The Gemara asks
why a Gezeirah Shaveh is necessary to teach the third Halachah if we already
have a Hekesh which should suffice to teach that Halachah. The Gemara
answers that indeed the Hekesh is not necessary, and what we learned from
the Hekesh can all be learned from the Gezeirah Shaveh. When the Hekesh was
first mentioned as the source for these Halachos, it meant that had there
not been a Gezeirah Shaveh, we would have learned them from a Hekesh.
2) BREAKING UP THE SET OF TEKI'OS
If in truth all of these Halachos can be learned from the Hekesh, why did
the Torah tell us the Gezeirah Shaveh at all? We might just as well have
learned the Halachos from the Hekesh (since no tradition is needed in order
to learn a Halachah through a Hekesh), and there would be no need to pass
down through Moshe Rabeinu a specific Gezeirah Shaveh to teach these
(a) The BA'AL HA'ME'OR, TUREI EVEN and others answer that although we could
learn from the Hekesh that we blow a Teru'ah and that we must blow a Teki'ah
before an after the Teru'ah, we would not have been able to learn the third
Halachah -- the number of sets that we must blow -- from the Hekesh alone.
The Hekesh does not compare the *number* of Teru'os blown on Rosh Hashanah
and on Yovel; it compares only the nature of the blast that we are to blow.
As far as the number of blasts is concerned, we would have assumed that we
blow one set on Yovel and two sets on Rosh Hashanah, as the verses imply.
That is why the Hekesh will not suffice and the Gezeirah Shaveh is
necessary. The first two Halachos could be learned without a Gezeirah
Shaveh, but for the third Halachah, the Gezeirah Shaveh is necessary.
(b) RASHI (DH u'l'Sof) argues and says that we can even learn the number of
Teki'os from the Hekesh. If so, why do we need a Gezeirah Shaveh for
something that we already know from a Hekesh (or more accurately, why was
this Gezeirah Shaveh handed down through the Mesorah from Sinai if we
already know the Halachah which it teaches)?
The answer might be as follows. Rashi, explaining the Gemara in Gitin (41b,
DH d'Chuli Alma) which asserts that "a Gezeirah Shavah is stronger than a
Hekesh," explains that a Gezeirah Shaveh is a stronger source since the
Mesorah taught that the word or phrase of the Gezeirah Shavah was written
specifically to teach this Halachah. As such, the Halachah that is learned
from a Gezeirah Shaveh is as if it was written explicitly in the Torah. In
contrast, a Hekesh, like a Kal v'Chomer, is not considered to be written
explicitly in the Torah, and therefore it is a weaker source for a Halachah
(although it is also mid'Oraisa, like a Gezeirah Shaveh). Because of this,
there are several possible practical differences between whether a Halachah
is derived from a Gezeirah Shaveh or through a Hekesh. A Hekesh (like a Kal
v'Chomer) cannot be used to derive a punishment ("Ein Onshin Min ha'Din"),
while a Gezeirah Shaveh can be used to derive a punishment, since it is as
if it is written in the Torah (Rashi ibid.). In our case, there is no
punishment involved since we are dealing with a Mitzvas Aseh. Nevertheless,
something learned from a Gezeirah Shaveh is considered to be a more
stringent prohibition or commandment, since it is "written explicitly in the
Torah," and it was to give it this stringent status that the Mesorah taught
the Gezeirah Shavah. (Perhaps the Rabanan will give more Malkus Mardus -- a
rabbinical punishment for transgression -- to one who transgresses a law
learned from a Gezeirah Shavah than to one who transgresses a law learned
from a Hekesh.)
The Ba'al ha'Me'or rejects such an approach by writing that "it is known
that a Hekesh is *more stringent than* a Gezeirah Shavah." His source for
this statement is apparently the Gemara in Zevachim 48a, which does seem to
reach such a conclusion, in contrast to the Gemara in Gitin cited above.
TOSFOS in Zevachim points out the contradiction between the Gemaras, and
proposes two solutions to resolve the contradiction. His two solutions argue
over which of the two Sugyas is the decisive one. Rashi here and the Ba'al
ha'Me'or appear to be arguing over the which of Tosfos' answers is correct.
QUESTION: Because it was unclear whether the Torah wanted us to blow a
Teru'ah sound or Shevarim sound on Rosh Hashanah, Rebbi Avahu instituted
that we blow a "Shevarim-Teru'ah" sound. This sound is preceded and followed
by a Teki'ah, making the "set" Teki'ah, Shevarim-Teru'ah, Teki'ah. The
Gemara questions what benefit there is in blowing such the Shevarim-Teru'ah
sound. If the Shevarim is the real sound we must make on Rosh Hashanah, then
one is *interrupting* the Shofar blasts by blowing a Teru'ah between the
Shevarim and the Teki'ah!
3) EVOLUTION OF THE TEKI'OS: 9 TO 99
What is the Gemara's question? Rebbi Yochanan (34b) says that one fulfills
his obligation of blowing the Shofar even if he hears nine blasts of the
Shofar spread out over an entire day. An interruption in the blowing of the
Shofar does not invalidate the Mitzvah. Why, then, is the Gemara bothered by
Rebbi Avahu's enactment to blow a Teru'ah between the Shevarim and Teki'ah?
An interruption does not invalidate the Mitzvah!
(a) TOSFOS (33b, DH Shi'ur), in the name of RABEINU TAM, seems to learn that
Rebbi Yochanan means that one fulfills the Mitzvah * b'Di'eved* if there was
an interruption. The Gemara was asking how Rebbi Avahu could make an
enactment to blow the Shofar l'Chatchilah with an interruption in middle of
the set of Shofar blasts.
(b) The BA'AL HA'ME'OR answers that there is another opinion which argues on
that of Rebbi Yochanan. In Sukah (53b), Rebbi Yehudah says that one should
not interrupt *at all* between the sounds of the Shofar. Rebbi Yochanan,
then, is arguing with that opinion. The Gemara here is asking why Rebbi
Avahu made an enactment to blow the Shofar with a possible interruption. He
should have taken into consideration the opinion that says that one may not
blow with an interruption.
(c) The TALMIDEI RIVA, cited by the RAMBAN (in Derashos), say that talking
or doing other actions between the Shofar blasts is not considered an
interruption in the Teki'os. Blowing a *Shofar sound* that does not belong,
though, *is* considered an interruption. That is what the Gemara is asking
on Rebbi Avahu.
Even so, the Talmidei Riv assert that if one blows an extra sound that does
belong in the set (such as extra Shevarim during the Teki'ah, Shevarim,
Teki'ah set), it does not constitute an interruption because it is Min
(d) The RAMBAN himself (in Derashos) says, like the Talmidei Riva, that only
unnecessary Shofar blasts are considered an interruption, but not talking
etc.. He adds, though, that even an extra sound that *does* belong in the
set (such as extra Shevarim during the Teki'ah, Shevarim, Teki'ah set), is
considered an interruption, if the person blowing pauses and takes a breath
before blowing it (an act which indicates that what is blown afterwards is a
not a continuation of the original Shevarim but rather a second one). It is
not a full set if there are any extra sounds added to the set. It is only
permitted to add extra Shevarim when one does not take a breath between the
blasts, because then it is all considered as one long Shevarim.
Throughout the lengthy description of how the Shofar is blown, the Gemara
never mentions our practice of blowing one hundred blasts on Rosh Hashanah.
Where does our practice come from? Let us trace the development of our
current custom back to its sources.
(a) 9 - As the Gemara says, the number of Teki'os which the Torah requires
us to blow is only 9 -- three "Teru'os," each with a Teki'ah before and
after it, for a total of nine sounds.
(b) 27 - Rebbi Avahu enacted, because of the doubt concerning what a
"Teru'ah" of the Torah is, to repeat the three biblical Teki'ah-Teru'ah-
Teki'ah sets three times, each with a different type of Teru'ah (what we
call "Teru'ah," what we call "Shevarim, and what we call "Shevarim-
Teru'ah"). This triples the total number of sounds, bringing us to a total
of 27 sounds.
(c) 30 - However, since this number includes three "Shevarim-Teru'ah," a
double sound, most Poskim count these as a total of 30 sounds, and not 27.
The ROSH mentions that whether they are counted as 27 or 30 sounds depends
upon whether or not one is supposed to take a breath between the Shevarim
and Teru'ah of the Shevarim-Teru'ah (see Chart #7 footnote #8).
(d) 40 - The Gemara (16b) says that besides the Teki'os that we blow
"Meyushav" before the Shemoneh Esreh of Musaf, we also blow Teki'os
"Me'umad" during the Shemoneh Esreh (i.e. during the Chazarah of the
Sheli'ach Tzibur). The RIF in our Sugya explains that this means that aside
from the full set of 30 sounds that we blow before Shemoneh Esreh, we blow
another *ten* sounds during the Chazan's repetition (Teki'ah-Teru'ah-
Teki'ah, Teki'ah-Shevarim-Teki'ah and Teki'ah-Shevarim-Teru'ah-Teki'ah).
This brings the total to 40 sounds. This is indeed the way the She'iltos
describes the Teki'os, and the Rishonim mention that this was the commonly
accepted practice in most places in their time; 40 sounds altogether. The
RA'AVAN suggests allegorically that these 40 blasts correspond to the 40
days during which the Torah was given, throughout which the blast of the
Shofar could be constantly heard.
TOSFOS asks on this practice that the main Teki'os are those blown during
the Berachos of the Shemoneh Esreh of Musaf (16b, 34b). If so, how could we
blow only one a set with Shevarim-Teru'ah for Malchiyos, a set with Shevarim
for Zichronos and a set with Teru'ah for Shofros? By doing so, we have not
removed ourselves from Rebbi Avahu's doubt and we will not have blown a
valid Shofar blast for all three Berachos -- only one of the three Berachos
will have been accompanied by a correctly blown Shofar blast! We should be
required to blow a full set of *30 Teki'os each* for Malchiyos, Zichronos,
and Shofros! Various answers to this question are given by the Rishonim.
1. TOSFOS says that perhaps we rule that mid'Oraisa, it is only necessary to
blow the Shofar for *one* of the three Berachos of Musaf, and not for all
three. Consequently, the Rabanan did not bother us to blow a full set for
each of the Berachos, since no matter what we will still fulfill the
d'Oraisa obligation and blow a proper Teru'ah for at least one of the three
(e) 42 - Nevertheless, RABEINU TAM, cited by Tosfos ibid., was not at rest
with any of the above answers. Instead, he recommended to slightly alter the
common practice, and to blow a single Teki'ah, *Shevarim-Teru'ah*, Teki'ah
for *each* of the three Berachos, rather than three different types of
Teru'os for the three Berachos. Even if Shevarim-Teru'ah is not the
"Teru'ah" of the Torah, but rather Shevarim or Teru'ah alone is the correct
way to blow, nevertheless one has fulfilled the Mitzvah b'Di'eved, albeit
with a "Hefsek" in middle of the set, by blowing in this manner (since
Shevarim-Teru'ah includes both Shevarim and Teru'ah -- see above 2:a). The
extra two blasts added by Rabeinu Tam bring our total to 42 sounds. This is
the practice endorsed by the REMA in OC 590
2. The BA'AL HA'ME'OR, citing a Teshuvah of RAV HAI GA'ON (see also RABEINU
CHANANEL ad loc.), answers that there really is no argument over what is
considered a Teru'ah. All three sounds are acceptable as a Teru'ah
mid'Oraisa, which is why different communities blew different Teru'os until
Rebbi Avahu's Takanah was instituted.. Rebbi Avahu did not make his
enactment to resolve a doubt, but rather he enacted that we blow all three
types of Teru'ah so that it would not *look like* different segments of
Jewry were in disagreement. Therefore, each set is a perfectly valid
3. The RIF answers that mid'Oraisa, we do not have to blow the Shofar during
the Shemoneh Esreh at all. Since we already blew the Shofar and now we are
only blowing extra sounds in order to confound the Satan, the Rabanan did
not trouble us to blow a full set for each Berachah of Musaf.
(f) 60 - The ARUCH (in Erech Arav), cited by Tosfos (33b), writes that for
*each* of the three Berachos of Malchiyos, Zichronos, and Shofros, we should
really blow a full set of ten Teki'os (so that the proper Teru'ah sound will
have certainly been blown), so that in the Shemoneh Esreh of the Shali'ach
Tzibur there should be a total of 30 blasts (besides the first thirty that
were blown before the Shemoneh Esreh). The practice of blowing 60 sounds was
adopted by the RITZBA (cited in SEMAK #91) and the SHELAH (Maseches Rosh
Hashnah, Amud ha'Din) supports this opinion well, as the MISHNAH BERURAH
mentions (OC 592:4). According to their opinion, one should blow a full
"T,ST,T; T,T,T; T,S,T" set for each of the Berachos (as most Ashkenazi
Jews do today). This brings the total number of blasts to 60.
(The SHULCHAN ARUCH in OC 590 also mentions blowing 30 Teki'os during the
Musaf prayer, but he counts them differently. He suggests that we should
blow three T,ST,T for Malchiyos, three T,S,T for Zichronos, and three T,T,T
for Shofros. This is a unique opinion, and it is not clear what his source
is. What is the point of blowing these extra sounds, if this manner of
blowing will not resolve the question of the Rishonim that we mentioned
above, in (d)? It seems that his source if of Kabalistic nature, based on
the writings of the PRI ETZ CHAIM in his section on Musaf of Rosh Hashanah.)
(g) 61 - The BA'AL HA'ME'OR gives a completely different explanation for
when the Teki'os are blown, and how the extra Teki'os confound the Satan. He
writes that we do not blow the Shofar at all before the Shemoneh Esreh of
Musaf. Rather, when the Gemara says that we blow the first set of Teki'os
"Meyushav," it means that we blow them during the Chazan's repetition of the
Shemoneh Esreh, when the people are sitting down. When it says that we blow
the second set of Teki'os "Me'umad," standing, it means that we blow extra
Teki'os when we stand up *to leave* the synagogue (after Musaf is over).
That is the point, he asserts, at which every individual used to blow the
Shofar in Yavneh (Rosh Hashanah 30a -- there is support for this in the
words of the Aruch as well). The Chazan would blow a long Teru'ah at that
point, called a "Teru'ah Gedolah," to confound the Satan, reminding him of
the great Teki'ah of Techiyas ha'Mesim (see Tosfos 16b DH Kedei). If we
count this extra Teki'ah at the end of Davening, it brings the total to 61.
(h) 100 - The ARUCH himself does not count just 60 Teki'os. He mentions that
the custom is to blow 100 Teki'os altogether, corresponding to the 100 wails
that Sisera's mother wailed for him when he did not return from the war with
the Jews. (He apparently had a Midrashic source for these 100 wails.) It is
from the Yevava (cry) of the mother of Sisera that we learn what a Teru'ah
is (33b). The extra 40 sounds were blown as follows: 30 during the silent
Shemoneh Esreh, and another 10 at the end of the Tefilah, before leaving the
The MESHECH CHOCHMAH (Parshas Tazria) cites another allegorical source for
blowing one hundred blasts. The Midrash (Vayikra Raba 27:7) says that when a
woman gives birth, she wails and cries out one hundred times. 99 of those
cries are out of the conviction that she is going to die, and the final,
100'th cry is out of the realization that she is going to live after all.
Similarly, we blow one hundred Teki'os on Rosh Hashanah. 99 are blown out of
our fear of the judgment of the day, but with the one- hundredth we
demonstrate our confidence that we will emerge from our judgment blessed
It is worth noting that the TUR (OC 590) records a beautiful allusion for
the blowing of the Shofar "to confuse the Satan" so that he cannot prosecute
us (above, (d)), from a verse in Melachim. The verse states, "Ein *S*atan
*v*'Ein *P*ega *R*a" (Melachim I 5:8). The first letters of consecutive
words in this verse spell the word "Shofar," and thus the verse, which is
saying that "there is no Satan to cause injury" is alludes that it is the
power of blowing the Shofar which confounds the Satan! (This is the only
verse in all of Tanach in which the word "Shofar" appears as either Roshei
Teivos or Sofei Teivos.)