THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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1) "SHOFAR" OR "CHATZOTZROS"?
QUESTION: The Beraisa records an argument about what the Mishnah means when
it says we are "Masri'in" on the fast days of the third set of Ta'aniyos. One
opinion says that it means that we blow a Teru'ah with the Shofar, while
another opinion says that it means that we call out and cry in prayer
"Aneinu" in addition to blowing the Shofar. The Beraisa says that a mnemonic
for the fact that we blow the Shofar on seven days during the series of fast
is "Yericho" -- just like the Jewish people blew the Shofar seven days when
waging war with Yericho and Hashem answered them, so, too, we blow the Shofar
when we fast and pray to Hashem in times of distress.
2) HOW MANY "TERU'OS" ARE BLOWN ON A TA'ANIS
The Mishnah in Rosh Hashanah (26b) says that in the Beis ha'Mikdash, on a day
of a Ta'anis they would blow the Shofaros and the Chatzotzeros, with the
Chatzotzeros in the middle (between the Shofaros). They would elongate the
sound of the Chatzotzeros because the Mitzvah of the day was to blow
The Beraisa there (27a) says that this applies only in the Mikdash. Outside
of the Mikdash, Shofaros are not used at all when Chatzotzeros are used (such
as on a day of Ta'anis), and Chatzotzeros are not used at all when Shofaros
It seems clear from the Mishnah and Beraisa there that the Mitzvah on a
Ta'anis is to blow the Chatzotzeros alone, without the Shofar, outside of the
Mikdash. Why, then, does the Gemara say that we blow Shofaros, and bring
support from Yericho where they blew Shofaros? We should blow only
Chatzotzeros on a Ta'anis, and not Shofaros!
(a) The RITVA (12b) cites the BA'ALEI HA'TOSFOS who say that the word
"Shofar" in our Gemara actually refers to Chatzotzeros and not to Shofar. We
find that the Gemara (Shabbos 36a, Sukah 34a) says that the names "Shofar"
and "Chatzotzeros" became switched after the Churban, and they started
referring to the Chatzotzeros as "Shofaros" (see Insights to Shabbos 36a for
the Chasam Sofer's explanation for this switch). That is why our Gemara says
"Shofaros," even though it is actually referring to Chatzotzeros. According
to this explanation, the support from Yericho is simply that some sound is
blown with an instrument, but it is not proving what we blow, since at
Yericho they blew with Shofaros.
HALACHAH: The Poskim rule like the Ramban and Rashba (c, d), since that is
the majority opinion; the Shofar may be blown on a Ta'anis outside of the
Mikdash. Current practice, though, is to blow neither Shofar nor
Chatzotzeros. (For the reasons behind this practice, see what we wrote in
Insights to 15:1.)
The RITVA adds that because of this, the Minhag in France was not to blow
Shofaros at all on a Ta'anis. Since the Mitzvah is to blow with Chatzotzeros
and we do not have Chatzotzeros nowadays (since we do not know exactly how
they were made), they did not have any Teki'os on a Ta'anis.
This also appears to be the opinion of the BA'AL HA'ME'OR (Rosh Hashanah
26b), who says that he cannot understand why the Ge'onim write that one
should blow the Shofar on a Ta'anis, and not the Chatzotzeros. This also
appears to have been the understanding of the RAMBAM (beginning of Hilchos
Ta'aniyos), who says that we blow Chatzotzeros on a Ta'anis.
(b) The RA'AVAD, as quoted by the Rishonim, answers that there are two stages
in the Tefilah on a Ta'anis at which Teki'os are blown. The first Teki'os are
blown during the actual Berachos of Shemoneh Esreh. These Teki'os are the
subject of the Mishnah in Rosh Hashanah, and they are blown with
Chatzotzeros. A second set of Teki'os are blown *after* we finish the
Shemoneh Esreh, when we continue to offer supplications and prayers to
Hashem. At that stage we blow the Shofar and not Chatzotzeros. That second
Teki'ah is what the Gemara here is referring to when it says that we blow the
The Ra'avad proves this from the original assumption of the Gemara. The
Gemara originally thought that the opinion that says "Masri'in" means that we
say the prayer of "Aneinu" holds that we *only* say Aneinu, and we do not
blow the Shofar. How could the Gemara think that there is an opinion that
says we do not blow the Shofar on a Ta'anis? There are many Mishnayos which
say that we blow the Shofar on a Ta'anis during Shemoneh Esreh (Daf 15b,
16b)! It must be that everyone agrees that Chatzotzeros are blown during the
Shemoneh Esreh. The argument of our Gemara involves what is done *after* the
Shemoneh Esreh. One opinion says that Teki'os are blown with a Shofar, and
the other opinion says that only "Aneinu" is recited (according to the
Gemara's original assumption, and according to the conclusion, the Shofar is
blown *and* Aneinu is recited).
(c) The RAMBAN (Milchamos, Rosh Hashanah 26b) says that the Mitzvah to use
Chatzotzeros applies only in the Beis ha'Mikdash. Outside of the Mikdash,
Chatzotzeros are not used at all on a day of distress. He reasons that the
purpose of blowing Chatzotzeros is "l'Kenufya" -- to gather the entire nation
together, which is necessary only in places where a large proportion of the
nation are present. Therefore, we blow with a Shofar on a Ta'anis. When the
Mishnah in Rosh Hashanah says that the Mitzvah of a Ta'anis is to blow with
Chatzotzeros, it is discussing what is done inside the Beis ha'Mikdash.
Outside of the Mikdash, we use a Shofar, similar to what was done in Yericho,
as our Gemara says.
What about the Gemara in Rosh Hashanah (27a) which states that outside of the
Mikdash there are times when only Chatzotzeros are blown and not the Shofar?
The Ramban explains that the Gemara there is not referring to a Ta'anis, but
rather to a time of war when the Chatzotzeros would be used to gather the
nation together for war. For any other time of trouble for a community,
though, the Torah does not specify whether Chatzotzeros must be used or
whether a Shofar may be used. The Minhag, therefore, is to use a Shofar.
(d) The RASHBA in Rosh Hashanah (ibid.) offers a fourth explanation. Like the
Ramban (c), he says that when the Mishnah specifies that the "Mitzvah of the
day is to blow Chatzotzeros" it is referring to the Teki'os and Teru'os of
the Mikdash only. When the Gemara says that outside of the Mikdash, "when
Chatzotzeros are blown the Shofar is not," it does not mean that there is a
time when only the Chatzotzeros may be blown outside of the Beis ha'Mikdash.
Rather, we may always blow either Shofar or Chatzotzeros, outside of the
Mikdash. The choice is ours. However, if we choose to blow Chatzotzeros, we
may not combine them with the sound of a Shofar -- and vice versa, if we blow
the Shofar we may not sound the Chatzotzeros too.
QUESTION: The Mishnah (12b) describes the third and final -- and most severe
-- set of fasts that are observed during a time of distress. The Beraisa here
mentions that these seven Ta'aniyos "each has 18 blowings of the Shofar."
Where does the number 18 come from? RASHI explains that since we add six
Berachos to the Shemoneh Esreh on the Ta'anis, and we blow a set of three
blasts (Teki'ah-Teru'ah-Teki'ah) with the Shofar during each of those
Berachos, as the Beraisa (16b) says, there are a total of 18 Shofar blasts
However, the Mishnah (15a) and Beraisa (16b) say that we add six Berachos
after the Berachah of "Go'el Yisrael," and in the Berachah of "Go'el Yisrael"
itself we add extra verses and prayers. The Mishnah makes it clear that we
blow the Shofar in *all seven* of those Berachos -- including "Go'el
Yisrael!" Consequently, since there are three Teki'os blown during each
Berachah, and there are seven Berachos during which the Shofar is blown, the
Beraisa should say that there are 21 Teki'os, and not just 18! Where does the
Beraisa get the number of 18 Teki'os from?
(a) This question is the reason why the VILNA GA'ON here changes the Girsa to
say "21" instead of "18." However, no record of such a Girsa may be found in
the manuscripts or the Rishonim.
(b) The text of RABEINU CHANANEL, RAMBAN, RITVA and RA'AVAD reads that there
were "*seven* blowings of the Shofar" that were blown in the seven Berachos
of the Ta'anis. They did not blow three blasts (Teki'ah-Teru'ah-Teki'ah) in
each Berachah, but rather they blew a single blast for each Berachah
(alternating between a Teki'ah and a Teru'ah every other Berachah).
How can these Rishonim say that only seven blasts of the Shofar are blown?
The Gemara (16b) quotes a Beraisa that says that they blew a set of Teki'ah-
Teru'ah-Teki'ah! The RITVA (15b) answers that the Beraisa there is expressing
the opinion of Rebbi Yehudah, who says that the three blasts of Teki'ah-
Teru'ah-Teki'ah are considered to be one long sound (and not three sounds),
in Sukah 53b. The Chachamim, who hold that they are considered three distinct
sounds, maintained that only a single Teru'ah or a Teki'ah is blown for each
Berachah, as the Beraisa in the beginning of 16b says. Thus, both the
Chachamim and Rebbi Yehudah agree that only one sound is blown for each
Berachah, for a total of seven sounds.
The RA'AVAD, as quoted by the Ramban, understands the Girsa of "seven
Teru'os" in a slightly different manner. The Ra'avad understands the Beraisa
to be referring to the Teki'os blown *after* the Shemoneh Esreh (see previous
Insight). Only one Teki'ah was blown each day after the Shemoneh Esreh. Thus,
when the Beraisa says that during the seven days of Ta'anis, "seven blowings
of the Shofar" were blown, it means that there was a total of seven Teki'os
during those seven days, and it is referring to the Teki'os that were blown
each day after the Shemoneh Esreh.
(According to the Ra'avad, the allusion from Yericho is for both the seven
days and for the seven Teki'os. When the Jewish people surrounded Yericho,
they circled the city for seven days. Each time they circled the city, they
blew the Shofar.)
(c) RABEINU GERSHOM had yet a different Girsa in the Gemara. According to the
Girsa of Rabeinu Gershom, the Beraisa says that on the seven days of fasting,
"*13* blowings of the Shofar" are done each day. He arrives at that number in
a very interesting fashion.
Rabeinu Gershom explains that the Beraisa later (16b) says that one of the
Tefilos said during each of the seven special Berachos of a Ta'anis is the
Tefilah of "Mi she'Anah." When the Beraisa describes the order of the
Tefilos, it says, during the first of the seven Berachos, "They announced,
*'Tik'u'* ("Let the Kohanim blow a Teki'ah"), then they recited 'Mi
she'Anah,' and then the Kohanim blew *Teki'ah-Teru'ah-Teki'ah*." The second
part of the Beraisa says that "during the second Berachah, they announced,
*'Heri'u'* (and not Tik'u), and then they said 'Mi she'Anah,' and then the
Kohanim blew *Teru'ah-Teki'ah-Teru'ah*."
While most Rishonim understand the Beraisa to be saying that the Kohanim were
called to blow at the beginning of Mi she'Anah but they did not blow the
Shofar until after "Mi she'Anah" was said, Rabeinu Gershom understands the
Beraisa differently. He says that they blew the Shofar first at the time that
the Kohanim were originally told to blow (before Mi she'Anah), and again
after Mi she'Anah was said! In other words, they blew the Shofar at two
different times during each Berachah.
However, the Teki'os that the blew at the time of the announcement to blow
differed from the Teki'os that they blew after "Mi she'Anah." Before "Mi
she'Anah" they blew only *one* blast, alternating the Berachos with Teki'ah
and then with a Teru'ah. After "Mi she'Anah," they blew *three* blasts,
alternating between Teki'ah-Teru'ah-Teki'ah and Teru'ah-Teki'ah-Teru'ah.
That adds up to a total of 28 sounds, though. Where does the number 13 come
Rabeinu Gershom explains that the Gemara is counting only the Teru'os
("Hasra'os," as the Beraisa says). These are the sounds of the Shofar which
arouse the people to do Teshuvah. During the first Berachah, of the four
sounds that were blown only one of them was a Teru'ah. During the second
Berachah, three out of the four sounds were Teru'os. Thus, the first two
Berachos have a total of four Teru'os. Likewise, the next four Berachos have
a total of eight Teru'os, while the last Berachah has only one Teru'ah, which
comes to a total of 13 Teru'os.
(According to Rabeinu Gershom, the allusion of the conduct at Yericho not
only refers to the seven days of blowing the Shofar, but also to the number
of Teru'os as well. In Yericho, the Jewish people circled the city once each
day for the first six days, blowing the Shofar. On the seventh day, they
circled the city seven times blowing the Shofar. Altogether, they circled the
city and blew the Shofar *13* times in *seven* days.)