Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Daf Yomi - Sukkah 38 - Chol Hamoed

The Mishna ruled that if someone came home from the road and did not fulfill the mitzvah of lulav yet, he has the entire day left to fulfill the mitzvah. The Mishna continues that if he started eating without fulfilling the mitzvah, he should interrupt his meal and perform the mitzvah. The Gemora explains that this is referring to an instance where there is no more time in the day and that is why he should interrupt his meal to perform the mitzvah.

The Gemora speculates that there might be a distinction between a Biblical mitzvah and one that is only Rabbinic. One would be obligated to interrupt his meal to perform a Biblical mitzvah, such as lulav; however a rabbinical mitzvah, like Tefillah, he would not be obligated to interrupt. The Gemora concludes that one interrupts his meal only if there is no time left to perform the mitzvah, however if there is time, he can continue eating even by a Biblical mitzvah.

Our Mishna can be referring to the Rabbinic mitzvah of lulav on the intermediary days of Sukkos. Proof for this is cited by the fact that the Mishna states that he was coming from the road and that is obviously not referring to Yom Tov Rishon, rather the second days of Yom Tov.

The Ritva states that from here is a proof that Chol Hamoed is referred to as Yom Tov since it is forbidden to do work. He cites other examples to this as well. The reason we do not say in Shemoneh Esrei “Es Yom Tov mikro kodesh hazeh,” is because some work is permitted and it would be degrading to a regular Yom Tov.

There is a debate amongst the poskim (see Magen Avrohom 490:1 and Kaf Hachaim 490:14) if the harachaman in Bircas Hamazon which is reserved for Yom Tov is recited on Chol Hamoed.

Sheorim Mitzuyanim B’halacha states that through this, it can help explain the opinion which maintains that one should not wear tefillin on Chol Hamoed. The Gemora Eruvin 96a rules that we do not don tefillin on Shabbos and Yom Tov since they are referred to as a ‘sign’ and tefillin is a ‘sign.’ Chol Hamoed is also a Yom Tov and therefore tefillin are not worn.