Monday, January 08, 2007


The Gemora cites two sources demonstrating that a teruah must have a tekiah preceding it and a tekiah should follow the teruah. One source is through a hekesh comparing the sounds that are blown on Yovel to the sounds that should be blown on Rosh Hashanah. The alternative source is derived from a gezeira shavah from the sounds of the trumpets blown in the desert.

Pnei Yehoshua states that there would be a difference in the tekios based on where it is learned out from. Rav Avahu instituted that one should blow a tekiah, three shevarim, teruah and tekiah. This cycle is done three times. The Gemora explains that Rav Avahu was uncertain that perhaps a teruah should be a moaning and a sobbing sound and therefore he blew a teruah and a shevarim together. The Gemora asked that perhaps the teruah should precede the shevarim. The answer given is that normally, when a tragedy occurs and a person is driven to cry, he will first moan and then he will sob.

The Bach asks on Rav Avahu that he is seemingly against the Mishna which explicitly stated that a teruah is either a sob or a moan but not both.

Pnei Yehoshua explains that actually the entire idea of a teruah on Rosh Hashanah referring to a cry needs further explanation. There is no calamity transpiring on Rosh Hashanah for there to be a reason to sob and to moan. This is why the Tannaim did not entertain the possibility that a teruah should be sobbing and moaning together.

Rav Avahu, however, was concerned for the braisa that derived the blowing on Rosh Hashanah from the sounding of the trumpets in the desert. They blew in the desert when a calamity was developing or during a war. This is why Rav Avahu stated that a teruah can be referring to a sob and then a moan.

Rav Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld cites a Chasam Sofer that in actuality, there are two reasons to sound the shofar on Rosh Hashanah. Besides the obligation to blow on account of the mitzva, there is a requirement to blow because the enemy is besieging us. The Evil Inclination that is within us is the greatest adversary one can have. This is why the shofar was blown in the Beis Hamikdosh even on Shabbos. The Sages negated the obligation to blow on Shabbos but that was only the obligation due to the mitzva. It is still compulsory to blow on account of the battle is within us.


Greg said...

Rabbi, one day you tell us we should be confident and secure and the next day you say "blow the trumpets!" the war is here! it's doomsday! which one is it?

Avromi said...

Greg, you are correct, both ideas are true but like we said the other day - every individual must be confident in judgment, that is expected of us however in the general world, there is a din and we know that some will be judged harshly and that is why the tzibbur cannot recite hallel and that is why the tzibbur blows shofar.

Feivel said...

then according to the chasam sofer who said that on shabbos, there's only chiyuv because of tzorah and not because of mitzva, a yachid should not blow because he is confident in din and there's no eis tzora.

Avromi said...

Well Feivel, that's an interesting point but anyway the yochid doesn't blow on Shabbos.

Aaron said...

I think Feivel was referring to the Gemora that said a yachid can blow shofar in the presence of Beis din or isn't there one opinion if Beis din is in session the yachid can blow.