Thursday, December 28, 2006

Daf Yomi - Rosh Hashana 23 - Working on Rosh Chodesh and Chol Hamoed

Abaye, in explaining the Gemora’s reasoning as to why they didn’t institute to light the torches only on the night of the thirty-first is because this would compel the people of Bavel to cease from work for two days in the beginning of Tishrei. Those residing in Bavel would always refrain from work on the thirtieth of Elul since perhaps that day is Rosh Hashanah and if the torches will not be lit until after the thirty-first day, this would force them to abstain from work another day since perhaps Elul had thirty days and the thirty-first day is Rosh Hashanah. This is Rashi’s explanation.

Tosfos disagrees and understands the Gemora to be referring to every Rosh Chodesh where there is also a prohibition against working.

Rashi in Megillah (22b) states that the women abstained from performing work on Rosh Chodesh.

Turei Even writes that in the times that the Beis Hamikdosh was in existence, there was a prohibition of refraining from work which applied to the men as well. This was due to the korban mussaf which was offered for all of Klal Yisroel on that day. A person is forbidden from doing work on a day that he brings a korban. The Yerushalmi states that in truth, there should be a prohibition against working every day because of the korban tammid which is offered twice daily on behalf of the entire Klal Yisroel but since it is impossible to exist if no one is working; the korban tammid was excluded from this halacha. However, a korban offered on Rosh Chodesh or Yom Tov which is not a daily korban would require that a person should abstain from work.

According to this, it would not be necessary to have a new halacha that work is forbidden on Chol Hamoed (Intermediary Days) since there is the korban mussaf offered on that day. The new halacha teaches us that there is a prohibition against working even at night, when there are no korbanos being brought.

Truas Melech (59) applies this principle to answer why a new reason was necessary to forbid women from working on Rosh Chodesh. They are included in the korban just like a man and they should be prohibited from working on account of the korban. He answers that the women accepted Rosh Chodesh like a festival accomplished that they will refrain from working even at night when the korban cannot be offered.

The Biur Halacha (417) cites Rav Yaakov Emden in sefer Mor U’ktziah that there is no prohibition against a woman working during the night of Rosh Chodesh. Biur Halacha writes that he is unsure as to what the practicing custom is.

The Biur Halacha is also unsure if the prohibition against working on Rosh Chodesh is an established custom and the women are obligated not to work on Rosh Chodesh or is it just that a woman who abstains from work is fulfilling a nice custom.


Anonymous said...

Since when do we pasken like the Yerushalmi?