Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Daf Yomi - Rosh Hashana 28 - Highlights


The Mishna discusses the halacha of a shofar that that was punctured and then closed up. The braisa states that whether it was sealed with material of a shofar or other material, it is still unfit for use. Rabbi Nosson maintains that if he sealed it with material from a shofar, the shofar is fit for use. Rabbi Yochanan qualified Rabbi Nosson’s ruling and states that the shofar will be valid when it was sealed with material from a shofar only in a case that a majority of the shofar remained intact. (27b)

The braisa rules that if a shofar is cracked along its width, it will be valid providing that there is still enough of the shofar remaining that the blower can hold the shofar in his hand and portions of the shofar will be visible on either side of his hands. (27b)


 One who blows into a pit and hears the sound of the shofar’s echo does not fulfill the mitzva. Rav Huna explains the ruling of the Mishna to be referring to the people who are standing outside the pit; however those that are inside the pit have fulfilled their obligation since they do not hear the sound of the echo. The Gemora cites contradictory braisos regarding blowing into a pit and reconciles them through Rav Huna’s distinction. (27b)


 Rabbah rules that if one blows inside a pit and comes up from the pit while he was blowing; he has discharged his obligation. We are not concerned that he will lift his head out of the pit while the shofar is still inside the pit and therefore he will be hearing the echo of the shofar. If one heard a portion of the sound of the shofar before dawn and the remainder afterwards: he does not fulfill his obligation since one must hear the shofar when it is daytime. (27b – 28a)


 Rav Yehuda rules that one should not blow with a shofar from a korban olah but if he did, he fulfills his obligation. If one blew with a shofar from a korban shelamim, he does not fulfill his obligation. This distinction is based on the halachos of me’ilah. A korban olah is subject to the laws of me’ilah and therefore once the korban is used for his own purposes, he has committed me’ilah and the shofar loses its sanctity and he has fulfilled his mitzva. A shelamim is not subject to the laws of me’ilah and therefore retains its sanctity and that is why he does not fulfill his mitzva with it. Rava disagrees and maintains that he does not fulfill his obligation with a korban olah either. This is because the me’ilah does not take effect until after he used the shofar. Rava retracts from his rulings and rules that he fulfills the mitzva by an olah and a shelamim. The reason given is because mitzvos were not given for the sake of deriving benefit; rather they were given as a yoke upon a person. (28a)


 If one makes a vow not to derive benefit from his friend, it is permitted for his friend to blow shofar for him. This is because of Rava’s statement in the Gemora that the mitzvos were not given for the sake of deriving benefit; rather they were given as a yoke upon one’s neck.

Rava states further that if one makes a vow not to derive benefit from a spring, he may immerse himself in a spring during the winter season but not during the summer. This is because there is a physical pleasure derived from the spring during the summer. (28a)


 They sent to the father of Shmuel a halacha that if the Persians forced someone to eat matzah on Pesach night, he has fulfilled his obligation. Rava states that this would indicate that one who blows a shofar on Rosh Hashanah for the purpose of playing a song (or to chase away evil spirits) and not for the sake of the mitzva has fulfilled his obligation. The Gemora states that there is a distinction between the two cases. Perhaps one needs proper intent in order to fulfill the mitzva and he will not have discharged his obligation by shofar but by matzah, he has. The reason offered in the Gemora is that by matzah, even though he was coerced, he nonetheless ate the matzah and derived pleasure from it. The fact that he derived benefit from the matzah attributes the eating to him even though he did not have proper intention for the mitzva. The Gemora states that it appears from here that Rava would maintain that mitzvos do not require intent in order to fulfill the mitzvah. The Gemora qualifies this ruling that even if one can fulfill the mitzva without intending to, he must know that a shofar is being blown and it was not merely the braying of a donkey. (28a – 28b)