Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Daf Yomi - Rosh Hashana 29 - Highlights


Rava maintains that mitzvos do not require intent. Abaye questions that according to Rava, one who sleeps in a sukkah on the eighth day of Sukkos should receive thirty-nine lashes for doing a mitzva for an extra day. (If one would disagree with Rava, this would not be a question since we would say that intent is needed in order to transgress the prohibition of “do not add.” Rava answers that the prohibition of adding on to a mitzva only applies during the designated time of the mitzva but not afterwards. Rav Shemen bar Abba asked from a braisa which rules that a kohen who adds a blessing to the Priestly Blessings is transgressing the prohibition of adding on to a mitzva even though the mitzva was completed already. The Gemora answers that it is still considered the designated time of the mitzva since the kohanim would bless Klal Yisroel again if there were people that weren’t blessed yet. The Gemora concludes that Rava holds one can fulfill his obligation without intent; however in regards to the prohibition of adding to a mitzva it would depend. If it is during the mitzva’s designated time, he will be subject to the prohibition of “do not add” even without intent; however after the designated time, one can only transgress the prohibition of adding to a mitzva if he has intent to fulfill the mitzva. (28b)


Reb Zeira maintains that the person blowing the shofar must have intent to cause the listener to fulfill his obligation. The Gemora asks on this from the Mishna which states that a person who happens to be walking in back of a shul and he hears the sound of the shofar, he has fulfilled his obligation. In this case, the blower is not having in mind to blow for the listener behind the shul. The Gemora answers that we are referring to one who is blowing for the entire community. He has in mind for anyone that may be listening. The Gemora concludes that it is actually a dispute amongst the Tannaim if the blower needs to have intent to cause the listener to fulfill his obligation. (28b – 29a)


 The Mishna states that whenever Moshe held up his hand, Israel prevailed against Amalek. The Mishna asks, do Moshe's hands make or break the battle? Rather, this teaches you that so long as Israel were looking upwards and subjugating their hearts to their Father in Heaven, they were victorious; if not, they would fall. Similarly, we find, 'Make a seraph figure and mount it on a standard; anyone who is bitten should look at it and shall recover'. Does the brass snake kill or cure? Rather, when Israel looked upwards and subjugated their hearts to their Father in Heaven, they were cured. If not, they would wither. (Courtesy of The Mishna concludes that a deaf person, one who is senseless or a minor cannot blow shofar for anyone else. The Mishna states a rule that one who is obligated in the mitzva can cause someone else to fulfill his mitzva. (29a)


 The Gemora cites a braisa which discusses the types of people that are obligated in the mitzva of shofar. Included in this listing are kohanim. The Gemora discusses the novelty of this ruling and explains that since the blowing on Rosh Hashanah is compared to the blowing on Yovel and kohanim are not included in all the halachos of Yovel, perhaps they are not obligated in the mitzva of shofar on Rosh Hashanah as well. (29a)


 The Gemora cites a ruling from the braisa regarding one who is a half-slave and half-freeman. The braisa rules that he cannot blow shofar for anyone. Rav Huna infers from the braisa that he can blow for himself and he will fulfill his obligation. Rav Nachman disagrees and maintains that he cannot blow for himself. The reasoning for this is because his enslaved part cannot come and cause his free part to fulfill the mitzva. A braisa is cited which corroborates Rav Nachman’s viewpoint. (29a)


 Ahava the son of Reb Zeira teaches that one can make a blessing for another even if he already fulfilled his obligation for that particular blessing. This is due to the principle that all Jews are responsible for each other and it is considered as if the one reciting the blessing is still obligated in the blessing. This rule does not apply to blessings on enjoyment. One who already recited such a blessing cannot cause someone else to fulfill his obligation by reciting the blessing for him. The Gemora states regarding kiddush on Shabbos or Yom Tov that one can recite kiddush for someone else even though he previously recited Kiddush himself. (29a – 29b)


 The first Mishna of the fourth perek discusses the halachos of blowing shofar when Rosh Hashanah falls out on Shabbos. The Mishna states that they would blow in the Beis Hamikdosh but not in the surrounding cities. Once the Beis Hamikdosh was destroyed, Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai instituted that they should blow any place that there was a Beis Din. Rabbi Elozar said that this practice was only done by the Beis Din of Yavneh. The Mishna states further that any place which could see Yerushalayim, could hear, was near and could come to Yerushalayim was also able to blow on Shabbos. Regarding Yavneh, they were only able to blow in Yavneh and nowhere else.

The Gemora initially cites Scriptural verses proving that the shofar is not blown on Shabbos except in the Beis Hamikdosh. The Gemora successfully challenges that and presents a different reason. Rava states that it is Biblically permitted to sound the shofar on Shabbos but the Rabbis were concerned that not everyone knew how to blow the shofar. They might take it to an expert to learn how to blow it and in the process carry it four amos in a public domain. (29b)