Tuesday, September 19, 2006

the issur of blowing shofar on shabbos

Much is written in sifrei machshava regarding the suspension of the mitzvah of tekiyas shofar on Shabbos – when one weighs the potential gain of the tremendous zechus of shofar against the remote possibility that someone might violate an issur of ma’avir in reshus harabim, especially b’zman hazeh when no true reshus harabim exists, it seems that somehow more is lost in the equation than is gained. The Meshech Chochma writes that this indeed is the point - what greater parallel to the zechus of akeidas Yitzchak can there be than our own willingness to sacrifice our tekiyas shofar to enhance the geder of shmiras Shabbos. The gemara (RH 16) tells us any year that does not have tekiyos in its beginning will have wailing in its end, but Tosfos immediately adds except when RH falls on Shabbos. The Minchas Eluzar (Sha’arei Yisaschar, Moznayim laMishpat #59) offers a hesber based on an issue we discussed earlier in the year here and here. The gemara (Shabbos 4) discusses whether one who placed bread in the oven at the onset of Shabbos is permitted to violate the issur derabbanan of rediyas hapas, scraping bread from the oven, to avoid the issur d’oraysa of baking that is going to occur. Tosfos (d”h kodem, which we did not discuss previously) asks what the gemara’s hava amina is – the chotei will not listen to us if we prohibit his removal of the bread because why should be be oiver an issur chamur of chilul Shabbos for the sake of keeping a din derabbanan?! Tosfos answers that if we prohibit removing the bread from the oven, then the person is absolved of any culpability for chilul Shabbos – it is not his fault or action which causes the baking to take place, because he is just listening to Chazal. The Minchas Eluzar writes the same is true of tekiyas shofar. Just as Chazal absolve one who obeys the issur of rediyas hapas from the d'oraysa of chilul Shabbos, Chazal can also insure that we suffer no loss for obeying their words and not blowing shofar on Shabbos - aderaba, Chazal guarantee that we receive the same bracha of slicha and kaparah that we would have received had we had the zechus of shofar.

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