Wednesday, September 20, 2006

tekiyos d'meyushav - minhag and bal tosif

The gemara (RH 16) quotes R' Yitzchak: "Why do we blow shofar both standing and while sitting? - In order to confuse the satan." Rashi explains that the satan will be silenced in the face of our show of love for mitzvos. The simple explanation of the gemara is that R' Yitzchak was questioning why we blow two sets of tekiyos - one before musaf, called tekiyos d'meyushav, sitting tekiyos, because they do not accompany tefila b'amidah, and one during tefillah (more on this later, bli neder). If the ideal kiyum of tekiyas shofar is "tekiyos al seder haberachos", blowing in the context of the recitition of malchiyos, zichronos, and shofaros, why should we preface this kiyum with an additional set of tekiyos before musaf? The Rishbon add to the gemara's question and ask why these additional tekiyos do not pose a problem of bal tosif. The simplest answer seems to be that of the Rashba: once the chachamim for whatever reason decide to make a takanah to blow additional tekiyos, by definition a minhag or takanah derabbanan cannot be a violation of bal tosif. The concept of "lo tasur" implicitely allows the chachamim to add practices and safeguards to the Torah, provided that these enhancements are demarcated as dinei derabbanan (see Rambam, Mamrim 2). Yet, Tosfos avoids this answer and writes a chiddush that the performance of a mitzvah twice never constitutes bal tosif, e.g. a kohein saying birchas kohanim 2x, or picking up lulav 2x, or in this case, doing tekiyas shofar 2x. Why didn't Tosfos give the answer of the Rashba which seems far more intuitive? R' Chaim Brisker writes that tekiyos d'meyushav were never established as a full takanah, but the practice began as a minhag. While "lo tasur" clearly gives the chachamim license to enact takanos without fear of bal tosif, the issue before the Rashba and Tosfos is whether the same applies to minhagim as well. The Rambam (Hil Mamrim) consistantly refers to minhagim under the rubric of "lo tasur", but perhaps Tosfos here disagrees and holds that a minhag has its own parameters.

6 comments:

  1. anon12:26 PM

    The pashtus from the sugya in the 4th perek of Sukkah re: the bracha on aravah implies that minhag is not included in lo tasur and hence Rashi explains that there is no bracha on a minhag because we cannot say ve-tzivanu. The Griz goes out of his way to explain the Rambam that despite saying that minhag is within bal tosif, there would be a distinction between minhag and a true derabanan for bracha. But again the simple reading would be (like you are suggesting that Tosfos holds) that minhagim are not included in lo tasur.

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  2. My recollection is that the GRIZ held that the cheftza of minhag is included in lo tasur, but there is no real chovas hagavra (the Rav has a similar chiluk in Shiurim l'Zecher Aba Mari - learning mes. megillah is a kiyum d'oraysa of talmud torah because it is a cheftza shel torah, but the chovas hagavra of megillah is only derabbanan). The machlokes Rambam and Tos is what the mechayeiv of bracha is. I was going to include a reference to this GRIZ because I never understood how it fits R' Chaim's hesber of this Tosfos in RH.

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  3. Is there any possible parallel to the repitition of the Amidah--in essence we say each Amidah twice over, only the second time there are interspersed additional prayers said by the Shliach Tzibbur, most prominent of course being the Kedushah. Logically, there should be only one, without the Sh"tz or with everyone responding to the Sh"tz. But instead we say it twice over, each time as if the other rendition was never uttered. (Which logic a lot of Conservative congregations now follow, by saying the first part congregationally, through the Kedushah, and then leaving the rest to be said individually.)

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  4. R' Soloveitchik understood the 2x as two seperate chiyuvim - one time foe each person individually to daven, one time for tefila as a chovas hatzibur. Whether that applies to tekiyos - stay tuned (assuming I get to it), or have a look at the Chazon Ish siman 137.

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  5. Thanks for the hosafa. Just for my own edification, do you think the Griz meant that everyone holds that a minhag is a cheftza of lo sasur or is that limited to the Rambam? E.g., would Rashi in Sukkah agree to that as well?

    Kesivah vachasimah tovah and thanks again for a great blog. Much continued hatzlacha next year.

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  6. I have to look back - bl"n, maybe for sukkos. L'shana toba tikaseiv.

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