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.