Monday, July 16, 2007

simcha on rosh chodesh

The gemara (Brachos 49a) writes that if a person forgot to recite ya’aleh v’yavo in bentching on Yom Tov but did not yet start the bracha of hatov v’hameitiv, he/she inserts the bracha “Baruch shanasan Yamim Tovim l’amo Yisrael l’simcha ul’zikaron…”. If the same mistake is made on Rosh Chodesh, a similar bracha is recited, “Baruch shanasan Roshei Chodashim l’amo Yisrael l’zikaron…”, but here the gemara quotes R’ Zeira as being in doubt whether the text includes the word “simcha” or not.

Food for thought: what is the gemara’s safeik? Was the gemara entertaining the possibility that there is a din of simcha on Rosh Chodesh like on Y”T (if so, why is there no chiyuv seudah?), or is the gemara’s safeik simply whether the lower level simcha of Rosh Chodesh warrants mention in the bracha?

It is a bit ironic to post this on Rosh Chodesh Av, as mshe’nichnas Av m’ma’atim b’simcha, but as seforim explain, the greatest ohr comes from the removal of hester panim; with the geula shleima which we will hopefully soon see these weeks of bein hametzarim will be the “chol hamoed” between the great yamim tovim of 17 Tamuz and 9 Av.


  1. Interestingly the passuq in B'haalotecha says, "On the days of your joy, on your holidays and on your Rashei Hodashim", implying that the element of festivity does apply to Rosh Hodesh to some extent.

  2. Anonymous1:56 PM


    Why does the pasuk imply there is simcha on RC? All it does is identify 3 times where there is a chiyuv chatzotztros -- on yom simchaschem, moadeichem and RC. The chiyuv simcha for those other days are from other sources (vesamachta bechagecha). There is no other source for simcha on RC.

    Re: simcha on RC, I always understood (and believe I heard this from others much more leanred than I) that the simcha on RC only stemmed from the korban musaf in the mikdash. Hence in the mikdash there was a concept of simcha but not outside (and if it extended outside of the mikdash, the source of the simcha was the additional avodah in the mikdash). Perhaps the safeik is whether the simcha aspect which is related to the avodas ha-mikdash manifests itself outside of the mikdash.

    IIRC, I remember hearing a similar hesber in the name of the Rav about yismechu on shabbos. THe sifrei identifies yom simchashchem in the pasuk in Behaaloscha as shabbos (cant be Yom tov or RC because those are taken care of already in the pasuk). The Rav explained that the "machlokes" between nusach sefard and ashkenaz whether we say Yismechu be-malchuscha only in Mussaf on shabbos or also in Shacharis is tied to whether the din of simcha on shabbos is tied to the korban musaf, like RC or if it is inherent in the day.

  3. I believe this hesber is written up by R' Genack in his sefer (though IIRC it is b'shem R' Moshe Soloveitchik ).

  4. Anonymous3:05 PM


    I think you're right -- I remember the shabbos piece but I don't remember whether he tied RC in as well.

  5. The fact that the passuq links these three things - simhatchem, rashei hodsheichem and moadechem - implies that there is a common denominator among them.

  6. Anonymous5:13 PM

    RJM --

    sure, the common denominator is that these are all of the days that you bring korbanos tzibur that kavua zemanan. That doesn't tell you whether there is an independent chiyuv of simcha (in fact the achronim debate whether such a chiyuv exists on RH, which is clearly included in moadeichem, and very clearly there is no such chiyuv on YK, also included as a moed).

  7. Anonymous5:15 PM

    Just to clarify my last comment -- hence the end of the pasuk usekaatem ba-chatzotzros al oloseichem ve-al zivchei shalmeichem. Clearly just listing the days that have a chiyuv korban in connection with which the chatzotzros are blown.

  8. Just to add, the Sefer haChinuch holds that the chatzotzros were sounded every day, so blowing chatzotzros is itself not indicative of simcha.