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THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
Ask A Question about the Daf
1) THE MINIMUM SIZE OF A SHOFAR
QUESTION: The Gemara rules that a Shofar has to be a Tefach in size. Rabban
Shimon Ben Gamliel explains that it has to be large enough that it can be
held by four fingers and still be visible at both ends. Why does the Gemara
find it necessary to mention two ways of determining the size of the Shofar
(Tefach, visible at both ends)?
(a) The ROSH (Rosh ha'Shanah 28b) explains that the Chachamim decided that
a Shofar must be a Tefach *in order* that it may be held in four fingers
and remain visible on both ends. There are two approaches to understanding
the words of the Rosh: (1)The LEVUSH (Orach Chayim 586) understood the Rosh
to mean that the entire Shiur of a Shofar is mid'Rabbanan. (2) There are
cases in which the Torah left it up to the Chachamim to determine the final
parameters of the Halachah. For example, in Chagigah 18a we find that the
prohibition to perform Melachah on Chol ha'Moed is mid'Oraisa, but
nevertheless the Torah left it up to the Chachamim to assess which Melachos
are included in this prohibition. Similarly, perhaps the Torah left it up
to the Chachamim to determine what the size of a Shofar should be
mid'Oraisa. The Chachamim decided that it should be a Tefach in order that
it could be held in four fingers and still be visible.
(b) The RITVA explains that actually two different Shiurim were given for a
Shofar: (1) For a midget and for normal people, a Shofar must be at least a
Tefach. (2) For exceptionally large people a Tefach is not large enough.
The Shofar must be large enough so that it can be held in four fingers and
still remain visible at both sides.
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