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Rosh Hashanah 33

ROSH HASHANAH 31-35 (Siyum!) - sponsored by a generous grant from an anonymous donor. Kollel Iyun Hadaf is indebted to him for his encouragement and support and prays that Hashem will repay him in kind.


QUESTIONS: The Gemara cites an opinion which states that we do not permit women to blow the Shofar on Shabbos of Rosh Hashanah, even though we do permit children to blow the Shofar. The Gemara says that this is the opinion of Rebbi Yehudah who says in a Beraisa that "Ein Bnos Yisrael Somchos" -- women may not do Semichah on a Korban. RASHI (DH HA Nashim) explains that the reason we do not permit women to blow the Shofar on Shabbos is because it is Bal Tosif, since women are exempt from the Mitzvah of Shofar.

Rashi's explanation is difficult to understand.

(a) First, why is it Bal Tosif if one performs a Mitzvah that he is not required to perform? If women do not have a Mitzvah of Shofar altogether and they blow the Shofar, what sort of Bal Tosif is that? (MAHARSHA)

(b) Second, why does Rashi have to give this reason? If the reason is because of the Isur of Bal Tosif, then it should be prohibited for women to blow the Shofar on Rosh Hashanah even when Rosh Hashanah occurs on a weekday and not on Shabbos. The Gemara, though, is only discussing blowing the Shofar on Rosh Hashanah that occurs on Shabbos. If we prevent women from blowing the Shofar on Shabbos but not on weekdays, then the reason must not be related to Bal Tosif, but rather to the Isur of blowing the Shofar on Shabbos when it is not blown for the Mitzvah of Shofar (see Gemara 29b). Similarly, it is Asur for women to do Semichah on a Korban since if they have no Mitzvah of Semichah, by leaning on the animal they are doing Avodah with Kodshim (deriving personal benefit from a sanctified animal), which is Asur. The reason is not because of Bal Tosif! (TOSFOS, Eruvin 96a; TUREI EVEN)

(a) From Rashi in Eruvin (96a) it is clear that Rashi does not mean literally that a woman who does a Mitzvah from which she is exempt transgresses the Isur of Bal Tosif. Rather, Rashi there says that "it appears like Bal Tosif" -- it is a Gezeirah d'Rabanan that she not do the act, because it *appears* as though she is adding a Mitzvah to the Torah. But certainly one who is exempt from a Mitzvah who performs the act anyway does not transgress Bal Tosif. (See Insights to Eruvin 96a.)

(b) Perhaps Rashi did not say that it is Asur for women to blow the Shofar on Shabbos because of the Isur of blowing a Shofar on Shabbos because the Gemara says in Eruvin that according to the opinion that maintains that women may not blow Shofar and may not do Semichah, women also may not be Oleh l'Regel (go up to Yerushalayim at the time of the festivals). What is wrong with being Oleh l'Regel? TOSFOS in Eruvin discusses this and explains that the Gemara means that a woman may not be Oleh l'Regel *in order to bring a Korban Re'iyah*, because since she is exempt from the Korban, it would be like bringing Chulin (non-sanctified animals) into the Azarah, which is forbidden. Rashi perhaps understood the Gemara there to be saying simply that a woman may not do a Mitzvah which she is not required to do, such as Aliyah l'Regel, because of the decree that the Rabanan made to prohibit doing something that appears to be Bal Tosif.

In addition, when our Gemara says that women may not do Semichah, it does not say that this is only according to the opinion that maintains that Semichah must be done with all of one's strength (b'Kol Kocho). Rashi perhaps understood that even according to the opinion that maintains that Semichah does not require all of one's strength, it is still prohibited for a woman to do Semichah. If that is true, then the reason they are prohibited from doing Semichah cannot be because of Avodah b'Kodshim, since Semichah without all of one's strength is not an actual use of the animal (for one does not really support himself with the animal). It must be that it is Asur because of another reason -- an Isur d'Rabanan of appearing like Bal Tosif (M. Kornfeld -- see also Chagigah 16b).


QUESTION: The Gemara discusses the different opinions concerning what type of sound the Torah means when it tells us to blow a "Teru'ah" on Rosh Hashanah. Some say that it is a series of elongated moaning sounds (what we call "Shevarim"), while other say that it is a series of short, whimpering sounds (see Chart #7, where we discussed this in detail).

If the Teru'ah is a series of longer blasts (Shevarim), then what is the difference between each of those sounds and the Teki'ah? They are both elongated sounds!


(a) TOSFOS explains that the Teki'ah is longer than the Shevarim (which is in turn longer than the Teru'ah). If the Teki'ah is three "Turmitin" long, then the Shevarim is only 2 "Turmitin" long.

(b) The RAMBAN (in Derashos) cites RABEINU CHANANEL who explains that the difference is that the Shevarim has an interruption between each sound, as opposed to the Teki'ah. The Ramban explains that this does not mean that one must pause between each blast of the Shevarim, but rather it means that each sound is a broken sound, changing tone in the middle of the blast (going up and down). The Teki'ah, though, is a straight, solid sound with a single tone. (The difference between the nature of the different blasts alludes to Hashem's attributes. The straight sound of the Teki'ah alludes to the attribute of Rachamim, mercy, while the broken sounds of the Shevarim and Teru'ah allude to the attribute of Din, strict justice.)

(Some understand the Ramban to mean, in addition, that the three Shevarim should *not* be separated from each other, but rather should be one long, connected, rising and falling sound, as is the practice among the German communities. The Teru'ah, according to these authorities, is a series of connected staccato sounds.)

The RITVA, however, argues and says that the sounds of the Shevarim must also be straight, like the Teki'ah, and they cannot have two varying tones in them.

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