Sunday, December 15, 2013

How do we know that לולב צריך אגד?

There is a dispute between Rabbi Yehuda and the Chachamim whether לולב צריך אגד, if the lulav bundle needs to be tied. We pasken like the Chachamim that it does not, though in practice on the street, we see people using lulavim to bind their lulav bundles, which is a requirement only according to Rabbi Yehuda.

What is Rabbi Yehuda's source? The (setama de-)gemara discusses it on Succah 33a:
דתניא לולב בין אגוד בין שאינו אגוד כשר ר' יהודה אומר אגוד כשר שאינו אגוד פסול 
מאי טעמא דר' יהודה יליף לקיחה לקיחה מאגודת אזוב כתיב הכא (ויקרא כג, מ) ולקחתם לכם ביום הראשון וכתיב התם (שמות יב, כב) ולקחתם אגודת אזוב מה להלן אגודה אף כאן אגודה ורבנן לית להו לקיחה לקיחה 
מאן תנא להא דת"ר לולב מצוה לאוגדו ואם לא אגדו כשר מגי אי רבי יהודה כי לא אגדו אמאי כשר אי רבנן מאי מצוה קא עביד לעולם רבנן ומצוה משום (שמות טו, ב) זה אלי ואנוהו:
The brayta just gives the dispute, but the setama degemara gives the Scriptural basis. Namely, that Rabbi Yehuda learns a gezeira shava from the parallel use of the word ולקחתם.
it has been taught: A lulab, whether [the other prescribed species were] bound with it or not, is valid. R. Judah says, If it is bound [with the others] it is valid; if it is unbound, it is invalid.35 
What is the reason of R. Judah? — He deduces it from the word ‘take’ [which occurs here and with] the bundle of hyssop. It is written here, And ye shall take on the first day,36 and there it is written And ye shall take a bundle of hyssop.37 Just as there [it must be] a bundle, so here also [it must be] a bundle. And the Rabbis?38 - They make no deduction from the mention of the word ‘take’ in the two passages. 
Who is it that learned that which our Rabbis have taught: It is a pious deed to bind the lulab, but [even] if he did not bind it, it is valid? Now who is it? If R. Judah be suggested, why is it valid if he did not bind it? If the Rabbis are suggested, what pious deed does he perform?39 — It is in fact the Rabbis, and the pious deed spoken of is due to ‘This is my God and I will glorify Him’.40
The relevant pesukim are:
ויקרא 23:40:
וּלְקַחְתֶּם לָכֶם בַּיּוֹם הָרִאשׁוֹן פְּרִי עֵץ הָדָר כַּפֹּת תְּמָרִים וַעֲנַף עֵץ עָבֹת וְעַרְבֵי נָחַל וּשְׂמַחְתֶּם לִפְנֵי ה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם שִׁבְעַת יָמִים.
שמות 12:22:
וּלְקַחְתֶּם אֲגֻדַּת אֵזוֹב וּטְבַלְתֶּם בַּדָּם אֲשֶׁר בַּסַּף וְהִגַּעְתֶּם אֶל הַמַּשְׁקוֹף וְאֶל שְׁתֵּי הַמְּזוּזֹת מִן הַדָּם אֲשֶׁר בַּסָּף וְאַתֶּם לֹא תֵצְאוּ אִישׁ מִפֶּתַח בֵּיתוֹ עַד בֹּקֶר.
שמו 15:2:
עָזִּי וְזִמְרָת יָהּ וַיְהִי לִי לִישׁוּעָה זֶה אֵלִי וְאַנְוֵהוּ אֱלֹהֵי אָבִי וַאֲרֹמְמֶנְהוּ

such that the gezeira shava is between the bundle they use to paint the lintel in Egypt with the blood of the korban pesach.

Here I argue with the setama degemara in order to propose a different source for Rabbi Yehuda's din. Especially since some theorize that gezeira shava is just a mnemonic for an alternative but forgotten derasha, which is why ain adam dan gezeira shava leAtzmo. But even if it were not so, I am convinced it is so. The derasha is only based on this pasuk, in Vayikra 23:40:

מ  וּלְקַחְתֶּם לָכֶם בַּיּוֹם הָרִאשׁוֹן, פְּרִי עֵץ הָדָר כַּפֹּת תְּמָרִים, וַעֲנַף עֵץ-עָבֹת, וְעַרְבֵי-נָחַל; וּשְׂמַחְתֶּם, לִפְנֵי ה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם--שִׁבְעַת יָמִים.40 And ye shall take you on the first day the fruit of goodly trees, branches of palm-trees, and boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook, and ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days.
And more specifically, on the word כַּפֹּת. Immediately above it is translated as "branches".

However, the word also כַּפֹּת means a bundle tied together. Thus, to look in Jastrow for convenience, pg 662-663:

Thus, we have a derasha that the lulav and other species need to be in a bundle. And now we see why the esrog does not need to be in the bundle, וּלְקַחְתֶּם even though the word starts the pasuk:

מ  וּלְקַחְתֶּם לָכֶם בַּיּוֹם הָרִאשׁוֹן, פְּרִי עֵץ הָדָר כַּפֹּת תְּמָרִים, וַעֲנַף עֵץ-עָבֹת, וְעַרְבֵי-נָחַל; וּשְׂמַחְתֶּם, לִפְנֵי ה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם--שִׁבְעַת יָמִים.40 And ye shall take you on the first day the fruit of goodly trees, branches of palm-trees, and boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook, and ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days.

It is because the bundle is only כַּפֹּת תְּמָרִים, וַעֲנַף עֵץ-עָבֹת, וְעַרְבֵי-נָחַל.

What about the Chachamim? We can say that they simply don't make the same derasha on the word kapot.

There is perhaps a further argument between Rabbi Meir and Rabbi Yehuda, in which they agree that the lulav requires an egged but differ in what species may be used. The Mishna on Succah 36b:

מתני' אין אוגדין את הלולב אלא במינו דברי רבי יהודה רבי מאיר אומר אפי' בחוט במשיחה אמר רבי מאיר מעשה באנשי ירושלים שהיו אוגדין את לולביהן בגימוניות של זהב אמרו לו במינו היו אוגדין אותו מלמטה:
Perhaps we can say that Rabbi Meir even agrees to the derasha on כַּפֹּת, but holds that it merely needs to be a כַּפֹּת, a binding, of the species mentioned in the pasuk. Meanwhile, Rabbi Yehuda holds that the כַּפֹּת needs to be a כַּפֹּת תְּמָרִים, that is a binding made out of palm tree.

This is then what Rava says in the gemara:
גמ' אמר רבא אפי' בסיב אפי' בעיקרא דדיקלא
Raba stated, A lulab may be bound even with bast, or even with [strips of] the roots of the date-palm.
Bast is the fibrous substance of the palm tree, used for making ropes. And the strips of the roots of a palm tree are also from the palm tree.

Of course, here we would end up arguing with Rava, and Amora, as to the meaning of this dispute. Because he also says that the dispute between Rabbi Yehuda and Rabbi Meir is the same as the dispute between Rabbi Yehuda and the Chachamim in the brayta, over whether lulav requires an egged.

ואמר רבא מ"ט דרבי יהודה קסבר לולב צריך אגד ואי מייתי מינא אחרינא הוה חמשה מיני 
Raba further stated, What is the reason of R. Judah? He is of the opinion that the lulab22 must be bound so that if one uses another species, the wreath would contain five species.27
I am comfortable arguing with Rava here and saying that this is really a dispute in how to interpret the pasuk.

Would there be halachic implications if both Rabbi Meir and Rabbi Yehuda agree with each other and argue with the Chachamim, and maintain that an egged is required?


Jr said...

Aren't you ignoring the braisa on 32a that Rav Yehuda darshened כפות to mean binding, but understood it differently than you. It's referring to the lulav alone; if the leaves separate he must bind them together. This drasha was also quoted in the jastrow that you posted

joshwaxman said...

good point. not "ignoring" the braysa, but forgot it in my analysis. (while i learned gemara succah a while ago, now I am going through the mishnayos, so did not have this comprehensive picture. but baruch shekivanti regarding the derasha! I think one can indeed also bring in Rabbi Yossi about how esrog need not be in the same hand as the lulav bundle.)

but I don't see the existence of this alternate derasha as a problem.

first, that while it is indeed explaining the statement in the Mishna that רבי יהודה אומר יאגדנו מלמעלה, the braysa attributes this derasha to ר' יהודה אומר משום ר' טרפון. though that is weak.

second, this indeed shows that he was looking to the word כפות as an אגד.

third, it works out so perfectly and neatly according to both Rabbi Yehuda and Rabbi Meir, as an explanation for their positions.

fourth, I forgot to mention that the only examples for Rabbi Yehuda are bindings of date palms. I allege that if one tied the lulav bundle with a hadas or arava, Rabbi Yehuda would not hold that such would be good.

fifth and finally, I don't subscribe to the idea that, for the Tannaim, there is always only one derasha per word and only one word per derasha, such that we are playing musical chairs with words and derashot. this "systematic" idea is most characteristic of the later strata, and more so of the setama degemara. as such, i don't see any problem at all with Rabbi Yehuda making both derashot from the same word.

indeed, even above, i was saying that he was making two simultaneous derashot on the word kapot and how it relates to the other words, first, that the items in the bundle should be a bundle of palm, myrtle, and willow, and second that the item used to bundle it should be made of palm. so what is the problem with an additional derasha?

kol tuv,

Jr said...

Thank you for clarification.

לשיטתך there is nothing wrong with an additional drasha, but at least we could now understand why the gemorrah did not suggest your interpretation. (bc they did have a problem with making two drashas).


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