Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Speaking After The First Round of Tekiot

On the first day of Rosh HaShana, they announced that it is asur to talk until the last shofar blasts at the end of Musaf. The next day, they mitigated the announcement someone -- just that one should not talk until after the last shofar blast at the end of Musaf. Chaim B. at Divrei Chaim has been discussing this, here and then here. There is a chidush in Tosafot that the real tekiot are the standing ones, even though we make the blessing earlier. Therefore there is a real problem with talking in between.

One can either go for Tosafot's chiddush or not. I would like to explore some of the other opinions, according to which talking is still frowned upon, and according to which talking is entirely permitted.

As you know, I am a big Rif fan. Here is an excerpt from my Rif blog, on Rosh haShana. All sources mentioned here -- the Rif, the Ran, and the Shiltei haGiborim, can be seen by clicking on the images to see it larger:

Thus it is now the case that we blow tekiah shevarim teruah tekiah three times, and we blow tekiah shevarim tekiah three times, and we blow tekiah teruah tekiah three times.

And the nation is accustomed to blow them while they are seated and bless upon them the bracha of blowing; and because the congregation are required to hear the tekiot on the order of the blessings {of Malchuyot, Zichronot and Shofarot}, we therefore repeat and blow on the order of the blessings tekiah shevarim teruah tekiah one time, and tekiah shevarim tekiah one time, and tekiah teruah tekiah one time.

And it is logical that they should blow them on the order of the blessings like the order that they blew while seated {that is, tashrat tashat tarat by Malchuyot, tashrat tashat tarat by Zichronot, and tashrat tashat tarat by Shofarot}; however, since the blessings

{Rosh haShana 34a continues}
{of Malchuyot, Zichronot and Shofarot} do not hold back the tekiot {from being fulfilled}, behold they have already fulfilled their obligation with those they blew when they were seated, and it is sufficient to blow tekiah shevarim teruah tekiah, tekiah shevarim tekiah, tekiah teruah tekiah on the order of the blessing one time so as not to burden the congregation. And so is the custom in the entire world and in the two yeshivot.
According to this, the primary obligation is fulfilled with the "sitting" set of tekiot. However, since there is a communal need to hear shofar blasts associated with the blessings of Mussaf, they repeat it, but are not medakdek to do the blasts according to all opinions. Therefore, they do Rabbi Abahu's tekiot for one blessing of Mussaf, Rav Avira's for another blessing, and Ravina's for another blessing of Mussaf. They did not do as we do, a tashrat tarat tashat for each of the three, because of concern of tircha detzibbura. Contrast that with our 100 tekiot, as well as long chazzanut and piyutim!

Still, there is still this extra component of the mitzvah that is to be fufilled. May one speak in between? The Rif continues, citing a question posed to a Gaon:
They asked before the Resh Mesivta: If one blessed on the day of Rosh haShana on the blowing of the Shofar after the sefer Torah {that is, those wihle seated} and he spoke {והשיח -- Bach emends to והסיח ודבר -- and he diverted his mind and he spoke}, does he needs to bless on the tekiot on the order of the blessings {of Malchuyot, Zichronot, Shofarot} or not?
And he responded to them as follows: The Sages see that we rebuke one who speaks before they blew on the order of the blessings; however, to repeat the blessings, he does not repeat. And it is not similar to tefillin which Rav Chisda said one who speaks between tefillah {shel rosh} and tefilla {shel yad} repeats the blessing, for these are two mitzvot, for they learnt {tnan}: The tefillah shel yad is not a prerequisite for the shel rosh and the shel rosh is not a prerequisite for the shel yad.
And not only that, but he does not bless the first blessing {of lehaniach tefillin}, but rather he blesses a different blessing {of al mitzvat tefillin}.
For we ask {there}: This implies that if he did spoke, yes; if he did not speak, no! But Rav Chiyya bar {Rav} Huna sent in the name of Rabbi Yochanan {from Eretz Yisrael to Bavel}: On the tefillah shel yad he says lehaniach tefillin and on the shel rosh he says al mitzvat tefillin.
And we resolve: Abaye and Rava both say that if he did not speak, he blesses one, and if he spoke he blesses two.
And even so, it is difficult {=not good} to speak, for they learnt {in a brayta}: If one spoke between tefillah {shel yad} and tefillah {shel rosh} it is a sin in his hand and he returns because of it from those arrayed in battle. And certainly one who speaks between the tekiot of sitting and the tekiot of standing; however, he does not repeat the blessing, for it is one mitzvah -- Go out and see, for behold, there is the Hallel upon which they bless before its reading, and even so, between one perek and the next perek, he may interrupt and is not required to repeat the blessing.
Thus, he need not repeat the blessing, but still, goarin bo, they yell at him.

It is extremely relevant to note that this question appears to be as regards specifically the baal tokea. That is, the Rosh cites the same source, and then cites another opinion (approvingly) that this should also apply to those who are listening.

But, it is easy to draw a distinction, in that, despite talking in between, the hearers have fulfilled the first component of the mitzvah, and then hear the second component of the mitzvah which is being in shul for shemoneh esrei while the tekiot are blown on the order. And even perhaps bring in Rabbi Yochanan that hefsek is not a problem, since if one hears 9 shofar blasts at 9 hours of the day, he fulfills. And he is hearing it even from someone who made a blessing beforehand and did not interrupt, such that the original blessing was chal. After all, it is the baal tokea who makes the blessing. One can of course argue in the other direction, but it is important to establish the exact limits of the question as posed.

The Ran dismisses the concern here. He argues that not only need he not make a new blessing, he sees no basis for yelling at the guy. He marks a distinction between tefillin on the one hand, which has two separate components, and would then necessitate two blessings in case of interruption, and tekiat shofar on the other hand. By tekiot, since he will not have to be gores another blessing, what sin is there? He writes:
הרי לא שמענו בשום מקום שמי שבירך על המצוה והתחיל, שלא יהי רשאי לדבר עד שיגמור, ואטו מי שיתחיל לבדוק חמצו כלום אסור לו לדבר עד שיגמור ביעורו
Behold, we have never heard in any place that one who blesses on a commandment and begins, that he is not permitted to speakk until he finishes, such as for example one who begins to search for his chametz is certainly not forbidden to speak until he finishes his removal.
Alas, one man's reductio ad absurdum is another man's ein hachi nami. People nowadays are often insistent not to speak until bedikat chametz is complete. (Perhaps one can argue that he meant specifically until after the biur the next day by burning, which certainly no one says, and yet the blessing is supposed to go on that as well. But it should apply for the lengthy bedika as well, since there is no problem of talking once you have started.)

Yet, Ran concludes that despite the fact that it is baseless, since it came out of the mouth of the Resh Mesivta, it is fitting not to talk for no purpose. This would imply that if for a purpose, it would be allowed, and proper. (I would offer an example -- the kids are clamoring for something, and charades would not work very well, you could say something to them.)

Shiltei haGiborim, on the side, notes that there are some who forbid speaking, but כבר ביאר מז"ה that it is permitted to speak between them, for they have already fulfilled their obligation with the sitting tekiot, and the standing tekiot are only to hear them on the order of the blessings only for the chaver ir, as we have explained. (He says this in note bet on 10b, that a yachid has no obligation to hear them al haseder, see there.)

Caveat: Of course, not intended halacha lemaaseh.



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