Thursday, May 07, 2009

The day after the Shabbat, pt iv: Rav Shamshon Rephael Hirsch

(See part one, part two, part three.) Next up in this series, I wish to consider the position of Rav Shamshon ben Rephael Hirsch. He works to defend our tradition, and makes some interesting points in the process. He writes:

To reiterate his points in my own words, and perhaps add a bit of my own analysis.
  1. He argues against Tzedukim, rather than Karaites. His first argument is which Saturday. I would note that the Karaites respond via context, that it means the Saturday within the 7 day span of Chag HaMatzos.

  2. In the later pasuk, they would be similarly compelled to interpret Shabbat in mimacharat haShabbat haSheviit as Saturday, rather than weeks. If we start counting from Sunday, then fifty days will be after the eighth Saturday, rather than after the seventh, for one "after the Sabbath" has been consumed. I would note that perhaps they could change and interpret it as week; and anyway, this is the seventh Saturday from the time we start counter. The objection seems fairly weak to me.

  3. He refers to the pesukim in sefer Yehoshua, perek 5:

    י וַיַּחֲנוּ בְנֵי-יִשְׂרָאֵל, בַּגִּלְגָּל; וַיַּעֲשׂוּ אֶת-הַפֶּסַח בְּאַרְבָּעָה עָשָׂר יוֹם לַחֹדֶשׁ, בָּעֶרֶב--בְּעַרְבוֹת יְרִיחוֹ.10 And the children of Israel encamped in Gilgal; and they kept the passover on the fourteenth day of the month at even in the plains of Jericho.
    יא וַיֹּאכְלוּ מֵעֲבוּר הָאָרֶץ, מִמָּחֳרַת הַפֶּסַח--מַצּוֹת וְקָלוּי: בְּעֶצֶם, הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה.11 And they did eat of the produce of the land on the morrow after the passover, unleavened cakes and parched corn, in the selfsame day.
    יב וַיִּשְׁבֹּת הַמָּן מִמָּחֳרָת, בְּאָכְלָם מֵעֲבוּר הָאָרֶץ, וְלֹא-הָיָה עוֹד לִבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, מָן; וַיֹּאכְלוּ, מִתְּבוּאַת אֶרֶץ כְּנַעַן, בַּשָּׁנָה, הַהִיא. {ס}12 And the manna ceased on the morrow, after they had eaten of the produce of the land; neither had the children of Israel manna any more; but they did eat of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year.
    Whoever transcribed this from Rav Hirsch must have mistook his reference to pasuk 11 as the Roman numerals ii, and wrote it as V, 2.

    At any rate, this is echoing Rambam on Hilchot Temidim Umusafim. Again, whoever recorded this confused one of Rav Hirsch's 11s for a Roman numeral ii. And though there is a 9 and 10 here, see the other numberings. Thus:

    י וַהֲרֵי נֶאֱמָר בַּתּוֹרָה "וְלֶחֶם וְקָלִי וְכַרְמֶל לֹא תֹאכְלוּ, עַד-עֶצֶם הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה" (ויקרא כג,יד), וְנֶאֱמָר "וַיֹּאכְלוּ מֵעֲבוּר הָאָרֶץ, מִמָּחֳרַת הַפֶּסַח--מַצּוֹת וְקָלוּי" (יהושוע ה,יא). וְאִם תֹּאמַר שֶׁאוֹתוֹ הַפֶּסַח בַּשַּׁבָּת אֵרַע, כְּמוֹ שֶׁדִּמּוּ הַטִּפְּשִׁים, הֵיאַךְ תָּלָה הַכָּתוּב הֶתֵּר אֲכִילָתָם לֶחָדָשׁ בְּדָבָר שְׁאֵינוּ הָעִיקָר וְלֹא הַסִּבָּה, אֵלָא נִקְרֹא נִקְרָה; אֵלָא מֵאַחַר שֶׁתָּלָה הַדָּבָר בְּמָחֳרָת הַפֶּסַח, הַדָּבָר בָּרוּר שֶׁמָּחֳרָת הַפֶּסַח הִיא הָעִלָּה הַמַּתֶּרֶת אֶת הֶחָדָשׁ, וְאֵין מַשְׁגִּיחִין עַל אֵיזֶה יוֹם הוּא, מִיְּמֵי הַשָּׁבוּעַ.
    Ramban's argument is based on similarity of language and more, including the language of mimacharat. Chadash was forbidden before time X. And in sefer Yehoshua, it they ate kali and bread from the land on the morrow of the Pesach. It is clear that this Pesach is the "Shabbat" upon which we look to the morrow.

    Then, he notes what the tipshim say. This would be a reference to the Karaites -- see what they say in the previous post of this series, though Aharon ben Yosef was much later. It is interesting that the Karaites also argue against those who say that it was just a mikreh; because they feel they can coopt this pasuk in sefer Yehoshua to show that it means specifically after Motza'ei Shabbat, and that the morrow means the very next daybreak, since Pesach refers to sacrifice rather than the day.

    But Rambam's point is that the pasuk in sefer Yehoshua would not fix the time to something which was mere happenstance, that on that day it was after the Pesach, if the very point was that it was after Saturday. Rather, since it is a clear matter that it based it on the morrow of the Pesach {holiday}, this is the cause which permits the chadash, and we pay no heed to which day it was, of the days of the week.

  4. Therefore, the first day of Pesach is called Shabbat because of its restful character, since work is not permitted then.

  5. He is bothered that elsewhere Shabbat (rather than Shabbaton) is not used to refer to Yom Tov; personally, I don't find this troubling at all. Further, if "Shabbat" here means Yom Tov, then is it the first Yom Tov or the last? (This calls to mind the Karaite response to which of the 52 Saturdays.) He cited Naftali Herz Wessely that if the last Yom Tov day of Pesach, it should have said mimacharat hachag, when the entire festival was over. Indeed, I think one can work with this and develop it, especially as the Paschal offering is the first night (and perhaps can be extended to include that first holy day of convocation).

  6. He has one final suggestion, which does not convince me. Shabbat is used in the context of refraining from working the land, as with Shemittah. And one could not cut or use the produce. That is a "shabbat." And the fifteenth (when I would add work was forbidden, but that it not his point), it was still Shabbat. When they brought the omer, it was after the "Shabbat".

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