Friday, September 18, 2009

Rosh Hashana 5770

On Rosh Hashana, in addition to the mitzva of blowing the shofar, there is an additional mitzva in the beis hamikdash to blow trumpets. The Gemara learns this from the possuk:
בחצוצרות וקול שופר - הריעו לפני המלך ה'With trumpets and the sound of the shofar – rejoice before the King Hashem.

The Mishna in Rosh Hashana (26b) says:
ושתי חצוצרות מן הצדדין שופר מאריך וחצוצרות מקצרות שמצות היום בשופר
When they used to blow the shofar in the beis hamikdash they would have two trumpets at the side of the person blowing the shofar. The shofar blew a long note and the trumpets blew a short note because the mitzva of the day is with the shofar.

The Gemara (27a) asks that if there is another sound mixed in with the shofar the people listening will not fulfil the mitzva of shofar:
ותרי קלי מי משתמעי? והתניא זכור ושמור בדיבור אחד נאמרו מה שאין הפה יכולה לדבר ואין האוזן יכולה לשמוע
“Is it possible to hear two sounds together? We have learnt that at Har Sinai Hashem said zochor (you should remember Shabbos) and shomor (you should keep Shabbos) together – something which the mouth can’t say and the ear can’t hear.”

The Gemara answers:
אלא תרתי קלי מחד גברא לא משתמעי מתרי גברי משתמעי
You can’t hear two sounds distinctly when they are made by one person, but if they are made by two people you can differentiate between the sounds.
There is a machlokes what the Gemara means:

The Ritva and the Tosafos Rid
The Ritva and the Tosafos Rid explain that there is no mitzva to listen to the trumpets in the beis hamikdash. There is a mitzva to blow trumpets on Rosh Hashana, as the possuk says:
בחצוצרות וקול שופר הריעו לפני המלך ה'
However the possuk only says הריעו, you should blow, it does not say there is a chiyuv to hear. The only sound that you are obligated to hear even in the beis hamikdash is the shofar. If a person listens to only the shofar he will be able to hear it because different people blow the shofar and the trumpets. (The Minchas Chinuch (in מצוה שפ״ד) also brings the Rambam that the mitzva is to blow the trumpets but there is no chiyuv to listen to them.)

According to the Ritva and the Tosafos Rid even if two sounds are made by two people, it is still only possible to concentrate on one of the sounds.

Rashi and the Ran
Rashi (brought in the רש״ש) and the Ran (in מגילה) hold that if two people are making the sounds then it is possible to hear both sounds simultaeneously. Because different people blew the trumpets and the shofar in the beis hamikdash it was possible to hear distinctly both the sound of the shofar and the sound of the trumpets.

The Tal le’Yisroel explains that the machlokes between Rashi and the Ran with the Ritva and the Tosafos Rid relates to what the advantage is of having two people making the sounds:

Rashi and the Ran hold that the difference between one and two people making the sounds relates to the actual sound produced. When one person makes two sounds, the sounds are totally mixed together. That is why it was not possible for the benei yisroel at Har Sinai to hear either zochor or shomor. However if you have two sounds from two people the sounds do not mingle to such an extent and it is possible to differentiate between them and to hear both sounds properly.

The Ritva and the Tosafos Rid however hold that the difference between one and two people making the sounds relates to the way you listen to the sounds. The advantage of two people making the sounds is that because there is a different source for the each sound it is possible to concentrate on one of the sounds. When two people are making the sounds it is possible to concentrate on one of the sounds because there is a single source for that sound. However it is never possible to concentrate on and hear two sounds together. Therefore they hold that the halacha is that even if two people are making the sounds you can only be yotze with one of the sounds.

Kesiva vechasima tovah,

Pinchos :-)

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