Friday, October 2, 2009

Succot (Simchat Beit Hashoeva) - 5770

Simchas Beis Hashoeva – Succos 5770


The machlokes Rashi and the Rambam
The Mishna at the beginning of the 5th Perek of Succos says:

החליל חמשה וששה: זה חליל של בית השאובה, שאינו דוחה לא את השבת ולא את יום טוב. אמרו, כל מי שלא ראה שמחת בית השאובה, לא ראה שמחה מימיו.

“The flute is played [in the Beis Hamikdash on Succos] for either 5 or 6 days (depending on if Yom Tov falls on Shabbos). This is the flute of the Simchas Beis Hashoeva which does not override Shabbos or Yom Tov. They said: ‘Anyone who did not see the Simchas Beis Hashoeva never saw simcha in his life.’”

There is a machlokes between Rashi and the Rambam concerning what the reason for the Simchas Beis Hashoeva was:

Rashi explains that the reason for the simcha is the ניסוך המים –
כל שמחה זו אינה אלא בשביל ניסוך המים כדמפרש ושאבתם מים בששון
“This simcha is because of the ניסוך המים as [the passuk brought in the] Gemara says - ושאבתם מים בששון”

The Gemara (דף נ׳ עמוד ב׳) says:
איתמר רב יהודה ורב עינא חד תני שואבה וחד תני חשובה אמר מר זוטרא מאן דתני שואבה לא משתבש ומאן דתני חשובה לא משתבש מאן דתני שואבה לא משתבש דכתיב (ישעיהו יב) ושאבתם מים בששון ומאן דתני חשובה לא משתבש דאמר רב נחמן מצוה חשובה היא ובאה מששת ימי בראשית

“There is a machlokes between Rav Yehuda and Rav Eina: One said that the Mishna should say 'בית השואבה' and the other said the Mishna should say בית חשובה. Mar Zutra explained that these are both correct. If the mishna says בית השואבה this is because the passuk says ושאבתם מים בששון. If the mishna says בית חשובה, this is because this is a מצוה חשובה that dates to the ששת ימי בראשית.

The Rambam in הלכות לולב פרק ח׳ הלכה י״ב explains the reason for the Simchas Beis Hashoeava differently, he says:
אף על פי שכל המועדות מצוה לשמוח בהן, בחג הסוכות היתה שם במקדש שמחה יתרה, שנאמר "ושמחתם, לפני ה' אלוקיכם--שבעת ימים" (ויקרא כג,מ).

Even although there is a mitzva to rejoice on all the Moadim, on Succos there was extra simcha in the Beis Hamikdash, as the passuk says ‘And you should rejoice before Hashem for seven days’ (and ‘before Hashem’ means in the Beis Hamikdash).”

The Rambam says that the reason for the Simchas Beis Hashoevah is a passuk, according to this is a chiyuv mideoraysoh – a mitzva from the Torah, and not as Rashi says that this was a takanas chazal to accompany the Nisuch Hamayim.

Questions on the Rambam
The Emek Beracha asks a number of questions on the Rambam:

  • The Rambam is keneged the Gemara. The Gemara says that we have the Simchas Beis Hashoevah because of the passuk ושאבתם מים בששון, how can the Rambam say we make the Simchas Beis Hashoeva because of the passuk ושמחתם, לפני ה' אלוקיכם?

  • The derasha that the Rambam makes is not brought in any Gemara or medrash?

In addition, the Emek Beracha asks another question on the Rambam from a mishna in the 5th perek of Succos that describes the order of תקיעות that accompanied the Nisuch Hamayim:

קרא הגבר, תקעו והריעו ותקעו; הגיעו למעלה עשירית, תקעו והריעו ותקעו; הגיעו לעזרה, תקעו והריעו ותקעו. היו תוקעין והולכין, עד שמגיעין לשער היוצא למזרח.
“[The Simchas Beis Hashoeva would continue for the entire night. In the morning they would go and draw the water for the Nisuch Hamayim. Then when they came back to the Beis Hamikdash] when the cock crowed they sounded a תקיעה, a תרועה and a תקיעה. When they came to the 10th step leading into the Beis Hamikdash again they sounded a תקיעה, a תרועה and a תקיעה. When they came to the עזרה they sounded a תקיעה, a תרועה and a תקיעה. They continued blowing the shofar till they came to the gate that exited to the east.”

The Emek Beracha asks, why does the Rambam not bring down this mishna either in Hilchos Lulav or in Hilchos Temidin Umusophin?

Simchas Beis Hashoeva according to the Rambam
The Emek Beracha answers as follows:
The Rambam says: בחג הסוכות היתה שם במקדש שמחה יתרה
In the Beis Hamikdash there was a day of extra simcha. He does not say חייבים, that there is a חיוב to rejoice in the Beis Hamikdash, just that that’s what they did.

Why is this?

The Emek Beracha explains that outside the Beis Hamikdash there is a mitzva from the Torah to shake the lulav for 1 day. In the Beis Hamikdash, there is a mitzva to take the lulav for seven days. The Sifri learns this from the passuk: ושמחתם, לפני ה' אלוקיכם--שבעת ימים

In other words, the mitzva of taking the lulav for 7 days in the Beis Hamikdash is a mitzva to be someach using the lulav. It is not a mitzva simply to hold and shake the lulav as it is outside the Beis Hamikdash (although this should be done בשמחה). The minimum way of fulfilling the mitzva of extra simcha in the Beis Hamikdash is through taking the lulav for 7 days. However as an extension of the mitzva one should also be שמח בכל מיני שמחה – rejoice with all types of happiness - in the beis hamikdash.

Just as on Pesach there is a minimum chiyuv to talk about sippur yetzias mitzraim but also there is an inyan that כל המרבה לספר ביציאת מצרים הרי זה משובח, so too on Succos in the Beis Hamikdash there is a minimum chiyuv to be someach which is fulfilled by taking the lulav for all 7 days, but there is also an inyan to be marbeh besimcha yeseiroh – to have extra simcha – each person in their own way.

This is why the Rambam says בחג הסוכות היתה שם במקדש שמחה יתרה and not בבית המקדש חייבים לשמוח שמחה יתירה.

The Rambam says in Hilchos Lulav, Perek 8, Halacha 13:
והיאך היתה שמחה זו: החליל מכה, ומנגנין בכינור ובנבלים ובמצלתיים, וכל אחד ואחד, בכלי שיר שהוא יודע לנגן בו; ומי שיודע בפה, בפה. ורוקדין ומספקין ומטפחין ומפזזין ומכרכרין כל אחד ואחד כמו שיודע, ואומרים דברי שיר ותושבחות.

“How was this simcha? The flute would play, they would also play with violins, harps and cymbals and every one with musical instruments that they knew. If someone knew how to sing, they would sing. Everyone would dance and clap and whirl around as they knew and would say words of song and praise.”

The Emek Beracha explains that according to the Rambam that there is no fixed way of being someach during the simchas beis hashoeva, the chiyuv was to be שמח בכל מיני שמחה. Each person has a chiyuv to be someach in their own way, with their own skills. That is why the Rambam does not bring down the mishna of the order of blowing the shofar after the simchas beis hashoeva, because he holds this was not a chiyuv. There was no fixed takonoh that they should blow the shofar in this way, it was simply part of being שמח בכל מיני שמחה of the simchas beis hashoeva.

We have answered where the Rambam gets the derasha from and also why he does not bring down the mishna that descibes the order of the tekios, but why does the gemara quote the passuk of ושאבתם מים בששון , if this has nothing to do with drawing the water for the nisuch hamayim?

The answer is that the simcha is the simcha of Yom Tov, but it culminates in drawing the water for the nisuch hamayim and the nisuch hamayim. According to Rashi the reason for the simcha is the nisuch hamayim, according to the Rambam the reason for the simcha is Yom Tov, however the simcha culminates in the nisuch hamayim, as the possuk says in שיר השירים ב' ז'
אם תעירו ואם תעוררו את האהבה עד שתחפץ

A person should first prepare themselves to do a mitzva and then do the mitzva.

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