Friday, February 19, 2010

Building the Beis Hamikdash on Shabbos and Yom Tov

The possuk says ve’osu li mishkan ve’shochanti be’sochom – The Rambam explains that this is a mitzva to build the mishkan and also the beis hamikdash.

 
Building the mishkan was not dochech Shabbos –we learn the 39 melachos from the fact that building the mishkan was ossur on Shabbos. The gemara says in Shevuos (15b) that building the beis hamikdash is also not docheh Shabbos and Yom Tov.

 
It is not clear then building the beis hamikdash would always not be docheh Shabbos, however…

 
The mishna in Rosh haShana (30a) says that Rabbon Yochonon ben Zakai instituted that the whole day of the bringing of the omer (the 16th of Missan) chodosh should be ossur.
התקין רבן יוחנן בן זכאי ... ושיהא יום הנף כולו אסור
The gemara explains that although when there is no beis hamikdash chodosh can be eaten from alos on the 16th, however mehera yibaneh beis hamikdash and people will say that last year we ate chodosh on the 16th so this year we can also. They will not realise that because the beis hamikdash has been rebuilt they can only eat chodosh after the korban omer has been brought.

 
The gemara asks – when would the beis hamikdash be built for this to be a problem? If it is built on the 15th - then beis din would bring the omer on the 16th by chatzos, so it would be enough for Rabbon Yochanan ben Zakai to asser chodosh till midday as when the beis hamikdash is rebuilt chodosh will always be mutar by midday. If it is built on the 16th then there is no problem because as soon as the day breaks on the 16th and there is no beis hamikdash – chodosh is mutar.

 
The gemara answers that we are concerned that the beis hamikdash will be rebuilt on the first day of Pesach towards the evening or at night on the 16th so we are concerned that there will be a chiyuv to bring the omer but beis din will not have time to bring it before midday.

 
Tosafos and Rashi ask – how can the gemara say that we are concerned the beis hamikdash will be rebuilt on the first day of Pesach? The gemara says in Shevuos that building the beis hamikdash is not docheh Shabbos or Yom Tov? Rashi and Tosafos answer that this halacha relates to a beis hamikdash that we build, however the bayis shelishi will be built bidei shamayim and therefore this issur does not apply.

 
The Mikdash Dovid (Siman alef) gives an alternative answer:
When erev Pesach falls on Shabbos you are allowed to bring the korban pesach on Shabbos. There is a machlokess in the beginning of the 6th Perek of Pesachim between Rb Akiva and Rb Eliezer if machshirin for the korban pesach that could have been done on the previous day are also docheh Shabbos, Rebbi Akiva says that they are not docheh Shabbos because they could have been done on the previous day, Rebbi Eliezer says that they are dochech Shabbos:

 
כלל אמר רבי עקיבה
--כל מלאכה שאפשר לה ליעשות מערב שבת, אינה דוחה את השבת; שחיטה שאי אפשר לה ליעשות מערב שבת, דוחה את השבת.
“Rebbi Akiva stated a general rule, all melacha that could have been done from Erev Shabbos is not docheh Shabbos – shechitah which can not be done on Erev Shabbos is docheh Shabbos.”

 
The yerushalmi asks – if this is so, then according to Rb Akiva if the corner of the mizbeach corner is damaged on Shabbos so that the mizbeach becomes passul – we should be able to fix the mizbeach on Shabbos?

 
The Yerushalmi answers that if min machshirin – the type of machshir – could have been done on erev shabbos then it is still not docheh shabbos. Although the mizbeach only broke on this occasion on Shabbos, because theoretically it is possible to mend the mizbeach on Friday even when it breaks on Shabbos it cannot be fixed. There is no fixed time in halacha to mend the mizbeach on Shabbos.

 
According to this gemara we can understand that just as it is ossur to fix the mizbeach on Shabbos, so too it would be ossur to build the beis hamikdash on Shabbos because min machshirin could be done from yesterday.

 
The mishna in Eruvin (דף קב, ב), however, says:
קושרין נימא במקדש אבל לא במדינה ואם בתחילה כאן וכאן אסור
:
[If a levi had a harp whose string broke on Shabbos] you can tie the string in the beis hamikdash [so he can play] but not outside the beis hamikdash, however he cannot tie the string on the harp initially on Shabbos [if he left the harp to fix on Shabbos].

 
The gemara and Rashi explain that the tanna of the mishna is of the opinion that machshirei mitzva are mutar on shabbos in a case where it was not possible to do them yesterday.

 
רש״י
: והא רבנן ... דס״ל כר"א בחדא דמכשירי מצוה דוחין את השבת וכגון שאי אפשר לעשות מאתמול כדקתני שנפסקה לו נימא בכינורו ופליגו עליה בשאפשר לעשות מבעוד יום
The chachamim say you can tie it because they hold like Rebbi Eliezer that machshirei mitzvah are docheh Shabbos in a case where it is not possible to do it from yesterday as we see in the mishna that if a levi’s harp string broke then he can fix it, however they argue on Rebbi Eliezer insofar as Rebbi Eliezer holds that even if it broke yesterday he could still fix it on Shabbos but the chachamim hold he can only fix it if it broke on Shabbos.

 
It comes out that we have three opinions:
  • Rebbi Eliezer holds that machshirei mitzva can always be done on Shabbos
  • The mishna in Eiruvin holds that machshirei mitzva are docheh Shabbos if they could not have been done yesterday
  • Rebbi Akiva holds that machshirei mitzva are only docheh Shabbos if the Torah instructs that the mitzva should be done on Shabbos

The Mikdash Dovid says that according to the mishna in Eiruvin, just as the Levi can fix his harp, so too it would be mutar to fix the mizbeach if it was damaged on Shabbos. The mishna does not agree with the sevara of Rebbi Akiva that if min machshirin could be done the previous day then it is ossur.

 
Therefore we can say that the Rebbi Yochanan ben Zakai in Rosh HaShana who says that the beis hamikdash can be built on the first day of Pesach goes according to the mishna in Eiruvin. Just as the mizbeach can be fixed on Shabbos if it is broken, so too if moshiach comes on Yom Tov we can build the beis hamikdash on Yom Tov.

 
It is possible to raise an objection to this comparison as follows:
Maybe the levi can fix his harp because the beis hamikdash is built and the shechina is present in the beis hamikdash. The avodah is docheh Shabbos because the purpose of Shabbos is to show that Hashem created the word. We see this through the Shechina in the beis hamikdash, therefore the avodah overrides Shabbos because it shows the presence of Hashem directly.

 
However before we have a beis hamikdash – during the building – the shechina is not yet present, so it would be chilul shabbos to build the beis hamikdash.

 
We can answer this by saying that Rebbi Yochanan ben Zakkai is of the opinion that kedusha rishona kidsha le’shaatoh ve’kidshah le’asid lavo – the kedusha of the Beis HaMikdash is permanent. Because the shechina is still present on the har habayis, when the beis hamikdash is built we are working before the presence of Hashem just as when we do avodah in the beis hamikdash.

 
How do we know that Rebbi Yochanan ben Zakkai holds that kedusha rishona kidsha le’shaatoh ve’kidshah le’asid lavo? The Mikdash Dovid brings the following rayah:

 
The beraisoh says in אבות דרבי נתן(perek 5) (see the gr”a for correct girsa):
פעם אחת היה רבן יוחנן בן זכאי יוצא מירושלים, והיה רבי יהושע הולך אחריו, וראה בית המקדש חרב. אמר רבי יהושע
: אוי לנו על זה שהוא חרב. מקום שמכפרים בו עונותיהם של ישראל. אמר לו: בני, אל ירע לך. יש לנו כפרה אחת שהיא כמותה, ואיזה? זה גמילות חסדים.... שכן מצינו בדניאל איש חמודות, שהיה מתעסק בעבודה כדכתיב אֱלָהָךְ דִּי אנתה (אַנְתְּ) פָּלַח-לֵהּ בִּתְדִירָא הוּא יְשֵׁיזְבִנָּךְ. ומה הן עבודה שהיה דניאל מתעסק בהם? אם תאמר עולות וזבחים מקריב בבבל, והלא כבר נאמר (דברים יב) "השמר לך פן תעלה עולותיך בכל מקום אשר תראה כי אם במקום אשר יבחר ה' באחד שבטיך שם תעלה עולותיך".

 
אלא ... היה מתקן את הכלה ומשמחה, ומלווה את המת, ונותן פרוטה לעני, ומתפלל שלושה פעמים בכל יום
- ותפלתו מתקבלת ברצון. שנאמר: (דניאל ו) " וְדָנִיֵּאל כְּדִי יְדַע דִּי-רְשִׁים כְּתָבָא, עַל לְבַיְתֵהּ, וְכַוִּין פְּתִיחָן לֵהּ בְּעִלִּיתֵהּ, נֶגֶד יְרוּשְׁלֶם; וְזִמְנִין תְּלָתָה בְיוֹמָא הוּא בָּרֵךְ עַל-בִּרְכוֹהִי, וּמְצַלֵּא וּמוֹדֵא קֳדָם אֱלָהֵהּ, כָּל-קֳבֵל דִּי-הֲוָא עָבֵד, מִן-קַדְמַת דְּנָה".

 
Rebbi Yochanan Ben Zakai was once coming out of Yerusholayim and Rebbi Yehoshua was walking after him, and he saw the beis hamikdash was destroyed. Rebbi Yehoshua said – woe is to us that this is destroyed – the place that the aveiros of klal yisroel are atoned. Rebbi Yochanan ben Zakai said to him – my son – it should not be bad to you – we have another kaparah that is similar to it – gemillus chassadim. As we find with Doniel who did avodah – as it says (Doniel 6) “[Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. The king spoke and said to Daniel:] 'Your God who you serve continually, He will deliver you.'” What was the avoda that Doniel used to do? If you say he brought korbonos in Bavel – the passuk says that you canot bring korbonos outside the beis hamikdash. Rather he would assist the kallah and cause her to rejoice and he would accompany the meis and would give a coin to an oni and he would also daven three times a day and his tefillah would be accepted with favour as it says: “And when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house - his windows were open in his upper chamber towards Yerusholayim - and he kneeled on his knees three times a day, and davened, and gave thanks to Hashem as he had done before.”

 
You see from this beraisoh that Rebbi Yochanan ben Zakkai holds that it was ossur for Doniel to be makriv on a bama. Tosafos says in Chullin that if you hold that lo kidsha leasid lavo then bamos for personal korbonos (not korbonos tzibbur) become mutar after the churban habayis. (Tosafos in Zevachim says that even if you say lo kidsha leasid lavo it is still ossur to bring korbonos on a bama – but they agree that the issur of השמר לך פן תעלה עולותיך does not apply (see Zevachim 107b)).

 
Because Rebbi Yochanan ben Zakkai holds that kedusha rishona kidsha le’shaatoh ve’kidshah le’asid lavo, there is no difference between mending the string on a harp in the beis hamikdash and building the beis hamikdash. According to the tana in Eiruvin both could not be done before Shabbos and both are performed in the presence of the Shechina, so they can be done on Shabbos and Yom Tov. Therefore we can say that Rebbi Yochanan ben Zakkai’s concern about the beis hamikdash being built on Yom Tov refers to the beis hamikdash being constructed by people (not like Rashi and Tosafos).

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