1

Everyone is obligated to hear the sounding of the shofar: priests, levites, Israelites, converts, and freed slaves. However, women, slaves, and minors are free of the obligation.

A person who is half slave and half free, a tumtum, and an androgynous are obligated [to hear shofar].

א

הכל חייבין לשמוע קול שופר כהנים לויים וישראלים וגרים ועבדים משוחררים. אבל נשים ועבדים וקטנים פטורין. מי שחציו עבד וחציו בן חורין וטומטום ואנדרוגינוס חייבין:

Everyone is obligated to hear - Though the Rambam's statements are based on Rosh Hashanah 29a, he makes a slight emendation, adding the expression "to hear," in order to emphasize that the mitzvah is hearing, not blowing, the shofar.

the sounding of the shofar: priests, levites, Israelites, converts - Hilchot Issurei Bi'ah 12:17 states:

All the gentiles - when they convert and accept all the mitzvot of the Torah - ...are considered as Jews in every regard.

and freed slaves. - Hilchot Issurei Bi'ah 14:19 states: "Freed slaves are the same as converts."

However, women, - Women are freed from the obligation to perform mitzvot that are linked to a specific time. Nevertheless, based on Rosh Hashanah 33a, the Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 589:6 states that we are allowed to blow the shofar for them.

The Shulchan Aruch continues that the women should not recite a blessing before hearing the shofar. Those statements are based on the Rambam, Hilchot Tzitzit 3:9 and Chapter 6, Halachah 13 below. The rationale is that the blessing recited before a commandment praises God "for commanding us to..." There is no commandment, either from the Torah or the Sages, requiring women to hear the blowing of the shofar. Hence, they should not recite this blessing.

The Ashkenazic concept differs. The Ramah (based on Tosafot, Rosh Hashanah, ibid.) maintains that women may recite a blessing. Since our Sages explained that the women are granted reward for fulfilling these mitzvot, it is obvious that the commandment is relevant to them and they may say "who commanded us."

slaves - i.e., gentile slaves (עבדים כנעניים), who are required to fulfill only the mitzvot for which women are obligated. (See Hilchot Issurei Bi'ah 12:11, 14:9.) A Jew sold as a slave (עבד עברי) is required to fulfill all the mitzvot.

and minors are free of obligation - Until a person reaches majority, he is not obligated to perform any of the mitzvot. Nevertheless, when a child reaches an age when he can appreciate the mitzvah, his father is obligated to train him to hear shofar as part of his education. (See Hilchot Nachalot 11:9.)

A person who is half slave and half free - In Hilchot Avadim 7:4, the Rambam explains that a slave can reach this status in one of three ways:

a) his owner took money with the intent of freeing half of the slave;

b) his master freed half the slave and sold or gave the other half to a colleague;

c) a slave belonged to two masters; one freed him and one did not.

Such a slave is considered as having two different natures included in the same person. Thus, the aspect of him which is a free man is obligated to hear the shofar, and the aspect which is a slave is not. See also Halachah 3.

a tumtum - an expression meaning "closed one" in Hebrew. It refers to a person whose genitalia are covered by a layer of skin. Hence, this person's gender cannot be determined without this skin's removal. Thus, there is a doubt whether this person is male or female. However, should this layer of skin be removed and the person's gender be discovered, there is no difference between him and an ordinary person of the same gender. (See Hilchot Ishut 2:25.)

and an androgynous - a term borrowed from the Greek, in which andro means "man," and gynous "woman." It refers to person who has both male and female sexual organs. The Sages were unsure whether to consider such a person a male or a female. (See Hilchot Ishut 2:24 and also the commentary on the following halachah.)

are obligated [to hear shofar] - In the latter two cases, the obligation results from the doubt which exists whether these individuals are male (and hence obligated to hear shofar) or not.

2

Whoever is not [himself] obligated regarding this matter cannot facilitate the performance of the mitzvah for one who is obligated. Thus, if a woman or a minor blows the shofar, one who hears does not fulfill his obligation.

An androgynous can facilitate the performance of the mitzvah for one of his kind, but not for one who is not of his kind. A tumtum cannot facilitate the performance of the mitzvah [for anyone], whether of his kind or not of his kind, for if [the layer of skin covering] the tumtum's [genitalia] is cut open, it is possible that it will be discovered that the tumtum is a male, but it is possible that it will be discovered that the tumtum is a female.

ב

כל מי שאינו חייב בדבר אינו מוציא את החייב ידי חובתו. לפיכך אשה או קטן שתקעו בשופר השומע מהן לא יצא. אנדרוגינוס מוציא את מינו ואינו מוציא את שאינו מינו. טומטום אינו מוציא לא את מינו ולא שאינו מינו. שהטומטום שנקרע אפשר שימצא זכר ואפשר שימצא נקבה:

Whoever is not [himself] obligated regarding this matter - i.e., those mentioned in the previous halachah, a שוטה (a mentally unstable individual) and a חרש (a deaf person). In contrast, a blind person is obligated to hear the shofar.

cannot facilitate the performance of the mitzvah - by blowing the shofar

for one who is obligated. - However, a male who has already fulfilled his obligation to hear the shofar can blow the shofar for a colleague (Rabbenu Manoach).

Thus, if a woman or a minor blows the shofar, one who hears does not fulfill his obligation - Nevertheless, they are allowed to blow the shofar for themselves. (See Halachah 7 and Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 589:6.)

An androgynous can facilitate the performance of the mitzvah for one of his kind, - i.e., another androgynous

but not for one who is not of his kind - a normal adult male or a tumtum.

The Ra'avad objects to the Rambam's statement, noting that there is a difference of opinion among the Sages (Yevamot 83a) whether an androgynous is considered as half male and half female, or as a unique entity in his own right. The latter opinion is compatible with the Rambam's decision. However, according to the former opinion, it appears that an androgynous would resemble a person who is half slave and half free. As the following halachah states, such a person cannot blow the shofar even for himself, let alone for others.

The Maggid Mishneh defends the Rambam's decision, explaining that the Rambam does not consider the difference of opinion in Yevamot as unresolved. Rather, he, as does Rav Yitzchak Alfasi (the Rif), maintains that the halachah follows the latter opinion.

Furthermore, the Maggid Mishneh explains that even according to the former opinion, it is possible to differentiate between an androgynous and one who is half slave and half free, the former condition being brought about by God; the latter, by man.

A tumtum cannot facilitate the performance of the mitzvah [for anyone], whether of his kind or not of his kind, for - in his case, the doubt is not about the general category, but an individual question about the particular tumtum's nature

if [the layer of skin covering] the tumtum's [genitalia] is cut open, it is possible that it will be discovered that the tumtum is a male - and the teki'ot he blows are acceptable.

but it is possible that it will be discovered that the tumtum is a female - and hence, unable to blow the shofar for a male.

3

A person who is half slave and half free cannot even facilitate the performance of the mitzvah for himself, because the aspect of himself which is a slave cannot facilitate the performance of the mitzvah for the aspect of himself which is free.

How should he fulfill his obligation? He should hear a free man blow the shofar.

ג

וכן מי שחציו עבד וחציו בן חורין אינו מוציא אפילו עצמו שאין צד עבדות שבו מוציא צד חירות שבו. אלא כיצד יצא ידי חובתו שישמע מבן חורין שיתקע לו:

A person who is half slave and half free cannot even facilitate the performance of the mitzvah - by blowing the shofar

for himself - let alone for others,

because the aspect of himself which is a slave cannot facilitate the performance of the mitzvah for the aspect of himself which is free. - Every activity performed by such an individual is considered as a combined effort carried out by both aspects of his being. The aspect of his being which is a free man is obligated to hear shofar blown by one who is obligated to perform the mitzvah. Hence, the teki'ot he blows himself include the influence of his slave side, and are not sufficient to facilitate his performance of the mitzvah (Rosh Hashanah 29a).

How should he fulfill his obligation? He should hear a free man blow the shofar. - One might ask: Since his hearing the shofar also involves his slave side, how is that hearing sufficient to allow him to fulfill his obligation?

The Tzaphnat Paneach explains that there is a difference between hearing the shofar and blowing it. Hearing the shofar is a complete act in and of itself. Hence, since the free side of the person has heard the shofar, he is considered to have performed the mitzvah. In contrast, the blowing of the shofar is merely the preparation for the fulfillment of the mitzvah. Hence, the free side of the person cannot fulfill his obligation by hearing tekiot which were produced by a person whose entire being was not obligated to perform the mitzvah.

Based on this explanation, we can understand how such a person fulfills the mitzvah of lulav, for there as well, the act of taking the lulav constitutes rather than prepares for, the fulfilment of the mitzvah.

4

A person who occupies himself with blowing the shofar in order to learn does not fulfill his obligation. Similarly, one who hears the shofar from a person who blows it casually does not fulfill his obligation.

If the person hearing had the intention of fulfilling his obligation, but the person blowing did not have the intention of facilitating the latter's performance of the mitzvah, or the person blowing had the intention of facilitating his colleague's performance of the mitzvah, but the person hearing did not have the intention of fulfilling his obligation, [the person hearing] did not fulfill his obligation. Rather, both the person hearing and the one allowing him to hear must have the [proper] intention.

ד

המתעסק בתקיעת שופר להתלמד לא יצא חובתו. וכן השומע מן המתעסק לא יצא. נתכוון שומע לצאת ידי חובתו ולא נתכוון התוקע להוציאו או שנתכוון התוקע להוציאו ולא נתכוון השומע לצאת לא יצא ידי חובתו. עד שיתכוין שומע ומשמיע:

A person who occupies himself with blowing the shofar in order to learn - without the intention of fulfilling the mitzvah of hearing the shofar

does not fulfill his obligation. Similarly, one who hears the shofar - even though he desires to fulfill the mitzvah

from a person who blows it casually - without the intention of facilitating his colleague's performance of the mitzvah

does not fulfill his obligation. - for he has heard an unacceptable shofar blast (Shulchan Aruch HaRav 589:5).

These laws relate to a question of a much larger scope: Must a person who performs a mitzvah have the intention of doing so or not? Rosh Hashanah 32b, which is the source for these decisions, maintains that such intention is necessary. However, other Talmudic sources imply that there is no need for such intention. Whenever a person performs the deed of a mitzvah, he fulfills his obligation, regardless of his intention.

On the surface, the Rambam's own decisions regarding this question appear paradoxical. Hilchot Chametz U'matzah 6:3 states:

A person who eats matzah without the intention [of fulfilling the mitzvah] - e.g., if gentiles or thieves force him to eat - fulfills his obligation.

There, it appears that the Rambam does not require a person to have the intention to fulfill a mitzvah, for in this instance the only reason the person ate the matzah was the coercion of the gentiles.

The commentaries attempt to resolve the issue. The Maggid Mishneh states that to fulfill his obligation, the person being forced to eat the matzah must know that today is Pesach, that he is obligated to eat matzah, and that it is matzah which he is eating. Rabbenu Nissim, the Kessef Mishneh, and Rabbenu Manoach follow a different line of reasoning. They differentiate between eating matzah and hearing a shofar. In the former case, a person's body benefits from the activity regardless of his intention. To support this thesis, they draw a parallel to the following passage.

Generally, the Torah frees a person from liability if he commits a transgression while being only מתעסק (performing a deed without any thought). However, a person who eats forbidden foods or engages in forbidden sexual relations in this manner is liable, because he derived pleasure from his activities (Keritot 19b).

Similarly, since the person derived physical satisfaction from eating the matzah, even though he was forced to do so, the action is attributed to him. In contrast, since his body did not benefit from hearing the shofar, he does not fulfill his obligation until he hears the shofar blown in the proper manner.

As regards halachah l'ma'aseh, in Orach Chayim 589:8, the Shulchan Aruch quotes the Rambam's decision concerning blowing the shofar, stating that a מתעסק does not fulfill the mitzvah. Similar decisions are rendered concerning Kri'at Shema (Orach Chayim 60) and lulav and etrog (Orach Chayim 651).

Concerning matzah, the Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 475:4 quotes the Maggid Mishneh's opinion, and the Shulchan Aruch HaRav adds the explanation mentioned in the name of the Kessef Mishneh. (Even so, the Pri Chadash and other commentaries do not accept this decision.)

If the person hearing had the intention of fulfilling his obligation, but the person blowing did not have the intention of facilitating the latter's performance of the mitzvah - Rosh Hashanah 28b quotes Rabbi Zeira as instructing Shamaya: "Have me in mind and blow for me."

or the person blowing had the intention of facilitating his colleague's performance of the mitzvah, but the person hearing did not have the intention of fulfilling his obligation, [the person hearing] did not fulfill his obligation. - The Magen Avraham (189:4) states that if a person comes to the synagogue on Rosh Hashanah with the intention to fulfill his obligation to hear the shofar, that intention is sufficient. Even if he has no specific intention while the shofar is being blown, he fulfills his obligation.

Rather, both the person hearing and the one allowing him to hear - i.e., the person blowing the shofar

must have the [proper] intention.

5

If a person blew the shofar with the intention of enabling all those hearing his blowing to perform the mitzvah, and a listener heard while having the intention to fulfill his obligation - even though the person blowing did not have a specific intention that this individual would hear his blowing, nor did he know about him - the listener has fulfilled his obligation, because the blower had in mind all those who heard him.

Accordingly, if a person was traveling on a journey or was sitting in his home and heard the teki'ot from the person leading the congregation, he has fulfilled his obligation if he had that intention, since the leader of the congregation had the intention of enabling the many to fulfill their obligation.

ה

מי שתקע ונתכוון להוציא כל השומע תקיעתו ושמע השומע ונתכוון לצאת ידי חובתו אע"פ שאין התוקע מתכוין לזה פלוני ששמע תקיעתו ואינו יודעו יצא. שהרי נתכוון לכל מי שישמענו. לפיכך מי שהיה מהלך בדרך או יושב בתוך ביתו ושמע התקיעות משליח ציבור יצא אם נתכוון לצאת. שהרי שליח צבור מתכוין להוציא את הרבים ידי חובתן:

If a person blew the shofar with the intention of enabling all those hearing his blowing to perform the mitzvah - The blower need not have each individual in mind. However, as the previous halachah states, he must have the intention that his blowing enable people to fulfill their obligation to hear shofar. If he blows without that intention, their listening is of no consequence.

and a listener heard while having the intention to fulfill his obligation - However, as stated in the previous halachah, if the listener lacks that intention, he does not fulfill his obligation.

even though the person blowing did not have a specific intention that this individual would hear his blowing, nor did he know about him - the listener has fulfilled his obligation, because the blower had in mind all those who heard him. - Rosh Hashanah 29a derives this principle by contrasting the law mentioned in the previous halachah with the law mentioned in this halachah's latter clause.

Accordingly, if a person was traveling on a journey - The Magen Avraham (589:5) explains that a person who continues traveling must be sure that he has the intention of fulfilling his obligation. However, if he stops to hear the shofar, that itself is sufficient proof that he desires to fulfill the mitzvah.

or was sitting in his home and heard the teki'ot from the person leading the congregation, he has fulfilled his obligation if he had that intention, since the leader of the congregation had the intention of enabling the many to fulfill their obligation. - In his commentary on the Mishnah (Rosh Hashanah 3:5), the Rambam writes: "the [function of] leader of the congregation was instituted in that capacity only in order to enable the many to fulfill their obligation."

6

If the festival of Rosh Hashanah falls on the Sabbath, the shofar is not sounded in every place. [This law was enacted] even though blowing [the shofar] was forbidden only as sh'vut.

It would be appropriate for [the shofar] to be sounded, for a positive commandment of the Torah should supersede sh'vut instituted by the Sages. If so, why is the shofar not sounded?

Because of a decree [of the Sages] lest a person take it in his hands and carry it to a colleague so that the latter can blow for him, and [in the process,] carry it four cubits in the public domain or transfer it from one domain to another, and thus violate a prohibition punishable by being stoned to death. [This is necessary because] all are obligated in the mitzvah of blowing the shofar, but not all are skilled in it.

ו

יום טוב של ראש השנה שחל להיות בשבת אין תוקעין בשופר בכל מקום. אף על פי שהתקיעה משום שבות ומן הדין היה שתוקעין יבא עשה של תורה וידחה שבות של דבריהם. ולמה אין תוקעין גזירה שמא יטלנו בידו ויוליכנו למי שיתקע לו ויעבירנו ארבע אמות ברשות הרבים. או יוציאו מרשות לרשות ויבא לידי איסור סקילה. שהכל חייבים בתקיעה ואין הכל בקיאין לתקוע:

If the festival of Rosh Hashanah falls on the Sabbath - According to the fixed calendar we use, Rosh Hashanah never falls on Sunday, Wednesday, or Friday (Hilchot Kiddush Hachodesh 7:1). Thus, the second day of Rosh Hashanah will never fall on the Sabbath. However, it is not at all infrequent for the first day of Rosh Hashanah to fall on the Sabbath.

the shofar is not sounded in every place. - However, it is sounded in certain places, as explained in Halachot 8 and 9. There is an allusion to this in the Torah itself. Though Numbers 10:10 describes Rosh Hashanah as a day of "the sounding of the shofar," Leviticus 23:24 refers to it as a day of "the remembrance of the sounding [of the shofar" - i.e., this refers to Rosh Hashanah which falls on the Sabbath, when the shofar is not actually sounded (Rashi, Rosh Hashanah 32a).

[This law was enacted] even though blowing [the shofar] was forbidden only as sh'vut. - See the commentary on Chapter 1, Halachah 4 for a definition of the term sh'vut. Rosh Hashanah 29b equates the blowing of the shofar with removing bread from the oven. It appears from Shabbat 117b that the removal of bread from the oven was forbidden only because it is "a weekday act," not in the spirit of the Sabbath. (See Shulchan Aruch HaRav 588:4.)

It would be appropriate for [the shofar] to be sounded, for a positive commandment of the Torah should supersede sh'vut instituted by the Sages. - A question can be raised, based on the Rambam's statements in Chapter 1, Halachah 4:

Regarding a shofar to be used on Rosh Hashanah: It is forbidden to violate the festival's laws to obtain it. This applies even when the forbidden practice is in the category of sh'vut.

The Lechem Mishneh offers a number of resolutions to this difficulty. Among them:

a) Had the proper attention been paid to the matter before Rosh Hashanah, the sh'vut mentioned in Chapter 1, Halachah 4 with regard to obtaining the shofar would not exist. In contrast, the sh'vut involved in blowing the shofar cannot be avoided.

b) The sh'vut mentioned in Chapter 1, Halachah 4 must be violated before the mitzvah is performed. Hence, there is no way the prohibition can be relaxed in the mere expectation that a mitzvah will be performed. In contrast, in this instance, the performance of the mitzvah and the sh'vut occur concurrently.

However, the order of the halachot here suggests a different explanation. As the Rambam states in the following halachah, certain leniencies are taken regarding the sh'vut of sounding the shofar on Rosh Hashanah (since, as mentioned above, it is forbidden only because it is a "weekday act"). In contrast, the activities mentioned in Chapter 1, Halachah 4 are of a more severe nature, and hence no leniency may be taken in their regard.

If so, why is the shofar not sounded? Because of a decree [of the Sages] lest a person take it in his hands and carry it to a colleague so that the latter can blow for him - The Rambam alters the expression used by Rosh Hashanah 29b, which states: "perhaps he will take it to a skilled person so that the latter will teach him." Perhaps, the emendation was made because it is more likely that a person would desire that his colleague blow for him than begin to teach him on Rosh Hashanah itself.

and [in the process,] carry it four cubits in the public domain or transfer it from one domain to another - Hilchot Shabbat 12:8 equates the two and explains the nature of this melachah. It must be noted that the phrase "transfer it from one domain..." is the Rambam's addition and does not appear in Rosh Hashanah, ibid. (Indeed, Tosafot, Megillah 4b explains that there is no suspicion that the latter prohibition will be violated.)

and thus violate a prohibition punishable by being stoned to death - as is the commission of all Shabbat melachot (Hilchot Shabbat 1:1-2.)

[This is necessary because] all are obligated in the mitzvah of blowing the shofar, but not all are skilled in it. - A similar expression is also found in Hilchot Megillah 1:13, explaining why the Megillah is never read on the Sabbath. It must be noted that while the Temple was standing, a similar decree was not enacted on the first day of Sukkot which fell on the Sabbath, even though it is possible that a person would carry his lulav in a forbidden manner. Note our commentary on Chapter 7, Halachot 13 and 14, which explains the difference between the two festivals.

The fact that a Rabbinic decree can cause a mitzvah to be nullified - particularly as significant a mitzvah as the blowing of the shofar - has been the subject of much discussion by the Rabbis. In his commentary on the tractate of Sukkah, Rabbenu Nissim states that this decree was instituted only because in most Jewish communities, the people were not aware of the date the Rabbis had established for Rosh Hashanah. Hence, since the people could not be sure that they were in fact performing a mitzvah, the Rabbinic decree had the power to negate its performance. Even in the places where they were conscious of the proper date, they would not blow the shofar in such a year, so that great divisions in Torah practice would not be created among the Jewish people.

In Likkutei Torah, Rav Shneur Zalman of Liadi explains the matter from a mystical perspective. He writes that the Sabbath itself generates spiritual influences which resemble those produced by the blowing of the shofar. Thus, there is no necessity to blow the shofar, and the Sages were therefore willing to allow such a decree to negate its observance.

7

Children who have not reached an age at which they can be educated: We need not prevent them from blowing [the shofar] on a Sabbath which is not the festival of Rosh Hashanah, so that they will learn [to blow].

An adult is permitted to be involved in the instruction [of children in the blowing of shofar] on the festival. [This applies] concerning both children who have reached an age at which they can be educated and those who have not reached that age, for blowing [the shofar] is prohibited only as sh'vut.

ז

התינוקות שלא הגיעו לחנוך אין מעכבין אותן מלתקוע בשבת שאינה יום טוב של ראש השנה כדי שילמדו. ומותר לגדול שיתעסק עמהן כדי ללמדן. ביום טוב. בין קטן שהגיע לחינוך בין קטן שלא הגיע לחינוך. שהתקיעה אינה אסורה אלא משום שבות:

Children who have not reached an age at which they can be educated - Rabbenu Manoach explains that this refers to children of six or seven.

We need not prevent them from blowing [the shofar] on a Sabbath - even though blowing the shofar on the Sabbath is prohibited for an adult

which is not the festival of Rosh Hashanah, so that they will learn [to blow]. - This halachah is not directly related to the laws of Rosh Hashanah, but rather to the laws of the Sabbath. If a child has not reached the age where he can be educated concerning the mitzvot, his parents are not required to prevent him from violating any of the mitzvot (Yevamot 114a).

The law stated here represents a reversal of the Rambam's understanding of Rosh Hashanah 33a from that in his commentary on the Mishnah. Indeed, his change in interpretation caused the Ra'avad to object to this halachah. It is interesting to note that the Jerusalem Talmud (Rosh Hashanah 4:9) and the primary interpretation mentioned in the Halachot of Rav Yitzchak Alfasi (the Rif) - sources which the Rambam relies upon heavily - follow the Rambam's initial approach.

An adult is permitted to be involved in the instruction [of children - He may tell them to blow the shofar and teach them how to blow (Maggid Mishneh).

in the blowing of shofar] on the festival. - even though the blowing of the shofar is prohibited on the Sabbath.

[This applies] concerning both children who have reached an age at which they can be educated and those who have not reached that age, for blowing [the shofar] is prohibited only as sh'vut. - Since the prohibition against blowing the shofar is not severe, a number of leniencies are taken in this regard. The shofar is sounded for women (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 589:6), and similarly, additional blasts are sounded to "upset Satan" (Ramah, Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim, 596:1). However, it is forbidden for an adult to sound the shofar on Rosh Hashanah unnecessarily. Nevertheless, even a child who has reached the age when he is educated concerning the mitzvot need not follow this stringency (Ramah, ibid.).

8

When [the Sages] decreed not to sound [the shofar] on the Sabbath, they applied that decree only to places which lacked a court. However, while the Temple was standing and the Supreme Court was seated in Jerusalem, everyone would sound the shofar in Jerusalem throughout the entire period the court held its sessions there.

[This did not apply] to the people of Jerusalem alone. Rather, every city that was within the outer limits of Jerusalem and [whose inhabitants] could:

see Jerusalem - i.e., excluding those within a wadi;

hear the shofar blown in Jerusalem - i.e., excluding those on the mountaintops; and

travel to Jerusalem - i.e., excluding those separated by a wadi from the city

the people of these cities would blow the shofar on the Sabbath as in Jerusalem. However, in the other cities of Israel, they would not sound [the shofar on the Sabbath].

ח

כשגזרו שלא לתקוע בשבת לא גזרו אלא במקום שאין בו בית דין. אבל בזמן שהיה בית המקדש קיים והיה בית דין הגדול בירושלים היו הכל תוקעין בירושלים בשבת כל זמן שבית דין יושבין. ולא אנשי ירושלים בלבד אלא כל עיר שהיתה בתוך תחום ירושלים. והיתה רואה ירושלים לא שתהיה בתוך הנחל. והיתה שומעת קול תקיעת ירושלים לא שתהיה בראש ההר. והיתה יכולה לבוא בירושלים לא שיהיה נהר מפסיק ביניהם. אנשי אותה העיר היו תוקעים בשבת בירושלים. אבל בשאר ערי ישראל לא היו תוקעין:

When [the Sages] decreed not to sound [the shofar] on the Sabbath, they applied that decree only to places which lacked a court. - The Sages forbade sounding the shofar on the Sabbath lest someone carry it in a forbidden manner, as explained in the previous halachah. However, that decree was not applied to places where the Sanhedrin, Israel's supreme court, held its sessions. The influence of the court would be felt throughout the entire city and its surroundings. Hence, the people would be more scrupulous in their observance of the mitzvot. (See the Rambam's commentary on the Mishnah Rosh Hashanah 4:1 and the following halachah.)

However, while the Temple was standing and the Supreme Court was seated in Jerusalem - After the Temple was constructed, the Sanhedrin held its sessions in the Chamber of Hewn Stone in the Temple. Forty years before the destruction of the Second Temple, the Sanhedrin was forced to move from that place to other locations in Jerusalem. (See Hilchot Sanhedrin 14:12-13.)

everyone - i.e., not only was the shofar sounded at the seat of the Sanhedrin and on the Temple mount, but throughout the city; even private individuals were allowed to blow the shofar (Rosh Hashanah 30a).

would sound the shofar in Jerusalem throughout the entire period the court held its sessions there. - The Ra'avad objects to the Rambam's statements. He disagrees with the Rambam on two points:

a) while the Temple was standing, the Rambam maintains that the shofar was sounded throughout Jerusalem, while the Ra'avad maintains that it was sounded in the Temple alone.

b) after the Temple's destruction, the Rambam maintains that the shofar was not sounded in Jerusalem, while the Ra'avad argues that it was.

The difference between the two depends on the Rambam's interpretation of the Mishnah (Rosh Hashanah 4:1):

When the festival of Rosh Hashanah fell on the Sabbath, they would sound the shofar in the Mikdash, but not in the country at large.

In his commentary on that Mishnah, the Rambam writes: "We have already explained to you several times (see Ma'aser Sheni 2:4, Shekalim 1:3, Sukkah 3:10) that the term mikdash refers to the entire city of Jerusalem." Thus, he maintains that if Rosh Hashanah fell on the Sabbath while the Temple was standing, the shofar would be sounded throughout the city. After the destruction of the Temple, this practice was discontinued.

[This did not apply] to the people of Jerusalem alone. - The influence of the Sanhedrin could be felt even on the outskirts of the city.

Rather, every city that was within the outer limits - This refers to the תחום שבת - 2000 cubits from the outermost house from each point on the city's circumference. (See Hilchot Shabbat, Chapters 27 and 28.)

of Jerusalem - There were a number of smaller villages surrounding Jerusalem which met all the requirements specified below.

and [whose inhabitants] could see Jerusalem - i.e., excluding those within a wadi - below the mountains, who could not see Jerusalem.

hear the shofar blown in Jerusalem - i.e., excluding those on the mountaintops - Since they were situated on the mountaintops, they could see the city even from afar. However, the sound would not carry that far.

and travel to Jerusalem - i.e., excluding those separated by a wadi - which they would be unable to cross

from the city - The exclusions mentioned by the Rambam are quoted from Rosh Hashanah, ibid., based on the text of the Mishnah. The Jerusalem Talmud (Rosh Hashanah 4:1) interprets the Mishnah slightly differently.

the people of these cities would blow the shofar on the Sabbath as in Jerusalem. However, in the other cities of Israel - even where the courts held session

they would not sound [the shofar on the Sabbath].

9

At present, while the Temple is destroyed, wherever a court whose judges received semichah in Eretz Yisrael permanently holds sessions, the shofar is sounded on the Sabbath. Furthermore, the shofar is sounded on the Sabbath only in a court that has sanctified the new moon. However, the shofar will not be sounded in other courts, even though their judges have received semichah. Also, the shofar is sounded only in the presence of a high court.

It may be sounded during the entire time they are in session. Even after they have begun preparing to rise - as long as they have not risen - the shofar may be sounded before them. However, outside the court, the shofar may not be sounded.

Why is the shofar allowed to be sounded in the court? Because the court is scrupulous [in the observance of the mitzvot] and, in its presence, those who blow the shofar will not carry the shofar in the public domain, for the court will warn the people and inform them.

ט

ובזמן הזה שחרב בית המקדש כל מקום שיש בו בית דין קבוע והוא שיהיה סמוך בארץ ישראל תוקעין בו בשבת. ואין תוקעין בשבת אלא בבית דין שקידשו את החדש אבל שאר בתי דינין אין תוקעין בהן אף על פי שהן סמוכין. ואין תוקעין אלא בפני בית דין גדול בלבד כל זמן שהן יושבין ואפילו ננערו לעמוד ולא עמדו תוקעין בפניהם. אבל חוץ לבית דין אין תוקעין. ולמה תוקעין בפני בית דין מפני שבית דין זריזין הן ולא יבאו התוקעין להעביר השופר בפניהם ברשות הרבים שבית דין מזהירין את העם ומודיעין אותן:

At present, while the Temple is destroyed, wherever a court whose judges received semichah - Semichah is the term used to refer to the permission granted to a judge to act in that capacity. Only a judge who himself possesses semichah can convey this distinction to a colleague. Moses gave Joshua and the seventy elders semichah, and they began a chain that stretched over many generations, ending several hundred years after the destruction of the Temple. (See Hilchot Sanhedrin 4:1-2.)

in Eretz Yisrael - semichah could be conveyed only in Eretz Yisrael (ibid.:6).

permanently holds sessions - i.e., if, on Rosh Hashanah, the court held special sessions in a city where it was not normally located, the shofar would not be sounded. (See the Rambam's commentary on the Mishnah, Rosh Hashanah 4:1.)

the shofar is sounded on the Sabbath. - The Mishnah (Rosh Hashanah 29b) states:

When the Temple was destroyed, Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai ordained that the shofar be sounded in every place where a court holds sessions.

The Talmud elaborates:

[After the destruction of the Temple,] Rosh Hashanah once fell on the Sabbath, and all the cities gathered together [in Yavneh]. Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai asked the family of Beteira: "Shall we blow?"

"Let us consider the matter," they replied to him.

"Let us blow, and then consider the matter after having blown," he answered them.

"Let us consider the matter," they replied again.

He told them, "The sounding of a horn has already been heard in Yavneh. Once a deed has been performed, no further discussion is entertained."

Furthermore, the shofar is sounded on the Sabbath only in a court that has sanctified the new moon. - Originally, the months were sanctified by the courts after hearing the testimony of witnesses who saw the new moon. (See Hilchot Kiddush Hachodesh, Chapters 1 and 2.)

However, the shofar will not be sounded in other courts, even though their judges have received semichah. - The Rambam's statements represent a middle road in a difference of opinion between the Rabbinical giants upon whom our understanding of the Talmud is based. Rashi (Rosh Hashanah 29a) states that the shofar was sounded on the Sabbath only in the presence of the Supreme Sanhedrin. Thus, this law applied only in Yavneh and in the few other cities where the Sanhedrin subsequently held its session.

Rav Yitzchak Alfasi (the Rif) quotes this law in his Halachot even though he quotes only those laws which are applicable in his age. From this it appears that he maintains that the shofar may be sounded in the presence of any court of stature on the Sabbath, even if its judges do not possess semichah. Indeed, the Ramban and Rabbenu Nissim write that Rav Yitzchak Alfasi would have the shofar sounded in his own court when Rosh Hashanah fell on the Sabbath. Similarly, the text Haezer records that the author saw a Sage from Damascus who stated that he saw the shofar blown on Rosh Hashanah which fell on a Sabbath.

(The Rambam's Commentary on the Mishnah, ibid., does not mention the need for the judges to possess semichah. Thus, it is possible that he also originally subscribed to this view.)

In the Mishneh Torah, the Rambam's position lies in between these views. On one hand, unlike Rav Yitzchak Alfasi, he requires that the judges possess semichah and be of sufficient stature to have sanctified the new moon (thus, excluding any contemporary courts). Nevertheless, unlike Rashi, he allows the shofar to be sounded in the presence of any court that has those qualifications, and not the Supreme Sanhedrin alone.

Also, the shofar is sounded only in the presence of a high court - Our translation of בית דין גדול is based on the Kessef Mishneh, who explains that in this context the term refers to an established court of judges with semichah, and not the Supreme Sanhedrin, as is sometimes the case. Indeed, authoritative manuscripts of the Mishneh Torah from Yemen omit the word גדול from the above expression.

It may be sounded during the entire time they are in session. - but only while they are in session. If they have risen, the shofar can no longer be sounded. However...

Even after they - the judges

have begun preparing to rise - as long as they have not risen - the shofar may be sounded before them - Though the Sages (Rosh Hashanah 30a) raised a question on this matter and left it unanswered, the Rambam allows the shofar to be sounded under such circumstances. Since the question concerns a Rabbinic decree, the more lenient approach is taken (Maggid Mishneh).

However, outside the court, the shofar may not be sounded. - In this aspect, there was a difference between the sounding of the shofar on the Sabbath between Jerusalem and Yavneh. In Jerusalem, the influence of the Temple and the court was felt so strongly that even outside the presence of the court, the shofar could be sounded. In contrast, in Yavneh and other cities where courts were located, the shofar was sounded only in the presence of a court (Rosh Hashanah, ibid.).

Why is the shofar allowed to be sounded in the court? Because the court is scrupulous [in the observance of the mitzvot] and, in its presence, those who blow the shofar will not carry the shofar in the public domain, for the court will warn the people and inform them. - The S'dei Chemed derives a general principle from this law. Hilchot Shabbat 21:27 states that all Sabbath and festival prohibitions that were categorized as sh'vut were suspended in the Temple, because the priests were scrupulous in their observance of the mitzvot and there was no danger that any infringement of Torah law would occur. Similarly, the above text continues, all decrees of this nature may be suspended in the presence of a high court, because the court will ensure that the Torah's laws will be kept.

This logic runs contrary to a statement of Rabbenu Nissim, who writes that although Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai instituted the blowing of the shofar on the Sabbath in the presence of a court, he was not that lenient regarding the taking of the lulav and etrog. Thus, we see that the leniency mentioned here applies to the shofar alone and not to other cases.

10

In the present age, when we celebrate Rosh Hashanah in the exile for two days, the shofar is sounded on the second day just as it is sounded on the first.

If the first day falls on the Sabbath, those who were not in the presence of a court fit to blow the shofar on the Sabbath may blow the shofar on the second day alone.

י

בזמן הזה שאנו עושין שני ימים בגלות כדרך שתוקעין בראשון תוקעין בשני. ואם חל יום ראשון להיות בשבת ולא היה במקום בית דין הראויין לתקוע תוקעין בשני בלבד

In the present age, when we celebrate Rosh Hashanah in the exile for two days - There is a slight imprecision with the Rambam's statements. Rosh Hashanah was celebrated for two days throughout almost the totality of Eretz Yisrael even while the Temple was standing. It was impossible to notify the people in most of the land (for the messengers were not allowed to travel more than two thousand cubits beyond Jerusalem) whether or not the court had substantiated the testimony of the witnesses on the day when Rosh Hashanah was expected to fall. (See Beitzah 4b-5a; Hilchot Kiddush Hachodesh 5:7-8.)

the shofar is sounded on the second day just as it is sounded on the first. - This refers to the actual sounding of the shofar. According to Sephardic custom, there is a difference concerning the recitation of the blessing shehecheyanu (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 499:3).

If the first day - As mentioned above, according to the fixed calendar which we employ at present, it is impossible for the second day of Rosh Hashanah to fall on the Sabbath.

falls on the Sabbath, those who were not in the presence of a court fit to blow the shofar on the Sabbath - The Kessef Mishneh notes that there is some difficulty correlating this statement with that of the previous halachah, which implies that, at present, no courts are of sufficient stature to blow the shofar on the Sabbath. Among the possible resolutions to this difficulty are:

a) as the Rambam writes in Hilchot Kiddush Hachodesh 5:3, until the age of Abbaye and Ravvah, there were courts of judges who sanctified the new month based on the testimony of witnesses. Thus, the Rambam could be referring to such a court.

b) In Hilchot Sanhedrin 4:11, the Rambam discusses the possibility of the renewal of the practice of semichah. He could be referring to such an eventuality in the present instance.

may blow the shofar on the second day alone. - This is our practice at present.