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Rambam - 3 Chapters a Day

Chametz U'Matzah - Chapter Eight, Chametz U'Matzah - Text of the Haggadah, Shofar, Sukkah, vLulav - Chapter One, Shofar, Sukkah, vLulav - Chapter Two

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Chametz U'Matzah - Chapter Eight

1

The order of the fulfillment of these mitzvot on the night of the fifteenth [of Nisan] is as follows: In the beginning, a cup [of wine] is mixed for each individual. They recite the blessing,

בורא פרי הגפן and the kiddush of the day on it, and the blessing, shehecheyanu. Then, they drink [it].

Afterwards, one recites the blessing, על נטילת ידים, and washes one's hands. A set table is brought, on which are maror, another vegetable, matzah, charoset, the body of the Paschal lamb, and the meat of the festive offering of the fourteenth of Pesach. At present, we bring two types of meat on the table: one in commemoration of the Paschal sacrifice and one in commemoration of the festive offering.

א

סדר עשיית מצות אלו בליל חמשה עשר כך הוא. בתחלה מוזגין כוס לכל אחד ואחד ומברך בורא פרי הגפן ואומר עליו קדוש היום וזמן ושותה. ואחר כך מברך על נטילת ידים ונוטל ידיו. ומביאין שלחן ערוך ועליו מרור וירק אחר ומצה וחרוסת וגופו של כבש הפסח ובשר חגיגה של יום ארבעה עשר. ובזמן הזה מביאין על השלחן שני מיני בשר אחד זכר לפסח ואחד זכר לחגיגה:

The order of the fulfillment of these mitzvot -- the mitzvot of eating matzah, maror, and charoset, and of relating the story of the Exodus.

on the night of the fifteenth [of Nisan] -- and in the Diaspora, on the night of the sixteenth of Nisan

is as follows: In the beginning -- It is customary to begin the Seder as soon as possible after nightfall, in order that the children will be able to remain awake and participate in the Seder.

a cup [of wine] is mixed -- with water, as stated in Halachah 7:9.

for each individual -- See Halachah 7:7.

and they recite the blessing, בורא פרי הגפן, and the kiddush of the day on it and the blessing, shehecheyanu -- which is recited whenever a person fulfills a mitzvah that is not performed frequently. Though this blessing is instituted for the fulfillment of the mitzvah of celebrating the holiday of Pesach, one should also have the intention of including the other mitzvot mentioned above.

Then they drink [it] -- while reclining, as in Halachah 7:8.

Afterwards, one recites the blessing, על נטילת ידים, and washes one's hands -- in preparation for eating the vegetable dipped in charoset, as mentioned in the following halachah. In Hilchot Berachot 6:1, the Rambam writes that one must wash one's hands before partaking of any food dipped in a liquid. However, the present custom is not to recite a blessing before this washing. (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 473:6, Taz). See also Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 158:4.

A set table is brought -- In the Rambam's commentary on the Mishnah, Pesachim 1:3, he writes that the table is brought before kiddush. This is also the custom in most homes today, where the Seder plate is brought to the table before kiddush.

on which are -- all the objects to be used during the Seder:

maror, another vegetable -- to dip in the charoset as karpas, matzah, charoset, the body of the Paschal lamb, and the meat of the festive offering of the fourteenth of Pesach. -- The Paschal sacrifice should be eaten after one has been satisfied from eating other foods. Therefore, another sacrifice, a חגיגה (festive offering) was also brought to make up the main body of the festive meal. (See Hilchot Korban Pesach 10:12-14.)

At present -- when the Temple has not yet been rebuilt and we do not bring the Paschal sacrifice

we bring two types of meat on the table: one in commemoration of the Paschal sacrifice -- The Chidah mentions that it is customary that the meat designated in commemoration of the Paschal sacrifice be roasted in the way that sacrifice was roasted. Rabbenu Manoach writes that it is customary to take the front leg or shank-bone of a lamb as a reference to God's "outstretched arm."

It is forbidden to designate an animal as a sacrifice at present. Hence, since many of the common people might think that the shank-bone was actually a Paschal sacrifice, many authorities suggested using a bone from a chicken, a species which was never offered as a sacrifice. Similarly, we are warned not to eat the shank-bone.

and one in commemoration of the festive offering. -- The custom of bringing a type of meat to commemorate the festive offering is one of the opinions mentioned in Pesachim 114b. Our custom is to use an egg for that purpose. The Maggid Mishneh writes that the latter practice was commonly observed in his day as well. In contrast to the shank-bone, the egg may be eaten. Indeed, it is customary in many communities to begin the Seder meal by eating it.

2

He begins and recites the blessing, בורא פרי האדמה, takes the vegetable, dips it in charoset, and eats a כזית. He and all those eating together with him, each and every one, do not eat less than a כזית.

Afterwards, the table is taken away from the person reciting the Haggadah alone. The second cup [of wine] is mixed. Here is where the son asks, and the one reciting [the Haggadah] says:

Why is this night different from all other nights?

On all other nights, we are not required to dip even once. On this night, we dip twice?

On all other nights, we eat chametz (leaven) or matzah. On this night, only matzah?

On all other nights, we eat roasted, boiled, or cooked meat. On this night we eat only roasted?

On all other nights, we eat any type of vegetables. On this night, we eat maror (bitter herbs)?

On all other nights, we eat either sitting upright or reclining. On this night, we all recline?

ב

מתחיל ומברך בורא פרי האדמה ולוקח ירק ומטבל אותו בחרוסת ואוכל כזית הוא וכל המסובין עמו כל אחד ואחד אין אוכל פחות מכזית. ואחר כך עוקרין השולחן מלפני קורא ההגדה לבדו. ומוזגין הכוס השני וכאן הבן שואל. ואומר הקורא מה נשתנה הלילה הזה מכל הלילות שבכל הלילות אין אנו מטבילין אפילו פעם אחת והלילה הזה שתי פעמים. שבכל הלילות אנו אוכלין חמץ ומצה והלילה הזה כולו מצה. שבכל הלילות אנו אוכלין בשר צלי שלוק ומבושל והלילה הזה כולו צלי. שבכל הלילות אנו אוכלין שאר ירקות והלילה הזה מרורים. שבכל הלילות אנו אוכלין בין יושבין בין מסובין והלילה הזה כולנו מסובין:

He -- the person leading the Seder

begins and recites the blessing,

בורא פרי האדמה — recited before partaking of a vegetable. It is proper to have the intention to include also the maror, which is eaten later.

takes the vegetable -- Rabbenu Manoach writes that it is customary to use כרפס (parsley).

This practice is instituted in order to pique the curiosity of the children. (See Halachah 7:3.) They see us beginning to eat without continuing to do so.

dips it in charoset -- This custom is also mentioned in the Haggadot of Rav Saadia Gaon and Rav Amram Gaon. However, Rabbenu Tam and many Ashkenazic authorities object to it. Hence, it is our practice to dip the vegetable in salt water or vinegar. (See Beit Yosef, Orach Chayim 473.)

and eats a כזית — The Rambam requires that a כזית be eaten, because the Rabbis instituted the custom of eating the vegetable. The use of the term "eating" in halachah implies a minimum of a כזית (Maggid Mishneh). Nevertheless, this opinion is not accepted. The Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 473:6, states that less than a כזית should be eaten, in order that no question arise as to whether or not one is obligated to recite a blessing afterwards.

He and all those eating together with him, each and every one, do not eat less than a

כזית — Despite the fact that a כזית is eaten, the Rambam does not require the recitation of the blessing, בורא נפשות, after eating the vegetable. This is surely true according to our custom, in which less than a כזית is eaten.

Afterwards, the table is taken away -- to arouse the children's curiosity, as explained in Halachah 7:3.

from the person reciting the Haggadah alone. -- This was customary when people sat on couches with small tables in front of them. At present, it is customary to remove the Seder plate.

The second cup [of wine] is mixed. -- This also is intended to pique the children's curiosity, for though the wine is poured, it is not drunk until later.

Here is where the son asks and the one reciting [the Haggadah] says: -- Some versions of the Mishneh Torah omit the latter phrase, which implies that the questions are not asked by the children. Others interpret the passage as follows: the children ask without necessarily phrasing the questions precisely, and then the leader recites the standard text. Perhaps this is the source for the custom followed by many, where, after the child recites the four questions, the leader of the Seder, and, at times, each of the assembled, also recites the questions.

Why is this night different from all other nights?

On all other nights, we are not required to dip even once. On this night, we dip twice? — The first three of these four questions are recorded in the Mishnah. It must be noted that the commonly accepted text of the Haggadah follows a different order, quoting that mentioned in the Babylonian Talmud, Pesachim 116a. The order mentioned by the Rambam is found in the Jerusalem Talmud and the codifications of Rabbenu Asher and Rav Yitzchak Alfasi.

Perhaps, the reason for this order is that the first three questions follow the pattern the child sees at the Seder: first we dip (karpas,) then we eat matzah, and then we eat maror.

It must be noted that the expression "twice" represents somewhat of a question to the Rambam, who also requires the matzah and the sandwich to be dipped in charoset.

On all other nights, we eat chametz (leaven) or matzah. On this night, only matzah?

On all other nights, we eat roasted, boiled, or cooked meat. On this night we eat only roasted? — referring to the Paschal sacrifice, which was roasted. As mentioned in the following halachah, this question is not recited at present.

On all other nights, we eat any type of vegetables. On this

night, we eat maror (bitter herbs)? - In contrast to the question regarding matzah, we do not say only bitter herbs, for other vegetables are allowed (and even required: for use in the karpas) on Pesach.

On all other nights, we eat either sitting upright or reclining. On this night, we all recline? -- This question is not mentioned in the Mishnah. Some commentaries maintain that it was not recited in that period for it was customary for many to eat reclining throughout the year. Thus, doing so on Pesach was not a unique phenomenon. Nevertheless, this question is found in as early a Haggadah as that of Rav Amram Gaon.

Others maintain that, by including it in this halachah, the Rambam expresses his opinion that it was mentioned while the Temple was standing. Thus, at that time, five questions were recited.

3

At present, one does not recite [the question], "on this night, only roasted," for we do not have a sacrifice.

One begins [describing our people's] base [origins] and recites until one concludes expounding on the entire passage that begins "An Aramean sought to destroy my father."

ג

בזמן הזה אינו אומר והלילה הזה כולו צלי שאין לנו קרבן. ומתחיל בגנות וקורא עד שגומר דרש פרשת ארמי אובד אבי כולה:

At present -- until the sacrifices can be brought

one does not recite [the question], "on this night, only roasted," for we do not have a -- Paschal

sacrifice -- leaving us with the four questions customarily asked.

One begins [describing our people's] base [origins] -- See Halachah 7:4.

and recites until one concludes expounding on -- i.e., quoting other verses in explanation, using the text found in the Sifri.

the entire passage that begins "An Aramean sought to destroy my father." -- Deuteronomy 26:5-8. This is the main body of the Haggadah, as explained in Halachah 7:4.

4

The table is returned before him and he says: This Paschal sacrifice which we eat [is] because the Omnipresent passed over the houses of our ancestors in Egypt, as [Exodus 12:27] states: "And you shall say: 'It is a Paschal sacrifice unto God.'"

He lifts up the maror in his hands and says: This maror that we eat [is] because the Egyptians made the lives of our forefathers bitter in Egypt, as [Exodus 1:14] states: "and they embittered their lives."

And he lifts up the matzah in his hand and says:

This matzah which we eat [is] because the dough of our ancestors was not able to leaven before the Holy One, blessed be He, was revealed to them and redeemed them immediately, as [Exodus 12:39] states: "And they baked the dough which they took out of Egypt [as cakes of matzah]."

At present, he says: "This Paschal sacrifice, which our ancestors would eat when the Temple was standing, [is] because the Holy One, blessed be He, passed over the houses of our ancestors..."

ד

ומחזיר השלחן לפניו ואומר פסח זה שאנו אוכלין על שם שפסח המקום על בתי אבותינו במצרים שנאמר ואמרתם זבח פסח הוא לה'. ומגביה המרור בידו ואומר מרור זה שאנו אוכלין על שם שמררו המצריים את חיי אבותינו במצרים שנאמר וימררו את חייהם. ומגביה המצה בידו ואומר מצה זו שאנו אוכלין על שם שלא הספיק בצקם של אבותינו להחמיץ עד שנגלה עליהם הקדוש ברוך הוא וגאלם מיד שנאמר ויאפו את הבצק אשר הוציאו ממצרים וכו'. ובזמן הזה אומר פסח שהיו אבותינו אוכלין בזמן שבית המקדש קיים על שם שפסח הקדוש ברוך הוא על בתי אבותינו וכו':

The table is returned before him -- It is our custom that the Seder plate is returned immediately after it is taken away, and we recite the entire Haggadah while it is present.

and he says: -- This and the following two passages refer to the three elements of the Passover service which Rabban Gamliel (Pesachim 116) considers essential to be mentioned at the Seder. The Rambam mentions this requirement in Halachah 7:5.

This Paschal sacrifice which we eat -- This statement would be made during the time the Temple was standing and the Paschal sacrifice was actually placed on the table. (See Halachah 8:1.) Nevertheless, in contrast to the maror and the matzah, the Paschal sacrifice was not raised. Perhaps this was because it would be difficult to raise the entire body of the animal.

[is] because the Omnipresent passed over the houses of our ancestors in Egypt, as [Exodus 12:27] states: "And you shall say: 'It is a Paschal sacrifice unto God.'"

He lifts up the maror in his hands and says: This maror that we eat [is] because the Egyptians made the lives of our forefathers bitter in Egypt, as [Exodus 1:14] states: "and they embittered their lives." -- As mentioned in Halachah 7:5, it is questionable why the Rambam changes the order of matzah and maror from that which is mentioned in the Haggadah itself.

And he lifts up the matzah in his hand and says: This matzah which we eat [is] because the dough of our ancestors was not able to leaven before the Holy One, blessed be He, was revealed to them and redeemed them immediately, as [Exodus 12:39] states: "And they baked the dough which they took out of Egypt [as cakes of matzah]." -- The Zevach Pesach notes that although the Jews were commanded to eat matzot in Egypt before the exodus. However, he explains that this commandment was given in preparation for the miracle that would occur in the future.

At present, he says -- At present, we definitely should not lift up the shank-bone, lest it appear that it was designated as the Passover sacrifice.

This Paschal sacrifice which our ancestors would eat when the Temple was standing [is] because the Holy One, blessed be He -- it is questionable why the Rambam substitutes this appellation for God for "the Omnipresent" mentioned in the first clause.

passed over the houses of our ancestors...

5

And he says:

Therefore, we are obliged to thank, praise, laud, glorify, adore, exalt, magnify, and give eternal honor to the One who did all these miracles for us and took us out from slavery to freedom, from sorrow to joy, from deep darkness to great light. [Therefore,] let us recite before Him: Halleluyah!

[He continues, beginning the Hallel, reciting from] "Halleluyah! Servants of God - offer praise;" until "the flintstone into a stream of water." He concludes:

Blessed are You, God, our Lord, King of the universe, who redeemed us and redeemed our ancestors from Egypt and has enabled us to reach this night so that we may eat matzah and bitter herbs upon it."

At present, he adds:

So too, God, our Lord and Lord of our fathers, enable us to reach other festivals and holidays that will come to us in peace, celebrating in the rebuilding of Your city and rejoicing in Your service. Then, we shall eat of the sacrifices and of the Paschal offerings whose blood shall be sprinkled on the wall of Your altar to be graciously accepted. Then, we shall offer thanks to You [with] a new song for our redemption and for the deliverance of our souls. Blessed are You, God, who redeemed Israel.

He recites the blessing, בורא פרי הגפן, and drinks the second cup.

ה

ואומר לפיכך אנו חייבין להודות להלל לשבח לפאר להדר לרומם לגדל ולנצח למי שעשה לאבותינו ולנו את כל הנסים האלו והוציאנו מעבדות לחירות מיגון לשמחה ומאפלה לאור גדול ונאמר לפניו הללויה. הללויה הללו עבדי ה' וגו' עד חלמיש למעינו מים. וחותם ברוך אתה ה' אלהינו מלך העולם אשר גאלנו וגאל את אבותינו ממצרים והגיענו ללילה הזה לאכול בו מצה ומרורים. ובזמן הזה מוסיף כן ה' אלהינו ואלהי אבותינו יגיענו למועדים ולרגלים אחרים הבאים לקראתנו לשלום שמחים בבנין עירך וששים בעבודתך ונאכל שם מן הזבחים ומן הפסחים שיגיע דמם על קיר מזבחך לרצון ונודה לך שיר חדש על גאולתנו ועל פדות נפשנו ברוך אתה ה' גאל ישראל. ומברך בורא פרי הגפן ושותה הכוס השני:

And he says: -- The following passage is also a quote (with some emendations) from the Mishnah, Pesachim 116b.

Therefore, we are obliged to thank, praise, laud, glorify, adore, exalt, magnify, and give eternal honor to the One who did all these miracles for us and took us out from slavery to freedom, from sorrow to joy, from deep darkness to great light. -- It must be noted that the phraseology used by the Rambam here differs from Pesachim, ibid., and also from the text of the Haggadah which he composed himself.

[Therefore,] let us recite before Him: Halleluyah!

[He continues, beginning the Hallel -- Psalms 113-118. The Hallel was recited while the Paschal sacrifice was being offered and while it was eaten during the Seder. Our Sages explain that the Jews recited these verses of praise as they left Egypt. The commentaries explain that since we interrupt the recitation of Hallel with the Seder meal, no blessing is recited beforehand.

reciting from] "Halleluyah! Servants of God - offer praise;" until "the flintstone into a stream of water." -- Only this portion of the Hallel is recited before eating. Pesachim 118a explains that these verses of praise refer to the miracles of the Exodus from Egypt, the splitting of the Red Sea, and the giving of the Torah. In contrast, the latter chapters of Hallel allude to the miracles that will precede the Messianic redemption.

He concludes -- The following blessing is also mentioned in the Mishnah (ibid.). It is recited while holding a raised cup of wine.

Blessed are You, God, our Lord, King of the universe, who redeemed us and redeemed our ancestors from Egypt and has enabled us to reach this night so that we may eat matzah and bitter herbs upon it." -- It appears from the text of the Mishnah that while the Temple was standing, the blessing was concluded in this manner, without the final line: "Blessed are You, God, who redeemed Israel."

At present, he adds -- a prayer for redemption from the present exile and the rebuilding of the Temple. The text is quoted by the Mishnah in the name of Rabbi Akiva.

So too, God, our Lord and Lord of our fathers, enable us to reach other festivals and holidays that will come to us in peace, celebrating in the rebuilding of Your city -- Jerusalem

and rejoicing in Your service -- in the Temple.

Then, we shall eat of the sacrifices -- the festive offering which is eaten before the Paschal sacrifice, as explained in Halachah 8:7.

and of the Paschal offerings whose blood shall be sprinkled on the wall of Your altar to be graciously accepted. Then, we shall offer thanks to You [with] a new song for our redemption and for the deliverance of our souls. Blessed are You, God, who redeemed Israel.

He recites the blessing, בורא פרי הגפן — Even though he has not diverted his attention from drinking wine after making kiddush, he recites a new blessing. As mentioned in Halachah 7:10, each of the four cups of wine is given a unique importance of its own.

6

Afterwards, he recites the blessing, al netilat yadayim, and washes his hands a second time, for he diverted his attention [from his hands] during the time he was reciting the Haggadah.

He takes two cakes [of matzah], divides one of them, places the broken half inside the whole [cake] and recites the blessing, hamotzi lechem min ha'aretz.

Why does he not recite a blessing on two loaves, as on other festivals? because [Deuteronomy 16:3] states "the bread of poverty." Just as a poor man is accustomed to eating a broken [loaf], so, too, a broken loaf should be used.

Afterwards, he wraps matzah and maror together as one, dips it in charoset and recites the blessing:

Blessed are You, God, our Lord, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us regarding the eating of matzah and bitter herbs

and eats them. If he eats matzah separately and maror separately, he recites a blessing for the former in its own right and the latter in its own right.

ו

ואחר כך מברך על נטילת ידים ונוטל ידיו שנית שהרי הסיח דעתו בשעת קריאת ההגדה. ולוקח שני רקיקין וחולק אחד מהן ומניח פרוס לתוך שלם ומברך המוציא לחם מן הארץ. ומפני מה אינו מברך על שתי ככרות כשאר ימים טובים משום שנאמר לחם עוני מה דרכו של עני בפרוסה אף כאן בפרוסה. ואחר כך כורך מצה ומרור כאחת ומטבל בחרוסת ומברך ברוך אתה ה' אלהינו מלך העולם אשר קדשנו במצותיו וצונו על אכילת מצות ומרורים ואוכלן. ואם אכל מצה בפני עצמה ומרור בפני עצמו מברך על זה בפני עצמו ועל זה בפני עצמו:

Afterwards, he recites the blessing, al netilat yadayim -- Thus, according to the Rambam, this blessing is recited twice at the Seder.

and washes his hands a second time -- as is necessary before partaking of bread. Even though the hands were washed before partaking of the vegetable, a second washing is required

for he diverted his attention [from his hands] during the time he was reciting the Haggadah -- and accidentally touched an unclean portion of his body (Rashi, Pesachim 115b). In general, the Sages postulate הידים עסקניות, "a person's hands are constantly busy," and imply that a person is not necessarily conscious of what he touches. Hence, the possibility exists that, in their activity, the hands touched a portion of the body or another substance which requires one to wash.

He takes two cakes [of matzah] -- On Pesach, as on all Sabbaths and festivals, it is customary to have lechem mishneh, two loaves (Hilchot Shabbat 30:9).

divides one of them -- for the reason to be explained.

places the broken half inside with the whole [cake] -- for their matzot, like many Sephardic matzot today could be folded,

and recites the blessing, hamotzi lechem min ha'aretz -- but does not eat from the matzah until after reciting the second blessing.

Why does he not recite a blessing on two -- whole

loaves as on other festivals? -- See Hilchot Shabbat, ibid.

because [Deuteronomy 16:3] states "the bread of poverty." Just as a poor man is accustomed to eating a broken [loaf], so, too, a broken loaf should be used. -- Our custom is to use three loaves. One is broken for this purpose early in the Seder (yachatz), and the other two are kept for lechem mishneh.

There is an advantage to our practice; Pesachim 115b plays on the relationship between the words ענה (poverty) and עונה (answer), and describes matzah as the bread on which many answers are given. To emphasize this point, the broken matzah is exposed throughout most of the Seder.

Afterwards -- See Halachah 8:8 for the present custom.

he wraps matzah and maror together as one -- This halachah refers to a seder as it was conducted while the Temple was standing. Hence, the matzah and the bitter herbs are eaten together, as implied by Exodus 12:8: "eat it (the Paschal sacrifice) together with matzot and bitter herbs."

The above follows the opinion of the Sage, Hillel. Pesachim 115a mentions other opinions which did not require the matzah and maror to be wrapped together, but merely to be eaten at the same sitting. However, since the latter opinion also accepts Hillel's practice, when partaking of the Paschal sacrifice, it is preferable to eat them wrapped together.

dips it in charoset -- Pesachim 116a quotes an opinion which explains that dipping the maror in charoset was intended to kill any insects that might be present on it. However, as mentioned in Halachot 7:11 and 8:8, the Rambam considers the charoset a mitzvah in its own right; and, therefore, requires that it be included when the Paschal sacrifice or other foods associated with the mitzvot of the night are eaten.

and recites the blessing: "Blessed are You, God, our Lord, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us regarding the eating of matzah and bitter herbs," and eats them. If he eats matzah separately and maror separately -- as permitted by the Sages who differ with Hillel

he recites a blessing for the former -- the matzah

in its own right and the latter -- the maror

in its own right. -- The mention of a separate blessing for maror is slightly problematic in view of Halachah 7:11 (and in particular, in the light of Rav Chayim Soloveitchik's commentary mentioned there). If eating maror is not a mitzvah, why is a blessing recited for it?

7

Afterwards, he recites the blessing:

Blessed are You, God, our Lord, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us regarding the eating of the sacrifice

and first, partakes of the meat of the Chaggigah offering of the fourteenth [of Nisan].

[Then,] he recites the blessing:

Blessed are You, God, our Lord, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us regarding the eating of the Paschal sacrifice

and eats from the body of the Paschal sacrifice. The blessing for the Paschal sacrifice does not free one of [the obligation of the blessing for] the [Chaggigah] offering. [Conversely, the blessing for the Chaggigah] offering does not free one of [the obligation of the blessing for] the Paschal sacrifice.

ז

ואחר כך מברך ברוך אתה ה' אלהינו מלך העולם אשר קדשנו במצותיו וצונו על אכילת הזבח ואוכל מבשר חגיגת ארבעה עשר תחלה. ומברך ברוך אתה ה' אלהינו מלך העולם אשר קדשנו במצותיו וצונו על אכילת הפסח ואוכל מגופו של פסח. ולא ברכת הפסח פוטרת של זבח ולא של זבח פוטרת של פסח:

Afterwards, he recites the blessing -- because partaking of the Chaggigah offering is a mitzvah and requires a blessing.

"Blessed are You, God, our Lord, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us regarding the eating of the sacrifice" -- It must be noted that in his commentary on the Mishnah, Pesachim 10:9, the Rambam suggests a different text for this blessing: "who has... commanded us to eat the sacrifice."

and first -- The Chaggigah offering is eaten before the Paschal sacrifice, in order that the Paschal sacrifice be eaten when one is already satisfied.

partakes of the meat of the Chaggigah offering of the fourteenth [of Nisan] -- See Hilchot Korban Pesach, Chapter 8, for the details of this offering.

[Then,] he recites the blessing: "Blessed are You, God, our Lord, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us regarding the eating of the Paschal sacrifice" -- In this instance as well, in his commentary on the Mishnah (ibid.), the Rambam offers a different version for this blessing: "who has... commanded us to eat the Paschal sacrifice."

and eats -- In contrast to Rashi (Pesachim 116a) and, similarly, in contrast to our text of the Haggadah, the Rambam does not explicitly state that the Paschal sacrifice was eaten as a sandwich with the matzah and the bitter herbs.

from the body of the Paschal sacrifice -- The Rambam uses the expression, "the body of the Paschal sacrifice" in contrast to the "meat of the Chaggigah" because, as stated in Halachah 8:1, the entire Paschal sacrifice is brought to the Seder table.

The blessing for the Paschal sacrifice does not free one of [the obligation of the blessing -- The commentaries question the need for this halachah, because the Chaggigah offering is eaten before the Paschal sacrifice. The Emek HaSh'eylah explains that if one forgot to recite a blessing over the Chaggigah, one might think that the blessing recited over the Paschal sacrifice would suffice for the previous mitzvah as well. Hence, this opinion must be negated.

for] the [Chaggigah] offering -- This follows the opinion of Rabbi Akiva. Nevertheless, Pesachim 121a quotes Rabbi Yishmael, who offers an alternate opinion.

Pesachim (ibid.) explains these Sages' difference of opinion as follows: The blood of the Paschal sacrifice is to be poured out against the base of the Temple altar. In contrast, the blood of the Chaggigah should be sprinkled on the two opposite corners of the altar.

Rabbi Yishmael maintains that בדיעבד (after the fact), were a person to pour the blood of the Chaggigah offering on the base of the altar, he would be considered to have fulfilled his obligation. Hence, the blessing for the Pesach offering can apply to the Chaggigah as well.

In contrast, Rabbi Akiva maintains that even "after the fact," the Chaggigah offering is not acceptable if its blood is not sprinkled on the altar as prescribed. Accordingly, the blessing for the Pesach offering has no connection to the Chaggigah at all.

The Lechem Mishneh questions the Rambam's decision. In Hilchot P'sulei HaMukdashim 2:2, the Rambam writes: "Whenever [blood] is prescribed to be presented [on the altar] by sprinkling, and it was presented by pouring, one has fulfilled his obligation," accepting the opinion of Rabbi Yishmael. If so, his acceptance of Rabbi Akiva's opinion here appears to present a contradiction.

Rav Yechezkel Landau (Tz'lach, Pesachim ibid.) attempts to resolve the issue, explaining that the Rambam follows the interpretation of Rav Chayim HaCohen (Tosefot, Pesachim ibid.), who favored a different text of the Talmud and, accordingly, an alternate interpretation of the difference in opinion between the two Sages.

Rav Chayim maintains that Rabbi Yishmael considers the Chaggigah offering as secondary to the Paschal sacrifice. (See also Jerusalem Talmud, Pesachim 10:7.) Hence, reciting a blessing over the Paschal sacrifice, the essential element (עיקר) of the evening, also fulfills the requirement for the secondary element (טפל), the Chaggigah. Indeed, regarding the blessings recited over food, the Rambam writes (Hilchot Berachot 3:5) that whenever there are two foods, one essential and one secondary, it is only necessary to recite a blessing over the essential food. A blessing is not required for the secondary item.

This interpretation itself presents a question: Since the Chaggigah offering was instituted only for the sake of the Paschal sacrifice and is not an obligation in its own right, it can be considered as "secondary" to the Pesach sacrifice. If so, what is the rationale for Rabbi Akiva's opinion?

It can be explained that Rabbi Akiva never considers one mitzvah as secondary to another. We may use the labels "primary" and "secondary" in regard to matters dependent on our will, but not in regard to mitzvot which we fulfill in obedience to God's desires. Therefore, though the Chaggigah offering was instituted because of the Paschal sacrifice, once it has been instituted, it must be considered as a mitzvah in its own right, with its own importance. Hence, it requires a unique blessing of its own (R. Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the Lubavitch Haggadah).

[Conversely, the blessing for the Chaggigah] offering does not free one of [the obligation of the blessing for] the Paschal sacrifice. -- Both Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Yishmael agree with this decision.

This law can also be explained within the context of the discussion of "primary" and "secondary" mentioned above. Since the Paschal sacrifice follows the Chagigah offering, for the Paschal sacrifice should be eaten when satisfied, one might presume that it is considered as "secondary" to the Chagigah. Hence, the Sages must negate this presumption.

8

At present, when there is no [Paschal] sacrifice, after one recites the blessing, hamotzi lechem, one then recites the blessing, al achilat matzah, dips the matzah in charoset, and eats it.

Afterwards, one recites the blessing, al achilat maror, dips the maror in charoset and eats it. One should not leave [the bitter herbs] in the charoset for a prolonged period, lest their taste be negated, since [eating the maror] is a mitzvah ordained by the Sages.

Afterwards, one should wrap matzah and maror together, dip them in the charoset, and eat them without reciting a blessing, to recall the Temple.

ח

בזמן הזה שאין שם קרבן אחר שמברך המוציא לחם חוזר ומברך על אכילת מצה. ומטבל מצה בחרוסת ואוכל. וחוזר ומברך על אכילת מרור ומטבל מרור בחרוסת ואוכל. ולא ישהה אותו בחרוסת שמא יבטל טעמו. וזו מצוה מדברי סופרים. וחוזר וכורך מצה ומרור ומטבל בחרוסת ואוכלן בלא ברכה זכר למקדש:

At present, when there is no [Paschal] sacrifice, -- Note the opinions mentioned on p. 34 of the Moznaim edition of Hilchot Beit HaBechirah, which question whether the Paschal sacrifice can be offered on the Temple Mount even before the Temple is rebuilt.

after one recites the blessing, hamotzi lechem -- holding a complete matzah and the broken half, as explained in Halachah 6. According to our custom, this blessing is recited while holding three matzot: two complete ones, and the broken half.

then, -- According to our present custom, the lowest matzah is returned to the Seder plate at this point, so that the following blessing is recited when holding only one complete matzah and the broken half.

one recites the blessing, al achilat matzah, dips the matzah in charoset -- The Rambam's statements have aroused much question, because generally, the charoset is associated only with the maror. Though the Ra'avad curtly dismisses these words as "emptiness," the Tur and the Maggid Mishneh quote previous authorities, Rav Amram Gaon and Rav Yitzchak ibn Giat, who also require dipping the matzah in charoset.

The Tzafnat Paneach explains the difference between the Rambam and the Ra'avad as follows: As mentioned in Halachah 7:11, charoset is a mitzvah commemorating the mortar used by our ancestors. Hence, the Rambam maintains that it should be eaten together with both the matzah and the maror.

The Ra'avad maintains that matzah commemorates two different qualities: the "bread of poverty" eaten in Egypt and the matzot our ancestors carried out from Egypt after being redeemed. In contrast, maror and charoset are both symbols of slavery.

While the Temple was standing, the Ra'avad did not object to the matzah being dipped in charoset, because, as above, it also commemorates our ancestors' slavery. However, after the Temple's destruction and the negation of the mitzvah of maror, we may assume that the other symbols of the enslavement are also negated. Hence, the only mitzvah is the commemoration of the redemption associated with the matzah. Accordingly, it should not be mixed with charoset, which recalls the slavery.

and eats it. -- at least a כזית, while leaning on the left side, as prescribed above.

Afterwards -- All opinions agree that at present, the matzah is not to be eaten together with the maror. While the Temple was standing, they could be eaten together - since they were both mitzvot, partaking of one mitzvah could not negate another. However, even at present, matzah is a Torah command, while maror, in the present age, is only of Rabbinic origin. Hence, eating the maror will negate the taste of the matzah (Pesachim 115a).

one recites the blessing, al achilat maror, dips the maror in charoset and eats it -- without reclining.

One should not leave [the bitter herbs] in the charoset for a prolonged period, lest their -- bitter

taste be negated, since [eating the maror] is a mitzvah ordained by the Sages. -- For this reason, it is customary in many communities to shake the charoset off the maror after dipping.

Afterwards, one should wrap matzah and maror together -- as was the custom of Hillel,

dip them in the charoset, and eat them without reciting a blessing, to recall the Temple. -- We follow this practice by eating the korech at the Seder.

9

Afterwards, one continues the meal, eating whatever one desires to eat and drinking whatever one desires to drink. At its conclusion, one eats from the Paschal sacrifice, even [as small a portion as] a כזית, and does not taste anything afterwards.

At present, one eats a כזית of matzah and does not taste anything afterwards, so that, after the completion of the meal, the taste of the meat of the Paschal sacrifice or the matzah will [remain] in one's mouth, for eating them is the mitzvah.

ט

ואחר כך נמשך בסעודה ואוכל כל מה שהוא רוצה לאכול ושותה כל מה שהוא רוצה לשתות. ובאחרונה אוכל מבשר הפסח אפילו כזית ואינו טועם אחריו כלל. ובזמן הזה אוכל כזית מצה ואינו טועם אחריה כלום. כדי שיהיה הפסק סעודתו וטעם בשר הפסח או המצה בפיו שאכילתן היא המצוה:

Afterwards, one continues the meal, eating whatever one desires to eat and drinking whatever one desires to drink -- The Seder meal should be festive, with the finest foods being served.

At its conclusion, one eats from the Paschal sacrifice, -- a second time

even [as small a portion as] a

כזית — However, a כזית is required as in all requirements concerning eating. The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 477:3) states that if possible, it is desirable to eat two portions of that size, one commemorating the Chagigah and one, the Paschal sacrifice.

and does not taste anything afterwards. -- It was customary to eat dessert (afikoman in Greek) after a meal. The Mishnah prohibits eating such dessert after eating from the Pesach sacrifice a second time (Pesachim 119b).

At present, one eats a

כזית of matzah — which we refer to as the afikoman. Shemurah matzah, matzah watched with the intention that it be eaten to fulfill the mitzvah, should be used. (See Halachah 8:13.) The afikoman must be eaten while leaning on the left side.

and does not taste anything -- with the exception of the remaining two cups of wine and water, as mentioned in the following halachah. Rabbenu Asher also allows nonalcoholic beverages to be consumed. When there is a great necessity, his opinion may be relied upon (Shulchan Aruch HaRav 478:1).

afterwards - so that, after the completion of the meal, the taste of the meat of the Paschal sacrifice or the matzah will [remain] in one's mouth -- See also Halachah 6:11.

10

Afterwards, he washes his hands and recites the grace after meals over a third cup [of wine] and drinks it.

Afterwards, he pours out a fourth cup and completes the Hallel over it, reciting upon it the blessing of song—i.e., "May all Your works praise You, God..." - recites the blessing, borey pri hagefen, [and drinks the wine]. Afterwards, he does not taste anything, with the exception of water, throughout the entire night.

It is permissible to mix a fifth cup and recite upon it "the great Hallel" - i.e., from "Give thanks to God, for He is good" until "By the rivers of Babylon." This cup is not an obligation like the other cups.

One may complete the Hallel wherever one desires, even though it is not the place where one ate.

י

ואחר כך נוטל ידיו ומברך ברכת המזון על כוס שלישי ושותהו. ואחר כך מוזג כוס רביעי וגומר עליו את ההלל. ואומר עליו ברכת השיר והיא יהללוך ה' כל מעשיך וכו'. ומברך בורא פרי הגפן ואינו טועם אחר כך כלום כל הלילה חוץ מן המים. ויש לו למזוג כוס חמישי ולומר עליו הלל הגדול מהודו לה' כי טוב עד על נהרות בבל. וכוס זה אינו חובה כמו ארבעה כוסות. ויש לו לגמור את ההלל בכל מקום שירצה אע"פ שאינו מקום סעודה:

Afterwards, he washes his hands -- After eating a meal, we are required to wash with water, mayim achronim, before reciting grace (Hilchot Berachot 6:1).

and recites the grace after meals over a third cup [of wine] -- as is customary for grace, Hilchot Berachot 7:14.

and drinks it -- after reciting the blessing, borey pri hagefen, as mentioned in Halachah 7:10. The cup is drunk while reclining on the left side.

Afterwards, he pours out a fourth cup and completes the Hallel -- begun before the meal

over it -- as our Sages commented: "Song is recited only over wine."

reciting upon it -- at the conclusion

the blessing of song i.e., "May all Your works praise You, God..." -- The Mishnah, Pesachim 10:7, quotes a difference of opinion on this matter. However, the Rambam chooses the blessing which is customarily recited after Hallel.

This represents a change from the Rambam's statements in his commentary on the Mishnah, where he writes:

"the blessing of song" - this is "Nishmat kol chay" until its conclusion. "May all Your works praise You, God..." until its conclusion is also called the blessing of song. If one joins the two together, it is praiseworthy.

At present, we follow the custom of joining both blessings together.

recites the blessing, borey pri hagefen, [and drinks the wine] -- reclining on the left side.

Afterwards, he does not taste anything -- neither food or drink. Note commentary on the previous halachah

with the exception of water -- for the water will not wash away the taste of the matzah or the wine.

throughout the entire night.

It is permissible to mix a fifth cup -- Rabbenu Yitzchak Alfasi quotes a version of Pesachim 118a, which states: "Rav Tarfon declares: 'On the fifth cup, he recites the great Hallel.'" (The accepted text of the Talmud states: "On the fourth cup...")

and recite upon it "the great Hallel" -- From this statement, Rabbenu Manoach derives that otherwise drinking additional cups of wine is forbidden.

i.e., -- Psalm 136, beginning

from "Give thanks to God, for He is good" until "By the rivers of Babylon." This cup is not an obligation like the other cups. -- Rabbenu Nissim writes that drinking a fifth cup fulfills the mitzvah in the most complete manner. However, the Ma'aseh Rokeach quotes the Rambam's son, Rav Avraham, as relating that his father would always recite Psalm 136 after the Hallel prayers, and then conclude with the blessing without drinking a fifth cup. Accordingly, the Ma'aseh Rokeach concludes that although it is permissible to drink a fifth cup, it is not proper to do so.

Likkutei Sichot, Vol. XXVII, suggests a different interpretation of this halachah, noting that the Rambam does not mention that the fifth cup is drunk. A fifth cup is mixed and placed on the table, and the "great Hallel" is recited over it. However, that cup should not be drunk. Thus, the fifth cup is not included as one of the four. Rather, it is a separate and independent obligation.

The Vilna Gaon (see Ta'amei HaMinhagim 551) associates the fifth cup with the cup of Elijah. The Talmud concludes the discussion of many unresolved questions with the statement: תיקו. Literally, the term is a shortened form of the word תיקום, "let it remain". However, it is also interpreted as an acrostic for the expression תשבי יתרץ קושיות ואביעות - "The Tishbite (Elijah) will answer all questions and difficulties."

Since the requirement of the fifth cup remains an unresolved question, the fifth cup is left for Elijah in the hope that he will come soon and resolve this question as well.

The homiletic aspects of this comment notwithstanding, from a halachic perspective a differentiation must be made between the two. The fifth cup is of Talmudic origin and may be poured for each individual. In contrast, Elijah's cup is an Ashkenazic custom of later origin, and a single cup is used for the whole family. Indeed, they are mentioned by halachists in different chapters of the Shulchan Aruch: the fifth cup by the Ramah in Chapter 481 and Elijah's cup by the Chok Ya'akov in Chapter 480.

One may complete the Hallel wherever one desires, even though it is not the place where one ate. -- A number of different halachic questions would arise should a person decide to leave the home in which he is holding the Seder from the kiddush until the conclusion of the grace after meals. However, once grace is concluded, no such problems exist.

The Ra'avad does not accept this opinion and maintains that all four cups should be drunk in the same place. Hence, he does not allow a person to leave the home in which he begins the Seder until its conclusion. Nevertheless, the Ramah quotes the Rambam's view as halachah in Orach Chayim 481:1.

11

In a place where it is customary to eat roasted meat on Pesach night, one may eat. [However,] in a place where it is customary not to eat [roasted meat], one should not eat it, lest it be said: "this is the meat of the Paschal sacrifice."

In all places, it is forbidden to eat a whole sheep that has been roasted in its entirety on this night, for it would appear as though one were eating sacrificial animals outside [the area prescribed for them]. If it has been cut in pieces, is lacking a limb, or one of the limbs attached to it has been boiled, it is permitted in a place where [roasted meat] is customarily [eaten].

יא

מקום שנהגו לאכול צלי בלילי פסחים אוכלים. מקום שנהגו שלא לאכול אין אוכלין גזירה שמא יאמרו בשר פסח הוא. ובכל מקום אסור לאכול שה צלוי כולו כאחד בליל זה מפני שנראה כאוכל קדשים בחוץ. ואם היה מחותך או שחסר ממנו אבר או שלק בו אבר והוא מחובר הרי זה מותר במקום שנהגו:

In a place where it is customary to eat roasted meat on Pesach night, one may eat. [However,] in a place where it is customary not to eat [roasted meat] -- The Shulchan Aruch HaRav, Orach Chayim 476:1 states that the accepted Ashkenazi custom is not to eat roasted meat on Pesach night.

one should not eat it -- The Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 476:2 states that this prohibition refers even to the meat of calves or fowl, "any creature that requires slaughter."

lest it be said: "this is the meat of the Paschal sacrifice." -- for the meat resembles the Paschal sacrifice which had to be roasted. As mentioned above, for this reason the Zeroa is not lifted up while the passage concerning the Paschal sacrifice is recited, and, in some communities, certain restrictions are made concerning its preparation.

In all places -- whether the custom of eating other roasted meat is accepted or not

it is forbidden to eat a whole sheep -- the animal used for the Paschal sacrifice

that has been roasted in its entirety -- as was the Paschal sacrifice, see Halachah 8:1.

on this night, for it would appear as though one were eating sacrificial animals outside [the area prescribed for them] -- The Paschal sacrifice must be slaughtered in the Temple and eaten within Jerusalem.

If it has been cut in pieces, is lacking a limb -- for the Pesach sacrifice was served all as one

or one of the limbs attached to it has been boiled -- it is forbidden to eat any portion of the Paschal sacrifice prepared in this fashion, see Hilchot Korban Pesach 8:4.

it is permitted in a place where [roasted meat] is customarily [eaten].

12

A person who does not have any wine on the nights of Pesach recites the kiddush on bread, as he would do on the Sabbath. [Afterwards,] he carries out all the [above] matters according to this order.

A person who has no other vegetable besides bitter herbs: At the outset, he recites two blessings over the bitter herbs: borey pri ha'adamah and al achilat maror, and partakes of them. When he concludes the Haggadah, he recites the blessing over the matzah and eats it. Afterwards, he eats from the bitter herbs without reciting a blessing.

יב

מי שאין לו יין בלילי הפסח מקדש על הפת כדרך שעושה בשבת ועושה כל הדברים על הסדר הזה. מי שאין לו ירק אלא מרור בלבד. בתחלה מברך על המרור שתי ברכות בורא פרי האדמה ועל אכילת מרור ואוכל. וכשיגמור ההגדה מברך על המצה ואוכל וחוזר ואוכל מן המרור בלא ברכה:

A person who does not have any wine -- However, if he has only one cup, he should use it for kiddush (Magen Avraham 483:1).

on the nights -- the plural usage of this term could be employed to include the second seder, held outside Eretz Yisrael.

of Pesach recites the kiddush on bread -- i.e., matzah

as he would do on the Sabbath. — Rav Yitzchak Alfasi and the Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 483:1 state that one must recite the al achilat matzah blessing before partaking of the matzah.

The Ramah (and the other Ashkenazic authorities) suggest that in such an eventuality, one should use mead or other highly regarded beverages (חמר מדינה) for kiddush and the other three cups.

[Afterwards,] he carries out all the [above] matters according to this order. -- Thus, matzah is eaten a second time. However, a blessing is not recited for it. The hands need not be washed for Urchatz. The commentators question whether the hands are washed a second time before partaking of the matzah again.

A person who has no other vegetable besides bitter herbs: At the outset -- for Karpas. See Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 475:2.

he recites two blessings over the bitter herbs: borey pri ha'adamah and al achilat maror" -- Though this is not the place to eat maror, one must recite the blessing and eat the maror with the intention of fulfilling the mitzvah. There is no way one could eat a full portion of maror now and recite the blessing afterward.

and partakes of them -- after dipping them in vinegar or salt water, as mentioned in Halachah 8:2.

When he concludes the Haggadah -- The Rambam defines the Haggadah as the text beginning with Hah lachmah anya and ending with the blessing, asher ge'alanu.

he recites the blessing over the matzah and eats it. Afterwards, he eats from the bitter herbs -- dipping them in charoset

without reciting a -- second

blessing -- to fulfill the mitzvah of maror. The Mishnah Berurah (475:28) mentions other opinions which suggest reversing the order and first dipping the maror in charoset, and the second time in salt water. The Shulchan Aruch HaRav states that there is much controversy over this matter. Hence, one should try hard to find other vegetables to use for karpas and thus, avoid the issue.

13

A person who has only a single כזית of shemurah matzah: When he concludes [eating] his meal from matzah which was not watched, he recites the blessing, al achilat matzah, eats that כזית and does not taste anything afterward.

יג

מי שאין לו מצה משומרת אלא כזית כשגומר סעודתו ממצה שאינה משומרת מברך על אכילת מצה ואוכל אותו כזית ואינו טועם אחריו כלום:

A person who has only a single כזית -- the minimum measure necessary to fulfill the mitzvah. See Halachah 6:1.

of shemurah -- matzah that has been watched to ensure it has not become chametz and has been prepared for the purpose of being used to fulfill the mitzvah. See Halachot 5:8 and 6:5.

matzah -- should begin his meal by reciting hamotzi over matzah that has not been watched. The Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 482:1, states that after the meal is begun, the maror should be eaten.

When he concludes [eating] his meal from matzah which was not watched, -- Rabbenu Manoach emphasizes that one should not overeat in order that eating the shemurah matzah will not be גסה אכילה, undignified eating.

he recites the blessing, al achilat matzah, eats that כזית — as the afikoman

and does not taste anything afterward -- in order that the taste of matzah, a food that is a mitzvah, will remain in his mouth, as stated in Halachah 8:9. This reason is important enough to take prominence over the importance of eating the matzah designated for the mitzvah at the beginning of the meal.

14

A person who slept in the midst of the meal and then woke up, does not begin to eat again. [However,] if some members of a company slept in the middle of a meal, they may eat again. If they all fell into a sound slumber and then awoke, they should not eat. If they all [merely] dozed, they may eat.

יד

מי שישן בתוך הסעודה והקיץ אינו חוזר ואוכל. בני חבורה שישנו מקצתן בתוך הסעודה חוזרין ואוכלין. נרדמו כולן ונעורו לא יאכלו. נתנמנמו כולן יאכלו: סליקו להו הלכות חמץ ומצה

A person -- holding a Seder alone

who slept in the midst of the meal and then woke up, does not begin to eat again. -- This law is derived as follows: The Paschal sacrifice must be eaten together with a company of people (חבורה), organized before the sacrifice was slaughtered. It is forbidden to take the meat outside of this company. A person who eats the Paschal sacrifice alone is considered as the sole member of his company. Should he fall asleep in the midst of eating, it is considered as if he has changed from one company to another and he is forbidden to eat again.

Since the afikoman was instituted as a commemoration of the Paschal sacrifice, similar laws apply to it. Accordingly, Pesachim 120b records a discussion between Abaye and Rabbah concerning this law.

The Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 478:2 quotes the Rambam's statements verbatim. The Ramah states that since the law is derived from the laws of the Paschal sacrifice, it applies only with regard to the consumption of the afikoman. However, if a person fell asleep in the midst of the meal beforehand, he may resume eating. This opinion is accepted by the later Ashkenazic authorities.

[However,] if some members of a company slept in the middle of the meal -- Since the other members of the company remained awake,

they may eat again -- They need not recite new blessings over the food, as explained in the Shulchan Aruch, Chapter 178.

If they all fell into a sound slumber -- and hence the eating of the entire company has been interrupted.

and then awoke, they should not eat -- for the reasons explained above.

If they all [merely] dozed -- i.e., though drowsy, they would be able to respond to questions, the eating of the company is not considered to have been interrupted, and

they may eat.

Chametz U'Matzah - Text of the Haggadah

The Text of the Haggadah

customarily recited by the Jews in the time of exile.

One begins, [pouring out] the second cup and recites:

In haste, we left Egypt.

This is the bread of affliction eaten by our ancestors in the land of Egypt. Whoever is hungry, let him come and eat. Whoever is needy, let him come and join in the observance of Passover. This year we are here. Next year, may we be in Eretz Yisrael. Now we are slaves. Next year, may we be free men.

נוסח ההגדה שנהגו בה ישראל בזמן הגלות, כך הוא: מתחיל על כוס שני ואומר, בבהילו יצאנו ממצריים. הא לחמא עניא, דאכלו אבהתנא דנפקו מארעא דמצריים. כל דכפין, ייתי וייכול; וכל דצריך לפסח, ייתי ויפסח. שתא הכא, לשנה הבאה בארעא דישראל; שתא הדא עבדי, לשתא דאתיא בני חורי.

The text -- As mentioned in the introduction, the Rambam composed the Mishneh Torah with the intention of providing our people with clear directives concerning the performance of all the mitzvot. Hence, he also includes in this work the text of all necessary prayers and legal documents.

the Haggadah -- The main body of the Haggadah was composed early in our nation's history. Some authorities attribute it to the Anshei Knesset HaGedolah, who composed it together with the other prayers and blessings they authored. Large portions of the Haggadah are found verbatim in the Mishnah, Pesachim, Chapter Ten, and reference is made there to other sections that are not explicitly quoted.

However, as obvious from the discussion in that chapter, the precise text of the Haggadah was a matter of debate and question throughout the Talmudic period. A few centuries after the completion of the Talmud, Rav Amram Gaon composed a text of the Haggadah that was accepted internationally, throughout all Jewish communities. Approximately sixty years later, his successor, Rav Saadia Gaon, composed a Haggadah with some changes and emendations. These two texts served as the basis for the Rambam's Haggadah and for the subsequent texts published by other Sages. Only minor differences exist between the Haggadah we use today and that composed by Rav Amram Gaon.

customarily recited...in the time of exile -- as stated in Halachot 8:3-5, there are certain differences between the text we recite and that recited when the Paschal sacrifice may be offered.

One begins, [pouring out] the second cup -- After reciting kiddush, washing one's hands, and partaking of the karpas, as mentioned in Halachah 8:1-2.

It must be noted that the Rambam prescribes that yachatz, the breaking of the afikoman, be performed directly before eating the matzah and not before beginning the recitation of the Haggadah, as is our custom.

In haste, we left Egypt -- This statement, half in Hebrew and half in Aramaic, refers to Deuteronomy 16:3. This line is not included in the Haggadot of Rav Amram or Rav Saadia Gaon, nor is it found in most subsequent Haggadot.

This is the bread of affliction -- This passage is not explicitly mentioned in the Talmud. However, Ta'anit 20b records that before the Seder, Rav Huna would open his door and announce: "Whoever is needy, let him come and eat."

In contrast to the rest of the Haggadah, this passage is recited in Aramaic. Among the explanations for this practice are:

a) This enabled the passage to be understood by all participants, since Aramaic was the common language of the time (Tosefot Rid, Manhig). Accordingly, the Ramah (Orach Chayim 473:6) relates that he would translate the passage into Yiddish at his Seder.

b) The angels do not understand Aramaic, and hence they will not accuse us of being unworthy of redemption (Ritbah).

c) The demons do not understand Aramaic, and thus they will not accept our invitation to the Seder (Rashi, HaPardes). This reason is questioned, because Pesach is a ליל שימורים (a protected night), on which the demons have no power to harm a Jew.

This year -- Our Haggadot (and that of Rav Amram Gaon) state השתא, "now." However, Rav Saadia Gaon's Haggadah also uses the Hebrew הא שתא, "this year." However, unlike the Rambam, he employs that expression for both clauses.

Why is this night different from all other nights? -- The practice of asking the four questions is explicitly mentioned in the Mishnah, Pesachim 116a.

On all other nights, we are not required to dip even once -- Note the commentary on Halachah 8:2 regarding the order of the questions.

On all other nights, we eat either sitting upright or reclining -- As explained in the commentary on Halachah 2, this question is not mentioned in the Talmud. Hence, some commentaries maintain that it was added in later generations. Nevertheless, the fact that the Rambam includes it together with the question concerning roasted meat appears to indicate that he maintains that this question had been asked during the time the Temple was standing.

We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt -- Pesachim 115a mentions the beginning of this passage within the context of the discussion of the requirement to begin the description of the Exodus by telling of our people's roots. See also the commentary on Halachah 7:4.

elders -- This expression is not included in the text of the Haggadah quoted by many authorities, including the Shibolei HaLeket and the Avudraham. Some manuscripts of the Mishneh Torah also omit it. Similarly, in Sefer HaMitzvot, Mitzvah 157, the Rambam makes statements similar to those of this passage without mentioning this expression.

Once Rabbi Eliezer, Rabbi Yehoshua, Rabbi Elazar ben Azariah, Rabbi Akiva, and Rabbi Tarfon -- There is no explicit mention of this passage in the Talmud, although a somewhat parallel story is related in the Tosefta, Pesachim, Chapter 10.

Rabbi Elazar ben Azariah -- Berachot 12b quotes these statements without any reference to the gathering in Bnei Brak.

said to them -- This phrase is not mentioned in our text of the Haggadah. Its inclusion answers a question frequently raised: Why does the Haggadah mention this concept, which deals with the mitzvah to recall the Exodus from Egypt each day, on the Seder night? The recollection of the Exodus at the Seder is of a different nature entirely.

However, this addition clarifies the issue: This was one of the subjects discussed by the Sages in Bnei Brak.

Blessed be the Omnipresent -- The use of the word מקום as a name for God is based on Bereshit Rabbah 68:9: "He is the place of the world and the world is not His place."

who has given the Torah to Israel; blessed be He -- Our text of the Haggadah employs a slightly different version, mentioning four expressions of blessing to parallel the four sons.

The Torah speaks of four sons -- This passage is found with certain emendations in the Jerusalem Talmud and in the Mechiltah.

that God, our Lord, has commanded you -- Both the aforementioned sources state "has commanded us," preventing comparison between the wise and wicked sons. Nevertheless, the Rambam (as well as Rav Amram Gaon and Rav Saadia Gaon) found it more appropriate to quote the verse from the Torah verbatim.

reply to him, [teaching him] the laws of Pesach... -- Our text of the Jerusalem Talmud includes this as the answer to the simple son. Other commentaries (See P'nei David, Simchat HaRegel) give this as the answer to the wicked son.

dessert -- The literal meaning of the Greek word afikoman--see the Rambam's commentary on the Mishnah, Pesachim 10:8.

you should blunt his teeth and tell him...- Exodus 12:27 states that the question asked by the wicked son should be answered differently: "It is the Passover service to God..." The Zevach Pesach explains that the Haggadah implies, in addition to the reply given in the Torah, that he be reprimanded strongly, "blunt his teeth..."

The simple son -- the Jerusalem Talmud uses the expression: "the foolish son."

"You shall tell your son on that day." -- This verse, both the answer to the son who does not know how to ask and the source for the mitzvah to relate the story of the Exodus, serves as a transition between the passage of the four sons and the narrative of our redemption. (See also Halachah 7:1.)

"it is because of this." -- The word זה (this) is always used to refer to a clearly visible entity, as Menachot 29a comments on Exodus 12:2. Similarly, in this context, "this" refers to a situation where symbols of the Exodus, the matzah and the maror, are visibly present before us.

In the beginning, our ancestors were worshipers of other gods -- Pesachim 115a quotes this passage as reflecting the principle that the narrative of the Exodus must begin by relating our people's roots. (See Halachah 7:4.) It must be noted that the Rambam chooses slightly different phraseology from that employed in other Haggadot.

Blessed be He Who keeps His promise to Israel -- This passage is found in the Haggadot of Rav Amram Gaon and Rav Saadia Gaon. However, its origins are unknown.

the Holy One, blessed be He, calculated the end of [our bondage] -- i.e. counting the 400 years of oppression from the birth of Isaac, for during that entire time, the Jews were "strangers in a land that is not their own." The Egyptian exile itself lasted only 210 years. See Rashi, Exodus 12:40.

"An Aramean sought to destroy my father..." -- This and the verses that follow are part of the וידוי ביכורים recited when the Jews would bring their first fruits to Jerusalem. Pesachim 116a requires the person reciting the Haggadah to "expound from 'An Aramean sought to destroy my father' until he completes the entire passage." This implies that the exegesis of the verses found in the Haggadah was already extant at that time.

The commentaries quote the Sifri as the source for these interpretations though our text of the Sifri contains only portions of this passage. [The passage is found in the Mechiltah d'Rashbi in its entirety. However, some authorities maintain that it was a later addition.] Nevertheless, other early collections of Midrashim, such as Lekach Tov, Midrash HaGadol, and the Yalkut Shimoni, include the complete text.

"I made you as numerous as the plants of the field..." -- Though the verse has no explicit connection to the Exodus, the commentaries explain that it describes the situation of the Jews in Egypt in metaphoric terms.

Many texts of the Haggadah also include the previous verse from Ezekiel: "And when I passed by you, I saw you weltering in your blood..." Rav Ya'akov Emden relates that he and his father, the Chacham Tzvi, would recite this verse even though he did not find it in other texts. (His statement is slightly questionable. There are some earlier texts of the Haggadah, such as Siddur HaAri zal, which do include it.)

"I will pass through... and I will slay... I will execute... I, God." -- Our text of the Haggadah contains a further elaboration of this verse, showing how each use of the word "I" is intended to exclude God's use of an intermediary to execute judgement.

Rabbi Yehudah coined abbreviations for them: detzach, adash, b'achav. -- This concludes the exegesis of the verses of the וידוי ביכורים in the Sifri.

Our Haggadot (and similarly, those of Rav Amram Gaon and Rav Saadia Gaon) continue with a number of other passages:

a) Statements by Rabbi Yossi HaG'lili, Rabbi Eliezer, and Rabbi Akiva concerning the number of plagues with which the Egyptians were punished;

b) Passages recounting the extent of God's generosity to the Jewish people.

The first group of statements have their source in the Mechiltah. Rav Avraham, the Rambam's son, relates that his father did not include them in his text of the Haggadah because they were not popularly known. Nevertheless, it was his custom to recite them at the Seder.

The source for the second grouping of passages is less clear. They are not explicitly found in any Midrash.

Rabban Gamliel would say -- This passage and the remaining passages until the blessing, asher ge'alanu, are explicitly mentioned in the Mishnah, Pesachim 116a,b. (See also Halachot 7:5, 8:4 and the commentary, which mentions the change in the order there.)

has not fulfilled his obligation -- to relate the story of the Exodus. See Halachah 7:5.

In every generation -- This passage is found in Pesachim 116b. However, in contrast to the Talmud and our text of the Haggadah, the Rambam's text omits quoting Exodus 13:8: "And you shall tell your son..." Apparently, the Rambam had a different text of the Mishnah, which omitted this verse. This difference in texts is also the source for the Rambam's statements, Halachah 7:6: "In every generation, a person is obligated to present himself..." See the commentary on that halachah.

He brought us out from there -- Ravvah, Pesachim, ibid., requires reciting this verse.

Therefore, we are obliged to thank, praise, laud, glorify, exalt, magnify, adore, and give eternal praise -- With slight textual differences, this entire passage is found in Pesachim 116b. (See also Halachah 8:5).

Halleluyah! Servants of God,... [one continues reciting the Psalms] until... the flintstone into a stream of water — The Hallel was recited both while slaughtering the Paschal sacrifice and while eating it. To commemorate the latter recitation, we recite the Hallel at the Seder.

We divide the Hallel into two portions (see Pesachim, ibid. and Halachah 8:5):

the first, containing Psalms referring to the Exodus from Egypt, we recite before the meal;

the second, containing Psalms referring to the Messianic redemption (see Pesachim 118a), is recited after the meal.

Blessed are You, God, our Lord, King of the universe, who redeemed us and redeemed our ancestors... -- This blessing is quoted from Pesachim 116b. The first portion was also recited while the Temple was standing.

So too, God, our Lord and Lord of our fathers, enable us to reach --This portion of the blessing, composed by Rabbi Akiva, represents a prayer for our redemption and the rebuilding of the Temple. (See Pesachim, ibid., Halachah 8:5.)

other festivals -- The word "other" can also imply "of a different nature"--i.e., we pray for the Messianic redemption, when our festivals will be of an entirely different nature.

we shall eat of the sacrifices -- the Chaggigah offering

and of the Paschal offerings -- The Chaggigah offering was not sacrificed when Pesach began on Saturday night. Accordingly, it is our custom to reverse the order of these sacrifices on such an occasion. However, the Rambam does not mention such a practice.

Then, we shall sing a new song for our redemption -- The Mechiltah (see also Tosefot, Pesachim, ibid.) notes that the Bible mentions nine songs sang by the Jewish people as a collective entity. In each case, the Hebrew for song, שירה, is used in the feminine gender, for our redemption was not complete. In contrast, the song to be sung to greet Mashiach will be a

שיר חדש, a new song. The masculine gender is used because the Messianic redemption will represent the complete and ultimate liberation of our people. May it come speedily in our days.

Why is this night different from all other nights?

On all other nights, we are not required to dip even once. On this night, we dip twice?

On all other nights, we eat chametz (leaven) or matzah. On this night, only matzah?

On all other nights, we eat any type of vegetables. On this night, we eat maror (bitter herbs)?

On all other nights, we eat either sitting upright or reclining. On this night, we all recline?

מה נשתנה הלילה הזה, מכל הלילות. שבכל הלילות, אין אנו מטבילין אפילו פעם אחת; והלילה הזה, שתי פעמים. שבכל הלילות, אנו אוכלים חמץ ומצה; והלילה הזה, כולו מצה. שבכל הלילות, אנו אוכלים שאר ירקות; והלילה הזה, מרורים. שבכל הלילות, אנו אוכלין בין יושבין ובין מסובין; והלילה הזה, כולנו מסובין.

We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt,1 but God, our Lord, brought us out from there with a strong hand and an outstretched arm. If the Holy One, blessed be He, had not taken our ancestors out of Egypt, then we, our children, and our grandchildren, would still be enslaved to Pharaoh in Egypt.

[Therefore,] even if we were all wise, all men of understanding, all elders, all well-versed in Torah, we would still be commanded to tell about the Exodus from Egypt, for whoever tells about it at length, behold, he is worthy of praise.

עבדים היינו, לפרעה במצריים; ויוציאנו ה' אלוהינו משם, ביד חזקה ובזרוע נטויה. ואילו לא גאל הקדוש ברוך הוא את אבותינו ממצריים, עדיין אנו ובנינו ובני בנינו משועבדים היינו לפרעה במצריים. ואפילו כולנו חכמים, כולנו נבונים, כולנו יודעים את התורה—מצוה עלינו לספר ביציאת מצריים; וכל המאריך ביציאת מצריים, הרי זה משובח.

Once Rabbi Eliezer, Rabbi Yehoshua, Rabbi Elazar ben Azariah, Rabbi Akiva, and Rabbi Tarfon dined together [at the Seder] in Bnei Brak. They discussed the Exodus from Egypt throughout the entire night until their students came and told them: "Teachers, the time for reciting the Shemah in the morning has arrived."

מעשה ברבי אליעזר ורבי יהושוע ורבי אלעזר בן עזריה ורבי עקיבה ורבי טרפון, שהיו מסובין בבני ברק; והיו מספרין ביציאת מצריים כל אותו הלילה, עד שבאו תלמידיהם ואמרו להם, רבותינו, הגיע זמן קרית שמע של שחרית.

Rabbi Elazar ben Azariah said to them:2 I am like a seventy-year-old man. Nevertheless, I did not merit [to understand the reason for the obligation] to recall the Exodus from Egypt at night until ben Zoma interpreted the verse:3 "In order that you remember the day you left Egypt all the days of your life."

[The phrase] "the days of your life" refers to the days; [adding the word] "all" includes the nights.

The Sages interpreted [the verse]: "the days of your life" refers to the present world; "all the days of your life" indicates the Messianic era.

אמר להם רבי אלעזר בן עזריה, הרי אני כבן שבעים שנה, ולא זכיתי שתיאמר יציאת מצריים בלילות, עד שדרשה בן זומא: שנאמר "למען תזכור את יום צאתך מארץ מצריים, כול ימי חייך" (דברים טז,ג)--"ימי חייך", הימים; "כול ימי חייך", הלילות. וחכמים אומרים "ימי חייך", העולם הזה; "כול ימי חייך", להביא את ימות המשיח.

Blessed be the Omnipresent, who has given the Torah to Israel; blessed be He.

The Torah speaks of four sons:4 one wise, one wicked, one simple, and one who does not know how to ask.

ברוך המקום שנתן תורה לישראל עמו, ברוך הוא. כנגד ארבעה בנים דיברה תורה—אחד חכם, ואחד רשע, ואחד תם, ואחד שאינו יודע לשאול.

The wise son, what does he say? "What are the testimonies, statutes, and laws that God, our Lord, has commanded you?"5

You should thus reply to him, [teaching him] the laws of Pesach [until the final concept]: one may not eat any dessert after the Paschal sacrifice.6

חכם, מה הוא אומר--"מה העדות, והחוקים והמשפטים, אשר ציווה ה' אלוהינו, אתכם" (דברים ו,כ). אף אתה אמור לו כהלכת הפסח, אין מפטירין אחר הפסח אפיקימון.

The wicked son, what does he say? "What is this service to you?"7 [By saying,] "to you," [he implies]: "but not to himself." Since he has excluded himself from the people at large, he denies the foundation of our faith.

Therefore, you should blunt his teeth and tell him: "It is because of this, what God did for me when I went out of Egypt."8 [By saying] "for me," [you imply]: "but not him." Had he been there, he would not have been redeemed.

רשע, מה הוא אומר--"מה העבודה הזאת, לכם" (שמות יב,כו). "לכם", ולא לו. ולפי שהוציא את עצמו מן הכלל וכפר בעיקר, אף אתה הקהה את שיניו ואמור לו: "בעבור זה, עשה ה' לי, בצאתי, ממצריים" (שמות יג,ח)--"לי", ולא לו; אילו היה שם, לא היה נגאל.

The simple son, what does he say? "What is this?"

You should tell him: "With a strong hand, God brought us out from Egypt, from the house of bondage."9

תם, מה הוא אומר--"מה זאת" (שמות יג,יד). "ואמרת אליו—בחוזק יד הוציאנו ה' ממצריים, מבית עבדים" (שם).

The son who does not know how to ask, you must open him up, as the verse states: "You shall tell your son on that day: 'It is because of this, what God did for me when I went out of Egypt.'"10

"You shall tell your son on that day." Does [the obligation11 to relate the narrative of Pesach begin] on the first of the month? The Torah teaches [ibid.]: "[You shall tell your son] on that day," [-i.e., on the day of the Exodus].

From the phrase "on that day," one might infer "while it is still day." [Hence,] the Torah adds "it is because of this." Thus, [the obligation begins only] when matzah and maror are placed before you.

ושאינו יודע לשאול, את פתח לו—שנאמר "והגדת לבנך, ביום ההוא לאמור: בעבור זה, עשה ה' לי, בצאתי, ממצריים" (שמות יג,ח). "והגדת לבנך", יכול מראש החודש—תלמוד לומר "ביום ההוא". אי ביום ההוא, יכול מבעוד יום—תלמוד לומר "בעבור זה", לא אמרתי אלא בשעה שיש מצה ומרור מונחים לפניך.

In the beginning, our ancestors were worshipers of other gods,12 but now the Omnipresent has drawn us close to His service, as it is stated:13 "So God, the Lord of Israel, says: 'Your ancestors had always lived beyond the [Euphrates] River, Terach, the father of Abraham and Nachor, and they served other gods.'"

"'And I took your Patriarch, Abraham, from beyond the river and led him through the land of Canaan. I multiplied his descendants and I gave him Isaac.'"

"'To Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau. To Esau, I gave Mount Seir to inherit, but Jacob and his children went down to Egypt.'"

מתחילה, עובדי עבודה זרה היו אבותינו; ועכשיו, קירבנו המקום ברוך הוא לעבודתו, שנאמר "ויאמר יהושוע אל כל העם, כה אמר ה' אלוהי ישראל, בעבר הנהר ישבו אבותיכם מעולם, תרח אבי אברהם ואבי נחור; ויעבדו, אלוהים אחרים. ואקח את אביכם את אברהם, מעבר הנהר, ואולך אותו, בכל ארץ כנען; וארבה, את זרעו, ואתן לו, את יצחק. ואתן ליצחק, את יעקוב ואת עשיו; ואתן לעשיו את הר שעיר, לרשת אותו, ויעקוב ובניו, ירדו מצריים" (יהושוע כד,ב-ד).

Blessed be He Who keeps His promise to Israel, blessed be He, for the Holy One, blessed be He, calculated the end of [our bondage] in order to fulfill His pledge to Abraham [made] in the covenant bayn habetarim, as it is stated:14

"And He said to Abram: 'Know with certainty that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not their own. [The natives] will enslave them and oppress them for 400 years. But, ultimately, I will execute judgement upon the nation they shall serve and, afterwards, they shall leave with great wealth.'"

ברוך שומר הבטחתו לישראל עמו, ברוך הוא: שהקדוש ברוך הוא מחשב את הקץ, לעשות כמה שאמר לאברהם אבינו בין הבתרים, שנאמר "ויאמר לאברם, ידוע תדע כי גר יהיה זרעך בארץ לא להם, ועבדום, ועינו אותם—ארבע מאות, שנה. וגם את הגוי אשר יעבודו, דן אנוכי; ואחרי כן ייצאו, ברכוש גדול" (בראשית טו,יג-יד).

It is this that has stood by our ancestors and us. It is not only one that has risen up against us to destroy us. Rather, in every generation, they rise against us to annihilate us. However, the Holy One, blessed be He, saves us from their hand.

היא שעמדה לאבותינו, ולנו—שלא אחד בלבד עמד עלינו, אלא בכל דור ודור עומדים עלינו לכלותנו; והקדוש ברוך הוא, מצילנו מידם.

Go and learn what Laban attempted to do to our Patriarch, Jacob. Pharaoh decreed only against the males, but Laban attempted to uproot everything, as it is stated:15

"An Aramean sought to destroy my father; he descended to Egypt and sojourned there16 - This teaches that our Patriarch, Jacob, did not go down to Egypt with the intention of settling there, but merely to sojourn there, as it is stated:17

"And they told Pharaoh: We have come to sojourn in this land, for there is no pasture for the flocks of your servants, since there is a severe famine in the land of Canaan. Now, please let your servants dwell in the land of Goshen."

צא ולמד, מה ביקש לבן הארמי לעשות ליעקוב אבינו—שפרעה הרשע, לא גזר אלא על הזכרים; ולבן ביקש לעקור את הכול, שנאמר "ארמי אובד אבי, ויירד מצריימה, ויגר שם" (דברים כו,ה). מלמד שלא ירד להשתקע אלא לגור שם, שנאמר "ויאמרו אל פרעה, לגור בארץ באנו, כי אין מרעה לצאן אשר לעבדיך, כי כבד הרעב בארץ כנען; ועתה יישבו נא עבדיך, בארץ גושן" (בראשית מז,ד).

with a small number of people--as it is stated:18 "Your ancestors went down to Egypt with seventy persons. Now, God has made you as numerous as the stars of the heaven."

במתי מעט—כמו שנאמר "בשבעים נפש, ירדו אבותיך מצריימה; ועתה, שמך ה' אלוהיך, ככוכבי השמיים, לרוב" (דברים י,כב).

There, he became a nation--This teaches that Israel were distinct there.

great, powerful,-- as it is stated:19 "and the children of Israel were fruitful, became prolific, multiplied, and became very, very powerful. The land became full with them."

ויהי שם לגוי—מלמד שהיו ישראל מצויינין שם. גדול ועצום—כמו שנאמר "ובני ישראל, פרו וישרצו וירבו ויעצמו—במאוד מאוד; ותימלא הארץ, אותם" (שמות א,ז).

and populous-- as it is stated:20 "I made you as numerous as the plants of the field. You grew and developed, becoming very attractive, your breasts firm and your hair grown long; but you were naked and bare."

ורב—כמו שנאמר "רבבה, כצמח השדה נתתיך, ותרבי ותגדלי, ותבואי בעדי עדיים: שדיים נכונו ושיערך צימח, ואת עירום ועריה" (יחזקאל טז,ז).

And the Egyptians were cruel to us.21--as it is stated:22 "Come, let us deal cleverly with them, lest they multiply. Then, if there were a war, they might join our enemies and drive [us] out of the land."

וירעו אותנו המצרים—כמו שנאמר "הבה נתחכמה, לו: פן ירבה, והיה כי תקראנה מלחמה ונוסף גם הוא על שונאינו, ונלחם בנו, ועלה מן הארץ" (שמות א,י).

They made us suffer-- as it is stated:23 "They placed task masters over them to oppress them with hard labor. And they built Pitom and Ra'amses as supply centers for Pharaoh."

ויענונו—כמו שנאמר "וישימו עליו שרי מיסים, למען ענותו בסבלותם; וייבן ערי מסכנות, לפרעה—את פיתום, ואת רעמסס" (שמות א,יא).

and imposed harsh slavery upon us-- as it is stated:24 "And the Egyptians made the children of Israel do backbreaking labor."

וייתנו עלינו עבודה קשה—כמו שנאמר "ויעבידו מצריים את בני ישראל, בפרך" (שמות א,יג).

We cried out to God, the Lord of our fathers25-- as it is stated:26 "After those many days, the king of Egypt died. The children of Israel groaned because of the work. When they cried out over their slavery, their pleas rose up before God."

ונצעק אל ה' אלוהי אבותינו—כמו שנאמר "ויהי בימים הרבים ההם, וימת מלך מצריים, וייאנחו בני ישראל מן העבודה, ויזעקו; ותעל שוועתם אל האלוהים, מן העבודה" (שמות ב,כג).

God heard our voice.-- as it is stated:27 "God heard our cries and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob."

וישמע ה' את קולנו—כמו שנאמר "וישמע אלוהים, את נאקתם; ויזכור אלוהים את בריתו, את אברהם את יצחק ואת יעקוב" (שמות ב,כד).

He saw our suffering,-- This refers to the disruption of family life, as it is stated:28 "God saw the children of Israel and God took note."

וירא את עוניינו—זו פרישות דרך ארץ, כמו שנאמר "וירא אלוהים, את בני ישראל; ויידע, אלוהים" (שמות ב,כה).

our difficult labor,-- This refers to the children, as it is stated:29 "Every boy who is born must be cast into the river, but every girl shall be allowed to live."

ואת עמלנו—אלו הבנים, כמו שנאמר "כל הבן היילוד, היאורה תשליכוהו, וכל הבת, תחייון" (שמות א,כב).

and our distress-- this refers to the pressure [applied by the Egyptians], as it is stated:30 "I have also seen the oppression which the Egyptians are applying to them."

ואת לחצנו—זה הדוחק, כמו שנאמר "וגם ראיתי, את הלחץ, אשר מצריים, לוחצים אותם" (שמות ג,ט).

God brought us out of Egypt31-- not by the medium of an angel, not by the medium of a seraph, nor by the medium of any agent. Rather, [it was] the Holy One, blessed be He; He, Himself, in His glory, as it is stated:32

"I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night and I will slay every firstborn in the land of Egypt, from man to beast. I will execute judgements against all the gods of Egypt. I, God."

ויוציאנו ה' ממצריים—לא על ידי מלאך, לא על ידי שרף, לא על ידי שליח, אלא הקדוש ברוך הוא בכבודו: כמו שנאמר "ועברתי בארץ מצריים, בלילה הזה, והכיתי כל בכור בארץ מצריים, מאדם ועד בהמה; ובכל אלוהי מצריים אעשה שפטים, אני ה'" (שמות יב,יב).

with a mighty hand-- This refers to the epidemic, as it is stated:33 "Behold, the hand of God will be directed against your cattle in the field, against the horses, the asses and camels, the oxen and the sheep, with a very severe epidemic."

ביד חזקה—זה הדבר, כמו שנאמר "הנה יד ה' הויה, במקנך אשר בשדה, בסוסים בחמורים בגמלים, בבקר ובצאן—דבר, כבד מאוד" (שמות ט,ג).

with an outstretched arm-- This refers to the sword, as it is stated:34 "His unsheathed sword is in his hand, stretched out over Jerusalem."

ובזרוע נטויה—זו החרב, כמו שנאמר "וחרבו שלופה בידו, נטויה על ירושלים" (דברי הימים א כא,טז).

with great visions-- This refers to the revelation of the Divine Presence, as it is stated:35 "Has God ever performed miracles, coming to take one nation out of the midst of another nation with miracles, signs, wonders, war, a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and with terrifying phenomena, as God did for you in Egypt before your very eyes?"

ובמורא גדול—זה גילוי שכינה, כמו שנאמר "או הניסה אלוהים, לבוא לקחת לו גוי מקרב גוי, במסות באותות ובמופתים ובמלחמה וביד חזקה ובזרוע נטויה, ובמוראים גדולים: ככול אשר עשה לכם ה' אלוהיכם, במצריים—לעיניך" (דברים ד,לד).

signs-- This refers to the staff, as it is stated:36 "Take this staff in your hand, with which you shall perform the signs."

ובאותות—זה המטה, שנאמר "ואת המטה הזה, תיקח בידך, אשר תעשה בו, את האותות" (שמות ד,יז).

and wonders-- This refers to the blood, as it is stated:37 "I will reveal wonders in heaven and earth: Blood, fire, and columns of smoke."

ובמופתים—זה הדם, כמו שנאמר "ונתתי, מופתים, בשמיים, ובארץ: דם ואש, ותימרות עשן" (יואל ג,ג).

Another interpretation: [of the above verse: Each phrase is associated with two plagues:]

with a mighty hand: two;

and with an outstretched arm: two;

and with great visions: two;

and with signs: two;

and with wonders: 3two.

These are the ten plagues which the Holy One, blessed be He, brought upon the Egyptians in Egypt: They are:

Blood, frogs, lice, wild beasts, epidemic,

boils, hail, locusts, darkness, slaying of the firstborn.

Rabbi Yehudah coined an abbreviation for them:

detzach, adash, b'achav

דבר אחר: ביד חזקה, שתיים; ובזרוע נטויה, שתיים; ובמורא גדול, שתיים; ובאותות, שתיים; ובמופתים, שתיים. אלו עשר מכות, שהביא הקדוש ברוך הוא על המצריים במצריים; ואלו הן: דם, צפרדע, כינים, ערוב, דבר, שחין, ברד, ארבה, חושך, מכת בכורות. רבי יהודה היה נותן בהם סימן, דצ"ך עד"ש באח"ב.

Rabban Gamliel would say:38 Whoever does not discuss the following three things on Pesach has not fulfilled his obligation. They are: the Paschal sacrifice, matzah, and maror.

רבן גמליאל אומר, כל שלא אמר שלושה דברים אלו בפסח, לא יצא ידי חובתו—פסח, מצה, ומרורים.

The Paschal sacrifice that our ancestors would eat during the time the Temple was standing—what is its reason?

Because the Holy One, blessed be He, passed over the houses of our ancestors in Egypt, as it is stated:39 "You shall say, 'It is a Pesach sacrifice for God, because He passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, striking the Egyptians and saving our homes.' The people bowed down and prostrated themselves."

פסח שהיו אבותינו אוכלין בזמן שבית המקדש קיים, על שם מה—על שם שפסח המקום על בתי אבותינו במצריים, שנאמר "ואמרתם זבח פסח הוא לה', אשר פסח על בתי בני ישראל במצריים, בנוגפו את מצריים, ואת בתינו הציל; וייקוד העם, וישתחוו" (שמות יב,כז).

This matzah we eat—what is its reason?

Because the dough of our ancestors did not have time to become leavened before the King of kings, the Holy One, blessed be He, revealed Himself to them and redeemed them, as it is stated:40 "They baked matzah cakes from the dough that they had brought out of Egypt, because it had not risen; for they had been driven out of Egypt and could not delay; nor had they prepared any [other] provisions for themselves."

מצה זו שאנחנו אוכלין, על שם מה—על שם שלא הספיק בצקם של אבותינו להחמיץ, עד שנגלה עליהם מלך מלכי המלכים הקדוש ברוך הוא, וגאלם מיד: שנאמר "ויאפו את הבצק אשר הוציאו ממצריים, עוגות מצות—כי לא חמץ: כי גורשו ממצריים, ולא יכלו להתמהמה, וגם צידה, לא עשו להם" (שמות יב,לט).

This maror we eat—what is its reason?

Because the Egyptians embittered the lives of our ancestors in Egypt, as it is stated:41 They made the Jews' lives bitter with hard service, with mortar and with bricks, and with all manner of service in the field; their entire service at which they made them slave vigorously.

מרורים אלו שאנחנו אוכלין, על שם מה—על שם שמיררו המצריים את חיי אבותינו במצריים, שנאמר "וימררו את חייהם בעבודה קשה, בחומר ובלבינים, ובכל עבודה, בשדה—את, כל עבודתם, אשר עבדו בהם, בפרך" (שמות א,יד).

In every generation42, a person is obligated to regard himself as if he had left Egypt. It was not only our ancestors whom the Holy One, blessed be He, redeemed from Egypt; rather, He redeemed us, as it is stated:43 "He brought us out from there, so that He might bring us to the land He promised our fathers, and give it to us."

ובכל דור ודור, חייב אדם להראות את עצמו כאילו הוא יצא ממצריים, שלא את אבותינו בלבד גאל, אלא אף אותנו גאל—שנאמר "ואותנו, הוציא משם—למען, הביא אותנו, לתת לנו את הארץ, אשר נשבע לאבותינו" (דברים ו,כג).

Therefore, we are obliged44 to thank, praise, laud, glorify, exalt, magnify, adore, and give eternal honor to the One who did all these miracles for us and for our ancestors. He took us out from slavery to freedom, from servitude to redemption, from sorrow to joy, from mourning to festivity, and from deep darkness to great light. [Therefore,] let us recite before Him: Halleluyah!

לפיכך אנו חייבים להודות להלל לשבח לפאר לרומם לגדל ולהדר, ולנצח ולברך למי שעשה לנו ולאבותינו את כל הניסים האלו, והוציאנו מעבדות לחירות, ומשיעבוד לגאולה, ומיגון לשמחה, ומאבל ליום טוב, ומאפילה לאור גדול; ונאמר לפניו, הללו יה.

Halleluyah! Servants of God—offer praise;45 praise the name of God. May God's name be blessed...

[one continues reciting the Psalms] until

the flint-stone into a stream of water.46

"הללו יה: הללו, עבדי ה'; הללו, את שם ה'. יהי שם ה', מבורך . . ." (תהילים קיג,א-ב) עד "חלמיש, למעיינו מים" (תהילים קיד,ח).

Blessed are You, God, our Lord, King of the Universe47 who redeemed us and redeemed our ancestors from Egypt and has enabled us to reach this night so that we may eat matzah and maror upon it. So too, God, our Lord and Lord of our fathers, enable us to reach other festivals and holidays that will come to us in peace, celebrating in the rebuilding of Your city and rejoicing in Your service. Then, we shall eat of the sacrifices and of the Paschal offerings whose blood shall reach the wall of Your altar to be graciously accepted. Then, we shall offer thanks to You [with] a new song for our redemption and for the deliverance of our souls. Blessed are You, God, who redeemed Israel.

ברוך אתה ה' אלוהינו מלך העולם, אשר גאלנו וגאל את אבותינו ממצריים, והגיענו ללילה הזה לאכול בו מצה ומרורים. כן ה' אלוהינו ואלוהי אבותינו, יגיענו למועדים ולרגלים אחרים הבאים לקראתנו לשלום, שמחים בבניין עירך וששים בעבודתך, ונאכל שם מן הזבחים ומן הפסחים שיגיע דמם על קיר מזבחך לרצון, ונודה לך שיר חדש על גאולתנו ועל פדות נפשנו. ברוך אתה ה', גאל ישראל.

According to the order with which one recites the blessings and the Haggadah on the first night of Pesach, one recites the blessings and the Haggadah on the second night, which was [instituted because of] the exile. Similarly, on the second night, we are obligated in the four cups [of wine] and the other practices of the first night.

With the help of heaven, this concludes the text of the Haggadah and concludes the halachot of the Pesach Seder and the laws pertaining to chametz and matzah.

כסדר שמברכין וקוראים ההגדה בליל יום טוב ראשון של פסח, כך מברכים וקוראים בליל השני של גלייות; וכן חייבין בליל השני בארבעה כוסות, ובשאר הדברים שנעשו בלילה הראשון.

Shofar, Sukkah, vLulav - Chapter One

Introduction to Hilchos Shofar, Sukkah, vLulav

This text describes three positive commandments. They are:

1) To listen to the sounding of the shofar on the first of Tishrei;
2) to dwell in the sukkah throughout the seven days of the festival of Sukkot;
3) to take the lulav in the Temple throughout the seven days of the festival of Sukkot.

These mitzvot are explained in the following chapters.

הלכות שופר וסוכה ולולב - הקדמה

יש בכללן שלש מצות עשה. וזהו פרטן:

א) לשמוע קול שופר באחד בתשרי.
ב) לישב בסוכה כל שבעת ימי החג.
ג) ליטול לולב במקדש כל שבעת ימי החג:

וביאור מצות אלו בפרקים אלו:

1

It is a positive commandment from the Torah to hear the sounding of the shofar on Rosh HaShanah, as [Numbers 29:1] states: "It shall be a day of sounding [the ram's horn] for you."

The shofar, which is sounded both on Rosh HaShanah and for the yovel, is a bent ram's horn. All shofarot other than that of a ram are unacceptable.

Even though the sounding of the shofar on Rosh HaShanah is not explicitly mentioned in the Torah [it was derived by our Sages in the following manner]. Concerning the yovel, [Leviticus 25:9] states: "You shall make a proclamation, sounding the shofar... you shall proclaim with the shofar." The oral tradition explains that just as the "sounding" required by the Torah in the yovel requires a shofar, so, too, the "sounding" on Rosh HaShanah requires a shofar.

א

מצות עשה של תורה לשמוע תרועת השופר בראש השנה שנאמר יום תרועה יהיה לכם. ושופר שתוקעין בו בין בראש השנה בין ביובל הוא קרן הכבשים הכפוף. וכל השופרות פסולין חוץ מקרן הכבש. ואף על פי שלא נתפרש בתורה תרועה בשופר בראש השנה הרי הוא אומר ביובל והעברת שופר וכו' תעבירו שופר. ומפי השמועה למדו מה תרועת יובל בשופר אף תרועת ראש השנה בשופר:

It is a positive commandment from the Torah - Sefer Hamitzvot (Positive Commandment 170) and Sefer Hachinuch (Mitzvah 405) count this mitzvah as one of the 613 mitzvot of the Torah.

to hear the sounding of the shofar - The mitzvah is not the blowing of the shofar, as might be inferred from the verse, but rather listening to the blowing. The blessing recited before the fulfillment of this mitzvah, praising God for commanding us "to listen to the sounding of the shofar (Chapter 3, Halachah 10)," emphasizes this principle.

Accordingly, the Rambam writes (Chapter 1, Halachah 8) that a person who blows a shofar without hearing it does not fulfill the mitzvah. Conversely, he writes (Responsum 78) that if the mitzvah were the blowing of the shofar, a person who heard it being blown, but did not blow it himself, would not fulfill his obligation.

It must be noted that the published text of the siddur of Rav Amram Gaon states that the mitzvah is "to sound the shofar." Also, concerning the blowing of the shofar in the yovel, the Rambam himself writes that: "it is a positive mitzvah to blow the shofar on the tenth of Tishre... (Hilchot Shemitah V'Yovel 10:10)."

on Rosh HaShanah, as [Numbers 29:1] states: "It shall be a day of sounding [the ram's horn] for you." - Though the ram's horn is not explicitly mentioned in the verse, our Sages derived the requirement as the Rambam explains.

The shofar, which is sounded both on Rosh HaShanah and for the yovel - to announce the freeing of the slaves and the return of property, as explained in Leviticus 25:9-13.

is a bent -Rams' horns are always bent. This, too, has homiletic significance, referring to the bending over of our proud hearts. (See Rosh HaShanah 26b.)

ram's horn. - Rosh HaShanah 16a states that a ram's horn is used to recall the akedah (binding) of Isaac.

All shofarot other than that of a ram are unacceptable. - The Rambam's opinion is based on the statement of Rav Levi (Rosh Hashanah 26b), who declares: "The mitzvah of Rosh Hashanah is to be performed with bent [shofarot]," implying the use of a sheep's or ram's horn for that is their natural shape.

The Ra'avad, Rabbenu Asher, and many other Rishonim maintain that Rav Levi desired to designate the type of shofar which is most preferable to use, but did not intend to disqualify the horns of other animals. Their view is accepted by the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 586:1), which states that it is desirable to use the horn of a ram. However, if that is not possible, the horn of any animal may be used. The only exceptions are the horns of a cow and some wild animals whose horns are single, solid entities (Ramban).

Even though the sounding of the shofar on Rosh HaShanah - The above verse merely mentions יום תרועה - "a day of sounding" - without stating what must be sounded.

is not explicitly mentioned in the Torah [it was derived by our Sages in the following manner]. Concerning the yovel, [Leviticus 25:9] states: "You shall make a proclamation, sounding the shofar...you shall proclaim with the shofar." The oral tradition - Rosh Hashanah 33b

explains that just as the "sounding" required by the Torah in the yovel requires a shofar, so, too, the "sounding" on Rosh HaShanah requires a shofar. - An analogy (גזרה שוה) is drawn between the two verses, to teach that the same type of "sounding" is required on both occasions. Thus, since the Torah specifies states that the "sounding" of the yovel is carried out with a shofar, that same instrument is used on Rosh HaShanah.

2

In the Temple, on Rosh HaShanah, they would blow [the shofar in the following manner]: There was one shofar and two trumpets, [one on either] side. The sounding of the shofar was extended, while that of the trumpets was shortened, because the mitzvah of the day is performed with the shofar.

Why were the trumpets sounded together with it? Because [Psalms 98:6] states: "You shall sound trumpets and the voice of the shofar before God, the King." However, in other places on Rosh Hashanah, only the shofar is blown.

ב

במקדש היו תוקעין בראש השנה בשופר אחד ושתי חצוצרות מן הצדדין השופר מאריך והחצוצרות מקצרות שמצות היום בשופר. ולמה תוקעין עמו בחצוצרות משום שנאמר בחצוצרות וקול שופר הריעו לפני המלך ה'. אבל בשאר מקומות אין תוקעין בראש השנה אלא בשופר בלבד:

In the Temple - As will be explained in the commentary to Chapter 2, Halachah 8, and Chapter 7, Halachah 13, in certain contexts the Rambam interprets the expression במקדש - literally, "in the holy place" - as referring to the entire city of Jerusalem. (See also the Rambam's commentary to the mishnah, Rosh HaShanah 4:1.) However, in the present context, it refers to the Temple alone. Thus, Rosh HaShanah 27a states that the shofar was sounded in this manner only "on the Temple Mount and at the eastern gate."

on Rosh HaShanah, they would blow [the shofar in the following manner]: There was one shofar and two trumpets, [one on either] side. - The verse from Psalms mentions "the voice of the shofar," using the singular. In contrast, it refers to "trumpets."

The sounding of the shofar was extended - for greater emphasis

while that of the trumpets was shortened, because the mitzvah of the day is performed with the shofar. - Rosh HaShanah 26b contrasts the sounding of the shofar and trumpets on Rosh HaShanah with their being blown on a fast day declared because of unfavorable conditions. On the latter occasion, the sounding of the trumpets was emphasized in keeping with the instructions of Numbers 10:9.

Why were the trumpets sounded together with it? Because [Psalms 98:6] states: "You shall sound trumpets and the voice of the shofar before God, the King." - Rosh Hashanah 27a states that the expression "before God" implies: in the Temple.

However, in other places - even within Jerusalem

on Rosh Hashanah, only the shofar is blown.

3

At the outset, we should not blow a shofar of idol worship. However, if one sounded it, one has fulfilled his obligation. [In contrast,] should one sound a shofar belonging to an apostate city, one has not fulfilled one's obligation.

Concerning a stolen shofar: one who blows it fulfills his obligation, because the mitzvah is only to listen to the sound, even though the listener does not touch [the shofar] or lift it up. The laws of theft do not apply to sound alone.

Similarly, a shofar from an olah offering should not be sounded, but if one sounds it, he fulfills his obligation, because the laws of מעילה do not apply with regard to sound alone. If you ask: "Behold, he has derived benefit from hearing [the shofar's] sound?" - mitzvot were not given for our benefit.

Based on this concept, a person who vows not to derive benefit from a shofar may use it to blow the teki'ot required to fulfill the mitzvah.

ג

שופר של עכו"ם אין תוקעין בו לכתחלה ואם תקע יצא. ושל עיר הנדחת אם תקע בו לא יצא. שופר הגזול שתקע בו יצא שאין המצוה אלא בשמיעת הקול אע"פ שלא נגע בו ולא הגביהו השומע יצא ואין בקול דין גזל. וכן שופר של עולה לא יתקע בו ואם תקע יצא שאין בקול דין מעילה. ואם תאמר והלא נהנה בשמיעת הקול מצות לא ליהנות ניתנו. לפיכך המודר הנייה משופר מותר לתקוע בו תקיעה של מצוה:

At the outset, we should not blow a shofar of idol worship. - For it is not appropriate to use such a shofar for a mitzvah.

However, if one sounded it, one has fulfilled his obligation. - The Maggid Mishneh explains that this refers to a shofar belonging to a gentile that was used in the worship of idols, or a shofar which was itself worshiped as an idol. However, as will be explained, if the shofar of idol worship belonged to a Jew or if it was made from the horn of an animal that was sacrificed to an idol, even after the fact, its use is not acceptable.

[In contrast,] should one sound a shofar belonging to an apostate city, - עיר הנדחת. Deuteronomy 13:13-19 describes the laws governing a city in which the majority of the inhabitants have turned to idol worship. All the idolaters must be slain and all the homes and property burned. No benefit may be derived from them. (See also Hilchot Avodat Kochavim, Chapter 4.)

one has not fulfilled one's obligation. - Rosh Hashanah 28a explains that the difference between a shofar of idol worship and one of an apostate city is that all the property within the latter must be destroyed. Since ultimately this shofar must be burnt, even before it is actually destroyed it is no longer considered to be an existent entity. Thus, we may not use it on Rosh HaShanah, because a shofar used for the mitzvah must be of a specific size - slightly larger than one's hand, as mentioned in Halachah 5 - and a nonexistent entity has no size at all.

A shofar of idol worship must also be destroyed. However, should the gentile negate its connection to idol worship before it is acquired by a Jew, it need not be destroyed, as stated in Hilchot Avodat Kochavim 8:8. Since there is a possibility that it will not have to be destroyed, it is considered to be an existent entity and may be used for the mitzvah.

This principle applies only to aspects of idol worship belonging to a gentile. It is impossible to negate the connection between an idol worshiped by a Jew and its forbidden nature. (See Hilchot Avodat Kochavim 8:9.) Hence, a Jew's shofar of idol worship may not be used. Similarly, if a Jew has acquired a shofar of idol worship that belonged to a gentile before the latter negated its connection to idol worship, the Jew is no longer capable of negating this connection. Therefore, such a shofar may not be used on Rosh HaShanah.

Also, once an animal has been sacrificed to an idol, there is no possibility of negating its connection to idol worship. Hence, its horn may not be used as a shofar.

The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 586:3-4) quotes all the above laws as halachah. The Ramah relates that certain authorities recommend not using even a gentile's shofar of idol worship unless we know that he negated its connection with idol worship before Rosh HaShanah begins.

Concerning a stolen shofar - one who blows it fulfills his obligation - Though in general, a mitzvah performed with a stolen article is not acceptable (see Chapter 8, Halachah 1; Hilchot Chametz U'Matzah 6:7), this case is an exception...

because the mitzvah is only to listen to the sound - Hence, a person who listens to the shofar being blown fulfills his obligation

even though the listener does not touch [the shofar] - Based on this statement, the commentaries propose that, according to the Rambam, a person who blows a shofar without putting his lips to it fulfills his obligation. The Ramban (see Maggid Mishneh 1:6) does not accept this view.

or lift it up. - Accordingly, after the fact, by hearing such a shofar, one has fulfilled one's obligation, because

The laws of theft do not apply to sound alone - for sound is not a physical entity that can be possessed. Rabbenu Manoach and the Kessef Mishneh cite other examples from Nedarim 13b-15a, where the Sages differentiate between sound and material entities.

The Jerusalem Talmud (Sukkah 3:1) derives this law as follows:

Everyone agrees that a stolen lulav is unacceptable. What is the difference between a shofar and a lulav?

Rabbi Yosse responded: "Concerning a lulav, [Leviticus 23:40] states: 'You shall take for yourself,' implying that only 'your own' is acceptable. In contrast, [Numbers 29:1] states: 'It shall be a day of blowing for you,' implying that regardless [of the nature of the shofar used, the blowing shall be 'for you']".

Rabbi Eliezer explained: "There, [concerning the lulav,] one must perform the mitzvah with the lulav itself. Here, [concerning the shofar,] one performs the mitzvah with its sound."

Nevertheless, because a sin is associated with this mitzvah, Ashkenazic custom is that no blessing should be recited before blowing such a shofar (Magen Avraham 586:4).

Similarly, a shofar from an - animal consecrated as an...

olah offering should not be sounded, - Once an animal is consecrated as an olah offering, no part of its body may be used any other purpose. Therefore, we should not use such a shofar from such an animal for any purpose whatsoever.

This halachah applies before the blood from the sacrifice has been offered on the altar. Afterwards, the skin and horns of the animal become the property of the priests and may be used for mundane purposes (Rashi, Rosh Hashanah 28a).

but if one sounds it, he fulfills his obligation, because the laws of מעילה - The prohibitions forbidding use of consecrated articles for mundane purposes...

do not apply concerning sound alone. - In Hilchot Me'ilah 5:16, the Rambam writes:

Concerning the sound, sight, and smell of consecrated objects: We should not derive benefit from them. However, all the implications of the prohibition against using them for mundane purposes do not apply.

If you ask: "Behold, he has derived benefit from hearing [the shofar's] sound?" - Though the laws of מעילה do not apply to sound, there is still a Rabbinic prohibition against benefiting from the sound of consecrated articles. Therefore, one might think that we would be unable to fulfill the mitzvah with such a shofar (Lechem Mishneh). Accordingly, the Rambam explains:

Mitzvot were not given for our benefit - Rashi (Rosh Hashanah, ibid.) states: "the mitzvot were not given to the Jewish people for their enjoyment, but rather as a yoke."

This concept has relevance in the ethical, as well as the halachic sphere. In the tenth chapter of Hilchot Teshuvah, the Rambam writes:

One who serves [God] out of love occupies himself with the Torah and the mitzvot...for no ulterior motive, not because of fear that evil will occur, nor in order to acquire benefit...

The great Sages would command the more understanding and brilliant among their students in private: "Do not be like servants who serve their master for the sake of receiving a gift. Rather, since he is the Master, it is fitting to serve Him"; i.e., serve [Him] out of love.

The above is not intended to imply that a person should not feel happy and fulfilled in the service of God. Quite the contrary; indeed, the Rambam concludes these halachot (Chapter 8, Halachah 15) with a description of the importance of happiness in the service of God. However, the intent is that the happiness should be a byproduct and not the goal of the service. We should be totally committed to fulfilling God's will, and the expression of that commitment should generate satisfaction and joy.

Based on this concept - that mitzvot were not given for our benefit;

a person who vows not to derive benefit from a shofar may use it to blow the teki'ot required to fulfill the mitzvah. - Doing so is not considered a violation of his vow.

The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 586:5) advises that the person who took the vow should not blow the shofar himself [because many consider that to be a pleasurable experience (Taz)]. Rather, he should hear the teki'ot from a colleague.

Also, the Shulchan Aruch (ibid.) notes that if a person specifically states that he vows not to listen to a colleague's teki'ot, he may not hear that person blow the shofar on Rosh HaShanah, because a vow (neder) can also negate a mitzvah. (See Hilchot Nedarim 3:6-8.)

4

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

How is the above exemplified? If there is a shofar in a treetop or across a river - and that is the only shofar available - one may not climb the tree or swim across the water to bring it. Needless to say, we may not cut the shofar [from the animal's head] or perform a forbidden labor [to prepare a shofar so that we may blow it].

[The rationale for the above is:] Blowing the shofar fulfills a positive commandment, while [the observance of] the festivals fulfills both a positive and a negative commandment. The observance of a positive commandment does not negate the observance of both a positive and negative commandment.

It is permitted to rinse a shofar with water, wine, or vinegar in order to improve its tone. However, as an expression of deference, one should never use urine [for that purpose], lest one view the mitzvot in a deprecating manner.

ד

שופר של ראש השנה אין מחללין עליו את יום טוב ואפילו בדבר שהוא משום שבות. כיצד היה השופר בראש האילן או מעבר הנהר ואין לו שופר אלא הוא אינו עולה באילן ואינו שט על פני המים כדי להביאו. ואין צריך לומר שאין חותכין אותו או עושין בו מלאכה. מפני שתקיעת שופר מצות עשה ויום טוב עשה ולא תעשה ואין עשה דוחה לא תעשה ועשה. מותר ליתן בתוכו מים או יין או חומץ ביום טוב כדי לצחצחו. ולא יתן לתוכו מי רגלים לעולם מפני הכבוד שלא יהיו מצות בזויות עליו:

Regarding a shofar to be used on Rosh HaShanah: It is forbidden to violate the festival laws to obtain it. This applies - not only when obtaining the shofar requires the violation of a melachah (forbidden labor) prohibited by the Torah, but

even when the forbidden practice is in the category of sh'vut. - In Hilchot Shabbat 21:1, the Rambam defines sh'vut as a prohibition instituted by the Sages because a particular activity resembles one forbidden as a melachah by Torah law, or because performing it may cause one to perform a melachah.

Though these prohibitions are of Rabbinic origin, the Sages reinforced the power of their decrees and equated them with Torah law. Hence, just as one may not violate a melachah forbidden by the Torah to obtain a shofar, so, too, it is forbidden to violate a sh'vut forbidden by Rabbinic law (Kessef Mishneh). [Nevertheless, note the clarification of this principle in Chapter 2, Halachah 6.]

How is the above exemplified? If there is a shofar in a treetop or across a river - and that is the only shofar available - one may not climb the tree - lest one accidentally cut off a branch (ibid., 6)

or swim across the water to bring it - lest one prepare a swimming aid (ibid., 23:5). The Mishnah (Rosh Hashanah 32b) mentions other examples of forbidden activities.

Needless to say, we may not cut the shofar [from the animal's head] - In his commentary on the mishnah, the Rambam explains that this refers to cutting the horn off with a household knife. Since a craftsman's knife is not being used, cutting the shofar off is not forbidden by Torah law. Nevertheless, the Rambam uses the expression "needless to say," because such an activity bears a closer resemblance to one forbidden by Torah law than those mentioned previously.

or perform a forbidden labor - cutting off the horn with a craftsman's knife

[to prepare a shofar so that we may blow it].

[The rationale for the above is:] Blowing the shofar fulfills a positive commandment - as stated in Halachah 1.

while [the observance of] the festivals fulfills both a positive and a negative commandment. - In Hilchot Sh'vitat Yom Tov 1:2, the Rambam writes:

Whoever rests from a melachah categorized as "work" on one of [these days] fulfills a positive commandment, because the Torah describes them as "days of rest"... if one performs a melachah that is not intended to prepare food,... one negates the performance of a positive commandment and transgresses a negative commandment, as [Leviticus 23:8] states: "You shall not perform any servile work."

The observance of a positive commandment does not negate the observance of both a positive and negative commandment. - Though the performance of a positive commandment overrides a negative commandment (Yevamot 3b), that applies only when the negative commandment is not reinforced by a positive commandment, as in the case at hand.

It is permitted to rinse a shofar with water, wine, or vinegar in order to improve its tone. - It is forbidden to prepare a utensil for use on a festival. (See Hilchot Sh'vitat Yom Tov 4:8.) However, this activity is not placed in that category (Rabbenu Manoach).

However, as an expression of deference, one should never - i.e., even before Rosh HaShanah

use urine [for that purpose], lest one view the mitzvot in a deprecating manner. - The Rambam concludes Hilchot Shechitah (14:16):

...lest one view the mitzvot in a deprecating manner, because the deference is not to be granted to the mitzvot in and of themselves, but to the One who commanded us to fulfill them, blessed be He.

5

The minimum size of a shofar is [a measure] sufficient that one may hold the shofar in one's hands [with the ends] visibly [protruding] on either side.

Should a shofar be cracked lengthwise, it is unacceptable. Should it be cracked along its width - if a measure equivalent to the minimum size of a shofar remains, it is kosher. It is considered as if it were cut off at the place of the crack.

[Regarding a shofar with] a hole: If it was plugged with another substance, it is unacceptable. If it was plugged with its own kind, it is kosher [under the following conditions]:

the majority of the shofar remained whole;

the plugging of the holes did not alter its sound.

If one [merely] perforated the insides of the horn, [but did not remove them,] it is kosher, because a substance of the same kind is not considered an intervening entity. Should one stick together fragments of shofarot until one has constructed a shofar, it is unacceptable.

ה

שיעור השופר כדי שיאחזנו בידו ויראה לכאן ולכאן. נסדק לאורכו פסול. לרחבו אם נשתייר בו כשיעור כשר וכאילו נכרת מקום הסדק. ניקב אם סתמו שלא במינו פסול. סתמו במינו אם נשתייר רובו שלם ולא עכבו הנקבים שנסתמו את התקיעה הרי זה כשר. קדחו בזכרותו כשר שמין במינו אינו חוצץ. דבק שברי שופרות עד שהשלימו לאחד פסול:

The minimum size of a shofar is [a measure] sufficient that one may hold the shofar in one's hands [with the ends] visibly [protruding] - The protrusions are necessary lest one say that a person is producing the sounds by blowing into his hands without a shofar.

on either side. - Niddah 26a defines this measure as "an expanded handbreadth." The Beit Yosef notes that, in this context, a handbreadth is defined as four thumbbreadths. Thus, the difference between the width of a thumb and the other fingers accounts for the "expansion." In modern measure, a handbreadth is considered between 8 (Shiurei Torah) and 9.6 (Chazon Ish) centimeters.

Should a shofar be cracked lengthwise - i.e., from its mouth to its end;

it is unacceptable. - This is a quote from Rosh Hashanah 27b. The Rabbis have noted that, in contrast to a crack along the shofar's width, in this context no minimum figure is mentioned with regard to the portion of the shofar remaining uncracked. Two contrasting interpretations are offered to explain the difference.

Some maintain that as long as the entire length (or the majority of the length) of the shofar is not cracked, the shofar is not disqualified. Others maintain that even the slightest crack along the length of the shofar disqualifies it, because the pressure of the blowing will cause the crack to grow until, ultimately, the entire shofar will be cracked (Rabbenu Asher; Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 586:8).

Concerning halachah l'ma'aseh, both the Shulchan Aruch HaRav (586:8) and the Mishnah Berurah (586:43) write that when no other shofar is available, one may rely on the first opinion. Nevertheless, even the latter opinion does not disqualify a shofar that is cracked lengthwise if it is tied firmly so that the crack will not expand, or if the shofar is heated and the crack closed. Some opinions also allow such a shofar to be used if the crack is plugged closed with other substances.

Should it be cracked along its width - with the crack extending along the majority of the shofar's circumference (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim ibid., 9),

if a measure equivalent to the minimum size of a shofar remains - Most authorities require a handbreadth to remain from the crack to the shofar's mouth (Kessef Mishneh). However, the Ba'al Ha'itur maintains that a shofar is acceptable even if the minimum measure remains only from the crack to the end of the shofar.

it is kosher. - This applies even if the sound of the shofar is changed because of the crack (Shulchan Aruch, ibid.).

It is considered as if it were cut off at the place of the crack. - Hence, the crack does not disqualify it.

[Regarding a shofar with] a hole: If it was plugged - In his commentary on the Mishnah (Rosh Hashanah 3:5), the Rambam writes that the hole must be plugged. This point is not accepted by the Shulchan Aruch (ibid., 7), which emphasizes that if the hole is not plugged, the shofar is kosher even though its sound has changed. Nevertheless, the Ramah states that if another shofar is available, a shofar with a hole should not be used.

with another substance, - i.e., any substance other than a ram's horn;

it is unacceptable - because the sound produced does not come from the shofar alone, but rather from the shofar and the other substance.

If;

a) it was plugged with its own kind,

it is kosher [under the following conditions]:

b) the majority of the shofar remained whole;

c) the plugging of the holes did not alter its sound. - These three conditions are dependent on the Rambam's interpretation of Rosh Hashanah 27b. Rabbenu Asher interprets the passage differently. The Shulchan Aruch (ibid.) favors the Rambam's interpretation, but states that under difficult circumstances, when no other shofar is available, one may rely on Rabbenu Asher's interpretation.

If one [merely] perforated the insides of the horn, - the bonelike tissue inside the horn

[but did not remove them,] it is kosher, because a substance of the same kind is not considered an intervening entity. - The presence of a foreign substance inside the shofar would cause it to be disqualified, as stated in the following halachah. However, since this tissue is considered to be part of the horn itself, the shofar is acceptable.

The Shulchan Aruch (ibid., 586:15) quotes this law, but also adds that if one removed this tissue from the horn and then hollowed it out, the tissue would be unacceptable for use as a shofar.

Should one stick together fragments of shofarot until one has constructed a shofar, it is unacceptable. - Tosafot, Rosh Hashanah 27a explains that this construction is not called a shofar. The Shulchan Aruch (ibid., 10) states that this law applies even if the fragment of the shofar closest to one's mouth is of sufficient size to be considered a kosher shofar itself.

6

If one made any addition to a shofar - whether of its kind or from another substance - it is unacceptable.

Should one coat it with gold from the inside or at the mouthpiece, it is unacceptable. Should one coat it on the outside: If its sound is changed from what it was originally, it is not acceptable. If its sound did not change, it is kosher.

Should one place one shofar within another: If one hears the sound of the inner shofar, one has fulfilled one's obligation. If one hears the outer shofar, one has not fulfilled one's obligation.

Should one widen the narrow portion of the shofar and narrow its wider end, the shofar is unacceptable.

ו

הוסיף עליו כל שהוא בין במינו בין שלא במינו פסול. צפהו זהב מבפנים או במקום הנחת פה פסול. צפהו מבחוץ אם נשתנה קולו מכמות שהיה פסול ואם לא נשתנה כשר. נתן שופר בתוך שופר אם קול פנימי שמע יצא ואם קול חיצון שמע לא יצא. הרחיב את הקצר וקצר את הרחב פסול:

If one made any addition to a shofar - whether from the mouthpiece or from the wider end (Shulchan Aruch HaRav 586:11).

whether of its kind - using a fragment of a ram's horn

or from another substance - it is unacceptable. - On the surface, this law appears to be an extension of the principle mentioned in the last clause of the previous halachah. If so, one might question why the Rambam mentions them in two separate halachot.

Should one coat it with gold - or any other foreign substance

from the inside or at the mouthpiece, it is unacceptable - for the sound must come from the shofar itself. Though Rosh Hashanah 26b mentions that the mouth of the shofar used in the Temple was coated with gold, the place where the person blowing would put his mouth was not covered.

Should one coat it - with gold or any other substance

on the outside: If its sound is changed from what it was originally, it is not acceptable - for then, the sound we hear is a product of both the shofar and the coating, and not the shofar alone.

Based on this law, the Ramban advises against making designs in the shofar and coating them with paint or metal, for this may alter the shofar's sound and prevent the teki'ot from being acceptable.

If its sound did not change, it is kosher - All these laws are quoted by the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 586:16).

Should one place one shofar within another: If one hears the sound of the inner shofar, - i.e., with the further end of the inner shofar protruding beyond that of the outer shofar

one has fulfilled one's obligation - for the outer shofar had no effect on the sound we hear. The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 586:20) emphasizes that one may fulfill one's obligation under such circumstances only if the sound of the inner shofar remains totally unchanged. The teki'ot are unacceptable if its sound is altered.

If one hears the outer shofar - i.e., its edge protrudes beyond that of the inner shofar

one has not fulfilled one's obligation - for then, one is hearing the sound of two shofarot. The Torah commanded us to hear one shofar and not two (Tosafot, Rosh Hashanah 27b).

Should one widen the narrow portion of the shofar and narrow its wider end, the shofar is unacceptable. - Rosh Hashanah 27b explains the derivation of this law as follows: The terminology which Leviticus 25:9 uses when commanding us to blow the shofar, שופר והעברת, has an additional implication. That expression is also related to the word עבר, meaning "to pass." The manner in which we use the shofar must parallel the manner in which the ram passes by with it on its head.

Based on the same principle, our Sages (ibid.) explain that a shofar is unacceptable if it was heated to the point that the horn became soft, and then turned inside out.

7

If a shofar was long and one shortened it, it is kosher. If one scraped away the horn - either from the inside or from the outside - even if one did so to the extent that all that remained was the thin external shell, it is kosher.

Regardless of whether [the shofar's] sound is heavy, thin, or raspy, it is kosher, because all the sounds produced by the shofar are kosher.

ז

היה ארוך וקצרו כשר. גרדו בין מבפנים בין מבחוץ אפילו העמידו על גלדו כשר. היה קולו עב או דק או צרור כשר שכל הקולות כשרין בשופר:

If a shofar was long and one shortened it - It makes no difference whether the portion is cut away from the shofar's mouthpiece or from its wider portion (Mishnah Berurah 586:63).

it is kosher. - Tosafot, Rosh Hashanah 27b explains that the necessity of mentioning this law arises from the last clause of the previous halachah. Since we find that the Torah requires us to use the shofar in the same manner as which it was carried by the ram, a special teaching is necessary to inform us that a shofar is acceptable even if it was shortened.

The Kessef Mishneh explains that such a shofar is acceptable even it was shortened because of a disqualifying factor which it possessed on the portion which was cut off.

If one scraped away the horn - either from the inside - widening the hollow of the shofar

or from the outside - scraping away its outer shell

even if one did so to the extent that all that remained was the thin external shell, - even if the sound of the shofar changes (Shulchan Aruch HaRav 586:13; Mishnah Berurah 586:65).

it is kosher - since no change is made in its fundamental shape.

Regardless of whether [the shofar's] sound is heavy, thin, or raspy, - Rabbenu Manoach and the Kessef Mishneh translate צרור as "dry," explaining that blowing a shofar causes it to dry out and produce a raspy tone. Hence, it was customary to rinse it with water or wine, as mentioned in Halachah 4.

it is kosher, because all the sounds produced by the shofar are kosher. - In his commentary on this clause, Rabbenu Manoach injects a spiritual concept emphasizing how the musical quality of the shofar's tones are not significant, but rather the stirring and rousing nature of the shofar's call which motivates the people to Teshuvah.

8

When a person sounds a shofar within a pit or within a cave, those standing within the pit or cave fulfill their obligation. Concerning those standing outside: If they hear the sound of the shofar, they fulfill their obligation. If they hear the sound of an echo, they do not fulfill their obligation.

Similar principles apply regarding one who blows into a giant barrel. If he hears the sound of a shofar, he fulfills his obligation. If he hears an echo, he does not fulfill his obligation.

ח

התוקע בתוך הבור או בתוך המערה. אותן העומדים בתוך הבור והמערה יצאו. והעומדים בחוץ אם קול שופר שמעו יצאו. ואם קול הברה שמעו לא יצאו. וכן התוקע לתוך חבית גדולה וכיוצא בה. אם קול שופר שמע יצא ואם קול הברה שמע לא יצא

When a person sounds a shofar within a pit or within a cave - Rav Hai Gaon writes that these laws were not merely questions of abstract theory. Rather, they carried practical relevance in the Talmudic period, when the Jews frequently had to perform mitzvot clandestinely, to avoid being observed by the Roman authorities.

those standing within the pit or cave fulfill their obligation. - for they hear the shofar's sound alone. Needless to say, both they and the person blowing the shofar must fulfill the conditions outlined in Chapter 2 regarding a person's fulfillment of the mitzvah when hearing the shofar blown by a colleague.

Concerning those standing outside: If - all

they hear - is

the sound of the shofar, they fulfill their obligation. - However,

if they hear the sound of an echo - even if they hear the sound of the shofar together with it,

they do not fulfill their obligation - because another sound is mixed together with the desired sound.

Similar principles apply regarding one who blows into a giant barrel. If he hears - The Kessef Mishneh explains that the Rambam does not mention people standing within a barrel, because that is a very unlikely eventuality.

the sound of a shofar - alone,

he fulfills his obligation. If he hears an echo - together with the shofar,

he does not fulfill his obligation. - The Taz 587:1 explains that this concept is also relevant for synagogues with poor acoustics. If the people hear echoes together with the shofar's sound, they do not fulfill their obligation.

At present, there is a more common application of this principle. A person who hears the shofar through a microphone does not fulfill the mitzvah. In addition to the difficulties involved with the use of the microphone on a festival, there is a more essential problem. The listeners are not hearing the sound of the shofar, but rather a second sound, produced by a different mechanism. The microphone converts the sound waves of the shofar to electronic signals; these are then amplified and converted to a different set of sound waves. Hence, by hearing such a sound, we cannot fulfill the mitzvah obligating us to hear a shofar's call.

Shofar, Sukkah, vLulav - Chapter Two

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.

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The Mishneh Torah was the Rambam's (Rabbi Moses ben Maimon) magnum opus, a work spanning hundreds of chapters and describing all of the laws mentioned in the Torah. To this day it is the only work that details all of Jewish observance, including those laws which are only applicable when the Holy Temple is in place. Participating in the one of the annual study cycles of these laws (3 chapters/day, 1 chapter/day, or Sefer Hamitzvot) is a way we can play a small but essential part in rebuilding the final Temple.
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