ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous dafRosh Hashanah 16
ROSH HASHANAH 16 (7 Menachem Av) - dedicated by the wife and daughters of
the late Dr. Simcha Bekelnitzky (Simcha Gedalya ben Shraga Feibush) of
Queens N.Y. on his second Yarzeit. Well known in the community for his
Chesed and Tzedakah, he will be remembered by all who knew him.
(a) The world is judged four times annually. It is judged ...
(b) The problem that we initially have in explaining that the judgment on
the produce pertains to the corn that is already growing - is to explain
when the judgements took place, that would have decided the degree of the
produce's success up until then.
- ... on Pesach - for produce.
- ... on Shavu'os - for fruit of the tree.
- ... on Rosh Hashanah - we are all judged.
- ... on Sukos - for the annual water supply.
(c) On the other hand, we reject the alternative suggestion that it pertains
exclusively to the produce that has yet to be sown - on the basis of a
Beraisa, which emphatically states that produce, like people, undergo *two*
judgements, one that decides the fate of the produce *before* Nisan, and
one, to decide its fate *afterwards*.
(d) If something good or bad happens to a person between Rosh Hashanah and
Yom Kipur - the judgement will have taken place in the *previous* year.
(a) The Gemara's outcome is that all produce goes through *two* judgments -
the one from the previous year which decided its fate up until Nisan, the
other from Nisan and onwards.
(b) One normally sows ...
(c) Consequently, if that year's wheat and spelt crop is growing well -
Abaye advises one to sow barley early, in time for the second rains, in
order to take advantage of that year's blessing (because who knows whether
the judgement due in the forthcoming Nisan will be as favorable).
- ... wheat and spelt - in Mar-Cheshvan.
- ... barley - in Adar.
(a) According to Rebbi Meir, the entire world is judged on Rosh Hashanah,
and their Din is sealed on Yom Kipur. According to Rebbi Yehudah -
everything is judged on Rosh Hashanah, and the Din of each individual
species is sealed in the time specified in our Mishnah.
1. ... Rebbi Yossi learns from the Pasuk "va'Tifkedenu la'Bekarim" - that
every person is judged every day (in the morning).
(c) Neither Rebbi Meir nor Rebbi Yossi nor Rebbi Nasan could possibly be the
author of our Mishnah. Nor could it be Rebbi Yehudah - because if the Tana
of our Mishnah was concerned with the sealing of the Din, then he should
have given the date on which man is judged as Yom Kipur, and not Rosh
2. ... Rebbi Nasan learns from the Pasuk "li'Rega'im Tivchanenu" - that a
person is judged every hour.
(d) The author of our Mishnah is Tana de'Bei Rebbi Yishmael, who gives all
four Roshei Shanim exactly as they are listed in our Mishnah.
(a) We reject the suggestion that Rebbi Yossi (who learns that a person is
judged only once a day) disagrees with Rebbi Nasan, because the Lashon
'Bechinah' (Rebbi Nasan's source) implies no more than a perfunctory
judgment - on the grounds that, in that case, so does 'Pekidah' (Rebbi
(b) Clearly, then, the Pasuk "va'Tifkedenu la'Bekarim" cannot be Rebbi
Yossi's source. In fact - he learns it from the Pasuk in Melachim "La'asos
Mishpat Avdo u'Mishpat Amo Yisrael *D'var Yom be'Yomo)*".
(c) According to the Tana of our Mishnah, who holds that a person's judgment
is finalized on Yom Kipur, Davening for a sick person appears futile. We
might do that - according to Rebbi Yossi, who holds that a person is judged
every day (or, presumably, according to Rebbi Nasan).
(d) Alternatively, we might pray for a sick person according to Rebbi
Yitzchak - who said that Tefilah always helps, even (for individuals and)
even *after* the judgement has been sealed.
(a) The Torah instructs us ...
1. ... to bring the Omer before Hashem on Pesach - because Pesach is the
time that we are judged for produce, and bringing the Omer will help procure
a good judgement for that year's crops.
(b) The connection between loaves of bread and fruit of a tree - is confined
to Rebbi Yehudah (who happens to be the author of this Beraisa), who holds
that the forbidden *tree* whose fruit Adam ha'Rishon ate was *wheat*.
2. ... to bring the two Loaves on Shavu'os - because Shavu'os is the time
that we are judged for fruit of the tree ... .
3. ... to pour water on the Mizbe'ach on Sukos - because on Sukos, we are
judged for that year's water supply ... .
(c) On Rosh Hashanah, we recite ...
- ... 'Malchuyos' - in order to remember to crown Hashem over ourselves.
- ... 'Zichronos' - so that our remembrance should ascend before Hashem for the good.
- ... 'Shofros' - because that is the vehicle through which that ascention will be achieved.
(a) We blow specifically on the horn of a *ram* - to evoke the Divine Mercy,
on the merit of Yitzchak Avinu, who gave up his life in order to be a Korban
(b) Rav Yitzchak's Kashya 'Why do we blow the Shofar on Rosh Hashanah' is
strange - because it is obvious that we blow the Shofar because that is what
the Torah instructs us to do.
(c) The source for Teki'as Shofar is the Pasuk in Emor - "Zichron Teru'ah".
(d) What Rav Yitzchak meant to ask was - why we blow twice, first 'Te'ki'os
di'Meyushav' and then, 'Teki'os di'Me'umad'.
When our ancestors when were being taken into Galus - the B'nei Yishmael
first offered the starving and thirsty exiles very salty food and then large
empty flasks full of air (which our ancestors believed to be full of water).
After eating the very salty food, they opened the flasks to drink, but the
air in the flasks filled their lungs, and they died.
1. ... 'Te'ki'os di'Meyushav' - refers to the first set of thirty notes,
during which one is permitted to sit.
(b) The Satan becomes confused when he sees us blowing more than we have
been commanded - because he sees how eager we are to perform the Mitzvos,
and this eagerness is one of the most powerful antidotes against the Satan.
2. ... 'Teki'os di'Me'umad' - to the Teki'os that one blows during the
Amidah (possibly a proof for Minhag S'farad, to blow during the silent
Amidah, where everyone is obligated to stand).
(c) The Pasuk in Eikev writes "Tamid Einei Hashem Elokecha Bah *me'Reishis
ha'Shanah ve'Ad Acharis Shanah"*. Bearing in mind that the word
"*me'Reishis* is missing an Aleph - we interpret the latter part of this
Pasuk to mean that if the year has a poor beginning (from the word 'Rash'
[meaning 'a poor man'] i.e. we humble ourselves and plead with Hashem for
Divine mercy), then it will have a rich ending.
(a) A tottering wall and anticipating that our prayers will be answered,
result in highlighting one's sins. The third item on the list is - asking
Hashem to punish someone who has done him harm (when he could have avoided
it - perhaps by taking the person concerned to Beis-Din).
(b) We learn this from Sarah - who blamed Avraham (and said "Hashem will
judge between us") for the fact that Hagar disrespected her, because he did
not Daven that she (Sarah) should have children.
(c) All three cases cause Hashem to ask 'Is he worthy'?
(d) What is common to all the current Sugyos is - that the author is Rav
(a) We learn from the Pasuk ...
1. ... "u'Tdedakah Tatzil mi'Maves" - that Tzedakah has the power to tear up
the evil decree.
(b) We learn that an evil decree can be altered ...
2. ... "va'Yitz'aku el Hashem ba'Tzar Lahem, u'mi'Metzukoseihem Yotzi'em" -
that Tefilah possesses that power, too.
1. ... by changing one's name - from Sarai, who was able to bear a child
only after her name was changed to Sarah.
(c) The above three correspond to 'Teshuvah, Tefilah and Tzedakah' (which,
we say on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kipur, avert the evil decree). Some add to
the list, changing one's place of residence - which they learn from Avraham
Avinu, whom Hashem promised would become a great nation only after he moved
from Charan to Eretz Yisrael.
2. ... by changing one's deeds - from the inhabitants of Ninvei, whose evil
decree was rescinded after they mended their ways.
(d) Not everyone agrees with this however - on the grounds that *that* was
purely on the merit of Eretz Yisrael (though one could then ask why Rav
Yitzchak did not include moving to Eretz Yisrael in his list).
(a) We learn from the husband of the Shunamis, who asked his wife why she
was going to visit the Navi, seeing as it was neither Shabbos nor Rosh
Chodesh - that one is obligated to visit one's Rebbe on Shabbos and Rosh
Chodesh (and Yom-Tov is no different than Rosh Chodesh - see Agados
Maharsha). The Gemara mentions specifically Yom-Tov, says the Ritva, because
it speaks even to those who live far away, who are not obligated to visit
him every Shabbos and Rosh Chodesh.
(b) The Torah writes in Shemini "u've'Nivlasam Lo Siga'u". This cannot be
understood as it stands however - because, if Yisraelim are not included in
the injunction not to become Tamei *Meis* (which is a *more* stringent
category of Tum'ah, and which is confined to Kohanim) then how much more so
will they be permitted to touch the dead carcass of an animal (which is a
*less* stringent category of Tum'ah).
(c) What the Pasuk must be coming to teach us is - that even a *Yisrael* is
obligated to ensure that he remains *Tahor* on *Yom-Tov*.
(a) Rebbi Kruspedai Amar Rebbi Yochanan teaches us about the three Books
open before Hashem on Rosh Hashanah - the Book of complete Tzadikim, the
Book of complete Resha'im and the Book of Beinonim.
(b) Rebbi Avin even learns this from the Pasuk "ve'Im Ayin, Mecheini Na" -
from the Book of Resha'im; "mi'Sifrecha" - from the Book of Tzadikim;
"Asher Kasavta" - from the Book of Beinonim.
(c) Beis Shamai in a Beraisa, say that there are three groups on the Day of
Judgment - meaning the day when the dead will be brought back to life.
(d) At that time ...
1. ... the complete Tzadikim (who have more Mitzvos to their credit than
sins) will be written and sealed for everlasting life (body together with
2. ... the complete Resha'im - (who have more sins than Mitzvos) will be
written and sealed to go to Gehinom.
3. ... the Beinonim - (those whose Mitzvos are equal to their sins) will go
down to Gehinom where they will suffer (in the fire which is sixty times
stronger than the fire with which we are acquainted) for a short time
(presumably to complete the Gehinom which they begun to endure after they
died - but with their Souls only), before returning to join the Tzadikim.