THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
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1) "THE DAY THE LULAV IS PUT TO REST" -- THE SEVENTH DAY OR THE EIGHTH DAY?
QUESTION: RASHI (DH Ela Rebbi Yehoshua) quotes Rebbi Yehoshua of the Beraisa
(on 2b), who says that we mention Gevuros Geshamim in the Shemoneh Esreh "at
the time when the Lulav is placed down" (mi'She'as Hanachaso). Rashi
explains this to be the *seventh day* of Sukos, which is the last day that
we hold the Lulav. This is also what Rashi writes in two other places (2b,
DH mi'She'as Hanachaso, and 3a, DH ha'Amar mi'She'as Hanachaso).
At the end of Rashi's words, though, he writes that according to the
conclusion of the Gemara, the Mishnah in Sukah (42b) which states that
Nisuch ha'Mayim is performed all seven days of Sukos could be the opinion of
Rebbi Yehoshua, who says that we mention Gevuros Geshamim "on the *last day
of Yom Tov*" -- implying that it is said only on the eighth day (Shemini
Atzeres)! Rashi, within the same comment, first says that Rebbi Yehoshua (of
the Beraisa) holds that the Hazkarah of Geshamim begins on the seventh day,
and then he says that it begins on the eighth day! (KEREN ORAH)
In another place as well we find Rashi (4a, DH Rebbi Yehoshua) saying that
"the day that the Lulav is placed down" means the *eighth* day of Sukos,
once again contradicting the three comments listed above in which he asserts
that it means the seventh day. What does Rashi mean to say -- do we begin to
mention rain on the seventh day or the eighth day, according to Rebbi
Yehoshua of the Beraisa? (GEVURAS ARI and others)
(a) TOSFOS (2b, DH mi'She'as) says that when Rebbi Yehoshua in the Beraisa
says that we mention Geshamim "at the time when the Lulav is put down" he is
referring to the eighth day. Support for Tosfos' explanation can be found in
the Mishnah (2a), in which Rebbi Yehoshua himself states that the Hazkarah
of Geshamim begins "on the last day of Yom Tov," meaning the eighth day. It
would seem logical for Rebbi Yehoshua of the Mishnah and Rebbi Yehoshua of
the Beraisa to be expressing one and the same opinion. Further support for
Tosfos is found in the Yerushalmi, which says clearly that the time of
Hanachas Lulav refers to the day *after* the seventh day, since the entire
seventh day is fit for performing the Mitzvah of Lulav.
This is in accordance with what Rashi wrote in the latter two glosses quoted
above (4a, and in the end of DH Ela on 3a) that the day of "Hanachas Lulav"
is the eighth day. What does Rashi mean, though, when he says that it refers
to the seventh day?
RAV BETZALEL RENSBURG (2b, based on MAHARSHA 3a) suggests that when Rashi
says "the seventh day," he is not referring to the day on which we begin
saying the Hazkarah of Geshamim. Rather, he means that the seventh day is
the last day of the Mitzvah of Lulav, and *after* that day (on the eighth)
we begin saying the Hazkarah.
(b) Although this explanation resolves the first two comments of Rashi in
which he says that the time of Hanachas Lulav is the seventh day, Rav
Betzalel Rensburg does not address the third comment of Rashi (3a, DH Ha
Amar mi'She'as Hanachaso), in which Rashi clearly implies that the *Hazkarah
itself* is on seventh day and not on the eighth day. Furthermore, Rav
Betzalel's explanation of Rashi will not conform to Tosfos' explanation
which is based on the Yerushalami, because according to the Yerushalmi, the
*time of Hanachas Lulav* is also the *eighth* day, since the Lulav is not
put down permanently through the entire seventh day. (It is not likely that
Rashi is creating a new way to explain how the Beraisa refers to the eight
day of Sukos, counter to the Yerushalmi.)
The GEVUROS ARI (2b) says that (according to the Bavli) the time of Hanachas
Lulav could indeed mean the seventh day (not like Tosfos says), and that
Rebbi Yehoshua of the Beraisa is arguing with Rebbi Yehoshua of the
Mishhnah. He proves that they are arguing from the Gemara (end of 3a) that
asks which Rebbi Yehoshua was Rebbi Yehudah quoting -- the Rebbi Yehoshua of
the Mishnah or the Rebbi Yehoshua of the Beraisa. This clearly implies that
they are two different opinions. He adduces further proof that they are
arguing from the Gemara at the beginning of this Daf (3a), which initially
suggests that according to Rebbi Yehoshua, Nisuch ha'Mayim should be only
one day during Sukos, just like Hazkarah of Geshamim is only one day during
Sukos. If Rebbi Yehoshua of the Beraisa is of the same opinion as Rebbi
Yehoshua of the Mishnah, and he holds that the Hazkarah begins on the eighth
day (Shemini Atzeres), then what implication is there that the Nisuch
ha'Mayim should only be for one day? At this point, the Gemara is assuming
that there is no such thing as Nisuch ha'Mayim on the eighth day. If the
Hazkarah is on the eighth day, it must have nothing to do with Nisuch
ha'Mayim and no conclusions can be drawn about Nisuch ha'Mayim from the
Hazkarah of Geshamim. Rather, it must be that the Gemara is referring to
Rebbi Yehoshua of the Beraisa and understands that he holds that the
Hazkarah is said on the *seventh* day, and thus it deduces that he holds
Nisuch ha'Mayim is also done only on that day.
(Regarding how Tosfos will answer these proofs against his explanation that
Rebbi Yehoshua in the Beraisa and Rebbi Yehoshua in the Mishnah are of the
same opinion, the DIKDUKEI SOFRIM (#400) writes that Tosfos' text of the
Gemara did not include the line "Iy Rebbi Yehoshua Hi," and indeed there are
indeed manuscripts of the Gemara that do not have that Girsa. The Dikdukei
Sofrim writes at length to resolve the explanation of Tosfos through all of
Rashi's source (in the three places quoted above) for asserting that Rebbi
Yehoshua holds that the Hazkarah is said on the seventh day of Sukos is from
these inferences in the Gemara.
How, though, do we resolve the contradiction in Rashi's words? What does
Rashi mean when he says that the Hazkarah is on the eighth day?
When Rashi here (in the end of his comments in DH Ela Rebbi Yehoshua) says
that the Mishnah, which says that Nisuch ha'Mayim is performed all seven
days, is following the opinion of Rebbi Yehoshua who says that the Hazkarah
is said on the last day of Yom Tov (the eighth day), he means that the
Mishnah of Nisuch ha'Mayim all seven days could work out according to *both*
Rebbi Yehoshua of the Beraisa and Rebbi Yehoshua of the Mishnah, since
Nisuch ha'Mayim is a Halachah l'Moshe mi'Sinai and has no connection to the
Hazkarah of Geshamim. The Hazkarah is said at the end of Sukos because it
would be a Siman Klalah (an foreboding omen) to mention rain at the
beginning of the festival. Nevertheless, on the seventh or eighth day we do
mention the Hazkarah, for that late in the festival it is no longer
considered a Siman Klalah. When Rashi says that Rebbi Yehoshua holds that
the Hazkarah is said on the last day of Yom Tov (the eighth day), he is
referring to Rebbi Yehoshua of the Mishnah, because the Gemara is discussing
at this point both Rebbi Yehoshua of the Mishnah and of the Beraisa. At the
beginning of his comments, Rashi mentions Rebbi Yehoshua of the Beraisa,
because the Mishnah of Nisuch ha'Mayim could also be according to that Rebbi
Yehoshua. Rashi is mentioning in his explanation the two different opinions
of Rebbi Yehoshua, because the Mishnah of Nisuch ha'Mayim will work out
equally well according to both of them. (See Insights to 4a regarding
Rashi's words there.)
2) WHEN TO MENTION "RU'ACH" AND "TAL"
QUESTION: The Gemara says that we do not have to mention Tal (dew), Avim
(clouds), and Ru'ach (wind) in the Shemoneh Esreh, because they are things
that are always present and do not stop, and thus we do not have to ask for
them. The Gemara adds that one is permitted to add mention of them in the
Shemoneh Esreh, but there is no obligation to do so. It seems that in the
time of the Gemara, they did not mention any of these three items in the
3) HALACHAH: "GESHEM" OR "GASHEM"?
Our practice nowadays is difficult to understand, because it seems
1. Nowadays, we mention Tal in (*Hazkarah*) in the beginning of the Shemoneh
Esreh in summertime ("Morid ha'Tal"), but not in the wintertime. In
addition, we mention Tal in the wintertime in *She'eilah* in Birchas
ha'Shanim ("v'Sen Tal u'Matar l'Vrachah"). Sephardim mention Tal in
She'eilah throughout the entire year, "... Talelei Verachah."
Why do we mention Tal at all, if there is no obligation to do so? And if we
are going to mention it, why do we mention it only during specific parts of
2. We mention Ru'ach in the beginning of Shemoneh Esreh in the wintertime
("Mashiv ha'Ru'ach u'Morid ha'Geshem"), but not in the summertime. Why?
3. We do not mention Avim at all. If we are mentioning the other optional
items, Tal and Ru'ach, then why do we not mention Avim as well?
(a) The RITVA offers an approach to understanding our practice, based on the
rule that we mention anything which provides irreplaceable benefit to the
world, even if it is not essential for the world's survival.
1. He explains that we mention Tal in the summertime in Hazkarah because
without it, we would not be mentioning anything and the blessing of "Atah
Gibor" would seem to be lacking. Since we cannot mention Geshem in the
summertime, we mention Tal.
(b) The RAN uses a different approach. He says that the general principle is
that we mention whatever has any benefit to the world at all, even though
there is no obligation to do so.
In Birchas ha'Shanim (She'eilah), we mention Tal because we ask Hashem for
Tal of blessing ("v'Sen Tal...* l'Verachah*"). The Tal of blessing is
something that sometimes does not come, and therefore we specifically ask
for it in the Shemoneh Esreh. We do not mention it in Hazkarah (in the
wintertime), because the Gevurah of Hashem is not recognizable in Tal since
both types of Tal -- Tal of blessing and Tal which is not of blessing --
look exactly the same (the blessing is a spiritual one, embodied within the
Tal of blessing).
2. We do not mention (Hazkarah) or ask for (She'eilah) Ru'ach in the
summertime because the main benefit of the Ru'ach is when it accompanies the
rain, and since we do not ask for rain in the summertime, we do not ask for
The reason we mention Ru'ach in the winter, even though it is something that
does not stop, is because we need a specific type of Ru'ach -- a Ru'ach
sh'Einah Metzuyah, a strong, infrequent type of wind. Even though the Gemara
says that we do not have to mention it since it is not absolutely necessary
(for we can use some other instrument to do the winnowing), nevertheless we
mention it because it is beneficial in two ways. First, such winds bring the
rains (see also Rashi 3a, DH l'Fi sh'Einan). Second, such causes the grass
and vegetation to grow. Therefore, even though we are not obligated to
mention something which is not essential, we nevertheless mention anything
that is beneficial that has no substitute, even though it is not essential
to the world. We only mention Ru'ach in the winter, because that is the only
time we benefit from it in these two ways.
3. Clouds are beneficial only when they accompany rain (as the Gemara says
at the end of this Daf, describing clouds that follow rain). Therefore, we
do not mention clouds in the summertime, when we do not ask for rain. Why,
though, do we not mention clouds in the wintertime, if clouds are beneficial
when they accompany the rain?
The Ritva explains that clouds enhance the rain only when the rain is a
poor, weak rain. If the rain is heavy and strong, then the clouds do not
enhance it at all. (After a strong rain, "sun that follows the rain is
beneficial..." as the Gemara continues). Since we want heavy rains, we do
not ask for clouds, because the type of rain which the clouds are good for
is not the type of rain that we want.
1. We mention Tal in the summertime in Hazkarah and in wintertime in
She'eilah. We do not mention Tal in Hazkarah in the wintertime only because
we want to put more emphasis on our mention and request for rain, which is
something that we are required to pray for, while the Tal is something that
we will receive anyway and we are not required to pray for. In order to give
the rain more attention (by mentioning it in both places, Hazkarah and
She'eilah), we leave out Tal from Hazkarah.
2. We mention Ru'ach in the winter in Hazkarah since we mention whatever is
at all beneficial to the world, as stated above. We leave it out of our
She'eilah, once again, in order to give more attention to the request for
rain (by mentioning it in both places, Hazkarah and She'eilah) than to the
Why do we not mention Ru'ach in the summertime at all? The Ran answers that
Ru'ach is something that we do not need at all in the summer. Its only
benefit is in the winter, when it dries out the soil.
3. We do not mention clouds at all, even though they are beneficial in the
wintertime when they accompany rain, because most people do not recognize
the benefit of clouds and thus it will look awkward if we mention or ask for
clouds, which seemingly do not provide any benefits to the world, in the
QUESTION: In the wintertime, we mention the praise of Hashem who brings rain
-- "Morid ha'Geshem" -- in the blessing of Gevuros ("Atah Gibor..."). The
custom among Sefardic Jews (the Edot ha'Mizrach), as well as those who Daven
according to Nusach Sefard (such as those of Chasidic descent) is to mention
in the summertime "Morid ha'Tal" in the blessing of Gevuros (see previous
Insight). This is also the practice in Eretz Yisrael, based on the common
practice of the Vilna Ga'on and the Ba'al ha'Tanya. Most other Ashkenazic
communities (those outside of Eretz Yisrael) do not make this addition to
the Shemoneh Esreh in the summertime.
Our Sidurim vowelize the word "Morid ha'*Geshem*" with a Segol (the "eh"
sound), and not with a Kamatz (the "aw" or "ah" sound). This is
grammatically proper, because it is only at the end of a sentence or at an
Esnachta semi-sentence break that the Segol under the Gimel is replaced with
a Kamatz. Morid ha'Geshem appears in the middle of a sentence and thus it
should keep its Segol. That the word "ha'Geshem" is not at an Esnachta break
in the blessing is evident from the TUR (OC 114), who says that the reason
we recite "Morid ha'Geshem" right before the words "Mechalkel Chayim" (at
not at another point in the Berachah) is because rain is also a form of
Kalkalah (sustenance) and Parnasah. Hence our mention of rain, Geshem, is
part of the prayer for Kalkalah.
However, there is an apparent inconsistency in this respect. In *all*
Sidurim which include the text "Morid ha'Tal" (for the summertime), the word
"Tal" is spelled with a *Kamatz* (pronounced "ha'Tawl" in the Ashkenazic
pronounciation) and not with a Patach ("ha'Tahl"). According to the rules of
grammar, it should have a Patach and not a Kamatz. The word "Tal" as it
appears in the Torah usually has a Patach under the letter "Tes," which is
changed to a Kamatz only when it is at the end of a sentence or at an
Esnachta pause (see, for example, Shemos 11:9; Devarim 32:2). Since "Morid
ha'Tal" is recited in place of "Morid ha'Geshem" and is in the middle of a
sentence, why do the Sidurim write "Tal" with a Kamatz? It should have a
Patach! And if those Sidurim consider "Morid ha'Tal" (with a Kamatz") to be
the end of the sentence, then they should spell "Morid ha'Gashem" with a
Kamatz as well!
(a) RAV MOSHE FEINSTEIN zt'l (IGROS MOSHE OC 4:40) writes that the Kamatz of
"Tal" is correct, because this phrase is indeed at the end of the sentence,
as we see in most Sidurim which place a period after "Morid ha'Tal."
Likewise, it is proper to say "Morid ha'Gashem" with a Kamatz as well,
contrary to almost all commonly used Sidurim. Such an opinion is cited by
the LIKUTEI MAHARICH, and this is the way the word is punctuated
("ha'Gashem") in the authoritative Redelheim Sidur.
(b) Others, however, point out that the text of "ha'Geshem" (with a Segol)
appears in *all* early Sidurim, of all the Edot, as well as almost all
current Sidurim (except for those Sidurim based on the Redelheim Sidur).
Furthermore, as mentioned above, the logical flow of the sentence makes it
clear that "Morid ha'Geshem" is *not* the end of the sentence (regardless of
whether or not the printer placed dots there). According to SEFER MECHALKEL
CHAYIM, Rav Moshe Feinstein himself changed his mind. Why, then, do all of
the Sidurim spell "Morid ha'Tal" with a Kamatz and not a Patach?
SEFER SHA'AR HA'KOLEL, printed in the back of the SHULCHAN ARUCH HA'RAV (who
explains the Nusach of the Sidur of the Ba'al ha'Tanya) suggests that we say
"Tal" with a Kamatz because it is not part of the regular text of the
Shemoneh Esreh as established by the Anshei Kneses ha'Gedolah (as we find
that Ashkenazic communities do not say it, and the Gemara says that it is
not obligatory). Rather, it was added by the Mekubalim. As such, it is a
separate insertion that stands by itself and does not continue into the next
sentence, and therefore it has a Kamatz and not a Patach.
(c) RAV YAKOV KAMINETZKY (IYUNIM B'MIKRA, p. 26) suggests that "Morid
ha'Geshem" is part of the sentence which continues with "Mechalkel Chayim,"
as the TUR says, because rain brings Kalkalah and Parnasah. When "Morid
ha'Tal" is recited, though, it is not mentioned because of the Parnasah-
aspects of Tal, but rather it refers to the Tal of Techiyas ha'Mesim, the
Tal which will resurrect the dead. It is mentioned at this point because it
follows the phrase *Mechayeh Mesim* Atah Rav l'Hoshi'a. As such, it is
actually a continuation of the previous sentence and it does not flow into
the following sentence. Therefore, there should be an Esnachta semi-sentence
pause after "Morid ha'Tal" before the phrase "Mechalkel Chayim," which is
discussing a different topic. "Morid ha'Tal" is the end of the *previous*
sentence which discusses Techiyas ha'Mesim, while "Morid ha'Geshem" flows
into the *following* sentence which discusses Parnasah! (Even though the
verse in Tehilim 68:10 refers to *Geshem* Techiyah -- see Targum there --
that is not the Geshem that we intend to mention in the Shemoneh Esreh.)
(d) Grammarians point out that this might not be an inconsistency at all.
Although the Segol of "Geshem" becomes a Kamatz only when the word is at a
full stop in a verse (either at the end of a verse, or at an "Esnachta"),
the Patach of "Tal" is different. It becomes a Kamatz even at a "semi-stop,"
such as when the word "Tal" has the cantillation "Zakef-Katan" (see, for
example, Shemos 16:13 and Devarim 33:13 -- it is easier to turn a Patach
into a Kamatz than a Segol into a Kamatz). Since the point in the Berachah
at which "Morid ha'Tal" is recited is followed by a slight pause (a
"comma"), even though it is not a full stop, the word "Tal" acquires a
(It is also possible that the Rabbinic pronunciation of the word may differ
from the biblical pronunciation slightly. Perhaps in Mishnaic times the word
"Tal" was commonly pronounced with a Kamatz, like "Par" or "Har," unless it
was associated with the word that followed it, such as "Tal ha'Shamayim" or