Thursday, March 4, 2010

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Ki Sissa

The following is a brief summary of a thought said over by R' Frand in his shiur this evening. I have attempted to reproduce this vort to the best of my ability. Any perceived inconsistency is the result of my efforts to transcribe the shiur and should not be attributed to R' Frand.

In Shemos 31:13, the Torah states that Shabbos is an Os between Hashem and the Jews so that it is known that Hashem makes them holy.

The Chasam Sofer explains that there is a fundamental difference between Shabbos and Yom Tov. Shabbos comes on its own whether we are ready or not. When Shabbos comes it imbues us with holiness, even if we have not properly prepared for Shabbos. However, Yom Tov requires work and preparation in order for us to be receive its holiness.

Rabbi Frand quoted a famous gemara which states that Hashem told the world that He had a great present in His storehouse and Shabbos is its name. Rabbi Frand noted that a person does not need to prepare to receive a present and the recipient does not need to prove his worthiness in order to receive the gift. This is Shabbos which comes and makes us holy, regardless of our level of preparation.

The Sefer Bei Chiya notes that there is a difference between the mizmorei tehillim which are said on Shabbos and Yom Tov when the Torah is returned to the ark. On Shabbos, we recite Mizmor L'Dovid while on Yom Tov we say L'Dovid Mizmor. The Bei Chiya explains that Mizmor L'Dovid was written by Dovid when he was inspired to write a perek of tehillim - thus the cause for his praise was external. On the other hand, the L'Dovid Mizmor chapter was written by Dovid after he prepared and motivated himself to write.

From this we see another sign of the difference between Shabbos and Yom Tov. On Shabbos, the holiness comes from Hashem without a requirement that we act to receive it, thus we recite a chapter of tehillim which was written by Dovid when he was externally motivated. However on Yom Tov when we must work to receive the kedushah of Yom Tov, we recite the chapter which required Dovid to work at in order to be inspired.

Rabbi Frand also linked this vort to the concept of neshama yiseira - the extra bit of soul which comes on Shabbos. The gemara in Beitza teaches that we utilize besamim (spices) in the havdalah after Shabbos to make up for the loss of the extra neshama which departs when Shabbos ends. Tosafos in Pesachim notes that this is why there is no besamim in the havdalah after Yom Tov. Tosafos then asks - why do we not use besamim in the havdalah which is recited in the kiddush on a Yom Tov which follows Shabbos?

Rabbi Frand answered by quoting the Avnei Neizer who states that there is a neshoma yiseira on Yom Tov and therefore we do not need besamim in the havdalah portion of kiddush. So why do we not use besamim in the havdalah after Yom Tov? Because the neshama yiseira does not depart after Yom Tov and therefore there is no need for the besamim. Unlike the neshama yiseira which comes on Shabbos without work on our part, the extra kedushah on Yom Tov requires that we work to prepare for it. Since we have earned this holiness, it does not depart when Yom Tov ends.

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