Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Tuesday's Thoughts on the Daf - Rosh Hashanah 5

Today's daf continued a discussion which began on Rosh Hashanah 4 as to the issur of Ba'al T'Acher or pushing off the fulfillment of a mitzva. Within this discussion the gemara briefly pauses to discuss the Tashlumim, or makeup period wherein a person can bring a sacrifice if he fails to offer it on the holiday. 

As part of the discussion of Tashlumim, the gemara asks what the makeup period is for the holiday of Shavuous. The gemara cites R' Rabbah Bar Shmuel who notes that the period leading up to Shavuous is counted by weeks, therefore the makeup period is a week. But the gemara then asks, the period is also counted by days - why do we not say that there is only one day for the sacrifice. The gemara answers - we count both days and weeks, and besides, look at the name of the holiday - its the holiday of weeks.

The gemara's question reminded me of the famous question - why is the holiday called Shavuous when it is also significant that the Jews received the Torah on the holiday. It is curious that the holiday is called Z'man Matan Torateinu in the Mussaf for Shalosh Regalim, yet the Torah never calls Shavuous by that name. 

Many meforshim answer that the holiday of Shavuous was meant to celebrate the end of the omer period and that the Torah was actually given on the 51st day of the omer. The omer period is actually a time to prepare for the receipt of the Torah and the holiday celebrates the completion of the period which makes the Jews ready to receive the Torah. It is for this reason that one of the names in the Torah for the holiday is Atzeres.

I would also note the answer of the Imrei Noam who observes that the holiday is called Zman Matan Torateinu and not Yom Matan Torateinu, since the holiday was near the date the Torah was received and not necessarily on that date.

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1 comment:

Yaakov said...

Nice thanks for bringing back Tuesday Thoughts on the Daf.