THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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YOMA 27, 28, 29 (16 Shevat), 30 - have been dedicated by Gitle Bekelnitzky
for the 38th Yahrzeit of Leah bas Mordechai Dovid and Chasya (Bikelnitzky),
mother of her late husband, Simcha Bekelnitzky.
1) WHO INSTITUTED THE TEFILAH OF MINCHAH?
QUESTION: The Gemara here refers to Minchah as the "Tefilah of Avraham." The
Gemara in Berachos (26b), though, says that Yitzchak instituted the Tefilah
of Minchah. Why, then, does the Gemara here attribute Minchah to Avraham?
2) LEARNING A HALACHAH FROM AVRAHAM AVINU
(a) TOSFOS YESHANIM here answers that Avraham himself was the first to pray
Minchah and Ma'ariv. He prayed three times a day just like he observed all
the other Mitzvos of the Torah and the Rabanan. However, Yitzchak was the
first to institute Minchah (and Yakov the first to institute Ma'ariv) as a
Tefilah for *all* the members of his household to recite.
If Avraham was the first to Daven Minchah, then how does the Gemara in
Berachos know from the verse, "Yitzchak went out to converse in the field"
(Bereishis 24:63), that Yitzchak *instituted* the Tefilah of Minchah?
Perhaps, like his father, he merely was Davening Minchah for himself (since
Yitzchak too kept *all* of the Mitzvos of the future Torah), but he did not
institute it for others to pray? Secondly, if Avraham did not find it
necessary to institute it for his entire household, why did Yitzchak do so?
It could be that the Gemara there is bothered by the following question. Why
does the Torah record that Yitzchak prayed Minchah on that particular
occasion, if he prayed Minchah every day? It must be that the intention of
the verse is to say more than that Yitzchak himself prayed; it must be
offering an explanation for why Yitzchak *instituted* the Tefilah of Minchah
for his entire household to say. It was at the time that he was praying
Minchah that Hashem showed Yitzchak a great kindness, for it was at that
moment that his bride, Rivkah, arrived, showing that Eliezer succeeded, with
Divine help, in his difficult mission of delivering her to Yitzchak. Out of
gratitude to Hashem, he instituted the Tefilah of Minchah as an obligatory
prayer for his entire household, because he understood this to be an omen
that it was in merit of his Tefilas ha'Minchah that Eliezer succeeded in
finding him a wife.
The same approach applies to the institution of Tefilas Ma'ariv by Yakov.
The Torah records that Yakov prayed Ma'ariv at Beis Kel (Bereishis 28:11).
The Torah is not simply teaching that Yakov followed the footsteps of his
father and grandfather and prayed Ma'ariv. Rather, the Torah is teaching
that because of what occurred at that particular occasion, Yakov decided to
institute the Tefilah of Ma'ariv for his entire household. It was at that
time that he received Hashem's promise to protect him as he sojourned
outside of the land of Israel, and Yakov understood that to be a sign that
his Tefilah of Ma'ariv was instrumental in winning the favor of Hashem in
this regard. For this reason he instituted that his entire family should
always Daven Ma'ariv. (M. Kornfeld)
(b) TOSFOS (Berachos 27b) and the TOSFOS YESHANIM here (in his alternate
answer) explain that the first one to Daven Minchah was indeed Yitzchak. It
is called the Tefilah of Avraham, though, because Avraham too Davened
Minchah after Yitzchak instituted it.
Why, though, should the Gemara refer to Minchah as "the prayer of Avraham,"
if he was just following his *son's* example? It should still be called "the
prayer of *Yitzchak*, after its creator! Perhaps the Gemara mentions Avraham
only because it is discussing Yitzchak's *Zerizus* in Davening Minchah at
the earliest moment possible. Since Avraham is known for his exceptional
Zerizus (as the Gemara here describes), he certainly taught that attribute
to his son, and Yitzchak's *timing* for Minchah may be attributed to his
father. In this sense, it is correct to refer to Minchah *immediately after
Chatzos* as "the prayer of Avraham." (M. Kornfeld)
(c) RABEINU CHANANEL and, following his example, the ARUCH (Erech
"Shachar"), explain simply that although the Torah chose to mention Minchah
explicitly only with regard to Yitzchak, all of the Avos Davened Minchah.
The TOSFOS RID explains that what Rabeinu Chananel means is that our Sugya
argues with the Sugya in Berachos which says that Yitzchak instituted
Minchah. Our Sugya holds like the other opinion in Berachos that says that
the Tefilos were instituted not by the Avos but by the Anshei Keneses
ha'Gedolah, and that they correspond to the Korbenos Tamid which were
brought each day (and whose fats were burned each night).
QUESTION: When the Gemara says that one should Daven the Tefilah of Minchah
as soon as the eastern sides of the walls get dark (i.e. as close as
possible to midday), Rav Yosef asks how can we learn how to Daven from the
conduct of Avraham.
3) AVRAHAM AVINU OBSERVED ALL OF THE MITZVOS
What is his question? Why should we *not* learn from the conduct of Avraham?
(a) RASHI explains that Rav Yosef's meant to ask that Avraham was
*especially* ardent in his performance of Mitzvos. It is not logical to
require l'Chatchilah that everyone must be as Zariz as Avraham and Daven
immediately after Chatzos. Rather, if someone is especially Zariz, he may
learn from Avraham and Daven the way Avraham Davened. But there cannot be a
*requirement* l'Chatchilah to be as Zariz as Avraham. That was Rav Yosef's
(b) RABEINU TAM and the ARUCH (as explained by the RITVA) explain that Rav
Yosef is asking, how can we learn a Halachah from what was done *before* the
Torah was given? We should only learn Halachos from what we were commanded
at the time of Matan Torah!
The Gemara responds that the concept of "Zerizim Makdimim l'Mitzvos" is
learned from Avraham, so why should we not learn the time of Minchah from
Avraham as well? To this the Gemara counters that we may indeed learn
Halachos from what was done before the Torah was given if we have no
evidence that the practice was changed after the time of Matan Torah. In
this case, though, we have evidence that it is *not* proper to recite
Minchah immediately after Chatzos after Matan Torah, for we find that the
Korbanos were brought a half hour after Chatzos (and not immediately after
Chatzos). Therefore, even if Avraham Avinu Davened Minchah immediately after
Chatzos, there is no reason for us to do so.
QUESTION: The Gemara says that Avraham Avinu observed all of the Mitzvos of
the Torah, even though the Torah had not yet been given. To emphasize the
point, the Gemara says that he even observed the rabbinical enactment of
Eruv Tavshilin. Why does the Gemara choose to emphasize Eruv Tavshilin of
all Mitzvos? (TOSFOS YESHANIM)
(a) The RITVA explains that Eruv Tavshilin differs from other rabbinical
enactments insofar as that it is not a matter of a prohibition (that is, it
was not enacted in order to prevent a similar act, which is an Isur
d'Oraisa, from occurring). An Eruv Tavshilin was an enactment which the
Rabanan made in order to enhance a person's Shabbos enjoyment by encouraging
him to put away some food for Shabbos and not to eat everything on Yom Tov
(Beitzah 15b). The Gemara, therefore, is teaching that Avraham Avinu was
careful to observe even this type of enactment.
The SEFER YUCHASIN (Erech "Avraham Avinu") explains that Eruv Tavshilin was
instituted in order to fulfill "Zachor Es Yom ha'Shabbos," "remember the
Shabbos; do not forget that Shabbos is coming" by eating all of his good
food on Yom Tov, which is Erev Shabbos (Beitzah 15b). In a similar manner,
Avraham "reminded" the people of the world that which they had previously
forgotten, that the world has a Creator (who created the world in six days
and rested on Shabbos).
The GEVURAS ARI adds further insight to why Eruv Tavshilin exemplifies
Avraham's observation of Mitzvos. He explains that according to one opinion
in the Gemara (Pesachim 46b), one is permitted to cook on Yom Tov for
Shabbos with an Eruv Tavshilin only because of the principle of "Ho'il."
When one cooks on Yom Tov for Shabbos, it is permitted only because he is
really cooking on Yom Tov for Yom Tov, since perhaps a guest will come to
eat the extra food on Yom Tov. However, the allowance of "Ho'il" to permit
one to cook on Yom Tov on the assumption that he is cooking for guests who
might come on Yom Tov only applies to when those guests are Jewish. One is
not allowed to prepare food for a non-Jewish guest on Yom Tov (even if the
non-Jew is going to eat it on Yom Tov). In the times of Avraham Avinu, there
were no other Jews and therefore Avraham could not rely on the principle of
"Ho'il" to permit cooking on Yom Tov for a possible guest who might come and
eat it on Yom Tov, because even if a guest came, he would not be Jewish and
one is not permitted to prepare food for a non-Jew on Yom Tov! We might have
thought that if Avraham made an Eruv Tavshilin, then he was not keeping the
Mitzvah. Therefore, the Gemara teaches us that he was indeed fulfilling the
Mitzvah of Eruv Tavshilin. How? It must be that the Gemara is of the opinion
that Shabbos and Yom Tov are one Kedushah, and the Torah permits cooking on
Yom Tov for Shabbos (as one opinion in Pesachim holds), and therefore he did
not have to rely on the principle of "Ho'il."
(b) The Girsa in the MIDRASH (Bereishis Rabah 64:6) is that Avraham Avinu
observed all of the Mitzvos, even Eruvei *Chatzeros*. The SEFER YUCHASIN
(Erech "Avraham Avinu") explains that Eruvei Chatzeros was instituted to
prevent people from taking what is in a Reshus ha'Yachid (literally, the
land of a single party) and bringing it into a Reshus ha'Rabim (literally,
the public domain), on Shabbos. In a similar manner, Avraham taught the
people of the world not to attribute the world and its contents to multiple
entities, but to properly attribute it to Hashem, Who is One.
(c) The Girsa of the RASHBA (Teshuvos 1:94) is that Avraham observed even
Eruvei *Techumin*. The VILNA GA'ON (Kol Eliyahu, #26) explains that this is
the most accurate Girsa, because it is implied in the verse which says,
"Ekev Asher Shama..." (Bereishis 26:5), implying that wwith his Ekev, his
heels, Avraham observed the Mitzvos and did not walk farther than permitted.
According to this Girsa, too, the Gemara is perhaps hinting at the fact that
Avraham taught people that Hashem does not simply remain in His heavens
without taking note of what happens on earth. Rather, Hashem supervises both
this world and the heavens, the two "Techumim" of heaven and earth are
combined under the rule of Hashem. (M. Kornfeld)