Mussaf of Rosh Hashanah: Malchuyos, Zichronos, & Shofaros – An In-Depth Shiur

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The last sugya in masechet Rosh Hashanah is about if the shatz (= shaliach tzibur) can be motzi everyone in shemoneh esrei. Rabban Gamliel holds yes, even when it comes to the regular shemoneh esrei of the whole year, and the Chachamim hold no, even on Rosh Hashanah. The Gemara paskens that the rest of the year we hold like the chachamim, and on Rosh Hashanah like Rabban Gamliel.

The Baal HaMaor writes that he remembers from his youth that the tzibur used to daven a regular Yom Tov mussaf of seven brachos for the silent shemoneh esrei, and then they would listen to the shatz’s mussaf which would have the full nine brachos with malchuyos zichronos and shofaros. Later, the minhag changed, and now everyone davens the full nine-bracha mussaf themselves.

Let’s ask a question. Someone knows the first three and last three brachos of shemoneh esrei, but he doesn’t know the middle bracha of Shabbos, for example. But he doesn’t want to just be yotzei from the shatz. He wants to daven as much as he can by himself. So he wants to daven a shemoneh esrei of six brachos – the first and last three – and then he’ll listen to chazaras ha’shatz in order to get the middle bracha of Shabbos. Can he do that? The answer is that b’pashtus no, he cannot do that. There is a minimum structure that you need for the tefillah to be considered a tefillah, less than which it cannot be halachically defined as a unit of tefillah. That unit is comprised of a beginning, middle, and end. The beginning and middle are always consistent: the first three brachos and the last three brachos. The middle is subject to change. During the week it is comprised of the 12/13 brachos of bakashos. And on Shabbos, etc. it is comprised of the one bracha of kedushas ha’yom. But without a middle, it is not a cheftza of tefillah and the six brachos that he said by themselves are, b’pashtus, brachos l’vatalah. The basic, minimum unit of tefillah is an indivisible whole that cannot be divided.

That being the case, what is pshat in the early minhag that the Baal HaMaor describes? How could they split up the mussaf of Rosh Hashanah like that by davening only seven brachos themselves during the silent tefillah? The answer is that they must have held that the addition of malchuyos zichronos and shofaros is just that, an addition. A hosafa. Not part of the basic unit of mussaf. In other words, they held that on Rosh Ha’Shana there is a double, compounded chiyuv: 1) to daven mussaf just like on any other Yom Tov, and 2) to insert a hosafa into that mussaf of malchuyos zichronos and shofaros. Since the two are inherently separate chiyuvim, they can be split up.

This is similar to the shitah of the Behag by Ya’aleh V’Yavo. The Behag holds that even a baki can daven a regular shemoneh esrei on Rosh Chodesh and then afterwards fulfill his obligation to say Ya’aleh V’Yavo by listening to chazaras ha’shatz. The reason for this is that Ya’aleh V’Yavo was not enacted as an integral part of what comprises the tefilah on Rosh Chodesh; rather, Chazal enacted a chiyuv to add a hazkarah of the day into that tefilah. Therefore, they can be split up.

From the previous Baal HaMaor that we mentioned – that he holds that the ikkar takana was to have malchuyos zichronos and shofaros in every tefilah of Rosh Hashanah – we may have been inclined to understand that malchuyos zichronos and shofaros are an integral part of the basic, minimum tefillah-unit.

But from this Baal HaMaor we see that according to the early minhag it is not like that; they held that malchuyos zichronos and shofaros is a hosafah. Since the basic chiyuv of mussaf on Rosh Hashanah is essentially no different than any other Yom Tov, they could not be yotzei with the shatz. The Gemara said that we hold like Rabban Gamliel (that the shatz can be motzi everyone) only on Rosh Hashanah. It is only the chiyuv which is particular to Rosh Hashanah – namely the extra addition of malchuyos zichronos and shofaros – that one can be yotzei by listening to the shatz.

Therefore, they had no choice but to daven the basic mussaf of seven brachos by themselves; and the addition of malchuyos zichronos and shofaros that they were able to be yotzei from the shatz, they did. Perhaps because of “b’rov am hadras melech”.

But the Baal HaMaor writes that there was a change in the minhag, and that nowadays everyone davens the full nine brachos themselves. He doesn’t mean that education improved and the subsequent generation was more well-versed in the machzor. First of all, he makes it clear that the early minhag to which he was referring was something that took place in the Batei Medrash of the Geonim. Obviously, there they were all bekiim and knew the machzor perfectly. Furthermore, if it was simply a matter of better education, that would not be called a change in the minhag.

So what changed? What changed is that the subsequent chachmei ha’dor held differently from their predecessors regarding the hagdarah of malchuyos zichronos and shofaros. The earlier Rishonim held that malchuyos zichronos and shofaros was a hosafah and therefore it was possible to split them up from the main body of the tefillah, but the later generation held that malchuyos zichronos and shofaros were enacted as an integral part of the essential makeup of the teffilas mussaf on Rosh Hashanah and therefore cannot be separated from it. That is why they all davened the full nine brachos.

Why does there have to be a combination of brachos?

There is a machlokes Tannaim (on 32a) if malchuyos is joined with the bracha of kedushas ha’Sheim or with the bracha of kedushas ha’yom. There is a third shitah that holds it is zichronos that is joined with kedushas ha’yom. But there is a basic question here? Why the need for this “juggling act”? Why not just make malchuyos its own separate bracha and have ten brachos in the mussaf of Rosh Hashanah?

The answer is very straightforward. Our beginning point is seven brachos, like by every Yom Tov. The first three, last three, and the middle of kedushas ha’yom. But, we have a derasha from “shabbason zichron teruah” that we need to add three brachos: malchuyos, zichronos, and shofaros. However, that would tally up to ten, which we cannot do since the Gemara in Brachos says that we learn out from the eleven times Hashem’s name is mentioned in shiras Chana that there are nine brachos. Therefore, we have no choice but to combine one of the three with one of the pre-existing seven.

Only in Mussaf?

The Baal HaMaor writes that, really, all the tefillos of Rosh Hashanah should include malchuyos zichronos and shofaros and thus have nine brachos; not just mussaf. He brings as his proof the Gemara in Brachos that delineates the source for a regular shemoneh esrei having eighteen brachos, the shemoneh esrei of Shabbos having seven brachos, and the shemoneh esrei of Rosh Hashanah having nine. Just like all the tefillos of a regular day have the full eighteen brachos and all the tefillos of Shabbos have seven brachos; so too asserts the Baal HaMaor, do all the teffilos of Rosh Hashanah have nine brachos. He answers that accepted practice is not like that, and must not be changed, but this is what he holds was really the takana of Chazal.

The Milchamos rejects this statement of the Baal HaMaor with the following kashya: if the takana of Chazal was to have every shemoneh esrei of Rosh Hashanah include malchuyos zichronos and shofaros and thus be comprised of nine brachos, then there should have also been tekias shofar by every tefillah, yet the Mishna on 32a says explicitly that only by mussaf do we blow the shofar!

In fact, the Baal HaMaor himself addresses this point, albeit tersely, by saying, “even though we only blow shofar by mussaf”. What the Baal HaMaor meant by that is this: on Rosh Hashanah we have two separate, independent chiyuvim. We have one chiyuv of tefilah, and a second, separate chiyuv of tekias shofar. Just what? Chazal had to pick a time for the shofar to be blown, so they picked mussaf as the best time (for reasons that are discussed in the Gemara). But, inherently, they are two completely separate chiyuvim.

According to the Baal HaMaor, most probably the obligation to blow the shofar al seder ha’brachos – together with malchuyos zichronos and shofaros – is d’rabbanan. But it could be that it is d’Oraysah. Either way, though, according to the Baal HaMaor it is not that the tekias shofar is coming to enhance the brachos of malchuyos zichronos and shofaros; it is not a combined fulfillment of the mitzvah. Rather, mussaf is simply the appointed zman for the mitzvah of tekias shofar.

Rashi, who holds that malchuyos zichronos and shofaros are inextricably bound up with tekias shofar as one enhanced, combined kiyum mitzvah d’Oraysah (see last week’s write-up -ed.-) clearly cannot hold like the Baal HaMaor.

As mentioned, the Ramban in Milchamos does hold that the fact that there is tekias shofar only by mussaf is a kashya on the Baal HaMaor; so why is that? Why did he reject the Baal HaMaor’s teirutz to the kashya?

It is as follows: Our current-day minhag is that we blow a tashrat (= tekiah, shevarim-teruah, tekiah), a tashat (= tekiah, shevarim, tekiah), and a tarat (= tekiah, teruah, tekiah) by all three brachos, malchuyos zichronos and shofaros.

But this minhag of ours is relatively recent, from only a few hundred years ago.

Most Rishonim, though, did not do this. Their minhag was to blow one tashrat for malchuyos, one tashat for zichronos, and one tarat for shofaros. A major question on this older minhag that the Rishonim deal with is this: if tashrat is the right way, then zichronos and shofaros don’t have a proper tekias shofar, if tashat is the right way, then malchuyos and shofaros don’t have a proper tekias shofar, and if tarat is the right way, then malchuyos and zichronos do not have a tekias shofar?! In other words, it is mutually exclusive. So what is the pshat in such a minhag (which, as mentioned, was the minhag of most Rishonim)?

There are different approaches. The Ramban’s approach to resolve this quandary is this: Really, the tekios with which we are fulfilling the mitzvah of “yom teruah yihiyeh lachem” – the mitzvah of tekias shofar on Rosh Hashanah – are those that we blow before mussaf (otherwise known as tekios d’meyushav). The tekios that we blow during mussaf al seder ha’brachos are actually not an extension of “yom teruah yihiyeh lachem”.

Rather, those tekios are of a completely different type.

Mi’dinah d’Gemara, when there are certain tzaros, there is supposed to be a whole seider of taaniyos, and on the full-fledged taaniyos, six brachos are added to the shmoneh esrei. Those brachos are accompanied by tekias shofar. Those tekios are not a mitzvah in of themselves; they are an appendage to the seider ha’tefilah. There is a chiyuv – mid’Rabbanan, perhaps even m’d’Oraysah – to blow the shofar b’eis tzarah.

The tekios blown together with the six extra brachos on taaniyos are part of the tefilah.

So too, holds the Ramban, are the tekios that we blow together with malchuyos zichronos and shofaros on Rosh Hashanah. They are not part of the mitzvah of tekiash shofar of “yom teruah yihiyeh lachem”, but a part of tefilah just like by taaniyos. They are chovas ha’brachos, in the words of the Ramban. That being the case, concludes the Ramban, it doesn’t matter whether you do tashrat, tashat, or tarat. For tefilah’dikeh tekios, all forms are sufficient.

Now that we understand the Ramban’s premise in understanding the nature of the tekios during mussaf, it becomes clear why he held that the fact that the Mishna says that tekias shofar on Rosh Hashanah is only during mussaf is an unanswerable kashya on the Baal HaMaor.

Unlike the Baal HaMaor who holds that the tekios and the tefillah are two, completely separate chiyuvim, the Ramban holds that they necessarily go together. So, if the takana of Chazal would have been to have malchuyos zichronos and shofaros in every shemoneh esrei of Rosh Hashanah, there would have also been tekias shofar as well, since those tekios are “chovas ha’bracha”. Therefore, the Ramban l’shitaso categorically rejects the statement of the Baal HaMaor and says that from the fact that the tekios are only in mussaf, we see that malchuyos zichronos and shofaros are also only in mussaf.

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