Monday, April 24, 2006

Why don't we say שהחיינו on the mitzva of ספירת העומר?

The בעל המאור in Pesachim gives a cryptic answer, he states that it is only זכר למקדש and therefore there is no שהחיינו. This is difficult because we find that we do say שהחיינו on מצות דרבנן. The Brisker Rav explains the בעל המאור as follows.

There are different types of מצות דרבנן
1. A new mitzvah like Channuka
2. A mitzva that used to be min hatorah that no longer applies min hatorah. The Chachamim tell us to do the same exact mitzva m'drabbanan, for example, מרור nowadays
3. A new mitzva זכר למקדש

The Brisker Rav claims that according to the Baal Hamaor, ספירת העומר is category 3, it is a new mitzva זכר למקדש. He brings a number of interesting proofs.

The gemara in Menachos comments that some of the Amoraim only counted days and not week, because it is only זכר למקדש. If it was in category 2 we would say that the mitzva needs to be done exactly as it was done min hatorah. However, if it is a new mitzva זכר למקדש we can say that they only instituted days and not weeks and understand the opinion of these Amoraim.

After counting we say הרחמן הוא יחזיר וכו. We don't say this after we eat maror or after we shake a Lulav (after the first day of Succos which is only מדרבנן). The reason is because we are being מקיים the same mitzva only מדרבנן. However, ספירת העומר is a new mitzva specifically instituted זכר למקדש and therefore we mention that we hope that the Avoda in the Beis Hamkidash is restored becuase that is the whle purpose of the mitzva.

If ספירת העומר is a new mitzva זכר למקדש we can also understand why we don't say שהחיינו, we are not happy that we are doing this mitzva, rather it reminds us that we don't have a Beis Hamikdash.

We should keep this idea in mind during sefira as we prepare for Kabbalas Hatorah, the lack of a Beis Hamikdash should be bother us and hopefully we will all be able to celebrate Pesach Sheni in the Beis Hamikdash.

6 comments:

AbbaFive said...

You are touching a favorite sugya of mine. Here are five quick notes off the top of my head, then back to my 'day job'(hopefully more later):

1. Check out Rashi in Menachos, d.h. Ameimar. When re-reading it, I believe that Rashi is essentially stating what the Griz proposes. Pretty neat, yes?

2. I don't have the Griz in front of me, but my recollection is that he is explaining the machlokos Abbaya/Ameimar. It is Ameimar's shita, not Abbaya's, that he explains as being in this category of 'zecher limikdash' -- accordingly, Abbaya, who counts the same as before the churban (and how we count), would seemingly fall into your category number 2.

3. The two 'contrasting' examples you chose are unfortunate choices: Maror and Lulav bigvulin kol Shiva are BOTH examples of zecher limikdash halochos, falling squarely into your category 3. [Note that, like Ameimar and sefira, they both 'change' the dioraisa in order to create some 'zecher', whether by carrying the lulav in gevulin when it would be carried in mikdash, or by making marror a classic achila halacha, with a shiur kezayis, as opposed to a taste enhancer].

Try again with, say, 100 kolos of shofar.

4. Of course, none of this works at all for the Rambam.

5. Ever wonder how Ameimar came up with such a bizarre shita of only counting days? [Would anyone suggest taking 2 minim, instead of 4, as a zecher limikdash for lulav?]

Compare and contrast the pesukim in Emor and Re'eh - and his makor/motivation should be clear! (if not, post and I'll set it out in another note).

I also agree with your tie-in of the Ba'al Hamaor and Tosefos (the oldest 'harachan' source I know for anything!).

bluke said...

The Brisker Rav is explaining why we don't say shehechayanu, he is not explaining the machlokes amoraim.

He quotes the Rashi in Menachos and uses it as the basis of what he is saying.

The Rambam holds that sefira nowadays is d'oraysa.

AbbaFive said...

I obviously know how the Rambam holds, otherwise I wouldn't have mentioned it. I forgot, though, that the Griz quoted Rashi.

I'll re-read it for the other point and get back to you.

Anonymous said...

where is this brosker rov located?

AbbaFive said...

In the Chiddusei HaGriz on Menachos 65a.

AbbaFive said...

Bluke: Re-reading the Griz, I understand why you would think that "The Brisker Rav is explaining why we don't say shehechayanu, he is not explaining the machlokes amoraim."

But you would be wrong.

He only states this shita in the name of Ameimar - and for good reason.

One can make a very difficult reading of "Amar Zecher Limikdash" as applying to both Abbaye and Ameimar (Rav Zevin actually proposes this in Moadim BiHalacha in explaining the Sefira dioreisa/dirabanan issue) but the compelling and more straight-forward reading is to interpret the phrase "Amar Zecher Limikdash" as limited to Ameimar's explanation of his unique 'days only' shita.

And that is exactly what the Griz says. He is NOT stating this in the name of Abbaya, and he is in fact is explaining the mechlokes amorayim, against what you purport. Read again, carefully, especially the first paragraph.

And, again, lulav and marar are the specifically wrong cases to compare and contrast.

Thank you for sharing this wonderful piece of Torah.