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If It Makes Sense For Shofar It Should Also Make Sense For Other Laws

Great Rosh Hashana idea. Put a half of a raisin on a piece of celery so that you should "have a raise in salary"!!!!!

Down to business. We know that if Rosh Hashana falls out on Shabbos we don't blow the shofar because the Rabbis were concerned that someone would carry the shofar 4 amos in the public domain [which is forbidden on Shabbos] in order to ask an expert how to blow. So they forbade the blowing of the shofar thus avoiding all potential problems.

Why don't we similarly forbid the reading of the torah on Shabbos for the same reason. Someone might be tempted to carry the torah and ask an expert how to read. Also we should forbid bris milah on shabbos because someone might carry the baby and the milah instruments in order to ask an expert what to do?

i prefer the 6 figs and the piece of celery for a 6 fig salary

Why don't we simply say a shofar is forbidden on Shabbos as it is a musical instrument?

Great question! My great great grandfather [known as the Taz] asked it also.
Answer: If we are worried about that then it will be assur on yom tov [that doesn't fall out on shabbos] as well thus rendering the mitzva of shofar obsolete. We don't want that.

Difficult answer..in other words it should be forbidden because it is a musical instrument but applying the prohibition of musical instrument to shofar would have a consequence that we want to avoid hence we don't apply the rules of musical instruments to shofar. Perhaps an alternative approach is to distinguish between shofar and a musical instrument. My understanding of the prohibition of a musical instrument on Shabbos/YT is that there is a concern that it will need to be repaired or tuned. Shofar has no need to be tuned nor repaired.

I would alternatively like to suggest that perhaps we can say that a shofar is not being used as a musical instrument-it is transformed into a medium to perform a mitzvah. Like a lulav which would be ordinarily muktzah on an ordinary shabbos is permissible as it is not considered a branch but rather a lulav.

Answers received.

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About me

  • I'm Rabbi Ally Ehrman
  • From Old City Jerusalem, Israel
  • I am a Rebbe in Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh.
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