Thursday, August 21, 2014

Shoftim, Devarim 20:8. Between Yishtabach and Barchu, בין ישתבח ליוצר

This is an improvement of an earlier version.  After masa umatan with (arranged chronologically) Harabbanim Micha, Chaim HaQoton, Chaim B, Shimon Kalman G, and Shlomo T, the numerous changes and improvements made it clear that it needed to be posted auf neu.

When there's time between Yishtabach and Yotzer, I am maavir sedra.  (When they cannot immediately begin birkos Krias Shema, the tzibur should say Yishtabach and then wait.  The shliach tzibur should wait and say Yishtabach immediately before Kaddish.  Mishna Berura 53:10-11.)  I have been criticized for this because of the Yerushalmi.  The criticism is mistaken.

In our parsha (20:8) the Torah tells us :
ויספו השטרים לדבר אל העם ואמרו מי האיש הירא ורך הלבב ילך וישב לביתו
and Chazal (Sotah 43a) explain that the ירא ורך הלבב is a person that has legitimate fears because of his sins- זה המתיירא מעבירות שבידו.  The Tur brings from the Yerushalmi  that one of those aveiros is talking between Yishtabach and Yotzer, (or, if you're davening with a minyan, between Yishtabach and Barchu.)  One who talks between Yishtabach and Yotzer has a sin on his hands, and he is unfit to fight in a war on behalf of Klal Yisrael.

Tur OC 51:
וכ"כ רב אלפס והוסיף לומר שלא לדבר בין ישתבח ליוצר אור וז"ל מיבעי ליה לאיניש דלא לאשתעויי מכי מתחיל ב"ש עד דמסיים י"ח וכן יש בירושלמי השח בין ישתבח ליוצר אור עבירה היא בידו וחוזרין עליה ממערכי המלחמה

The Mechaber in OC 54 says
המספר בין ישתבח ליוצר עבירה היא בידו וחוזר עליה מעורכי המלחמה
ויש מי שאומר שלצרכי צבור או לפסוק צדקה למי שבא להתפרנס מן הצדקה מותר להפסיק

The Rema adds
הגה: ומזה נתפשט מה שנהגו בהרבה מקומות לברך חולה או לקבול בבית הכנסת שיעשה לו דין בין ישתבח ליוצר דכל זה מיקרי לצורך מצוה ולאחר כך כשחוזרין להתפלל יאמר השליח ציבור מקצת פסוקי דזמרה ויאמר קדיש עליהם כי לעולם אין אומרים קדיש בלא תהלה שלפניו ולכן מתחילין ערבית בלא קדיש

The יש מי שאומר is the Kolbo and Rav Amram Gaon.

So the Mechaber brings those that are mattir announcements of Tzorchei tzibur and tzedaka distributions, and the Rema's נהגו is mattir to make a mi shebeirach for cholim or for individuals to proclaim legal grievances.

All these cases might be considered tzorchei rabbim, even the announcement of personal claims, because the tzibbur needs a time when people can seek justice.  As the Rema says, this is all לצורך מצוה, which might mean a pressing communal mitzva.  But the Maharshal goes further.

The Ateres Zekeinim in OC 56:1, brings from the Maharshal that the issur is only to talk about pointless and trivial things:
דלא אסרו להפסיק אלא במילי דבטלה  אבל דברי שבח מעין המאורה פשיטא דשרי 

The words of the Maharshal  (Teshuvos 64) are:
 ואין אני חושש  להפסיק כין ישתבח ליוצר אור דלא אסרו להפסק אלא מילת' דברי הבאי ובטלה אבל שבח מעין המאורע פשיטא דשרי

So if it isn't clear enough from the way Ateres Zkeinim quotes the Maharshal, it should be from the original: he only prohibits  דברי הבאי ובטלה.  The fact that he then says אבל שבח מעין המאורע פשיטא דשרי does not make this a אלא מהא ליכא למישמע מינה.  He is not limiting the hetter to that case.  He is discussing the minhag of adding responses (ועתה יגדל נא כח ה) to kaddish, and whether one may do so between Yishtabach and Yotzer.  Regarding those pesukim and shvachim, he says that of course it's muttar.  The only thing that's assur is דברי הבאי ובטלה.

The Maharshal is not really a surprise.  The word the Rif uses is לאשתעויי; and the Mechaber,  המספר.  This is not like a regular hefsek, where the dibbur breaks the structure, it's more like a din in hesech hada'as or זלזול.

But even without the Maharshal, !סברא היא, למה לי קרא    Bishlema between Geula and Tefilla Chazal tell us we can't be mafsik because of the smichus of the pesukim  "יהיו לרצון... וגואלי" – היינו גאולה, וסמיך ליה: "יענך ה' ביום צרה" והיינו תפילה.  Bishlema during Hallel or Birkos Krias Shema or Pesukei d'Zimra, where it begins and ends with a bracha, where there's a hemshech, you can't be mafsik because the brachos are like one bracha.  But what's the connection between pesukei d'zimra and birkos krias shema?  You say Chatzi Kadesh davka because they're different parts of davenning.  What kind of din hefsek is it?  

The pshat is that it's not because Pesukei d'Zimra and Birkos krias shma and shmoneh esrei are a hemshech, only in the sense that you have to be makdim Birkos Krias Shema and Shemoneh Esrei with Pesukei d'Zimra.  There is a tremendous difference between "hefsek in one cheftza of tefilla" and "hefsek after a hakdamah."  By a hemshech, any hefsek breaks the the hemshech.  But by a hakdama, only a hesech hadaas be'poeil breaks the din hakdama.  In the former, even a shlilus hefsek will break it, but in the latter, it's only a problem when you are mafsik be'poeil.  Chazal tell us (Brachos 32b) that חסידים הראשונים היו שוהים שעה אחת ומתפללים כדי שיכוונו את לבם למקום.  If you talk devarim beteilim, then it's not related to the rest of the tefilla at all, you didn't precede your Shmoneh Esrei with Pesukei d'Zimra.  The Pesukei d'Zimra and the rest of your tefilla is no longer a חטיבה אחת.

I have to admit something, though.  I don't understand why Chazal are so makpid to not be mafsik between Netillas Yadayim and Hamotzi, even to the extent of taking more time than walking 22 amos.  If I can't understand why such a kpeida exists, I can't be confident of my svara here either.  But even if you argue that the issur hefsek here is similar to the svara of תיכף לנטילה ברכה, and that any talk takes away from תיכף, then first of all, I say that there are three תיכףs, not four, and it's pure speculation to say that yishtabach/yotzer falls under the same heading.  But more importantly, I have another Maharshal that deals with the din of תיכף.  

The Maharshal (Teshuva 34) says that Divrei Torah are not a hefsek specifically in the context of talking between Netillas Yadayim and HaMotzi, as we discussed here.  In that teshuva, he is mattir saying divrei Torah between Netillas Yadayim and Hamotzi because Torah is a necessity of the meal, as Chazal say (Avos 3:4) that שלושה שאכלו על שולחן אחד ולא אמרו עליו דברי תורה כאילו אכלו מזבחי מתים. אבל שלושה שאכלו על שולחן אחד ואמרו עליו דברי תורה כאילו אכלו משולחנו של מקום ברוך הוא  I say that the exact same thing is true by learning before Yotzer, because the passuk says in Mishlei מסיר אוזנו משמוע תורה גם תפילתו תועבה.  Same svarra.  So both of the Maharshal's teshuvos would support my habit, unless you hold that being maavir sedra is not דברי תורה שכל העולם עומד עליהם.

One might cavil (as Harav Shimon Kalman G did) that the Mishna in Avos means that you have to learn specifically during that meal, but the passuk in Mishlei doesn't mean that you need to learn specifically during davening.  I say that this is not a kashe.  Nobody says you have to learn before HaMotzi, just some time during the meal, but that is enough for the Maharshal to call it צורך סעודה, because a seuda without Torah is a miuskeit.  Learning is just as much a צורך תפילה as learning is a צורך סעודה.  If its a tzorech, it's not a hefsek.

On the other hand, the Magen Avraham in 56 sk 7 brings that the Ari Za'l was much more machmir on this hefsek, and that he opposed and considered a hefsek specifically those responses people add to kaddish between Yishtabach and Yotzer that the Maharshal was mattir.  Similarly, the Magen Avraham in 54 sk 2 says that he's not sure that it's muttar to say a chapter of Tehillim between Yishtabach and yotzer, like the Shir HaMaalos many people say during Aseres Yemei Teshuva.  It is clear that the Magen Avraham and the Ari Zal held not like the Maharshal.  (The Ari Za'l and the Maharshal, both Lurias, were cousins and contemporaries and died one and a half years apart.)

So I have several choices.  When there's a slow baal tefilla, I could daven more slowly, or start later; or sit and think, but if I start a trend of thought, it shters my davening afterwards. I can't read a sefer from the achronim, because if he says an absurd, I get upset, and if he says good, I get excited, and either way, it shters my davening.  The simple meaning of the language of the Yerushalmi and the Rishonim is like the Teshuvos Maharshal.  Additionally, many kehillos do say a capital Tehillim before Barchu, which shows that the minhag is not like the Magen Avraham.  So I rely on the Maharshal and I'm maavir sedra. There's a special pleasure in learning when you're motivated by both the Yetzer HaTov and the Yetzer HaRa.

(There is one minor complication.  When a person does interrupt between Yishtabach and kaddish, he has to read a few paragraphs of tehillim in order to justify the kaddish, as I quoted from the Rema in OC 54.  It has happened that I was sitting being maavir sedra, and I was called to daven for the amud.  They know that I've already said yishtabach, so the guy that said Pesukei D'Zimra says Yishtabach, and I am expected to start with kaddish.  According to the Rema, I can't say kaddish unless I say some Tehillim.  My hetter is that limud hatorah also justifies kaddish, and also that I'm saying kaddish on behalf of the tzibbur that wasn't being maavir sedra.)

THANK YOU Reb Chaim B for pointing out that what I said is very close to the Aruch HaShulchan, Rav Ovadia, and the Debriziner.

The Aruch HaShulchan says that the problem is only something that is not at all a דבר שבקדושה, i.e., divrei chol.  After saying that one may not talk between Yishtabach and Yotzer, he says
ואין זה ענין למה שיש נוהגים לומר בעשרת ימי תשובה "שיר המעלות ממעמקים" אחר "ישתבח", דזה נחשב כמסדר התפילה, כמו דלהרמב"ם אומרים "אז ישיר" אחר "ישתבח" כמו שכתבתי בסימן נ"א. והפסק לא מקרי רק דברי חול.
And also, he says that this isn't really a matter of hefsek, like the din hefsek in middle of pesukei dezimra.  It's more like hesech hadaas:
ומכל מקום כיון דשני ענינים הם – לא דמו לגמרי להפסק באמצע פסוקי דזמרה. וזהו שכתבו רבותינו בעלי השולחן ערוך בסעיף ג, וזה לשונם:
ויש מי שאומר שלצרכי ציבור, או לפסוק צדקה למי שבא להתפרנס מן הצדקה – מותר להפסיק. ומזה נתפשט מה שנהגו בהרבה מקומות לברך חולה, או לקבול בבית הכנסת שיעשו לו דין בין "ישתבח" ל"יוצר", דכל זה מקרי לצורך מצוה.
He also says that he doesn't know why the Magen Avraham (even though he's based on the Ari Za'l,) was uncomfortable with Shir HaMaalos.
והמגן אברהם סעיף קטן ב' נשאר ב"צריך עיון", ולא ידעתי למה

The Debriziner (III:20) and Rav Ovadia Yosef in Yabia Omer (2:4) both say that mei'ikar hadin, one may learn out loud, but that they both were machmir and only learned silently.  I am not one of the Gedolei HaDor, and it would be presumptuous for me to take on such a chumra.  So bring on the slow baalei tefilla.  I can be maavir sedra.

After I wrote this, I showed it to two talmidei chachamim v'yirei'ei shamayim, Harav Shimon Kalman G and Harav Shlomo T.
Harav Shimon Kalman said this is a rayah to the pshat they say in the Gemara in Brachos 19a: It says
אם ראית תלמיד חכם שעבר עבירה בלילה אל תהרהר אחריו ביום שמא עשה תשובה שמא סלקא דעתך אלא ודאי עשה תשובה 
the Gemara means that if you see a talmid chacham do an aveira, you can be sure that by the next morning he will have written a teshuva to prove that it was muttar.
Harav Shlomo more or less said that it was an affront to the whole concept of Tefilla, and implied that it was in the parsha of מגלה פנים בתורה.

In light of that, I was pleased to come across the Ra'ah in his Chidushim on Brachos 31b.  Everything that I said- both the svara and the hachra'a- and everything that the Aruch HaShulchan says, is מפורש יוצא מפי the Ra'ah in the name of the Ramban.  Other than constitutional stubbornness, there is no reason to think that the any of the Rishonim, the Rosh/Tur/Mechaber, the Manhig, even the Meiri I bring in the end note, mean anything different than the Ramban.  They're all just different ways of saying the same thing.

The Ra'ah in Brachos (or here, in a better print,) says that the din to not be mafsik between Yishtabach and Yotzer is different than the issur hefsek during Birkos Krias Shema.  Avoiding talk between Yishtabach and Yotzer is מצוה מן המובחר, but hefsek between Baruch She'Amar and Yishtabach is an issur.   The Ra'ah says this in the name of his Rebbi, the Ramban.  The Ra'ah:

כי קאמרינן בפסוקי דזמרה ומאי נינהו מתהלה לדוד עד כל הנשמה תהלל קה ותקינו רבנן למימר ברכה מקמייהו וברכה מבתרייהו ומאי נינהו ברוך שאמר וישתבח הילכך מיבעי ליה לאיניש דלא לאישתעויי מכי מתחיל ברוך שאמר עד דמסיים שמונה עשרה. פי' זה כתב רבינו ז"ל למצוה מן המובחר שכיון שאמר תחלה דברי שבח ובירך עליהם אין ראוי להפסיק עד שיגמור תפלתו, אבל ודאי לענין חובה אסור לו מכיון  שפתח ברוך שאמר עד שיגמור ישתבח שהרי ישתבח סמוכה היא לברוך שאמר 

    To sum up: Based on the svara, the Ra'ah and the Aruch HaShulchan, the Debrecziner's psak, and in light of the minhag to say Shir HaMaalos before Baruchu, it is muttar to be maavir sedra after Yishtabach.

    •      The halacha of not being mafsik, which the Tur brings from the Yerushalmi, is not in our Yerushalmi, but the Sefer HaManhig says he saw it in his Yerushalmi.
    •      Talmidei Rabbeinu Yonah in Brachos 31b say it's in a Medrash, but it's not in our Medrashim. 
    •      The Meiri there in Brachos, and Rabbeinu Yerucham brought in the Beis Yosef quoting a yeish omrim, disagree with the halacha entirely.  Meiri:
    ותקנו הגאונים לברך בהם (ר"ל בפסוקי דזמרא) לפניהם ולאחריהם.מעתה אסור לשוח בתוכם.   ויש מי שמוחה אף להפסיק בין ברכה אחרונה שלהם, רצוני לומר ישתבח, ובין ברכה ראשונה של ק״ש, ר'ל יוצר אור, אלא אם כן באמן, ואין זה נראה

    I am aware of two problems one can raise on our hachra'a.
    1. It could be that the Ra'ah/Ramban simply didn't have the Yerushalmi/Medrash, and that they held like the Meiri, but we, that we pasken like the Sefer HaManhig and Talmidei Rabbeinu Yona, asser.  I don't accept this, because there is no reason to make it a machlokes rishonim when they could all basically agree that devarim beteilim are assur, but divrei Torah uMitzvos are muttar.
    2.  If the problem is that talking breaks the connection between Pesukei d'Zimra and Birkos Krias Sham/Shmoneh Esrei, maybe Divrei Torah is a bigger hefsek than stam talk, because of the chashivus of Divrei Torah- the more chashuv, the greater the hefsek, like chatzitza in tevilla.  I don't accept this, because it's patently absurd.  If you don't see that it's absurd, my condolences; anyway, Torah gufa is a hachana for tefilla, as I said in the Maharshal.  

    Generally on the topic of being Maavir Sedra- I never was maavir sedra as a young man.  It was not something the lomdim  in my cohort would find time to do.  I once was talking to Reb Moshe and I said it's amazing that Chazal would make such a din, when one could be learning b'iyun and spending his time more profitably.  He answered that Chazal were kovei'a in halacha to be maavir sedra, and the idea that you could find something better to do with the time doesn't matter.  I was mekabel tochacha, and have been maavir sedra ever since.  But I still wish I could hire someone to do it for me.

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