1) "ATIFAS HA'ROSH" OF AN AVEL ON SHABBOS
QUESTION: Shmuel maintains that in order to fulfill the obligation of Atifas ha'Rosh, an Avel must wrap his head in the manner that Yishmaelim do ("Atifas Yishmaelim"). The Gemara says that according to Shmuel, on Shabbos an Avel is not permitted to walk around with Atifas ha'Rosh because it constitutes an explicit act of Aveilus (which may not be observed on Shabbos), as no one else walks around with his head completely enwrapped. Rebbi Yochanan says that if the Avel wears shoes when he walks around with his head enwrapped, the shoes give the impression that he is not an Avel and thus he is permitted to walk around with Atifas ha'Rosh.
RASHI (DH Ela) writes that if the Avel is wearing shoes, he may wrap his head in private if he wants to, even in the manner of Atifas Yishmaelim.
The words of Rashi are difficult to understand. It is Rebbi Yochanan who permits an Avel to wrap his head if he wears shoes. However, Rebbi Yochanan is also the one who rules that an Avel must observe private aspects of Aveilus on Shabbos, and thus he should require an Avel to wrap his head when he is in private. Why, then, does Rashi say that if the Avel wants, he may wrap his head in private, implying that he is not required to do so? According to Rebbi Yochanan, the Avel is required to wrap his head in private on Shabbos! Moreover, Rashi implies that when the Avel does not wear shoes, he may not wrap his head even in private. Rebbi Yochanan, however, requires an Avel to wrap his head in private regardless of whether or not he wears shoes! (MAHARSHA)
Even if the statement that an Avel may wrap his head if he wears shoes would have been made by an Amora other than Rebbi Yochanan, what indication in the Gemara implies that an Avel may wrap his head on Shabbos only in private if he wears shoes? The Gemara implies, to the contrary, that even in public one may wrap his head as long as he wears shoes.
ANSWER: In the PERUSH RABEINU GERSHOM ME'OR HA'GOLAH (on which the commentary of Rashi in Moed Katan is based), these words do not appear in the body of the commentary, but they appear as an addition in the margin. Further examination shows that these words are actually a verbatim quote from RABEINU CHANANEL (from the words "Aval l'Galos" until the end of Rashi's comment). The beginning of the quote from Rabeinu Chananel actually begins in the preceding comment of Rashi (DH Lo Shanu) from the words "b'Shabbos Tzarich l'Galos Chotmo," and the quote continues into the next comment of Rashi (DH Ela).
From the words as they appear in the commentary of Rabeinu Chananel, it is clear that Rabeinu Chananel does not refer to an Avel who wears shoes, and, moreover, he does not refer to the opinion of Shmuel altogether. Rather, these words are part of Rabeinu Chananel's Halachic summary of the Gemara, and they express the opinion of Rav, not Shmuel. (See also the text of Rabeinu Chananel as printed from manuscript by Rav David Metzger.)
Rabeinu Chananel rules that although Rav does not require that an Avel perform Atifas ha'Rosh in the manner of Atifas Yishmaelim, l'Chatchilah he should perform it that way. With regard to an Avel on Shabbos, Rabeinu Chananel understands that according to Shmuel, who requires an Avel to perform Atifas Yishmaelim, the Chachamim suspended the requirement for Atifah (and required the Avel to uncover his head) on Shabbos so that the Avel not have the appearance of an Avel on Shabbos. Since the Chachamim made it mandatory for the Avel to uncover his head on Shabbos, they did not differentiate between an Avel in private and an Avel in public. Therefore, even in private an Avel may not wrap his head.
According to Rav, however, since an ordinary act of Atifah (as opposed to Atifas Yishmaelim) also qualifies as Atifah for an Avel, and that type of Atifah can be done inconspicuously on Shabbos even in public, the Chachamim did not require that the Avel uncover his head on Shabbos. Therefore, in private an Avel may wrap his head even with Atifas Yishmaelim. In public, even Rav agrees that an Avel should not wrap his head with Atifas Yishmaelim, because then he will stand out as an Avel.
This is the meaning of the words of Rashi here, which were erringly printed as part of the explanation of the Gemara when they are actually a Halachic summary (taken from the words of Rabeinu Chananel).
2) WHY DOES SHAVUOS COUNT FOR SEVEN DAYS OF THE SHELOSHIM?
QUESTION: The Gemara teaches that if a person becomes an Avel one day before the Yom Tov of Shavuos, with the passage of Shavuos it is considered as though fourteen days of Aveilus have passed, and the Avel counts only sixteen more days to complete his Sheloshim. This is because the Yom Tov of Shavuos annuls the Shiv'ah (as the Mishnah says on 19a), and thus the seven days of the Shiv'ah are considered as though they have already passed. When Shavuos passes, it is considered as though another seven days have passed, for Shavuos is a Yom Tov with the same status as Pesach and Sukos (see RITVA), which last for seven days.
What is the basis for the second part of the Gemara's ruling, that one day of Shavuos is considered like seven days? If Shavuos is considered like seven days because it has six days of Tashlumin for its Korbanos (Chagigah 17a), then why does the day of Shavuos itself count as seven days, and the following six days count towards the Sheloshim? Those days are being counted twice!
Furthermore, if, for some reason, a Yom Tov is considered like seven days, then Sukos should count as 27 days (the first seven days of the Shiv'ah are annulled by the Yom Tov, the first day of Yom Tov counts as seven days, there are six days of Chol ha'Mo'ed, and, finally, the Yom Tov of Shemini Atzeres counts as seven days, for a total of 27), and not as 21 days as the Gemara says! Why do the six days of Chol ha'Mo'ed not count towards the thirty days of the Sheloshim by themselves, like the six days of Tashlumin which follow Shavuos? The Gemara says explicitly (20a) that the entire festival, including Chol ha'Mo'ed, is included in the count of thirty days of Sheloshim!
ANSWER: The TIFERES L'MOSHE (YD 399) suggests an ingenious solution. He explains that during the times of the Beis ha'Mikdash, Shavuos was considered a seven-day festival because of the six days of Tashlumin that followed the Yom Tov. Those six days counted towards the thirty days of Aveilus (as the Gemara says on 20a with regard to Chol ha'Mo'ed). On the other hand, during those days of Tashlumin, an Avel would not observe any of the laws of Sheloshim because the laws are suspended during the festival. (This is based on the words of the TUR (YD 399) in the name of the ROSH, who writes that an Avel is not allowed to cut his hair or iron his clothes during Chol ha'Mo'ed -- not because of the laws of Sheloshim but because of the laws of the festival, as the Gemara says at the end of 19b. The other laws of Sheloshim, such as wearing freshly pressed clothes, do not apply on Chol ha'Mo'ed at all. The RAMBAN (in Toras ha'Adam), however, writes that all of the laws of Sheloshim apply during the festival, and one may not wear newly-ironed clothes on Chol ha'Mo'ed. The Tiferes l'Moshe suggests that even the Ramban applies this ruling only in a case in which the death occurred on the festival itself, in which case the festival does not annul the Shiv'ah. In such a case, the restrictions of Sheloshim apply not because those days are part of the Sheloshim, but because they are part of the Shiv'ah. If, however, the death occurred before the festival, and thus the festival annulled the Shiv'ah, then even the Ramban agrees that the laws of Sheloshim are not observed during the festival.)
Accordingly, during the times of the Beis ha'Mikdash an Avel gained seven days during which he did not have to observe the laws of Sheloshim, and yet those days still counted towards the thirty days. The seven days that counted towards his Sheloshim comprised the one day of Shavuos and the six days of Tashlumin that followed. When the Beis ha'Mikdash was destroyed, the Chachamim did not want the Avel to lose those days because of the Churban of the Beis ha'Mikdash, and therefore they decreed that nowadays, too, the Avel subtracts seven days from the count of thirty when Shavuos passes, and he observes seven days less of Sheloshim. This is the intention of the Gemara here when it says that Shavuos counts as seven days.
The Tiferes l'Moshe points out that this also explains why the days of Chol ha'Mo'ed of Sukos and Pesach do not count towards Sheloshim by themselves. Only the first day of Yom Tov counts as seven days, because the only reason why a festival day should count as seven days is because it has six days of Chol ha'Mo'ed that follow it. Thus, only when a Yom Tov does not actually have any days of Chol ha'Mo'ed that follow it (such as Shavuos) did the Chachamim give it a status of seven days by itself.
Why, though, do each of the other single days of Yom Tov, such as Shemini Atzeres, Rosh Hashanah, and Yom Kippur, count as seven days towards the Sheloshim according to Raban Gamliel (whose opinion is the Halachah)? Those days are not seven-day festivals, and during the times of the Beis ha'Mikdash they were not followed by another six days of Tashlumin. The RAMBAN explains that they nevertheless count as seven days because the Torah compares all of the festivals to each other (Shevuos 10a). Hence, since Shavuos counts as seven days even though it is only a one-day festival, the other one-day festivals also count as seven days even though they are not followed by days of Tashlumin.
3) ROSH HASHANAH COUNTS AS FOURTEEN DAYS
QUESTION: The Gemara concludes in accordance with the opinion of Raban Gamliel (19a) that the day of Yom Tov annuls the Shiv'ah and removes seven days from the Avel's observance of Sheloshim. The Yom Tov itself counts as another seven days. Accordingly, Rav Papa states that if the Aveilus begins one day before Rosh Hashanah, with the passage of Rosh Hashanah it is considered as though fourteen days have passed: seven days of the Shiv'ah which Rosh Hashanah annulled, and another seven days towards the Sheloshim which the Yom Tov of Rosh Hashanah constitutes. Ravina states that if the Aveilus begins a day before Sukos, with the passage of Shemini Atzeres it is considered as though 21 days have passed: the seven days of Shiv'ah which the first day of Yom Tov annuls, the first day of Yom Tov itself which is counted as seven days towards the Sheloshim, and Shemini Atzeres which is counted as another seven days towards the Sheloshim.
Rav Papa emphasizes that Rosh Hashanah not only stops the Shiv'ah but also counts as an additional seven days, and thus it counts as fourteen days towards the Sheloshim. What, though, is Rav Papa's point? What difference does it make that Rosh Hashanah counts as fourteen days towards the Shiv'ah? In any case, Yom Kippur will arrive seven days after Rosh Hashanah and annul the Sheloshim altogether! It does not matter how many days of Sheloshim are left after Rosh Hashanah. (TOSFOS, DH d'Rebbi Elazar)
(According to the opinion (on 19a) which maintains that Yom Kippur does not annul the Sheloshim when the Avel does not shave before Yom Kippur, the answer to this question is obvious: Rav Papa's statement that Rosh Hashanah counts as fourteen days is relevant in a case in which the Avel does not shave on Erev Yom Kippur and, consequently, he needs to continue observing Sheloshim after Yom Kippur. In such a case, Rosh Hashanah counts as fourteen days of the Sheloshim. However, the Gemara there (19b) concludes that, contrary to this opinion, even if the Avel did not shave before the festival, the festival nevertheless annuls the Sheloshim. What, then, is the relevance of Rav Papa's statement that Rosh Hashanah counts as fourteen days?)
(a) Some Rishonim answer that Rav Papa's teaching is relevant in a case of a Shemu'ah Rechokah -- when one hears about the passing of a close relative more than thirty days after the time of death (20a). If Rosh Hashanah arrives between the time of death and the day on which one hears about it, the festival counts as fourteen days. Accordingly, it is able to transform a potential Shemu'ah Kerovah into a Shemu'ah Rechokah (since one day is considered fourteen days).
TOSFOS and other Rishonim reject this explanation. As the RITVA writes, there is no reason for why the festival should affect the amount of time with regard to a Shemu'ah Rechokah; the festival reduces only the amount of time which an Avel has already begun to observe. In the case of a Shemu'ah Rechokah, the Avel did not yet begin to observe Aveilus (because he did not hear about the death before the festival arrived).
(b) The Rishonim quote RABEINU SHIMSHON and the RI who answer that Rav Papa's statement that Rosh Hashanah counts as fourteen days of the Sheloshim has practical relevance. The Gemara earlier (23a) quotes a Beraisa which details the different stages of Aveilus. During the first week, the Avel must stay in his home. During the second week, he may leave his home but he must sit in a different seat in the synagogue and not in his regular seat. During the third week, he may sit in his regular seat but he may not speak, and so on. Rav Papa teaches that the week after Rosh Hashanah is not considered the second week of Aveilus; rather, once Rosh Hashanah passes it is considered as though fourteen days have passed, and it is the beginning of the third week. Consequently, the Avel may sit in his regular seat in the synagogue, but he may not speak.
(c) The BEHAG and the BA'AL HA'ME'OR (16a of the pages of the Rif) assert that Yom Kippur does not annul the Sheloshim in this case, but counts only as seven days towards the Sheloshim. As a result, the Avel needs to observe an additional two days of Sheloshim after Yom Kippur. (He already observed 28 days: the seven days annulled by Rosh Hashanah, the seven days that Rosh Hashanah itself constitutes, the seven days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, and the seven days that Yom Kippur itself constitutes.)
The reason for why Yom Kippur does not annul the Sheloshim is that a festival cannot annul the Sheloshim when another festival already annulled the Shiv'ah. Only one part of the Aveilus can be annulled by a festival. Since Rosh Hashanah already annulled the Shiv'ah, Yom Kippur cannot annul the Sheloshim.
Their proof for this assertion is from the next statement in the Gemara. The Gemara says that Sukos counts as 21 days of the Sheloshim. Why, though, does it not annul the Sheloshim entirely? The first day of Sukos annuls the Shiv'ah and the following Yom Tov of Shemini Atzeres should completely annul the Sheloshim. Why does Shemini Atzeres count only as seven days towards the Sheloshim? It is evident that once a festival already annulled part of the Aveilus, another festival cannot annul the Sheloshim.
The RAMBAN and ROSH disagree. They refute the proof from the Gemara's statement about Sukos by pointing out that a festival can annul part of the Aveilus (Shiv'ah or Sheloshim) only if the Avel had already begun to observe some of that part of the Aveilus before the festival. The first day of Sukos annuls the Shiv'ah because the Avel observed some of the Shiv'ah before the festival. Shemini Atzeres, however, cannot annul the Sheloshim because the Avel never observed any of the Sheloshim (since the laws of Sheloshim are not observed during the festival).
(d) The RITVA suggests that this question is addressed by the Amora'im themselves. When Ravina was asked, "Did you say that Rosh Hashanah counts as fourteen days?" he answered cryptically, "I said only that it makes sense that the Halachah follows Raban Gamliel." What was he protesting? Why did he not want to admit openly that he said that Rosh Hashanah counts as fourteen days, especially since that is what Raban Gamliel maintains?
The Ritva explains that Ravina was protesting the irrelevance of saying that Rosh Hashanah counts as fourteen days. Since it is irrelevant to say that Rosh Hashanah counts as fourteen days (as explained above in the question), a statement to that effect is inaccurate. It is true, however, that the Halachah follows Raban Gamliel, who says that a Yom Tov counts as seven days.
Rav Papa, who explicitly states that Rosh Hashanah counts as fourteen days, does not intend to make a relevant Halachic statement. Rather, his point is to teach that the Halachah is that Rosh Hashanah annuls the Shiv'ah. When he says that it counts as fourteen days, he means that had this fact been relevant, Rosh Hashanah would have annulled both the Shiv'ah and counted as seven days (thus constituting a total of fourteen days).
HALACHAH: The SHULCHAN ARUCH (YD 399:9) records the ruling of Rav Papa as the Halachah, but he changes the wording to reflect the explanation of the Ritva (in (d) above). He writes that Rosh Hashanah "annuls the Shiv'ah," but he does not say how many days of the Sheloshim Rosh Hashanah constitutes, because, as the Ritva explains, it is irrelevant -- the Sheloshim anyway becomes annulled by Yom Kippur, as the Shulchan Aruch himself writes later. In this respect, the Shulchan Aruch rules like the Ramban and the Rosh, and not like the Behag (in (c) above), since he follows their view that it is possible for two festivals to annul both the Shiv'ah and the Sheloshim of one Aveilus.
The SHULCHAN ARUCH later (YD 399:12) records the view of Rabeinu Shimshon and the Ri (in (b) above) who maintain that since Rosh Hashanah counts as fourteen days, the week after Rosh Hashanah is considered the third week of Aveilus and not the second week, and thus the Avel may sit in his regular place silently.
The MISHNAH BERURAH (OC 548:4, based on the RI MI'GASH #185) writes that the Gemara's statement that a Yom Tov always counts as seven days (even when it does not annul the Shiv'ah, such as Shemini Atzeres) applies only when the death occurred before the festival and the Avel started to observe the Shiv'ah. If the death occurred during the festival (and thus the Shiv'ah did not start at all), the festival does not count as seven days, and the Avel observes all of the Shiv'ah after the festival passes. (The Sheloshim, however, is counted from the day of death, because the days of the festival do count towards the Sheloshim.)