1) AGADAH: REMEMBERING THE BEIS HA'MIKDASH
QUESTION: The Mishnah relates that Raban Yochanan ben Zakai instituted a Mitzvah d'Rabanan to hold the Arba'as ha'Minim on all seven days of Sukos outside of the Beis ha'Mikdash. The Gemara explains that this enactment was made as a commemoration for the Beis ha'Mikdash ("Zecher la'Mikdash"). What is the source for the concept of making a Zecher la'Mikdash? The Gemara cites the verse, "For I shall raise up (A'aleh) for you a cure, and from your wounds I will heal you -- the word of Hash-m, for 'abandoned' did they call you: 'She is Tziyon -- no one remembers her'" (Yirmeyahu 30:17).
This verse, which teaches the concept of making a Zecher la'Mikdash, is cited only by the Gemara here and nowhere else. This implies that the verse specifically relates to the Arba'as ha'Minim. However, the verse makes no mention or hint of the Arba'as ha'Minim. In what way does the verse allude to the Arba'as ha'Minim?
ANSWER: The word "A'aleh" ("I shall raise up") is comprised of the first letter of each of the Arba'as ha'Minim: Esrog, Aravah, Lulav, Hadas. The Chachamim instituted that a Zecher la'Mikdash be made with the Arba'as ha'Minim in order to remind us that Hash-m will heal the wounds of Tziyon -- "from your wounds I will heal you."
A similar allusion to the Arba'as ha'Minim can be found in another verse: "May my tongue stick to my palate if I do not remember you, [O Zion,] if I do not raise up (A'aleh) Yerushalayim above my foremost joy (Rosh Simchasi)" (Tehilim 137:6). This verse also hints to the concept of remembering the Beis ha'Mikdash on Sukos through the Mitzvah of Arba'as ha'Minim. "Rosh Simchasi" alludes to the time of Simchah -- Zeman Simchasenu, or Sukos -- during which the celebrations of the Simchas Beis ha'Sho'evah occurred when the Beis ha'Mikdash stood. The Chachamim instituted that a Zecher la'Mikdash should be made by holding the Arba'as ha'Minim -- the Esrog, Aravah, Lulav, and Hadas, to which the word "A'aleh" alludes -- on all seven days of Sukos. (M. Kornfeld)
(See also "Peninim mi'Shulchan ha'Gra" by Rav Dov Eliach, Vayikra 23:40, who cites in the name of the Vilna Ga'on that the Arba'as ha'Minim are alluded to in the verse "E'eleh v'Samar, Ochazah b'Sansinav..." (Shir ha'Shirim 7:9). Actually, the original source for this allusion is the Zohar in Ra'aya Mehemna, end of Ki Setzei 283a, and Tikunei Zohar #13. We later found that Rav Reuven Margoliyos, in Sha'arei Zohar and Nitzotzei Zohar, notes the allusion from the verse cited by the Gemara here.) (See also Insights to Sukah 41:1.)
2) THE "KILKUL" WHICH OCCURRED WHEN THE WITNESSES CAME LATE
QUESTION: The Mishnah relates that on one occasion witnesses did not arrive to testify about the new moon until after the time of Minchah on Rosh Hashanah. As a result, the Leviyim did not recite the correct Shir when the afternoon Korban Tamid was offered. Because of that "Kilkul" the Rabanan instituted that Beis Din may never accept witnesses who come to testify about the new moon after the time of Minchah.
Why does the Mishnah say that the "Kilkul" was that the Leviyim recited the wrong Shir? Since the witnesses did not come until after the afternoon Korban Tamid was offered, there was a much more serious "Kilkul": the Korban Musaf of Rosh Hashanah could not be offered. The afternoon Korban Tamid must be the last Korban of the day (Pesachim 58b), and since they already brought the Korban Tamid they could not bring the Korban Musaf. Consequently, not only did the late arrival of the witnesses result in the wrong Shir being recited, but it resulted in the inability to offer the entire Musaf offering of Rosh Hashanah. Why does the Mishnah not mention this "Kilkul"? (TOSFOS DH Niskalkelu)
(a) TOSFOS answers that according to the opinion in the Gemara which maintains that the "Kilkul" was that the Leviyim did not recite any Shir at all (and not that they recited the wrong Shir), it is possible that what actually happened was that the witnesses did not come at all, and not that they came late. The failure to offer the Korban Musaf was not a "Kilkul" because the day was not established as Rosh Chodesh. However, the Leviyim did not recite the day's Shir out of doubt whether the witnesses would arrive. Hence, the only "Kilkul" was that they did not recite the Shir.
(b) TOSFOS suggests that the opinion in the Gemara which maintains that the Leviyim recited the wrong Shir for the Korban Tamid (and which maintains that witnesses did arrive to testify about the new moon) must maintain that the Korban Musaf may be offered after the Korban Tamid. Although no other Korban may be offered after the Tamid, a Korban Tzibur (such as the Korban Musaf) is different; the Mitzvas Aseh of the Tzibur overrides the Mitzvas Aseh of Hashlamah (the requirement that the Korban Tamid be the last Korban of the day).
(c) The RAMBAM (Hilchos Kidush ha'Chodesh 3:5) explains that the "Kilkul" indeed was that they did not offer the Korban Musaf. He makes no mention of the Shir.
How does the Rambam understand the Mishnah which clearly states that the Leviyim were "Niskalkelu b'Shir"? Moreover, how does he explain the Gemara which discusses at length the "Kilkul" of the Shir? (See LECHEM MISHNEH and other commentaries on the Rambam.)
Perhaps the Rambam understands that the Mishnah means that not only did the Kohanim err by not offering the appropriate Korbanos, but even the Leviyim erred by not reciting the proper Shir. The Mishnah is teaching the extent of the "Kilkul" -- that it affected even the Leviyim. (M. Kornfeld)