1) "SHOFAR" OR "CHATZOTZEROS"
QUESTION: The Beraisa records a dispute about the intention of the Mishnah when it says that we are "Masri'in" on the fast days of the third set of Ta'aniyos. One opinion says that the Mishnah means that we are to blow a Teru'ah with the Shofar. Another opinion says that it means that we are to cry out in prayer and say "Aneinu" in addition to the blowing of the Shofar. The Beraisa says that a mnemonic for the fact that we blow the Shofar on seven days during the series of fasts is "Yericho": just as the Jewish people blew the Shofar for seven days when they waged war with Yericho and Hash-m answered them, so, too, we blow the Shofar when we fast and pray to Hash-m in times of distress.
The Mishnah in Rosh Hashanah (26b) states that in the Beis ha'Mikdash on a Ta'anis, both the Shofaros and the Chatzotzeros are blown, with the Chatzotzeros in the middle (between the Shofaros). The sound of the Chatzotzeros is elongated because the Mitzvah of the day is to blow Chatzotzeros.
The Beraisa there (27a) says that this practice applies only in the Beis ha'Mikdash. Outside of the Mikdash, Shofaros are not used at all when Chatzotzeros are used (such as on a Ta'anis), and Chatzotzeros are not used at all when Shofaros are used.
It seems clear from the Mishnah and Beraisa there that the Mitzvah on a Ta'anis outside of the Beis ha'Mikdash is to blow the Chatzotzeros alone without the Shofar. Why, then, does the Gemara here say that Shofaros are blown on a Ta'anis, and why does it bring support from Yericho where Shofaros were blown? Only Chatzotzeros should be blown on a Ta'anis.
(a) The RITVA (12b) cites the BA'ALEI HA'TOSFOS who explain that the word "Shofar" in the Gemara here refers to the Chatzotzeros and not to the Shofar. The Gemara in Shabbos (36a) and Sukah (34a) says that the names "Shofar" and "Chatzotzeros" became switched after the Churban, and the people began to refer to the Chatzotzeros as "Shofaros" (see Insights to Shabbos 36a for the Chasam Sofer's explanation of this change). This is why the Gemara refers to Chatzotzeros as "Shofar." According to this explanation, the proof from Yericho is merely that some sound must be blown with an instrument. The events at Yericho do not prove what instrument must be blown.
The RITVA adds that "based on this reasoning, the Jews in France have the custom not to sound any Teki'os on a Ta'anis," since the Mitzvah is to blow with Chatzotzeros but the Chatzotzeros do not exist nowadays (as it is unknown exactly how they are to be made).
This also appears to be the opinion of the BA'AL HA'ME'OR in Rosh Hashanah (26b) who says that he does not understand why the Ge'onim write that we should blow the Shofar, and not the Chatzotzeros, on a Ta'anis. This also appears to be the understanding of the RAMBAM (Hilchos Ta'aniyos 1:4) who writes that we blow the Chatzotzeros on a Ta'anis.
(b) The RA'AVAD, as quoted by the Rishonim, answers that there are two stages in the Tefilah of a Ta'anis at which Teki'os are blown. The first set of Teki'os are blown during the actual blessings of Shemoneh Esreh. These Teki'os are the subject of the Mishnah in Rosh Hashanah, and they are blown with the Chatzotzeros. A second set of Teki'os are blown after the Shemoneh Esreh, during the additional supplications and prayers. These Teki'os are blown with the Shofar. The second set of Teki'os is the subject of the Gemara here when it says that we blow the Shofar.
The Ra'avad cites proof for his explanation from the initial assumption of the Gemara. The Gemara initially assumed that the opinion which interprets "Masri'in" to mean that we recite the prayer of "Aneinu" maintains that we only recite "Aneinu" and we do not blow the Shofar. Why does the Gemara entertain the possibility that there is an opinion which maintains that the Shofar is not blown on a Ta'anis? The Mishnayos clearly say that the Shofar is blown during the Shemoneh Esreh on a Ta'anis (15b, 16b)! It must be that everyone agrees that Chatzotzeros are blown during the Shemoneh Esreh. The dispute cited by the Gemara here involves what is done after the Shemoneh Esreh. One opinion says that Teki'os are blown with a Shofar, and the other opinion says that only "Aneinu" is recited (according to the Gemara's original assumption; according to the Gemara's conclusion, "Aneinu" is recited and the Shofar is blown).
(c) The RAMBAN (Milchamos, Rosh Hashanah 26b) writes that the Mitzvah to use Chatzotzeros applies only in the Beis ha'Mikdash. Outside of the Beis ha'Mikdash, Chatzotzeros are not used at all on a day of distress. He reasons that the purpose of blowing Chatzotzeros is "l'Kenufya" -- to gather the entire nation together, but this is necessary only in places where a large representation of the nation is present. Therefore, only the Shofar is blown on a Ta'anis, and not the Chatzotzeros. When the Mishnah in Rosh Hashanah says that the Mitzvah on a Ta'anis is to blow the Chatzotzeros, it refers to what is done in the Beis ha'Mikdash. Outside of the Beis ha'Mikdash the Shofar is blown, similar to what was done in Yericho, as the Gemara here says.
What, though, does the Gemara in Rosh Hashanah (27a) mean when it states that outside of the Beis ha'Mikdash there are times when only the Chatzotzeros are blown and not the Shofar? The Ramban explains that the Gemara there does not refer to a Ta'anis but rather to a time of war, when the Chatzotzeros are used to gather the nation together for battle. For any other time of communal trouble, the Torah does not specify whether Chatzotzeros or a Shofar must be used. The Minhag, therefore, is to use a Shofar.
(d) The RASHBA in Rosh Hashanah (27a) offers a fourth explanation. Like the Ramban (c), he says that when the Mishnah specifies that the "Mitzvah of the day is to blow Chatzotzeros" it refers only to the Teki'os and Teru'os in the Beis ha'Mikdash. When the Gemara says that outside of the Beis ha'Mikdash, "when Chatzotzeros are blown the Shofar is not," it does not mean that there is a time when only the Chatzotzeros may be blown outside of the Beis ha'Mikdash. Rather, it means that either Shofar or Chatzotzeros may be blown outside of the Beis ha'Mikdash. However, if we choose to blow Chatzotzeros we may not combine them with the sound of a Shofar, and, likewise, if we blow the Shofar we may not sound the Chatzotzeros as well.
The Poskim rule like the Ramban and Rashba (as cited in (c) and (d) above), because they express the majority opinion. Hence, the Shofar may be blown on a Ta'anis outside of the Beis ha'Mikdash. Current practice, however, is to blow neither the Shofar nor Chatzotzeros. (For the reasons behind this practice, see Insights to Ta'anis 15:1
2) HOW MANY "TERU'OS" ARE BLOWN ON A TA'ANIS
QUESTION: The Mishnah (12b) describes the third and final -- and most severe -- set of fasts observed during a time of distress. The Beraisa here mentions that each of these seven Ta'aniyos "has 18 blasts of the Shofar."
What is the basis for this number of Shofar blasts? RASHI explains that since six blessings are added to the Shemoneh Esreh on the Ta'anis, and a set of three blasts (Teki'ah-Teru'ah-Teki'ah) is blown during each of these blessings (as the Beraisa on 16b says), there are a total of 18 blasts each day.
However, the Mishnah (15a) and Beraisa (16b) later say that six blessings are added after the blessing of "Go'el Yisrael," and in the blessing of "Go'el Yisrael" itself extra verses and prayers are added. The Mishnah clearly says that the Shofar is blown in all seven of those blessings -- in the six additional ones and in "Go'el Yisrael" itself. Accordingly, since three Teki'os are blown during each blessing, the Beraisa should say that there are 21 Teki'os and not just 18. What is the Beraisa's source for 18 Teki'os? (GEVURAS ARI, LECHEM MISHNEH Hilchos Ta'aniyos 4:17)
(a) It is because of this question that the VILNA GA'ON here changes the Girsa to read "21" instead of "18." However, no record of such a Girsa is found in any of the older manuscripts of the Gemara or in the Rishonim.
(b) According to the Girsa of RABEINU CHANANEL, the RAMBAN, RITVA, and RA'AVAD, the Gemara says that "seven blasts of the Shofar" are blown in the seven blessings of the Ta'anis. Each blessing contains only one blast and not three (Teki'ah-Teru'ah-Teki'ah). (The blasts alternate from a Teki'ah to a Teru'ah.)
The words of these Rishonim seem to contradict the Beraisa (16b) which clearly states that a set of Teki'ah-Teru'ah-Teki'ah is blown during each blessing. The RITVA (15b) answers that the Beraisa there expresses the opinion of Rebbi Yehudah, who says in Sukah (53b) that the three blasts of Teki'ah-Teru'ah-Teki'ah are considered to be one long sound (and not three sounds). The Chachamim, who argue that they are considered three distinct sounds, maintain that only a single Teru'ah or Teki'ah is blown for each blessing (as the Beraisa at the beginning of 16b says). Hence, both the Chachamim and Rebbi Yehudah agree that only "one sound" is blown for each blessing, for a total of seven sounds.
The RA'AVAD, as quoted by the Ramban, understands the Girsa of "seven Teru'os" in a slightly different manner. The Ra'avad understands that the Beraisa refers to the Teki'os blown after the Shemoneh Esreh (see previous Insight). Only one Teki'ah is blown after the Shemoneh Esreh on each day of the Ta'anis. Accordingly, when the Beraisa says that during the seven days of Ta'anis "seven blasts of the Shofar" are blown, it means that a total of seven Teki'os are blown during those seven days, and it refers to the Teki'os blown after the Shemoneh Esreh each day.
(According to the Ra'avad, the events at Yericho allude both to the seven days of fasting and to the seven Teki'os: when the Jewish people surrounded Yericho, they circled the city for seven days, and each time they circled the city they blew the Shofar.)
(c) RABEINU GERSHOM has yet another Girsa in the Gemara. According to his Girsa, the Beraisa says that during the seven days of fasting, "13 blasts of the Shofar" are blown each day. He arrives at this number in the following way:
The Beraisa later (16b) says that one of the prayers recited during each of the seven special blessings of a Ta'anis is the prayer of "Mi she'Anah." When the Beraisa describes the order of the special prayers of a Ta'anis, it says that in the first of the seven blessings "they announced, 'Tik'u' -- 'Let the Kohanim blow a Teki'ah,' they recited 'Mi she'Anah,' and then the Kohanim blew Teki'ah-Teru'ah-Teki'ah." The second part of the Beraisa says that "in the second blessings they announced, 'Heri'u' (and not 'Tik'u'), they recited 'Mi she'Anah,' and then the Kohanim blew Teru'ah-Teki'ah-Teru'ah."
Most Rishonim understand the Beraisa to mean that at the beginning of "Mi she'Anah" the Kohanim were summoned to blow the Shofar, but they did not actually blow it until after "Mi she'Anah" was recited. Rabeinu Gershom, however, understands the Beraisa differently. He says that at the time the Kohanim were summoned to blow the Shofar, they blew the first blast (before "Mi she'Anah"), and they blew again after "Mi she'Anah" was recited. In other words, they blew the Shofar at two different times during each blessing.
However, the Teki'os they blew at the time of the announcement to blow differed from the Teki'os they blew after "Mi she'Anah." Before "Mi she'Anah," they blew only one blast, alternating from a Teki'ah to a Teru'ah for each successive blessing. After "Mi she'Anah," they blew three blasts, alternating between Teki'ah-Teru'ah-Teki'ah and Teru'ah-Teki'ah-Teru'ah.
According to this count, there is a total of 28 blasts of the Shofar. From where does Rabeinu Gershom derive the number 13?
Rabeinu Gershom explains that the Gemara counts only the Teru'os ("Hasra'os," in the words of the Beraisa). These are the sounds of the Shofar which arouse the people to do Teshuvah. During the first blessing, only one of the four blasts of the Shofar is a Teru'ah. During the second blessing, three out of the four blasts are Teru'os. Hence, the first two blessings have a total of four Teru'os. Similarly, the next four blessings have a total of eight Teru'os, while the last blessing has only one Teru'ah -- a total of 13 Teru'os.
(According to Rabeinu Gershom, the events at Yericho allude not only to the seven days of blowing the Shofar, but also to the number of Teru'os as well. In Yericho, the Jewish people circled the city once each day for the first six days, and they sounded the Shofar at each circuit. On the seventh day, they circled the city seven times and blew the Shofar seven times. Altogether, they circled the city and blew the Shofar 13 times in seven days.)