OU Tehillim Wide

The Nature Of Havdala

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Nov 14, 2022
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לכבוד הבת מצוה של בתי חדת לבבי חנה ליבא כ"א חשון תשפ"ג

זכור את יום השבת לקדשו

- Chazal say: Remember Shabbos when it comes in and goes out. Kiddush and Havdala. What is the הגדרה of Havdala? What is it's essence? Kiddush is already Havdala. By sanctifying we are separating! So once we say Kiddush we don't need Havdala as they are two sides of the same coin. When you say הרי את מקודשת לי you are both making her special for you and separating her from the rest of the world - דאסר לה אכולי עלמא כהקדש. Same with Kiddush and Havdala mutatis mutandis.

Not only that but Havdala in the Kedusha of time is different than other ways of separating. When we sanctify the animal Bechor - it is already holy. We just add our קדושה בפה. Similarly, when we sanctify Shabbos with Kiddush - it is already holy and we are just adding our קדושה בפה. But when we say הבדלה we are creating a new Halachic reality. Until Havdala it is forbidden to do Melacha. Interesting.

The words בין קודש לחול are the עיקר of Havdala even more than בין יום השביעי לששת ימי המעשה [Pesachim 103/104]. Why is that?

So what is Havdala all about???

We would like to explain a principle in the קדושת הזמנים:

Mussaf is a verbalization of the מצוה דאורייתא of Koban Mussaf [ונשלמה פרים שפתינו], yet we say מענגיה לעלם כבוד ינחלו. Now Oneg Shabbos is only מדברי קבלה from the נביא so what is it doing in Mussaf??

A Yesod from the Gaon R' Yehoshua Leib Diskin  זצ"ל which can be used as an illustration of our issue. The Rosh cites the Maharam of Rottenberg that the דין of פיקוח נפש is a דין of דחויה - pushing away [but not permitting] the aveira. But when it comes to Shabbos פיקוח נפש is completely הותרה and permits the aveirah. 

This is built on the foundation of the derivation of פיקוח נפש דוחה שבת from the pasuk of קדש היא לכם which is taken to mean - שבת מסורה בידכם ואין אתם מסורים בידה - Shabbos is given over to you and and you are not given over to it [Yoma 82b]. Another opinion: It is derived from the pasuk וחי בהם  - ולא שימות בהם - Live by them and don't die by them. So פיקוח נפש wins. On the first opinion there is a question that if the source is קדש היא לכם then it would not apply in a case of doubt and one would not be allowed to be מחלל שבת in a case of doubtful פיקוח נפש. But if the source is וחי בהם then even in a case of doubt we would be מחלל שבת to save a life. For וחי בהם means to make sure that no matter what the person lives. On this comments R' Yehoshua Leib that the first source of קדש היא לכם has not been completely rejected. If it is a case of DEFINITE פיקוח נפש then we fall back on the source of קדש היא לכם and thus שבת מסורה בכם ואין אתם מסורים בידה. Shabbos is completely in your hands [in a case of פיקוח נפש] meaning הותרה and not merely דחויה. Other Mitzvos however are דחויה b/c they don't have this source. 

Why with regard to all the mitzvos, פיקוח נפש is דחויה, while on Shabbos it is הותרה? Also, how do we know that נמסר בידכם  - Shabbos is given over to your hands only with regard to life and death and not with regard to Yisurim and other things?

First we will say the sentence and then expand: In the entire Torah there is a contradiction between קדושה and לכם. If it is הקדש then it is not לכם. Only on Shabbos is the קדושה considered לכם! That is the pasuk קדש היא לכם. That is why פיקוח נפש is הותרה on Shabbos. 

Now the explanation: We know that there is no reward for mitzvos in this world. שכר מצוה בהאי עלמא ליכא. The guiding rule is היום לעשותם ומחר לקבל שכרם. Today we work and tomorrow [in the next world] we receive reward. However there is one mitzva where it is completely transparent that the reward is not in this world but in the next. That is the mitzva of קידוש השם and יהרג ואל יעבור. Here one dies for the mitzva so of course the reward cannot be in this world. 

There is another mitzva where we hear echoes of reward in this world: That is the mitzva of Shabbos. Shabbos is מעין עולם הבא. In other words - we taste the eternal reward of Shabbos when we keep Shabbos here. So it can't be that mitzvos are merely דחויה by Shabbos. Shabbos says LIVE. BE REWARDED!!! It is YOURS! The world of reward, of eternal life.

So now we return to the question of why we mention עונג שבת in מוסף when עונג שבת is from the נביא while מוסף is מדאורייתא. Indeed, the specific types of עונג such as eating and drinking are only מדרבנן based on the נביא. But the CONCEPT of עונג is from the Torah. Shabbos is נמסרת היא בידכם. Shabbos is the world of reward. Shabbos is pleasure such that there is no room for dying. פיקוח נפש is הותרה. So of course the mention of עונג belongs in מוסף.

Now we can understand the uniqueness of קדושת שבת vis a vis all other types of קדושה. Other קדושות don't CANCEL or suspend other things. The Land of Israel is holy but it is not מבטל anything from other lands. The Bechor is holy but doesn't nullify anything from other animals. Shabbos, in contrast, nullifies and cancels the essence of weekday time. Shabbos is the next world which is a contradiction to this world. הבדלה is NOT as we thought [at the beginning of this essay], the other side of the coin of קידוש. Kiddush [we thought] says that this time is separate from the rest of the week and הבדלה says that this time which is now ending is separate from the rest of the week. No. קידוש sanctifies the day, nullifying weekday, mundane time. This should go on forever. Now time is holy. הבדלה is the STOPPAGE of this holy time. 

קידוש is ביטול זמן החול and replacing it with holy time. הבדלה is the stoppage of this unique time.  

[עפ"י תורת מרן ראש הישיבה זצ"ל]    

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Learning on the Marcos and Adina Katz YUTorah site is sponsored today by Ruth Peyser Kestenbaum and Miriam & Alan Goldberg to mark the tenth yahrtzeit of their father, Irwin Peyser, Harav Yisroel Chaim ben R' Dovid V' Fraidah Raizel Peyser and by the Rotblat, Frohlich, and Dworken families to commemorate the 20th yahrtzeit of Rabbi Dr. Steven M Dworken, Harav Yisrael Mordechai ben Avraham Dovid