מדוע קבעו חכמים תענית בצום גדליה (ג׳ תשרי)? תסתכלו בגמרא ראש השנה וברמב״ם.
- מה ההבדל ביניהם?
- לדעתך, איך הבין הרמב״ם דברי הגמרא?
- לפי הפסוקים, מתי רצח ישמעאל בן נתניה את גדליה?
- כיצד הבינו הרד״ק והמהרש״א?
רד"ק ירמיהו פרק מא
(א) ויהי בחדש השביעי - ובר"ה נהרג גדליה בן אחיקם וקבעו התענית במוצאי ר"ה מפני שהוא י"ט:
מהרש"א חידושי אגדות מסכת ראש השנה דף יח עמוד ב
צום השביעי זה ג' בתשרי כו'. שהיה בחדש השביעי מפורש בקרא בסוף ספר מלכים גם בספר ירמיה אבל שהיה בג' בו אינו מפורש שם בקרא ואפשר שהיה קבלה בידם כן...
ועוד יש לכוון בזה לפי שזה נעשה בי' ימי תשובה והיה לו לישמעאל שהרגו להתעורר בתשובה והוא לא היה חושש בכך והוסיף צרה לישראל בהריגתו לגדליה.
Rav Soloveitchik, Before Hashem You Will Be Purified, pgs. 60-61
Contemporary Orthodoxy is well grounded intellectually. In spite of this, however, its followers lack passion and enthusiasm. This deficiency is especially evident on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur…
How can a Jew pray on Yom Kippur and not feel the greatness, the fire and holiness of this day? How can I possibly impart such an experience? Perhaps one can begin to awaken the ecstatic feeling by discussing the customs and laws which we observe on Yom Kippur. From within the allegedly dry confines of Jewish law, there is an awesome, warm, enormous world–there is a definite transition from Halakhah to service of Hashem. Perhaps through such a discussion, the audience will be awakened to the religious mood that a Jew must find himself in on Yom Kippur.
…I remember how difficult it was to go to sleep on Erev Yom Kippur. The shohet (ritual slaughterer) used to come at the break of dawn to provide chickens for the kaparos ritual, and later the people would give charity. The wallets of Jews were open twice a year, Erev Yom Kippur and Purim–but especially on Erev Yom Kippur. Minhah, vidui, the final meal before the fast [seudah hamafsekes], my grandfather’s preparations–all made Erev Yom Kippur a special entity, not only halakhic, but emotional and religious as well.
Erev Yom Kippur constitutes the herald that the Ribono Shel Olam is coming, that “lifnei Hashem tit’haru”–“before Hashem you shall be purified.”
The Jew’s yearning to encounter God is so intense, that he simply cannot wait until the onset of the holiday to achieve purity, but begins to reach out for purity through the commandment of honoring Yom Kippur on erev Yom Kippur.
The final chapter discusses the Avodat Yom haKippurim (description of the Yom Kippur Temple service) in the Mussaf service. The Rav noted that the description of the Avodah culminates in the majestic piyyut, Mar’eh Kohen, which describes the luminous appearance of the Kohen Gadol after successfully completing the Avodah:
Why the happiness in reciting Mar’eh Kohen? Why was it sung with such a happy tune? The answer is that the Kohen Gadol reflected the radiance of the Shekhinah. Through witnessing the radiant appearance of the Kohen Gadol, there could be no doubt about Hashem’s acceptance of Klal Yisrael’s prayers.
During the Avodah, the Jew had been transported to a different, beautiful world of the Temple service, experiencing the pleasure and delight in the awareness of God’s proximity and the heralding of Israel’s atonement.
Suddenly the liturgist and the reader of the piyyut are rudely awakened from a dream. They cry, “This is no longer the reality in which we live. It existed once, yes, but is no more.” One finds himself alone on a stormy night, dark, lost, and he cries out, “All this occurred while the Temple was in existence; fortunate the eye which saw all these things.” Fortunate the eye—but not our eyes.
Candles on Yom Kippur: Reinstating a Lost Minhag
The Physical and Spiritual Light of Yom Kippur:
Reinstating a Lost Minhag to Enhance the Spirituality of Today’s Synagogue
by: Rabbis Aaron Goldscheider & Barry Kornblau
“Or Zarua la’tzadik – Light is sown for the righteous.” Each year, we begin our Yom Kippur prayers with these repeated, resounding words which Aruch Hashulchan tells us refer to “great matters that are beyond explanation.” If there is one evening of the entire Jewish year when we most seek the great, inexplicable light of God’s shechina, it is Yom Kippur eve. We enter the synagogue with great expectations, to feel close to the Divine, and to feel the warmth of His light and presence. As we say throughout the penitential season, Hashem ori ve’yishi – God is my light and salvation.
Below, we shall see that rabbinic literature prescribes the lighting of candles in the synagogue on Yom Kippur eve. We believe that, for many, reinstating this practice could enhance the spirituality of Yom Kippur eve.
An ancient practice
...The practice we seek to reinstate is neither the kindling of Yahrzeit candles, nor the lighting of candles lit by women at home on each Shabbat and Yom Tov evening, including Yom Kippur eve. Rather, it is a third practice – usually not seen here in the United States – that dates back nearly two millennia, to the Mishna. "They kindle in synagogues, study halls, and dark alleyways, and near the ill..."
In late 14th Century Germany, R. Yaakov Moelin in Maharil (Hilchot erev Yom Kippur) cites Mordechai, suggesting that the lighting is a personal obligation that symbolizes the soul of man standing before God on the day of judgment, Yom Kippur.