Abarbanel on the Parsha

For the week ending 16 August 2014 / 20 Av 5774

Mo’ed Katan 6 - 12

by Rabbi Moshe Newman
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

“One should not mix a simcha with a simcha.”

In this way Rabbi Elazar in the name of Rabbi Chanina explains the rationale for the law in our mishna forbidding marriage during Chol Hamo’ed. This explanation helps us understand why “simcha” (of the marriage) is cited in the mishna as the reason behind the prohibition. Tosefot points out that the concept of not mixing one simcha with another is a law based on a verse (Sefer Melachim according to the Bavli, or a verse about Yaakov, Leah and Rachel according to the Yerushalmi). The logic behind this decree: The Torah wants a person’s heart to be entirely focused on the simcha of the mitzvah he is currently fulfilling — celebrating Chol Hamo’ed — and not be distracted by the simcha of anything else (Rashi, Tosefot).

  • Mo’ed Katan 8b

“A Heavenly voice called out and said ‘You are all invited to the World-to-Come!”

When Shlomo Hamelech dedicated the Beit Hamikdash upon its completion, he led the entire Jewish People in a festive celebration that began a week before Succot. Celebrating, however, requires eating and drinking, and one of these seven days was Yom Kippur. Rabbi Frank in the name of Rabbi Yochanan taught, “That year the Jewish People that did not fast on Yom Kippur.” The Sages permitted this based “kal v’chomer” Torah logic as explained in the gemara. Nevertheless, the people were still worried that by eating and drinking on Yom Kippur they had perhaps committed a serious transgression, and were in trepidation until they heard the bat kol voice from Heaven inviting them all to enter the World-to-Come.

  • Mo’ed Katan 9a

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