I was dared to come up with a sensible connotation for the kos of Dovid
holding 221 log l'asid lavo, the gematria of "revaya" ("kosi revaya").
This is what I came up with:
1. The advent of Moshiach ben Dovid is associated in Perek Chelek with
epochs of seven years, ayain sham.
2. On Rosh HaShana, al pi din one may fast during the day, making kiddush
and eating only at night.
Now, in 221 log there are the equivalent of 884 kosos for kiddush
On every Shabbos and Yom Tov we make Kiddush twice, once at night and once
during the day, except, as noted, on RH when it is not a chiyuv during the
In Galus we have two days YT. Me'shum kevoda shel Eretz Yisroel lo gazru,
true, but since the Galus occurred, rov minyan u'binyan of Am Yisroel has
maintained YT sheni.
So altogether we make kiddush twice a day on four days of Succos & Shmini
Atzeres/Simchas Torah, four days of Pesach, two days of Shevuos, and once
a day on RH - 22 more kiddush's a year, 154 over seven years. In seven
years there are approximately 365 Shabbosos, 730 over seven years.
So, in seven years:
Shabbos Kiddush: 730
Yom Tov Kiddush: 154
884 = the amount of kiddush cups in the "kosi revaya".
Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer
Cong. Bais Tefila, 3555 W. Peterson Ave., Chicago, IL, 60659
An Avoda member, R' A' Pechman, asked about havdolo; and another member,
R' E' Ginsparg, noted that in Pesachim 119b it is said that the kos of
Dovid is not one of kiddush, but of bentching. So, a little revision, with
Seu'da Shlishis does not require bread. Same gematria, vis a vis Birkas HaMazon:
365 Shabbosos x 2 Kos shel Birkas HaMazon = 730
10 days Yom Tov = 140
2 days RH, one meal (at night) per diem = 14
884 revi'ios in "kosi revaya" Yasher Koach to the Me'irim!YGB
Rav Yosef Gavriel,
Thanks for your very interesting explanation for the enigmatic "221 Lug" of King David's cup (Yoma 76). The Gemara is certainly puzzling, and I haven't seen any explanation for the number that doesn't resort to Kabalistic symbolism. (I asked Rav Moshe Shapiro about it, who suggested an approach based on the word "Orech" (length = reaching the final goal...), which I won't go in to. If you don't mind, though, I'd like to share with you my own understanding of this strange Ma'amar.
1) In my very humble opinion, the key to this Gemara is in Berachos 7b, "Why was she called "Rus? Because King David was among her offspring, and he satiated ("Rivehu") Hash-m with songs and praises." Chazal make use of the root "Revayah" to describe the satisfaction of Hash-m with David's Tehilim. In Yoma, then, Chazal are saying that as reward for the Tehilim he composed, David received, measure for measure, a "satisfying cup ("Kos Revayah")."
Chazal tell us that there are not 150, but 147 Mizmorim in Tehilim, corresponding to the years of Yakov Avinu -- Sofrim ch. 16, cited by Tosfos Pesachim 117a. (I discussed how to reconcile this with our count elsewhere, see my "Torah from the Internet" on Parashas Vayechi. Undoubtedly, King David's intention was to counteract the 49 Kelalos of Bechukosai and the 98 of Mishneh Torah, see Rashi at the beginning of Nitzavim, and for this he was rewarded with being given the cup of Birchas ha'Mazon in the World to Come, Pesachim 119b -- the "Kos Revayah" of our Sugya according to the Maharsha -- unlike Avraham and Yitzchak who produced a Yishmael and an Esav.) One and a half times 147 is 220.5 . The fraction was rounded up by Chazal to 221 (because one half extra is treated like a whole, "Mishmera u'Palga Mishmaros Kari lehu, Berachos 3b, -- and besides, there is no Gematria for a half!).
2) But why, you ask, was he rewarded one and a half times for his efforts? Why not 147, Midah k'Neged Midah? The answer is that in order to compose Tehilim, David did "overtime"of time and a half. The proper reward for his efforts, then, was one and a half times the number of Mizmorim he composed. But where do we see that he did time and a half?
The answer lies in Berachos 4a, where David Hamelech praises himself by saying, "Am I not a Chasid (= Lifnim mi'Shuras ha'Din)? All the world's kings arise at the third hour of the day, while I arise at midnight to praise you!" Rashi (ibid. 3b) explains that the third hour means the beginning of the third, i.e. two hours into the day. Altogether, David arose 8 hours earlier than other kings. These hours were David's "overtime," during which he composed Mizmorei Tehlim, as the Gemara says (ibid. 3b, "Shiros v'Tushbachos").
Altogether how many hours was David up and working? Around the clock! The Gemara says (ibid.) that he only slept "like a horse," "dozing off while learning" (Rashi), from Tzeis ha'Kochavim until midnight. He didn't really sleep a full sleep at all. (This is the source for the Vilna Gaon's famous practice.) Normal people, on the other hand, are awake 16 hours: The Gemara (ibid. 3a) tells us that "A man begins to talk with his wife," that is, he starts to arise (Rashi, Rambam De'os 4:6) at Alos ha'Shachar, and people go to bed at latest at the end of the fourth hour of the night (Rashi, Berachos end of 4a, based on Gemara there), remaining up for a total of 16 hours. (This is probably the source for the Rambam's statement that it is enough for a person to sleep eight hours, De'os 4:6. Even kings probably slept eight hours - why should they need two extra hours of sleep -- and how could they have enough free time for it? They woke up later than the normal person only to afford themselves unique status and show their supremacy.) If so, by adding eight waking hours to a 16 hour work schedule (in order to compose Tehilim) King David did time and a half. For his he was rewarded with the 221 Lug cup of wine! ("Songs [of praise to Hash-m] can only be recited on a cup of wine," Berachos 36a.)
3) (Note that there appears to be a dissenting opinion in Berachos top of 3b that holds David only added six waking hours to his day, and not eight ["Each Mishmar is only three hours..."]. This opinion compares David to the average Jew, and not to other kings who rise particularly late. However, this opinion will also arrive at the same figure of 1.5 times overtime because it apparently equates being either quantitatively or qualitatively "half-awake" to being asleep. Thus, the first six hours of the night, when David was half-awake, were not considered to be waking hours: he was only awake 18 hours. Other people, on the other hand, go to bed at earliest at Tzeis, the beginning of the night, and even though some go to sleep later, the hours during which half of the people are awake do not count as normal waking hours. Altogether, then, normal people are awake 12 hours, and David, who was awake 18, once again did time and a half!)
I hope that this opens the way for offering a simple, "Pshat-based" understanding of this perplexing Gemara, and that through it a greater appreciation can be gained for Ma'amarei Chazal.