1) THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN "TORAH" AND "SHIRAH"
QUESTION: Rav Masna says that the obligation to praise Hash-m with Shirah is derived from the words, "Tachas Asher Lo Avadeta Es Hash-m Elokecha b'Simchah uv'Tuv Levav" (Devarim 28:47). The type of Avodas Hash-m ("Avadeta Es Hash-m") that is done with "Simchah" and "Tuv Levav" is Shirah.
The Gemara asks that perhaps the verse refers to the Avodah of learning Torah, which is also done with Simchah, as the verse says, "Pekudei Hash-m Yesharim Mesamchei Lev" -- "the teachings of Hash-m are upright, they gladden the heart" (Tehilim 19:9). The Gemara answers that the Avodah of Torah is referred to only as "Mesamchei Lev," but not as "Tov," and thus when the verse (Devarim 28:47) refers to Avodah being done both "b'Simchah" and "b'Tuv Levav," it must refer to Shirah.
Why does the Gemara say that the Avodah of Torah is not referred to as "Tov"? The verse does call Torah "Tov": "Ki Lekach Tov Nasati Lachem Torasi Al Ta'a'zovu" (Mishlei 4:2).
ANSWER: TOSFOS (DH Mesame'ach) answers that although the Torah is referred to as both "Mesame'ach" and "Tov," both terms are not mentioned in the same verse. When they are mentioned in the same verse, they must be referring to the Avodah of Shirah.
This may be understood as follows. "Tov" refers to the benefit that is derived from the Shirah or from learning Torah. The benefit (Tov) of Shirah is the very fact that it brings joy, Simchah, and thus the two elements -- Tov and Simchah -- are related. In contrast, the benefit (Tov) of learning Torah is the knowledge and Yir'as Hash-m that comes from the learning, and not the Simchah that is derived from it. The Simchah is only an indirect result of learning Torah that comes when the toil and effort one puts into learning produces results. (M. KORNFELD)
2) "SHIRAH" AND HALLEL ON YOM TOV
OPINIONS: Rav Masna says that the obligation to praise Hash-m with Shirah is derived from the words, "Tachas Asher Lo Avadeta Es Hash-m Elokecha b'Simchah uv'Tuv Levav" (Devarim 28:47). The type of Avodas Hash-m ("Avadeta Es Hash-m") that is done with "Simchah" and "Tuv Levav" is Shirah.
Since there is a Mitzvah to rejoice on the festival, as the verse says, "v'Samachta b'Chagecha" (Devarim 16:14), does the Gemara here mean that the Mitzvah of Simchah results in an obligation mid'Oraisa to recite Hallel on Yom Tov?
(a) The RAMBAN (Sefer ha'Mitzvos, Shoresh Rishon) writes that the obligation to recite Hallel on Yom Tov is mid'Oraisa. This obligation is derived either from a Halachah l'Moshe mi'Sinai, or it is included in the Mitzvah to rejoice on Yom Tov (Simchas ha'Regel), as mentioned above. The Ramban proves from the Gemara here that Shirah (Hallel is a form of Shirah) is a way of fulfilling the Mitzvah of Simchas ha'Regel, because the Gemara says that the type of Avodas Hash-m that is done with Simchah is Shirah.
(b) The SHA'AGAS ARYEH (#69) disagrees with the Ramban and maintains that the Mitzvah of Simchas ha'Regel obligates one to perform actions that cause Simchah, such as eating meat and drinking wine. Shirah, on the other hand, is an expression of one's Simchah that already exists, as RASHI (DH Ein) writes, "A person sings only when he already is b'Simchah."
Perhaps the Ramban agrees that Shirah starts
only when a person already has Simchah. However, since it enhances
the Simchah that one already has, it may be included in the obligation of Simchas ha'Regel. (See Insights to Megilah 14:1
3) A LEVI SINGER WHO BECOMES A GATEKEEPER
QUESTION: The Gemara teaches that a Levi is not allowed to switch tasks. A Meshorer (singer) is not allowed to serve as a Sho'er (gatekeeper), and a Sho'er may not serve as a Meshorer.
Why does the Gemara not discuss the third duty of the Leviyim -- that of "Shomer," guarding the Beis ha'Mikdash? Why does the Gemara not mention that a Meshorer or Shorer cannot serve as a Shomer?
(a) The TZAFNAS PANE'ACH (Parshas Bamidbar) and the YA'AVETZ here answer that Shirah is performed during the day, while Shemirah is done at night. Since the two do not interfere with each other, there is no prohibition for one Levi to perform both tasks. The Ya'avetz adds that this explains why the verses in Divrei ha'Yamim list certain Leviyim as both Shomrim and Meshorerim.
It seems that this explanation depends on the reason for why a Levi may not serve in two capacities. The SEFER HA'CHINUCH (#389) implies that the reason why a Levi may not perform two duties is the concern that he might neglect the task for which he was appointed.
The Gemara, however, implies a different reason for the prohibition. Once a Levi is appointed to do a particular Avodah, he is considered a Zar (a non-Levi) with regard to other forms of Avodah.
According to the reasoning of the Chinuch, two forms of Avodah that are performed at separate times may be done by one Levi, since the performance of one does not interfere with the other. According to the reasoning of the Gemara that the Levi is considered a Zar with regard to other forms of Avodah, it should make no difference whether the two forms of Avodah are performed at the same time or at separate times; the Levi is still a Zar with regard to the Avodah for which he was not appointed. (BI'URIM of RAV YAKOV DAVID ILAN to the Shitah Mekubetzes, #50)
(b) The EVEN HA'AZEL (Hilchos Klei ha'Mikdash 3:11) answers that since gatekeeping and singing involve actions, a Levi who performs one task may not perform the other task. Shemirah, in contrast, involves no action, and therefore a Levi assigned to another task may perform Shemirah as well.
This may be understood in the context of the words of the RAMBAM (Hilchos Beis ha'Bechirah 8:1) who writes, "It is a positive commandment to guard the Mikdash, even if there is no concern for enemies and thieves. It is guarded as a sign of distinction, for there is no comparison between a castle which has sentries to a castle which does not have sentries." The guards of the Beis ha'Mikdash perform no physical task of preventing people from entering the Mikdash. Rather, they stand there as a sign of reverence for the Beis ha'Mikdash. (Z. Wainstein)
(c) RABEINU GERSHOM and the SHITAH MEKUBETZES explain that the word "Sho'er" in the Gemara actually refers to a Shomer (who stands by the gates and watches those who enter) as well as to the designated Levi who opens and closes the gates.
4) "SHIRAH" AND "CHATZOTZEROS"
QUESTION: The Gemara discusses the question of whether Shirah is recited when a Nidvas Olas Tzibur (a communal, free-will burnt-offering) is offered on the Mizbe'ach. The Gemara says that it depends on whether the verse, "u'Sekatem ba'Chatzotzeros Al Olosechem" (Bamidbar 10:10), refers to all Olah offerings or specifically to Korbenos Tzibur that are brought regularly.
How does the Gemara derive from this verse a law with regard to the Mitzvah for Leviyim to sing Shirah when the Nesachim are offered? This verse discusses the Mitzvah for Kohanim to blow Chatzotzeros when a Korban is offered. It does not refer to Leviyim or to Shirah.
(a) Perhaps the Gemara is not answering its question about singing Shirah for a Nidvas Olas Tzibur. Rather, the Gemara is discussing a new question. It is asking whether the Chatzotzeros are sounded when a Nidvas Olas Tzibur is offered.
(b) The EVEN HA'AZEL (Hilchos Temidin u'Musafin 6:6) points out an apparent contradiction between two rulings of the RAMBAM. The Rambam (Hilchos Temidin u'Musafin 6:6) rules, "When the wine was given to the Kohen designated to pour the libations... [the Kohanim blew the horns and made] the sounds of Teki'ah, Teru'ah, and Teki'ah." This implies that the Chatzotzeros were blown for all Korbanos, as the CHINUCH (#384) rules.
However, the Rambam elsewhere (Hilchos Klei ha'Mikdash 3:5) writes, "On the Mo'adim and Rosh Chodesh, the Kohanim would blow the Chatzotzeros at the time the Korbanos were brought while the Leviyim said Shirah," implying that they did not blow the Chatzotzeros for weekday Korbanos.
The Rambam's ruling in Hilchos Temidin u'Musafin is difficult to understand for another reason. The verse clearly states that the Chatzotzeros are to be blown "on your festivals and Rosh Chodesh." Why does the Rambam write that the Chatzotzeros are blown every day (when a Korban is offered), even on weekdays?
To answer these questions, the Even ha'Azel explains that there are two different forms of Chatzotzeros-blowings. The Chatzotzeros are sounded during the bringing of a Korban. This blowing is performed only on the Mo'adim and Rosh Chodesh. In addition, the Chatzotzeros are sounded when the libations (Nesachim) are offered.
The verse from which the Gemara (11a) derives the Mitzvah of Shirah, "v'Sheres b'Shem Hash-m" (Devarim 18:7), teaches that the verse, "u'Sekatem ba'Chatzotzeros Al Olosechem," refers to the second type of blowing as well (see TOSFOS here, DH me'Hacha). Since this second form of blowing is related to the Halachah of saying Shirah when Korbanos are offered, it is performed every day; while the Leviyim recite the Shirah during the offering of the Nesachim, the Kohanim sound the Chatzotzeros. The blowing of the Chatzotzeros on the Mo'adim and Rosh Chodesh, however, is performed while the Korban itself is being offered (and not the Nesachim).
For this reason, the Gemara equates the obligation of blowing Chatzotzeros to the obligation of Shirah when a Korban is being offered. The second form of blowing Chatzotzeros indeed is a part, or corollary, of the Mitzvah of Shirah.