1) HALACHAH: THE BLESSING OF "LEISHEV BA'SUKAH"
OPINIONS: The Beraisa says that when one "enters to sit in the Sukah," he recites the blessing of "Leishev ba'Sukah." This implies that as soon as he enters the Sukah, even before he sits down, he recites the blessing.
At exactly what moment is one supposed to recite the blessing for the Mitzvah of dwelling in the Sukah?
(a) The RAMBAM (Hilchos Sukah 6:12) and RAV HAI GA'ON cited by the ROSH (4:3) rule that one should recite the blessing immediately upon entering the Sukah, even before he sits down.
Rav Hai Ga'on adds that even if one enters the Sukah with no intention to eat there (for example, he enters his friend's Sukah only with intent to visit his friend), he also recites the blessing. The Rambam, too, makes no mention of a requirement to eat in order to recite the blessing.
(b) The RA'AVAD (Hilchos Sukah 6:12) writes that one may recite the blessing for the Mitzvah of dwelling in the Sukah after he sits down with intent to eat. The blessing is recited upon the act of eating that he will do in the Sukah. Nevertheless, one recites the blessing when he sits down, because the act of sitting is preparatory to the act of eating. The Rosh points out that this was the practice of RABEINU MEIR, who would recite the blessing after he sat down in the Sukah, and before he ate.
(c) The ROSH writes that the universal practice is to recite the blessing for sitting in the Sukah immediately before one eats, after one recites the blessing "ha'Motzi." (This is not like the view of the Ra'avad, who says that one recites the blessing when he sits down to eat, even though he will not eat until later.)
HALACHAH: The SHULCHAN ARUCH (OC 639:8) rules like the Rosh, that the blessing is recited only when one actually eats in the Sukah. The MISHNAH BERURAH there (639:46) adds that it is best to be stringent and attempt to fulfill all of the opinions: every time one enters the Sukah, he should take a "Mezonos" food item (at least a k'Beitzah in size), sit down, and recite the blessings of "Leishev ba'Sukah" and "Borei Minei Mezonos" and eat.
The Mishnah Berurah (639:48) also adds that if one has no intention to eat bread at all that day, he should recite a blessing as soon as he enters the Sukah, even though he is not going to eat. The only reason why the blessing is delayed until the time one eats in the Sukah is because it is preferable to recite the blessing on the primary use of the Sukah (eating) instead of on the secondary use (sitting in the Sukah). When one has no intention to eat, he must recite the blessing upon entering the Sukah. The Mishnah Berurah, in the name of the CHAYEI ADAM, points out that even if a person did eat in the Sukah that day but he left the Sukah and later returned with intention to sit in the Sukah but not to eat there, he must recite a blessing upon his return. (Although his primary use of the Sukah earlier was to eat there, now his only use of the Sukah is to sit there, because he plans to leave the Sukah again before he returns for the next meal. Therefore, when he re-enters the Sukah he recites the blessing even though he is not going to eat there now.)
(The MA'ASEH RAV (#18) records that the practice of the VILNA GA'ON was to recite a blessing every time he entered the Sukah, even when he did not eat there.)
2) HALACHAH: RECITING "SHEHECHEYANU" ON THE SECOND DAY OF YOM TOV IN CHUTZ LA'ARETZ
OPINIONS: The Gemara teaches that besides the blessing of Shehecheyanu that one recites upon the arrival of Yom Tov, one also recites the blessing of Shehecheyanu when he performs the Mitzvos of the Yom Tov (such as Sukah and Lulav) for the first time.
The Jews who live outside of Eretz Yisrael observe Yom Tov Sheni, a second day of Yom Tov due to the original doubt about the exact date of Yom Tov. (During the times when the Beis Din established the new month based on witnesses' sighting of the new moon, word of the establishment of the new month would not reach the Jews who lived in far-away places, and thus they observed two days of Yom Tov out of doubt. Even today, when a set calendar system is used, the Rabanan decreed that the Jews in those places continue to observe two days of Yom Tov as if they were in doubt.) The Rabanan enacted that all of the blessings that are recited on the first day of Yom Tov be recited on the second day as well. Accordingly, the Jews who live in Chutz la'Aretz recite the blessing of Shehecheyanu as part of Kidush on the second night of Yom Tov.
Does this requirement apply to the blessing of Shehecheyanu that is recited for the Mitzvos of Sukah and Lulav as well? When one picks up the Lulav on the second day of Yom Tov in Chutz la'Aretz, does he recite another Shehecheyanu?
Although the Beraisa states that one should recite Shehecheyanu upon completing the construction of the Sukah (before Yom Tov), the Gemara concludes that the practice of the Amora'im was not to recite Shehecheyanu at that time, but instead to include it in Kidush at the onset of Yom Tov. Therefore, there is no question with regard to the blessing of Shehecheyanu that is recited for the Mitzvah of Sukah, since it is included in the Shehecheyanu that is recited during Kidush on the second night of Yom Tov. The question remains, though, with regard to the blessing of Shehecheyanu for the Mitzvah of Lulav. Should one who lives in Chutz la'Aretz recite Shehecheyanu again on the second day of Yom Tov when he picks up the Lulav?
(a) The ROSH (4:2) cites the BEHAG who rules that the blessing of Shehecheyanu that is recited during Kidush of the second night applies to the Mitzvah of Lulav as well, even though that Mitzvah will not be performed until the following day.
The Rosh writes that the Rishonim reject the Behag's ruling. Since the Mitzvah of Lulav does not apply at night, how can the blessing of Shehecheyanu that is recited at night apply to the Mitzvah of Lulav?
(This presumably is the reason why the Behag agrees that the Shehecheyanu recited on the first night of Sukos does not cover the Mitzvah of Lulav that will be performed the next day. The Behag apparently understands that once the obligation of the Mitzvah of Lulav takes effect on the first day, it continues uninterrupted for the next seven days, and thus the obligation applies even at night. Before the first day of Sukos (i.e. the first night, during Kidush), the obligation has not yet taken effect, since it takes effect only when one can fulfill the Mitzvah in practice. It remains in effect once it has already taken effect, even when one cannot fulfill the Mitzvah in practice.)
(b) The Rishonim explain instead that there is another reason why one should not recite Shehecheyanu for the Mitzvah of Lulav on the second day of Yom Tov. The Beraisa states that one recites Shehecheyanu on the Lulav before Sukos, when he finishes preparing the Lulav for use. Accordingly, it is obvious that the blessing of Shehecheyanu that one recites on the first day of Yom Tov covers the Lulav, since a blessing of Shehecheyanu covers the Lulav even when one recites it before the first day of Yom Tov.
However, RABEINU SHMUEL of Evreux (cited by the Rosh) rejects this logic. There are only two times at which one may recite Shehecheyanu on the Lulav: when one finishes preparing the Lulav (before Sukos), or when one performs the Mitzvah (on Sukos). The Shehecheyanu on the first day of Yom Tov is recited, out of doubt, on the making of the Lulav, and thus it does not cover the Mitzvah of Lulav on the second day of Yom Tov, which requires that Shehecheyanu be recited on the performance of the Mitzvah.
The Rosh counters that even if Rabeinu Shmuel's logic is correct, the Shehecheyanu recited on the first night certainly is just as valid for the Mitzvah of Lulav as the Shehecheyanu recited when one prepares the Lulav. This Shehecheyanu, recited on the first day of Yom Tov (which might not be Yom Tov), is clearly recited for the performance of the Mitzvah. Even if the day is really not Yom Tov, since he must pick up the Lulav anyway because of the doubt, that obligation is enough to make his Shehecheyanu relate to the performance of the Mitzvah. The Rosh concludes, based on his reasoning, that it is not necessary to recite a second Shehecheyanu on the Mitzvah of Lulav on the second day of Yom Tov in Chutz la'Aretz.
(c) RABEINU MANO'ACH (Hilchos Sukah 6:12), however, proposes the opposite logic. Even if one may recite Shehecheyanu for the Lulav before Yom Tov, that is only when he knows why he is reciting the blessing. When he recites the blessing because he has finished preparing the Mitzvah, the blessing is valid. However, when he recites Shehecheyanu because he thinks that today is the first day of Yom Tov and is the correct time for the actual performance of the Mitzvah (and not just the time to prepare), when in reality it is an ordinary day and is not time to perform the Mitzvah, the blessing is ineffectual and is not related to the Mitzvah, because it is based on an error. (Rabeinu Mano'ach writes this with regard to the blessing of Shehecheyanu recited for the Mitzvah of Sukah, but the same logic should apply to the Shehecheyanu recited for the Mitzvah of Lulav.)
HALACHAH: The Halachah follows the opinion of the Rosh, and thus no Shehecheyanu is recited on the Lulav on the second day of Yom Tov in Chutz la'Aretz (SHULCHAN ARUCH OC 662:2). Of course, if the first day of Sukos occurs on Shabbos, or one is unable to hold the Lulav on the first day for some other reason, one recites Shehecheyanu on the second day (or whenever he fulfills the Mitzvah of Lulav for the first time). (If, however, one held the Lulav on the first day but merely forgot to recite Shehecheyanu at that time, there is a doubt whether he must recite Shehecheyanu on the second day. See SHA'AR HA'TZIYUN 662:4.)
3) ONE WHO GIVES HIS LULAV TO A CHILD ON THE FIRST DAY OF YOM TOV
QUESTION: Rebbi Zeira states that one should not give his Lulav to a child on the first day of Yom Tov. A child has the ability to acquire (Koneh) an object from others, but he cannot transfer ownership (Makneh) to others. If an adult gives his Lulav to a child, the adult cannot fulfill the Mitzvah with it, because it belongs to the child and not to him.
In order for a child to fulfill the Mitzvah of Lulav for the sake of Chinuch, he must do the Mitzvah in the same manner in which he will do it when he becomes an adult (see Insights to Sukah 42:1
). For that reason, on the first day of Sukos it does not suffice for an adult merely to lend his Lulav to the child; one must own
the Lulav with which he performs the Mitzvah ("Lachem"). On the other hand, the adult cannot give (Makneh) it to the child, because the child will not be able to be Makneh it back to him.
Why does the Gemara not suggest that the adult give the Lulav to the child as a "Matanah l'Zman" (a "temporary gift"), whereby he stipulates that he fully gives the Lulav to the child for a limited period of time (five minutes)? When that time passes, the Lulav returns to its original owner and there is no need for the child to be Makneh it to him.
Alternatively, the adult should be able to give the Lulav to the child in the same way that he can give it to another adult on the first day of Yom Tov, as a "Matanah Al Menas l'Hachzir" (41b). In such a case, the gift takes effect, but only if the recipient eventually returns the object to the original owner. If the recipient does not return the object, then retroactively the original gift does not take effect and the recipient never acquired it in the first place. In the case of the Lulav, the adult should give the Lulav to the child on condition that he return it. Since the child cannot be Makneh it back to the adult, the condition is not fulfilled and it never became the child's Lulav in the first place. In that manner, the adult is able to fulfill the obligation of Chinuch for the child by allowing the child to perform the Mitzvah in the exact manner in which he will perform the Mitzvah as an adult (that is, by receiving a Lulav as a "Matanah Al Menas l'Hachzir"), and the adult does not lose possession of the Lulav and thus is able to fulfill the Mitzvah himself.
(a) The ROSH (3:30) writes that it is evident from the Gemara here that when one acquires an object as a "Matanah l'Zman" or a "Kinyan l'Zman," a temporary gift or acquisition, that object is not considered fully owned by the recipient. His limited "ownership" of the object does not fulfill the condition of "Lachem," which is necessary in order to fulfill the Mitzvah of Lulav. Therefore, nothing is gained if the adult gives the Lulav to the child as a "Matanah l'Zman," because it is the same as merely lending it to him (which is also not considered "Lachem").
With regard to why the adult does not give the Lulav to the child as a "Matanah Al Menas l'Hachzir," the RITVA here explains that such a gift will have the opposite effect: Since the adult knows, in advance, that the child will be unable to be Makneh the Lulav back to the original owner, his stipulation is one which is impossible to fulfill. Consequently, the stipulation becomes voided and the action is fully binding ("Tenai Batel u'Ma'aseh Kayam"), and thus the child takes full possession of the Lulav and the adult cannot acquire it back from him.
The KETZOS HA'CHOSHEN
(241:4) points out that a number of Rishonim disagree with the Rosh. They maintain that a "Kinyan l'Zman" is
considered an absolute Kinyan and it does fulfill the condition of "Lachem." Moreover, they maintain that a "Matanah Al Menas l'Hachzir" itself is actually a "Kinyan l'Zman" (TOSFOS
to Erchin 30a, DH v'Lo; Teshuvos ha'Rosh 35:2, in the name of RABEINU AVIGDOR KOHEN TZEDEK
(see Insights to Bava Basra 136:2:c
:2); this also appears to be the opinion of the RID
as cited by the Rosh 3:30).
Rather, the Ketzos ha'Choshen says that one indeed may give the Lulav to a child with a "Kinyan l'Zman" and then fulfill the Mitzvah himself afterwards when the child gives it back. The Gemara does not make this suggestion because it merely wants to teach that one should not give the Lulav to a child in such a way that it will be a "Kinyan Gamur," an absolute acquisition.