Celebrate Yom Tov like a Weekday By Rabbi Berach Steinfeld

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This week’s Parsha discusses Shabbos and Yom Tov. The Gemara in Shabbos, daf kuf yud ches and in Psachim, daf kuf yud bais, amud alef say in the name of Rabi Akiva that a person should rather have a simple Shabbos, without any delicacies, rather than come on to other people for a loan or gift to enable them to procure the delicacies. We pasken this way in Shulchan Aruch, siman resh mem bais where it states that if someone has to borrow money from others but he has some money of his own, he should make sure to use his own money for Shabbos. We only say that one should celebrate Shabbos like a weekday (sans special foods) to someone who is in really dire financial straits.

The following question arises; does the same thing apply to Yom Tov as well? On Shabbos there is no din of Simcha whereas there is an inyan of Simcha on Yom Tov. Does this mark the differentiation between when someone should come on to other people or when they should rather keep it simple like what they may have during the week?

The Chemdas Yisroel and the Toras Chaim both say that Shabbos is different than Yom Tov. We are commanded to have oneg on Shabbos and the oneg may actually be based on the fact that one does not need to come on to other people. We are commanded to have simcha on Yom Tov. The Gemara says that this happiness comes from eating meat and wine. Therefore, in the case of Yom Tov, one would need to extend oneself to the extent of even coming on to other people to obtain the meat and wine, either via a loan or gifts.

Tosfos in Meseches Beitza, daf tes vov disagrees with this position and says that the same halacha applies to Shabbos and Yom Tov. Tosfos is basing this on the posuk that Hashem tells Bnei Yisroel, “Chedvas Hashem” is your strength. We see from here that a person should borrow money and not worry about repaying the loan; Hashem will pay. Tosfos asks, but what about the fact that a person should rather celebrate Shabbos as a weekday rather than have to come on to other people? The problem with Tosfos’ question is that the posuk of “Chedvas Hashem” is referring to Yom Tov, so how can we compare Yom Tov to Shabbos? We see from here that Tosfos held that Yom Tov would have the same halacha as Shabbos.

We could explain this machlokes based on another machlokes whether Shabbos has a din of simcha or not. The Rambam says one may not get married on Shabbos because “ein me’arvin simcha besimcha.” This proves to us that there is an inyan of simcha on Shabbos. Other Rishonim say there is no Simcha on Shabbos, there is just oneg. If we say that there is no simcha on Shabbos, then there would be a difference between Yom Tov and Shabbos. You would then be required to make your Shabbos like a weekday rather than come onto other people whereas you would not do so for Yom Tov. If we say there is simcha on Shabbos then there would be no difference between the halachos of Shabbos and Yom Tov and in both cases you’d rather make both Shabbos and Yom Tov weekday rather than come onto other people.

Let us celebrate Shabbos and Yom Tov properly and we will be rewarded with unlimited rewards.

Do you have a topic or discussion you want to read about? Please send comments or questions to hymanbsdhevens@gmail.com or Berachsteinfeldscorner@gmail.com

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