Monday, December 08, 2008

Parshas VaYeitzei:Hosafos to Ma'ariv when Davening Early

It's been awhile and I apologize to my legions of fans who have been anxiosly awaiting my next post.

I spoke abount an interesting shaylah this week. We paskin that one can daven ma'ariv starting from plag hamincha,like shittas Rabbi Yehuda in Berachos 26a. (whether this is l'chatchila or b'dieved is not nogeia this discussion). What happens if one davens ma'ariv early on Rosh Chodesh, does one say ya'aleh v'yavo? How about davening ma'ariv early on the 1st night of Chanukah or on December 3rd, when one would add v'sein tal u'mattar.

The halacha is we do add the various hosafos even when davening early. The question will be why.

The gemara in Berachos 27 says that one can daven ma'ariv for Shabbos early. The question is why. Most Rishonim hold that since there is a mitzvah of tosefes Shabbos, once you are m'kabeil Shabbos you can now daven a Shabbos shemoneh esrei before it is night. The Rambam however does not hold of tosefes Shabbos and he learns it is a special kulah in ma'ariv since ma'ariv is only a reshus not a chiyuv.

According to teh Rambam we can apply this chiddush of ma'ariv being a reshus to any ma'ariv and therefore that is why we add the hosafos despite davening early. The problem is the other Rishonim who learn the sugyah based on tosefes Shabbos. By these other hosafos there is no tosefes. We need to come up with other reasons why we add the hosafos before nightfall.

More to come...

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