Two Temidim a Day

One Purim at the se’udah, when people were feeling a little levity, Rav Chaim Volozhiner asked his Rebbe, the Vilna Gaon, for a berakahah. The Vilna Gaon blessed him that he would merit to bring two temidim daily. Rav Chaim was thrown — we do not bring the tamid, the twice-daily offering, today as there is no beis hamiqdash! ((Should I deduce from this that Rav Chaim was a kohein? After all, it was possible there would have been a third beis hamiqdash in his lifetime, but being a non-kohein would rule out the possibility in any eventuality.))

The Shulchan Aruch, section Orakh Chaim opens ((1:1)):

יתגבר כארי לעמוד בבוקר לעבודת בוראו, שיהא הוא מעורר השחר.
הגה: ועכ”פ לא יאחר זמן התפלה שהצבור מתפללין (טור).
הגה: שִׁוִּיתִי ה׳ לְנֶגְדִּי תָמִיד (תהילים טז:ח), הוא כלל גדול בתורה ובמעלות הצדיקים אשר הולכים לפני האלקים, כי אין ישיבת האדם ותנועותיו ועסקיו והוא לבדו בביתו, כישיבתו ותנועותיו ועסקיו והוא לפני מלך גדול, ולא דבורו והרחבת פיו כרצונו והוא עם אנשי ביתו וקרוביו, כדבורו במושב המלך. כ”ש כשישים האדם אל לבו שהמלך הגדול הקב”ה, אשר מלא כל הארץ כבודו, עומד עליו ורואה במעשיו, כמו שנאמר: אִם יִסָּתֵר אִישׁ בַּמִּסְתָּרִים וַאֲנִי לֹא אֶרְאֶנּוּ, נְאֻם ה’ (ירמיה כג:כד), מיד יגיע אליו היראה וההכנעה בפחד השי”ת ובושתו ממנו תמיד (מורה נבוכים ח”ג פ’ נ”ב), ולא יתבייש ב מפני בני אדם המלעיגים עליו בעבודת השי”ת. גם בהצנע לכת ובשכבו על משכבו ידע לפני מי הוא שוכב, ג ומיד שיעור משנתו יקום בזריזות לעבודת בוראו יתברך ויתעלה (טור).

[One must] make himself as strong as a lion to get up in the morning for service of his Creator, that he should wake up at dawn.

Ram”a: At least, one should not delay beyond the time when the congregation prays (Tur).

Ram”a: “I have set Hashem before me constantly” (Psalms 16:8); this is a major principle in the Torah and among the virtues of the righteous who walk before God. For a person’s way of sitting, his movements and his dealings while he is alone in his house are not like his way of sitting, his movements and his dealings when he is before a great king; nor are his speech and free expression as much as he wants when he is with his household members and his relatives like his speech when in a royal audience. All the more so when one takes to heart that the Great King, the Holy One, blessed is He, Whose glory fills the earth, is standing over him and watching his actions, as it is stated: “‘Will a man hide in concealment and I will not see him?’ – the word of G-d” (Jeremiah 23:24), he immediately acquires fear and submission in dread of G-d, may He be blessed, and is ashamed before Him constantly (Guide for the Perplexed 3:52). And one should not be ashamed because of people who mock him in his service of G-d, and should also go modestly. And when he lies on his bed he should know before Whom he lies, and as soon as he wakes up from sleep he should rise eagerly to the service of his Creator, may He be blessed and exalted (Tur).

Orach Chaim concludes with the laws of Purim. The very last se’if ((697:1)) reads:

יום י”ד וט”ו שבאדר ראשון אין נופלים על פניהם, ואין אומרים מזמור יענך ה’ ביום צרה, ואסור בהספד ותענית; אבל שאר דברים אין נוהגים בהם; וי”א דאף בהספד ותענית מותרים.
הגה: והמנהג כסברא הראשונה. י”א שחייב להרבות במשתה ושמחה בי”ד שבאדר ראשון (טור בשם הרי”ף) ואין נוהגין כן, מ”מ ירבה קצת בסעודה כדי לצאת ידי המחמירים; וְטוֹב לֵב מִשְׁתֶּה תָמִיד (משלי טו:טו) (הגהות מיימוני בשם סמ”ק).

On the 14th and 15th of Adar I [in a two Adar year] we do not fall on our faces [to say Tachanun], and we do not say “Mizmor: Yaankha Hashem beYom Tzarah” and eulogizing and fasting are prohibited. However the other things [of Purim] are not practiced on them, and some say even eulogizing and fasting are permitted.

Ram”a: And the practice is like the first reasoning. Some say that there is an obligation to have a lot of feasting and happiness on the 14th of Adar I (Tur in the name of the Rif) and we do not practice this. In any case, he should increase somewhat in his meals in order to fulfil the position of those who are stringent — “and a good heart is constantly celebrating” (Mishlei 15:15). (Hagahos Maimoni in the name of the Semaq)

The first thing I wish to note is that Orach Chaim, the guide to hand washing, tzitzis, prayer, blessings, Shabbos, other holidays, and in general a lot of ritual, opens and closes with a discussion of middos! The first halakhah is about zerizus (alacrity), which the Rama ties to yir’ah (fear/awe) by citing “I have set Hashem before me constantly” and it closes with a discussion of simchah, happiness!

Rav Aharon Rakeffet Rothkoff discussed this in a shiur he gave at the Gruss Kollel a few years ago. ((A recording is available on here.))

To explain his intent, the Vilna Gaon referred Rav Chaim Volozhiner to the glosses of the Rama that we quoted. The Rama opens with a quote from Tehillim “שִׁוִּיתִי ה׳ לְנֶגְדִּי תָמִיד — I have set Hashem before me constantly” and he ends with a quote from Mishlei “וְטוֹב לֵב מִשְׁתֶּה תָמִיד — and a good heart is constantly celebrating”. These two appearance of “tamid“, constant yir’ah and constant simchah, are the two tamid offerings one can bring daily!

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *