Monday, October 29, 2007

Thoughts on Sefer Breishit

When referencing Tanach it is normal to mention a chapter and a verse. The chapter divisions were invented by medieval Christians, but have been universally adopted by Jews as well, because no convenient textual divisions exist within Tanach itself. There are parshiyah breaks, but they are too closely spaced and irregular in frequency to be useful. Given that nowadays we don't memorize Tanach and cannot instantly place verses upon hearing them, adoption of the Christian system (or one like it) was probably inevitable.

Sefer Breishit is unique among books of Tanach in that it perhaps has no need for such a system. This is because Sefer Breishit itself contains 10 or 11 "chapter headers" which divide the book into that many sections. Each header consists of the phrase "These are the generations of..." followed by the name of the main character in that section.

The section headers are as follows: [After each header verse, in parentheses, I've summarize the content of the section]

0. In the beginning God made the heavens and the earth. (1:1)
(Six days of creation plus Shabbat. Doesn't mention "generations" - it's sort of a prelude, not a full chapter. It gives background for the rest of Sefer Breishit.)

1. These are the generations of the heavens and the earth in their creation. When Hashem God made earth and heavens... (2:4)
(Adam and Eve; Kayin and Hevel; Adam's son Shet)

2. This is the book of the generations of [man/Adam]. When God made man, in the image of God He made him... (5:1)
(Genealogy from Adam to Noach; mankind does evil)

3. These are the generations of Noach... (6:9)
(The flood)

4. And these are the generations of the sons of Noach... (10:1)
(Division of nations after flood)

5. These are the generations of Shem... (11:10)
(Genealogy from Shem to Avraham)

6. And these are the generations of Terach... (11:27)
(Story of Avraham and Lot. Ends with Avraham's death)

7. And these are the generations of Yishmael, Avraham's son... (25:12)
(Yishmael's descendants)

8. And these are the generations of Yitzchak, Avraham's son... (25:19)
(Story of Yitzchak. Ends with Yitzchak's death)

9. And these are the generations of Esav... (36:1,36:9)
(Esav's descendants)

10. These are the generations of Yaakov... (37:2)
(Yosef story; Yaakov's family goes to Egypt; end of Sefer Breishit)

We notice that Yishmael's "generations" come before Yitzchak's, and Esav's before Yaakov's. This is natural, because Yishmael and Esav were firstborns. But their sections are much shorter - basically just genealogies. In contrast, Yitzchak's and Yaakov's sections are much longer and include lots of interesting stories.

It's somewhat confusing that the stories involving a character do not always correspond to that character's "generations". For example, the first few stories about Yitzchak are in Avraham's (actually Terach's) generations, while the early Yaakov stories are in Yitzchak's generations. This makes it seem like the "Yitzchak section" is actually more about Yaakov. And indeed, Yaakov attracts more of our attention in this section - but still, these stories are within the framework of Yitzchak's life story, until Yitzchak dies. After that point, there are more Yaakov stories, but since Yitzchak is gone, they are now within the framework of Yaakov's own section.

(When I said "after Yitzchak dies", by "after" I meant in terms of the storyline, not chronologically. Sefer Breishit is NOT exactly chronological. Specifically: the deaths of Terach, Avraham, and Yitzchak are recorded immediately after the last story which involves them. This is the case even though these people were still alive later on, when their kids take part in additional stories which don't involve them.)

We also notice that virtually every important male character in Sefer Breishit has a section devoted to him. The exceptions are Yosef (who is within Yaakov's section) and, more surprisingly, Avraham (who is within Terach's section). Wouldn't it have been more natural to name the section after Avraham, not Terach?

I think the answer is that Avraham's story is interwoven with that of Lot. Avraham and Lot are both descended from Terach. The end of Lot's story is when he escapes Sedom and has children with his daughters - who turn out to be the ancestors of the peoples Ammon and Moav. These peoples will go on to live in the "expanded" land of Israel just like Yishmael, Esav, and Yaakov's descendants. Thus they are all part of the same original Divine promise, which apparently was not just to Avraham, but to all the descendants of Terach. Later on, among Terach's descendants, Yishmael/Yitzchak and Esav/Yaakov receive separate sections. But because Lot's genealogy is so brief (19:37-38), and because his entire life story involves Avraham, Avraham and Lot end up appearing in the same section, which overall is named for their common ancestor Terach.

Friday, October 26, 2007

God overturned these cities

I live on the very edge of of the Carmel mountain in Haifa, with an incredible view from my window of Haifa Bay and the Krayot ["towns"], suburbs of Haifa which stretch out in the flood plain below me.

This time of year, reading about the plain of Sedom being destroyed while Avraham watches from the mountain of Hevron, I can't help imagining that instead of Sedom/Amora/Admah/Tzeboim being destroyed, it's Kiryat Yam/Kiryat Haim/Kiryat Motzkin/Kiryat Bialik. Perhaps the angels will relent, and in the end Kiryat Ata will be spared. Meanwhile, from my perch in Haifa I get to watch the whole extravaganza.

The sulferous chemicals (though I can't smell them from here) and burning waste gases from the oil refinery do nothing to dispel this impression.

I apologize to all the nice people who live in the Krayot.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

And that's a winner!

Why throughout the 1990s, every kid in Africa wore shirts saying Buffalo Bills - Super Bowl Champs.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Good morning, good night

Compare the following two brachot, one which we say every morning and one every night. I have never seen them mentioned in connection to one another, yet they are extremely similar and thus presumably have the same source, function, and meaning. Identical or near-identical language is in bold.
ברוך אתה ה אלוקנו מלך העולםברוך אתה ה אלוקנו מלך העולם
המפיל חבלי שינה על עיני ותנומה על עפעפי, ומאיר לאישון בת עין.המעביר שינה מעיני ותנומה מעפעפי.
ויהי רצון מלפניך ה אלוקי ואלוקי אבותיויהי רצון מלפניך ה אלוקינו ואלוקי אבותינו
שתשכיבני לשלום ותעמידני לחיים טובים ולשלוםשתרגילנו בתורתך ודבקנו במצוותיך
ואל יבהלוני רעיוני וחלומות רעים והרהורים רעים, ותהא מיטתי שלמה לפניך, ואל תביאנו לא לידי חטא ולא לידי עברה ועוון ולא לידי נסיון ולא לידי בזיון, ואל ישלוט בנו יצר הרע, והרחיקנו מאדם רע ומחבר רע, ודבקנו ביצר הטוב ובמעשים טובים, וכוף את יצרנו להשתבעד לך,
והאר עיני פן אישן המות.ותננו היום ובכל יום לחן לחסד ולרחמים בעיניך ובעיני כל רואינו, ותגמלנו חסדים טובים.
ברוך אתה ה המאיר לעולם כולו בכבודו.ברוך אתה ה הגומל חסדים טובים לעמו ישראל.

Each bracha consists of the following sections, as shown in the Hebrew above:

1. Intro
2. Summary of bracha subject: eyes opening/closing = waking/sleeping
3. Intro to request
4. Positive request: what we hope to do while awake/asleep
5. Negative request: against yetzer hara
6. Mentions eyes
7. Conclusion

I think it's clear, based on these similarities, that one cannot discuss the meaning or purpose of either bracha without keeping the other bracha in mind.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Good riddance

I just got out of my last final exam (possibly in any course, anywhere, ever). Meaning that "spring semester" is officially over. October 19? Can you believe that? That's all I have to say.

(That and shabbat shalom.)

Friday, October 12, 2007

Thoughts on Noach

"And surely, the blood of your lives I will demand; from every animal will I demand it; and from man, even from every man's brother, will I demand the life of man. One who spills a man's blood - by man his blood shall be spilled - for in God's image He made man." (9:5-6)

There are two parts to this statement. In the first God says He will hold people and animals accountable if they kill people. In the second, people are commanded to execute murderers, and an explanation is given for why.

What is the meaning of the explanation? The obvious meaning is that since humans are created in God's image, it is especially serious to kill people, and thus we must be especially sure to punish murder.

I think there is another possibility. In the first half of the statement, it seems that God carries out the punishment for murder. In the second half, people carry out the punishment. From where do people derive the authority to carry out punishments, which were previously the sole responsibility of God?

It appears that since people reflect the Divine, they are given the authority to execute punishments along with God. In the original Hebrew, the phrase "in God's image" is "betzelem elokim". The name of God used here is traditionally held to correspond to the Divine attribute of justice. Indeed this name, "Elokim", in other contexts means "judges". Thus "in God's image" could be loosely translated as "with the capability to judge". Because we reflect God, we therefore have the authority and ability to carry out punishments.

Hashem smelled the sweet smell [of sacrifices], and Hashem resolved: "I will never again curse the earth because of man, since the inclination of man is evil from his youth, and I will never again kill all life as I did." (8:21)

What caused God to make this decision? R' Amnon Bazak points out that the phrase "since the inclination of man is evil from his youth" actually explains why God might want to have another flood, not why in the end God resolves not to. Therefore, the reason for the resolution cannot be found in the resolution's text.

Therefore, we must look to the resolution's context for help. God's resolution comes immediately after Noach offers sacrifices and seems to be a reaction to them. But both our theology and our sensibilities object to the possibility of God's being "bribed" by physical enticements like the smell of burning meat. And in any case, people (Kayin and Hevel and likely others) offered sacrifices before the flood, yet the flood occurred nonetheless. So what about Noach's sacrifices in particular induced God to forswear the possibility of a future flood?

Let us look at Noach and the context in which he offered the sacrifices. The Torah calls Noach righteous, but how righteous was he? Rashi famously observes that Noach walked with God (Breishit 6:9), while Avraham walked before God (17:1). Noach's service of God was passive; he waited for commands and only then fulfilled them, while Avraham would search for spiritual opportunities and fulfill them even before receiving an explicit command. Indeed a survey of Noach's and Avraham's life stories reveals this to be the case, and hints that Avraham was the much more impressive person for that reason.

Yet while Noach had to be commanded to build an ark, to enter the ark, to bring animals into the ark, and even to leave the ark - in no place do we find that he was commanded to offer sacrifices upon descending to the newly exposed land. Rather, he noticed that there were more than two of each kosher animal, discovered within himself the desire to thank God for saving him, and put two and two together and decided to offer sacrifices. For once, perhaps for the only time in his life, Noach behaved not like Noach but like Avraham.

It is in reaction to this that God promises never again to destroy the world. The inclination of humanity is evil, but Noach shows that humanity is capable of self-improvement. The spark of initiative and self-improvement which has been lit within Noach will later grow into a flame, enveloping Avraham, then Moshe, and eventually spreading to encompass the entire world as we some day soon enter the messianic era.

Out of this world

A Malaysian Muslim will be visiting the International Space Station, and the country's religious officials have prepared a list of guidelines for Islamic practice in space. I found the correspondence between this list and Jewish law to be striking.

Praying five times a day can be calculated in a 24-hour duration according to the time zone from where the astronaut was launched — in this case, Baikonur, Kazakhstan.
The time of fasting, usually performed from dawn to dusk on Earth, is according to the time zone of the location from where the astronaut was launched.

I believe the prevailing opinion is that Shabbat and holidays, and presumably fast days and prayer too, are calculated based on the point of liftoff.

Ritual cleansing before prayer can be performed through "dry ablution" — striking both palms of one's hands on a clean surface such as a wall or mirror, with or without clean sand or dust.

In certain situations where there is no water for netilat yadayim, we allow you to rub your hands on a surface or else "wash" them with dirt or sand. (A pre-space-age halacha)

If there is any doubt whether food served is halal, or permissible under Islamic dietary laws, the astronaut can still eat it in order not to starve.

You can eat non-kosher food to prevent starvation. Of course, you should try to avoid such a situation. It's not clear if the Muslims would let you go on the space flight, knowing that the only food available will be non-halal. For Jews that would be prohibited.

A Muslim astronaut should "maintain the relationship with Allah ... observe peace with other beings and maintain sustainability of the space environment."
Facing Mecca to pray is encouraged, but facing the Earth or any direction will still do.
For physical postures during prayer, any standing posture will suffice if upright standing is impossible. If not, the astronaut can sit, lie flat or simply imagine the prayer sequence.
IN CASE OF DEATH: The deceased should be brought back to Earth for a Muslim funeral. If that is impossible, the deceased should be buried in space with "a simple funeral process."

Can't argue with what appears to be common sense.

DRESS CODE: A male Muslim astronaut should be clothed from the navel to the knee, while a female should cover her entire body except for her face and hands below the wrist.

The female dress code sounds about right... for Meah Shearim.

FASTING: The astronaut can choose to postpone fasting until after returning to Earth.

I wonder if we have some comparable possibility - regarding the minor fast days, it may perhaps be the case. If a fast is scheduled for Shabbat, we move it to a neighboring day...

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Thoughts on Lemech

Adam improperly ate from the fruit of the tree; as punishment the ground is cursed and can only be farmed through hard labor. Kayin was a farmer who killed a herder; as punishment he is even further divorced from the land; specifically he is forced to take up a herder's lifestyle.

In verses 4:18-24 we read about Lemech (the first person by that name). He is notable for his kids beginning careers: livestock herding, music playing, instruments of war. He is also noted for his poem to his wives: unlike Kayin he did not kill anyone, so his protection is greater than Kayin's. Each of his wives had one son with a money-earning career (herding/war), then one child with presumably no productive career (the music playing son/the daughter Naamah).

Herding, and being a warrior (or hunter, or tool-seller), are stereotypical careers for someone divorced from the produce of the land. It makes sense that Lemech in particular would direct his sons to these careers, since he is aware of the curse which Adam and Kayin had incurred. (This awareness is clear in his poem, and is also indicated in the name Tuval-Kayin.)

Meanwhile, the OTHER Lemech (descended from Adam's son Shet, not Kayin) names his kid Noach, hoping that the kid "will comfort us from our doings and from the sadness of our hands, from the ground which God has cursed" (5:29). And in fact Noach does eventually overcome the curse of the ground, embarking on a (too successful!) agricultural career with his vineyard. The phrase "our doings" in second Lemech's naming may refer to sin: he hopes Noach will rescue them from the curse on the land, which Adam incurred upon sinning.

We see that both Lemechs were unique in their families, in that they dealt so actively with the curses placed on their ancestors. Nobody likes being cursed, and everyone tries their best to avoid curses. But the two Lemechs were presumably uniquely talented or imaginative, so their attempted solutions are recorded for posterity.

However, there is an important difference in HOW the Lemechs dealt with the curses. The first Lemech, realizing that agriculture was no longer productive, apparently trained his kids to pursue a range of alternative careers. God had intended the land to be cursed as punishment, but the punishment could be avoided if one did not live on the land. In a sense, first Lemech tried to subvert the Divine curses. Mankind still deserved to be punished, but in effect one could thwart God's will by avoiding the setting in which punishment was inflicted.

Second Lemech's approach is drastically different. It is not immediately clear what exactly his approach consists of, since no action is ascribed to him after he names and ascribes destiny to Noach. But by looking at how Noach turned out you can deduce what second Lemech was referring to. Specifically, Noach is the first human to be called "tzadik" - righteous. (Whether he is perfectly righteous on Avraham's level or not is irrelevant; he is clearly better than his predecessors.) Second Lemech intended the curse to be removed through the righteous behavior of his son. Noach would repent, and perhaps lead the whole world to repent, and God would have no more reason to curse the ground. What a contrast from first Lemech, who made no attempt to improve his behavior, but only to take practical steps to avoid the effects of the curse!

From this perspective, it is no wonder why first Lemech's family died in the flood, and no wonder why part of second Lemech's family merited to survive it. Even Noach himself is by no means morally blameless, as we see shortly after the flood. But instead of trying to evade God's judgment, he recognizes and confronts it. Even someone who was and will remain imperfect, like Noach, finds that this path leads him in the direction of concrete spiritual accomplishments.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Thoughts on Shemoneh Esreh: Modim

Shemoneh Esreh always begins with the same 3 and ends with the same 3 blessings. These groups of 3 are formally named "shevach" and "hodaah". (Brachot 34a, Shulchan Aruch O.H. 112:1)

Unfortunately, in my opinion, people wrongly assume there's a one-to-one correspondence between the first 3 and last 3 blessings. I think a parallel exists between "shevach" and "hodaah" - but only if "hodaah" is taken to mean the single blessing of Modim. Modim contains 3 distinct sections with separate themes, each of which is linked to one of the first 3 "shevach" blessings.

Modim is significantly longer than any other blessing in the Shemoneh Esreh. The entire Shemoneh Esreh contains 642 words (in the nusach I found online), while Modim contains 94. Do the math and you will find that the other 18 blessings are on average 30.4 words long, so Modim is 3.09 times as long as the average. Thus supporting, perhaps, the idea that Modim is meant to parallel 3 other blessings.

In order to identify the possible sections of Modim, let's start with the obvious. According to the punctuation I will use below (scroll down if you want to see it), Modim contains 6 sentences before the concluding "baruch". Logically enough, I decided to divide these 6 sentences into sections of 2 sentences each.

One striking consequence of this division is the location of the key word "modim/lehodot", which appears 3 times in the blessing, not counting once in the conclusion. The first section begins with "modim", the second section begins with "nodeh", and the third section contains the word "yoducha". As its name indicates, Modim is about "hodaah", and each section mentions "hodaah" once, in two out of three cases right at the beginning. This is strong evidence that the division is correct.

Looking more closely at each section, we see that each has a very distinct theme from the others. Not only that, but these themes closely match the themes of the first 3 blessings of Shemoneh Esreh. This is best shown on a section-by-section basis.

First Section

Modim begins by thanking God for being God. This unusual beginning happens to match the very beginning of the Shemoneh Esreh, virtually word-for-word. Instead of "Blessed are You, Hashem our God and God of our ancestors", we have "We thank You, Hashem for being our God and God of our ancestors". Later on, the phrase "guard who saves us" is virtually the same as the phrase "savior and guard" from that first blessing (Avot). We therefore see that the opening third of Modim consists mostly of verbatim quotes from Avot.

There are also deep halachic parallels between Avot and the first section of Modim: both involve bowing down, and both Avot and (according to some opinions) Modim invalidate Shemoneh Esreh if said without concentration [kavanah]. Neither bowing nor concentration is necessary for any other blessing. (The other blessings must of course be said with kavanah, but lack of kavanah does not invalidate them.)

What is the point of the linguistic and halachic similarities? The purpose of Avot is to invoke and initiate our relationship with God, which is a vehicle for the prayer which we are beginning. In Modim, as we approach the end of the Shemoneh Esreh, the point is apparently to thank God for the relationship which allowed Shemoneh Esreh to be said.

Both Avot and the beginning of Modim are therefore "prayers about prayer". If you don't have kavanah in (for example) the blessing regarding rain, who knows, you may not merit to get rain. But if you lack kavanah in Avot or Modim, you never properly accepted upon yourself the basis for prayer, so your entire Shemoneh Esreh becomes invalid.

מודים אנחנו לך שאתה הוא ה' אלהינו ואלהי אבותינו. צור חיינו, מגן ישענו אתה הוא לדור ודור.

ברוך אתה ה' אלהינו ואלהי אבותינו, ... מלך עוזר ומושיע ומגן. ברוך אתה ה' מגן אברהם.

Second Section

This section differs from the first section, in that it does not seem to talk about our relationship with God, but about various individual deeds which God does for us. In particular, it recognizes God's sustaining us, providing life and performing miracles for us, on both a short-term and long-term basis.

Unlike with Avot, there is no exact verbal duplication of Gevurot in Modim. But the theme of Gevurot and this part of Modim are very similar. Both consist of lists of the various kindnesses which God performs for us. The lists are not identical (though both focus particularly on the continual sustaining of our lives). But the main point is not the choice of examples, but the fact that such examples exist. Whatever the specifics - and on different occasions, we approach God regarding different specifics - we acknowledge that God is the correct address for such inquiries.

נודה לך ונספר תהלתך, על חיינו המסורים בידיך, ועל נשמותינו הפקודות לך, ועל נסיך שבכל יום עמנו, ועל נפלאותיך וטובותיך שבכל עת, ערב ובוקר וצהרים. הטוב כי לא כלו רחמיך, והמרחם כי לא תמו חסדיך, כי מעולם קוינו לך.

אתה גבור לעולם ה', מחיה מתים אתה רב להושיע. משיב הרוח ומוריד הגשם. מכלכל חיים בחסד, מחיה מתים ברחמים רבים, סומך נופלים ורופא חולים ומתיר אסורים, ומקיים אמונתו לישני עפר. מי כמוך בעל גבורות ומי דומה לך, מלך ממית ומחיה ומצמיח ישועה. ונאמן אתה להחיות מתים. ברוך אתה ה' מחיה המתים.

It's also worth noting the dual introduction to this part of Modim: "We must thank you, and recount your praise, for..." There are two distinct elements here: recognition and thanks. We are listing examples, and also expressing our feelings about each example.

One of the things we thank God for is "your wonders and good deeds which occur at all times - evening, morning, and afternoon." I think it's no coincidence that evening/morning/afternoon are the 3 times at which we pray. We are saying that whenever we pray, God listens to and responds to our prayer. "Vehaya terem yikreu va'ani aaneh".

Third Section

In this section, in contrast to the previous ones, the focus is not God or His deeds, but rather on our response to those deeds. We hope to praise God and recognize what he does for us. We hope to do this both constantly and forever, and expect that eventually all of humanity will join us. The idiom is that we praise not God, but rather His "name" or reputation. This emphasizes even more that we are focusing not on God, but on ourselves, on our own comprehension of and relation to God.

Virtually the same description applies to the third blessing of Shemoneh Esreh (Kedushat Hashem). Here too the focus is on our response: the constant praise and recognition of God, forever, involving all humanity.

ועל כולם יתברך ויתרומם שמך מלכינו תמיד לעולם ועד.
וכל החיים יודוך סלה, ויהללו ויברכו את שמך הגדול באמת לעולם כי טוב, האל ישועתינו ועזרתינו סלה, האל הטוב.
[ברוך אתה ה', הטוב שמך ולך נאה להודות.]

לדור ודור נגיד גדלך ולנצח נצחים קדושתך נקדיש...
אתה קדוש ושמך קדוש, וקדושים בכל יום יהללוך סלה, כי אל מלך גדול וקדוש אתה.
ויראוך כל המעשים, וישתחוו לפניך כל הברואים... ושמך נורא על כל מה שבראת. (ימים נוראים)


It appears that there are 3 distinct sections to Modim, which are very similar to the 3 "shevach" blessings at the beginning of Shemoneh Esreh.

Interestingly, Shemoneh Esreh as a whole has 3 sections as well. The first section is "shevach", the last "hodaah", and the middle consists of all the requests in the other blessings. Each of these sections corresponds to one of the 3 "shevach" blessings, as well as one of the 3 sections of Modim. That is to say, the structure of the first 3 blessings matches the structure of Modim, and both structures match the overall structure of Shemoneh Esreh.
  • The "shevach" unit serves to introduce our prayer. Avot itself introduces our authority to pray, and the first third of Modim is a thank-you for being able to pray.
  • The middle of Shemoneh Esreh is a series of specific requests. Gevurot lists the specific things God does for us, and the second third of Modim mentions those same things and thanks God for them.
  • The "hodaah" unit concludes the prayer by acknowledging and thanking God for what we receive from Him. Kedushat Hashem and the last third of Modim describe our thanking God, both now and in the future.
It therefore appears that Shemoneh Esreh begins with a "mini-Shemoneh-Esreh" in which we introduce, step-by-step, what we plan on doing. It also ends with a "mini-Shemoneh-Esreh" in which we summarize and conclude what we have done. In the middle is the body of specifics. On weekdays this body contains a long list of requests; on Shabbat and holidays it is entirely related to the theme of the day.

Positive memories

According to the Torah, the mitzvah of lulav is only on the first day of Sukkot, except in the Temple, where it applies all seven days. After the destruction, the rabbis decreed that we take the lulav all seven days, everywhere, as a remembrance to the Temple.

On various occasions throughout our lives we remember the Temple in other ways: fasting on Tisha Beav, breaking a glass at weddings, leaving part of one's house unpainted, avoiding singing and music in certain situations, and so on. Lulav appears to be odd company for these mournful customs. How can they all be classified as remembrances of the same thing?

It appears that there are two very different ways in which we remember the Temple. Tisha Beav is a remembrance of the catastrophe of destruction. Lulav, on the other hand, is a remembrance of the Temple as it was when it stood. Here we remember not the disaster of the past, but the glory of the past. This remembrance should engender not sadness but pride and joy.

Chazal wanted the joy a Jew would experience in the Temple, the overwhelming inspiration with which Temple visitors would be overcome, to continue even after the destruction. The great experience of standing before God would therefore be perpetuated throughout the generations. This is the goal of our lulav-waving on the last 6 days of Sukkot - perhaps differing from our goal on the first day.

(R' Soloveitchik, 1969)

[I would add: this, like Pesach and Yom Kippur mussaf and sukkah and who knows what else, seems to be an example of reenactment and re-living in addition to simply remembering.]

[I originally thought this contradicted my discussion of lulav from last year, but on second thought, what I wrote could accurately describe what happened in the Temple. For us today outside the Temple, the added aspect of remembrance would add complexity and create room for disagreement.]