Saturday, January 20, 2007

Odd Davening Question

On Rosh Chodesh, during the Musaf Amidah, we ask God to grant us several blessings for the new month. Among them are goodness, blessings, sustenance, etc. The last of the requests are for (using the Artscroll translation) pardon of sin and forgiveness of iniquity (m'chilas chait v'l'slichas avon). In addition, during a leap year, u'l'chaparas pesha (atonement of willful sin) is added as well.

My question, very simply, is this: Why do we only ask for chaparas pesha during leap years. Do we not need it during all other years?

Anyone know of any reasons?

The Wolf


Mike S. said...

There are 12 blessings asked for in a regular year, and 13 in a leap year. I am not sure why "Capparat pasha" is the one that varies. Perhaps because it is so close to two others. (And yes, I am familiar with the difference between Chet, Avon and Pasha)

Anonymous said...

Mishnah Berurah summarizes this issue by saying that there are those who
add this attribute to Musaf Rosh Chodesh and there are those who do not;
that among those who do add it, there are those who add it for the
entire leap year [that is all 12 months-since there is no Rosh Chodesh
Tishrei] and those who add it, do it only until and including the second
month of Adar. (MB 423:6)

The earliest Siddur to include "Ulchaparat Pasha [Pesha]" is Seder Rav
Amram Gaon, and there is no mention there about saying it only on leap
years, and certainly no mentioning about saying it only for limited
number of months in a leap year. (Warsaw, 1865 [1st edition], p. 33)

The idea that it should be said only in leap years is related to the
number of attributes in this tefila. Since there are 12 attributes, and
the last one is the 13th Ulchaparat Pasha [Pesha], somewhere along the
line, the idea came that there is a connection between the number of
attributes and the number of months, and hence since you add the second
Adar on a leap year, you should likewise add the 13th attribute only to
a year with a 13th month. A further development was to say this
attribute only until and including Rosh Chodesh Adar II. This last
development is problematic as if this idea is carried further, that is,
each attribute should be said only until the Rosh Chodesh of the related
attribute, then this tefila should have 11 attributes in Rosh Chodesh
MarCheshvan, 10 attributes in Rosh Chodesh Kislev and so forth and it
will never have 12 attributes as there is no Rosh Chodesh Tishrei to
announce. This is not done, and the Anaf Yoseph commentary (in Otzar
haTefilot) correctly states that "...there are variation that they add
"Ulchaparat Pasha [Pesha]" in a leap year and I did not find it in
Abudarham and no where else, and these formulation 'Ulchaparat Pasha
[Pesha]' should be said all Rashei Chodashim all these 12
attributes.... ] however] and we say it in a leap year until the
[announcement of the] added month to teach [the congregation] that this
year is a leap year, and there is no longer relevant to announce it
after the second Adar"

According to siddur Ezor Eliyahu (note on p. 306) the Rokeach says that
these attributes are a special supplication for each month, and hence an
additional month (2nd Adar) requires an additional supplication.

Note that Siddur Rome (1964, p. 193) has different attributes: 1. Tovah,
2. Beracha, 3. Sasson, 4. Simcha, 5. Yeshu'ah, 6. Nechamah, 7. Parnasah,
8. Chalkalah, 9. Selichat Het, 10. Mechilat Avon, 11. Gemilut Hesed, 12.
Talmud Torah. There is no Ulchaparat Pasha [Pesha]'. Another Italian
siddur, Seder Tefila LaSefaradim Meturgam Italkit (Formulario),
(Livorno, 1837, p. 340) has different attributes:1. Tovah, 2. Beracha,
3. Sasson, 4. Simcha, 5. Yeshuah, 6. Nechamah, 7. Parnasah,
8. Chalkalah, 9. Mechilat Het, 10. Selichat Avon; and there are only
10! There is no "Ulchaparat Pasha [Pesha]" as even the 12 attributes
relate to 12 month is absent.

Another variation is in siddur Sefat Emet of Wolf Heidenheim, (one of
the most influential siddurim ever as it had over 150 editions!) it says
that generally people should add "Ulchaparat Pasha [Pesha]" in a leap
year from Heshvan until Adar II, but that in Frankfurt a Mein
"Ulchaparat Pasha [Pesha]" should be said ONLY once a year, on the
declaration of the second Adar. (152nd German edition, Rodelheim, 1928,
p. 209). The source for this last minhag was mentioned by Daniel Werlin

I checked these two sources: Maharm Schick (OH 184)
holds that it would have been prefereed to have said "Ulchaparat Pasha
[Pesha]" all year round, but his minhag is to say it only until the
announcement of Adar II. Yoseph Ometz does list the minhag of Frankfurt
a Mein to say it only for the annoucement of Adar II.

Note: Siddur Tehilat Hashem (Lubavitch) has only 12 attributes and no
"Ulchaparat Pasha [Pesha]."

And lastly, none of the sources I checked suggest that the 12-13 months
cycle is Nisan to Adar. To the contrary, their suggestion to stop the
saying it after Adar II announcement has within it an implication of
Tishrei to Elul cycle. Otherwise, it would have been stated always that
you say it a full year, and there would not be two methods, one that
stop after the Adar II announcement, and one that goes all year. Maharam
Schick in the above teshuva discusses this issue and states that
according to the Talmud in Rosh Hashanah (12) Rosha HaShannah is
starting the counting of the years from Tishrei.

Gilad J. Gevaryahu