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On Succos we celebrate starting the second night Simchas Bais HaShoaiva. According to the Chachamim we can not start on the first night as we use musical instruments and it is not Doche Shabbos or Yom Tov. However in the Gemara Succa 50b Reb Yossi holds it is Doche Shabbos and Yom Tov. Then why according to Reb Yossi do we not start Simchas Bais HaShoaiva on the first night?

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Don't we say that shvutim wher not enacted in the mikdash? –  David Sep 29 '13 at 0:14

2 Answers 2

Maybe because that's how it was done in the Beis Hamikdash? Since SBHS there involved musical instruments, it couldn't take place on Shabbos or Yom Tov (Sukkah 50a-b).

That said, there are communities in which they have SBHS on all nights of Sukkos - with or without music, as the case may be.


For the revised question:

  • It's possible that indeed R' Yosi would hold that SBHS began the first night. The Mishnah (Sukkah 4:1 and 5:1), after all, doesn't mention his opinion at all, so there's no reason for it to say that he disagrees about when the preparations were done.

  • In Taanis 2b, R' Yehudah ben Beseirah says that there is extra significance to the second day of Sukkos, since that's where the Torah begins its series of hints about the water libation (the extra מ, י, ם in the descriptions of the Sukkos offerings). Based on this, he says that we begin mentioning rain in Shemoneh Esreh from the second day of Sukkos onwards. Perhaps, then, R' Yosi would use this same logic in a different direction: while of course he agrees that the actual libation is done all of the days of Sukkos, the celebration related to it should begin only on the day that the Torah associates with it.

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Your answer is great. However I am rewording the question, as according to Reb Yosi in Succah 50b the musical instruments are Doche Shabbos. Thus why according to Reb Yossi do we not start Simchas Bais HaShoaiva on the first night of Succos? –  Gershon Gold Oct 31 '10 at 20:22

Short answer is that Simhat Beit HaShoeiva as we have it today was a custom primarily starte by the RaShaSh in Yeshivat HaMekubalim Beit El(sources in the Divrei Shalom and Hida to be forthcoming IY"H). So the way in which we do it now, essentially reflects the way the mekubalim of Beit El (re)established the custom.

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Why did the Mekubalim decide to start on the second night of Yom Tov? Especially today we do it in Chutz L'Aretz on the second night without any music as it is Yom Tov also. So why not the first night? –  Gershon Gold Oct 31 '10 at 20:28

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