The related question refers to the view that those outside Israel need a second day Yom Tov in order to achieve the spiritual status that those in Israel can achieve in one day

It is expressed here like this:

בכל יום-טוב שורה בעולם גילוי רוחני גבוה. בזמן בית ראשון היו לבני ישראל נשמות גבוהות, שיכולות להכיל בבת אחת את הגילוי הרוחני הגבוה. כאשר חרב בית-המקדש השפיע הדבר לרעה על היכולת הרוחנית של הנשמות, עד שהן הגיעו למצב בו הדרך היחידה שהן מסוגלות להכיל את הגילוי הרוחני שבכל יום-טוב הוא על ידי שיתחלק ליומיים. וזו העילה הרוחנית לכך שהשתלשלו הדברים כפי שהשתלשלו, עד שנולד 'יום טוב שני של גלויות'.

In the times of the 1st Temple the emanations of the Yomim Tovim could be received by people with their elevated souls in one day. After the destruction (and the exile) the only way to contain these emanations was to divide the day into two and this is how the second day of Yom Tov came about.

My question arises because of the Gemoro in Beitzah 4b

וְהַשְׁתָּא דְּיָדְעִינַן בִּקְבִיעָא דְיַרְחָא, מַאי טַעְמָא עָבְדִינַן תְּרֵי יוֹמֵי? מִשּׁוּם דִּשְׁלַחוּ מִתָּם: הִזָּהֲרוּ בְּמִנְהַג אֲבוֹתֵיכֶם בִּידֵיכֶם, זִמְנִין דְּגָזְרוּ הַמַּלְכוּת גְּזֵרָה וְאָתֵי לְאִקַּלְקוּלֵי.

The Gemara asks: And now that we know the determination of the first day of the new month, what is the reason that we observe two Festival days in the Diaspora? Because they sent a warning from there, from Eretz Yisrael: Although now there is a fixed calendar and there is no uncertainty, be careful to observe the custom of your fathers that you received, because at times the monarchy will issue decrees of persecution restricting Torah study and the fixed calendar may be forgotten. And the people will come to have their proper observance of the Festivals be disrupted again.

This Gemoro implies that the people in Bovel sent a question to those in Israel asking about observing 2nd day Yom Tov seeing as the original cause for the second day which was uncertainty as to which day was Yom Tov had now gone away with the use of the fixed calendar. The response was to to observe the custom of your fathers that you received for the reasons stated.

It seems like the people in Bovel did not feel that they were missing the emanations in only one day. Further the warning that came back from Israel did not mention this point of being unable to get the emanations in one day.

So my question is how does the view that people outside Israel must have two days Yom Tov for spiritual reasons fit with the reason given in the Gemoro in Beitzah.

  • 2
    The Bavli is giving the nuts-and-bolts technical halacha on which it has to hang. There may be other reasons. Or a similar take is: "Hashem caused the exile to have a second day [because of calendrical issues], but what was the goal in His doing so? So they could unlock the spirituality they weren't getting."
    – Shalom
    Commented Apr 9, 2023 at 21:36

1 Answer 1


The problem is even deeper than that. There were places in chutz l'aretz near Israel that observed 1 day based on where the messengers reached. See Rosh Hashana 21a. Conversely, in the view of the Rambam, there are places in Israel that should observe 2 days because the messengers did not go there! Mishneh Torah, Sanctification of the New Month 5:9-12.

So I think this is one of those cases where you need to say that there is a technical reason and there is a deeper spiritual reason we use to explain it. This is not so different from the many other places where we come up with "reasons" for the mitzvot or Biblical events. For example, there are many drashot explaining why God killed the Egyptian firstborn, but the Torah itself (Shmot 4:21-23) says it is because Israel is God's firstborn. Likewise, the Sefer HaChinukh in explaining the reasons for the mitzvah of tzitzit acknowledges the reason given in the Torah but also gives additional reasons about what the tzitzit symbolize. Perhaps we could also reframe the issue as being a spiritual explanation for why the custom of yom tov sheini arose and persists even though it raises a lot of halakhic issues (extra berakhot, bitul melakhah, bal tosif) and doesn't seem to be based on a very realistic concern nowadays. After all, not every minhag that could be introduced is introduced, and not every minhag that is introduced survives.

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