In the Yom Tov Shmoneh Esreh the paragraph יעלה ויבא is placed in the middle of the center blessing. During Hol Hamo'ed, however, it is placed in the blessing of רצה.

Why is there a difference of positioning? Why isn't the position for Yom Tov also in the blessing of רצה ?

  • 4
    The simple answer would be because the middle blessing already discuss the yom tov. Whereas a weekday shmone esrai the twelve middle blessings cant be 'tampered' with.
    – cham
    May 26, 2015 at 22:21
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    @cham In a related vein, retzeh/vesechezenah are discussing the rebuilding of the Beis HaMikdash and (indirectly) the bringing of korbanos, which makes mentioning Ya'aleh Viyavo appropriate during Chol HaMo'ed. On Yom Tov itself, we insert it where we DIRECTLY talk about these topics. It's about consistent context, not consistent location. Al Hanisim and Ya'aleh ViYavo are in this same boat re: bentsching. May 27, 2015 at 12:59

2 Answers 2


R' Hirsch in Horeb, ch. 100 para. 638 (p. 487 in the Dayan Grunfeld translation), writes regarding Rosh Chodesh and Chol Hamo'ed:

These are days which have their special significance in the Musaf sacrifice, but which are otherwise characterized by the usual activities of life. In the Musaf sacrifice, the life-concept of the people, which finds its usual expression in the תמיד, is brought into a special relationship with God. These days, which are specifically characterized only by Avodah, are ראש חודש and חול המועד. This merging of national life in God is also included in the Avodah of the Shemoneh Esreh, which introduces individual everyday normal life (יעלה ויבא)...

Paragraph 639, regarding Yom Tov:

Yet there are days which... are raised above the days of the year and should not allow life to spin along its usual course... The Divine Service, which imbues these days with their decisive significance, is definitely changed. Indeed, their task being mainly the revivifying of ideas, it is a task which must find its partial realization in tefillah.

Accordingly (as expressed in paragraph 648), Yaaleh Veyavo is placed in the location which reflects the nature of the day as expressed through the prayer of that day. On Chol Hamo'ed, which is a day characterized through the change to the Avodah of the day, has its Yaaleh Veyavo in the blessing of Avodah. Yom Tov, on which the entire prayer is changed as a reflection of the entirely altered nature of the day, has its Yaaleh Veyavo in the central body of the prayer which reflects that nature.


Along the lines of what has been noted in the comments, the Yaaleh V'Yavo prayer is included in the blessing whose theme most closely matches that of the prayer itself. In the Yom Tov service, the middle blessing is devoted to the sanctity of the holiday itself which is directly relevant to the holiday-theme of Yaaleh V'yavo. However, on chol hamoed, when the regular shemoneh esrei is recited, the appropriate place for commemoration of the holy day is in the prayer for the return of the Avoda, which, at the time of the Temple, was what really defined the holidays (see, e.g., Isaiah 1:14 where the term "moadeichem" seems to be used in reference to the special korbanot of the holidays).

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