In the opening paragraph of the Shalosh Regalim Amidah's middle section the phrasing is:

... מועדים לשמחה, חגים וזמנים לששון

This M.Y. answer explains the difference in meaning between שמחה and ששון, generally. Why is a מועד associated with שמחה and חגים וזמנים associated with ששון?

  • It's just like any Kefel Hadevarim - repeated in different terms. Mar 13, 2018 at 20:00
  • yeshiva.org.il/ask/99543 asked here too Mar 13, 2018 at 20:08
  • @רבותמחשבות "It's just like any Kefel Hadevarim " - Yes, I gather that tefillah tends to do this a lot. But, considering that there is a difference of meaning between Sasson and Simcha, I think there's more to this.
    – DanF
    Mar 13, 2018 at 20:11
  • Cf. זְמַנֵּי ששון וּמועֲדֵי קודֶשׁ וְחַגֵּי נְדָבָה
    – Double AA
    Mar 13, 2018 at 21:58

1 Answer 1


As noted in my answer here, all of the sources quoted understand that Sasson is a more intense happiness than Simcha. For this reason, Simcha comes first, and only then do we achieve Sasson. This is noted in the same Chabad article brought there:

ולכן מצד עצם מהות השמחה "ששון" נעלה יותר מ"שמחה" ("מועדים לשמחה", ורק לאחר מכן - "חגים וזמנים לששון"). כי שמחה פנימית היא למעלה משמחה חיצונית.

  • +1. While I didn't ask in the question, is there anything in this or a related source that focuses on the difference in meaning of מועדים vs. חגים וזמנים that may explain more specifically why each of the joy terms is specifically associated with the other terms that convey a "holiday"?
    – DanF
    Mar 13, 2018 at 20:31
  • @DanF thanks. I think people talk about Moed vs. Zeman, but I don't remember seeing that addressed in this context other than asked here yeshiva.org.il/ask/99543, which I quoted above in the comments. Mar 13, 2018 at 20:36
  • " Simcha comes first, and only then do we achieve Sasson." That's not a general rule. In the verse from Yeshayahu it is Kol Sasson Vekol Simcha. Sasson occurs first, there. I think this may be the only exception to that order.
    – DanF
    Aug 22, 2018 at 18:17

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