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Yom Tov- The Proper Beracha for Aliyat Maftir on Shabbat Hol Hamoed

Whenever a Haftara is read, the one who was called to the Torah for the Maftir recites a series of Berachot following the Haftara reading. On Shabbat and festivals, this series of Berachot concludes with a Beracha in which one mentions Shabbat or the given festival, such as "Yom Ha'Shabbat Ha'zeh" or "Yom Chag Ha'Sukkot Ha'zeh." This Beracha concludes with "Mekadesh Ha'Shabbat" on Shabbat, and "Mekadesh Yisrael Ve'ha'zemanim" on festivals.

The question arises, when one recites this Beracha after the Haftara on Shabbat Chol Ha'mo'ed, does he mention only Shabbat ("Yom Ha'Shabbat Ha'zeh"), or does he also mention the holiday (either "Yom Chag Ha'Matzot Ha'zeh" or "Yom Chag Ha'Sukkot Ha'zeh")?

The Rama (Rabbi Moshe Isserles, Poland, 1525-1572), in his glosses to the Shulchan Aruch (490:9), rules that on Shabbat Chol Ha'mo'ed Pesach no mention is made of the holiday in the concluding Beracha after the Haftara reading. The Magen Avraham (commentary to the Shulchan Aruch by Rabbi Avraham Gombiner, Poland, 1637-1683) understands this ruling to mean that specifically on Pesach no mention is made of the holiday in this Beracha. On Shabbat Chol Ha'mo'ed Sukkot, however, the one reciting this Beracha would indeed make mention of both Shabbat and the festival of Sukkot ("Yom Ha'Shabbat Ha'zeh Ve'yom Chag Ha'Sukkot Ha'zeh"; "Mekadesh Ha'Shabbat Ve'Yisrael Ve'ha'zemanim"). The difference, he explains, lies in the fact that on Sukkot, each day features a different order of sacrifices. As opposed to the seven days of Pesach, each of which requires the precisely same Musaf offering, each day of Sukkot features a different Musaf offering. Therefore, each day of Sukkot has a unique stature which warrants mentioning the holiday of Sukkot in this Beracha on Shabbat Chol Ha'mo'ed.

The Chid"a (Rabbi Chayim Yosef David Azulai, Israel, 1724-1806), however, in his work Birkei Yosef (425:2), disagreed, and held that the holiday is never mentioned in the Beracha following the Haftara reading on Shabbat Chol Ha'mo'ed. The occurrence of Chol Ha'mo'ed itself does not require the reading of a Haftara; on Shabbat Chol Ha'mo'ed, we read the Haftara only because of Shabbat, and not due to Chol Ha'mo'ed. It therefore stands to reason, the Chid"a argued, that in the Beracha of the Haftara we should mention only Shabbat, and not the holiday, given that it was Shabbat, and not the holiday, that warranted the reading of the Haftara.
Chacham Bentzion Abba Shaul (Jerusalem, 1924-1998) observed that the practice in Jerusalem followed this ruling of the Chid"a, and this indeed appears to be the practice in our communities.

Thus, on Shabbat Chol Ha'mo'ed, the one reciting the Berachot following the Haftara reading makes mention only of Shabbat, and does not mention the festival, neither on Shabbat Chol Ha'mo'ed Pesach nor on Shabbat Chol Ha'mo'ed Sukkot.

 


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