Prologue:        Yeshiah Hanovi confuses us. He opens his Sefer (Isaiah 1) noting that Hashem does not need Korbanos and that he never commanded us to bring them when he took us out of Mitzrayim. Yet, when we open the Sefer VaYikra, one would assume otherwise. It seems from the Possukim as if the laws of Korbanos are extensive indeed. How can one understand this apparent paradox?

        The famed Gaon, Rav Yaakov Krantz MeDubno (Mishlei Yaakov) offered an interesting Moshol: There once was a tailor who needed work. He entered the home of a wealthy Baal HaBayis and asked to see the man's suits. As they were brought out, the tailor saw that their quality was unsurpassed. However, desperate for work, he opened all the seams on all the clothes. The Baal HaBayis was incensed when he discovered what the tailor had done. "Why be so angry?" the tailor asked, and he immediately set out to fix the seams, restoring them to their regular fine standard. As he finished, the Baal HaBayis paid him for his work, not for the need but out of Charity. He saw that if the man must go to this extreme, he must really need the Tzedakka. 

        Similarly, Hashem does not actually need the Korbanos of man. However, Jews become poor in spirituality because of their sins. Thus, they've needed a rectification project. Hashem responded by giving theMitzvot of Korbanot. Through the Korban, a true Tzeddaka of Hashem, man is able to achieve levels he had lost before. That is the desire of Hashem and his Tzeddaka to us, allowing us to return to that level. 

        This week's Chaburah examines a question concerning Korbanos and those potentially not required to bring them. It is entitled:     

Taking the Lead: Teenage Chazzanim

        Tosafos (Berachos 26a) notes that Musaf services serve in the place of the actual Korbanot that were normally brought in the Beis HaMikdash during the special days. (See Mogen Avraham 108:9). It would follow then, that one not required to bring a Korban Musaf, should be Patur from the Tefillah of Musaf as well. This creates an interesting issue because the Korban Musaf was brought with the Korbanot purchased through the coins of Terumas Shekel. (See Shut Besamim Rosh 89 who excludes women who didn't bring the Shekel see also Shut Rabbi Akiva Eiger Siman 9). Thus, one not obligated in the donation of half Shekel coins is not obligated in the Musaf service. 

        The difficulty with this issue begins with the Machlokes about the teenagers. The Torah Temimah (Ki Sisa) notes a Machlokes between Rambam and Ramban who hold that 13-20 year olds must bring the half Shekel (the exception being for the  Shekel donation enumerated in Parshas Shekalim which was used for peg purchase) and the Sefer Hachinuch, Bartenura and Gra who all maintain that the obligation to bring the half Shekel  begins at 20. According to these opinions, a teenager who is not included in the obligation to bring half Shekel coins is not included in the Korbanot purchased with those coins. If that is the case, how can a teenager lead the Mussaf services given the fact that he is not obligated to Daven Mussaf and one not obligated in something cannot help the masses fulfill their obligation (See Rosh Hashanna 29a)?

        The Rema (Orach Chaim 694) notes that only those who are 20 and above are obligated to bring the Machatzis HaShekel. This is in opposition to the opinion of the Gaon (Yirushalmi Shekalim 1:3) who notes an obligation exists but that the teenager does not have to go into hoc in order to fulfill it. Thus according to the Gra, the obligation exists and thus, a teen could Daven Mussaf for the Amud. But how will the Minhag of allowing teens to lead Mussaf services fit with the opinion of the Rema?

        Rav Yitzchak Elchanan Spector (Shut Be'er Yitzchak Orach Chaim 20:3) noted that the comparison of Mussaf to Shekel-giving is, in fact, imprecise. His proof is from the Talmud (Menachos 21b) where potentially Kohanim and Leviim could be excluded from the Mussaf once we exclude non-Shekel givers. All are obligated in the Mussaf service even Women because we do not find Poskim who feel Mussaf is different than any other service which women might be obligated to Daven. (Although it should be noted that the Noda B'Yehuda <Tzlach Berachos 26a> feels women have a special Patur from Mussaf as a Mitzvas Aseh She'HaZman Grama <time-bound active Mitzvos> and unlike other Tefillot, Mussaf is not a Tefillah of request.)

        Either way,   L'halacha there are still Shuls and many Yeshivot who are Chosheish for this problem and do not allow those under 20 to lead Mussaf services (see Chiddushei Rabbi Akiva Eiger O.C. 106). However, it would seem that Shuls that do, seem to have solid basis for their practice. The Michaber (Orach Chaim 53:6) quotes the Mordechai (Chullin Perek 1) who does not differentiate between Tefillos and allows a teenager to lead all the Tefillos, including Mussaf.  Modern Poskim seem to concur (Oros Yimei Hashabbos Siman 17) that this is an acceptable practice, even today. 

Shabbat Shalom