A Daf A Day (daf yomi)

A daf yomi blog for discussion, questions and comments on the daily daf.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

The nusach of birchot hamitzvah

Rashi and Tosfot at the top of 51A disagree about the reason one who is tovel recites the bracha after the t'villa. Rashi explains that the individual was a baal keri who could not make the blessing before the tvilla while still tamei while Tosfot explains that the individual was a ger who was not yet able to make the bracha since he was not yet Jewish.

According to the gemara, the nusach of the bracha is "asher kidshanu b'mitzvotav v'tzivanu [AKB"V] al ha'tvilla." This nusach would appear to make sense. After all, as a general matter, brachot are made over la'asiyatan, that is, before the mitzvah's act is performed. And, in such circumstances, the birchat ha'mitzvah takes the active voice; for example, on Chanukah, the blessing is made AKB"V l'hadlik ner shel chanukah, then the candles are lit. However, when the act is performed first, the bracha is in the passive voice. The classic example is when one washes for ha'motzi, one washes first, then recites "al ntilat yadayim."

It would thus appear that according to both Rashi and Tosfot, since the individual who is about to immerse is unable to make the bracha until after the immersion, the blessing must follow the act and it is thus recited in the passive voice. If that is the case, why is the nusach bracha for candlelighting on Shabbat not similarly passive; after all, the candles are actually lit before the bracha is made since to light them after making the bracha would result in chilul shabbat?

Friday, April 15, 2005

What about tefilas haderech?

The gemara in Brachos on 46a going onto 46b says that a bracha hasmucha lachaverta is the only type of bracha that does not require a baruch at the beginning. What about tefilas haderech? It's not next to another bracha but it doesn't start with baruch! The Shulchan Aruch quotes the Maharam M'rutenberg who would say tefilas haderech after birchas hashachar if he was travelling in the morning. The Mishna Brura adds that if you're not going to say birchas hashachar then you can make a shehakol or something immediately before saying tefilas haderech (the fact that you take a sip is not considered a hefsek). He says that you don't have to do this but it's preferred. That doesn't really answer the question though. If the rule is that only a bracha hasmucha lachaverta does not require baruch then why were the rabonon mesaken tefilas haderech without baruch if it was niskana as a bracha bifnei atzma?

Rabeinu Yonah (earlier in the masechta) answers that any bracha that was made as a bracha hasmucha lachaverta does not require baruch even if it is said independently. This was really part of shomei tefila in shomone esrei.
The Tur answers that it wasn't really made as a bracha. It's supposed to be a tefila so it didn't start with baruch. However, he says because we talk about so much in the tefila, the rabonon decided to conclude the tefila with a baruch. It's still not a "real" bracha.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Reb Yochanan says two cannot make Zimun

The Gemorah on 45b proves that Reb Yochanan must be the opinion that holds that two people do make Zimun. The proof is from the fact that one person can be yotzei with the benching of his friend and we infer from the language that if we were talking about Zimun it would not have used a terminology of yotzei because by zimun each person is actually saying it. Therefore it must be that the two are not making Zimun together. Rashi comments that the language is only coming to teach us that "a zimun is not required" because of the inference that can be made. The obvious question is: The gemorah is trying to prove that R. Yochanan holds that a zimun is not allowed with two people. Accoring the the way Rashi is learning there is no proof at all. Rashi is saying that the language only proves that its not required. Where to we see that its not allowed??? It may be that I am missing something!!

Also, the Gemorah mentions that women cannot be included in a Zimun with men because of priztus. What exactly is the pritzus? Why are women allowed to answer at a meal when men make a Zimun? Why isnt that pritzus?

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Laafukei Raychuni

The Gemorah on 44b brings a Mishnah that says that " Anything that requires a bracha before requires one afterward and some require before and not after The Gemorah then says that according to Rav Papa that excludes Mitzvos ( that you dont have to make a Bracha after a Mitzvah) The Gemorah then asks " What about those that make a Bracha after Tefilin?" Answer: it comes to exclude for smelling ( that you dont make a bracha achrona) The question is what was the Hava Amina? Why couldnt the Gemorah just answer orginally that it excludes Raychani and that should follow all opinions?
I have looked for an answer. Any thoughts?

Monday, April 11, 2005

Rav Huna's bracha on pas haba b'kisnin

The gemara in Brachos on the top of 42a says that Rav Huna ate some pas haba b'kisnin thing "v'lo barich." Rav Nachman responded that he should have benched because he ate enough for a normal person to be koveia seuda. What does it mean v'lo barich?

My first reaction was just that it meant that he didn't bench but he did say al hamichya. I knew that was not pashut pshat though because until now whenever we said "lo barich" it meant that either there was no bracha acharona at all or there was only a Borei nefashos. However, I saw that some Rishonim (the Ritva and the Tzlach quotes the Rashba) learn that it means that he didn't bench but he did say al hamichya. The Tzlach and the Pnei Yehoshua though don't like this pshat.

The Pnei Yehoshua says that he didn't even say al hamichya because the bracha acharona on pas haba b'kisnin is borei nefashos as we said on 41b. That was a chidush to me because when I learned the gemara on 41b that said no bracha acharona on pas haba b'kisnin I understood it to mean only because you don't have a kezayis of the mezonos in there. However if you would have a kezayis then you'd definitely need at least an al hamichya. Apparently, the Rishonim understand the Rashi there to mean that there is no al hamichya at all (just a borei nefashos).

The Tzlach has a novel approach to the sugya although he says it's not pshat because nobody learned like that. He says that Rav Huna was a bal keri and a bal keri doesn't make brachos that only d'rabonon. So he didn't make any bracha at all because he felt that there was no benching so no chiyuv d'oraysa.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Shiras Haleviim

Also from Yosey G on daf 35a:

The gemmorah says when Wine was poured on the Mizbayach that is when the Shiras Leviim was sung.

A friend asked me: Did the leviim have a special tune(S) for the Shirah or did they use the TROP? His son's Rebbe said they used Trop. He said the Pe-As Hashulchon writes that the Vilna Gaon studied Music so as better to understand the Shiras Haleviim, and if all they used was Trop, why did he have to learn music? (If they used Trop, the term used all over "Shir she-hoyu OMRIM" the song they SAID, would seem to make sense!)

Any insights? Proof?

Why say havdala twice?

Yosey G. asked me to post this (it's relevant to Brachos 33a - everyone should feel free to post on previous dapim also. It's not limited to that day's daf. I'd prefer if we didn't got back too far but a week is definitely no problem).

The gemmorah tells us that although one made Havdalah in Maariv one is still obligated to repeat Havdalah over wine.

A few lines later in the Gemorrah quotes Rav Acha as saying that it is better to make Havdalah in Davening than over wine, but if one does BOTH he will get blessing on his head. The gemmorah questions this and says it seems from Rav Acha's words that one alone will suffice, if that is the case then why should he be blessed for saying Havdalah twice it should be an unneeded blessing and as such that should be a violation of LO SISSA! The gemorah retracts and says rather if he makes only ONE Havdalah it is better.

Now does Rav Acha argue with the gemora quoted above that said "although one made Havdalah in Maariv one is still obligated to repeat Havdalah over wine."? And even if he is, why does the gemmorah's problem of Lo sissa not apply to our accepted Psak which requires us to say Havdalah in davening and over wine? Also when the gemorrah changes Rav Acha's words all it says is that if one only made Havdalah once he should get many blessings. But that was just the end of Rav Acha's statement. How, according to this retraction would Rav Acha Start his statement? It seems his entire statement should be, one should say Havdalah in Davening and over wine, but if you only said it once than you should be blessed! Then why should
he say Havdalah twice?

Friday, April 08, 2005

Fruit Juice and Vegetable Soup

The gemara in Brachos on daf 39a says that you make ha'adama on the water in which vegetables were cooked. Tosafos asks that we just said on 38a that you make shehakol on all fruit juices. What's the difference between a fruit juice which could be pure fruit with nothing else mixed in that you make shehakol and vegetable soup which is really just water with the taste of the vegetables? He doesn't really answer - just says "yeish lechalek." So what is the difference?
1. The Rosh says that the difference is in the taste. Orange juice doesn't taste exactly like an orange whereas pea soup (even without the peas in there) still tastes exactly like peas. Therefore, if you'd cook oranges and not just squeeze them then it could be the bracha on orange soup would be haeitz.
2. The Divrei Chamudos (under the Rosh) quotes the Rashba who answers that it's not similar because the vegetables are normally eaten in this form. As we said on the last daf, many vegetables aren't eaten raw but only cooked. Therefore, if you cook them you make ha'adama even on the water. However, fruit is normally eaten and not squeezed so if you drink it it's a shehakol.
3. Rabeinu Yonah answers along the same lines that for vegetables it makes it better to cook them. Whereas, for fruit you're actually making it worse by squeezing it. He then asks what about beer? You are clearly making barley better by making it into beer so why does the bracha go down from ha'adama to shehakol? He suggests two answers - A. it's true that it's better but barley has an even better form if you make it into bread therefore it goes down to shehakol or because B. there's a difference between drinks and food. Even if it's better in the liquid form, if you drink it then you will always make shehakol (like Tosafos said on daf 38). When I first read the Tosafos on 39a that "yeish lechalek", I though that's what he meant as the chiluk between vegetable soup which is normally eaten and fruit juices which you normally drink. Tosafos holds that you always make a shehakol on drinks no matter what.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Why a "shehakol" on shesisa?

I having trouble putting all the pieces together here, and hoping someone can help:
The gemarah on 38a tells that a thick shisisa mixture (flour from toasted kernels, then mixed with honey) is mazonos, but a thin mixture is shehakol. Initially, Rav Chisda explains that a thin mixture is made for medicine, and that's why it's shehakol. The gemara than asks from a mishna in shabbos, which says it's ok to mix (and ingest) a shisisa, which *shows* it must be food, not medicine. The gemara concludes: "mah is l'cha l'maymar - gavra l'achila kamichavain, hacha nami gavra l'achila kamichavain". Sounds like the gemara accepts that a thin mixture IS food. Then the gemara says "v'zricha d'rav, ... hacha kayvan d'lichatchila l'refuah kamichavayn...". Does the gemara mean it *is* food, but he intends it to work as medicine? If so,
that shouldn't change the bracha, should it? And why would the bracha be shahakol rather than mazonos? Tosfos (d"h v'ha tnan) says that the bracha is shehakol because it's a drink not a food; but where is that expressed in the gemara?

Why do we say Hamotzi?

The gemara on daf 38a says that it's a machlokes between R' Nechemia and Rabonnon what bracha to make on bread. They both agree that it's ok to say motzi but only the Rabonnon say you can say hamotzi. Yet the gemara concludes that you should say hamotzi. Why?

1. Tosafos answers (quoting the Yerushalmi) that the advantage of hamotzi is to break up the mems. This way the lechem min won't run into each other because there is the hay in between. Tosafos then asks another what about lechem min. Why don't we do something there. He answers because it's a pasuk. I was thinking that even if you say lechemm in, people will know what you mean. It doesn't mean anything that way so it's obvious that it means lechem min. However if you say haolamm otzi. It will sound like you are saying "I will take break out from the ground" so it has a different meaning. Therefore Chazal was much more concerned about that.
2. The Ritva says (quoting the Reah) that the gemara doesn't mean that you have to say hamotzi. It just means that you can say either or and he therefore concludes that you are yotze if you say motzi (this doesn't really answer why the minhag is to say hamotzi l'chatchila).
3. The Ritva says (the answer he likes) that hamotzi is better because it implies past, present and future and grain is always coming out so this way we allude to that fact in the bracha. Motzi though does not imply future. He says that this is why we don't say Haborei pri haeitz - because fruit are seasonal not like grain and vegetables. He says haadama isn't Haborei just to be consistent. My only problem with this explanation is that the gemara seems to go out of its way to show that the Chachamim understand hamotzi to only be future and not past.

There are actually a lot of other explanations. I saw the Tzlach this morning but don't remember it well enough to write it up. Also I just googled and saw some other explanations. You can see Rav Kook's explanation here. Feel free to post other answers in the comments.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

A Bracha When One Drinks Oil?

On 35B, the gemara notes that the bracha made when one ingests oil is borei pri ha'etz. It then asks -- does one really drink oil -- uzukei mazik leih -- it is damaging; as Rashi puts it, since it damages the body, it is not an eating that requires a bracha. The gemara then goes on to cite a baraita on me'ila, which rules that one who drinks the oil of t'rumah need only replace it and is not obligated to pay the k'nas of a chomesh in constrast to one who uses the oil to anoint himself. As I understand it, this is because anointing was a proper use for oil, while drinking was not.

I am troubled by the connection between the question about drinking oil and the baraita. Once the gemara suggests that no bracha need be made when one drinks oil because it harms the body, what difference does it make as far as a bracha is concerned that drinking is not a proper use for the oil, thus exempting it from the rules of me'ila?

I have a suggestion that I believe resolves the question. When the gemara refers to uzukei mazik leih , perhaps it means not that the oil is the mazik, but rather that the one who has ingested it is a mazik, harming himself by using the oil in a manner in which it is not used. Then, the baraita that is cited follows logically -- one who ingests the oil of t'ruma and thereby does not use it in the fashion that it is normally used, is treated as a mazik and is not guilty of me'ila. See Rashi D"H Mshalem et Hakeren and D"H v'Ein Mshalem Chommesh. Thus, what the gemara is suggesting is that when one ingests harmful food, he is a mazik -- and we can hardly require a mazik to make a bracha on his destructive or harmful act.

Why is rice mezonos?

The gemara in Brachos on daf 37 concludes that the bracha rishona on rice is mezonos and the bracha acharona is borei nefashos. The borei nefashos part I understand. We hold like the chachamim that it's not one of the five grains and only the five grains and the five fruits of the 7 minim get al hamichya/eitz. If it's not a grain then why do we say mezonos?

Tosafos and the Rif both say that rice is the only thing that is not one of the five grains on which we say mezonos. So the question is really on them. Rabeinu Yonah though argues and says that anything that fills you up and is a mazon. So according to him are there other things besides rice and dochen that you'd make mezonos on? It would seem to me that there should be.

I saw this discussed in an edited excerpt from Meoros (from a few years ago) which quotes HaRav Y. Y. Kanievsky zt'l, the Steipler who discusses why we don't make a mezonos on things made out of potatoes which could be quite filling.
In his opinion, even in the time of Chazal many foods existed such as corn flour that satisfied man's hunger, and nevertheless Chazal did not set a brocho of borei minei mezonos for them. Only on food that is particularly filling did Chazal set a brocho of borei minei mezonos.
They actually quote those who say that according to Rabeinu Yonah you would make mezonos on things made out of potatoes because it should be no different than rice. At least we can eat potatoes on Pesach!

Monday, April 04, 2005

Bracha on food

Just a quick thought! The gemorah mentions that that anybody who gets benefit without making a bracha first its like he committed Meila. The concept is that its like somebody taking something without recognizing or thanking the owner first. If that is the case, if a person makes a bracha on food and doesnt finish it, why should he have to make another bracha? For example, if you eat Challah on Shabbos and dont finish it and want to make French Toast sunday morning with the leftovers, why would you have to make another bracha? You have already thanked Hashem for the food?

Bracha Achrona on 7 minim

On 35a, the gemarah attempts to learn out the choyuv of brachos from the 7 minim, whose bracha achrona is doraisa (i.e. learn out the bracha rishona of 7 minim from the bracha achrona with a kv"ch, then extend to all foods with a binyan av). Ultimately the ability to learn from 7 minim is rejected ("sh'chayn chayavim b'bikurim"), but the noti0n of their bracha achrona being mi'dioraisa is never challenged.

On 44a, the mishna quotes R' Gamliel as holding you bentch on the 7 minim, but the chachamim disagree and say may-ayn shalosh. The gemara explains the chachamim's position that "eretz hifsik"; the posuk of v'achalta
v'savata u'varachta only goes back on the prior words of "eretz asher lo b'miskaynus tochal ba *lechem*", not the pasuk before of the 7 minim. It seems clear according to the chachamim that the bracha achronah on the 7 minim is *not* from the torah! This conclusion is expressed by Rabeinu Yonah (44a) and the Rambam (hilchos Brachos 8: 12). Is our gemara on 35a only going according to R' Gamliel?

Years ago someone showed me the following idea (in shut minchas baruch, siman 5), which provides an alternative approach. The Tur writes in orach chaim 209 that if you have a safek about whether you've said al-hamichya you must repeat it, since it's a chiyuv *dioraisa*! How could this be, if the chachamim on 44a reject the connection between the 7 minim and the pasuk "v'achalta v'savata u'vayrachta"? The prisha suggests - though the chiyuv on 7 minim doesn't come from the pasuk in eikev, there must be some other (hidden) drasha, or halacha l'moshe misinai. The minchas baruch doesn't like the idea of making up new mystrerious drashos, and proves from rishonim that they associated the 7 minim with the pasuk in Reah. He suggests that the chachamim on 44a *don't disagree* that the pasuk refers to shivas haminim as well. The point that "eretz hifsik" means only that there is a distinction between 7 minim and bread, and they don't SHARE the same bracha achrona; bread gets bentching, 7 minim get may-ain shalosh - but both can be dioraisa.

Bracha Rishona - d'rabanon or d'oraysa?

We always assume that brachos rishonos are d'rabonnon but from the gemara in Brachos on daf 35a it really sounds like brachos are d'oraysa. First of all, the gemara quotes a pasuk (Tosafos answers this by saying that the pasuk is just d'rabonon). Second of all, the gemara has a kal v'chomer which stands at the end of the gemara at least for the 7 minim (you could answer this by the pircha the gemara used on daf 21a that she'kein nehene). Finally, the gemara concludes that we say brachos rishonos because of a svara. The Pnei Yehoshua proves from this that brachos Rishonos are d'oraysa. A svara always works on a d'oraysa level as evidenced from numerous gemaras that say "lama li kra, svara hi" or "iy bayis aima kra, iy bayis aima svara."

He addresses a couple of questions that you might have like safek brachos l'hakel and the gemara we had earlier that said that a bal keri makes brachos acharonos but not brachos rishonos seems to imply (as Rashi explains) that it's because brachos rishonos are d'rabonon.

From our gemara it certainly appears that the Pnei Yehoshua is right. My only problem is that none of the Rishonim say this. I guess that they'd have to explain our gemara that there are svaros d'oraysa and svaros d'rabonon. I'm not sure how to distinguish to determine which ones are which and why they all assume that this svara only creates a chiyuv d'rabonon. I guess that they just feel that the pashtus of the other sugyos is that it's d'rabonon so that must be all this gemara means also.

Friday, April 01, 2005


I had three questions on today's daf yomi (32) and I was very happy to see that the Tzlach addressed all 3. I figured I'd write it up here in case others had the same questions and didn't have a Tzlach.

1. The gemara says that Chana, Shmuel, and Moshe all were "hitiach" their words towards Hashem. Rashi tells us that means that they were zoreik their words. He only says it though when the gemara is talking about Moshe. Why did he suddenly wake up then and explain it and not explain it the first time the gemara said it by Chana?
The Tzlach also quotes the Maharsha who asks another question. You don't see from what Moshe said that he was being chutzpadik at all. The only reason that the gemara says this is because it changes the word el (with an alef) to al (with an ayin). Why would the gemara change the word to make Moshe sound chutzpadik?
The Tzlach answers both questions by saying that the word "hitiach" really means two different things. By Chana and Shmuel it means that they spoke with chutzpa and that's obvious from their dialogues. However, by Moshe it means that he threw the words. Bnai Yisrael was complaining to him and he took the words and threw them onto Hashem.

2. Moshe said to Hashem that if a three legged chair couldn't protect Klal Yisrael then certainly a one legged chair won't be able to protect them. The Maharsha asks that it wouldn't be just one leg because Avraham, Yitzchok and Yaakov would still be the forefathers together with Moshe. So he answers that Moshe just meant that if the three of them couldn't protect them on their own then Moshe won't add anything. That bothered me because it doesn't sound like what the gemara is saying and also then it's not a kal v'chomer. So what is pshat - why wouldn't the avos have counted anymore? I was thinking that had Hashem carried out his plan then Moshe would have been the av of Klal Yisrael. It's true that everyone would have still been descendants of Avraham, Yitzchok and Yaakov but they would not have been considered avos because they weren't the builders and founders of this new nation just like Adam and Noach aren't considered our avos even though we all come from them. The Tzlach answers slightly differently. He says that Moshe was saying that the avos wouldn't want to have been included anymore and would no longer have davened on behalf of Bnei Yisrael if Moshe didn't stick up for them.

3. The gemara says that we see from Moshe that davening is more important than maasim tovim since he was answered only after he davened even though he had maasim tovim. How do you see that tefila is greater than maasim tovim? All you see from this is that tefila with maasim tovim are better than maasim tovim alone but how do you see that tefila alone is better? The Tzlach also asks another question: What does this gemara (on top of 32b) have to do with anything we talked about on 32a. He says that the first question could be answered by the second question. The gemara on the bottom of 32a learns from Moshe that before the bakashos in davening you should say shevach. That's actually a machlokes in the gemara in Avoda Zara on daf 7b. One opinion is that we learn from Moshe the order like our gemara says but the other opinion is that you can't learn from Moshe because he only did it that way because he was such a tzadik and had great maasim tovim but normal people shouldn't do it in that order. Our gemara is paskening like the opinion that this tefila had nothing to do with Moshe's maasim tovim and we could learn from Moshe. If that's true, the gemara continues on amud beis, then you see that Moshe was only granted his request because of the tefila and it had nothing to do with the maasim tovim.