BERACHOS 63
 
12TH CYCLE:
 
(23 Nisan) - dedicated by Mr. Avy Reichman of Queens, NY, l'Iluy Nishmas his father, Dovid ben Avraham, for the day of his Yahrzeit.

[63a - 59 lines; 63b - 57 lines]

1)[line 9]"[ויאמרו הלוים ישוע וקדמיאל בני חשבניה שרביה הודיה שבניה פתחיה] קומו ברכו את ה' אלקיכם מן העולם עד העולם ויברכו שם כבודך ומרומם על כל ברכה ותהלה""[VA'YOMRU HA'LEVIYIM YESHUA V'KADMIEL, BANI, CHASHAVNEYAH, SHEREVYAH, HODIYAH, SHEVANYAH, FESACHYAH:] 'KUMU BARCHU ES HASH-M ELOKEICHEM MIN HA'OLAM AD HA'OLAM, VI'VARCHU SHEM KEVODECHA U'MEROMAM AL KOL BERACHAH U'SEHILAH' " - "[And the Levi'im Yeshu'a, and Kadmiel, Bani, Chashavn'yah, Sherevyah, Sh'vanyah and P'sachyah said] 'Arise and bless HaSh-m your G-d from the beginning of the world till the end (or who rules from the beginning of the world till the end); Let them bless Your Glorious Name which is exalted above every blessing and praise.'" (Nechemyah 9:5) (THE TEFILAH OF YESHUA AND HIS FELLOW LEVIYIM)

(a)Following their first magnificent Sukos after returning from Galus Bavel (see Sukah 12a), the people confess and sincerely repent for their past sins, primarily for their close relationships with their heathen neighbors and Nochri wives.

(b)This verse, together with the rest of the chapter, comprises a long Tefilah said by Yeshua and his fellow Leviyim. (It comprises a large section of Pesukei d'Zimra which we recite daily.)

2)[line 17]"[וירא אליו מלאך ה' ויאמר אליו] ה' עמך גבור החיל""[VA'YERA ELAV MAL'ACH HASH-M VA'YOMER ELAV:] HASH-M IMCHA GIBOR HE'CHAYIL." - "[And an angel of HaSh-m appeared to Gid'on, and he said to him:] HaSh-m is with you, mighty warrior!" (Shoftim 6:12) (GID'ON AND THE ANGEL)

(a)The Jewish people were suffering under the heavy yoke of the Midyanim. One day, Gid'on, the Shofet, was beating wheat in the winepress. An angel appeared to him and sat underneath the oak-tree in Ofrah that belonged to his father, Yo'ash, from the family of Aviezer and the tribe of Menasheh. The angel informed him that HaSh-m was with him. When he asked that if HaSh-m was with Yisrael then why were they subjugated by their oppressors, the angel replied that it was precisely on account of his defense of the people that he had been chosen to lead them to victory against the Midyanim, and that is why he would succeed.

(b)Gid'on then pointed out that the section of the family to which his father belonged was the least important in the wider family, and that he was the youngest of his father's children. How, he asked, could he possibly succeed in such an important mission? When HaSh-m replied that He would be with him and that he would defeat Midyan with ease, he asked HaSh-m for a sign that He was speaking with him.

(c)Asking HaSh-m to wait while he brought his gift, he returned a short while later with a kid-goat and an Eifah of Matzah-flour. He prepared the goat, placed the flesh in a basket and the gravy in a pot, and he placed everything under a local oak-tree. The angel instructed him to place the goat and the Matzos on a certain rock and to pour out the gravy.

(d)The angel then stretched out the edge of the staff he was holding and touched the meat and the Matzos, when fire emerged from the rock and consumed them. The angel himself disappeared. Realizing that he had just seen an angel face to face, Gid'on (like Mano'ach, Shimshon's father) was gripped with fear that he was about to die. HaSh-m assured him that all would be well and that he would not die. Gid'on built a Mizbe'ach there.

(e)Gid'on went on to defeat the Midyanim decisively.

3)[line 31]זלת, קבוץ קנה מינהZALAS, KEVOTZ KENEI MINAH- if merchandise has become cheap, gather [it] and purchase [a lot] of it

4)[line 38]מחטא דתלמיותאMACHATA D'TALMEYUSA- (O.F. brosder ganbais) embroidery of a doublet (a type of close-fitting jacket), in which the stitches are in lines like furrows in a field (See Insights to Berachos 63:2)

5)[line 38]אל ירבה אדם רעים בתוך ביתוAL YARBEH ADAM RE'IM B'SOCH BEISO- The Gemara just mentioned that a person should teach his son a "clean trade," i.e. one that does not involve contact with women. This is why it now mentions the problems with women that arise if a person invites too many friends to his house (they may attempt to take his wife), and why the Gemara makes reference to Yosef and a Sotah.

6)[line 39]אפטרופוסAPOTROPOS- an administrator of one's possessions

7)[line 40]נזירNAZIR

(a)If a person makes a vow to become a Nazir without stipulating a time period, his or her Nezirus lasts for a period of thirty days. If the person stipulates a time period, his or her Nezirus lasts for whatever amount of time he stipulated. During this period, the Nazir is not allowed to 1. cut his hair; 2. become Tamei by touching or being in the same room as a corpse; or 3. consume any products of the grapevine (Bamidbar 6:1-21, SEFER HA'CHINUCH #377). Transgressing any one of these prohibitions makes the Nazir liable to Malkus, as long as he was warned beforehand.

(b)If an ordinary Nazir becomes Tamei through contact with or being in the same room as a corpse, on the third and seventh days he must be sprinkled with water that has the ashes of the Parah Adumah in it (see Background to Nidah 52:32) to become Tahor. On the seventh day of his purification he shaves off the hair of his head. On the eighth day, he brings the sacrifices of a Nazir who becomes Tamei and begins counting anew the days of Nezirus that he accepted upon himself. The sacrifices he brings are two Torim (turtledoves) or two Bnei Yonah (young common doves), one as a Chatas and one as an Olah. He must also bring a yearling sheep as an Asham. (These Korbanos and this shaving are in addition to the Korbanos and shaving that he, and every Nazir, brings upon the completion of his Nezirus.)

(c)When a Nazir completes his period of Nezirus, he must offer three sacrifices: a male sheep as an Olah, a female sheep as a Chatas, and a ram as a Shelamim. Together with the Shelamim he brings 6 and 2/3 Esronos of Soles (fine flour), which are made into twenty loaves of Matzah, ten Chalos (unleavened loaves of Matzah) and ten Rekikin (flat Matzos). He then shaves off the hair of his head and burns it under the cauldron in which the Zero'a of the Shelamim is cooked (Bamidbar 6:18). After the Zero'a is cooked, a Kohen takes it along with one Chalah and one Rakik, and performs Tenufah (waving) on them with the Nazir (Bamidbar 6:19). The Kohen receives these items as his portion. He may share it with his family and they eat them in the city of Yerushalayim, for the day that the Korban is offered and the following night.

8)[line 40]סוטהSOTAH

(a)A Sotah is a woman who is suspected of committing adultery because she was warned by her husband not to seclude herself with a certain man and she violated the warning. The process of warning her in front of witnesses is called Kinuy. The witnesses who see her seclude herself with the suspected adulterer are called Eidei Stirah. The time of seclusion must be at least the time that it takes to roast an egg and swallow it. The woman is forbidden to her husband and the alleged adulterer until she drinks Mei Sotah (see (d), below). If she committed adultery after not heeding the warning of two witnesses, she is put to death by Chenek (choking), as it states in the Torah (Devarim 22:22). One witness to adultery ("Ed Tum'ah) prevents her from drinking the Mei Sotah.

(b)After Kinuy and Stirah, the husband must bring his wife to the Beis ha'Mikdash to perform the procedure of the Mei Sotah. On the way there, Beis Din appoints two Torah scholars to accompany them to make sure that they do not engage in marital relations, which are forbidden to them. Moreover, if the couple does have marital relations at this point, the Mei Sotah will not work, since the husband must be "Menukeh me'Avon," clear (lit. cleaned) of sin for the ceremony to work. The Gemara (Sotah 47b) explains that this means that he did not have relations with his wife from the time that she became prohibited to him, or with any other woman (ever) who was prohibited to him (RASHI to Sotah ibid.)

(c)The husband brings a sacrifice consisting of 1/10 of an Eifah (approximately 2.16, 2.49 or 4.32 liters, depending upon the differing Halachic opinions) of barley flour as a Minchah offering. Oil and Levonah are not added (Bamidbar 5:15), and Hagashah, Kemitzah and Haktarah are performed (see Background to Menachos 72:25a:c). The Sheyarei ha'Minchah are eaten by the Kohanim. In the Azarah of the Beis ha'Mikdash, a Kohen reads Parshas Sotah, the portion of the Torah describing the curses with which a Sotah is cursed, out loud (in any language that the Sotah understands) and makes the Sotah swear that she has been faithful to her husband.

(d)An earthenware jug is then filled with half a Log of water from the Kiyor, and dirt from the floor of the Azarah is placed on top of the water. Parshas Sotah (that contains numerous appearances of HaSh-m's name) is written on parchment and then immersed in the water, which causes the ink to dissolve, erasing the Holy Names. The Sotah afterwards drinks from the water. If she was unfaithful to her husband and allowed herself to become defiled, the water would enter her body and poison her, causing her belly to swell out and her thigh to rupture. If she was faithful to her husband, she remained unharmed and would be blessed that she would become pregnant (Bamidbar 5:11-31). In times when there is no Mei Sotah such as in the present day, a Sotah must be divorced and does not receive her Kesuvah.

9)[line 41]בקלקולהB'KILKULAH- in her ruin/degradation

10)[line 44]סוף נצרך לכהןSOF SHE'NITZRACH LAHEN- in the end he will need the tithes (i.e. Ma'aser Ani) for himself

11a)[line 46]כל המשתף שם שמים בצערוKOL HA'MESHATEF SHEM SHAMAYIM B'TZA'ARO- This is mentioned here because of the Mishnah's teaching, "k'Shem she'Mevarech Al ha'Tovah..."

b)[line 47]"תועפות""TO'AFOS"- "doubled" (Iyov 22:25)

c)[line 49]"כחכה""KOCHECHA"- "your strength" (Mishlei 24:10)

12)[line 50]רבי אבהו הוה משתעיREBBI AVAHU HAVAH MISHTA'I- This story is discussed here because its conclusion is related to the concept of Heferu Sorasecha raised by the Mishnah. (This may also be why the statement of ha'Marpeh mi'Divrei Sorah is brought here.)

13)[line 53]התחיל הוא מטמא והם מטהריםHISCHIL HU METAMEI V'HEM METAHARIM- According to the MAHARSHA, this means that the visiting elders contradicted Chanina even though they knew that they were wrong, just to show that they were not subject to his decisions

14)[last line]שגרונוSHEGARUNU- sent us

63b----------------------------------------63b

15)[line 3]ויכפרו כולםV'YICHPERU CHULAM- and they will all deny [HaSh-m]

16)[line 12]דלא נגררו בתריהD'LO NIGRERU BASREI- that they should not be drawn after him

17)[line 16]בכבוד אכסניאBI'CHVOD ACHSANYA- Rebbi Yehudah's introduction involved the honor of Talmidei Chachamim who learn Torah in another city. Since their hosts put up these Talmidei Chachamim, this Derashah honors them. The intent was to praise especially the hosts of the Talmidei Chachamim who came to Kerem b'Yavneh.

18)[line 25]נסביר פנים בהלכהNASBIR PANIM B'HALACHAH- In order to explain the Halachos of the Torah to Bnei Yisrael, HaSh-m and Moshe were needed. HaSh-m, who is total spirituality, would explain to Moshe the spiritual, hidden side of each Halachah. Moshe, in turn, would relate to Bnei Yisrael all the practical aspects of each Halachah (CHEFETZ HASH-M)

19)[line 36]שונאיהם של תלמידי חכמיםSON'EIHEM SHEL TALMIDEI CHACHAMIM- (lit. the enemies of Talmidei Chachamim) a euphemism for the Talmidei Chachamim

20)[line 38]כתתו עצמכםKATETU ATZMECHEM- crush yourselves

21)[line 40]הס ואחר כך כתתHAS V'ACHAR KACH KATES- be quiet (and listen) and afterwards grind (and understand what you have learned)

22)[line 41]"כי מיץ חלב יוציא חמאה ומיץ אף יוציא דם ומיץ אפים יוציא ריב""KI MITZ CHALAV YOTZI CHEM'AH, U'MITZ AF YOTZI DAM, U'MITZ APAYIM YOTZI RIV."- "Because the pressing of cream produces butter, and the pressing of the nose produces blood, and the pressing of anger produces a quarrel." (Mishlei 30:33)

23)[line 42]במי שמקיא חלב שינק משדי אמו עליהB'MI SHE'MEKI CHALAV SHE'YANAK MI'SHEDEI IMO ALEHA- in someone who learns Torah diligently, and thereby expels the indulgences to which he became accustomed when he was young (MAHARSHA)

24)[line 47]"אם נבלת בהתנשא ואם זמות יד לפה""IM NAVALTA V'HISNASEI; V'IM ZAMOSA YAD L'FEH."- "If you disgraced yourself, you shall be elevated; if you muzzled yourself, you shall put your hand to your mouth." (Mishlei 30:32) - If you disgrace yourself for the sake of learning Torah, you will become great (a Torah scholar). If you keep quiet, you will never know the Torah. "Putting your hand to your mouth" means that you will not be able to answer questions.

25)[line 50]לכבוד עצמוLI'CHVOD ATZMO- for his own honor, so that Moshe should take his daughter Tziporah as a wife

26)[line 56]כבדKIBED- he swept

27)[line 56]רבץRIBETZ- he sprinkled water in the house in order to settle the dust

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