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Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld

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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.

1) THE BLESSINGS IN THE BEIS HA'MIKDASH

QUESTION: The Gemara says that in the Beis ha'Mikdash, a Kohen reciting the public blessings would conclude each blessing with the words, "Baruch Hash-m Elokei Yisrael Min ha'Olam v'Ad ha'Olam...." The people would respond, "Baruch Shem Kevod Malchuso...," because "we do not respond 'Amen' in the Beis ha'Mikdash."

Why, in the Beis ha'Mikdash, did they recite a different text as the Chasimah (conclusion) for blessings, and why did they give a different response to blessings?

ANSWER: The MAHARSHA in Sotah (40b) explains that only in this world is the name of Hash-m pronounced as the name of "Adnus." In the World to Come, Hash-m's name will be pronounced the way it is written, as the Gemara in Pesachim (50a) teaches. In the Beis ha'Mikdash, they said "Ad ha'Olam" (literally, "until the world") to show that only until the end of this world will we use the name "Adnus" to refer to Hash-m. After this world, the Name will be revealed it its entirety. That is why in the Beis ha'Mikdash, "Baruch Shem Kevod... l'Olam va'Ed" ("*forever*") is the refrain. Since in the blessings uttered in the Beis ha'Mikdash we allude to the Tetragrammaton as it is spelled (by saying "Baruch Hash-m... Ad ha'Olam"), we proclaim that it is that name that will be used "for eternity," in the World to Come.

The Maharsha continues and explains that we say "Amen" after blessings because the word "Amen" alludes to both names of Hash-m -- the way that the name is written (the Gematriya of which is 26) and the way that it is pronounced (the Gematriya of which is 65). The two names combined have a Gematriya of 91, which is the same value as "Amen." We do not say "Amen" in the Beis ha'Mikdash because there we want to emphasize the eternity of the ineffable Name. We do not want to allude to the finite quality of this world, which is represented by the Holy Name as it is pronounced. We therefore say instead, "Baruch Shem Kevod... l'Olam va'Ed," which alludes only to the Holy Name as it is spelled.

RAV YITZCHAK HUTNER zt'l (Pachad Yitzchak, Yom Kippur; see Insights to Pesachim 50:1 and 56:2) adds that it is for the same reason that we say "Baruch Shem Kevod Malchuso..." after the verse of "Shema Yisrael." Normally, when we mention the name of Hash-m in a blessing in our prayers, we have in mind only the concept of Hash-m's Adnus, His sovereignty (see Shulchan Aruch OC 5). When we say the Shema, however, we must also have in mind the ineffable Name as it is written (Vilna Ga'on to Shulchan Aruch OC 5). Since we concentrate also on the spelling of that name, we say immediately afterwards, "Baruch Shem Kevod... l'Olam va'Ed," and proclaim that "this is the name that will last forever!"

2) A DECENT OCCUPATION

OPINIONS: The Gemara says that a person should teach his child a clean and simple occupation, such as "Machta d'Talmiyusa." What is "Machta d'Talmiyusa"?

(a) RASHI explains that "Machta d'Talmiyusa" is needlework, specifically that which involves embroidering lines of stitches on a material.

(b) The ARUCH explains that it is tailoring. A person should train his child to be a tailor who mends clothing, and not one who makes them. A person who repairs clothing will not have to take the measurements of women in order to make their clothes and thus he will be spared from temptation.

(c) The ROSH and RA'AVAD explain that it is a type of knitting.

(d) TOSFOS RID says that it does not involve clothes at all. "Machta d'Talmiyusa" refers to one who makes needles. (See EINAYIM LA'MISHPAT.)

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

3) THE SOURCE FOR NOT INSTITUTING LEAP YEARS OUTSIDE OF ERETZ YISRAEL

QUESTION: The Gemara says that if there are Chachamim in Eretz Yisrael, then only they may add an extra month (Adar Sheni) to the year, and not the Chachamim outside of Eretz Yisrael. The source for this is the verse, "Ki mi'Tziyon Tetzei Torah..." (Yeshayah 2:3). Why, then, does the Gemara in Sanhedrin (11b) cite a different verse (Devarim 12:5), as Rashi here (63a) mentions? (See TOSFOS to Sanhedrin 11b, end of DH Ein.)

ANSWERS:

(a) TOSFOS in Shevuos (31a, DH v'Ro'eh) says that it is the style of the Gemara to cite different verses as sources for the same Halachah in different places.

(b) The MAHARSHA here answers that the verse in Devarim is the source which prohibits the Chachamim outside of Eretz Yisrael to declare a leap year when the Beis ha'Mikdash is standing, as implied by the context of the verse there. The verse cited here, "Ki mi'Tziyon," refers to a time when the Beis ha'Mikdash is not standing. It teaches that even when the Beis ha'Mikdash is not standing, only the Chachamim in Eretz Yisrael are allowed to declare a leap year.

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