POINT BY POINT OUTLINE
THE NEFF FAMILY MASECHES BERACHOS
prepared by Rabbi P. Feldman of Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
1) PEOPLE WHO MAY NOT PRAY
(a) (Beraisa): If during Shemoneh Esreh one [uncontrollably] started to urinate, he waits until the urine stops, and then resumes his Shemoneh Esreh. (Some say that he must wait for his clothes to dry. Tosfos concludes that the Rabanan did not enact the prohibition when one is standing in the middle of Tefilah, so he need not wait.)
(b) Question: To where does he return?
(c) Answer #1 (Rav Chisda or Rav Hamnuna): He returns to the beginning of Shemoneh Esre;
(d) Answer #2 (the other of Rav Chisda and Rav Hamnuna): He returns to the place he stopped.
(e) Question: What do they argue about?
(f) Answer #1: The first opinion holds that if he delayed long enough to finish the entire Shemoneh Esreh, he returns to the beginning. The second opinion holds that he returns to the place he stopped.
(g) Objection (Rav Ashi): If so, they should say that they argue only when he delayed long enough to finish!
(h) Answer #2 (Rav Ashi): If he delayed long enough to finish, all agree that he returns to the beginning. They argue about one who did not delay long enough to finish:
1. The first opinion holds that [since he obviously had a strong need to urinate], he was unfit from praying from the start, therefore his prayer is invalid. The second opinion holds that he was not unfit, so his prayer is valid.
(i) (Beraisa): If one feels a need to defecate, he may not pray. If he prays, his prayer is an abomination.
(j) Version #1 (Rav Zevid or Rav Yehudah): This is only if he cannot wait (before relieving himself). If he can wait, his prayer is valid.
(k) Question: How long must he be able to wait?
(l) Answer (Rav Sheshes): He must be able to wait the time it takes to walk a Parsah (about four kilometers. Most hold that this is 72 minutes.)
(m) Version #2 (continuation of Beraisa): This is only if he cannot wait, but if he can wait, his prayer is valid.
(n) Question: How long must he be able to wait?
(o) Answer (Rav Zevid): He must be able to wait the time it takes to walk a Parsah.
(p) (R. Shmuel bar Nachmani): If one feels a need to move his bowels, he may not pray -- "Hikon Likras Elokecha Yisrael."
(q) Question (R. Shmuel bar Nachmani): What do we learn from "Shemor Raglecha Ka'asher Telech El Beis Elokim"?
(r) Answer #1: Guard yourself from sinning, lest you sin and need to go to the Mikdash to bring a Korban.
1. (Rava): "... U'Karov Lishmo'a" -- heed the Chachamim, who bring a Korban and repent (if they sin);
2. "Mi'Tes ha'Kesilim Zevach" -- do not be like fools, who sin and bring a Korban without repenting.
3. Question: "Ki Einam Yod'im La'asos Ra" -- if they do not know to do evil, they are Tzadikim!
4. Answer (and retraction): Rather, "mi'Tes ha'Kesilim..." -- do not be like fools, who sin and bring a Korban, but do not know which Korban to bring (i.e. if they must bring a Chatas or Asham);
i. Hash-m: They cannot distinguish between good and evil, and yet they bring a Korban before Me?!
(s) Answer #2 (Rav Ashi): "Shemor Raglecha..." -- guard yourself from passing wind when standing in front of Me in prayer.
2) REMOVING TEFILIN BEFORE ENTERING A BATHROOM
(a) (Beraisa): One who enters a Beis ha'Kisei to relieve himself removes his Tefilin four Amos before the Beis ha'Kisei. (A Beis ha'Kisei is an area above ground used for a privy. It is sometimes separated from the public thoroughfare by a wall.)
(b) (Rav Acha bar Rav Huna): This applies only to a Beis ha'Kisei Kav'ua (it was established already to be a Beis ha'Kisei, and there is excrement there). If he will use a Beis ha'Kisei Arai (it has not been used before) he need not remove them in advance;
1. Afterwards, he must go four Amos away before putting on the Tefilin, for he made the place into a Beis ha'Kisei Kavu'a.
(c) Question: May one enter a Beis ha'Kisei Kavu'a with Tefilin (on his head) in order to urinate?
(d) Answer #1 (Ravina): It is permitted.
(e) Answer #2 (Rav Ada bar Masna): It is forbidden.
(f) Version #1 (Rava): It is forbidden, lest he defecate.
(g) Version #2 (Rava): It is forbidden, lest he pass wind.
(h) (Beraisa - Beis Shamai): One who enters a Beis ha'Kisei removes his Tefilin four Amos before the Beis ha'Kisei, and leaves them in a window facing the public;
1. Afterwards, he must walk four Amos away before donning the Tefilin.
(i) Beis Hillel says, he enters the Beis ha'Kisei holding the Tefilin in his hand;
(j) R. Akiva says, he enters holding the Tefilin in his garment.
1. Objection: This cannot be! Perhaps he will forget that they are in his garment and drop them!
2. Correction: Rather, he enters holding the Tefilin in his hand and (i.e. wrapped) in his garment and leaves them in a crevice in the wall facing the Beis ha'Kisei.
(k) He should not leave them in a crevice in the wall facing the public, lest passers-by take them, and lead people to suspect him (like in the following episode);
1. A case occurred in which Ploni (a Talmid) left his Tefilin in a crevice facing the public. A harlot took them, came to the Beis Medrash and claimed that Ploni gave them to her for her services. He went up to the roof and fell to his death. Consequently, Chachamim enacted that one enters the Beis ha'Kisei holding hisTefilin in his hand and garment.
(l) (Beraisa): At first, people would leave Tefilin in a crevice facing the Beis ha'Kisei. Mice used to take them. Chachamim enacted to leave them in a crevice facing the public. Passers-by used to take them. They enacted to enter holding them in his hand and garment.
(m) (R. Meyasha): The Halachah is, one wraps them (in the straps) like a Sefer Torah and holds them in his right hand opposite his heart.
(n) (Rav Yosef bar Minyomi): This is permitted only if the strap does not stick out a Tefach from his hand.
(o) (R. Yakov bar Acha): This (R. Meyasha's ruling) applies only if there will be time to wear them again during the day. If not, he puts them in a bag whose interior is at least a Tefach. (This is a proper separation from the ground. This is like our text, and Rashi. Some texts put this after the following teaching, i.e. R. Yakov qualifies the intent of Rabah's words "during the day.")
(p) (Rabah bar bar Chanah): During the day one [who enters a Beis ha'Kisei] wraps them like a Sefer Torah and holds them in his hand opposite his heart. At night, he puts them in a bag of at least a Tefach.
(q) (Abaye): The bag must be a Tefach only if its only usage is for Tefilin. (Then it is subordinate to them, unless it is considered an Ohel.) If not, it may be smaller.
(r) Support (Mar Zutra): Small (tightly sealed) earthenware vessels in an Ohel ha'Mes shield their contents from Tum'ah (even though they are less than a Tefach).
(s) Rabah bar bar Chanah: When we were with R. Yochanan and he needed to go to the Beis ha'Kisei:
1. If he was holding a Sefer of Agadah, he would give it to us to hold. If he was holding Tefilin, he would not give it to us.
i. He preferred to take them with him. Since Chachamim permitted this, he wanted the Tefilin to protect him (from Mazikin).
(t) Rava testified similarly about Rav Nachman.
3) LAWS THAT APPLY IN A BEIS HA'KISEI
(a) (Beraisa): One may not pray while holding Tefilin in his hand or a Sefer Torah in his arm.
1. Also, while holding Tefilin, one may not urinate or sleep, neither a fixed sleep nor a nap. (Gra - we are concerned lest he drop them. According to our text of Rashi - one may not sleep while wearing Tefilin, lest he pass wind.)
(b) (Shmuel): The same applies to holding a knife, coins, bowl (of food) or loaf of bread.
(c) (Rava): The Halachah does not follow this Beraisa. It is like Beis Shamai;
1. It cannot be like Beis Hillel. They permit holding Tefilin in a Beis ha'Kisei Kavu'a, and all the more so in a Beis ha'Kisei Arai! (Normally, one does not bother to go to a Beis ha'Kisei Kavu'a just to urinate.)
(d) Question (Beraisa #1): Things that are permitted elsewhere are forbidden here.
1. Suggestion: This refers to Tefilin.
i. Granted, if the Beraisa is like Beis Hillel, even though Tefilin are permitted in a Beis ha'Kisei Kavu'a, they are forbidden in a Beis ha'Kisei Arai;
ii. However, it cannot be Beis Shamai. They do not permit either!
(e) Answer (and Rejection of Suggestion): No, the Beraisa discusses exposing oneself one or two Tefachim:
1. (Beraisa #2): One who relieves himself may expose himself one Tefach in back and two Tefachim in front.
2. Contradiction (Beraisa #3): He may expose himself one Tefach in back, but not at all in front.
3. Resolution #1: Both of these discuss a man. Beraisa #2 discusses urinating, and Beraisa #3 discusses defecating.
4. Rejection: There is no need to expose oneself in back to urinate! (Why does Beraisa #2 allow a Tefach?)
5. Resolution #2: Rather, both discuss defecating. Beraisa #2 discusses a woman, and Beraisa #3 discusses a man. (Summation of answer: Beraisa #1 discusses exposing oneself in front. It is permitted for a woman and forbidden for a man.)
(f) Rejection (Seifa of Beraisa #1): This law opposes a Kal va'Chomer that cannot be answered!
1. If Beraisa #1 refers to how much men and women may expose themselves, this is not subject to a Kal va'Chomer. It is due to their anatomy!
(g) Rava is refuted.
(h) Question: If Tefilin are permitted in a Beis ha'Kisei Kavu'a, why are they forbidden in a Beis ha'Kisei Arai?
(i) Answer: One who urinates must clean the drops off of his shoes (lest people suspect that he does not urinate properly. This is a sign of sterility. It can cause suspicion about his children.) Therefore, he cannot hold Tefilin. This does not apply to defecating.
(j) Question: This is a good answer. Why does the Beraisa say that the Kal va'Chomer cannot be answered?
(k) Answer: It means that this law depends on a particular reason, and not on a Kal va'Chomer. If it was based on the Kal va'Chomer, it would be permitted!
4) GUARDING TEFILIN WHEN NOT WEARING THEM
(a) (Beraisa): Before beginning a proper meal, one should walk four Amos 10 times, or 10 Amos four times, and relieve himself. (It is a disgrace to have to leave in the middle of a meal.)
(b) (R. Yitzchak): One removes his Tefilin before beginning a proper meal. (Perhaps he will get drunk and disgrace them.)
(c) This is unlike R. Chiya;
1. (R. Chiya): He is Meni'ach (leaves them) on the table. This is a proper thing for him to do (so they will be ready for him to wear).
2. Question: Until when (does he not wear them)?
3. Answer (Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak): It is until he says Birkas ha'Mazon. (R. Yitzchak connotes that he does not wear Tefilin even at the time of Birkas ha'Mazon, unlike R. Chiya. Rashash suggests that R. Chiya means that he wears Tefilin at the table. The Gemara asked when R. Yitzchak holds that he puts them on again.)
(d) (Beraisa #1): One may wrap his Tefilin and coins in [different parts of] his turban.
(e) Contradiction (Beraisa #2): One may not wrap them [together].
(f) Resolution: Beraisa #2 discusses when he designated the turban for Tefilin. Beraisa #1 discusses when he did not.
1. (Rav Chisda): If a turban was designated for Tefilin and used for Tefilin, it may not be used for coins;
2. If it was designated but not [yet] used for Tefilin, or used but not designated for Tefilin, it may be used for coins.
3. Abaye holds that designation is significant. He says that if it was designated, even if it was not used, it may not be used for coins;
4. If it was used for Tefilin, it may be used for coins unless it was designated for Tefilin.
(g) Question (Rav Yosef brei d'Rav Nechunya): May one put Tefilin at the head of his bed (when sleeping at night)?
1. I need not ask about at the foot, for that is disgraceful.
(h) Answer (Rav Yehudah citing Shmuel): It is permitted, even if his wife is with him (and they might have relations. Me'iri - the Tefilin are in two Kelim.)
(i) Question (Beraisa): One may not put Tefilin at the time foot of the bed, for that is disgraceful;
1. At the head is permitted;
2. If his wife is with him it is forbidden, unless they are on a place three Tefachim above or below his head.
(j) Shmuel is refuted.
(k) (Rava): Even though Shmuel is refuted, the Halachah follows him.
(l) Question: What is the reason?
(m) Answer: It is preferable that they be guarded well (from mice and thieves), even if there is disgrace.