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) TEFILIN IN THE BEDROOM
(a) Question: Exactly where does one leave them?
(b) Answer (R. Yirmeyah): He leaves them between the pillow and blanket, not directly under his head.
(c) Question (Beraisa): He leaves them in their pouch, under his head.
(d) Answer: The bulge (the part of the pouch in which the Tefilin rest) is not directly under his head.
(e) Bar Kapara would wrap them in the curtain around his bed. The bulge faced the outside.
(f) Rav Shisha brei d'Rav Idi put them on a stool and put his cloth over them.
(g) Rav Hamnuna brei d'Rav Yosef: Rava asked me to bring his Tefilin. They were [in a pouch] between the pillow and blanket, not directly where his head would rest;
1. I knew that his wife had immersed the night before (surely, they had relations). He intended to show me that we rely on Shmuel in practice.
2) SAYING SHEMA NEAR A NAKED PERSON
(a) Question (Rav Yosef brei d'Rav Nechunya): If two are sleeping (naked under a blanket) on a bed, may each turn his head away to say Keri'as Shema?
(b) Answer (Rav Yehudah citing Shmuel): It is permitted, even if his wife is with him.
(c) Question (Rav Yosef): To the contrary! One's wife is like one's own body. (Rashi - he is used to her. His thoughts are not aroused much.) It is a bigger Chidush that it is permitted with someone else!
(d) Question (Beraisa #1): If two are sleeping on a bed, each turns his head away to say Keri'as Shema;
1. (Beraisa #2): If one is sleeping on a bed with his sons or [other members of his] household, he may not say Shema unless a garment separates between them;
2. If his sons and household are small (this will be explained), no garment is needed.
3. Rav Yosef can explain that Beraisa #1 discusses his wife, and Beraisa #2 discusses other members of his household;
4. However, Shmuel permits in all cases. How does he reconcile the Beraisos?
5. Version #1 (our text, Rashi) Counter-question (on behalf of Shmuel - Beraisa #2): If one is sleeping on a bed with his sons or household, he may not say Shema unless a garment separates.
i. Surely, "household" includes his wife! (The answer given above for Rav Yosef is untenable.)
6. Version #2 (Tosfos) Counter-question (on behalf of Shmuel - Beraisa): If one is sleeping on a bed next to his wife, he may not say Shema unless a garment separates. (End of Version #2)
7. Answer: Rav Yosef must say that Tana'im argue about whether or not a garment must separate between him and his wife.
(e) Answer: Also Shmuel can say that Tana'im argue about whether or not a garment must separate between him and his wife!
(f) (Beraisa #1): If two are sleeping on a bed, each turns his head away to say Keri'as Shema.
(g) Question: Why is this permitted? Their buttocks touch each other!
(h) Answer: This supports Rav Huna:
1. (Rav Huna): The buttocks are not considered Ervah.
(i) Suggestion: Also a Mishnah supports Rav Huna:
1. (Mishnah): A woman may sit naked and separate Chalah (with a blessing), because she can cover her Ervah (even though her buttocks are exposed). A man may not [do so, for the ground does not cover his Ervah].
(j) Rejection: No. The case is, her buttocks are not exposed. They are recessed in the ground.
(k) (Beraisa #2): If his sons and household are small, no garment is needed.
(l) Question: Until when are they considered small?
(m) Version #1 - Answer (Rav Chisda): A girl no older than three years and a boy no older than nine years are small.
(n) Version #2 - Answer: A girl no more than eleven years and a boy no more than twelve years are small.
1. This is only if "Shadayim Nachonu u'Se'arech Tzime'ach" (they have pubic development).
(o) Question (Rav Kahana): Regarding Tefilin on the bed, Rava said that the Halachah follows Shmuel, even though a Beraisa refutes him;
1. Does the Halachah follow Shmuel here (regarding Shema)?
(p) Rav Ashi: This is not a general rule (that the Halachah always follows Shmuel). You cannot extrapolate to places where it was not said that the Halachah follows him.
(q) Question (Rav Mari): If a [pubic] hair sticks out of one's garment, is it like Ervah (to forbid saying Shema)?
(r) Answer (Rav Papa): We are not concerned for it.
3) PRAYING NEAR ERVAH
(a) (R. Yitzchak): An exposed [square] Tefach of part of a woman's body (that should be covered) is Ervah.
(b) Question: Concerning what is it considered Ervah?
1. Suggestion: One may not look at it.
2. Rejection: Rav Sheshes taught that [when listing the spoils taken from Midyan] the Torah lists outer ornaments with inner ornaments (that cover the Ervah), to teach that gazing even at a woman's bare finger is like gazing at her Ervah!
(c) Answer: Rather, it refers to one's wife. One may not say Keri'as Shema facing her if a Tefach is exposed.
(d) (Rav Chisda): A (Rashi - married) woman's thigh is considered Ervah -- "Gali Shok Ivri Neharos... Tigal Ervasech."
(e) (Shmuel): A woman's [singing] voice is Ervah (Shulchan Aruch - for a man not used to it) -- "Ki Kolech Arev" (it arouses desire).
(f) (Rav Sheshes): A woman's hair is considered Ervah -- "Sa'arech k'Eder ha'Izim."
4) RESPECT FOR TEFILIN AND FOR PRAYER
(a) (R. Chanina): I saw Rebbi hang his Tefilin (on a peg).
(b) Question (Beraisa): If one hangs his Tefilin, his life will be suspended;
1. (Those who expound hidden secrets of the Torah): "V'Hayu Chayecha Telu'im Lecha mi'Neged" refers to one who hangs his Tefilin.
(c) Answer #1: It is disgraceful to hang them from the strap. (The boxes hang down.) Rebbi hung his from the boxes.
(d) Answer #2: One may not hang them from the strap or boxes. Rebbi hung his Tefilin in their bag.
1. Question: If so, why was this act recorded? (Obviously, it was permitted!)
2. Answer: One might have thought that Tefilin must rest like a Sefer Torah. R. Chanina teaches that this is not so.
(e) (R. Chanina): I saw Rebbi (during Shemoneh Esreh) belch, yawn, sneeze, spit and use his garment to remove a louse that was biting him (Rashi; Tosfos - he adjusted his garment so it would not fall);
1. If his Talis fell, he would not put it on again. (That is like an interruption.)
2. When he would yawn, he would put his hand on his chin (to cover his mouth).
(f) Question (Beraisa): One who prays audibly has little Emunah;
1. One who raises his voice in prayer is like a false prophet;
2. One who belches or yawns (in prayer) is haughty;
3. Sneezing is a bad sign. Some say that it shows that he is repulsive.
4. Spitting is like spitting in front of the King.
(g) Partial answer: We can answer belching and yawning. These are haughty only if done willfully. Rebbi did so involuntarily.
(h) Question: How can we answer for sneezing? (It is always involuntary!)
(i) Answer: Rebbi sneezed above (through the mouth). The Beraisa discusses sneezing below (passing wind).
1. R. Zeira: I learned the following in Rav Hamnuna's academy, it was as dear to me as all my learning:
2. Sneezing during prayer is a good sign. Just like Hash-m makes a relief for him below (by causing him to sneeze), He makes a relief for him above (by answering his prayers).
(j) Question: How can we answer for spitting?
(k) Answer: Presumably, Rebbi did as Rav Yehudah taught:
1. (Rav Yehudah): If saliva came into one's mouth during prayer, he should absorb it in his Talis. If he has a nice Talis (and does not want to soil it), he may absorb it in his turban. (The Beraisa discusses spitting on the ground.)
(l) Rav Ashi was praying. Ravina was standing in back of him. Saliva came into Rav Ashi's mouth. He expelled it behind him.
(m) Ravina: Don't you hold like Rav Yehudah, who permits absorbing it in one's turban?
1. Rav Ashi: I am finicky. (Doing so would upset me.)
(n) (Beraisa): One who prays audibly has little Emunah.
(o) (Rav Huna): This is only if he could concentrate quietly. If not, it is permitted.
1. This is only when praying in private, but not with a Tzibur, lest it disturb others.
(p) R. Aba wanted to go to Eretz Yisrael, therefore he was avoiding Rav Yehudah;
1. (Rav Yehudah): One who goes from Bavel to Eretz Yisrael transgresses a Mitzvas Aseh -- "Bavelah Yuva'u v'Shamah Yihyu Ad Yom Pakdi Osam." (Yisrael should remain there until Hash-m redeems them. Other Chachamim explain that the verse discusses the Kelim of the Mikdash.)
2. R. Aba decided to listen to another teaching of Rav Yehudah, from outside the Beis Medrash, before leaving.
3. Version #1: He found a Tana (reciter of Beraisos) saying in front of Rav Yehudah "if one passes wind during prayer, he waits until the odor dissipates, and then resumes praying."
4. Version #2 (Tana): If one feels a need to emit gas during prayer, he walks back four Amos, passes wind, waits for the odor to go away, returns to [Rashi - the place of] his Tefilah and says "Hash-m... You created us full of orifices... our shame is revealed in front of You...";
i. He resumes praying from where he left off.
5. R. Aba: It was worth coming just to hear this!
(q) (Beraisa): If one was sleeping in [only] his Talis and it is too cold to stick out his head (to say Shema), he presses his Talis on his neck (to separate between his eyes and his Ervah);
(r) Some say, he presses it on his heart.
(s) Question: According to the first Tana, Libo Ro'eh Es ha'Ervah! (His heart 'sees' his Ervah, i.e. there is no separation between them.)
(t) Answer: He permits Libo Ro'eh Es ha'Ervah.
5) LEARNING TORAH IN FILTHY PLACES
(a) Version #1 (Rav Huna citing R. Yochanan): If one was walking in a filthy alley (at the time of Shema), he should put his hand over his mouth and say Shema.
(b) Rav Chisda: Had I heard that even from R. Yochanan himself, I would not follow it!
(c) Version #2: Rabah bar bar Chanah said this in the name of Reish Lakish. Rav Chisda said that he would not follow it even if he heard it from Reish Lakish himself. (end of Version #2)
(d) Question: Rav Huna could not have said this!
1. (Rav Huna): A Chacham may not stand in a filthy place, for he cannot avoid thinking about Torah.
(e) Answer: He may not stand in a filthy place, but he may walk through it while thinking about Torah.
(f) Question: R. Yochanan could not have said this!
1. (R. Yochanan): One may think about Torah anywhere except for the bathhouse or Beis ha'Kisei (or other filthy places).
(g) Answer: He forbids one who stands in a filthy place, but he permits one who walks through.
(h) Objection: R. Avahu was walking behind R. Yochanan and saying Keri'as Shema. He came to a filthy alley and stopped. Later, he asked where to resume.
1. R. Yochanan: If you paused long enough to finish Shema, you resume from the beginning. (If not, you resume from where you left off.)
(i) Answer: R. Yochanan answered him according to R. Avahu's reasoning:
1. I hold that one who walks through need not stop. You hold that one must stop. If so, if you paused long enough to finish, you resume from the beginning.
(j) A Beraisa supports Rav Huna, and another Beraisa supports Rav Chisda.
1. (Beraisa #1): If one was walking in a filthy alley, he puts his hand over his mouth and says Shema.
2. (Beraisa #2): If one was walking in a filthy alley, he may not say Shema. If he was in the middle of saying it, he must pause.
3. Question: What do we say about one who continues saying it?
4. Answer #1 (R. Meisha): It says about him "... Nasati Lahem Chukim Lo Tovim u'Mishpatim Lo Yichyu Bahem."
5. Answer #2 (R. Asi): It says "Hoy Moshchei he'Avon b'Chavlei ha'Shav."
6. Answer #3 (Rav Ada bar Ahavah): It says "Ki Devar Hash-m Bazah."
7. Question: What is the reward of one who pauses?
8. Answer (R. Avahu): It says about him "uva'Davar ha'Zeh Ta'arichu Yamim."