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) WHEN MAY ONE SAY SHEMA?
(a) (Rav Huna): If one's cloak was girded on his hips, he may say Shema (even though he is bare above the waist).
(b) Support (Beraisa): If a cloak of fabric, leather or sackcloth was girded on one's hips, he may say Shema;
1. One may not pray unless his heart is covered.
(c) (Rav Huna): If one forgot to remove his Tefilin before entering a Beis ha'Kisei, he puts his hand over them until he finishes.
(d) Objection: This cannot be!
(e) Clarification: He must mean like Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak said, until the first Amud (piece) is excreted.
(f) Question: He should stop right away and arise!
(g) Answer: He does not stop, due to R. Shimon ben Gamliel's teaching:
1. (Beraisa - R. Shimon ben Gamliel): If excrement starts to leave the body and returns, this causes Hadrokan (in which the stomach swells);
2. If one does not urinate when he must, this causes jaundice.
(h) (Rav Huna): [Even] if excrement is on one's body, or if his hand is inside (the wall around) a Beis ha'Kisei, he may say Shema;
(i) (Rav Chisda): He may not say Shema.
(j) (Rava): Rav Huna learns from "Kol ha'Neshamah Tehalel Kah." (The respiratory organs (nose and mouth) praise Hash-m. We are not concerned for the cleanliness of the rest of the body);
(k) Rav Chisda learns from "Kol Atzmosai Tomarnah Hash-m Mi Chamocha." (All the limbs praise Hash-m.)
(l) (Rav Huna): If there is a bad smell she'Yesh Lo Ikar (with a source, e.g. excrement), one must distance himself four Amos (from the source);
(m) (Rav Chisda): He must distance himself four Amos from where the smell ends.
(n) Support (for Rav Chisda - Beraisa): One may not say Shema facing excrement of people, dogs, pigs, or chickens, or a foul smelling wasteheap;
1. If it was 10 Tefachim above or below him, he may say Shema next to it. If not, he must distance himself until he cannot see it.
2. The same applies to Shemoneh Esreh.
3. If there is a bad smell she'Yesh Lo Ikar, one must distance himself four Amos from the smell.
(o) (Rava): The Halachah does not follow this Beraisa, rather, it follows a different Beraisa:
1. (Beraisa): One may not say Shema facing human excrement, nor that of dogs or pigs if hide was put in (to be tanned).
(p) Question: What is the law regarding a bad smell she'Ein Lo Ikar?
(q) Answer (Rav Sheshes): Look at the mattresses of the Beis Medrash. Some Talmidim learn while others sleep (and pass wind);
1. One may learn Torah (when there is a smell), but he may not say Shema.
2. Even learning Torah is permitted only if someone else passed wind. One may not learn in the presence of an odor that he emitted.
2) SAYING SHEMA NEAR EXCREMENT OR URINE
(a) (Abaye): One may say Shema at the time that excrement passes by. (We discuss bad smells with a source (Yesh Lahem Ikar), so when Shema is forbidden, also Divrei Torah are forbidden.)
(b) (Rava): One may not say Shema then.
(c) Support (Abaye, for himself (and question against Rava) - Mishnah): If a Metzora stands (is stationary) under a tree and a Tahor person passes (below the tree), the latter becomes Tamei;
1. If the Tahor stands under a tree and the Metzora passes under, the Tahor remains Tahor.
2. If the Metzora stopped (under the tree), the Tahor becomes Tamei.
3. The same applies to a stone from a house with Tzara'as that rests or is passed under the tree. (Just like Tum'ah in motion is not Metamei, excrement in motion does not forbid saying Shema!)
(d) Answer (Rava): Tum'as Tzara'as depends on being fixed in place -- "Badad Yeshev mi'Chutz la'Machaneh Moshavo";
1. The Torah requires "v'Hayah Machanecha Kodesh" for saying Shema. This does not apply when excrement passes through.
(e) (Rav Papa): A pig's snout is like passing excrement.
(f) Question: This is obvious! (There is always excrement on it.)
(g) Answer: Rav Papa forbids even if the pig just left the river.
(h) Version #1 (Rav Yehudah): If there is a Safek whether or not excrement is present, one may not say Shema. If there is a Safek whether or not urine is present, it is permitted.
(i) Version #2 (Rav Yehudah): If there is a Safek whether or not excrement is in the house, it is permitted. (Excrement is not normally found there.) If there is a Safek whether or not excrement is in the wasteheap, it is forbidden (to say Shema near there);
1. A Safek about urine is permitted even in a wasteheap.
(j) He holds like Rav Hamnuna and R. Yonasan;
1. (Rav Hamnuna): The Torah forbids saying Shema near urine only facing a flow from a person to the ground.
2. Contradiction (R. Yonasan): It says "v'Yad Tiheyeh Lecha mi'Chutz la'Machaneh v'Yatzasa Shamah Chutz" (you must leave the encampment in order to relieve yourself, but you need not cover it). It also says "v'Yased Tiheyeh Lecha... v'Chisisa Es Tze'asecha" (you must cover it)!
3. Resolution: One must cover excrement, but one need not cover urine.
i. This teaches that the Torah forbids saying Shema near urine only while it is falling. Once it reaches the ground, it is permitted;
ii. Chachamim forbid after it is on the ground. They decreed only about definite urine.
(k) Question: How long [after urine reached the ground] is it forbidden?
(l) Answer #1 (Shmuel, Rabah bar bar Chanah, and Ula): It is forbidden as long as it can wet what touches it.
(m) Answer #2 (Geniva citing Rav): It is forbidden as long as the ground looks different due to the urine.
(n) Rav Yosef: Geniva erred! Rav Yehudah cited Rav to permit Shema near excrement that [dried and] formed a crust. (All the more so, a trace of urine on the ground does not forbid.)
(o) Abaye: Why do you rely on that teaching, and not on the following?
1. (Rabah bar Rav Huna citing Rav): Even if excrement is as hard as earthenware, it is forbidden.
2. Question: When is excrement considered to be as hard as earthenware?
3. Version #1 - Answer (Rabah bar bar Chanah): This is when it does not crumble when thrown.
4. Version #2 - Answer (Rabah bar bar Chanah): This is when it does not crumble when rolled.
(p) Version #1: R. Yehudah mi'Difti once asked Ravina to check if excrement had formed a crust.
(q) Version #2: He asked him to check if it had cracks.
3) THE CONCLUSION
(a) Question: What was the conclusion?
(b) Answer: Ameimar forbids excrement that is like earthenware. Mar Zutra permits it.
(c) (Rava): The Halachah is, excrement like earthenware is forbidden. Urine is forbidden as long as it can wet.
(d) Question (Beraisa): Urine is forbidden as long as it can wet. If it was absorbed or dried, it is permitted.
1. Suggestion: The case of absorbed urine is like dried excrement, i.e. there is no trace of it. If there is a trace of it, it is forbidden, even though it cannot wet.
2. Objection: It also says that urine is forbidden as long as it can wet. We should infer that if [it cannot wet, but just] there is a trace of it, it is permitted!
(e) Conclusion: The inferences contradict each other. We cannot determine from the Beraisa which is correct.
(f) Suggestion: Tana'im argue about this:
1. (Beraisa): One may not say Shema facing a vessel used for urine, even if the urine was spilled out;
2. One may say Shema where urine spilled if it was absorbed. If it was absorbed, it is forbidden.
3. R. Yosi says, as long as it can wet (it is forbidden).
4. Question: What does the first Tana mean when he says "it was absorbed," and "it was not absorbed"?
i. Suggestion: "It was absorbed" means that it cannot wet. "It was not absorbed" means that it can wet. R. Yosi forbids if it can wet, but permits if there is merely a trace of it.
ii. Rejection: If so, R. Yosi does not argue with the first Tana!
5. Answer: "It was absorbed" means that there is no trace of it. "It was not absorbed" means that there is a trace of it. R. Yosi forbids if it can wet. If there is merely a trace of it, he permits.
(g) Rejection: No, all forbid if it can wet it, and permit if there is merely a trace of it;
1. They argue about whether or not it must be able to wet something else. (The first Tana requires this. R. Yosi forbids even if it is not this wet.)
(h) (Mishnah): If one descended to immerse, if he can come up [and say Shema before sunrise]...
(i) Suggestion: Our anonymous Mishnah is like R. Eliezer, who says that one must say Shema before sunrise.
(j) Rejection: No, it can be like R. Yehoshua (who permits until three hours). It is like Vatikin;
1. (R. Yochanan): Vatikin finish the morning Shema at sunrise.
4) SITUATIONS IN WHICH ONE MAY NOT SAY SHEMA
(a) (Mishnah): If not, he covers himself in the water and says Shema.
(b) Question: Libo Ro'eh Es ha'Ervah! (Nothing separates his heart from his Ervah.)
(c) Answer (R. Elazar or Rav Acha): The case is, the water is cloudy. It is like a covering of earth.
(d) (Beraisa): One may sit in clear water up to his neck and say Shema;
1. Some say, he must make the water cloudy with his feet.
(e) Question: According to the first Tana, his heart sees his Ervah!
(f) Answer: The first Tana permits [saying Shema when] Libo Ro'eh Es ha'Ervah.
(g) Question: According to the first Tana, his heel sees his Ervah!
(h) Answer: He permits this.
(i) Version #1 (Rav Zevid): Akevo Ro'eh Es ha'Ervah is permitted;
1. (Abaye): If his heel touches his Ervah, it is forbidden (to say Shema);
2. (Rava): It is permitted.
(j) Version #2 (Rav Chinena): Abaye and Rava both forbid when his heel touches his Ervah;
1. (Abaye): Akevo Ro'eh Es ha'Ervah is forbidden;
2. (Rava): It is permitted. People are not angels. (We cannot be so careful about such things.) (end of Version #2)
(k) The Halachah is, if his heel touches his Ervah, it is forbidden (to say Shema). If his heel sees his Ervah, it is permitted.
(l) (Rava): If excrement is covered by glass, one may say Shema facing it;
1. The Isur of Divrei Torah near excrement is only when it is not covered. A transparent covering is a covering.
(m) If Ervah is covered by glass, one may not say Shema facing it;
1. "V'Lo Yir'eh Becha Ervas Davar" (forbids Divrei Torah when Ervah is visible). Here, it is visible.
(n) (Abaye): One may annul a small amount of excrement with spit.
(o) (Rava): This is only if the spit is thick.
(p) (Rava): If excrement is in a pit, one may put his shoe over it and say Shema.
(q) Question (Mar brei d'Ravina): If the excrement touches his shoe, is it permitted?
1. This question is unresolved.
(r) (Rav Yehudah): One may not say Shema facing the Ervah of a Nochri.
(s) Question: Why does he mention a Nochri? It is forbidden facing even a Yisrael's Ervah!
(t) Answer: Since it says "Asher Besar Chamorim Besaram," one might have thought that their Ervah is like an animal's (and it is permitted);
1. He teaches that this is not so. Their Ervah is called Ervah. (It says about Noach) "v'Ervas Avihem Lo Ra'u."
5) HETERIM FOR SAYING THE SHEMA NEAR URINE
(a) (Mishnah): He may not cover himself in smelly water or Mei Mishreh (water in which flax was soaked), until adding water.
(b) Question: Will he add so much water to annul the dirty water [of the river]?!
(c) Answer: It means that he may not cover himself in smelly water or Mei Mishreh at all;
1. He may not say Shema facing urine until adding water.
(d) (Beraisa) Question: How much water must be added?
(e) Answer #1: Any amount is enough;
(f) Answer #2 (R. Zakai): A Revi'is is required.
(g) (Rav Nachman): They argue about how much water must be added to urine. If urine was poured into water, all agree that any amount of water suffices. (Each drop of urine becomes Batel when it falls into the water.)
(h) (Rav Yosef): They argue about how much water must be there from the beginning, in order that the urine will be Batel. All agree that if the urine was there first, a Revi'is of water must be added.
1. Rav Yosef asked his servant to bring a Revi'is (so that urine placed into it would be Batel). This is like R. Zakai.
(i) (Beraisa #1): One may not say Shema facing a vessel used for excrement or urine, even if it is empty, or facing urine, until water is added;
1. Question: How much water must one add (to annul the urine)?
2. Answer #1: Any amount is enough;
3. Answer #2 (R. Zakai): A Revi'is is required.
(j) It is forbidden whether or not the bed separates (between him and the vessel or urine);
(k) R. Shimon ben Gamliel permits if the bed separates, and forbids if it does not separate;
1. However, he must distance himself four Amos.
(l) R. Shimon ben Elazar says, even if the house is 100 Amos, he may not say Shema until he removes it or puts it under the bed.
(m) Question: When does R. Shimon ben Gamliel require going four Amos away?
1. Is this required when the bed does not separate, but when it separates, he need not distance himself at all?
2. Or, does he require four Amos when the bed separates, but it does not help if it does not separate?
(n) Answer (Beraisa #2 - R. Shimon ben Elazar): If the bed separates, he need not distance himself at all. If it does not separate, he must distance himself four Amos;
(o) R. Shimon ben Gamliel says, even if the house is 100 Amos, he may not say Shema until he removes it or puts it under the bed.
(p) Question: This resolves our question (surely, R. Shimon ben Gamliel in Beraisa #1 holds like R. Shimon ben Elazar in Beraisa #2), but it raises a contradiction in the opinions of R. Shimon ben Gamliel and R. Shimon ben Elazar!
(q) Answer: The opinions in Beraisa #2 must be switched.
(r) Question: Why must we switch Beraisa #2? Perhaps we should switch Beraisa #1!
(s) Answer: We know (Rav Nisim Gaon - from Maseches Eruvin) that R. Shimon ben Elazar considers the entire house like four Amos.
6) IS A BED CONSIDERED A COVERING?
(a) (Rav Yosef): Clearly, if the legs of a bed are less than three Tefachim high, the bed is "Lavud" (considered connected) to the ground. Anything underneath is considered covered;
(b) Question: What is the law if the bed is between three and nine Tefachim tall?
(c) Rav Huna could not answer.
(d) (Rav Yosef): I did not about legs that are at least 10 Tefachim high.
(e) (Abaye): It was proper not to ask. Surely, since the bed is a domain unto itself (since it is higher than 10 Tefachim), what is underneath it is not considered covered.
(f) (Rava): The Halachah is, if the bed is less than three, it is Lavud;
1. If it is at least 10, it is a domain unto itself;
2. If it is between three and nine, Rav Huna could not answer. (This is unresolved.)
(g) (Rav and Bali): The Halachah follows R. Shimon ben Elazar.
(h) (Rava): The Halachah does not follow R. Shimon ben Elazar.
7) RELATIONS IN A ROOM IN WHICH THERE IS A SEFER TORAH
(a) Rav Achai arranged for his son to marry a daughter of R. Yitzchak bar Shmuel. His son was unable to consummate the marriage. Rav Achai went to investigate why. He found a Sefer Torah in the room.
1. Rav Achai: You endangered my son!
2. (Beraisa): Relations are forbidden in a house with a Sefer Torah or Tefilin, unless it is removed (from the room) or in a Kli b'Soch Kli (enclosed in two vessels).
(b) (Abaye): One cannot use Kelim in which the Sefer or Tefilin are normally kept (for both coverings). Even if it is in 10 such Kelim, they are considered like only one.