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) THE BLESSING FOR OIL
(a) Answer #2: The case is, he drinks the oil mixed in Anigron:
1. (Rabah bar Shmuel): Anigron is water in which beets were cooked. Achsigron is water in which any vegetables were cooked.
(b) Question: If so, the Anigron is primary and the oil is secondary. He blesses only on the primary!
(c) Answer: The case is, his throat hurts him (so his main intent is for the oil);
1. (Beraisa): One whose throat hurts may not gargle with oil on Shabbos. (It is evident that he does so for medical purposes.) Rather, he may put much oil in Anigron, and swallow it.
(d) Question: Obviously, in such a case one blesses Borei Pri ha'Etz!
(e) Answer: One might have thought that since his main intent is to be cured, he does not bless at all. Rav Yehudah teaches that this is not so. Since he benefits from it, he must bless.
2) THE BLESSING FOR FLOUR
(a) (Rav Yehudah): One blesses Borei Pri ha'Adamah on wheat flour;
(b) (Rav Nachman): One blesses sheha'Kol Nihyeh bi'Dvaro.
(c) Rava (to Rav Nachman): Do not argue with Rav Yehudah, for R. Yochanan and Shmuel hold like him!
1. (Shmuel and R. Yochanan): One blesses Borei Pri ha'Etz on olive oil.
2. This shows that even though it changed, its blessing is the same. The same applies to flour!
(d) Rav Nachman: No. There, oil is the best product one can make from olives. One can make something better from wheat, namely, bread!
(e) Question: Even if something better can be made from a food, this does not demote its blessing from Borei Pri ha'Adamah to sheha'Kol Niheyeh bi'Devaro!
1. (R. Zeira): One blesses sheha'Kol (Nihyeh bi'Dvaro) on raw gourds and on barley flour.
2. Inference: One blesses Borei Pri ha'Adamah on wheat flour!
(f) Answer: No, one blesses sheha'Kol on wheat flour.
(g) Question: If so, he should have taught about wheat flour, and all the more so one blesses sheha'Kol for barley flour! (It is less proper for people.)
(h) Answer: Had he taught about wheat flour, one might have thought that one does not bless at all for barley flour.
(i) Question: Why would one think that one does not bless? Is it worse than salt or brine?!
1. (Beraisa): On salt or brine one blesses sheha'Kol.
(j) Answer: One might have thought that one blesses for those, for one sometimes puts them in his mouth, but not for barley flour, for one would not put it in his mouth, for this causes intestinal sickness. R. Zeira teaches that this is not so.
(k) (Rav Yehudah): One blesses Borei Pri ha'Adamah on Kara (Rashi - bark of a date tree; Bartenura (Uktzim 3:7) - a growth on top of a date tree);
(l) (Shmuel): One blesses sheha'Kol.
1. Rav Yehudah says that one blesses Borei Pri ha'Adamah, for it is a fruit;
2. Shmuel says that one blesses sheha'Kol, for in the end it will harden.
3. Shmuel (to Rav Yehudah): Your opinion is more reasonable, for radishes get hard in the end, yet the blessing is Borei Pri ha'Adamah!
4. This is wrong. Radishes are planted for their own sake, but trees are not planted for Kara.
(a) Question: Do we not bless [the specific blessing, rather, sheha'Kol] for anything not planted for its own sake?! Tzelaf (caper) disproves this!
1. (Beraisa): One blesses Borei Pri ha'Adamah on the leaves and "dates" (secondary fruits) of Tzelaf, and Borei Pri ha'Etz on the Avyonos (primary fruits) and their Kafrisin (shells).
(b) Answer (Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak): People plant Tzelaf [also] for the sake of the leaves and dates. (Eating them does not harm the tree.) People do not plant date trees for the sake of Kara.
(c) Even though Shmuel praised Rav Yehudah's opinion, the Halachah follows Shmuel.
(d) (Rav Yehudah): In Chutz la'Aretz, the prohibition of Orlah applies to the Avyonos (they must be discarded), but the Kafrisin are permitted.
(e) Inference: Avyonos are considered fruit, but Kafrisin are not.
(f) Question (Beraisa): One blesses Borei Pri ha'Adamah on the leaves and dates or Tzelaf, and Borei Pri ha'Etz on the Avyonos and Kafrisin. (It is not clear why our text says "u'Reminhu," which denotes a contradiction between opinions of equal authority. Shitah Mekubetzes' text says 'v'Tanan'. Rashash, Ya'avetz and Ben Aryeh change this to 'veha'Tanya', since it is not exactly like the Mishnah.)
(g) Answer: Rav Yehudah holds like R. Akiva;
1. (Mishnah - R. Eliezer): One must separate Ma'aser from the dates, Avyonos and Kafrisin of Tzelaf;
2. R. Akiva says, one tithes only the Avyonos, for they are the fruit.
(h) Question: Why did Rav Yehudah discuss Orlah? He should just say that the Halachah follows R. Akiva!
(i) Answer: If so, one would think that the Halachah follows R. Akiva even in Eretz Yisrael;
1. The Halachah follows him only in Chutz la'Aretz, for whenever there is an argument (about what grows) in Eretz Yisrael, in Chutz la'Aretz the Halachah follows the lenient opinion.
(j) Question: Why didn't Rav Yehudah say simply that the Halachah follows R. Akiva in Chutz la'Aretz, because in Chutz la'Aretz we follow the lenient opinion?
(k) Answer: Had he said this, one might have thought that this is only regarding Ma'aser of trees (other than olives and grapes), which even in Eretz Yisrael is only mid'Rabanan, but regarding Orlah, which is mid'Oraisa in Eretz Yisrael, we would decree in Chutz la'Aretz (to be stringent like R. Eliezer). Rav Yehudah teaches that this is not so.
(l) Mar bar Rav Ashi was discarding Avyonos and eating Kafrisin (in Chutz la'Aretz).
(m) Ravina: This is like R. Akiva, who is lenient. You should follow Beis Shamai, who is even more lenient!
1. (Beraisa - Beis Shamai): One may not plant Tzelaf in a vineyard (due to Kil'ai ha'Kerem);
2. Beis Hillel permits it.
3. Both agree that Orlah applies to it.
4. Question: Beis Shamai forbids planting Tzelaf in a vineyard. [Since trees are permitted,] this implies that Tzlaf is [not a tree, rather,] a Yerek;
i. However, they agree that Orlah applies to it. This implies that it is a tree!
5. Answer: Beis Shamai is unsure if it is a tree or Yerek, therefore Beis Shamai is stringent about both.
6. Question: In any case, Beis Shamai holds that Orlah doubtfully applies to it. (If so, they permit it in Chutz la'Aretz)!
i. (Mishnah): Safek Orlah is forbidden in Eretz Yisrael. It is permitted in Surya (a place annexed to Eretz Yisrael. Our Tana holds that it does not have Kedushas Eretz Yisrael.) In Chutz la'Aretz, one may buy [fruits from a Nochri selling outside his field] as long as he does not see the Nochri pick [from the young trees].
(n) Answer: We can rely on R. Akiva's opinion in Chutz la'Aretz, even though [in Eretz Yisrael] the Halachah follows R. Eliezer;
1. We may not rely on Beis Shamai's opinion at all. It has no significance against Beis Hillel.
4) THE LAW OF A SHOMER FOR A FRUIT
(a) Question: Even according to R. Akiva, Kafrisin of Orlah should be forbidden, for they are a Shomer (a guard for the fruit)!
1. "Va'Araltem Orlaso Es Piryo" includes what is secondary to its fruit, i.e. Shomrim.
(b) Answer #1 (Rava): The law of Shomer applies only to what guards the fruit both when attached and detached. Kafrisin guard only when attached.
(c) Question (Abaye - Mishnah): The Pitma (the point opposite the stem) of a pomegranate combines (for Shi'ur Tum'ah). The Netz (a hair-like flower around the Pitma; it is surrounded by a crown-like protrusion) does not. (Alternatively, the Pitma is the flower, and.the Netz is the rind.)
1. The Netz does not join. This shows that it is not a food.
2. (Mishnah): Orlah applies to pomegranate peels, the Netz, nut shells and pits. (The Netz is a Shomer, even though it falls off a detached pomegranate, similar to Kafrisin!)
(d) Answer #2 (Rava): The law of Shomer applies only if it is there when the fruit finishes ripening. Kafrisin fall off before this.
(e) Question: Rav Nachman taught that Maschalei (shells over dates, they are analogous to Kafrisin) of Orlah are forbidden, because they are Shomrim;
1. They are Shomrim only when the dates are Kufra (unripe)!
(f) Answer: Rav Nachman holds like R. Yosi (who consider unripe fruit like ripe fruit)
1. (Mishnah - R. Yosi): Semadar (a budding grape) [of Orlah] is forbidden because it is a fruit.
2. Rava holds like Chachamim, who argue with R. Yosi.
(g) Question (R. Simi of Neharda'a): Chachamim argue only about grapes, but not about other trees!
1. (Mishnah) Question: When does the prohibition to cut trees in Shemitah begin?
2. Answer #1 (Beis Shamai): It is forbidden once they bear fruit;
3. Answer #2 (Beis Hillel): Carob trees are forbidden once they produce rings of carobs. Vines are forbidden once they reach the point of Yigre’u (the grapes become the size of Giru'a, which will be explained), and olive trees when they grow Netzim around. Other trees are forbidden once they bear fruits.
4. (Rav Asi): Boser (unripe grapes), Giru'a and white beans are all the same.
5. Objection: This cannot be!
6. Correction: Rather, Boser, i.e. Giru'a, is the size of white beans.
7. Summation of question: Chachamim do not forbid [cutting vines with] Semadar, only Boser (more developed grapes), and they forbid other trees once they bear fruits!
(h) Answer #3 (Rava): The law of Shomer applies only if the fruit will die if the Shomer is removed. Avyonos would not die if Kafrisin are removed.
(i) A case occurred in which the Netz of a pomegranate was removed, and the pomegranate dried up. A case occurred in which the Kafrisin of Avyonos were removed, and they did not die.
5) PEPPER AND PORRIDGE
(a) (Rav Sheshes): One blesses sheha'Kol on pepper;
(b) (Rava): One does not bless on it at all.
(c) This is like Rava holds elsewhere;
1. (Rava): One who eats pepper or ginger on Yom Kipur is exempt (from Kares, for they are not considered edible).
(d) Question (Beraisa - R. Meir) Question: "Va'Araltem Orlaso Es Piryo" teaches that Orlah applies to trees. Why does it say "Etz Ma'achal"?
1. Answer: This includes a tree whose wood and fruit taste the same, i.e. pepper;
2. This teaches that Orlah applies to pepper, and that Eretz Yisrael does not lack anything -- "Eretz Asher Lo v'Miskenus Tochal Bah Lechem Lo Sechsar Kol Bah."
(e) Answer: R. Meir discusses moist pepper. Rava discusses dry pepper.
(f) Question (Rabanan): Rava exempts one who eats ginger on Yom Kipur. However, he himself permits Indian ginger jam, and says that one blesses Borei Pri ha'Adamah on it.
1. (He is not concerned for forbidden absorptions, nor for Bishul Akum, i.e. a Rabbinic decree against food cooked by Nochrim). Surely, the latter is because raw ginger is edible!)
(g) Answer: Moist ginger is edible. Dry ginger is not.
(h) (Rav Yehudah): One blesses sheha'Kol on Chavitz (a congealed dish of flour, oil and honey) or porridge;
(i) (Rav Kahana): One blesses Borei Minei Mezonos.
1. All agree that one blesses Borei Minei Mezonos for regular porridge. They argue about porridge like Chavitz;
2. Rav Yehudah says sheha'Kol, because the honey is primary. Rav Kahana says Borei Minei Mezonos, because the flour is primary.
(j) (Rav Yosef): Presumably, the Halachah follows Rav Kahana, for Rav and Shmuel say that one blesses Borei Minei Mezonos on anything containing [any of] the five species of grain.
(k) (Rav and Shmuel): One blesses Borei Minei Mezonos on anything containing the five grains.
(l) (Rav and Shmuel): One blesses Borei Minei Mezonos on anything from the five grains.