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) RICE AND MILLET
(a) They needed to teach both of these;
1. Had they taught only the latter, one might have thought that this is only when it is totally made of grain, but not a mixture;
2. Had they only taught the former, one might have thought that one blesses Borei Minei Mezonos only for a mixture of the five grains, but not for a mixture of rice or millet, but one blesses Borei Minei Mezonos for something totally made of rice or millet. Therefore, they taught anything from the five grains, to exclude even something totally from rice or millet.
(b) Question: We do bless Borei Minei Mezonos for rice or millet!
1. (Beraisa #1): One blesses before and after bread of rice or millet like one blesses for cooked foods;
2. (Beraisa #2): One blesses Borei Minei Mezonos before cooked foods, and one Berachah me'Ein Shalosh (i.e. Al ha'Michyah, which is in place of the three mid'Oraisa Berachos of Birkas ha'Mazon) afterwards.
(c) Answer: Beraisa #1 teaches that one blesses before and after bread of rice or millet, just like one blesses before and after cooked foods, but the Berachos are different;
1. One blesses Borei Minei Mezonos before cooked foods and me'Ein Shalosh afterwards, but one blesses sheha'Kol before rice and Borei Nefashos Rabos v'Chesronam afterwards.
(d) Question: Rice is considered a cooked food!
1. (Beraisa): [Regarding Berachos,] the following are cooked foods -- [products of] Chilka, Tragis, Zariz, Arsan (the wheat kernels broken into two, three, four and five pieces, respectively), Soles (fine flour), and rice.
(e) Answer: That Beraisa is like R. Yochanan ben Nuri, but Chachamim disagree;
1. (Beraisa - R. Yochanan ben Nuri): Rice is a grain. If it became Chametz one is Chayav Kares for eating it on Pesach. One may fulfill the Mitzvah of Matzah with rice Matzah.
(f) Question: Chachamim agree that rice is considered a cooked food!
1. (Beraisa #1): One who eats wheat blesses Borei Pri ha'Adamah;
2. If it was ground (into flour), baked and cooked --
i. If the pieces are intact, one blesses ha'Motzi (beforehand) and Birkas ha'Mazon (afterwards);
ii. If the pieces are not intact, one blesses Borei Minei Mezonos and me'Ein Shalosh.
3. One who eats rice blesses Borei Pri ha'Adamah;
4. If it was ground, baked and cooked, even if the pieces are intact, one blesses Borei Minei Mezonos and me'Ein Shalosh.
5. Question: Who is the Tana of the Beraisa?
i. It cannot be R. Yochanan ben Nuri. He holds that rice is a grain, so if the pieces are intact, one blesses ha'Motzi and Birkas ha'Mazon!
6. Answer: It is Chachamim.
(g) Rav and Shmuel are refuted.
(h) (Beraisa #1): One who eats wheat blesses Borei Pri ha'Adamah.
(i) Contradiction (Beraisa #2): He blesses Borei Minei Zera'im.
(j) Resolution: Beraisa #1 is Chachamim, and Beraisa #2 is R. Yehudah (who requires very specific Berachos):
1. (Mishnah): On Yerek we say Borei Pri ha'Adamah;
2. R. Yehudah says, we say Borei Minei Desha'im.
(k) (Beraisa #1): One who eats rice blesses Borei Pri ha'Adamah;
1. If it was ground, baked and cooked, even if the pieces are intact, one blesses Borei Minei Mezonos and me'Ein Shalosh.
(l) Contradiction (Beraisa #3): One does not bless afterwards at all. (He does not say three Berachos nor me'Ein Shalosh, only Borei Nefashos.)
(m) Resolution (Rav Sheshes): Beraisa #1 is like R. Gamliel. Beraisa #3 is like Chachamim:
1. (Beraisa #4 - R. Gamliel): The general rule is, one says Birkas ha'Mazon after anything from the seven species;
2. Chachamim say, one says me'Ein Shalosh.
3. A case occurred in which R. Gamliel and Chachamim ate dates. R. Gamliel authorized R. Akiva to bless (for everyone). He blessed me'Ein Shalosh.
4. R. Gamliel: Why do you enter arguments?
5. R. Akiva: Rebbi, you taught me that the Halachah follows the majority!
6. R. Yehudah says, anything from the seven species other than grain, or grain that was not baked into bread, R. Gamliel obligates Birkas ha'Mazon, and Chachamim obligate me'Ein Shalosh;
7. Anything not from the seven species, such as bread of rice or millet, R. Gamliel obligates me'Ein Shalosh, and Chachamim do not obligate [any blessing afterwards] at all.
(n) Question: We cannot establish Beraisa #1 to be R. Gamliel, due to the Seifa of the Reisha (regarding the five grains)!
1. (Beraisa #1): If the pieces are not intact, one blesses Borei Minei Mezonos and me'Ein Shalosh.
2. This is not like R. Gamliel. He obligates Birkas ha'Mazon for dates and porridge, and all the more so cooked bread (even if the pieces are not intact)!
3. Rather, it must be Chachamim.
(o) Counter-question: If it is Chachamim, they contradict themselves! (Beraisa #1 obligates me'Ein Shalosh after rice. In Beraisa #4 Chachamim do not obligate anything)!
(p) Answer: Really, it is Chachamim. We must fix the text of Beraisa #1 to say that one does not bless at all after rice.
2) BERACHOS ON TYPES OF MEZONOS
(a) (Rava): Chavitz of villagers has much flour. One blesses on it Borei Minei Mezonos.
(b) Question: What is the reason?
(c) Answer: The flour is primary.
(d) (Rava): Chavitz of city dwellers has little flour. One blesses on it sheha'Kol.
(e) Question: What is the reason?
(f) Answer: The honey is primary.
(g) Retraction (Rava): The blessing after both of them is Borei Minei Mezonos, for Rav and Shmuel say that one blesses Borei Minei Mezonos on anything containing the five grains.
(h) (Rav Yosef): Regarding Chavitza (fried pieces of bread):
1. If some of the pieces are at least a k'Zayis, one blesses ha'Motzi and Birkas ha'Mazon;
2. If all the pieces are less than a k'Zayis, one blesses Borei Minei Mezonos and me'Ein Shalosh.
(i) (Rav Yosef): I learn from a Beraisa:
1. (Beraisa): If one (a Kohen) was offering a Minchah for the first time (in his life - Tosfos. Rashi - a Yisrael brought a Minchah the first time this year, i.e. from Chadash), he blesses Shehecheyanu;
2. If the Kohen eats it, he blesses ha'Motzi.
3. (Mishnah): Every Minchah is broken into pieces the size of olives.
(j) Question (Abaye): Tana d'Vei R. Yishmael says that they are broken very finely, like flour. Surely, Kohanim would bless ha'Motzi!
1. Suggestion: Perhaps they do not bless ha'Motzi!
2. Rejection (Beraisa): If one gathered a k'Zayis of bread crumbs (Rashi - from different Menachos; Tosfos - of the five grains) and ate it (on Pesach):
i. If they are Matzah, he fulfills his obligation. (They are considered "Lechem");
ii. If they are Chametz, he is Chayav Kares.
(k) Answer #1: The case is, he combined them into one mass.
(l) Objection (Seifa): This is when he ate "them" within Kedei Achilas Pras (the time to eat half a loaf).
1. If he combined them into one mass, it should say that he ate "it"!
(m) Answer #2: The case is, [a k'Zayis of] the loaf (from which the crumbs came) is still intact. (Since it retains its importance and its blessing, its crumbs retain their blessing.)
(n) Question: What was the conclusion?
(o) Answer (Rav Sheshes): One blesses ha'Motzi on Chavitza, even if all the pieces are less than a k'Zayis.
(p) (Rava): This is only if they still look like bread.
3) NON-STANDARD BREAD
(a) One must take Chalah from Truknin (this will be explained);
(b) (Ravin): Truknin is exempt from Chalah.
(c) Question: What is Truknin?
(d) Answer (Abaye): It is Kuva d'Ar'a (batter baked in a cavity in an oven).
(e) (Abaye): Trisa is exempt from Chalah.
(f) Question: What is Trisa?
(g) Answer #1: It is batter poured onto the top of a hot oven;
(h) Answer #2: It is greased dough baked on a spit;
(i) Answer #3: It is bread made for Kutach (a dip. It is baked in the sun.)