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) INTERRUPTIONS BEFORE EATING
(a) (Rav): If the Botze'a (the one who blesses ha'Motzi and cuts the bread) said "Tol Baruch (take a piece from what I blessed on), Tol Baruch" (after he himself blessed and before he ate), he need not repeat his Berachah. (It is not considered an interruption, for it is for the sake of the meal);
1. If he said "bring salt or relish," he must bless again.
(b) (R. Yochanan): Even if he said "bring salt or relish," he need not bless again, but if he said "knead the bran [with water] for the cattle," he must bless again;
(c) (Rav Sheshes): Even if he said "knead the bran for the cattle," he need not bless again;
1. (Rav Yehudah): One may not eat before feeding his animals [that depend on him for food] -- "v'Nasati Esev b'Sadcha li'Vhemtecha v'Achalta v'Savata."
(d) (Rava bar Shmuel): The Botze'a may not bless until there is salt or relish in front of everyone at the meal.
(e) Rava bar Shmuel went to the Reish Galusa's house. He blessed immediately (without waiting for them to bring salt or relish).
(f) Those present: Did you retract?!
(g) Rava: No. Here, there is no need to wait. (The bread is from finely-sifted flour, so it does not need salt or relish.)
2) HEALTHY PRACTICES
(a) (Rava bar Shmuel): One finishes urinating only while sitting. (If he stands, he stops before the last drop, out of concern lest drops fall on his feet.)
(b) (Rav Kahana): If he is in loose earth, he finishes even while standing. (He is not concerned for drops).
1. If there is no loose earth available, he should stand on a high place and urinate onto an incline.
(c) (Rava bar Shmuel; also, Beraisa #1): After eating anything, one should eat salt. After drinking anything, one should drink water.
(d) (Beraisa #2): If one did not eat salt after eating, or did not drink water after drinking anything:
1. If this was during the day, he is prone to get bad breath. If it was at night, he is prone to get Askarah (quinsy, an inflamation that can make one choke).
(e) (Beraisa): If one "floods" his food by drinking much water afterwards, he will not get intestinal sickness.
(f) Question: How much should one drink?
(g) Answer (Rav Chisda): He should drink one flask for bread.
(h) (Rav Mari): Eating lentils every 30 days prevents [constipation, and thereby prevents] Askarah.
1. One should not eat them every day, for this causes bad breath.
(i) (Rav Mari): Eating mustard every 30 days prevents sicknesses.
1. One should not eat it every day, for this weakens the heart.
(j) (Rav Chiya bar Ashi): One who regularly eats small fish will not get intestinal sickness;
1. Further, it increases fertility and improves the health of the whole body.
(k) (Rav Chama b'Rebbi Chanina): One who regularly eats Katzach (an herb) will not get heartache.
(l) Question (Beraisa - R. Shimon ben Gamliel): Katzach is one of 60 lethal poisons. If one sleeps to the east of his Goren (of Katzach), he causes his own death. (The west wind takes the smell to him.)
(m) Answer: The smell is harmful, but the taste is beneficial.
(n) R. Yirmeyah's mother baked bread for him with Katzach (so its taste would be absorbed) and peeled it off (lest its smell pervade the bread).
3) SPECIFIC BERACHOS
(a) (Mishnah - R. Yehudah): We say Borei Minei Desha'im (on vegetables).
(b) (R. Zeira): The Halachah does not follow R. Yehudah.
(c) (R. Zeira): R. Yehudah learns from "Baruch Hash-m Yom Yom";
1. Question: Do we bless Hash-m only during the day?!
2. Answer: Rather, we should bless Him according to [what is special about] each day.
3. Likewise, we should bless Him according to each food!
(d) (R. Zeira): Hashem's ways are unlike the ways of people:
1. A person's vessel can hold things if it is empty, not if it is full. Hashem's [creations] can contain if they are full (of Chachmah), but not if they are empty!
2. "Im Shamo'a Tishma" -- if you listen [to Divrei Torah] once, you will listen again;
3. Also, if you listen to what you already heard (review your learning), you willl understand new things. If you turn to idleness, you will not understand new things.
4) BERACHOS FOR FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
(a) (Mishnah): If one blessed Borei Pri ha'Adamah on fruits of a tree, he was Yotzei;
(b) If one blessed Borei Pri ha'Etz on fruits of the ground, he was not Yotzei.
(c) If one blessed sheha'Kol on any food, he was Yotzei.
(d) (Gemara) Question: The Tana of the Mishnah holds that [fruits of] a tree grow primarily from the ground. Like whom is this?
(e) Answer (Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak): It is like R. Yehudah;
1. (Mishnah): If the spring of a Beis ha'Shelachin (a field that must be irrigated) dried up, or the tree was cut down, the owner brings Bikurim (from its produce) but does not recite Viduy Bikurim ("Arami Oved Avi..." He cannot say "ha'Adamah Asher Nasata Li," since now his land is unproductive);
2. R. Yehudah says, he brings Bikurim and recites Viduy Bikurim. (The ground is intact. It is the primary source of the fruits.)
(f) (Mishnah): [If one blessed Borei Pri ha'Etz] on fruits of the ground [he was not Yotzei].
(g) Objection: This is obvious!
(h) Answer (Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak): It is a Chidush according to R. Yehudah (the Tana of the Mishnah), who considers wheat to be a tree:
1. (Beraisa - R. Meir): The Etz ha'Da'as (tree of knowlede) was a vine, which brings more misery to the world than anything else;
2. R. Yehudah says, it was wheat. A child does not know to call to his parents until he tastes grain;
3. R. Nechemyah says, it was a fig tree. The remedy for Adam and Chavah ("va'Yisperu Alei Se'enah," clothes made from fig leaves) was from the tree with which they sinned.
4. One might have thought that since R. Yehudah considers wheat to be a tree, its blessing is Borei Pri ha'Etz;
5. The Mishnah teaches that this is not so. Borei Pri ha'Etz applies only when the branch remains after the fruit is taken, and it bears more fruits;
i. If no branch remains that will bear more fruits, one blesses Borei Pri ha'Adamah.
(i) (Mishnah): If one blessed sheha'Kol on any food, he was Yotzei.
(j) (Rav Huna): He was Yotzei on anything except for bread or wine;
(k) (R. Yochanan): He was Yotzei even for bread or wine.
(l) Suggestion: Tana'im argue about this:
1. (Beraisa - R. Meir): If one saw bread or a fig and said "how nice is this bread (or fig). Blessed is the One who created it," he was Yotzei;
2. R. Yosi says, anyone who deviates from Chachamim's text of Berachos was not Yotzei.
3. Rav Huna holds like R. Yosi, and R. Yochanan holds like R. Meir!
(m) Rejection - part 1: Even R. Meir could agree with Rav Huna;
1. R. Meir only said that one is Yotzei when he mentioned the specific food. He could agree that sheha'Kol does not exempt a food with a particular blessing;
(n) Rejection - part 1: Even R. Yosi could hold like R. Yochanan;
1. R. Yosi said that he was not Yotzei only when he uses a text that Chachamim did not compose. Since Chachamim composed sheha'Kol Nihyeh bi'Devaro (for some foods), one could be Yotzei with it for other foods.
5) A CHANGE FROM THE ENACTED TEXT OF BERACHOS
(a) Binyamin (a shepherd) said (in Aramaic) "blessed is the Maker of this bread."
(b) Rav: He was Yotzei.
(c) Question: Rav taught that any Berachah without Hashem's name is invalid!
(d) Correction: Binyamin had said "blessed is Rachmana (the Merciful One), the Maker of this bread."
(e) Question: One must say three Berachos to fulfill the obligation to say Birkas ha'Mazon!
(f) Answer: Rav said that he fulfilled the first Berachah (Rashi - of Birkas ha'Mazon. Rashba - he must add a closing, e.g. Baruch Rachmana d'Zan Es ha'Kol. Tosfos ha'Rosh - alternatively, if he said Baruch Rachmana d'Hai Pita, he was Yotzei Birkas ha'Motzi.)
(g) Question: Is Rav's Chidush that he was Yotzei in a language other than Lashon ha'Kodesh (Hebrew)?! We already learn this from a Mishnah!
1. (Mishnah): The following may be said in any language -- Parshas Sotah, Viduy Ma'aser, Keri'as Shma, Tefilah, and Birkas ha'Mazon.
(h) Answer: One might have thought that this applies only if he said a translation of the blessing in another language. Rav teaches that this is not so.
(i) (Rav): Any Berachah without Hashem's name is invalid.
(j) (R. Yochanan): Any Berachah that does not mention Hashem's kingship is invalid.
(k) Question (against R. Yochanan - Abaye - Beraisa): [In Viduy Ma'aser one says] "Lo Avarti" -- I did not forget to bless You (when tithing); "v'Lo Shachachti" -- I did not forget to mention Your name (at the time).
1. The Beraisa does not mention kingship!
(l) Answer (for R. Yochanan): The Beraisa should say "v'Lo Shachachti" -- I did not forget to mention Your name and kingship.
6) THINGS THAT DO NOT GROW FROM THE GROUND
(a) (Mishnah): On something that does not grow from the ground one blesses sheha'Kol;
(b) On vinegar, Novlos (this will be explained) and permitted locusts one blesses sheha'Kol;
(c) R. Yehudah says, we do not bless on anything that is a curse.
(d) R. Yehudah says, if there are various foods, one of which is of the seven species, one blesses on it;
(e) Chachamim say, he blesses on whichever he wants.
(f) (Gemara - Beraisa): One blesses sheha'Kol on the following:
1. Something that does not grow from the ground, such as meat of domesticated animals, wild animals, fowl and fish, milk, eggs and cheese;
2. Moldy bread, wine or a cooked food that spoiled;
3. Salt, brine, truffles and mushrooms.
(g) Inference: Truffles and mushrooms do not grow from the ground.
(h) Contradiction (Beraisa): If one vowed from [eating] fruits of the ground, he may not eat fruits of the ground, but he may eat truffles and mushrooms;
1. If he vowed from all that grows from the ground, even truffles and mushrooms are forbidden.
(i) Answer (Abaye): They grow from [moisture of] the ground, but they do not derive nourishment from the ground.
(j) Question: The Beraisa lists things "that do not grow from the ground"!
(k) Answer: It should say "that do not derive nourishment from the ground."
(a) (Mishnah): On Novlos.
(b) Question: What are Novlos?
(c) Answer #1 (R. Zeira or R. Ila'a): They are scorched dates. (They dried up due to the sun.)
(d) Answer #2 (the other of R. Zeira and R. Ila'a): They are dates that the wind detached.
(e) (Mishnah - R. Yehudah): We do not bless on anything that is a curse.
(f) Version #1 - Question: We understand according to the opinion that they are scorched dates;
1. However, according to the opinion that they are wind-fallen dates, why does R. Yehudah call this a curse?
(g) Answer: R. Yehudah argues only about vinegar and locusts. (Novlos are not a curse.)
(h) Version #2 - Question: According to the opinion that they are scorched dates, we understand why the blessing is sheha'Kol;
1. But if they are wind-fallen dates, the blessing should be Borei Pri ha'Etz!
(i) Answer: All agree that [plain] Novlos are scorched dates. they argue about Novlos Temarah (of a date tree):
1. (Mishnah): The Isur of Demai (doubtfully tithed produce, which one must tithe before eating) does not apply to the following (because they are not important, we are not concerned lest an Am ha'Aretz was unwilling to tithe them. We will define these species below):
2. Shisin, Rimin, Uzradim, Benos Shu'ach, Benos Shikmah, Gufnin, Nitzpeh and Novlos Temarah.
3. (Rabah bar bar Chanah): Shisin, Benos Shu'ach, and Benos Shikmah are kinds of figs;
4. Rimin are Kandei (lote fruits). Uzradim are soreb-apples. Gufnin are grapes that remain at the end of winter. Nitzpeh are caper fruits.
5. R. Ila'a and R. Zeira argue about Novlos Temarah, whether they are scorched or wind-fallen dates.
(j) Version #1 - Inference: Demai does not apply to them, but definite Tevel must be tithed.
(k) Question: We understand this according to the opinion that they are scorched dates, but according to the opinion that they are wind-fallen, they are Hefker! (They should be exempt)!
(l) Answer: The case is, someone made a Kri (pile) of them:
1. (R. Yitzchak): If one made a pile of Leket, Shichechah or Pe'ah, it must be tithed.
(m) Version #2 - Question: According to the opinion that Novlos Temarah are wind-fallen dates, we understand why our Mishnah says "Novlos". (It refers to scorched dates);
1. However, according to the opinion that also Novlos Temarah are scorched dates, both Mishnayos should use the same name!
(n) This is left difficult.