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) PRECEDENCE AMONG DIFFERENT SPECIES
(a) (Mishnah - R. Yehudah): If there are various foods...
(b) (Ula): They argue when the foods have the same Berachah. R. Yehudah holds that the seven species have precedence, and Chachamim hold that Chaviv (what he prefers) has precedence;
1. If they have different Berachos, he must make both Berachos. All agree that he blesses first on whichever he wants.
(c) Question (Beraisa): If one wants to eat a radish and an olive, he blesses on the radish, and exempts the olive.
(d) Answer: The case is, the radish is primary. (He eats the olive just to weaken the sharpness of the radish.)
(e) Question (Seifa - R. Yehudah): He blesses on the olive, for it is one of the seven species.
1. Does R. Yehudah argue with the following Mishnah?
2. (Mishnah): The general rule is, if one eats a primary and a secondary food together, he blesses only on the primary, and this exempts the secondary.
3. Suggestion: Perhaps indeed he argues with it!
4. Rejection (Beraisa - R. Yehudah): If he eats the olive due to the radish, he blesses on the radish and exempts the olive.
(f) Answer: Really, the radish is primary. R. Yehudah and Chachamim argue about something else;
1. The Mishnah is abbreviated. It means as follows. If one wants to eat a radish and an olive, he blesses on the radish and exempts the olive;
2. This is when the radish is primary. If not, all agree that he blesses on both.
3. In general, when there are two species of the same blessing, he blesses on whichever he wants [and exempts the other];
4. R. Yehudah says, he blesses on the olive, for it is one of the seven species.
(g) (R. Ami or R. Yitzchak Nafcha): They argue when the Berachos are the same. R. Yehudah holds that the seven species have precedence, and Chachamim hold that Chaviv has precedence;
1. If they have different Berachos, all agree that he must make both Berachos.
(h) (The other of R. Ami and R. Yitzchak Nafcha): They argue even when the Berachos are different.
(i) Question: We understand the first opinion;
1. However, according to the second opinion, when the Berachos are different, what do they argue about?
(j) Answer (R. Yirmeyah): They argue about which he blesses on first.
1. (Rav Yosef): A species that is earlier in the verse "Eretz Chitah u'Se'orah v'Gefen u'Se'enah v'Rimon Eretz Zeis Shemen u'Devash" has precedence regarding Berachos (to bless on it first).
(k) He argues with R. Chanan;
1. (R. Chanan): The entire verse alludes to Shi'urim:
2. Wheat -- (Mishnah): If one enters Bayis ha'Menuga with clothes resting on his shoulder, and sandals and rings on his hands (not on the proper fingers), he and his clothes are Teme'im immediately;
i. If he enters wearing his clothes, sandals and rings (on the proper fingers), he is Tamei immediately, but his clothes are Teme'im only after he delays the time needed to eat a half a loaf of bread;
ii. We gauge the time to eat wheat bread (not barley), reclining, with an accompaniment on the bread.
3. Barley -- a bone of a Mes at least the size of a barley kernel has Tum'as Maga and Masa (one who touches or moves it becomes Tamei), but not Tum'as Ohel;
4. Grapes -- a Nazir is liable for [eating produce of vines] the quantity of a Revi'is of wine. (This is more than a Revi'is of water, for wine is thick. If one fills a vessel above the brim with wine, it does not spill out as soon as when it is filled with water. The difference depends on the dimensions of the vessel. We must gauge the Revi'is according to a standard Revi'is vessel.)
5. Figs -- one who transfers food (from Reshus ha'Yachid to Reshus ha'Rabim or vice-versa) the volume of a dried fig on Shabbos is liable;
6. Pomegranates -- (Mishnah): If a [wooden] vessel of a Ba'al ha'Bayis (i.e. not a craftsman) has a hole through which a pomegranate could fall out, it is Tahor.
7. Olives -- (R. Yosi b'Rebbi Chanina): All the Shi'urim of Eretz Yisrael are a k'Zayis.
8. Objection: This cannot be. Also each of the other fruits is a Shi'ur!
9. Correction: Most of the Shi'urim of Eretz Yisrael are a k'Zayis (e.g. liability for eating forbidden fat, blood, Pigul, etc.).
10. Dates -- one who eats the volume of a large date on Yom Kipur is liable.
(l) Rav Yosef argues with Rav Chanan, for the Shi'urim are not written in the Torah. They are mid'Rabanan. (Elsewhere, the Gemara calls them "a tradition from Moshe from Sinai.") The verse is merely an Asmachta.
(m) Rav Chisda and Rav Hamnuna were eating together. There were dates and pomegranates. Rav Hamnuna blessed on a date.
(n) Question (Rav Chisda): Don't you hold like Rav Yosef, who says that a species mentioned earlier in the verse has precedence regarding Berachos?!
(o) Answer (Rav Hamnuna): Dates are the second species after [the second mention in the verse of] "Eretz". It has preference over pomegranates, which are the fifth after [the first] "Eretz."
(p) Rav Chisda: I wish we had iron legs to [follow you around constantly, and] hear your wisdom!
2) BLESSING ON FOODS THAT ARE SERVED DURING A MEAL
(a) (Rav Huna and Rav Nachman): If figs and grapes were served in a meal, one must bless on them beforehand, but not afterwards. (Birkas ha'Mazon exempts them.)
(b) (Rav Sheshes): He must bless on them beforehand and afterwards;
1. The only thing that requires a blessing beforehand but not afterwards is Pas ha'Ba b'Kisnin. (All agree that such bread is not usually the basis of a meal. The Shulchan Aruch cites opinions that it is bread with "pockets" (containing honey or nuts), or made from a flavored dough (kneaded with oil, honey, or milk), or brittle wafers. Tosfos - Birkas ha'Mazon exempts them.)
(c) He argues with R. Chiya;
1. (R. Chiya): Bread exempts all kinds of food. Wine exempts all kinds of drinks.
(d) (Rav Papa): The Halachah is:
1. Version #1 (Rashi): Things eaten due to the meal (accompaniments for bread) during the meal do not require a blessing beforehand or afterwards;
2. Things eaten not due to the meal during the meal (i.e. for satiation, but not for accompaniment) require a blessing beforehand, but not afterwards;
3. Things normally eaten after the meal (e.g. fruits, even if eaten during the meal) require a blessing beforehand and afterwards.
4. Version #2 (Tosfos): Things eaten due to the meal (i.e. things normally eaten in a meal with bread), if eaten during the meal, do not require a blessing beforehand or afterwards;
5. Things not normally eaten due to the meal, require a blessing beforehand during the meal, but not afterwards;
6. Things eaten after the meal (it was customary to remove the bread, and serve other food afterwards) require a blessing beforehand and afterwards.
(e) Question: Why do things eaten due to the meal during the meal not require a blessing beforehand or afterwards?
(f) Answer (Ben Zoma): [The blessing on] bread exempts them.
(g) Question: If so, bread should exempt also wine!
(h) Answer (Ben Zoma): Wine is different, for we often bless on it even without desire to drink it (e.g. Kidush).