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 BLESS FOR EVERYONE ELSE?
(a) (Mishnah): If they reclined, one blesses for everyone.
(b) Version #1 (Rav): Only bread requires reclining (for one to bless for everyone), wine does not require reclining.
(c) (R. Yochanan): Even wine requires reclining.
(d) Version #2 (Rav): Reclining helps only for bread (for one to bless for everyone). It does not help for wine;
(e) (R. Yochanan): It helps even for wine. (end of Version #2)
(f) Question (Beraisa): The order of reclining is as follows:
1. Guests enter and sit on benches and soft chairs, until everyone enters. They bring water, and everyone washes one hand (with which he will hold a cup);
2. They bring wine. Everyone blesses for himself;
3. They recline on beds, and they bring water. Even though everyone already washed one hand, they wash both hands.
4. They bring wine. Even though everyone already blessed for himself, one blesses again for everyone.
5. According to Version #1, the Reisha (the first serving of wine) refutes Rav (who always allows one to bless for everyone on wine).
(g) Answer: Guests are different. Because later they will go to recline on beds, they are not Kevu'im (fixed together) until they recline.
(h) Question: According to Version #2, the Seifa (the second wine) refutes Rav (who says that reclining does not help for wine)!
(i) Answer: Since reclining helps for bread (which they will eat), it helps also for wine.
(j) (Mishnah): If wine was brought during the meal (everyone blesses for himself).
(k) (Beraisa) Question: Why must everyone bless for himself on wine during the meal, but one blesses for everyone on wine after the meal?
(l) Answer (Ben Zoma): During the meal, people have food in their mouths when the leader blesses. (Rashi - they will not listen to the blessing. R. Yonah - they might choke if they answer Amen to the blessing.)
(m) (Mishnah): He (the one who blessed on the wine after the meal) blesses on the incense.
(n) Inference: Even if it is more proper that someone else bless [e.g. the other is more esteemed], he blesses (because he blessed on the wine)! (We explain like the Gra, who deletes several words from the text.)
(o) This supports Rav;
1. (Rav): The one who washes his hands first after the meal should say Birkas ha'Mazon for everyone. (Likewise, the one who began to make Berachos after the meal continues to do so.)
(p) Rav and R. Chiya were eating with Rebbi. Rebbi told Rav to wash his hands. Rav was nervous. (He thought that he had eaten with soiled hands, or that he was eating too slowly.)
1. R. Chiya (to Rav): Rebbi is just telling you to prepare to say Birkas ha'Mazon for everyone.
2) BERACHOS FOR SMELLS
(a) (R. Zeira citing Rava bar Yirmeyah): We may bless on incense from when the cloud of smoke arises.
(b) Question (R. Zeira): He does not smell it yet!
1. Counter-question (Rava bar Yirmeyah): One blesses ha'Motzi before eating the bread!
2. Answer (Rava): You must say, he may bless because he intends [and is about] to eat;
(c) Answer (Rava): Here also, he may bless because he intends [and is about] to smell!
(d) (Rav Chisda): We bless Borei Atzei Besamim on every kind of incense, except for musk, for it is from an animal. Its blessing is Borei Minei Besamim;
(e) Question (Beraisa): We bless Borei Atzei Besamim only on balsam of Beis Rebbi and Beis Kaiser, and any myrtle. (Bahag - the same applies to all trees that are primary for their smell.)
(f) Rav Chisda is refuted.
(g) Question (Rav Chisda): What do we bless on balsam oil?
(h) Answer #1 (R. Yitzchak citing Rav Yehudah): We bless Borei Shemen Artzeinu (Who creates oil of our land).
(i) Question (Rav Chisda): That is Rav Yehudah's opinion, for he cherishes Eretz Yisrael exceedingly. What does everyone else bless?
(j) Answer #2 (R. Yitzchak citing R. Yochanan): We bless Borei Shemen Arev (Who creates pleasant oil).
(k) (Rav Ada bar Ahavah): We bless Borei Atzei Besamim on costus (Kosht, which is one of the spices in the Ketores), but not on oil that absorbed the aroma of costus inside it
(l) (Rav Kahana): We bless Borei Atzei Besamim even on oil that absorbed the aroma of costus inside it, but not on oil into which costus was ground.
(m) (Chachamim of Neharde'a): We bless Borei Atzei Besamim even on oil into which costus was ground.
(n) (Rav Gidal): We bless Borei Atzei Besamim on jasmine.
(o) (Rav Chananel): We bless Borei Atzei Besamim on Shiboles Nerd (spinekard, one of the ingredients in the Ketores. It grows in capsules, like flax.)
1. (Mar Zutra): He learns from "va'Titmenem b'Fishtei ha'Etz." (Flax is called a tree.)
(p) (Rav Mesharshiya): We bless Borei Atzei Besamim on garden roses, and Borei Isvei Besamim on wild roses.
(q) (Rav Sheshes): We bless Borei Isvei Besamim on violets.
(r) (Mar Zutra): One who smells an Esrog or quince blesses "she'Nasan Re'ach Tov ba'Peros."
(s) (Rav Yehudah): One who sees trees budding in the month of Nisan says,"blessed is He Who did not omit anything from His world, and created nice creations and trees for people to enjoy."
3) TEACHINGS OF MAR ZUTRA BAR TUVYA
(a) Question (Mar Zutra bar Tuvya): What is the source that we bless for fragrances?
(b) Answer: "Kol ha'Neshamah Tehalel Kah" -- scents benefit the Neshamah, and not the body.
(c) (Mar Zutra bar Tuvya): In the future, young men (some texts - who never sinned) will give off an aroma as nice as [the leaves and flowers of] Lebanon -- "v'Re'ach Lo ka'Levanon."
(d) Question (Mar Zutra bar Tuvya): What do we learn from "Es ha'Kol Asah Yafeh v'Ito"?
(e) Answer: This teaches that Hash-m made everyone happy with his profession (Maharsha - when He decreed what profession the person will have).
(f) (Rav Papa): This is like people say, hang moss for a pig [for him to eat it], and it will do its thing (roll it in the mud).
(g) (Mar Zutra bar Tuvya): A torch is like [a company of] two people (which protects from Mazikim at night). Moonlight is like three.
(h) Question: Are these like two and three including the person, or excluding him?
(i) Answer: He said that moonlight is like three. We understand this if it means three including him;
1. Question: However, if it means three excluding him, what advantage is there to three over two?
2. It was taught that a Mazik can appear to a lone person and damage him. It can appear to two people, but will not damage them. It does not appear to three people.
(j) Conclusion: A torch and moonlight are like two and three including the person.
(k) (Mar Zutra bar Tuvya): It is better to throw oneself into a lit furnace than to make someone blush through embarrassing him;
1. We learn from Tamar -- "Hi Mutzeis v'Hi Shalchah." (She would not embarrass Yehudah through saying that she was pregnant from him, in order to save herself from being burned.)
4) THE ORDER OF BERACHOS
(a) (Beraisa - Beis Shamai): If one wants to bless on [scented] oil and myrtle, he blesses first on the oil, and then on the myrtle;
(b) Beis Hillel says, he blesses first on the myrtle, and then on the oil.
(c) R. Gamliel: I will arbitrate:
1. We should bless first on oil, for we get two benefits from it -- anointing and fragrance. Our only benefit from myrtle is its fragrance.
(d) (R. Yochanan): The Halachah follows the arbiter. (Normally, this refers to a third, mediating opinion that is like the first opinion in some cases and like the second opinion in others. The Halachah normally follows such an opinion. Here, R. Gamliel merely decided like Beis Shamai, and R. Yochanan rules like him.)
(e) Oil and myrtle were brought in front of Rav Papa. He blessed first on the myrtle, and then on the oil.
(f) Rav Huna brei d'Rav Ika: Don't you hold that the Halachah follows the arbiter?!
(g) Rav Papa: Rava said that the Halachah follows Beis Hillel.
(h) Version #1 (Rashi): This is wrong. (Rava did not say this. Rav Papa merely wanted to spare himself from shame. Sheyarei Korban - the Halachah is, one may say things in the name of his Rebbi that his Rebbi did not say, unlike the Beraisa (27b). Maharlbach - a Chacham must be "Modeh Al ha'Emes" (admit that his teaching is wrong), but not when he acted according to it, for that is a great embarrassment. Tosfos and the Gra say that the above is not in the Rif's text, for he rules like Rava. Alternatively, the Rif could explain like Version #2.)
(i) Version #2 (Rama mi'Pano): This is imprecise. (Rava did not say this. Rav Papa knew that the Halachah follows Beis Hillel. He preferred to attribute the ruling to his Rebbi.) (End of Version #2)
(j) (Beraisa - Beis Shamai): If one wants to bless on oil and wine, he puts the oil in his right hand and the wine in his left hand. He blesses on the oil, and then on the wine;
(k) Beis Hillel says, he puts the wine in his right hand and the oil in his left. He blesses on the wine, and then on the oil;
1. Later, he rubs the oil from his hand onto the waiter's head (we will explain why);
2. If the waiter is a Chacham, he rubs the oil on the wall;
i. This is because it is disgraceful for a Chacham to go perfumed in the market (i.e. in public).
5) WHAT IS DISGRACEFUL FOR A TALMID CHACHAM
(a) (Beraisa): Six things are disgraceful for a Talmid Chacham:
1. He should not go perfumed in the market;
2. He should not go out alone at night;
3. He should not go out with patched shoes;
4. He should not speak with a woman in the market;
5. He should not recline (to eat) with Amei ha'Aretz;
6. He should not be the last to enter the Beis Medrash.
(b) Some say, he should not take a big step or walk upright (arrogantly).
(c) (Beraisa): He should not go perfumed in the market.
(d) (R. Aba): This is in a place where people are suspected of homosexuality.
(e) (Rav Sheshes): This is only if his garment is scented. We are not concerned if his body is scented, for [people realize that] this is only to counter sweat. (Tzelach explains that we permit only on covered pars of his body, which become sweaty. This explains why one may not rub oil onto the waiter's head if the waiter is a Chacham.)
1. Version #1 (Rav Papa): His hair is considered like a garment.
2. Version #2 (Rav Papa): His hair is considered like his body.
(f) (Beraisa): He should not go out alone at night.
(g) This is due to suspicion (that he goes for Zenus);
1. This is only if he does not have a fixed time to learn [from his Rebbi]. If he does, people know that he goes to learn.
(h) (Beraisa): He should not go out with patched shoes.
(i) This supports R. Chiya bar Aba;
1. (R. Chiya bar Aba): It is disgraceful for a Chacham to go out with patched shoes.
2. Question: He himself went out with patched shoes!
3. Answer (Mar Zutra brei d'Rav Nachman): It is disgraceful only if there is a patch on top of a patch.
4. This is only if the patches are on the top of the shoe. If they are on the sole, we are not concerned.
5. Even on the top, we are concerned only on the road. In his house, we are not concerned.
6. This is only in summer. In winter we are not concerned. (Rashi - mud covers them.)
(j) (Beraisa): He should not speak with a woman in the market.
(k) (Rav Chisda): This applies even to his wife.
1. Support (Beraisa): This applies even to his wife, daughter, and sister, for perhaps people do not know that these are his relatives.
(l) (Beraisa): He should not recline with Amei ha'Aretz.
(m) Question: What is the reason?
(n) Answer: He might get drawn after them.
(o) (Beraisa): He should not be the last to enter the Beis Medrash.
(p) This is because people will call him a transgressor (lazy).
(q) (Beraisa - Some say): He should not take a big step.
1. Taking a big step detracts 1/500th of a person's sight.
2. Question: If one did so, how can he rectify it?
3. Answer: He should drink the wine used to make Kidush on Shabbos night (Rashi. Mishnah Berurah OC 271:48 - he should look at the candles at the time of Kidush.)
(r) (Beraisa - Some say): He should not walk upright.
1. If one walks upright, even four Amos, it is as if he pushes aside the feet of the Shechinah (Maharsha - which are on top of a person's head) -- "Melo Chol ha'Aretz Kevodo."