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) WONDERS OF ERETZ YISRAEL
(a) (Mishnah): If one was served salted food and bread, he blesses on the salted food and exempts the bread, for it is secondary to it.
1. 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.
(b) (Gemara) Question: Do we ever find that salted food is primary and bread is secondary?!
(c) Answer (Rav Acha brei d'Rav Avira): The Mishnah discusses the fruits of Ginosar. (Rashi - they are more important than bread. They are very sweet. They are normally eaten salted. Tosfos - it discusses one who became weak from eating the fruits of Ginosar. Now, primarily he wants to eat salted food to recover.)
(d) (Rabah bar bar Chanah): When we followed R. Yochanan to eat fruits of Ginosar:
1. If there were 100 of us, everyone would take 10 fruits for him. If there were 10 of us, everyone would take 100. (In any case, we took 1000 for him.)
2. A hundred fruits (Maharshal - did not) fit into a three-Se'ah basket;
3. He ate them, and swore that he did not taste Ziyuna (anything).
4. Objection: This cannot be!
5. Correction: Rather, he swore that he did not taste Mazona (anything satiating).
(e) R. Avahu ate fruits of Ginosar until flies would slip off his face. (His face glowed and became very smooth.)
(f) R. Ami and R. Asi ate fruits of Ginosar until their hair fell out.
(g) Reish Lakish ate them until he became crazed. R. Yochanan told the Nasi's house, and R. Yehudah Nesi'ah sent masses of people to return Reish Lakish to his house.
(h) (Rav Dimi): Yanai ha'Melech had a city in Har ha'Melech. It would send 600,000 bowls of tuna (i.e. cut) fish every week to feed workers picking figs.
(i) (Ravin): Yanai ha'Melech had a tree in Har ha'Melech. Three times every month they would take from it 40 Sa'im of newly born birds.
(j) (R. Yitzchak): In Gufnis (a city in Eretz Yisrael) there were 80 pairs of brothers who were Kohanim married to sisters who were the daughters of Kohanim. (There must have been a great number of people for this to occur so often);
1. In Bavel, they checked from Sura until Neharde'a and found only one pair close to this. Rav Chisda's daughters were married to Rami and Mar Ukva bar Chama;
2. The sisters were daughters of a Kohen, but the brothers were not Kohanim.
(k) (Rav): A meal without salt is not a [proper] meal.
(l) (R. Chiya bar Aba): A meal without a cooked food with liquid is not a [proper] meal.
2) BERACHOS OF THE SEVEN SPECIES
(a) (Mishnah - R. Gamliel): If one ate grapes, figs or pomegranates, he says three Berachos (Birkas ha'Mazon);
(b) Chachamim say, he says one Berachah me'Ein Shalosh.
(c) R. Akiva says, even if he fixed his meal on Shelakos (cooked vegetables), he says three Berachos.
(d) One who drinks water due to thirst blesses sheha'Kol;
(e) R. Tarfon says, he blesses Borei Nefashos.
(f) (Gemara) Question: Why does R. Gamliel require Birkas ha'Mazon for all seven species?
(g) Answer: It says "Eretz Chitah u'Se'orah v'Gefen u'Se'enah v'Rimon Eretz Zeis Shemen u'Devash," and it says "Eretz Asher Lo v'Miskenus Tochal Bah Lechem... v'Achalta v'Savata u'Verachta."
(h) Chachamim argue, for "Eretz" in the middle interrupts [between the seven species and Birkas ha'Mazon. Therefore, it is required only for bread.]
(i) Question: R. Gamliel should agree that "Eretz" interrupts!
(j) Answer: He expounds "Eretz" to exempt one who eats raw wheat. (The obligation for wheat and barley is only if they were made into bread.)
(k) (R. Yakov bar Idi): One blesses Borei Minei Mezonos before eating anything from the five grains, and me'Ein Shalosh afterwards.
(l) (Rabah bar Mari): One blesses Borei Pri ha'Etz before eating any of the seven species (other than grain), and me'Ein Shalosh afterwards.
(m) Question (Abaye): What is me'Ein Shalosh?
(n) Answer (Rav Dimi): For fruits, it is "Al ha'Etz v'Al Pri ha'Etz... Ki Atah Tov u'Metiv la'Kol";
1. For the five grains, it is "Al ha'Michyah v'Al ha'Kalkalah..." The blessing closes "Al ha'Aretz v'Al ha'Michyah."
(o) Question: How does the blessing [for fruits] close?
1. Rav Dimi taught that on Rosh Chodesh, we close [the middle blessing of Musaf] "Baruch [Atah Hash-m] Mekadesh Yisrael v'Roshei Chodashim" (even though normally, we do not close a blessing with two praises (49a);
2. Here (for fruits), may we close similarly (e.g. "Al ha'Aretz v'Al ha'Peiros"? Gra deletes (1) and (2), presumably because we already know that for grains we close "Al ha'Aretz v'Al ha'Michyah." Meromei Sadeh - we cannot learn from those, for the ability to grow grain is a primary praise of Eretz Yisrael. It is essentially one praise, like the end of the second blessing of Birkas ha'Mazon "Al ha'Aretz v'Al ha'Mazon.")
(p) Answer #1 (Rav Chisda): We close "Al ha'Aretz v'Al Peiroseha."
(q) Answer #2 (R. Yochanan): We close "Al ha'Aretz v'Al ha'Peiros."
(r) (Rav Amram): They do not argue. Each gives the text for [people in] his area. Rav Chisda teaches for Bavel, and R. Yochanan teaches for Eretz Yisrael.
(s) Objection: (Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak): This is unreasonable. In Bavel, why should we bless for its (Eretz Yisrael's) fruits?
(t) Correction: Rather, Rav Chisda says that we close "Al ha'Aretz v'Al ha'Peiros", and R. Yochanan says that we close "Al ha'Aretz v'Al Peiroseha."
3) ON WHAT DO WE SAY BOREI NEFASHOS?
(a) (R. Yitzchak bar Avodimi): On eggs and all kinds of meat one blesses beforehand sheha'Kol and afterwards Borei Nefashos, but one does not bless afterwards for Yerek (vegetables);
(b) (R. Yitzchak): One blesses afterwards even for Yerek, but not for water.
(c) (Rav Papa): One blesses afterwards even for water.
(d) Mar Zutra followed R. Yitzchak bar Avodimi. Rav Simi bar Ashi followed R. Yitzchak;
1. A way to remember who followed whom is that the one called by one name followed the one called by two (his and his father's) names, and vice-versa.
(e) (Rav Ashi): When I remember, I follow all of them. (I bless even for water.)
(f) Question (Mishnah): Anything that requires a blessing afterwards requires a blessing beforehand, but there is something that requires a blessing beforehand but does not require a blessing afterwards.
1. We understand this according to R. Yitzchak bar Avodimi and R. Yitzchak. It tt refers to Yerek or water, which requires a Berachah Rishonah, but not a Berachah Acharonah;
2. However, how does Rav Papa explain this?
(g) Answer #1: It refers to Mitzvos. (We bless beforehand, but not afterwards.)
(h) Question: In Eretz Yisrael, after removing Tefilin they bless "Asher Kidshanu b'Mitzvosav v'Tzivanu Lishmor Chukav." What does the Mishnah exempt (from a Berachah Acharonah)?
(i) Answer #2: It exempts [nice] fragrances. (Tosfos ha'Rosh - we could also have said that it excludes other Mitzvos, or one who ate less than k'Zayis.)
4) BENEFICIAL AND HARMFUL FOODS
(a) (R. Yanai): There is nothing the size of an egg that is as beneficial as an egg.
1. (Ravin): A lightly roasted egg is better than six Lugim (a Log is the volume of six eggs) of fine flour.
2. (Rav Dimi): A lightly roasted egg is better than six Lugim (of flour). A hard roasted egg is better than four Lugim. An egg cooked (in water) is better than anything cooked, except for meat.
(b) (Mishnah - R. Akiva): Even if he fixed his meal on Shelakos...
(c) Question: Do people fix a meal on cooked vegetables?!
(d) Answer (Rav Ashi): He refers to cabbage stalks. (They give sustenance.)
(e) (Beraisa): Spleen is good for the teeth but bad for the intestines. Leeks are bad for the teeth but good for the intestines;
1. Any raw Yerek makes one pale. Anything small (that did not grow enough) makes one smaller. Any living thing eaten whole (after death, e.g. small fish) revitalizes a person. Anything close to an animal's life source (this will be explained) revitalizes a person.
2. Cabbage is for sustenance. Beets are for healing. Woe to the "house" (i.e. stomach) through which turnips pass!
(f) Question: [The Beraisa said that] spleen is good for the teeth but bad for the intestines. What remedy is there for this?
(g) Answer: He should chew it and spit it out.
(h) Question: Leeks are bad for the teeth but good for the intestines. What remedy is there for this?
(i) Answer: He should cook it (until it is very soft) and swallow it (without chewing it).
(j) (Beraisa): Any raw Yerek pales.
(k) (R. Yitzchak): This refers to the first meal after bloodletting.
(l) (R. Yitzchak): One may not talk with one who ate Yerek within the first four hours of the day.
(m) Question: What is the reason?
(n) Answer: [This is before people normally eat.] The smell is harmful (to someone who has not eaten yet).
(o) (R. Yitzchak): One may not eat raw Yerek within the first four hours of the day.
(p) Raw Yerek was brought in front of Ameimar, Mar Zutra and Rav Ashi within the first four hours of the day. Ameimar and Rav Ashi ate it. Mar Zutra did not.
1. Ameimar and Rav Ashi: Do you refrain because R. Yitzchak forbids talking with one who ate Yerek within four hours, due to smell? We ate, yet you are talking with us!
2. Mar Zutra: I hold like his other teaching, which forbids eating raw Yerek within four hours.
(q) (Beraisa): Anything small makes one smaller.
(r) (Rav Chisda): This refers even to a [nice, fat] kid that sells for a Zuz.
1. Something small is problematic only if it did not grow to a quarter of its full size.
(s) (Beraisa): Any living thing eaten whole revitalizes a person.
(t) (Rav Papa): This refers even to tiny fish among reeds (they never get much bigger).
5) BENEFICIAL AND HARMFUL FOODS (cont.)
(a) (Beraisa): Anything close to an animal's life source revitalizes a person.
(b) (Rav Acha bar Yakov): This refers to meat from the neck.
(c) Rava (to his servant): When you buy meat for me, try to get from close to [the neck,] where the blessing (on slaughter) was made.
(d) (Beraisa): Cabbage is for sustenance. Beets are for healing.
(e) Question: Is cabbage only for sustenance, and not for healing?!
1. (Beraisa): Six foods are proper cures -- cabbage, beets, dry pennyroyal, stomach, womb, and diaphragm.
(f) Answer: It means, cabbage is even for sustenance (and also for healing).
(g) (Beraisa): Woe to the "house" through which turnips pass!
(h) Question: Rava told his servant "when you see turnips in the market, don't ask what to buy for me to eat with my bread. (Surely, I want them!)"
(i) Answer #1 (Abaye and Rav): They are bad if cooked without [fatty] meat.
(j) Answer #2 (Rava and R. Yochanan): They are bad if one does not drink wine (after eating them).
(k) Answer #3 (Shmuel): They are bad if eaten without [using much] wood (to cook them well);
1. Rava (to Rav Papa, who used to brew beer): We "fix" turnips with meat and wine. You do not have much wine. What do you use?
2. Rav Papa: We use [much] wood;
i. After Rav Papa's wife cooked turnips, she would consume 80 logs cooking it again.
(l) (Beraisa): Small salted fish can kill on the seventh, 17th or 27th (some substitute "23rd" for "27th") day after it was salted.
1. This is only if it was half-roasted. If it was fully roasted, there is no problem.
2. Even if it was half-roasted, this is only if he did not drink beer afterwards. If he drank, there is no problem.
(m) (Mishnah): One who drinks water due to thirst...
(n) Question: What does this come to exclude?
(o) Answer (Rav Idi bar Avin): It excludes one who drank because he was choking on meat.
(p) (Mishnah - R. Tarfon): He blesses Borei Nefashos.
(q) (Rabah bar Rav Chanan): What is the Halachah?
(r) Answer (Abaye): See what people do! (Everyone blesses sheha'Kol beforehand and Borei Nefashos afterwards.)