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) WHOM DO WE HONOR AND/OR WAIT FOR
(a) (Beraisa): We do not honor (let important people go first) on the road, on bridges, or regarding filthy hands (Mayim Acharonim).
(b) Ravin and Abaye were traveling. Ravin's donkey went ahead of Abaye's, yet he did not tell Abaye to go first (even though Abaye was greater). Abaye was thinking That because Ravin comes from Eretz Yisrael, he feels intimate with the Chachamim (and does not need to honor them). When they came to the entrance to the Beis ha'Keneses, Ravin asked Abaye to enter first.
1. Abaye: Until now, you did not consider me to be above you!
2. Ravin: R. Yochanan taught that we honor only at an opening with a Mezuzah.
3. Question: Do we not honor at an opening without a Mezuzah?! If so, we do not honor at the entrance to a Beis ha'Keneses or Beis Midrash!
4. Correction: Rather, we honor only at an opening proper to have a Mezuzah.
(c) (Rav Yehudah citing Rav): Those seated may not eat at all until the Botze'a tastes.
(d) Rav Safra: Rav said 'they may not taste until the Botze'a tastes.'
(e) Question: Why did Rav Safra need to say this? It means the same!
(f) Answer: One must repeat teachings exactly like he heard them.
(g) (Beraisa): If two people eat together from a serving bowl, each must stop eating when the other stops (e.g. to drink). Three people need not wait for each other.
(h) The Botze'a is the first to take. He may honor his Rebbi or someone greater than himself (through giving this right to them).
(i) Rabah bar bar Chanah (to his son): The Botze'a may not cut the bread until the people (who will be Yotzei through his Berachah) finish answering "Amen."
(j) (Rav Chisda): He must wait for most of the people to answer "Amen."
(k) Question (Rami bar Chama): Presumably, he must wait for most of the people because "Amen" is considered part of the Berachah. It is not finished yet;
1. The same applies to the minority. He should wait also for them!
(l) Answer (Rav Chisda): One who delays answering "Amen" errs. (Therefore, the Botze'a need not wait for him).
(m) (Beraisa): One may not answer "Amen" that is Chatufah (the "Alef" is punctuated with a Chataf (what we call Shva), in place of a Kamatz), truncated (the "Nun" is not articulated well) or orphaned (he does not know what Berachah was said. He just heard others answering, and answered with them. Some say that he delayed answering);
1. One may not say a Berachah hurriedly (as if it is a burden he wants to be exempt from).
2. Ben Azai says, if one says an orphaned Amen, his children will be orphaned. If he says a Chatufah or truncated Amen, his life will be Chatufah (grabbed) or truncated, i.e. he will die prematurely;
3. If one prolongs saying Amen, his life will be lengthened.
(n) Rav and Shmuel were eating. Rav Simi bar Chiya came, and ate quickly.
1. Rav: Do you want to join for a Zimun? We already finished!
2. Shmuel: If they would bring (for dessert) mushrooms for me or young fowl for you, wouldn't we eat?! (Therefore, it is as if we are still eating, so Rav Simi may join for a Zimun.)
(o) Rav's Talmidim were eating. Rav Acha came. They said 'a great man came. He will make a Zimun.'
1. Rav Acha: The Gadol at the meal does not lead the Zimun (if he came later). Rather, one of the people who was there from the beginning is Mezamen.
(p) The Halachah is, the Gadol is Mezamen, even if he came at the end.
2) WHO JOINS FOR A ZIMUN
(a) (Mishnah): [The following count towards the three for a Zimun...] one who ate Demai (doubtfully tithed produce)...
(b) Question: It is forbidden to eat Demai!
(c) Answer: If he would make all his possessions Hefker (he would be poor), it would be permitted to him. Therefore, he joins for a Zimun. (I.e. since there is a permitted way to eat Demai, this shows that it is a light Isur, so one who ate it joins for a Zimun.)
1. (Mishnah): We may feed Demai to poor people or to soldiers (whom the city must feed).
2. (Rav Huna - Beraisa - Beis Shamai): We may not feed Demai to poor people or to soldiers. (He teaches that if we find a Tana who says so, we should know that it is Beis Shamai.)
(d) (Mishnah): Ma'aser Rishon from which Terumah was taken...
(e) Question: This is obvious!
(f) Answer: The case is, a Levi received Ma'aser Rishon from sheaves and separated Terumas Ma'aser from it, but Terumah Gedolah was not taken;
1. (R. Avahu): If a Levi received Ma'aser Rishon from sheaves, it is exempt from Terumah Gedolah. "Va'Haremosem Mimenu Terumas Hash-m Ma'aser Min ha'Ma'aser" teaches that a Levi must take [only] Ma'aser Min ha'Ma'aser (Terumas Ma'aser), but not Terumah Gedolah and Terumas Ma'aser.
2. Question (Rav Papa): If so, the verse should exempt even if he received Ma'aser Rishon from a Kri (pile of grain)!
3. Answer (Abaye): In this case we apply "mi'Kol Matnoseichem Tarimu."
4. Question: Perhaps we should exempt Ma'aser from a Kri and obligate Ma'aser from sheaves!
5. Answer: We obligate Ma'aser from a Kri because it is considered Degen (grain, from which Terumah must be given). Sheaves are not considered Degen.
(g) (Mishnah): Ma'aser Sheni or Hekdesh that was redeemed.
(h) Question: This is obvious!
(i) Answer: The case is, the principle was given, but Chomesh (an added quarter of the principal) was not given;
1. The Mishnah teaches that giving the Chomesh does not prevent the redemption from taking effect.
(j) (Mishnah): A waiter who ate a k'Zayis.
(k) Question: This is obvious!
(l) Answer: One might have thought that a waiter is not 'fixed.' (His eating is always haphazard, so he does not join for a Zimun.) The Mishnah teaches that this is not so.
3) WHO IS CONSIDERED AN AM HA'ARETZ?
(a) (Mishnah): A Kusi.
(b) Question: Why does a Kusi join for a Zimun? He should be no better than an Am ha'Aretz (ignoramus, or commoner)!
1. (Beraisa): An Am ha'Aretz does not join for a Zimun.
(c) Answer #1 (Abaye): The Mishnah discusses a Kusi Chaver (he observes Mitzvos properly).
(d) Answer #2 (Rava): It discusses even a Kusi Am ha'Aretz. The Mishnah refers to the Am ha'Aretz that R. Meir discusses, and the Beraisa refers to the Am ha'Aretz of Chachamim:
1. (Beraisa - R. Meir): An Am ha'Aretz is one who does not eat Chulin b'Taharah;
2. Chachamim say, it is one who does not tithe properly.
3. Summation of answer: Kusim tithe properly. We find that they keep Mitzvos explicit in the Torah;
i. (Beraisa - R. Shimon Ben Gamliel): Every Mitzvah that the Kusim are Muchzakim in, they keep it much more meticulously than Yisrael.
(e) (Beraisa) Question: Who is considered an Am ha'Aretz?
(f) Answer #1 (R. Eliezer): It is one who does not say Keri'as Shema every morning and evening.
(g) Answer #2 (R. Yehoshua): It is one who does not put on Tefilin.
(h) Answer #3 (Ben Azai): It is one who does not have Tzitzis on his garment.
(i) Answer #4 (R. Nasan): It is one who does not have a Mezuzah on his door.
(j) Answer #5 (R. Nasan bar Yosef): It is one who has sons and does not teach them Torah.
(k) Answer #6 (Acherim): Even one who learned Tanach and Mishnah, if he lacks Shimush Chachamim (to learn the reasons for the Mishnayos, what we call Gemara), he is an Am ha'Aretz.
(l) (Rav Huna): The Halachah follows Acherim.
(m) Rami bar Chama would not include Rav Menasiyah bar Tachlifa in a Zimun, even though Rav Menasiyah had learned Sifra, Sifri and Halachos.
1. Rava: This is the only reason why Rami bar Chama died.
2. Question (Beraisa - Others): Even one who learned Tanach and Mishnah, if he lacks Shimush Chachamim, he is an Am ha'Aretz. (Rami acted correctly!)
3. Version #1 - Answer: Rav Menasiyah had Shimush Chachamim. Rami had not investigated about him.
4. Version #2 - Answer: Rav Menasiyah heard and memorized teachings of Amora'im. He is considered a Chacham.
4) THOSE WHO DO NOT JOIN FOR A ZIMUN
(a) (Mishnah): [The following do not join...] one who ate Tevel.
(b) Question: This is obvious!
(c) Answer: The Mishnah teaches that even if the food is [exempt mid'Oraisa and] Tevel mid'Rabanan, he does not join.
(d) Question: What is such a case?
(e) Answer: It grew in a flowerpot without a hole. (It does not nurture from the ground.)
(f) (Mishnah): He ate Ma'aser Rishon from which Terumah was not taken.
(g) Question: This is obvious! (If Terumas Ma'aser was not taken, one who eats it is Chayav Misah bi'Yedei Shamayim, just like one who eats Tevel.)
(h) Answer: The case is, a Levi received Ma'aser Rishon from a Kri. (Terumas Ma'aser was taken but Terumah Gedolah was not taken);
1. One might have thought (that it is exempt from Terumah Gedolah) like Rav Papa's question. The Mishnah teaches that this is not so, like Abaye's answer.
(i) (Mishnah): Ma'aser Sheni or Hekdesh that was not redeemed.
(j) Question: This is obvious!
(k) Answer: The case is, they were redeemed, but improperly;
1. Ma'aser Sheni was redeemed on an Asimon (a formless 'coin'). The Torah requires "v'Tzarta ha'Kesef b'Yadecha," a [minted] coin with a Tzurah (form).
2. Hekdesh was redeemed onto land, and not money;
i. It says that one will give the money, and then "v'Kam Lo" (then the Hekdesh will be redeemed, and hence his).
(l) (Mishnah): A waiter who ate less than a k'Zayis;
(m) Question: This is obvious!
(n) Answer: [This is taught for parallel structure.] The Reisha said that if he ate a k'Zayis he joins for a Zimun, so the Seifa discusses less than a k'Zayis.
(o) (Mishnah): A Nochri does not join.
(p) Question: This is obvious! (He has no Mitzvah to bless.)
(q) Answer: The case is, he was circumcised for the sake of converting, but did not immerse;
1. (R. Zeira): He is not a convert until he is circumcised and immerses;
2. Before immersion, he is a Nochri.
5) WHO JOINS TO A ZIMUN OR MINYAN
(a) (Mishnah): We do not include women, slaves or children in a Zimun.
(b) (R. Asi): We may include a baby in a crib for a Zimun.
(c) Question (Mishnah): We do not include women, slaves or children in a Zimun.
(d) Answer: R. Asi holds like R. Yehoshua ben Levi:
1. (R. Yehoshua ben Levi): Even though we may not include a baby in a crib for a Zimun (of three), he may be included for 10 (to mention Hashem's name in the Zimun).
(e) (R. Yehoshua ben Levi): Nine Yisre'elim and a [Kena'ani] slave join (to allow Devarim shebi'Kdushah, things that may be said only with 10 men, to be recited).
(f) Question (Beraisa): A case occurred in which R. Eliezer found only nine in the Beis ha'Keneses, so he freed his slave to be the 10th.
1. Inference: He would not join if he was not freed!
(g) Answer: There were only eight Yisre'elim and two slaves. He freed one slave, and then the other joined for the Minyan.
(h) Question: One may not free a slave!
1. (Rav Yehudah): Anyone who frees a slave transgresses an Aseh -- "l'Olam Bahem Ta'avodu."
(i) Answer: Because it was for a Mitzvah, it was permitted.
(j) Question: The Mitzvah came through a transgression. It is not considered a Mitzvah!
(k) Answer: Because it was for a Mitzvah d'Rabim (of many people), it was permitted. (Rosh - even though it is only mid'Rabanan, it overrides an Isur mid'Oraisa of an individual.)
(l) (R. Yehoshua ben Levi): One should rise early to be one of the first 10 in Beis ha'Keneses. Even if 100 come later, he gets the reward of all of them.
(m) Objection: This cannot be!
(n) Correction: He gets as much reward as all of them together.
(o) (Rav Huna): The Aron Kodesh joins with nine men.
(p) Rav Nachman: The Aron is not a person!
(q) Correction (Rav Huna): Rather, if nine people look like ("Nir'eh") 10, they join:
1. Version #1: This means that they are gathered together. (One cannot tell that they are only nine.)
2. Version #2: This means that they are dispersed. (They appear to be many.)
(r) (R. Ami): Two people and Shabbos join (for a Zimun).
(s) Rav Nachman: Shabbos is not a person!
(t) Correction (R. Ami): Rather, two Chachamim who sharpen each other in Halachah (Tosfos ha'Rosh - during the meal) join (for a Zimun. The Halachah counts like a person);
1. Rav Chisda pointed to himself and Rav Sheshes (to illustrate such people). Rav Sheshes did the same.
6) DOES A MINOR JOIN FOR A ZIMUN?
(a) (R. Yochanan): A minor Pore'ach (Rashi - he brought two pubic hairs before 13 years; Tosfos - the hairs are too short to be Simanim) joins for a Zimun.
(b) Support (Beraisa): If a boy has two hairs, he joins for a Zimun. If not, he does not;
1. We are not particular about minors (they may join in any case).
2. Objection: The Reisha said that he must have two hairs!
3. Suggestion: This includes a minor Pore'ach.