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) WHO JOINS FOR A ZIMUN?
(a) Rejection: The Halachah is unlike all of these teachings. Rather, it is like the following:
1. (Rav Nachman): If a minor knows to Whom we bless, he joins for a Zimun.
(b) Rabah (to Abaye and Rava, who were minors at the time): To Whom do we bless?
(c) Abaye and Rava: We bless to the Merciful One!
(d) Rabah: Where is He?
(e) Rava pointed to the roof; Abaye went outside and pointed to the heavens.
(f) Rabah: You two will be Chachamim!
1. This is like people say, that one can tell how a pumpkin will be from the moment it buds.
(g) (Rav Yehudah brei d'Rav Shmuel bar Shilas): If nine people ate bread and one ate vegetables, they join (to make 10 to say Hashem's name in the Zimun).
(h) Questions (R. Zeira): If seven (or eight) ate bread and three (or two) ate vegetables, do they join?
(i) Answer (Rav Yehudah): They join.
(j) Version #1 (our text) R. Zeira: I need not ask whether or not four can join to six who ate bread! (Surely, they do not.)
(k) Version #2 (text in the margin, presumably Rashi's text) R. Zeira: I regret that I did not ask whether four can join! (End of Version #2)
(l) R. Yirmeyah: It is good that you did not ask. Two and three join, because the majority ate bread. Surely, the same applies when four ate vegetables!
(m) R. Zeira held that (Version #2 - he was in doubt, for perhaps) a noticeable majority is required.
2) WHO CAN BE MOTZI OTHERS
(a) Yanai ha'Melech and his queen ate bread. He had killed the Chachamim, so there was no one to bless for them.
1. Yanai (to the queen): Is there anyone who can bless for us?
2. The queen: Swear to me that if I bring someone, you will not harm him!
3. He swore. She brought her brother, Shimon ben Shetach. (She had hidden him, and thereby saved him.)
4. Yanai put Shimon ben Shetach between himself and the queen and said "see what honor I give to you!"
5. Shimon ben Shetach: You do not honor me, rather, the Torah [honors those who embrace it] -- "Salseleha u'Seromemeka Techabedcha Ki Sechabkenah."
6. Yanai (to the queen): See, he does not accept authority!
(b) They gave the cup to him, to bless Birkas ha'Mazon.
1. Shimon ben Shetach: What should I bless [if I did not eat anything] -- "blessed is He from Whom Yanai and his friends ate"?! He drank the cup. They gave him another cup. He blessed (for everyone).
(c) (R. Aba): This is Shimon ben Shetach's opinion (that one blesses Birkas ha'Mazon for wine. The other Chachamim disagree);
1. (R. Chiya bar Aba): One may not be Motzi others (in Birkas ha'Mazon) unless he ate a k'Zayis of grain.
(d) Question (Beraisa - R. Shimon ben Gamliel): If one sat with people (eating a meal), even if he ate only vegetables dipped in brine or one fig, he joins (for a Zimun).
(e) Answer: He joins, but he may not be Motzi them unless he ate a k'Zayis of grain.
(f) (Rav Chana bar Yehudah): If one sat with people (who ate bread), even if he ate only vegetables dipped in brine or one fig, he joins;
1. He may not be Motzi them unless he ate a k'Zayis of grain.
(g) (Rav Chana bar Yehudah): The Halachah is, if one ate a vegetable leaf or drank a cup of wine, he joins for a Zimun;
1. He may not be Motzi others unless he ate a k'Zayis of grain.
3) THE SOURCE FOR BIRKAS HA'MAZON
(a) (Rav Nachman): Moshe enacted Birkas ha'Zan when the manna fell. Yehoshua enacted Birkas ha'Aretz when Bnei Yisrael entered Eretz Yisrael. David and Shlomo enacted Boneh Yerushalayim;
1. David enacted "Al Yisrael Amecha v'Al Yerushalayim Irecha." Shlomo enacted "Al ha'Bayis ha'Gadol veha'Kadosh."
(b) Ha'Tov veha'Metiv was enacted in Yavneh due to those killed in Beitar;
1. (Rav Masna): Ha'Tov veha'Metiv was enacted in Yavneh on the day that those killed in Beitar were able to be buried (seven years after they died);
2. "Ha'Tov" -- Hash-m preserved the bodies from decaying. "Veha'Metiv" -- Yisraelim were allowed to bury the bodies.
(c) (Beraisa): The first Berachah of Birkas ha'Mazon is Birkas ha'Zan. The second is Birkas ha'Aretz. The third is Boneh Yerushalayim. The fourth is ha'Tov veha'Metiv;
1. On Shabbos we (Rashi - may) begin and end with consolation (or requests for mercy for Yerushalayim), and say Kedushas ha'Yom in the middle.
2. R. Eliezer says, one may say it in Boneh Yerushalayim, or in Birkas ha'Aretz, or in ha'Tov veha'Metiv.
3. Chachamim say, it must be said in Boneh Yerushalayim.
4. Question: Chachamim do not argue with the first Tana!
5. Answer: They argue about b'Di'eved. (Chachamim require repeating Birkas ha'Mazon if Kedushas ha'Yom was said in a different Berachah. The first Tana does not.)
(d) (Beraisa) Question: What is the source for Birkas ha'Mazon mid'Oraisa?
(e) Answer #1: "V'Achalta v'Savata u'Verachta" refers to Birkas ha'Zan; "Es Hash-m Elokecha" refers to Birkas ha'Zimun. (The Gra switches these.) "Al ha'Aretz" refers to Birkas ha'Aretz;
1. "Ha'Tovah" refers to Boneh Yerushalayim -- "ha'Har ha'Tov ha'Zeh veha'Levanon" refers to Har ha'Bayis and the Mikdash;
2. "Asher Nasan Lach" refers to ha'Tov veha'Metiv.
3. Question: This teaches about Birkas ha'Mazon after eating. What is the source for the obligation to say a Berachah Rishonah before eating?
4. Answer #1: We learn from a Kal va'Chomer. If one must bless when he is satiated, all the more so when he is hungry!
(f) Answer #2 (to Question (d) - Rebbi): "V'Achalta v'Savata u'Verachta" refers to Birkas ha'Zan. "Gadlu la'Sh-m Iti" refers to Birkas ha'Zimun. "Al ha'Aretz" refers to Birkas ha'Aretz. "Ha'Tovah" refers to Boneh Yerushalayim;
1. Ha'Tov veha'Metiv was enacted in Yavneh.
2. Answer #2 (to Question (e:3) - Rebbi): We do not need a Kal va'Chomer to obligate blessing before eating. "Asher Nasan Lach" teaches that you must bless from when He gives food to you (even before eating).
3. Answer #3 (R. Yitzchak): We do not need Asher Nasan Lach (nor the Kal va'Chomer, to obligate blessing before eating);
i. It says "u'Verach (Hash-m will bless) Es Lachmecha v'Es Meimecha" -- we read this "u'Varech" (you should bless);
ii. It is called "Lechem" before you eat it.
4. Answer #4 (R. Nasan): We do not need the above sources;
i. [The women who told Shaul where to find Shmuel said] "... Lo Yochal ha'Am Ad Bo'o Ki Hu Yevarech ha'Zevach Acharei Chen Yochlu ha'Keru'im." (They will not eat until Shmuel will make a Berachah Rishonah.)
ii. Question: Why did they need to say all this?
iii. Answer #1: Women are naturally wordy.
iv. Answer #2 (Shmuel): They spoke at length to have more time to look at Shaul's beauty -- "mi'Shichmo va'Ma'alah Gavoha mi'Kol ha'Am."
v. Answer #3 (R. Yochanan): This was because the reign of each king is unchangeably fixed, to a moment (Shmuel needed to reign for a few extra moments before Shaul could begin his reign).
(g) Question: This teaches about Birkas ha'Mazon. What is the source to require Birkas ha'Torah?
(h) Answer #1 (R. Yishmael): If we must bless for [bread, which gives] temporary life, all the more so for Torah, which gives eternal life!
(i) Answer #2 (R. Chiya bar Nachmani citing R. Yishmael): We do not need the Kal va'Chomer. It says "Al ha'Aretz ha'Tovah Asher Nasan Lach," like it says "v'Etnah Lecha... veha'Torah."
1. Question (R. Meir): What is the source that one must bless on bad [tidings] like he blesses on good?
2. Answer: "Asher Nasan Lach Hash-m Elokecha" -- Elokecha means "your Judge," whether His verdict was for good or for punishment.
(j) Answer #3 (R. Yehudah ben Bava): We have a different source to require Birkas ha'Torah! It says "...ha'Aretz ha'Tovah";
1. Had it said "[Eretz] Tovah," this would only teach about [Birkas] ha'Torah -- "Ki Lekach Tov Nasati Lachem Torasi...";
2. Since it says "Eretz ha'Tovah," we learn also Boneh Yerushalayim -- "ha'Har ha'Tov ha'Zeh...."