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) THE ORDER OF BERACHOS
(a) Question: Beis Shamai does not hold that the Berachah on the day is more important!
1. (Beraisa): On Motza'ei Shabbos one blesses on wine, Ner, spices, and Havdalah;
2. If he has only one cup, he [waits until after he eats, and] says all of them after Birkas ha'Mazon.
3. Suggestion: Perhaps this Beraisa is like Beis Hillel, and unlike Beis Shamai!
4. Rejection: It says that we bless on Ner before spices. This is like Beis Shamai;
i. (Beraisa - R. Yehudah): Beis Hillel and Beis Shamai agree that Birkas ha'Mazon is first, and Havdalah is last. They argue about Ner before spices; Beis Shamai puts Ner first, and Beis Hillel puts spices first.
5. Question: How do you know that the Beraisa is like Beis Shamai according to R. Yehudah? Perhaps it is Beis Hillel according to R. Meir (the Tana of our Mishnah)!
6. Answer: It cannot be like R. Meir. In our Mishnah, Beis Shamai's order is Ner, Birkas ha'Mazon, spices, and Havdalah, and Beis Hillel's order is Ner, spices, Birkas ha'Mazon, and Havdalah. The Beraisa says that (if he has only one cup) all the others are after Birkas ha'Mazon!
7. Conclusion: The Beraisa is like Beis Shamai according to R. Yehudah.
8. Question (a) has not yet been answered!
(b) Answer: Beis Shamai distinguishes between [Kidush, at] the beginning of a [Kodesh] day from [Havdalah, at] the end of a day;
1. We like to start it (through Kidush) as soon as possible;
2. We like to end it (through Havdalah) as late as possible, lest it seem that it is a burden.
(c) Question: [In the Beraisa, why does Beis Shamai require leaving the wine for Birkas ha'Mazon?] Beis Shamai holds that Birkas ha'Mazon does not require a cup of wine!
1. (Mishnah - Beis Shamai): If wine was brought during the meal, and there is enough only for one cup, [if he wants] he blesses on the wine, and afterwards Birkas ha'Mazon.
2. Suggestion: He blesses on it and drinks it (and says Birkas ha'Mazon without a Kos)!
(d) Answer #1: No, he blesses on it and leaves it [to say Birkas ha'Mazon on it].
(e) Question: One who blesses must taste [from the food or drink]!
(f) Answer: Indeed, he tastes from it.
(g) Question: One who tastes from a Kos is Pogem it! (It is disqualified from being used for Birkas ha'Mazon, Kidush or Havdalah.)
(h) Answer: [That is only if he drinks directly from the cup. Here,] he takes some in his hand and tastes it.
(i) Question: A Kos Shel Berachah has a Shi'ur (a Revi'is). If he tastes it, a Shi'ur will not remain!
(j) Answer: The case is, there was more than a Shi'ur to begin with.
(k) Objection: It says "if there is enough for only one cup"!
(l) Answer: There was not enough for two, but there was more than one.
(m) Rejection (of Answer #1 - R. Chiya - Beraisa): He blesses on it and drinks it!
(n) Answer #2: Tana'im argue about the opinion of Beis Shamai.
2) CONCERN FOR TUM'AH
(a) (Mishnah - Beis Shamai): [First we wash...]
(b) (Beraisa): Beis Shamai says, first we wash the hands, and then we mix the wine. We decree not to mix first, lest his hands be Metamei water on the outside of the cup, and this will be Metamei the cup!
1. Question: [Stam (unwashed) hands are considered Teme'im.] Even without liquid on the outside, Stam hands would be Metamei the cup!
2. Answer: Stam hands are considered a Sheni [l'Tum'ah]. The only way a Sheni makes Chulin a Shelishi (or is Metamei a Kli) is through liquids. (Chachamim decreed that even a Sheni is Metamei liquids, and that Tamei liquids are Metamei Kelim, due to Ma'ayanos (bodily fluids) of a Zav, which are Avos ha'Tum'ah.)
(c) Beis Hillel says, first we mix the cup, and then we wash the hands. (We are not concerned if the outside of the cup becomes Tamei, for this is not Metamei the contents);
1. We decree not to wash first, lest the outside of the cup is Tamei, and the hands will touch it while they are still wet, the cup will be Metamei them through the liquid, he will eat with Tamei hands!
2. Question: Even if the hands are dry, the cup can be Metamei them!
3. Answer: [We are concerned only for a cup that became Tamei through liquids. Such] a cup is not Metamei a person.
4. Question: A Tamei cup is Metamei the liquid inside! (Why may one use a Tamei cup?)
5. Answer: The case is, the outside of the cup became Tamei through liquids. The inside is Tahor;
i. (Mishnah): If a Tamei liquid touched the outside of a Kli, the outside is Tamei, but the inside, brim, and handles are Tehorim;
ii. If a Tamei liquid touched the inside, the entire Kli is Tamei.
(d) Question: What is the source for their argument?
(e) Answer: Beis Shamai forbids using a cup whose outside became Tamei through liquids. This is a decree, lest drops spill on the outside, and be Metamei the hands;
1. [Since we assume that the cup is Tahor,] there is no concern lest the cup be Metamei hands that are still wet (from washing).
2. Beis Hillel does not decree against using a cup whose outside became Tamei through liquids, for drops seldom spill on the outside;
i. Since one may use a cup whose outside is Tamei, we are concerned lest the cup will be Metamei wet hands.
(f) (Beraisa - Beis Hillel): Also, one must eat immediately after washing the hands.
(g) Question: Why does Beis Hillel need a second reason?
(h) Answer: Beis Hillel addresses Beis Shamai according to Beis Shamai's reasoning:
1. You decree not to use a cup whose outside is Tamei, due to drops. Even so, you should agree that it is better to wash after mixing, for one must eat immediately after washing.
(i) (Mishnah - Beis Shamai): One cleans his hands...
1. (Beraisa - Beis Shamai): One cleans his hands with a napkin and leaves it on the table. If he would leave it on the pillow, perhaps drops on the napkin will become Teme'im from the pillow, and they will be Metamei his hands.
i. Question: The pillow itself could be Metamei the napkin!
ii. Answer: A Kli is not Metamei another Kli.
iii. Question: The pillow itself could be Metamei the person!
iv. Answer: A Kli is not Metamei a person.
2. Beis Hillel says, he leaves it on the pillow. If he would leave it on the table, drops on the napkin might become Teme'im from the table and be Metamei the food.
i. Question: The table itself should be Metamei the food on it!
ii. Answer: The case is, the table is a Sheni l'Tum'ah. It is Metamei Chulin only through liquids.
(j) Question: What is the source of their argument?
(k) Answer: Beis Shamai forbids using a table that is a Sheni [even for Chulin]. This is a decree due to people who eat Terumah (which is Mekabel Tum'ah from a Sheni);
1. Beis Hillel does not decree, for people who eat Terumah are zealous. (They will remember not to eat Terumah on a table that is a Sheni);
2. Another reason is that mid'Oraisa, one need not wash his hands for Chulin.
(l) Question: Why does Beis Hillel need a second reason?
(m) Answer: He addresses a potential question of Beis Shamai;
1. Perhaps you will ask why are we concerned about the food (and forbid putting the napkin on the table), but not about hands (lest the pillow be Metamei them through drops on the napkin). Mid'Oraisa, one need not wash his hands for Chulin. (Hands are Tahor as long as the person is Tahor.) Therefore, it is better that the hands become Teme'im [mid'Rabanan] than food, which is Mekabel Tum'ah mid'Oraisa.
3) CONCERN FOR RUINING CRUMBS
(a) (Mishnah - Beis Shamai): First we clean...
(b) (Beraisa - Beis Shamai): First we clean the place [where we ate], and then we wash [Mayim Acharonim]. If we would wash first, food could get ruined!
1. Question: What is the reason?
2. Answer: They are concerned for crumbs. (Water might spill on them.)
(c) Beis Hillel says that we wash first. If the waiter is a Chacham, he will remove crumbs the size of a k'Zayis [or more] and leave those less than a k'Zayis.
(d) This supports R. Yochanan;
1. (R. Yochanan): One may ruin crumbs less than a k'Zayis.
(e) Question: What is the source for their argument?
(f) Answer: Beis Hillel forbids using an ignoramus waiter, and Beis Shamai permits.
(g) (R. Yosi b'Rebbi Chanina): The Halachah follows Beis Hillel in our entire Perek, except for this law. Here, the Halachah follows Beis Shamai.
(h) R. Oshaya switches the opinions of Beis Hillel and Beis Shamai. He holds that the Halachah follows Beis Hillel even in this law.
4) THE BLESSING ON A NER
(a) (Mishnah - Beis Shamai): [When using one cup of wine for Birkas ha'Mazon and Havdalah,] we bless on Ner, Birkas ha'Mazon...
(b) Rav Huna bar Yehudah visited Rava. Rava blessed on spices first.
(c) Rav Huna: They do not argue about Ner! (All agree that we bless on it first.)
1. (Mishnah - Beis Shamai): We bless on Ner, Birkas ha'Mazon, spices, and Havdalah;
2. Beis Hillel says, we bless on Ner, spices, Birkas ha'Mazon, and Havdalah.
(d) Rava: That is according to R. Meir. R. Yehudah says that all agree that Birkas ha'Mazon is first and Havdalah is last;
1. They argue about Ner and spices. Beis Shamai put Ner first, and Beis Hillel put spices first.
2. (R. Yochanan): People follow Beis Hillel, according to R. Yehudah.
(e) (Mishnah - Beis Shamai): The text of the Berachah on Ner is "she'Bara Me'or ha'Esh";
(f) (Rava): All agree that "Bara" connotes "created";
1. They argue about "Borei." Beis Shamai says that it connotes "will be created." Beis Hillel says that it connotes also "created." (Gra - they argue whether we bless over the creation of essence of light, which was one hue, or over the fire we kindle today, which contains many colors.)
(g) Objection (Rav Yosef): [Surely, Beis Shamai agrees that "Borei" refers to things that were created!] It says "Yotzer Ohr v'Borei Choshech," "Yotzer Harim v'Borei Ru'ach," "Borei ha'Shamayim v'Noteihem"!
(h) (Rav Yosef): Rather, all agree that "Bara" and "Borei" connote "created". They argue about "Me'or" and "Me'orei";
1. Beis Shamai says that there is only one [hue of] light in a flame. Beis Hillel says that there are many.
2. Support (Beraisa): Beis Hillel told Beis Shamai, "There are many lights (hues) in a flame."
(i) (Mishnah): We may not bless [on Ner or spices of an idolater...]
(j) Question: Granted, we may not bless on a Ner of an idolater, for it did not rest. (Melachah was done with it on Shabbos);
1. Why may we not bless on spices of an idolater?
(k) Answer (Rav Yehudah): It refers to spices from a feast of idolaters. We assume that the feast was for the sake of idolatry.
(l) Question: The Mishnah forbids using Ner or spices of an idolater, of a Mes, and of idolatry. This implies that "of an idolater" and "of idolatry" are different!
(m) Answer (R. Chanina of Sura): It forbids using Ner or spices of an idolater because we assume that his feasts are for idolatry.
(n) (Beraisa): We may bless on light (on Motza'ei Shabbos) only if it rested.