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) A PERSON DREAMS ABOUT WHAT HE THINKS ABOUT DURING THE DAY
(a) (R. Shmuel bar Nachmani): A person dreams only about what he thinks about during the day -- "Ant Malka Rayonach Al Mishkevach Seliku" (your [daytime] thoughts came upon your bed [at night]);
1. Alternatively, we learn from "v'Rayonei Livevach Tinda" (you will know what you were thinking about).
(b) Support (Rava): A person never sees a golden date tree or an elephant passing through a needle's eye [because he does not see or think about such things].
(c) Kaiser (to R. Yehoshua): You [Chachamim] say that you are very smart [Etz Yosef - more than prophets]. What will I see in my dreams tonight?
(d) R. Yehoshua: You will see the Persians [with whom Kaiser was warring] forcing you to serve their king, and grazing their disgusting animals with a gold staff.
(e) Kaiser thought about this all day, and he dreamed about it at night.
(f) Shevor Malka (the Persian king) asked the same to Shmuel.
(g) Shmuel: You will see the Romans capturing you, and making you grind date pits with a gold grinder.
(h) Shevor Malka thought about this all day, and he dreamed about it at night.
2) INTERPRETATIONS OF THE DREAMS OF ABAYE AND RAVA
(a) Bar Hedya used to interpret dreams. He would interpret favorably for one who paid him, and unfavorably for one who did not.
(b) Abaye and Rava dreamed the same dream, and asked Bar Hedya to interpret it. Abaye gave him a Zuz, but Rava did not.
(c) Abaye and Rava: The verse "Shorcha Tavu'ach Lefanecha..." (your ox will be slaughtered, but you will not eat from it) was read to us (in the dream. This and the next two verses are from the curses in Devarim.)
(d) Bar Hedya told Rava that his business will fail, and he will be so sad that he will not taste his food. He told Abaye that his business will prosper, and he will be so sated with joy that he will not feel a need to eat. (Ben Yehoyada - Hash-m gave certain people the wisdom to interpret dreams correctly. Hash-m caused that whoever was meant to have a bad interpretation would not pay Bar Hedya.)
(e) Abaye and Rava: The verse "Banim u'Vanos Tolid..." (you will bear children, but they will go into captivity) was read to us.
(f) Bar Hedya explained this literally to Rava. He told Abaye that he will have many children, and his daughters will marry [and go to live with] men from various places, and it will seem as if they are in captivity.
(g) Abaye and Rava: The verse "Banecha u'Venosecha Nesunim l'Am Acher" was read to us.
(h) Bar Hedya told Abaye that he will have many children, and he and his wife will argue if they should marry his relatives or hers. His wife will win, and he will feel as if they are marrying foreigners;
1. He told Rava that his wife will die, and her children will be "under" another woman [Rava will remarry].
2. (Rava): "Banecha u'Venosecha Nesunim l'Am Acher" refers to a stepmother.
(i) Abaye and Rava: The verse "Lech Echol b'Simchah Lachmecha" was read to us.
(j) Bar Hedya told Abaye that his business will prosper, and he will eat and drink and read the verse with joy. He told Rava that his business will fail. He will slaughter animals but not eat [due to of sadness], and he will read this verse to console himself.
(k) Abaye and Rava: The verse "Zera Rav Totzi ha'Sadeh" was read to us.
(l) Bar Hedya said that these words will apply to Abaye (his land will produce much). To Rava he applied the end of the verse. (You will harvest little, for locusts will eat it.)
(m) Abaye and Rava: The verse "Zeisim Yiheyu Lecha b'Chol Gevulecha" was read to us.
(n) Bar Hedya said that these words will apply to Abaye. The end of the verse (you will not anoint with the oil, for the olives will fall off the tree) will apply to Rava.
(o) Abaye and Rava: The verse "v'Ra'u Kol Amei ha'Aretz [... v'Yar'u Mimeka]" was read to us.
(p) Bar Hedya said that Abaye will be famous for being the Rosh Yeshivah, and people will revere him;
1. He told Rava that thieves will damage the king's ornaments, and it will be blamed on Rava. As a result, others will fear that if such a thing could happen to Rava, then all the more so they must be concerned of being accused!
2. The next day this happened to Rava.
(q) Abaye and Rava: We saw lettuce on barrels. (They used to sell wine.)
(r) Bar Hedya said that Abaye's business will double like lettuce (its leaves are doubled), and Rava's business will be bitter like lettuce.
3) INTERPRETATIONS OF THE DREAMS OF ABAYE AND RAVA (cont.)
(a) Abaye and Rava: We saw meat on barrels.
(b) Bar Hedya said that Abaye's wine will smell nice, and everyone will come to buy meat and wine from him. Rava's wine will turn to vinegar, and people will buy meat to eat with it.
(c) Abaye and Rava: We saw a barrel hanging from a date tree.
(d) Bar Hedya said that Abaye's business will grow like a date tree, and Rava's business will be sweet (i.e. cheap) like dates.
(e) Abaye and Rava: We saw a pomegranate growing on barrels.
(f) Bar Hedya said that Abaye's wares will be expensive like pomegranates, and Rava's will be detested like [sour] pomegranates.
(g) Abaye and Rava: We saw a barrel fall into a well.
(h) Bar Hedya said that Abaye's merchandise will be highly sought [but usually sold out], like people say "the bread fell in the well and can't be found";
1. Rava's merchandise will be despised and thrown into a well.
(i) Abaye and Rava: We saw a young donkey standing near our heads and braying.
(j) Bar Hedya said that Abaye will be Rosh Yeshivah, and a translator will be next to him;
1. He told Rava that the words "Peter Chamor" are missing from his Tefilin.
2. Version #1 (our text) Rava: I saw them. They are there!
3. Bar Hedya: In any case, a "Vav" was [mistakenly written and] erased. ("Peter Chamor" should be written without a "Vav." Ben Yehoyada - Rava's Tefilin were not Pasul. The letter "Vav" was corrected before anything further was written. Rather, without a Vav, the word reads like Chemar (wine). Hash-m informed Rava about the Vav to hint that he should not engage solely in Torah (which is called wine), rather, also in Chesed (a pillar of the world, symbolized by the letter Vav).)
4. Version #2 (Bach): Rava checked and found that a "Vav" was erased.
(k) Rava asked about the following by himself:
1. Rava: I saw the outer door (of the house) fall.
2. Bar Hedya: Your wife will die.
3. Rava: My molars and other teeth (Tosfos; Rashi - gums and teeth) fell out.
4. Bar Hedya: Your son and daughter will die.
5. Rava: I saw two doves flying.
6. Bar Hedya: You will divorce two wives.
7. Rava: I saw two turnip heads.
8. Bar Hedya: You will receive two lashes [from a stick as thick as turnip head].
i. Rava sat in the Beis Midrash that entire day. He saw two blind men fighting with each other, and went to separate them. They hit him twice, and raised their sticks to hit him again.
ii. Rava: You hit me enough. I saw only two [turnip heads]!
(l) In the end, Rava paid Bar Hedya to interpret.
1. Rava: I saw a wall (alternatively -- the foundation of the house) fall.
2. Bar Hedya: You will buy property without limit.
3. Rava: I saw Abaye's house fall, and I was covered with its earth.
4. Bar Hedya: He will die, and you will become Rosh Yeshivah.
5. Rava: My house fell, and everyone came and took one brick.
6. Bar Hedya: Your teachings will spread throughout the world.
7. Rava: I saw that my head was split and my brain fell out.
8. Bar Hedya: The tufts in your pillow will fall out.
9. Rava: Hallel Mitzrayim (the standard Hallel, the psalm of praises said when leaving Mitzrayim) was read to me.
10. Bar Hedya: A miracle will be done for you.
(m) Bar Hedya was traveling on the same boat as Rava. He decided to get off, lest the boat sink and only Rava would be saved. As he was getting off, he dropped a book. Rava saw that it said that dreams are [fulfilled] according to the mouth (their interpretation).
(n) Rava: You are a Rasha! I suffered from all your evil interpretations! I forgive you for all of them, except for the death of [my wife,] Rav Chisda's daughter! May it be His will that you be handed over to a kingdom that will have no mercy on you! (Anaf Yosef - Rava already knew that dreams are according to the mouth, but he did not know that Bar Hedya knew this, so he did not curse him earlier. Ben Yehoyada - Rava forgave him for his own suffering, for it was decreed from above, and so Rava would not be responsible for Bar Hedya's punishment; he could not pardon him on behalf of his wife. Also, Bar Hedya should not have said explicitly that she will die, for then it is much more difficult to reverse the decree.)
(o) Bar Hedya: What can I do? A Chacham's curse is fulfilled, even if it is unjustified. All the more so Rava's, for he justifiably cursed me! I will exile myself. It was taught that exile atones for sin (Ben Yehoyada - in particular, causing death (to Rava's wife) b'Shogeg, accidentally).
(p) He exiled himself to Rome, and sat at the door of the guardian of the treasury. The guardian said that he had a dream that a needle entered his finger. Bar Hedya did not agree to interpret it unless he would pay a Zuz. The guardian refused.
(q) Later, the guard told him that he dreamed that a worm fell between his fingers. Bar Hedya refused to interpret it for free. In yet another dream, a worm fell on his whole hand. Bar Hedya said that worms came upon all the silk (in the treasury). The king killed the guardian. Before dying, he said that they should rather kill the one who knew about it but did not say anything.
1. They told Bar Hedya: Because of the one Zuz you wanted, all the king's silk robes were destroyed! They [bent and] tied two cedar trees together, and tied one of his legs to each tree. They untied the trees. They snapped back, and Bar Hedya was split in two, up to and including his head.
4) INTERPRETATIONS OF CHACHAMIM
(a) Ben Dama (the nephew of R. Yishmael): I saw my jaws fall out.
(b) R. Yishmael: Two Roman legions plotted evil against you. They died.
(c) Bar Kapara: I saw my nose fall off.
(d) Rebbi: Anger (which causes smoke to exude from the nose) against you has gone away.
(e) Bar Kapara: I saw my hands cut off.
(f) Rebbi: You will not need the labor of your hands (you will be rich).
(g) Bar Kapara: I saw my legs cut off.
(h) Rebbi: You will ride on a horse.
(i) Bar Kapara: People said to me "you will die in Adar, and you will not see Nisan."
(j) Rebbi: You will die in Adrusa (great honor); you will not come to Nisayon (temptation).
(k) A Tzeduki: I saw that I was putting oil on olives.
(l) R. Yishmael: (The product returned to its source.) This shows that you had relations with your mother.
(m) The Tzeduki: I uprooted a star (from the sky).
(n) R. Yishmael: You kidnapped a Yisrael. (Bnei Yisrael are compared to stars. For brevity, we write here only the Tzeduki's dreams and R. Yishmael's interpretations.)
1. I swallowed a star -- you sold a Yisrael and consumed the money.
2. My eyes kissed each other -- you had relations with your sister.
3. I kissed the moon -- you had relations with a Yisrael's wife.
4. I was walking in the shade of myrtle -- you had relations with a Na'arah Me'urasah. (It was common to put myrtle above the wedding canopy.)
5. The shade of myrtle was above me, yet the myrtle was below me -- you had reversed relations [with the Na'arah. she was on top].
6. Ravens were returning to my bed -- your wife had illicit relations with many men.
7. Doves were returning to my bed -- you defiled many women.
8. I was holding two doves, and they flew away -- you married two women and sent them away without a proper divorce.
9. I was peeling eggs -- you took clothing off corpses.
(o) The Tzeduki: Everything you said is true, except for this (stripping corpses)!
1. A woman came and said "the garment that you are wearing was from Ploni, who died. You took it off him!"
(p) The Tzeduki: I was told that my father left property for me in Kapodkiya.
1. R. Yishmael asked if he owned anything there, or if his father had gone (Rashi - died) there. The Tzeduki answered "no" to both.
2. R. Yishmael: If so, Kapodkiya is really two words, Kapa (a beam) Daika (10). The 10th beam in your house is full of coins.
3. The Tzeduki found that this was so.
5) SYMBOLS IN DREAMS
(a) (R. Chanina): One who sees a well will have Shalom -- "va'Yachperu Avdei Yitzchak... Be'er." (Even though there were quarrels over the first two wells, the third well was uncontested.)
(b) (R. Nasan): This shows that he will achieve success in Torah. It says "Ki Motz'i Matza Chayim," like it says "Be'er Mayim Chayim."
(c) (Rava): He will find [a source of] life. (We learn from "Be'er Mayim Chayim.")
(d) Three things symbolize Shalom -- a river, a bird, and a pot;
1. We learn from "Hineni Noteh Eleha k'Nahar Shalom," "k'Tziporim Afos Ken Yagen Hash-m," and "Hash-m Tishpos (will place down like a pot) Shalom Lanu."
2. (R. Chanina): This refers to a pot without meat. A pot with meat is a bad sign -- "u'Farsu Ka'asher ba'Sir uch'Basar b'Soch Kalachas."
(e) (R. Yehoshua ben Levi): If one sees a river, in the morning he should rush to say "Hineni Noteh Eleha k'Nahar Shalom," lest a different verse come to him first (which would make it a bad omen), such as "Ki Yavo cha'Nahar Tzar."
1. For [seeing] a bird, one should make sure to say "k'Tziporim Afos..." before [he might say] "k'Tzipor Nodedes Min Kinah Ken Ish Noded mi'Mekomo." For a pot, one should make sure to say "Hash-m Tishpos..." before "Shefos ha'Sir Shefos." (It alludes to the siege before the Churban.)
2. For grapes, one should make sure to say "ka'Anavim ba'Midbar" before "Anaveimu Invei Rosh." For a mountain, one should make sure to say "Mah Navu Al he'Harim Raglei Mevaser" before "Al he'Harim Esa Bechi va'Nehi";
3. For a Shofar, one should make sure to say "v'Hayah ba'Yom ha'Hu Yitaka b'Shofar Gadol" before "Tik'u Shofar ba'Giv'ah." For a dog, one should make sure to say "ul'Chol Bnei Yisrael Lo Yecheratz Kelev Leshono" before "veha'Kelavim Azei Nefesh."
4. For a lion, one should make sure to say "Aryeh Sha'ag Mi Lo Yira" before "Alah Aryeh mi'Subcho." For shaving, one should make sure to say "va'Yegalach va'Yechalef Simlosav" before "Im Gulachti v'Sar Mimeni Chochi."
5. For a well, one should make sure to say "Be'er Mayim Chayim" before "k'Hakir Bayir Meimeha." For a reed, one should make sure to say "Kaneh Ratzutz Lo Yishbor" before "Hinei Vatachta Al Mish'enes ha'Kaneh ha'Ratzutz."
(f) If one sees a reed, he may anticipate wisdom -- "Keneh Chachmah";
1. If he sees reeds, he may anticipate Binah (understanding one thing through another) -- "uv'Chol Kinyanecha Keneh Vinah."
(g) (R. Zeira): The following are good omens in dreams: Kara (gourds), Kora (bark), Kira (wax) and Kanya (reeds).
(h) (Beraisa): Gourds are shown only to one who fears Heaven with all his might.
(i) For an ox, one should make sure to say "Bechor Shoro Hadar Lo" before "Ki Yigach Shor Es Ish."
(j) (Beraisa #1): Five things were said about an ox [in a dream]:
1. If one eats ox meat, he will become rich;
2. If he is gored by an ox, his sons will "fight" valiantly in Torah;
3. If he is bitten by an ox, afflictions will come upon him;
4. If it kicks him, he will have an opportunity to take a long trip;
5. If he was riding on it, he will rise to greatness.
(k) Contradiction (Beraisa #2): If Rochbo (he was riding on it), he will die.
(l) Resolution: In Beraisa #2, "Rochbo" means that it was riding on him.
(m) If one sees a donkey, he can anticipate salvation -- "Malkech Yavo Lach... Oni v'Rochev Al Chamor."
(n) If one sees a cat --
1. Where they are called "Shunra," it is an omen of Shira Na'eh (a nice song);
2. Where they are called "Shinra," it is an omen of Shinuy Ra (a bad change).
(o) White grapes are a good sign, whether or not it is their season. Black grapes are a good sign if it is their season. If not, they are a bad sign.
(p) A white horse is a good sign, whether it is going gently or running. A red horse is a good sign if is going gently. It is a bad sign if it is running.
(q) If one sees Yishmael, it is a sign that his prayer will be answered (his name alludes to "Yishma Kel");
1. This refers only to Avraham's son, but not to a Yishmaeli.
(r) If one sees a camel, it is a sign that Heaven decreed death upon him and he was saved.
1. (R. Chama b'Rebbi Chanina): We learn from "Anochi Ered Imcha Mitzraimah v'Anochi A'alcha Gam Alo" (this sounds like "Gamal").
2. (Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak): We learn from "Gam Hash-m He'evir Chatascha Lo Tamus." (Maharsha - Gamal is like "Gimmel," which corresponds to the Greek letter "gamma," which is like "Gam".)
(s) If one sees Pinchas, a Pele (wonder) will be done for him (like was done for Pinchas);
1. A Pil (elephant) shows that Pela'im (wonders) will be done for him; Pilim (in the plural) show that Pil'ei Pela'im (awesome wonders) will be done for him.
2. Question (Beraisa): All Chayos (wild animals) are good signs, except for an elephant or monkey.
3. Answer: If it has a saddle on it, it is a good sign. If not, it is a bad sign.