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) GOOD SIGNS IN DREAMS
(a) If one sees [the name] "Huna" (with one "Nun," which stands for "Nes"), a miracle will be done for him. (All the signs we shall discuss are seen in a dream.)
(b) If one sees "Chanina," "Chinena" or "Yochanan" (with multiple "Nunim"), many miracles will be done.
(c) If one sees the word "eulogy," this shows that Shamayim had mercy on him and redeemed him.
(d) One who answers "Amen, Yehei Shemei Raba Mevorach" is guaranteed a place in Olam ha'Ba.
(e) One who reads Keri'as Shema is worthy that the Shechinah should rest on him, but it is his generation that is unworthy.
(f) One who dons Tefilin can anticipate greatness -- "v'Ra'u Kol Amei ha'Aretz Ki Shem Hash-m Nikra Alecha";
1. (Beraisa - R. Eliezer): This refers to the head Tefilin.
(g) Praying is a good sign, if he did not finish (Rashi - before waking up. This shows closeness to Hash-m).
(h) Relations with one's mother is a sign that he will get Binah -- "Ki Im la'Binah Tikra" (Mishlei 2:3), we can read this "Em."
(i) Relations with a Na'arah Me'urasah is a sign that he will acquire Torah -- "Torah Tzivah Lanu Moshe Morashah Kehilas Yakov" -- we read this it is as if said "Me'urasah."
(j) Relations with one's sister is a sign that he will acquire wisdom -- "Emor la'Chachmah Achosi At";
(k) Relations with a married woman shows that he has a share in Olam ha'Ba (he will even get the share appropriate for someone else);
1. This is only if he does not know her, and he was not thinking about her that night. (Then, we would attribute the dream to his thoughts.)
(l) (R. Chiya bar Aba): Wheat is a sign of peace -- "ha'Sam Gevulech Shalom Chelev Chitim Yasbi'ech."
(m) Barley shows that his sins have departed -- "v'Sar Avonecha v'Chatosecha Techupar." (This sounds like Se'orim);
1. R. Zeira: I did not go from Bavel to Eretz Yisrael until I saw barley.
(n) If one sees a laden vine, his wife will not miscarry -- "Eshtecha k'Gefen Poriyah";
(o) A vine branch shows that Mashi'ach will come [soon] -- "Osri la'Gefen Iro vela'Sorekah Beni Asono."
(p) A fig shows that Torah will be preserved in him -- "Notzer Te'enah Yochal Piryah."
(q) Small pomegranates show that the fruits (profits) of his business will be fruitful like pomegranates (which have many seeds). Large pomegranates show that his business will be great like pomegranates;
(r) If a Chacham sees half-pomegranates, he will acquire Torah -- "Ashkecha mi'Yayin ha'Rekach me'Asis Rimoni";
1. If an Am ha'Aretz sees half-pomegranates, he will acquire Mitzvos -- "k'Felach ha'Rimon Rakasech."
2. Question: What does "Rakasech" mean?
3. Answer: Even [the more] empty Yisre'elim are full of Mitzvos like a pomegranate [is full of seeds].
2) GOOD SIGNS IN DREAMS (cont.)
(a) Version #1: Small olives show that his business will multiply like olives;
1. However, olive trees show that he will have many children -- "Banecha ki'Shesilei Zeisim."
(b) Version #2: An olive is a sign that he will have a good reputation -- "Zayis Ra'anan Yefeh Feri So'ar Kara Hash-m Shemech";
1. Olive oil shows that he will attain light of Torah -- "va'Yikchu Elecha Shemen Zayis Zach (for the Menorah)."
(c) Temarim (dates) show that his sins are finished -- "Tam Avonech Bas Tziyon";
(d) (Rav Yosef): A goat shows that his year will be blessed. Goats show that his years will be blessed -- "v'Dei Chalev Izim l'Lachmecha."
(e) Myrtle shows that his property will be prosperous. If he has no property, he will inherit from elsewhere;
1. (Ula): This is only if he sees it attached.
(f) An Esrog shows that His Maker considers him beautiful -- "Pri Etz Hadar";
(g) A Lulav shows that he has only one heart for his Father in heaven (just like it has only one spine).
(h) A goose shows that he will acquire wisdom -- "Chochmos ba'Chutz Taronah." (It will make a great noise, like geese);
1. If he has relations with it, he will become Rosh Yeshivah.
2. Rav Ashi: I saw one and had relations with it, and then I became important.
(i) A rooster shows that he will have a son. Roosters show that he will have males. A hen shows that he will have a nice garden (alternatively - Beis Midrash) and joy.
(j) Eggs show that his request is pending. If they break, this shows that his request will be granted.
(k) The same applies to nuts, gourds, all glass vessels, and everything breakable.
(l) If he enters a city his requests will be done -- "va'Yanchem El Mechuz Cheftzam."
(m) Shaving one's head is a good sign. Shaving one's head and beard is a good sign for him and his whole family.
(n) Sitting in a small boat shows that he will have a good reputation. Sitting in a big boat is a sign of this for him and his whole family.
1. This is only if it is resting high on the water.
(o) Defecating is a good sign -- "Mihar Tzo'eh Lehipase'ach";
1. This is only if he did not wipe himself.
(p) One who ascends to the roof will rise to greatness. One who descends from the roof will go down from his greatness;
1. (Abaye and Rava): Once someone goes up, he does not go down.
(q) If one tears his clothing, a decree against him is torn;
(r) One who stands naked in Bavel is bare of sin. One who stands naked in Eretz Yisrael is bare of Mitzvos.
(s) If one is incarcerated, it is a sign that Heaven will protect him. If he was put in Kolar (a chain around the neck), he will have extra protection;
1. This is only if he was put in Kolar, but not if he was put in ropes.
(t) If one enters a swamp, he will become Rosh Yeshivah. If one enters a forest, he will be the head of the Kalah (a gathering to learn laws of the festival before the festival);
1. Version #1: Rav Papa dreamed that he entered a swamp. He became Rosh Yeshivah. Rav Huna brei d'Rav Yehoshua dreamed that he entered a forest, and he became Rosh Kalah.
2. Version #2: They both entered a swamp. A bell was hanging on Rav Papa (a sign of being heard), and he became Rosh Yeshivah. Rav Huna did not have a bell. He became Rosh Kalah.
3. Rav Ashi: I entered a swamp. A bell was hanging on me, and it was clanging.
3) DREAMS WITH ALTERNATIVE INTERPRETATIONS
(a) (A reciter of Beraisos): If one lets blood, his sins are pardoned (redness of sin departs from him).
(b) Contradiction (Beraisa): His sins are arranged.
(c) Answer: It means that they are arranged to be pardoned.
(d) (A reciter of Beraisos): A snake is a sign that one's income is prepared for him [just like a snake's food (earth) is ready];
1. If it bit him, his income will be doubled. If he killed it, he will lose his income.
(e) Objection (Rav Sheshes): All the more so, if he killed it, his income will be doubled!
(f) Rebuttal: Rav Sheshes' objection is unfounded. He killed a snake in a dream, and he was trying to obtain a favorable interpretation.
(g) (A reciter of Beraisos): All beverages are good signs, except for wine;
1. Sometimes drinking it (wine) is a good sign -- "v'Yayin Yesamach Levav Enosh";
2. Sometimes it is a bad sign -- "Tenu Shechar l'Oved v'Yayin l'Marei Nafesh."
(h) R. Yochanan: You should teach that it is always good for a Chacham -- "Lechu Lachamo v'Lachmi u'Shesu b'Yayin Masachti."
(i) (R. Yochanan): If one awakens with a verse on his lips, this is a minor prophecy.
(j) (Beraisa): There are three kings [whose significance we understand in a dream]:
1. David is a sign that one will become a Chasid. Shlomo is a sign of Chachmah. Ach'av is a sign [to worry] that punishments will come.
(k) There are three [Sifrei] Nevi'im;
1. Melachim is a sign that one will become important. Yechezkel is a sign of Chachmah. Yeshayah is a sign of consolation. Yirmeyah is a sign of punishments. (Our text lists four. Yechezkeil is omitted in Avos d'R. Nasan. Tzelach says that Melachim pertains to the kings above, and is not counted with the Nevi'im.)
(l) There are three Kesuvim;
1. Tehilim is a sign of Chasidus. Mishlei is a sign of Chachmah. Iyov is a sign of punishments.
(m) There are three small Sifrei Kesuvim;
1. Shir ha'Shirim is a sign of Chasidus. Koheles is a sign of Chachmah. Eichah is a sign of punishments.
2. Megilas Esther shows that a miracle will be done for him.
(n) There are three Chachamim;
1. Rebbi is a sign of Chachmah. R. Elazar ben Azaryah is a sign of wealth. R. Yishmael ben Elisha is a sign of punishments. (The skin of his head was flayed before he was killed.)
(o) There are three Talmidei Chachamim (they never received Semichah);
1. Ben Azai is a sign of Chasidus. Ben Zoma is a sign of Chachmah. Acher (Elisha ben Avuya, who became a heretic) is a sign of punishments.
(p) All Chayos are good signs, except for a Pil (elephant), ape, and Kepod (Rashi - marten, a long-tailed ape; Meturgeman (in Ein Yakov) - a porcupine).
1. Question: It was taught that a Pil shows that Pela'im (wonders) will be done for him!
2. Answer: If it has a saddle on it, it is a good sign. If not, it is a bad sign.
(q) All metal utensils are good signs, except for hoes and kinds of axes;
1. These are bad signs only when they are attached to their handle (and ready to damage).
(r) All fruits are good signs, except for unripe dates;
1. All vegetables are good signs, except for turnip heads.
2. Question: Rav said that he did not become rich until he saw turnip heads in a dream!
3. Answer: He saw them attached. They are a bad sign when they are detached. (E.g. for Rava they showed that he would be lashed.)
(s) All colors are good, except for Techeles.
(t) All Sheratzim are good, except for moles. All birds are good, except for two kinds of owls. (This is based on Dikdukei Sofrim. It seems that this was Rashi's text.)
4) BENEFICIAL AND DETRIMENTAL THINGS
(a) Three things enter the body, but the body does not benefit from them -- cherries, Kafniyos (bad figs) and unripe figs;
(b) Three things do not enter the body, yet the body benefits from them -- bathing, anointing, and marital relations.
(c) Three things are similar to Olam ha'Ba -- Shabbos, the sun, and "Tashmish."
(d) Question: To which Tashmish does this refer?
1. It does not refer to Tashmish ha'Mitah (marital relations), for that weakens a person!
(e) Answer: It refers to Tashmish of holes (eliminating waste).
(f) Three things settle a person's mind -- sounds, sights and smells.
(g) Three things broaden a person's mind -- a nice dwelling, a nice wife, and nice vessels.
(h) Five things are a 60th (a "taste" of something else);
1. [Earthly] fire is a 60th of [the fire of] Gehinom;
2. Honey is a 60th of the manna;
3. Shabbos is a 60th of the World to Come;
4. Sleep is a 60th of death;
5. A dream is a 60th of prophecy.
(i) Six things are a good sign for a sick person;
1. Sneezing -- "Atishosav Tahel Or";
2. Sweat -- "b'Ze'as Apecha Tochal Lechem";
3. Diarrhea -- "Miher Tzo'eh Lehipase'ach v'Lo Yamus la'Shachas";
4. Seminal emissions -- "Yir'eh Zera Ya'arich Yamim";
5. Sleep -- "Yashanti Az Yanu'ach Li";
6. Dreams -- "va'Sachalimeni v'Hachayeni."
(j) Six foods are bona fide cures for a sick person;
1. Cabbage, beets, dried (our text; Rashi - water in which was cooked) pennyroyal, stomach, womb, and diaphragm.
2. Some say, also small fish. They increase fertility and make the whole body healthier.
(k) Ten things cause illness to return severely -- eating ox meat, fatty meat, roasted meat, fowl, or a roasted egg; shaving; eating cress, milk, or cheese; and going to the bathhouse;
1. Some add eating nuts. Some add eating gourds.
2. (Tana d'Vei R. Yishmael): Gourds are called "Kishu'im" because they are Kasheh (harsh) for the body like swords.
3. Question: "... Shnei Goyim b'Vitnech" -- we read this "Geyim" (exalted ones);
i. (Rav Yehudah): This refers to Antoninus and Rebbi (who descended from Esav and Yakov, respectively), in all seasons they had radishes, lettuce and gourds on their tables.
4. Answer: Small gourds are good. Large ones are harmful.
(l) (Beraisa): [A dream about] a corpse in the house is a sign of peace in the house;
(m) If the corpse ate or drank in the house, it is a good sign for the house;
1. Removing vessels from the house is a bad sign;
2. (Rav Papa): This refers to taking out shoes and sandals. (It symbolizes expelling people from the house.)
(n) Anything that the corpse took out is a good sign, except for shoes and sandals;
(o) Anything that the corpse brought into the house is a good sign, except for earth (a sign of burial) and mustard.
5) BLESSING ON THE DOWNFALL OF EVIL
(a) (Mishnah): If one sees a place from which idolatry was uprooted...
(b) (Beraisa): If one sees [the idol] Markulis, he says "blessed is He gave such forbearance to those who transgress His will";
(c) If one sees a place from which idolatry was uprooted, he says "blessed is He who uprooted idolatry from our land. Just like it was uprooted from here, may it be uprooted from all of Yisrael. May You return the hearts of those who serve it to serve You."
1. In Chutz la'Aretz, he need not request to return idolaters to serve Hash-m, for most of the residents are Nochrim.
2. R. Shimon ben Elazar says, even in Chutz la'Aretz he must say it, for they will ultimately convert -- "Az Ehpoch El Amim Safah Berurah."
(d) (Rav Hamnuna): One who sees the evil Bavel must make five Berachos:
1. On seeing Bavel, he says "blessed is He who destroyed the evil Bavel";
2. On seeing Nebuchadnetzar's house, he says "blessed is He who destroyed the house of the evil Nebuchadnetzar";
3. On seeing the lion's den [from which Daniel was saved] or the furnace [from which Chananyah, Misha'el and Azaryah were saved], he says "blessed is He who did miracles for our ancestors in this place";
4. On seeing Markulis he says "blessed is He gave such forbearance to those who transgress His will";
5. On seeing the place where no animal can leave without some of the earth (to fulfill the curse that Bavel will be desolate), he says "blessed is He who says and does, decrees and fulfills."
(e) When Rava (who lived in Bavel) would see donkey-drivers taking earth, he would slap them on the back and say "run to do the will of your Master!"
(f) When Mar brei d'Ravina would come to Bavel, he would take some of the earth in his turban and cast it outside (of Bavel) to fulfill, "v'Teiteisiha b'Mat'atei Hashmed."
(g) (Rav Ashi): Even before I heard Rav Hamnuna's teaching, I reasoned that those five Berachos should be said, and I would say them.