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 NEW HOUSE OR VESSELS
(a) (Mishnah): If one built a new house or bought new vessels...
(b) Version #1 (Rav Huna): This is only if he did not already have such a house or vessels. If he did, he does not bless.
(c) (R. Yochanan): Even if he already had such things, he blesses.
(d) Inference: (R. Yochanan obligates only if he already had them without buying them, e.g. he inherited them.) All agree that if he buys more than once, he blesses only the first time!
(e) Version #2 (Rav Huna): This is only if he had not previously bought such things. If he had, he does not bless;
(f) (R. Yochanan): Even if he had already bought, he blesses.
(g) Inference: All agree that if he already had them without buying them, he blesses. (End of Version #2)
(h) Question (Beraisa - R. Meir): If one built a new house [or bought new vessels] unlike what he had before, he blesses;
1. If he already had like them, he does not bless.
2. R. Yehudah says, in both cases he must bless.
3. We understand according to Version #1. Rav Huna holds like R. Meir, and R. Yochanan holds like R. Yehudah;
4. However, according to Version #2, Rav Huna is like R. Yehudah, but R. Yochanan is not like either Tana!
(i) Answer: R. Yochanan (according to Version #2) explains that R. Yehudah requires blessing even if he already bought before;
1. The Tana'im argue about buying [for the first time] what he had before to teach the extremity of R. Meir. Even then he exempts, and all the more so when buying a second time.
(j) Question: Why didn't they argue about buying for the second time, to teach the extremity of R. Yehudah?
(k) Answer: The Tana prefers to teach the extremity of the lenient opinion. (R. Meir exempts from blessing. Eliyah Rabah (cited by Gilyon ha'Shas) - normally, it is a leniency to permit blessing. Shehecheyanu is an exception, for the Isur of Berachah l'Vatalah does not apply to it.)
(l) (Mishnah): One blesses [Dayan ha'Emes] on bad tidings [that include good].
(m) Question: What is such a case?
(n) Answer: His land was flooded. Even though it will deposit mud, which helps fertilize the field, now it is bad.
(o) (Mishnah): One blesses [ha'Tov veha'Metiv] on good tidings that include bad.
(p) Question: What is such a case?
(q) Answer: He found something;
1. Even though it could be bad for him if the king will find found out and (Bartenura - punish him and) seize it, right now it is good.
2) PRAYER MUST BE FOR THE FUTURE
(a) (Mishnah): If one's wife is pregnant, it is a vain prayer to request that it will be a boy.
(b) This teaches that prayer will not change it.
(c) Question (Rav Yosef): "V'Achar Yaldah Bas va'Tikra Es Shmah Dinah";
1. Question: What preceded this?
2. Answer (Rav): Leah knew that Yakov would have twelve sons. She already had six (and was pregnant with a seventh boy). Each of the Shefachos already had two. She reasoned ("Danah"), "if I have a seventh son, Rachel will not even have as many as one of the Shefachos!"
3. The fetus was [miraculously] switched to a girl (Maharsha to Nidah 31a - at first, Yosef was inside Leah, and Rachel was pregnant with Dinah. Hash-m switched the fetuses) -- "va'Tikra Es Shmah Dinah."
(d) Answer #1: We do not learn from miracles.
(e) Answer #2: Leah prayed for this within 40 days of conception;
1. (Beraisa): The first three days [after relations] one should pray that [the semen] will not decay. From day three until day 40, he should pray that it will be a male. From day 40 until three months, he should pray that it will not be a Sandal (squashed). From three months until six months, he should pray that it will not be a Nefel (stillborn); from six months until nine months, he should pray that it will be born safely.
(f) Question: Prayer will not influence the gender!
1. (R. Yitzchak bar Ami): "Ishah Ki Sazri'a v'Yaldah Zachar" -- if the man is Mazri'a (emits his seed) before the woman (and she becomes pregnant from this), the child will be a girl. If she is Mazra'as before him, a boy will be born.
(g) Answer: It can influence the gender if both were Mazri'a at the same time.
(h) (Mishnah): If one was traveling [and heard a scream]...
(i) (Beraisa): A case occurred in which Hillel was traveling and heard a scream in the city. He said "I am sure that it not from my house."
1. "Mi'Shemu'ah Ra'ah Lo Yira Nachon Libo Batu'ach ba'Shem" applies to him.
(j) (Rava): Whichever way we expound this verse, it means the same:
1. We can expound it from Reisha to Seifa. He does not fear bad reports because he trusts firmly in Hash-m;
2. We can expound from Seifa to Reisha. One who trusts firmly in Hash-m will not fear bad reports.
(k) A Talmid was walking in back of R. Yishmael b'Rebbi Yosi in the market of Tziyon. R. Yishmael saw that the Talmid was afraid. He said "you transgress 'Pachadu v'Tziyon Chata'im'."
1. The Talmid: It says "Ashrei Adam Mefached Tamid."
2. R. Yishmael: That refers to Divrei Torah. (He fears lest he forget.)
(l) Yehudah bar Nasan was walking in back of Rav Hamnuna. Yehudah sighed.
1. Rav Hamnuna: You seek to bring afflictions upon yourself -- "Ki Fachad Pachadti va'Ye'esayeni va'Asher Yagorti Yavo Li"!
2. Yehudah: It says "Ashrei Adam Mefached Tamid"!
3. Rav Hamnuna: That refers to Divrei Torah.
(m) (Mishnah): [One says one prayer] when entering a big city... [Ben Azai says, he says two prayers when entering and two when leaving].
(n) (Beraisa): Before entering he says "Yehi Ratzon (may it be Your will) to bring me in safely." After entering, he thanks Hash-m for bringing him in safely;
1. Before leaving, he says "Yehi Ratzon to take me out safely." After leaving, he thanks Hash-m for bringing him out safely, and requests "just like You brought me out b'Shalom, may You lead me, support me and direct my steps b'Shalom. May You save me from all enemies and ambushers on the way."
(o) Version #1 (Rav Masna): This applies only to a city in which they kill without judgment. In a city where they judge before killing, he does not pray. (He just obeys the laws.)
(p) Version #2 (Rav Masna): Even in a city in which they judge before killing, he says the prayer. There is not always someone to advocate for him.
3) PRAYERS FOR THE BATHHOUSE AND BATHROOM
(a) (Beraisa): Before entering a bathhouse, one prays "may You save me from this and all similar things, without mishap or sin. Should I die, may my death atone for all my sins."
(b) (Abaye): One should not say this. It incites the Satan! (It suggests that a mishap might occur.)
1. (Reish Lakish): One should not incite the Satan!
2. (Rav Yosef): He learns from "Kim'at ki'Sedom Hayinu." After we equated ourselves to Sedom, the Navi responded "Shim'u Davar Hash-m Ketzinei Sedom."
(c) Question: What does one say when leaving the bathhouse?
(d) Answer (Rav Acha): He thanks Hash-m for saving him from the fire.
(e) R. Avahu went to the bathhouse. The floor (over the water) opened up under him. Miraculously he was on a pillar, and saved 101 people with him, holding one with his arm, who held another, who held another....
(f) R. Avahu: This is like Rav Acha taught, that one must thank Hash-m after leaving the bathhouse safely!
(g) (Rav Acha): One who goes to let blood prays "may this be for a cure. May You heal me, for You are a faithful healer. Your cure is a true cure";
1. It is improper for people to engage in medicine. (Rather, they should pray to Hash-m.) However, they accustomed themselves to do so.
(h) Objection (Abaye): This is wrong!
1. (Beraisa - Tana d'Vei R. Yishmael): "V'Rapo Yerapei" permits doctors to heal.
(i) Question: What does one say after letting blood?
(j) Answer (Rav Acha): He blesses "the One who heals for free (some texts - heals the sick)."
(k) (Continuation of Beraisa): Before entering a bathroom one says [to the angels that accompany a person to guard him] "honored servants of Hash-m, give honor to Hash-m and leave me until I enter, do my needs, and return to you." (Mishnah Berurah (OC 3:1) -- our custom is not to say this, for we do not assume that we are worthy to have angels accompanying us.)
(l) (Abaye): One should not say this, lest the angels abandon him!
1. Rather, he says "guard me, guard me. Help me, help me. Support me, support me. Wait for me, wait for me, until I enter and leave, for this is the way of people." (We must go to the bathroom.)
(m) (Continuation of Beraisa): After eliminating, one blesses "Asher Yatzar... if one of the holes or ducts would be [improperly] opened or closed, one could not live [Gra - even for a moment]."
(n) Question: How does one end the Berachah?
(o) Answer #1 (Rav): He ends "[Baruch Atah Hash-m] Rofei Cholim."
(p) Objection (Shmuel): This implies that all people are sick (for everyone must use the bathroom)!
(q) Answer #2 (Shmuel): Rather, he says "[Baruch Atah Hash-m] Rofei Kol Basar."
(r) Answer #3 (Rav Sheshes): He says "[Baruch Atah Hash-m] Mafli La'asos" (He does wonders).
(s) (Rav Papa): Therefore, we say both of them -- "Rofei Kol Basar u'Mafli La'asos."
4) DAILY BERACHOS
(a) (Continuation of Beraisa): One who goes to sleep says [the first paragraph of] Shema until "v'Hayah Im Shamo'a," and "Baruch ha'Mapil Chevlei Sheinah... Baruch Atah Hash-m ha'Me'ir la'Olam Kulo bi'Chvodo."
(b) When he wakes up, he says "Elokai Neshamah she'Nasata Bi... Baruch Atah Hash-m ha'Machazir Neshamos li'Fgarim Mesim."
(c) When one hears a rooster, he blesses "[He] who gave understanding to roosters to distinguish between day and night."
(d) Upon opening his eyes, he blesses "who gives sight to the blind." Upon sitting up, he blesses "who releases prisoners." Upon getting dressed, he blesses "who clothes the naked." Upon straightening up, he blesses "who straightens the crooked."
(e) Upon stepping on the ground, he blesses "who stretches the land over the water." Upon walking, he blesses "who guides the steps of man." Upon putting on shoes, he blesses "who has provided all my needs." Upon tying his belt, he blesses "who girds Yisrael with strength." Upon putting a turban on his head, he blesses "who crowns Yisrael with glory."
(f) When putting on Tzitzis, he blesses "Asher Kidshanu b'Mitzvosav v'Tzivanu Lehis'atef ba'Tzitzis."
(g) When putting Tefilin on his arm, he blesses "Asher Kidshanu... Lehani'ach Tefilin." When putting Tefilin on his head, he blesses "Asher Kidshanu... Al Mitzvas Tefilin."
(h) When washing his hands, he blesses "Asher Kidshanu... Al Netilas Yadayim."
(i) When washing his face, he blesses "who removes pangs of sleep from my eyes... who bestows good kindnesses to His nation Yisrael."
(j) (Mishnah): One blesses on bad tidings like one blesses on good tidings.
(k) Question: What does this mean?
1. Suggestion: We make the same blessing for bad as for good.
2. Rejection (Mishnah): On good tidings one says "Baruch ha'Tov veha'Metiv." On bad tidings one says "Baruch Dayan ha'Emes."
(l) Answer (Rava): This teaches that one must accept [and bless on] bad tidings with Simchah, just like for good tidings.
(m) (Rav Acha): We learn from "Chesed u'Mishpat Ashirah Lecha..." -- I will sing to You, whether You bestow Chesed or bring judgment upon me.
(n) (R. Shmuel bar Nachmani): We learn from "ba'Shem Ahalel Davar bEi'lokim Ahalel Davar" -- I will praise Him whether He acts with His attribute of mercy or judgment.
(o) (R. Tanchum): We learn from "Kos Yeshu'os Esa uv'Shem Hash-m Ekra Tzara v'Yagon Emtza uv'Shem Hash-m Ekra."
(p) (Rabanan): We learn from "Hash-m Nasan va'Shem Lakach Yehi Shem Hash-m Mevorach."
(q) (Rav Huna; also, R. Akiva): One should accustom himself to say "all that Hash-m does is for the good."
1. R. Akiva was traveling. He came to a city, but no one would give him lodging for the night. He said "all that Hash-m does is for the good." He went to spend the night in the wilderness.
2. He had with him a rooster, a donkey and a lamp. A wind extinguished the lamp, a cat ate the rooster, and a lion ate the donkey. He said "all that Hash-m does is for the good." That night, marauders came and took the city captive.
3. R. Akiva (to his Talmidim): I told you that all that Hash-m does is for the good! (I was saved only because I did not find lodging, and the lamp extinguished, and the rooster and donkey were eaten. If not, the troops would have found me.)