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) REVERENCE OF HASHEM'S BEIS HA'MIKDASH, NAME, AND TORAH
(a) Rav Papa: I meant that we should forbid [spitting] in Har ha'Bayis and in a Beis ha'Keneses:
1. One may not enter Har ha'Bayis with shoes, all the more so one may not spit there;
2. One may enter a Beis ha'Keneses with shoes. Rather than learn from shoes to permit spitting there, we should learn [to forbid this] from the prohibition to make a Beis ha'Keneses a shortcut!
(b) Answer #2 (Rava): The law of a Beis ha'Keneses is like one's house. One is particular not to let people use his house for a shortcut, yet he is not particular about spitting or wearing shoes there. Likewise, one may not use a Beis ha'Keneses for a shortcut, yet one may spit and wear shoes there.
(c) (Mishnah): In the Mikdash, they used to end all Berachos [with "Ad (or Min) ha'Olam..."]
(d) Question: Why is there such a lengthy closing?
(e) Answer: This is because we do not answer "Amen" in the Mikdash.
(f) Question: What is the source of this?
(g) Answer: It says "Kumu Barchu Es Hash-m Elokeichem Min ha'Olam v'Ad ha'Olam," and "vi'Varchu Shem Kevodecha u'Merumam Al Kol Berachah u'Sehilah";
1. Suggestion: Perhaps one Tehilah (praise) after all the Berachos (e.g. of Shemoneh Esreh) suffices!
2. Rejection: "U'Merumam Al Kol Berachah u'Sehilah" -- there is a Tehilah for each Berachah.
(h) (Mishnah): Chachamim enacted that one may (alternatively, must) greet people with Hashem's name. (The Mishnah brought "va'Yomer (Bo'az) la'Kotzrim..." and other verses. Me'iri - this was enacted so that people will know that Shalom and all Berachos come from Hash-m.)
(i) Question: Why do we need the other verses?
(j) Answer: One might have thought that Bo'az did so on his own initiative, and we may not learn from him. Therefore, we need "Hash-m Imcha...";
1. Question: We cannot learn from there. Perhaps this was not a greeting, rather, the angel informed Gid'on that Hash-m was with him!
2. Answer: Therefore, we learn from "v'Al Tavuz Ki Zaknah Imecha" (do not suspect Chachamim (like Bo'az) of acting improperly);
i. They have authority to make such enactments -- "Es La'asos la'Shem Heferu Torasecha."
(k) (Rava): We can expound this verse in either direction:
1. We can expound from beginning to end. There are times when Hash-m must punish, because people transgressed His Torah;
2. We can expound from end to beginning. People who fear Hash-m needed to transgress His Torah at times, for His sake (to impede a breach).
(l) (Beraisa - Hillel): When [Chachamim] withdraw (do not disseminate Torah), disseminate. When they disseminate, withdraw (humble yourself and refrain from teaching. Rashi - this is an annulment of Torah, l'Shem Shamayim. Maharsha - the next clause is the explanation of this one);
1. If you see that the generation values Torah, disseminate -- "Yesh Mefazer v'Nosaf Od";
2. If the generation does not value Torah, refrain -- "Es La'asos la'Shem Heferu Torasecha."
(m) Bar Kapara: If merchandise is cheap, buy (for later it will be expensive). In a place where there are no men (giving Halachic rulings), you should be a man. (Maharsha - the Mishnah in Avos (2:6) "in a place where there are no men, strive to be a man" refers to doing the needs of the Tzibur.)
(n) Inference (Abaye): In a place where there is a man, you should not be a man.
(o) Objection: This is obvious! (One may not give Halachic rulings in the same place as his Rebbi.)
(p) Answer: Even if one is as qualified as the Rebbi, he should not give rulings.
(q) (Bar Kapara): One small passage is the basis of all the fundamentals of Torah -- "b'Chol Derachecha Da'ehu v'Hu Yeyasher Orchosecha."
(r) (Rava): This applies even to [times when one may serve Hash-m through] an Aveirah (such as when Eliyahu offered a Korban outside the Mikdash, on Har ha'Karmel).
2) SEGULOS FOR WEALTH
(a) (Bar Kapara): One should teach his son a trade that is easy (does not require major investment) and clean (from temptation to steal - Aruch; Me'iri -physically clean).
(b) Question: What is such a trade?
(c) Answer: Embroidery of a shirt (Rashi; Meturgeman - a tailor who can fix tears with a small needle) is such a trade.
(d) (Beraisa - Rebbi): One should not have too many friends in his house -- "Ish Re'im Lehisro'e'a" (will falter. Alternatively, he will have arguments.)
(e) (Beraisa - Rebbi): One should not appoint an overseer in his house. Had Potifar not appointed Yosef as overseer, the episode [with Potifar's wife] would not have occurred.
(f) (Beraisa - Rebbi): Parshas Nazir is written next to Parshas Sotah to teach that anyone who sees a Sotah in her disgrace should become a Nazir.
(g) (Chizkiyah brei d'R. Parnach): Parshas Sotah is written next to "v'Ish Es Kodashav Lo Yihyeh," a command to give Terumos and Ma'aseros, to teach that anyone who has them and does not give them to a Kohen will ultimately need the Kohen to give his wife the waters of Sotah to drink.
1. Further, one who does not give Terumos and Ma'aseros will ultimately need them (i.e. to receive Ma'aser Oni, he will be poor) -- "v'Ish Es Kodashav Lo Yihyeh." (If he keeps them for himself, they will be appropriate for him.)
(h) (Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak): If he gives them, he will become wealthy. "Ish Asher Yiten la'Kohen Lo Yihyeh" -- he will have (much wealth).
(i) (Rav Huna bar Berachyah): If one joins Hashem's name to his troubles (blesses "Dayan ha'Emes"; alternatively, prays for mercy), his income will be doubled -- "v'Hayah Shakai b'Tzarecha v'Chesef To'afos Lach." (This connotes double.)
(j) (R. Shmuel bar Nachmani): His income will fly ("Me'ofefes," i.e. come easily) like a bird -- "v'Chesef To'afos Lach."
(k) (Rav Tavi): If one slackens from Torah, he will not have strength to endure a difficult day -- "Hisrapisa b'Yom Tzarah Tzar Kochecha";
(l) (R. Ami bar Masna): This applies even if he slackens from one Mitzvah. "Hisrapisa" connotes any slackening.
3) THE REBUKE OF CHANANYAH
(a) (R. Avahu): When Chananyah (R. Yehoshua's nephew) went to Chutz la'Aretz to establish leap years and determine months (i.e. which day is Rosh Chodesh), two Chachamim, R. Yosi ben Kiper and the grandson of Zecharyah ben Kevutal, were sent to protest. (Rashi - we establish leap years only in Yehudah. We learn from "l'Shichno Sidreshu" -- all "Derishos" must be in the place of the Shechinah, i.e. Yerushalayim.)
1. Chananyah: Why did you come?
2. The (two) Chachamim: We came to learn Torah [with you].
3. Chananyah announced "these are Gedolei ha'Dor. Also, their ancestors served in the Mikdash!"
i. (Mishnah - Zecharyah ben Kevutal): I often read in front of the Kohen Gadol [on the night of Yom Kipur, so he would not fall asleep] from Sefer Daniel (which is in Arame'ic. Many ignorant Kohanim Gedolim during the second Beis ha'Mikdash were not fluent in Hebrew.)
4. What Chananyah was Metamei, the Chachamim were Metaher. What he forbade, they permitted. He announced "these people are false and empty!"
5. Chachamim: You called us Gedolei ha'Dor. You cannot retract!
6. Chananyah: Why do you contradict what I teach?
7. Chachamim: This is because you are establishing leap years and determining months in Chutz la'Aretz.
8. Chananyah: R. Akiva did so! (Surely, it is permitted.)
9. Chachamim: He was permitted to so so, for there was no one left in Eretz Yisrael as great as he.
10. Chananyah: Also I did not leave anyone in Eretz Yisrael as great as myself!
11. Chachamim: The budding Chachamim you left behind grew and surpassed you, and sent us to tell you:
i. If you will stop, good. If not, you will be excommunicated;
ii. We must tell people here not to heed you. If they refuse, they should go to a mountain, Achiyah [the leader of the Diaspora] will build a Mizbe'ach, Chananyah will sing, everyone will deny Hash-m and say "we have no share in the G-d of Yisrael."
12. Everyone cried out "of course we have a share in the G-d of Yisrael!"
(b) Question: Why were the Chachamim so adamant about Chananyah? (Maharsha - "l'Shichno Sidreshu" applies only at the time of Shechinah, when the Mikdash stands.)
(c) Answer: (Even nowadays, this must be done in Eretz Yisrael, unless the greatest sage is in Chutz la'Aretz.) "Ki mi'Tziyon Tetzei Sorah u'Devar Hash-m mi'Yerushalayim."
(d) Question: Granted, they could be Metamei what he was Metaher, for they are more stringent;
1. However, they could not be Metaher what he was Metamei, for this is a leniency!
2. (Beraisa): If a Chacham declares something to be Tamei or forbidden, another Chacham may not be Metaher or permit it.
(e) Answer: There was a special need to undermine his authority, lest others be drawn after him. (They disagreed only where he was stringent beyond the letter of the law.)
4) ATTRIBUTES OF THOSE WHO LEARN TORAH
(a) (Beraisa): When the Chachamim came to Yavneh (the Sanhedrin moved to Yavneh at the time of the Churban), they praised those who host guests. (The Romans decreed that R. Yehudah should always speak first, for he once praised them.)
1. R. Yehudah opened with the honor of [those who learn] Torah -- "u'Moshe Yikach Es ha'Ohel v'Nata Lo mi'Chutz la'Machaneh." (Moshe called his tent "Ohel Mo'ed," for it was a meeting place for seekers of Torah. After the sin of the golden calf, he distanced it from the encampment of Yisrael, until the Mishkan was erected. If the Rebbi (Hash-m) is angry at them, the Talmid (Moshe) should also show displeasure. The Aron in the next statement is the Aron that Moshe made before receiving the second Luchos (Devarim 10:1), and not Betzalel's Aron which was in the Mishkan.)
i. The Aron (of Moshe) was only 12 Mil (one Mil is 2000 Amos) away [from people at the furthest end of] the encampment of Yisrael, and yet it says "Kol Mevakesh Hash-m Yetzei El Ohel Mo'ed";
ii. Chachamim who go from city to city and from country to country to learn Torah, all the more so [they are called "Mevakshei Hash-m," those who seek Hash-m]!
(b) Version #1 (R. Yitzchak): "V'Diber Hash-m El Moshe Panim El Panim" -- Hash-m told Moshe "We will learn Halachah together pleasantly." (Ben Yehoyada - Hash-m allowed Moshe to say Chidushim in Torah and receive reward for deriving the correct Halachah.)
(c) Version #2: Hash-m told Moshe "just like I taught you pleasantly, so you will teach them. Return the Ohel Mo'ed to its place."
(d) (R. Avahu): "V'Shav El ha'Machaneh" -- Hash-m told Moshe, "If Yisrael will say that both the Rebbi and Talmid are angry at them, what will happen to them? (They will not grow in learning!) If you return the tent, fine. If not, Yehoshua, your Talmid, will serve (as Rebbi) in place of you."
1. This explains "v'Shav El ha'Machaneh." (It was a command.)
(e) (Rava): Even though Moshe returned, Hashem's suggestion regarding Yehoshua was not for naught. (He succeeded Moshe. Rashi's text omits the end of the verse) "u'Mesharso Yehoshua... Lo Yamish mi'Toch ha'Ohel."
(f) R. Yehudah expounded more about the honor of Torah;
1. Question: "Haskes u'Shema Yisrael ha'Yom ha'Zeh Nihyesa l'Am" -- Torah was not given that day. This was said at the end of the 40 years in the Midbar!
2. Answer: This teaches that to those who learn Torah, every day it is as dear to them as the day it was given on Sinai
3. Support (Rav Tanchum brei d'R. Chiya): If a person recites Shema every morning and evening, and one evening he does not recite it, it is as if he never said it. (Maharsha - he did not fulfill "v'Hayu ha'Devarim ha'Eleh...," to consider Divrei Torah as if they were just given now.)
(g) "Haskes" -- [we expound this like] "Asu Kitos" (make groups to learn together), for Torah is acquired only in groups:
1. Question (R. Yosi b'Rebbi Chanina): What is the meaning of "Cherev El ha'Badim v'No'alu"?
2. Answer: A sword should come upon the enemies of (a euphemism) Chachamim who learn Bad b'Vad (individually);
i. Further, they become foolish. It says "v'No'alu," like "Asher No'alnu" (regarding the Lashon ha'Ra spoken about Moshe);
ii. Moreover, they sin. We learn from "[Asher No'alnu] va'Asher Chatanu," or from "No'alu Sarei Tzo'an."
(h) Also, we expound "Haskes u'Shema Yisrael" like "Kesusu" (break yourselves over Divrei Torah);
1. (Reish Lakish): "Zos ha'Torah Adam Ki Yamus b'Ohel" -- Divrei Torah endure only in one who kills himself for Torah. (He neglects all worldly matters.)
(i) "Haskes" -- first, a person should be "Has" (silent, and listen), and then "Kastes" (grind, i.e. challenge and analyze the teachings);
1. (Rava): First one should learn (the text from his Rebbi). Afterwards, he should delve deeper into it.
(j) Question (Bei R. Yanai): What is the meaning of "Ki Mitz Chalav Yotzi Chem'ah..."?
(k) Answer: The cream of Torah is found in one who vomits out the milk he nursed (Maharsha - he abandons childish pleasures) for its sake;
1. "U'Mitz Af Yotzi Dam" -- if the Talmid is silent when his Rebbi gets angry at him the first time, he merits to distinguish between Tahor blood and Tamei blood;
2. "U'Mitz Apayim Yotzi Riv" -- if he is silent the first two times his Rebbi gets angry at him, he merits to understand both monetary and capital laws.
i. (Mishnah - R. Yishmael): To become a Chacham, one should study monetary laws. It is the greatest field in Torah. It is like a flowing spring.
(l) Question (R. Shmuel bar Nachmani): What do we learn from "Im Navalta v'Hisnasei v'Im Zamosa Yad la'Peh"?
(m) Answer: Anyone who is Menavel (disgraces) himself for the sake of Torah (he asks about everything he is unsure about, even though people mock him for this) will ultimately be praised;
1. If he muzzled himself (did not ask), he will have to cover his mouth with his hand. (He will be unable to answer questions.)
5) THE GREATNESS OF HOSTS
(a) R. Nechemyah expounded about the greatness of hosts;
1. Question: What do we learn from "va'Yomer Shaul El ha'Keini Lechu Suru Redu mi'Toch Amakeki... v'Atah Asisa Chesed Im Kol Bnei Yisrael"?
2. Answer: This teaches a Kal va'Chomer. Yisro provided for Moshe (Rashi - when Yisro came to the encampment of Yisrael in the desert; Maharsha - when Moshe fled to Midyan) for his own honor, yet this is considered doing Chesed for Yisrael. All the more so, this applies to one who hosts a Talmid Chacham, gives him to eat and drink and lets him benefit from his property!
(b) R. Yosi expounded about the greatness of hosts;
1. We may learn a Kal va'Chomer from "Lo Sesa'ev Adomi Ki Achicha Hu Lo Sesa'ev Mitzri Ki Ger Hayisa v'Artzo";
2. Mitzrayim welcomed Yisrael for their own benefit -- "v'Im Yadata v'Yesh Bam Anshei Chayil v'Samtam Sarei Mikneh Al Asher Li." Even so, we must appreciate this [and not hate them]. All the more so, we must appreciate one who gives to a Talmid Chacham lodging, food, drink and benefit from his property!
(c) R. Eliezer, son of R. Yosi ha'Glili, expounded about the greatness of hosts;
1. We may learn a Kal va'Chomer from "va'Yevarech Hash-m Es Oved Edom... Ba'avor Aron ha'Elokim"
2. The Aron did not eat or drink. He (Oved Edom) merely cleaned the floor [from dust] in front of it, and for this he was blessed. All the more, so one who gives to a Talmid Chacham lodging, food, drink and benefit from his property [will be blessed]!
(d) Question: What blessing did he receive?
(e) Answer (Rav Yehudah bar Zevida): His wife and eight daughters-in-law all gave birth to six babies in one delivery -- "Pe'ulasai ha'Shemini Ki Vercho Elokim; Kol Eleh... Shishim u'Shenayim l'Oved Edom" (54 new babies and his eight sons from before).