THE NEFF FAMILY MASECHES BERACHOS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler of Kollel Iyun Hadaf
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
(a) Rebbi Zeira explains that both Moshe Rabeinu and David ha'Melech both knew exactly when midnight was. Why then, did David require a harp?
(b) And Moshe changed from "ba'Chatzos Laylah" to "ka'Chatzos Laylah" - because Par'oh's wise men might otherwise have erred regarding the time, and then gone on to accuse him of lying.
(c) Rav Ashi answers that "ka'Chatzos" is not a noun, meaning 'at around midnight', but a verb, which means 'when the night is split'. When was Moshe speaking to Yisrael and what exactly did he tell them?
(d) The first reason is based on a statement of Mar. What did Mar say about training oneself to say 'I don't know'?
(a) Based on the Pasuk "le'David, Shamrah Nafshi ki Chasid Ani", Levi and Rebbi Yitzchak argue over why David referred to himself as a Chasid. One explained that it was because he used to arise at midnight to praise Hash-m, in spite of the prevalent custom of other Kings of that time to get up only in the third hour of the morning. What did the other one say?
(b) What was the name of David's Rebbe?
(c) What did he (David) used to say to him?
(d) Which Pasuk in Tehilim does Rebbi Yehoshua b'rei de'Rav Idi cite as the source for this?
(e) In fact, his real name was Ishboshes (or Eshba'al). Then why was he called 'Mefivoshes'? What is Mefivoshes the acronym of?
(a) As a reward, David fathered a son called Kil'av, whose name, Rebbi Yochanan teaches us, was Daniel. Then why was he called 'Kil'av'? What is Kil'av the acronym of?
(b) We cite two Pesukim in Tehilim which describe David's joy at having such a son. What is the significance of the final words of the latter Pasuk "Ve'ashivah Chorfi Davar"?
(a) We query the fact that David referred to himself as a Chasid from the dots on the word "Lulei" in the Pasuk in Tehilim "Lulei He'emanti Lir'os be'Tuv Hash-m be'Eretz Chayim". Based on those dots, what does Rebbi Yossi in a Beraisa quote David ha'Melech as having said to Hash-m?
(b) How do we explain the fact that one moment David refers to himself as a Chasid and the next, he is not even sure that he will go to Olam ha'Ba?
(c) And we support this answer with a statement by Rav Ya'akov bar Idi, to reconcile the Pasuk in Vayeitzei "ve'Hinei Anochi Imach u'Shemarticha ... " with the Pasuk in Vayishlach "Vayira Ya'akov Me'od Vayeitzer lo". What is the problem?
(d) How did Rav Ya'akov bar Idi solve the problem?
(a) (e) A practical application of Rav Ya'akov bar Idi's answer occurred in connection with the Pasuk in the Shirah "... ad Ya'avor Amcha Hash-m, ad Ya'avor Am Zu Kanisa". What are the two 'ad Ya'avors' referring to?
(b) Based on the repetition of exactly the same words, what ought to have happened?
(c) What prevented it from actually taking place?
(a) The Rabbanan hold that one must read the Sh'ma by midnight. Do they hold in principle, like Rebbi Eliezer (the end of the first watch) or like Rabbanan Gamliel (the whole night) in the previous Mishnah)?
(b) Why is that?
(c) Then in which point do they argue with him?
(d) What were they afraid a personmight do?
(a) How did they therefore present a worker's order of priorities when he arrives home in the evening after work?
(b) One of the reasons that Chazal said specifically here, that someone who transgresses the words of the Chachamim, is Chayav Misah,is because of the strong likelihood of one's falling asleep (as we explained). What is the other reason?
(a) The Beraisa we just quoted said 'Korei K'ri'as Sh'ma u'Mispalel' serves as a support for the of pinion of Rebbi Yochanan. What did Rebbi Yochanan say about juxtaposing Ge'ulah next to Tefilah?
(b) What does Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi hold in this matter?
(c) What is the basis of their Machlokes if it is based ...
1. ... on logic?
2. ... on the Hekesh of "u've'Shochbecha" to "u've'Kumecha"?
(a) Mar b'rei de'Ravina queries Rebbi Yochanan from the Mishnah 'ba'Erev Mevarech Sh'tayim ... le'Acharehah'. What is the Kashya?
(b) What do we answer? Why is 'Hashkiveinu' not an interruption between Ge'ulah and Tefilah?
(c) How do we prove this from Shachris, where a similar concept applies?
(a) What does Rebbi Elazar bar Avina say about anybody who recites 'Tehilah le'David' (Ashrei) three times each day?
(b) We initially refute the suggestion that this is because ...
1. ... its Pesukim follow the 'Alef-Beis', because in that case, we ought to say the chapter in Tehilim "Ashrei Temimei Derech". What advantage does that chapter have over "Tehilah le'David"?
2. ... of the importance of the Pasuk "Pose'ach es Yadecha ... ", because in that case, we might just as well recite Hallel ha'Gadol. What is 'Hallel ha'Gadol'?
(c) Which similar Pasuk does Hallel ha'Gadol contain?
(d) Why then, do we say specifically "Tehilah le'David"?
(a) Rebbi Yochanan asked why the 'Nun' missing from the opening letters of the Pesukim of "Tehilah le'David". What did he answer?
(b) Which Pasuk in Amos is the source for this concept?
(c) How did the B'nei Eretz Yisrael read the Pasuk in Amos to soften its meaning?
(d) And what does Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak say to explain how David ha'Melech nevertheless subtly inserted the 'Nun' in a softer manner?
(a) Rebbi Elazar bar Avina also discusses the difference between the angel Gavriel and the angel Micha'el. What does he extrapolate from the fact that with regard to the former, Yeshayah writes "Vaya'af eilai Echad min ha'Serafim", whereas Daniel writes "ve'ha'Ish Gavriel ... "Mu'af Bi'af"?
(b) What do we learn from the Gezeirah-Shavah "Echad" (in the above Pasuk in Yeshayah) "Echad" (in Daniel) "ve'Hinei Micha'el Echad min ha'Sarim ... "?
(c) The Beraisa corroborates Rebbi Elazar bar Avina statement and elaborates. If Eliyahu takes four steps, how many steps does the Angel of Death take?
(d) On what occasion does the Angel of Death take only one step?
(a) What does Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi say about reciting the Sh'ma before going to bed, even though one has already recited it at Ma'ariv?
(b) From which Pasuk in Tehilim does Rav Asi (or Rav Yosef) learn it?
(c) What does Rav Nachman (bar Yitzchak) say about a Talmid-Chacham?
(d) According to Abaye however,, even a Talmid-Chacham is obligated to say at least one Pasuk of Rachamim. Which Pasuk in Tehilim does he cite as an example?