BERACHOS 19 - Dedicated l'Iluy Nishmas Esther Chaya Rayzel (Friedman) bas Gershon Eliezer (Yahrzeit: 30 Av, Yom Kevurah: 1 Elul) by her daughter and son-in-law, Jeri and Eli Turkel of Raanana, Israel. Esther Friedman was a woman of valor who was devoted to her family and gave of herself unstintingly, inspiring all those around her.

[19a - 54 lines; 19b - 47 lines]

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We recommend using the textual changes suggested by the Bach and the marginal notes of the Vilna Shas. This section is devoted to any other important corrections that Acharonim have pointed out in the Gemara, Rashi and Tosfos.

[1] Gemara 19a [line 2]:

The words "Lama Lei l'Meimar Lehu, l'Achzukei Lei Tivusa" למה ליה למימר להו אחוזקי ליה טיבותא

should be "Lama Lei l'Meimar, Ela l'Achzukei Lei Tivusa" למה ליה למימר אלא לאחוזקי ליה טיבותא

This is the Girsa in Dikdukei Sofrim #8. This is also the Girsa of Tosfos Sotah 34b DH Avosai — see the marginal notes of ha'Rav Berlin there; see Insights to Berachos 19:1.


1)[line 1]כי אמר להו מאי הוי?KI AMAR LEHU, MAI HAVEI?- see Insights to Berachos 19:1

2)[line 2]לאחזוקי ליה טיבותא למשהL'ACHZUKEI LEI TIVUSA L'MOSHE- so that they should have appreciation for Moshe

3)[line 3]כל המספר אחרי המתKOL HA'MESAPER ACHAREI HA'MES- anyone who slanders a dead person

4)[line 6]חד אישתעי מילתאCHAD ISHTA'I MILSA- one person said a bad thing

5a)[line 7]נפל קניא מטללאNAFAL KANYA MI'TELALA- and a heavy beam (lit. reed or stick) fell from the roof

b)[line 8]בזעא לארנקא דמוחיהBAZ'A L'ARNEKA D'MOCHEI- it split his skull

6)[line 9]תבע ביקריהTAVA B'YEKAREI- avenges his honor

7)[line 18]לכי תשכחL'CHI SISHKACH- when you will find out; i.e., find it yourself

8)[line 18]נפק, דק, ואשכח תלתNAFAK, DAK, V'ASHKACH TLAS- he went out, examined the Mishnayos, and found three [cases]

9)[line 19]המגיס דעתו כלפי מעלהHA'MEGIS DAITO KELAPEI MA'ALAH- one who is haughty towards Heaven

10)[line 20]משקיןMASHKIN (SOTAH)

(a)See Background to Berachos 15:11.

(b)The Mishnah from Eduyos that our Gemara quotes records a disagreement as to whether or not certain women are exempt from being made to drink the Mei Sotah.

11)[line 22]דוגמא השקוהDUGMA HISHKUHA- (a) they made someone similar to them (since they were also descended from converts) drink the Mei Sotah (RASHI); (b) they made her drink something that resembled it (Mei Sotah) (TOSFOS)

12)[line 26]פקפקPIKPEK- he contested the validity of; made light of

13)[line 29]צריך אתה להתנדותTZARICH ATAH L'HISNADOS- you ought to be put in Cherem (excommunicated — see Background to Midos 34:41) for troubling Heaven

14)[line 30]אתה מתחטאATAH MISCHATEI- you (a) do wrong [before HaSh-m] (RASHI); (b) long for [HaSh-m] (BARTENURA Ta'anis 3:8); (c) are pampered [by HaSh-m] (ARUCH); (d) plead [to HaSh-m] (RABEINU GERSHOM)

15)[line 33]גדיים מקולסיןGEDAYIM MEKULASIN- kid-goats roasted in their entirety (like the Korban Pesach)

16)[line 35]חתכו חוליות, ונתן חול בין חוליא לחוליאCHATACHO CHULYOS, V'NASAN CHOL BEIN CHULYA L'CHULYA (TANURO SHEL ACHNAI)

The utensil known as Tanuro Shel Achnai was originally a dome-shaped clay oven that was sliced into rings (although Rashi to Bava Metzia 59a implies that it was built in this manner (i.e. with pieces) to begin with). Sand was placed between each ring and it was plastered together. The Halachah for clay and earthenware utensils is that if they become Tamei, they remain so until they are broken beyond use. Rebbi Eliezer ruled that the process of slicing it rendered it Tahor such that it would never become Tamei, even when re-assembled; it is considered a broken utensil forever. The Chachamim held that it could still become Tamei, since the plastering process rejoined the parts to make a whole oven again.

17)[line 38]עכנאי זהACHNAI ZEH- this snake (that coils up like a ring)

18)[line 39]ברכוהוBERCHUHU- they put him in Cherem (see Background to Midos 34:41)

19)[line 40]מדמה מילתא למילתאMEDAMEH MILSA L'MILSA- he compares one case to another (and supposes that wherever there was a great Machlokes between an individual and the Chachamim or an individual spoke up against a Sage of the Mishnah greater than he, the individual was worthy of being put into Cherem). (The Rambam lists the 24 causes for excommunication in Hilchos Talmud Torah 6:14.)

20)[line 47]תגדור פרצותינוTIGDOR PIRTZOSEINU- you should fence in our breaches

21)[line 49]אל יפתח אדם פיו לשטןAL YIFTACH ADAM PIV LA'SATAN- literally, "one should not open his mouth to the Angel of Death" — one should not speak about bad things that could happen to him (as the person here did by suggesting that he deserved much more retribution)

22)[line 50]"כמעט, כסדם היינו, לעמרה דמינו""KIM'AT, KI'SEDOM HAYINU, LA'AMORAH DAMINU"- "[If HaSh-m had not left us a] very small [remnant], we should have been like Sedom, and we should have been like Amorah" (Yeshayah 1:9).


23)[line 5]כלאיםKIL'AYIM (SHA'ATNEZ)

(a)The word Kil'ayim means "forbidden mixture," which refers to two items, each of which is permitted individually, which the Torah prohibits to combine. Many different types of forbidden mixtures can be referred to by the term "Kil'ayim." Three types of Kil'ayim apply to plants: Kil'ei ha'Kerem, Kil'ei Zera'im and Harkavas ha'Ilan. Two types of Kil'ayim apply to animals: Harba'ah, and Charishah b'Shor va'Chamor. One type of Kil'ayim applies to clothing: Sha'atnez. (It is also prohibited to cook meat and milk together, but this is not referred to as "Kil'ayim.") Our Gemara refers to Kil'ayim of clothing.

(b)Sha'atnez is a mixture of wool and linen which is prohibited, as the Torah states in Devarim 22:11. Chazal teach that the word "Sha'atnez" is made up of three smaller words — "Shu'a" (combed), "Tavi" (spun) and "Noz."

(c)The Rishonim disagree over the translation of the word "Noz":

1.RASHI (here and to Horayos 11a DH Noz) and the RASH (Mishnayos Kil'ayim 9:8) learn that Noz means woven together (the wool and linen are woven together in a garment).

2.TOSFOS (DH Shua Tavi v'Noz) disagrees with Rashi's explanation. We learn that the prohibition of Sha'atnez applies only when the wool and linen are woven together from the word "Yachdav" in the verse. If so, Noz does not mean "woven together." Rather, Noz means that the threads must be twisted or wound.

(d)The Rishonim disagree as to how the wool and linen must be joined in order to transgress the Torah prohibition of Kil'ayim:

1.RASHI (ibid.) holds that the wool and linen must be combed, spun, and woven together. That is, the strands of wool must be combed together, spun together, and then woven together with the linen in order to transgress the prohibition of Sha'atnez. If the strands of wool are combed or spun separately from the strands of linen, even though they are later woven into a garment together, the Torah prohibition of Sha'atnez has not been transgressed.

2.TOSFOS (ibid.) learns that one transgresses the Torah prohibition if the wool and linen are combed, spun, and twisted separately, and are then joined together by two stitches. The RASH (ibid.) agrees with Tosfos, and rules that if the wool and linen are combed and spun separately and then joined, the prohibition of Sha'atnez has been transgressed. (However, the Rash does not require that the threads be twisted, see c:1.)

24)[line 8]קברו את המתKAVRU ES HA'MES- they (Kohanim) went along to escort those who were burying the dead

25)[line 12]בית הפרסBEIS HA'PERAS

(a)Beis ha'Peras is a general term referring to a field or an area that the Rabanan decreed to be treated as though it were Tamei, in certain respects. The Mishnayos in Ohalos (18:1-4) explain that there are three specific types of Beis ha'Peras:

1.A field in which a grave was plowed over, scattering the bones in all directions. Such a field may be planted with trees, but not with vegetables or grains. Its earth can make a person Tamei through Maga or Masa.

2.A field (that is a Reshus ha'Rabim; TOSFOS to Kesuvos 24b; RASH to Ohalos 18:3) in which a grave is known to exist but it became lost and cannot be located. In such a field, trees may not be planted but vegetables or grains may be planted. It can make a person Tamei through Ohel (and according to some Girsa'os, through Maga and Masa as well).

3.A field on the edge of a town where a corpse was brought [and mourned] before burial. Such a field may neither be planted nor sown with vegetables or grains (but its earth is not Tamei if removed from its place). There are a number of reasons why the Rabanan might have made such a field Tamei:

i.Part of a corpse may have become dislodged and fallen there (RASHI to Moed Katan 5b DH Mishum Ye'ush) [or that an entire corpse may have inadvertently been left behind there - MEIRI ibid.].

ii.Alternatively, since a corpse is commonly found there, the Rabanan instituted that the area not be sown or planted, so as not to attract people to the area who will become Teme'im and spread Tum'ah. (PERUSH HA'MISHNAYOS of the Rambam to Ohalos 18:4)

iii.The prohibition against planting or sowing such a field has nothing to do with Tum'ah whatsoever. Rather, it involves a question of ownership. Since the community has made it their practice to mourn for and eulogize the dead in this field and the original owner did not protest this practice, he loses all rights to the land. The former owner cannot later decide to plant the field and deny the community the right to use it as a place for public mourning. (RITVA, RASH to Ohalos 18:4 and many Rishonim — see VILNA GA'ON to Choshen Mishpat 377:2)

(b)The Bartenura offers three explanations as to why the word "Peras" was used to describe these fields:

1.Tum'ah spreads (Pores) out in all directions from the field;

2.Bones that are broken (Perusim) are strewn in the field. (These first two explanations only apply to the first of the three types of Beis ha'Peras mentioned above, 1.;

3.People's feet (Parsos) stay away from the area because of its Tum'ah.

(c)In the first type of Beis ha'Peras (a field with a burial plot that has been plowed), the Rabanan decreed that the field is Metamei in every direction from the grave for the length of the furrow of a plow, which is 50 Amos. This results in an area 100 Amos by 100 Amos around the grave (RASH to Ohalos 17:1). The Rabanan instituted a way to remove the Tum'ah from the area that was plowed (in certain cases) by blowing the dirt of each section of the field to check for small pieces of bone.

26)[line 13]מנפח אדםMENAPE'ACH ADAM- a person may blow

27)[line 15]נדשNIDASH- it was trampled

28)[line 16]מדלגין היינוMEDALGIN HAYINU- we would jump

29)[line 22]אהלOHEL (TUM'AS OHEL)

(a)A k'Zayis of the flesh of a Mes (corpse) is an "Avi Avos ha'Tumah" and is Metamei through Maga (contact), Masa (carrying), and Ohel (being in the same room (lit. tent). An Ohel is defined as a covered space that is at least one Tefach in length, width and height. If a person becomes Tamei with Tum'as Mes, he must wait seven days to go to the Mikvah. Furthermore, on the third and seventh days he must have Mei Chatas (water mixed with ashes of the Parah Adumah — see previous entry) sprinkled on him.

(b)In an Ohel ha'Mes, the house or room becomes Tamei even if the Mes is passing through it and does not stop moving. A person who enters an Ohel ha'Mes becomes Tamei even if only a bit of his body enters, even when entering backwards. A Mechitzah (partition) in an Ohel ha'Mes only prevents the spread of Tum'ah if it reaches the ceiling (RASH to Kelim 1:4).

(c)The bones of a Mes are only Metamei through Ohel under one of three conditions: 1. They constitute a quarter of a Kav (Rova ha'Kav); 2. They are the majority of the human body (whether they are the majority of the build (Rov Binyano) of the body or the majority of the number (Rov Minyano) of 248 bones; 3. The bone is a complete skull or a complete spinal column. In order to be Metamei through Maga and Masa, it is enough for the bone to be the size of a Se'orah (a grain of barley).

(d)When an object that can be Metamei b'Ohel is located in an Ohel, the Ohel makes everything in it Tamei and protects anything that is above it from becoming Tamei. That is, an Ohel is Mevi Tum'ah (spreads Tum'ah inside of it) and is Chotzetz from Tum'ah (intervenes between the Tum'ah and the space above the Ohel, preventing Tum'ah from spreading above it).

(e)However, not all objects that cover Tum'ah are Mevi and Chotzetz. There are objects that are Mevi and not Chotzetz and other objects that are Chotzetz and not Mevi and even others that are neither Mevi nor Chotzetz (Ohalos 8:5). An object that is flying through the air, such as a bird or a Talis that is carried or caught up by the wind, is not an Ohel and is not Mevi or Chotzetz, even if it is one Tefach wide.

(f)A space that is less than a Tefach in length, width and height, is not considered an Ohel. Tum'as Mes in such an area is called "Tum'ah Retzutzah" (smashed or squashed Tum'ah) or "Tum'ah Temunah" (hidden Tum'ah). Such Tum'ah does not spread throughout the enclosure, but is Boka'as v'Olah, Boka'as v'Yoredes, i.e. it "breaks through" (Boka'as) the enclosure and goes straight up and straight down, as if it were in the open air. Similarly, if a grave has less than a Tefach of space between the body and the ceiling of the grave, the Tum'ah inside it is Tum'ah Retzutzah. The Tum'ah is Metamei everything that is above it within the boundaries of the Tum'ah (until it reaches something that is Chotzetz, thus keeping it inside an Ohel) and below it.

(g)Most graves have a space of a Tefach between the body and the ceiling of the grave (Berachos 19b). If the grave is completely sealed on all sides, it is called a "Kever Sasum." The Tum'ah inside it fills the entire Kever and is likewise Boka'as v'Olah, Boka'as v'Yoredes until something is Chotzetz above it. A grave that has an open space of a Tefach at the side is not a Kever Sasum, and the Tum'ah within it is prevented from rising above the ceiling of the grave (Ohalos 3:7). In this case, the Tefach above the body is Chotzetz.

30)[line 30]אחיכו עליהACHICHU ALEI- they laughed at him

31a)[line 16]"[לֹא תִרְאֶה אֶת שׁוֹר אָחִיךָ אוֹ אֶת שֵׂיוֹ נִדָּחִים,] וְהִתְעַלַּמְתָּ [מֵהֶם; הָשֵׁב תְּשִׁיבֵם לְאָחִיךָ]""V'HIS'ALAMTA..."- "[You shall not see the bull of your brother or his sheep cast off,] and hide yourself [from them; you must certainly return them to your brother]" (Devarim 22:1).


(a)The Torah requires that a person return lost objects that he finds, as stated in Devarim 22:1-3.

(b)The wording of the verse, "and hide yourself," teaches that there are cases when the Mitzvah of returning a lost object does not apply, as the Gemara here (and in Bava Metzia 30a and Sanhedrin 18b) discusses.

32)[line 35]פעמים שאתה מתעלםPE'AMIM SHE'ATAH MIS'ALEM- there are times when you should hide yourself, i.e. disregard the lost object

33)[line 37]היה זקן ואינה לפי כבודוHAYAH ZAKEN V'EINAH LEFI CHEVODO- he was a Talmid Chacham and the lost object is such that it would be beneath his dignity to return it

34)[line 38]היתה מלאכתו מרובה משל חברוHAYESAH MELACHTO MERUBAH MI'SHEL CHAVERO- the loss that he will incur from not doing his own work in order to return the lost object will be greater than the value of the object

35)[line 42]איסורא מממונא לא ילפינןISURA MI'MAMONA LO YALFINAN

We cannot derive the Halachos regarding Isur v'Heter (what is permitted and what is not) from Halachos that apply to monetary cases (who owns what).

36)[line 42]"ולאחתו [הבתולה הקרובה אליו, אשר לא היתה לאיש, לה יטמא]""VELA'ACHOSO [HA'BESULAH, HA'KEROVAH ELAV, ASHER LO HAYESAH L'ISH, LAH YITAMA]"- "And for his [virgin] sister, [who is next [of kin] to him, who has had no husband; for her he may become Tamei]" (Vayikra 21:3).

37)[line 43]הרי שהיה הולךHAREI SHE'HAYAH HOLECH- if it happened that he went

38)[line 45]"[לאביו, ולאמו, לאחיו, ולאחתו,] לא יטמא [להם במתם; כי נזר א-לקיו על ראשו]""[L'AVIV, UL'IMO, L'ACHIV, UL'ACHOSO,] LO YITAMA [LAHEM B'MOSAM, KI NEZER EL-OKAV AL ROSHO]"- "He shall not make himself Tamei [for his father, or for his mother, for his brother, or for his sister, when they die; because the crown of HaSh-m is upon his head]" (Bamidbar 6:7).

39)[line 46]מת מצוהMES MITZVAH

(a)When a dead Jew is found unattended and an attempt to determine who his relatives are brings about no response, the dead body is called a Mes Mitzvah. The person who found the body is obligated to bury it. (RAMBAM Hilchos Avel 3:8)

(b)The body must be buried where it is found; "Mes Mitzvah Koneh Mekomo" — it "acquires the place where it rests." Even if it is found in the middle of a field that belongs to someone else, it is buried there. (However, if the body is found within 2000 Amos of a Jewish community, it must be buried in the community cemetery (RAMBAM Hilchos Tum'as Mes 8:7).)