THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
Ask A Question about the Daf
1) HALACHAH: INCLUDING A CHILD IN A "ZIMUN"
According to the conclusion of our Gemara, may a child (a boy under the age
of thirteen) be included to make a Zimun? There are several opinions among
(a) The RAMBAM and RIF rule like the simple understanding of the Gemara and
conclude that a child may join to make a Zimun as long as he knows to Whom
the blessings are directed. Such a child may even be the third of a Zimun
of three (and certainly the tenth of ten).
HALACHAH: The SHULCHAN ARUCH (OC 199:10) rules like the Rambam (a). The
Acharonim point out that only one child may be included to make a Zimun,
and not more.
(b) The TUR (OC 199) cites RAV HAI GA'ON and RABEINU PERETZ who say that a
child who knows to Whom the blessings are directed may be included to make
a Zimun of *ten* but may not make a Zimun of *three*. (See also end of
Tosfos DH v'Les.)
(c) RABEINU TAM rules like the Rambam and Rif, that a child may join to
make a Zimun (of *three* according to the Rosh's understanding of Rabeinu
Tam, but only *of ten* according to Tosfos' understanding of Rabeinu Tam),
as long as he *either* knows to Whom he is blessing, or he is "Porei'ach"
(see Background). Furthermore, Rabeinu Tam adds that even if he does not
know to Whom he is blessing nor is he "Porei'ach," he may be included to
make ten ("Snif la'Asarah").
(d) TOSFOS (DH v'Leis) explains that in order to include a child, he must
have both qualities -- "Porei'ach" *and* know to Whom he is blessing.
(Tosfos interprets "Porei'ach" to mean that he has short pubic hair and has
not passed the age of thirteen.)
(e) The ROSH cites a Talmud Yerushalmi that says that a child must have two
hairs in order to be included in a Zimun. Therefore, the Rosh disregards
the conclusion of our Gemara and concludes that a child may *never* be
included to make a Zimun.
The REMA rules like the Rosh, that we do not include minors to make a
Zimun. The only time that we are lenient is when the child is thirteen
years old yet we do not know for a fact that he has developed signs of
maturity (at least two full pubic hairs). In such a case we may rely on the
Chazakah that he has developed signs of maturity and include him to make a
Zimun (because a Zimun is d'Rabanan).
2) THE OBLIGATION OF A MINOR IN MITZVOS ("CHINUCH")
QUESTION: Rashi DH Ad she'Yochal explains that the Rabbanan did not place
the obligation of Chinuch in Mitzvos upon a minor, but upon his father.
Rashi's statement is logically very sound, since the minor is not obligated
to accept upon himself the Rabanan's Gezeiros any more than he is obligated
in any other Mitzvos of the Torah. Rashi in Nidah 46b DH Isura makes a
similar statement, emphasizing that is impossible for the Rabanan to
obligate a minor in any of their enactments.
Why, then, does RASHI himself (in Berachos 20b DH Shiura) rule that a minor
*may* recite Birkas ha'Mazon for a person over the age of Bar Mitzvah if
that person ate less than a k'Zayis of bread! This is the opinion of Tosfos
(Berachos 15a DH v'Rebbi Yehudah; 48a DH Ad) and the Halachic ruling (Orach
Chayim 186:2) as well.
ANSWER: Rashi and Tosfos understood that although a minor is not obligated
*at all* in Birkas ha'Mazon in his own right, nevertheless, the Rabanan who
originally decreed that a person who ate less than a k'Zayis must recite
Birkas ha'Mazon, enacted in their decree that if a minor recites Birkas
ha'Mazon for one who ate less than a k'Zayis, it will suffice. The reason
they enacted their decree in such a manner was in order to further the
cause of Chinuch, by making it *look* to the minor as though he is indeed
obligated in Mitzvos in his own right, so that he should regard his
obligation in Mitzvos with austerity. However, the minor himself is indeed
exempt from all Mitzvos, even from the Mitzvah of Chinuch. (M. Kornfeld)
3) HALACHAH: "NECHAMAH" IN BIRKAS HA'MAZON ON SHABBOS
OPINIONS: The Gemara says that on Shabbos, the third blessing of Birkas
ha'Mazon begins and ends with "Nechamah" ("comfort"). What exactly does
this mean? There are three opinions among the Rishonim:
(a) RASHI explains that one starts with either the word "Rachem" ("have
mercy") or "Nachem" ("bring comfort") -- both texts express the concept of
Nechamah. One ends with the blessing of "Boneh Yerushalayim," which is an
expressing of Nechamah. The Gemara does not mean that Birkas ha'Mazon on
Shabbos has a different text than on the weekdays. Rather, it means that no
change is made in the normal text because of Shabbos.
HALACHAH: The SHULCHAN ARUCH (OC 188:4) cites the opinion of the Rambam,
while the REMA cites Rashi's opinion. The VILNA GA'ON rules in accordance
with the opinion of the Rif. We follow the Rema's view and conclude the
blessing "Boneh Yerushalayim."
(b) The RAMBAM also rules that on Shabbos the blessing is the same as it is
during the week. However according to him, at both times one has the choice
how to start ("Rachem" or "Nachem") *and how to finish* ("Boneh
Yerushalayim" or "Menachem Yisrael") the blessing. This opinion differs
from Rashi's opinion because Rashi says that although one may start either
way, one must end the bessing with "Boneh Yerushalayim."
(c) The RIF says that on Shabbos, one starts the blessing differently than
on the weekday. On Shabbos, one says "Nachmeinu" at the beginning of the
blessing and "Menachem Amo Yisrael b'Vinyan Yerushalayim" at the end.