ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous dafBerachos 18
(a) Someone whose dead is lying before him - who wants to eat, is obligated
1. to go into another room; 2. to go to a friend's house; 3. to make a
partition between himself and the Meis; 4. to turn round and eat.
(b) An Onen is forbidden to eat meat or to drink wine (though these are
permitted to an Aveil).
(c) He is not allowed to recline (in the manner that was customary in
former times) whilst eating. And he is Patur from Zimun - in fact, he
cannot even combine to make up a Mezuman.
(d) He is not obligated to recite the Berachos before and after eating.
(According to most Meforshim, he is not even permitted to do so.)
(a) He is Patur from the Mitzvos during the week, but Chayav on Shabbos.
(b) According to Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel, since, on Shabbos, an Onen is
obligated to fulfill the Mitzvos which are done in public (in spite of his
Aninus), he is also obligated to fulfill the Mitzvah of Tashmish (Onah),
although this is performed discreetly.
The Chachamim hold that he is only exempted from Aninus with regard to
those things which are performed publicly, but not regarding things which
are done discreetly.
(c) The Beraisa exempts an Onen from the Mitzvos, even though it includes a
case of an Onen who went to another house to eat, and whose deceased
relative is therefore not lying in front of him; whereas our Mishnah
exempts him only if his dead is actually lying before him.
(d) Rav Papa explains that the Petur from Mitzvos of which the Beraisa
speaks, refers exclusively to the *last* case, namely, that of when he
turns his face - and there of course, his dead *is* lying before him; in
all of the other cases, he is Chayav to fulfill the Mitzvos.
According to Rav Ashi however, 'lying before him' is nothing more than
figurative speech, and refers to every Onen, who is obligated to bury his
dead - which is what 'lying before him' means. And he proves this from the
Pasuk, which writes that Avraham arose from in front of his dead (Sarah),
even though she was not actually lying in front of him.
(a)&(b) Someone who is guarding a dead body is Patur from all the Mitzvos,
and our Mishnah is speaking when the corpse is being guarded by somebody
else other than the One.
(c) Someone who enters a graveyard is Patur from Mitzvos, only when he is
within four Amos of a grave, whereas an Onen and someone who is guarding a
corpse, is Patur at any distance.
(d) Someone in a graveyard is Patur from the Mitzvos because of 'Loge
la'Rosh' (it is like mocking the poor fellows, who are unable to perform
the Mitzvah that *he* is performing).
(a) If two people are guarding the corpse, and the time of Keri'as Shema
arrives, they take it in turns to recite it - one guards whilst the other
(b) According to Ben Azai, two people on a boat may both recite the Shema,
and need not worry about the corpse.
(c) According to the Tana Kama, they must take it in turns, just as they do
on dry land.
(d) Ben Azai holds that one need not worry about mice (which is the reason
that the Meis needs to be guarded in the first place) at Sea, whereas the
Tana Kama holds that one does.
(a) One may not sit on a sack containing bones of a corpse, whilst
transporting it for re-burial - unless that is, one needs to run away from
non-Jews or from robbers.
(b) The same applies to someone who is transporting a Seifer-Torah from one
place to another.
(c) The Pesukim "Malveh Hashem, Chonein Dal" and "u'Mechabdo Chonen Evyon",
refer to someone who accompanies a corpse.
(d) Someone who fails to do so, has transgressed "Lo'eg la'Rosh, Cheref
(a) Rebbi Chiya told Rebbi Yonasan (whose Tzitzis were showing when he was
in a graveyard) - that the dead will say about us 'tomorrow they are coming
to join us, and now they are mocking us'.
(b) "ve'ha'Meisim Einam Yod'im Me'umah" refers to the Resha'im, who make
out as if they do not know that they are going to die, and continue in
their sinful ways.
(c) Conversely, "Ki ha'Chayim Yod'im she'Yamusu" refers to the Tzadikim,
who, even after they have died, are still called 'alive'. They know that
they are destined to die, and they therefore refrain from sinning.
1. We learn from "Ben Ish Chai" that Tzadikim are called 'alive', even
after their death (presumably because their Neshamos are predominant during
their lifetimes, and Neshamos do not die).
2. And from "Yumas ha'Mes" we learn that Resha'im are called dead, even
when they are still alive (because their bodies are predominant in their
lifetimes, and bodies are no more than corpses).
(b) During the entire eight hundred and thirty year periods that the two
Batei Mikdash stood, there was nobody like Benayahu ben Yehoyada (about
whom it is written "Hu Hikah es Shenei Ariel" - a reference to the two
(c) Some explain that 'he smote a lion on a snowy day to mean that he broke
the ice in order to Tovel; others, that he taught Medrash Toras Kohanim on
a winter's day.
(a) "Ach Besaro Alav Yich'av" etc., refers to the worms that feel like
needles to the dead body. So we see that the dead are aware of what is
going on in this world. The Gemara rejects this proof however, on the
grounds that we only have a proof from here, that they know what is
happening to themselves, but not what concerns others.
(b) The first year, that Chasid (Rebbi Yehudah b'Rebbi Ilai or Rebbi
Yehudah ben Bava) learnt from the spirits of those two girls, that whoever
sows in the early season will lose all his crops to the hail; and in the
second year, he learnt that whoever sows in the late season will lose it
all to draught.
(c) The third year, the spirits declined to divulge the secret because
their words had been leaked out to humans.
(d) There is no proof from here that the dead have an instinctive knowledge
of what happens in this world, because it is possible that someone who dies
informed them (And that applies only to public information, but not to
whether the dead feel hurt when people at their graveside are wearing
Tzitzis or performing Mitzvos - like our original Sha'aleh).
(a) Zeiri's inn-keeper asked him to ask her mother to send her various
items of make-up with a girl who destined to die the following day.
(b) There is no proof from here either that the dead are instinctively
aware of what happens in this world, because it is possible that Duma (the
Angel in charge of the dead - who knows within a very short space of time
who will be arriving in the land of the souls) told her that her friend was
about to arrive.
(c) Shmuel's father had already gone up to the Yeshivah shel Ma'alah, which
explains why Shmuel had difficulty in locating him.
(a) Shmuel's father was crying because Shmuel was due to die shortly, and
he was laughing because he was held in such high esteem in Heaven.
(b) Rebbi Yonasan must have retracted, the Gemara at first contends,
because how can he argue with the Pasuk, which tells us that Moshe was
instructed to inform the Avos that Hashem was about to keep His promise to
Yisrael, which means that they must understand what is happening in this
world - otherwise such information would be meaningless to them.
(c) It could be, concludes the Gemara, that the Avos really *were*(and are)
aware of happens in this world. Nevertheless, Moshe was instructed to go
and inform them, in order that they should feel indebted to him for
bringing them the good news.