ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous dafBerachos 20
(a) The reason that the generation of Rav Yehudah witnessed more miracles
than that of Rav Papa cannot possibly have been due to their superior Torah
knowledge. Why not?
The Mishnah of 'Olives which were pickled together with their leaves',
speaks when Tum'ah touched the leaves. Normally, they would transmit Tum'ah
to the olives because they serve the olives as a Yad (a handle), and a Yad
is considered as if it was part of the food itself.
Because whereas Rav Yehudah's generation generally restricted their
learning to Nezikin, in Rav Papa's time, they would learn all six Sedarim.
And in addition, Rav Yehudah was flummoxed by Mishnahs in Uktzin, whereas
in Rav Papa's days, there were thirteen Yeshivos learning Uktzin.
(b) The reason that Rav Yehudah's generation merited more miracles was
because of their acts of Mesiras Nefesh (self-sacrifice) for the
sanctification of Hashem's Name, which was lacking in later generations?
What did they do? Like the story of Rav Ada bar Ahavah, who once pulled off
a red, flashy cloak from the back of a Kutis, whom he took to be a Jewess.
(c) Rav Papa complained because they would pray and pray and pray for rain,
but nothing would happen.
Whereas all Rav Yehudah had to do was remove one shoe (as a sign of pain -
like we do on Tish'ah be'Av), and the rain would come.
(d) Rav Ada Bar Ahavah soon discovered that the woman was a Kutis, when he
was made to pay four hundred Zuz for embarrassing her. When the woman told
him that her name was Masun (which means two hundred), he exclaimed
ruefully 'Masun Masun (two hundred and two hundred) is worth four hundred
It this case, however, it does not transmit Tum'ah. Why not?
Because the pickling turns the leaves soft, rendering them useless as Yados
(because if one attempts to pick up the olives by the leaves after they
have been pickled, they will simply fall off).
(a) Rav Gidal was not afraid that he might sin through watching the women
Toveling, because he felt not the least emotionally involved - he
considered as ducks.
(b) Rebbi Yochanan used to sit by the gates of Tevilah because he was
exceptionally good-looking, and he hoped that the women would see him as
they entered, with the result that they would later conceive children as
good looking as he (reminiscent of Ya'akov and the spotted and speckled
The Gemara, incidentally, does not ask (like it asked by Rav Gidal) why
Rebbi Yochanan was not afraid of sinning, because Rebbi Yochanan constantly
kept his eyes shut, and never looked outside his four Amos (as the Gemara
writes at the end of Bava Kama), so that the possibility of sinning was was
non-existent, as far as he was concerned.
(c) Rebbi Yochanan was not afraid of Ayin ha'Ra, because he was a
descendent of Yosef ha'Tzadik, whose children are not subject to Ayin
(a) 1. "Ben Poras, Alei Ayin" means a fruitful son (or a son with Chein),
who is above the eye - meaning that Ayin ha'Ra cannot affect him.
2. "ve'Yidgu la'Rov" etc., means that they (Yosef's children) will increase
like fish ("ve'Yidgu" from the word 'Dag'). Just like fish are covered by
water, and are therefore not subject to the Ayin ha'Ra, so too, are Yosef's
descendants immune to the Ayin ha'Ra.
(b) The third reason is a more personal one. Namely, that Yosef merited
this immunity because he did not derive pleasure from Potifar's wife, who
was forbidden to him (presumably by keeping his eyes away from her), he was
granted the power to remain unaffected by an Ayin ha'Ra.
(a) Slaves are exempt from those Mitzvos which are time-bound (in the same
way as women are); consequently, they are Patur from reciting the Shema
(which is recited morning and evening) and from Tefilin (which are not worn
(b) Children are Patur from the Shema, because, Rashi maintains, the
Mitzvah of Chinuch is incumbent upon the father (not upon the child), and
the father is not always present when the time arrives to recite the Shema
(Rashi therefore learns that even a child who has reached the age of
Chinuch is Patur - See Tosfos d.h. 'u'Ketanim').
(c) We would have thought that women, slaves and children are Patur from
Tefilah, because it is time-bound (since the Torah writes - in Tehilim),
with regard to Tefilah "Erev, va'Voker ve'Tzaharayim".
(d) The reason that Chazal obligated them are to Daven, is because everyone
needs Hashem's mercy.
(a) We would have thought that women etc., should be Chayav to recite the
Shema, since they too, need to accept upon themselves Malchus Shamayim.
(b) We would also have thought that women and slaves should be Chayav to
put on Tefilin, since Tefilin is compared to Mezuzah, which they are
(c) We might, on the other hand, have thought, that they are Patur from
Mezuzah, because it is placed in juxtaposition to Torah-study, from which
they are Patur, since the Torah writes "ve'Limadtem Osam es *Beneichem*" -
"Beneichem", ve'Lo Benoseichem'.
(d) Bensching may not be per se time-bound. However, the Torah does write
with regard to the Man and the quails: "When Hashem gives you in the
evening meat to eat, and bread in the morning to be satisfied" - adding an
aspect of time to our eating habits.
(a) Women 's obligation to recite Kidush cannot be no more than a
Rabbinical one; because first of all, Rav Ada bar Ahavah said explicitly
'Devar Torah'. And secondly, why should the Rabbanan obligate women to
recite Kidush more than any other Mitzvah?
(b) Women are Chayav, because the Torah compares "Zachor" (the positive
Mitzvah of making Kidush) to "Shamor" (the negative Mitzvah of not
performing Melachos on Shabos) - since we have a tradition that both were
said by Hashem simultaneously.
(a) If women are Chayav to Bensch min ha'Torah, then they will be able to
be Motzi men with their obligation, but not if their obligation is only
mi'de'Rabbanan, because a Rabbinical obligation cannot render Yotze someone
whose obligation is min ha'Torah.
(b) Their obligation might not be Torah-oriented, either because they do
not initially inherit a part of Eretz Yisrael (Rashi), and the Torah writes
"Al ha'Aretz ha'Tovah Asher Nasan Lach".
Or because the mention of B'ris and Torah-study are an intrinsic part of
Bensching, as the Gemara will teach us later (49a), and women are Chayav
neither B'ris nor Torah-study (see Tosfos d.h. 'Nashim').
(c) A wife may Bensch for her husband - even if her obligation is only
mi'de'Rabbanan - (in the same way as a child may Bensch for his father -
and in the same circumstances), only if she ate a Shiur d'Oraysa (i.e.
enough to be satisfied, whilst her husband only ate a Shiur de'Rabbanan. In
that case, the obligations of each of them is only de'Rabbanan, and she can
then be Motzi her husband (and a child his father).
(a) "Asher Lo Yisa Fanim" refers to the non-Jews, who do not merit Hashem's
favors. Whereas "Yisa Hashem Panav Eilecha" refers to Yisrael (See also
Tosfos, Nidah, 70b d.h. 'Kahn').
(b) 'Ad Kezayis' foolows the opinion of Rebbi Meir, who maintains that the
Chiyuv de'Rabbanan to Bensch is effective on a Kezayis; 'Ad Kebeitzah' that
of Rebbi Yehudah, who holds that one does not Bensch on a Kezayis.
(a) Ezra made a Takanah that a Ba'al Keri should not study Torah (or to
Daven) before he has Toveled.
(b) Chazal did not obligate a Ba'al Keri to think the Berachos of the Shema
or those before eating, because they are only de'Rabbanan.
(c) According to Rebbi Yehudah, one recites all the Berachos. His reason
will be explained later.
(a) Although Hirhur ke'Dibur, it is nevertheless forbidden to recite the
Shema aloud, like we find at Sinai, when Yisrael were required to Tovel in
order to hear Torah from Hashem, which, on account of the principle
'Shomei'a ke'Oneh' was considered as if they had said it themselves.
(b) Even though one is not Yotze by thinking the Shema, according to Rav
Chisda, Chazal nevertheless obligated a Ba'al Keri to think the Shema in
his heart, whilst everyone else is reciting it, in order that he should not
be different than everybody else - i.e. *they* are all reciting the Shema,
whilst he is sitting idle.
(c) If someone began the Amidah and then remembered that he was a Ba'al
Keri, he should cut each Berachah short.
(d) The Gemara initially thought that Chazal did not obligate a Ba'al Keri
to think the entire Amidah, because it does contain Malchus Shamayim, like
(e) However, this contention is rejected, because if so, why *did* Chazal
obligate him to Bensch, since Benching, like the Amidah, does not contain
Consequently, the reason that Chazal did *not* obligate him to say the
Amidah must be because it is only mi'de'Rabbanan, whereas Keriy'as Shema
and Bensching, which are both d'Oraysa, they *did*.