ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous dafBerachos 35
(a) Although wine comes initially from a tree, its Berachah is 'Borei Pri
(b) Although bread is a fruit of the ground, its Berachah is 'ha'Motzi
Lechem Min ha'Aretz'.
(c) The reason for the two above exceptions is due to the importance of
wine (as a drink) and bread (as a food).
(d) Rebbi Yehudah maintains that each species requires its own Berachah.
Consequently, Borei Pri ha'Adamah is confined to vegetables, legumes etc.
Greens have a Berachah of their own - 'Borei Minei Desha'im'.
(a)&(b) The Pasuk "he'Chadalti es Tiroshi, ha'Mesamei'ach Elokim ve'Adam"
teaches us that wine makes, not only people happy, but Hashem, too. In what
way? Inasmuch as the Shirah which the Levi'im sang would be conducted
morning and afternoon when the wine (the Nesech that accompanied the
bi-daily Korban Tamid) was poured on the Mizbei'ach.
(a) "Kodesh *Hilulim* la'Hashem" teaches us that a) one is obligated to
transfer (on to money) the Kedushah of the produce of Revai (the fourth
year) before one is permitted to eat it; and b) The Din of Revai is
restricted to something which requires Shirah (wine) - in other words ...
(b) ... there is a Din of 'Kerem Revai', but not 'Neta Revai'.
(c) Yes! There is another source for Kerem Revai, a Gezeirah Shavah
"le'Hosif Lachem *Tevu'aso*" from "*u'Sevu'as* ha'Kerem".
(d) The second Derashah to be learnt from "Hilulim" is that one is
obligated to recite a Berachah over one's food after eating.
(a) The Gemara wants to learn the Berachah *before* eating from a Kal
va'Chomer - if one recites a Berachah when one is satisfied, then how much
more so when one is hungry! (Although the Gemara cites this Kal va'Chomer
in a number of places, it is not, for some undisclosed reason, a valid Kal
va'Chomer - see Tosfos d.h. 'Lefanav').
(b) If we were to learn the Berachah over food from a combination of Kerem
and Kamah, we would restrict the Limud to food that goes on the Mizbei'ach
(such as olive-oil), but not to other foods.
(c) The Pasuk in Shoftim refers to olive-trees as 'Kerem-Zayis', but not as
(d) Nor can we learn the obligation to recite a Berachah after one's food
from the seven species with which Eretz Yisrael is blessed, because we
would then restrict the Berachah to *them*, since they are all Chayav
Bikurim, but foods which are not Chayav Bikurim, we would say, do not
require a Berachah.
(a) Even if the source for reciting Berachos over our food would be
"Hilulim", and even assuming that we learn 'Neta Revai', we would only
incorporate food that grows from the ground; but from where would we learn
the obligation to recite a Berachah over meat, fish and eggs etc.?
(b) In fact, the Birchos ha'Nehenin that we recite both before eating and
afterwards are purely mi'de'Rabbanan (and all the Pesukim that we brought
earlier are just Asmachtos - Tosfos d.h. 'Ela'), who instituted Berachos
because how is it possible for a person to derive benefit from this world
and not thank Hashem for it?
(c) Someone who eats without reciting a Berachah is considered as if he had
been Mo'eil in Hekdesh, because of the Pasuk (in Tehilim) "la'Hashem
ha'Aretz u'Melo'ah" etc., from which we learn that, before one has recited
a Berachah, everything in this world still belongs to Hashem - thus giving
it a Din of Hekdesh, and someone who benefits from Hekdesh, is Mo'eil.
(a) The Takanah to go to a Chacham and learn the Berachos is preventative -
it will save one from reciting inapproprate Berachos, or from situations
where he does not know which Berachah to recite. It will not help to
rectify past mistakes, as it initially appeared from the original text of
(b) "la'Hashem ha'Aretz u'Melo'ah" refers to the food *before* the
Berachah; "ve'ha'Aretz Nasan li'V'nei Adam" to *after* the Berachah, when
the article of food becomes one's own.
(c) Someone who eats without reciting a Berachah, is as if he had stolen
from Hashem and from Kenesses Yisrael, because people learn from him to do
likewise, in which respect he is compared to Yeravam ben Nevat, who caused
the ten tribes to sin by setting up calves in Beis-Eil and Dan, as an
alternative to going to Yerushalayim.
Also perhaps, because, since reciting Berachos is a means of opening the
pipe-line of Hashem's blessings, the non-recital of Berachos causes the
pipe-line to remain shut, thus depriving Yisrael of the Divine blessing.
This, in turn, is comparable to the deeds of Yeravam ben Nevat, who
prevented Yisrael from going to Yerushalayim, the source of Hashem's
pipe-line of blessings.
(a) When Yisrael perform the will of Hashem, their grain belongs to them,
but when they do not, then Hashem retains ownership of it.
(b) Rebbi Yishmael learns that the Torah does not expect us to live like
angels, but to study Torah in the appropriate time, and to tend to our
harvest when the time falls due. Consequently, "ve'Asafta Deganecha" should
be taken literally, and "Lo Yamush Seifer ha'Torah mi'Picha" with a pinch
of salt, so to speak - when we are are not busy with the harvest.
(c) According to Rebbi Shimon bar Yochai, "Lo Yamush" etc., should be taken
literally. And as for "ve'Asafta Deganecha" is concerned, that speaks when
Yisrael are not performing the will of Hashem to their fullest extent (see
Tosfos d.h. 'Kahn bi'Zeman'), so that they do not deserve Hashem's full
blessing, which will enable them to gather their corn through others. In
fact, there are even times when, not only will they not merit that others
gather their harvest, but they will have fallen so low, that *they* will
have to gather the harvest of others.
When they will perform Hashem's will completely, then others will gather
their corn, and they will be able to fulfill the Pasuk "Lo Yamush Seifer
ha'Torah ha'Zeh mi'Picha" - literally.
(d) Abaye remarked that there are many who succeeded in doing like Rebbi
Yishmael, but most of those who attempted to do like Rebbi Shimon, failed.
(e) Rava advised his Talmidim to tend to their harvest during the months of
Nisan and their wine and olive-presses in Tishri, in order to be free to
study Torah with him during the rest of the year.
(a) The earlier generations used to make their Torah fixed and their work
casual - that explains why they succeeded in both areas. Whereas the latter
generations, who made their work fixed and their Torah casual, failed in
The earlier generations would make a point of bringing their grain into the
house via the normal channels, but not via roofs, courtyards and
enclosures, in order to be obligated to take Ma'asros. Whilst the latter
generations would deliberately bring it in, via the roof etc., in order to
exempt themselves from Ma'asros (This is the Torah law; mi'de'Rabbanan, one
is anyway restricted to eating it casually, but not as a fixed meal).
(b) Chazal might have instituted the Berachah of 'Borei Pri Eitz Zayis'
over olive oil. They did not, for the reason cited in the following answer.
(c) Only products of the five species of grain are called 'Mazon'.
Someone who makes a Neder 'Kol ha'Zan Alai' is forbidden to eat anything
except for water and salt, since all other foods are included in 'Zan'.
The advantage of wine over oil is that wine satisfies, whereas olive oil
(d) It is only a little wine that satisfies, a lot of wine has the opposite
effect - of developing one's appetite. That explains why Rava used to drink
wine throughout Erev Pesach, in order to develop an appetite for Achilas
(e) Rava explains the Pasuk in Tehilim to mean that, 'whereas wine, besides
satisfying, also makes man happy, bread only satisfies - but does not make
(a) One does not Bensch over wine, because one does not tend to fix a meal
(b) If someone did fix a meal over wine, we say 'Batlah Da'ato Eitzel Kol
Adam', and he will still not be obligated to Bensch.
(a) We know that olive-oil is harmful from a Beraisa in Terumos, which
exempts someone who drank olive oil of Terumah, from paying the extra fifth
that one normally pays for eating Terumah. This is due to the fact that
*eating* something which is harmful is not called eating. It is called
damaging, which is why he has to pay for what he ate, just like every
(b) If someone were to eat olive oil together with bread, he would not
recite 'Borei Pri ha'Eitz', but 'ha'Motzi Lechem min ha'Aretz', like one
always does when eating something secondary together with his main food.
(c) Someone who added olive oil to 'Anigron' (water in which beets or
other vegetables were cooked and oil then added), would recited a Berachah
over the Anigron (presumably Borei Pri ha'Adamah) and not 'ha'Eitz' over
(d) When Shmuel speaks of reciting 'ha'Eitz' over olive oil, he must be
referring to someone who has a pain in his throat, and who adds more oil
than usual to the 'Anigron'. That is the unique case, when the olive oil is
the main ingredient, and is also not harmful. Consequently, the appropriate
Berachah will be 'ha'Eitz'.