THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
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Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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PESACHIM 120-121 (25-26 Kislev) - the Daf study material for the first day
of Chanukah has been dedicated to the memory of Hagaon Rav Yisrael Zev
Gustman ZaTZaL (author of "Kuntresei Shiurim"), whose Shiurim lit the eyes
of many, by his students.
1) FALLING ASLEEP AT THE SEDER
QUESTION: The Mishnah states that if everyone in the Chaburah fell asleep
during the meal, they may not continue eating from the Korban Pesach when
they wake up. If only some of them fell asleep, then when they wake up they
may continue eating the Korban Pesach. Rebbi Yosi says that if one merely
dozed off, then he may continue eating, but if he fell into a deep slumber,
then he may not continue eating.
The Gemara relates that Rabah was once dozing off, and Abaye asked him
whether he was sleeping or not. Rabah responded that he was merely dozing,
and the Mishnah says that if one merely dozes, he may still eat from the
Korban when he wakes up, as long as he did not completely fall asleep.
What is the reason for this prohibition, that if everyone falls asleep they
may not eat from the Korban Pesach? Also, how would this prohibition have
applied to Rabah had he been sleeping deeply? Rabah lived after the times of
the Beis ha'Mikdash when there was no Korban Pesach!
(a) The RASHBAM says that the Rabanan prohibited eating the Korban Pesach
after one wakes up from sleeping, because it is similar to eating the Korban
Pesach in two different places, which is prohibited mid'Oraisa.
The same applies to Matzah (the "Afikoman") nowadays, which is commemorative
of the Korban Pesach. Since the Matzah represents the Korban Pesach, it may
not be eaten in two places, and thus one who fell asleep may not continue to
eat the Matzah when he wakes up. The incident of Rabah and Abaye involved
Rabah dozing off at the Pesach Seder, after eating the Matzah. Rabah
asserted that he was only dozing and therefore may continue eating Matzah.
This is also the approach of the RAMBAM, who discusses the Halachah of not
eating after one fell asleep in both Hilchos Korban Pesach (8:15) and again
in Hilchos Chametz u'Matzah (8:14), where he discusses the Halachos of the
Seder that apply to *Matzah*.
(b) TOSFOS (119b, DH Amar Rav) explains (based on a "Yerushalmi") that the
reason for the prohibition of eating after one fell asleep is, like the
Rashbam explains, that one should not eat in two places. However, the
prohibition of eating in two places does not apply to Matzah nowadays.
Therefore, the incident of Rabah and Abaye could not have involved eating
Matzah at the Seder. Rather, that incident occurred on a night before a fast
day. If Rabah had fallen deeply asleep, then he would not be permitted to
eat at night when we woke up even though the fast only begins in the
morning, because he took his mind off of eating more and thus accepted upon
himself the fast already. However, if he only dozed, then the fast would not
have started yet.
The BA'AL HA'ME'OR (as explained by the LECHEM MISHNAH, end of Hilchos
Chametz u'Matzah) presents a similar approach. The prohibition of eating in
two places does not apply to Matzah. The incident of Rabah and Abaye did not
occur at the Seder, but rather it occurred on a normal day in the Beis
Midrash. Abaye asked Rabah whether his state of semi-consciousness was one
of sleeping or one of dozing. He asked in order to learn how to define that
state. Rabah answered that he was only dozing, and dozing is not considered
(c) The RA'AVAD (Hilchos Chametz u'Matzah, loc. cit.) says that the reason
one may not eat if he falls asleep is because of Hesech ha'Da'as (he took
his attention off of the food), and we know that a food of Kodshim such as
the Korban Pesach becomes Pasul with Hesech ha'Da'as (Pesachim 34a). This
reason, though, should not apply to Matzah nowadays, because Matzah is not
Kodshim and it does not become Pasul with Hesech ha'Da'as.
If so, what was Rabah concerned about if there was no Korban Pesach in his
time? The Ra'avad understands that Rabah was eating a regular meal, not on
Pesach, and the question was whether he was removed his attention from the cleanliness of his hands or not. If he had removed his attention from
ensuring that his hands remain clean, then he must wash again before he
continues to eat. Rabah replied that he was only dozing, and therefore he
does not have to wash again. However, he certainly would have been permitted
to continue *eating* (after re-washing hands) even if he had fallen asleep
(The Ra'avad seems to be consistent with his opinion elsewhere, for the
Ra'avad and the Rambam understand that Rebbi Yosi's opinion is a *leniency*.
That is, when Rebbi Yosi states that if one was dozing (Misnamnem) he may
continue to eat, he means that even if *all* of the people at the meal dozed
off, they may continue to eat afterwards. Similarly, if *one* person
completely fell asleep, and others were there and awake, he may continue to
eat from the Korban when he wakes up. Since there are other people present,
there cannot have been Hesech ha'Da'as, so the Korban may still be eaten
2) THE "HEKESH" BETWEEN THE KORBAN PESACH AND MATZAH
QUESTION: Rebbi Akiva and Rebbi Elazar ben Azaryah argue concerning the time
for eating the Korban Pesach. Rebbi Akiva says that it may be eaten all
night until dawn, and Rebbi Elazar ben Azaryah says that it may be eaten
only until Chatzos, midnight. Rava says that according to Rebbi Elazar ben
Azaryah, just like the Korban Pesach may not be eaten after Chatzos, if one
eats Matzah after Chatzos he does not fulfill the Mitzvah.
The Gemara asks why Rava had to say this; it is obvious, for the verse
(Bamidbar 9:11) links Matzah with the Korban Pesach! Why, then, would we
have thought that the Halachos of when to eat Matzah differ from the
Halachos of when to eat the Korban Pesach? The Gemara answers that a verse
removes Matzah from the Hekesh, and therefore we might have thought that
Matzah is not compared to the Korban Pesach and it may be eaten after
Chatzos. Rava therefore teaches that when the verse returns the Hekesh to
its place, Matzah has all of the Halachos of the Korban Pesach, including
the time by when it must be eaten.
What is the verse that removes Matzah from the Hekesh, and what is the verse
that reinstates it?
The RASHBAM explains that these are the verses mentioned in the Beraisa
earlier (120a). The Beraisa learns from the verse, "Sheshes Yamim Tochal
Matzos" (Devarim 16:8), that just like on the seventh day of Pesach eating
Matzah is optional and not obligatory, so, too, on the first six days of
Pesach, eating Matzah is optional. This is the verse which removes Matzah
from the Hekesh in the verse, "Al Matzos u'Merorim Yochluhu" (Bamidbar
9:11). That is, from the verse of "Sheshes Yamim" we would have learned that
there is no obligation to eat Matzah at all; it just means that if a person
*wants* to eat a grain dish with his Korban Pesach, then it has to be Matzah
and not Chametz. What verse returns Matzah to the Hekesh to make it
obligatory the first night? The Rashbam says that it is the verse "b'Erev
Tochlu Matzos" (Shemos 12:18).
1. What does the Rashbam mean? The Beraisa earlier (120a), which discussed
these verses and what we learn from them, never suggested that Matzah be
taken out of the Hekesh to make it optional on the first night of Pesach.
Rather, the Beraisa said the very opposite -- we know that there is an
obligation to eat Matzah the first night *because of the Hekesh* ("Al Matzos
u'Merorim Yochluhu")! *Without* that Hekesh, Matzah on the first night would
have been optional because of the verse, "Sheshes Yamim." The Beraisa,
though, never thought that "Sheshes Yamim" serves to *block* the Hekesh of
"Al Matzos u'Merorim Yochluhu!" Thus, the verse never removed Matzah from
2. Furthermore, it is clear from the Beraisa there that the verse "b'Erev
Tochlu Matzos" was necessary only to teach that *nowadays* Matzah is a
Chiyuv d'Oraisa. That verse teaches nothing about Matzah during the times of
the Beis ha'Mikdash. How, then, can the Rashbam say that we need that verse
to teach that in the times of the Beis ha'Mikdash, eating Matzah was an
obligation? (see DEVAR SHMUEL)
(a) There are actually two elements involved with the Mitzvah of eating
Matzah the first night. On one hand, Matzah must be eaten along with and in
combination with the Korban Pesach. On the other hand, there is an
independent Chiyuv to eat Matzah, apart from the Chiyuv to eat the Korban
1. The first element, that Matzah must be eaten together with the Korban
Pesach, is certainly an *obligation*, as the Beraisa (120a) states, based on
the verse "Al Matzos u'Merorim...." It is not just optional, just like
eating the Korban Pesach itself is certainly not optional. When the Rashbam
here says that we might have thought that Matzah on the first night is
optional because the verse "Sheshes Yamim" removes it from the Hekesh, he
meant that if a person cannot eat the meat of the Korban on the first night
(he is a Zaken, Choleh, etc.), *only then* he also has no obligation to eat
Matzah on the first night. That is, there is no independent Mitzvah to eat
Matzah without the Korban Pesach (i.e. the second element mentioned above),
for the verse removes *that obligation* from the Hekesh. That is, we would
have learned that the obligation to eat Matzah applies only when the person
is also eating the Korban Pesach with it, because the verse of "Sheshes
Yamim" taught us that there is no Chiyuv to eat Matzah in its *own* right.
That is the verse that removed Matzah from the Hekesh.
(b) RABEINU CHANANEL approaches the Sugya differently:
2. Rava therefore teaches that Matzah is put back into the Hekesh by another
verse, and once Matzah is back in the Hekesh, we can learn that there is a
Chiyuv to eat Matzah independent of the Chiyuv to eat the Korban Pesach.
What verse returns it to the Hekesh? It is the verse "b'Erev Tochlu Matzos."
That verse, the Beraisa told us, teaches that *nowadays* there is a Chiyuv
to eat Matzah, even though nowadays there is no Korban Pesach. Just like
there is a Chiyuv to eat Matzah nowadays even though there is no Korban
Pesach, so, too, in the time of the Beis ha'Mikdash when there *was* a
Korban Pesach, if for some reason a person could not eat the Korban,
nevertheless there was still an independent Chiyuv to eat Matzah!
1. When the Gemara says that Matzah was removed from the Hekesh, it means
that the verse "b'Erev Tochlu Matzos" removes Matzah from the Hekesh to
teach that it *applies even nowadays*, unlike the Pesach. Once Matzah is not
included in the Hekesh, we might have thought that Matzah also does not
share the Halachos of the Korban Pesach and may be eaten even after Chatzos.
Therefore, Rava teaches that Matzah was returned to the Hekesh, and thus it
*is* compared to the Korban Pesach and may *not* be eaten after Chatzos.
2. However, what verse returns Matzah to the Hekesh? According to Rabeinu
Chananel, we must say that the same verse which removed it from the Hekesh,
returns it to the Hekesh -- "b'Erev Tochlu Matzos!" That verse teaches that
not only is Matzah a Chiyuv nowadays, but it retains the same Halachos as
when the Korban Pesach is around, and may be eaten only before Chatzos.
(This is also the approach of Rashi according to the original Girsa of
Rashi, as the RASHASH explains.)