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) THREE MEALS OR FOUR MEALS ON SHABBOS
QUESTION: The Gemara cites a Beraisa that states that one may wash dishes
on Shabbos in preparation for a meal that is going to be eaten on Shabbos.
Therefore, one may wash dishes after the Friday night meal for the Shabbos
morning meal, after the Shabbos morning meal for the noon meal, after the
noon meal for the afternoon meal. After the afternoon meal, however, he may
not wash dishes, because no other meal is eaten on Shabbos.
Why does the Beraisa say that one may wash dishes after the noon meal for
another meal later in the afternoon? Once one has eaten the noon meal, he
has already eaten three meals on Shabbos, and the Rabanan rule that we eat
only *three* meals on Shabbos (bottom of 117b). After the third meal, it
should be forbidden to wash the dishes!
(a) The RASHBAM (in Hagahos on the Rif cited by the Dikdukei Sofrom, #20)
and the ME'IRI explain that the author of this Beraisa was Rebbi Chidka,
who maintains that one must eat *four* meals on Shabbos.
(b) The TOSFOS RID says that the Beraisa means that if a person *wants* and
intends to eat a fourth meal, then he may wash the dishes after the third
meal. Indeed, he may continue to wash the dishes for as many meals as he
intends to eat on Shabbos; the Beraisa lists four only because that is the
most a person commonly eats.
2) OBSERVING TWO SHABBOSOS
QUESTION: The Gemara tells us that "if the Jewish people would observe two
Shabbosos properly, they would immediately be redeemed." This is derived
from the verses in Yeshayahu (56:4,7), "Thus says Hashem to the Sarisim
(eunuchs) who observe My Shabbosos.... I will bring them to My holy
mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer...."
3) SAYING "HALLEL HA'GADOL" EVERY DAY
Why does the verse specifically refer to "Sarisim?" Furthermore, why does
the Gemara cite the earlier verse (v. 4), and not the verse (v. 6) which
immediately precedes the promise of the redemption (v. 7), "All that guard
My Shabbosos from profaning it... I will bring them to My holy
ANSWER: The MAHARSHA suggests an original interpretation of this Gemara.
The Gemara in Nidah (38b) relates that there is a set range of lengths for
the human gestation period. "Chasidim ha'Rishonim," who were aware that a
pregnancy can only last 271, 272, or 273 days, abstained from their wives
during the early part of the week in order to avoid conceiving a child that
would be born on Shabbos, which would result in Chilul Shabbos.
The Maharsha suggests that the Gemara is hinting to us that if a husband
abstains from his wife on particular days of the week (that is, he conducts
himself like a *eunuch*) in order to avoid having a child born on Shabbos,
he thereby prevents the desecration of two Shabbosos (the day when the
child is born, and a week later when the child has his Bris Milah). Through
his concern for the observance of Shabbos, he will merit the coming of the
QUESTION: Rebbi Yosi prayed that his lot should be among those who say the
complete psalm of Hallel every day. The Gemara asks that we have learned
that a person who says Hallel ha'Gadol every day scorns and blasphemes. The
Gemara answers that Rebbi Yosi was praying that he should be among those
who say Pesukei d'Zimra every day, and not Hallel ha'Gadol. We see, then,
that the psalms of Pesukei d'Zimra are good to say every day. Furthermore,
the Gemara in Berachos (6b) states that one who says Tehilah l'David
(Ashrei) three times each day is assured of a share in the World to Come.
4) A NON-KOHEN BLESSING THE PEOPLE
What is the difference between the psalm of Hallel ha'Gadol and the psalms
of Pesukei d'Zimra and Ashrei?
(a) The MAHARSHA says that the theme of Hallel ha'Gadol is to proclaim that
Hashem wrought open miracles for his people. If one recites this psalm
every day, even on days on which no open miracle occurred, then on days on
which Hashem did cause a miracle to happen, the miracle will not be made
evident through this person's recitation of Hallel ha'Gadol (since he says
it every day). The other psalms, though, are general praises of Hashem
which do not specifically praise Him for His miracles.
(b) The MESHECH CHACHMAH (beginning of Parshas Bechukosai) explains that
the entire process of nature itself is a miracle. However, a person gets
used to it and fails to give adequate praise to Hashem. The open miracles
that Hashem performs serve to *remind a person* about the miracles inherent
in the natural order of the world. This is the purpose of saying Hallel
ha'Gadol on days on which Hashem performed open miracles. One who says
Hallel ha'Gadol every day loses this reminder, and thinks that he must
praise Hashem *only* for the open miracles.
On the other hand, Ashrei and the other psalms of Pesukei d'Zimra discuss
how all of the parts of the natural world are governed by Hashem. By saying
those psalms every day, a person praises Hashem for the subtle miracles of
nature. The processes of nature are represented by the alphabetical
composition of Ashrei since it progresses in a natural order, as does
QUESTION: Rebbi Yosi proclaimed that in all of his days, he never acted
against the words of his friends, to the extent that even if his friends
were to tell him "to go up to the Duchan," he would, even though he was not
How could Rebbi Yosi, who was not a Kohen, go up to Duchan? The Gemara in
Kesuvos (24b) states that it is an Isur Aseh (a prohibition resulting from
a positive commandment) for a non-Kohen to bless the people!
(a) The REMA (OC 128:1) writes that the prohibition of the Gemara in
Kesuvos refers only to when a non-Kohen blesses the people by himself. If
he goes up with Kohanim, there is no prohibition. Rebbi Yosi was referring
to when there were other Kohanim -- that is when he would go up to Duchan
if his friends told him to do so.
(b) The HAFLA'AH in Kesuvos (24b) says the opposite. The Hafla'ah explains
(as does the Sefer Charedim and the Ritva in Rosh Hashanah) that just like
there is a Mitzvah for the Kohen to bless the people, there is a Mitzvah
for the people to be blessed by the Kohen. Consequently, when there are
Kohanim there to bless the people, a non-Kohen may not join them in
blessing the people because he will thereby miss receiving the blessing
from the Kohanim. However, when there are *no* Kohanim present to bless the
people, he may go up to bless them, since he is not missing any blessing
(c) The TORAH TEMIMAH (Parshas Pekudei) cites the introduction to the Sefer
of RABEINU YERUCHAM, who quotes this Gemara with a variant rendition. In
Rabeinu Yerucham's version, Rebbi Yosi said, "Even though I am not *K'dai*
(worthy), I would go up to Duchan," and not "Even though I am not a
*Kohen*..." which is the text in our Gemaras. According to this reading,
Rebbi Yosi might not have been discussing the blessing of the Kohanim at
all. Rather, he was discussing going up to the Duchan (platform) from which
the public lecturer would teach the people, and that is why he said, "Even
though I am not *worthy*."