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) THE APPARENTLY DISORGANIZED MISHNAH
QUESTION: The Mishnah says that a group of ten saying Birkas ha'Mazon is no
different than a group of ten thousand -- both groups recite the same
thing. The Mishnah then seems to contradict itself and specifies different
texts that groups of different numbers say. The Gemara answers that the
beginning of the Mishnah is the opinion of Rebbi Akiva, and the rest of the
Mishnah is Rebbi Yosi ha'Gelili. Why, then, did the Mishnah not mention
their names at those places?
2) EVEN FETUSES IN THE WOMB SANG PRAISE TO HASHEM AT THE SPLITTING OF THE
ANSWER: The VILNA GA'ON answers that when the Mishnah says that ten and ten
thousand are the same, it means that they are the same only insofar as that
the name of Hashem is mentioned in Birkas ha'Zimun (as opposed to a group
of three, which was discussed earlier in the Mishnah). The continuation of
the Mishnah describes the additions in the Zimun that the larger groups
make *besides* mentioning the name of Hashem, and does not contradict the
previous statement at all. The entire Mishnah, then, is Rebbi Yosi
ha'Gelili. If so, what is the Gemara's question?
Explains the Vilna Ga'on, it is obvious from the latter part of the Mishnah
that ten is the same as ten thousand with regard to saying the name of
Hashem. The Gemara's question is why the Mishnah has to add the statement
that ten and ten thousand are the same (with regard to saying the name of
Hashem) when that may be inferred from the end of the Mishnah. The Gemara
answers that the additional statement in the Mishnah (that ten and ten
thousand are the same) is alluding to the opinion of Rebbi Akiva, that they
are the same with regard to the entire text they recite and not just the
name of Hashem. Even though the simple understanding of the Mishnah is that
it is teaching us Rebbi Yosi's opinion (and, therefore, the statements in
the Mishnah are *not* out of order), the Mishnah added an apparently
unnecessary phrase in the opinion of Rebbi Yosi in order to allude to the
opinion of Rebbi Akiva since his is the Halachic ruling.
QUESTION: Rebbi Akiva and Rebbi Meir derive from a verse that even fetuses
in the womb sang praise to Hashem at the splitting of the Sea. What does
this mean? What is the relationship between unborn fetuses and the
splitting of the Sea?
ANSWER: The RASHBA explains that it is common for a woman to miscarry as a
result of experiencing extreme fright. When the Jews faced the oncoming
Egyptian army at the Reed Sea, there was great reason to panic and for
there to be potentially many miscarriages. Similarly, walking through the
two sides of the divided Sea was terribly frightening. Nevertheless, none
of the fetuses were lost. Therefore, it is incumbent upon those unborn
children to give praise to Hashem for the miracle that happened to them.
3) THREE PEOPLE THAT LEFT THREE GROUPS
OPINIONS: The Gemara says that if three people -- who were part of three
groups that all were obligated in Birkas ha'Zimun -- left their groups and
their original groups recited Birkas ha'Zimun, they can no longer make a
Zimun even when all three come together to make a new group of three.
The Gemara brings a proof. A bed that was Tamei and was broken and then
re-assembled does not become Tamei when it is re-assembled.
There are several ways to understand this Gemara. The two most basic ways
are as follows.
(a) TOSFOS RABEINU YEHUDAH HA'CHASID explains that Rava is teaching that if
the three deserters were part of groups of *four* people in each group,
then if -- after they leave their groups -- the remaining three make a
Zimun, the deserters can no longer make a Zimun based on the meal they ate
earlier (and even though they were obligated to make a Zimun and they did
not yet participate in a Zimun, they lost their opportunity to do so).
HALACHAH: The SHULCHAN ARUCH (OC 193:5) cites the opinion of the Rosh (b:1)
that if three people were part of a Zimun and they left and joined with
each other and ate some more, they cannot make a Zimun if the original
groups made a Zimun already. However, the BI'UR HALACHAH says that if only
*one* of the people in the second Zimun was a deserter (but the other two
had begun their meal together and never said Zimun), it is unclear what the
Halachah will be. Perhaps if they eat more together they will indeed be
obligated in their own Zimun. The Halachah in such a case is left
(b) The ROSH (7:29) does not accept this explanation, because the phrase,
"Azmin Alaiyhu" ("they made a Zimun *with them*") implies that the
deserters actually participated in the Zimun. Therefore, the Rosh explains
that if these deserters *participated* in responding to the Zimun before
they left their groups, they may no longer join together with each other to
form a Zimun. This is the opinion of RASHI (DH Aval) and TOSFOS (50a DH
Aval) as well.
This explanation is problematic, because it is obvious that they cannot
make a Zimun if they already participated in one! The Rishonim offer two
approaches to answer this problem with the Rosh's interpretation.
(1) The Rosh himself explains that even if they *ate together* more food
afterwards, they still may not make a Zimun since they did not start a new
meal (with Birkas ha'Motzi, etc.), but continued their old meal, which was
already exempt from Zimun.
(2) The RA'AVAD cited by the RASHBA explains that even if the deserters
were trying to run out of the original groups before those groups made a
Zimun, if the original groups made a Zimun with them against their will
before they had a chance to run out, they become exempt from the obligation
of Zimun and may no longer make a Zimun with others whom they join later.
(The Ra'avad is one of the Rishonim that hold that it is not necessary for
the third person of the Zimun to actually respond; he just has to be
present. See Insights 45:3-b.)