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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Berachos 3



(a) Rebbi Eliezer subscribes to the opinion that there are three Mishmaros, and the reason that he gives the time for saying the Shema as the end of the first watch, and not four hours, is because he wants to teach us that, just like there are four Mishmaros in the Heaven, so too are there four Mishmaros (meaning specific discernible periods) on earth.

(b) By each watch, Hashem roars like a lion (out of sadness - Kevayachol) because of His (destroyed) dwelling - the Beis Hamikdash.

(a) By the first watch the donkeys bray, by the second, the dogs bark, and by the third, the babies begin to suckle and the women begin to speak with their husbands.

(b) Rebbi Eliezer is referring to the end of the first watch, the beginning of the third, and the middle of the second.
Alternatively, he refers to the end of the watches. Why then, should the third watch require any sign?
This will be necessary for someone who is sleeping in a dark house, and who cannot see when it is day.

(a) Eliyahu remarked to Rebbi Yossi that he should have rather have Davened on the way than in a ruin.
To which Rebbi Yossi replied that he was afraid to Daven on the way, in case passers-by disturb him.

(b) Rebbi Yossi learnt from Eliyahu that it is forbidden to enter a ruin, that one may Daven whilst traveling, and that someone who Davens whilst traveling, Davens a short Tefilah (his reply to Rebbi Yossi's second statement).

(c) 'When Yisrael enter the Batei Keneisi'os and the Batei Medrashos, and say loud "Amein, Yehei Shemei ha'Gadol Mevorach" etc., Hashem nods His head and says "How fortunate is the King whom they praise in house like that! Woe to the Father who exiled His children, and woe to the children who have been exiled from their father's table!

(a) 'Suspicion' means that people will suspect him of prostitution. We need the reason of suspicion in the case of the ruin of a building only recently built, which is not prone to imminent collapse, and to two people of questionable morals, who are suspect of immoral behavior, but who are safe from the demons, who will not attack two people.

(b) The reason of collapse is necessary when there are two decent people, so that there is neither fear of demons nor suspicion.

(c) And the reason of demons is necessary when it is two decent people who enter the ruin of a recently-built building which is situated in one of the demons' haunts, where they will attack even two people.
Alternatively, it could even be speaking when there is only one person, yet there is no suspicion of suspicion, because it speaks when the ruin is far away from the town, where women do not normally go.




(a)&(b) If Gideon reached the edge of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, it means that there must be three watches and not four, says the Beraisa in the name of Rebbi Nasan.
Rebbi however, interprets the Pasuk to mean 'one of the middle watches, not necessarily *the* middle watch.
To which Rebbi Nasan replies that, had the Pasuk wanted to write one of the middle watches, it would have done so; "ha'Ashmorah ha'Tichonah" undoubtedly implies 'the middle watch'!

(c) Rebbi Nasan follows the opinion of Rebbi Yehoshua who says in the Mishnah that the Mitzvah of Keri'as Shema extends until three hours in the day (because it is the way of the Kings to arise from during the course of the third hour). Consequently, when David ha'Melech spoke of getting up at midnight and then referred to two Mishmaros, he was referring to the six hours from midnight until daybreak, plus the two hours that the other kings used to still sleep (the equivalent of two Mishmaros - the amount of time that he would arise before all the other kings).
Rav Ashi answers simply that David might well call one and a half Mishmaros 'Mishmaros', as if it were two (since it is more than one Mishmar).

(a) It is permitted to say things concerning the dead person (exclusively) in front of him.

(b) Some say that this comes to exclude Divrei Torah only, because to speak Divrei Torah in his presence (when he is unable to do so) is 'Lo'eg la'Rosh' (mocking the unfortunate, by performing a Mitzvah which he is no longer empowered to do).
Others maintain that it comes to exclude any other speech whatsoever in front of a dead man.

(c) The only reason that this statement is brought here, is because it was said by Rebbi Zerika in the name of Rebbi Ami, who quoted it from Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi; and it is the way of the Gemara that whenever it quotes an uncommon combination of names to make a relevant point in the Sugya, it will also quote other issues stated by that same combination, even though they are irrelevant to the Sugya (this is particularly common in Berachos).

(a) Until midnight, David ha'Melech used to study Torah whilst dozing - like a horse, but from midnight and onwards he would overcome his fatigue - like a lion.
Alternatively, until midnight, he would study Torah, and from then on, he sang songs of praise to Hashem.

(b) There are actually two 'Neshefs' (like there are two 'Erevs'), one night-time before day, and the other, day-time before night.

(a) The Gemara initially understands the word "ka'Chatzos" to mean at around midnight, which suggests that although Hashem had told Moshe "ba'Chatzos", at exactly midnight, Moshe changed it to "ka'Chayzos" because he could not be sure exactly when midnight was.

(b) The Gemara answers that David ha'Melech, like Moshe Rabeinu, could not possibly have known on his own the exact moment of midnight. However, he had the advantage of a harp which was suspended above his bed. Every night, at exactly midnight, the North-wind would blow across it and play, and at its sound, he would awaken and spring out of bed.

(c) At dawn break, the sages would enter David's presence and would point out to him that Yisrael his people were in urgent need of sustenance. He would reply that they should sustain each other (through acts of Tzedakah and Chesed), but they would insist that there was simply not enough to go round. and that is what is meant by 'One fistful (or one locust) will not satisfy the lion, and a clod of earth taken out of a previously dug pit will not fill the pit, if one puts it back' ('ve'Ein ha'Bor Mismalei mei'Chulyaso').

(a) After consulting the 'war ministry' (Achitofel, chief advisor) whether to go to war or not, it would be discussed by the Sanhedrin (Benayahu ben Yehoyada, head of the Sanhedrin). Then they would ask Hashem for permission (via the Urim ve'Tumim - Evyasar, the Kohen Gadol), and only then would the commander-in-chief mobilize his forces (Yo'av).

(b) The 'Urim ve Tumim' is also called the 'Kereisi u'Peleisi', because its words were clear-cut (leaving no room to add or to subtract anything from their message), and miraculous.

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