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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Berachos 8



(a) If for whatever reason, someone is neither able to go to Shul, nor to gather a Minyan in his house, he should at least Daven at the same time as the Shul Davens.

(b) The "Eis Ratzon" in the Pasuk "va'Ani Sefilasi" etc., refers to the time that the community Davens.
And so does the pfrase "Ki be'Rabim Hayu Imadi" in the Pasuk "Padah ve'Shalom Nafshi".

(c) We also learn from the Pasuk "Hein Keil Kabir ve'Lo Yim'as" that Hashem will never reject the Tefilah of a community.

(d) We learn from "Padah ve'Shalom Nafshi" that anyone who studies Torah, performs Chesed, and Davens with the community (all of which fall under the title 'Shalom), is considered as if he had redeemed Hashem and His children (K'lal Yisrael) from amongst the nations.

(a) Someone who lives in a town where there is a Shul, and he doesn't enter it, is called a bad neighbor.

(b) He causes his children to go into exile.

(a) Rebbi Yochanan was surprised to hear that there were old men in Bavel because of the Pasuk "Lema'an Yirbu Yemeichem viYemei Veneichem *Al ha'Adamah*" etc. However, when he heard that the went morning and evening to Shul, his surprise waned.

(b) 'Le'olam Yikaneis Adam Shenei Pesachim be'Veis ha'Kenesses' means that one should not sit right next to the door, but should enter at least 'two doorways' into the Shul.

(a) In Eretz Yisrael, they would say to a man on his wedding-day 'Matza O Motzei' - Which of the two will it be "Matza Ishah, Matza Tov" (Mishlei), or "u'Motzei Ani Mar mi'Maves es ha'Ishah" (Koheles)?
(Presumably to encourage to Daven for Hatlchachah in his marriage, and to encourage him to behave in a way which is conducive towards a successful marriage).

(b) Based on the Pasuk "le'Maves Totza'os" "le'Eis Metzo" would mean the time of death, and it would mean that one should pray for a pleasant form of death.

(c) And based on the Pasuk "ha'Semeichim Eilai" etc. it would refer to a grave, meaning that one should Daven for the merit of being buried. 'Zivula Basraysa' means 'the last spadeful'.

(d) There are as many natural deaths as the numerical value of the word "Totza'os" - namely, 903.
The worst manner of death is asphyxication, and the sweetest is a kiss from Hashem.

(e) The most important interpretation of "le'Eis Metzo" is 'the bathroom' - namely, to pray that one should have a 'bathroom' near one's house (according to Rashi this only applied to Bavel, where the earth was too saturated to be able to dig, which meant going far out into the fislde to find a suitable place for one's needs.

(a) "Oheiv Hashem es Sha'rei Tziyon mi'Kol Mishkenos Ya'akov" teaches us that the place where they excel in Halachah is more precious to Hashem than all the Batei Keneysiyos and Batei Medrash.

(b) That is why Rebbi Chiya bar bar Ami quoting Ula said that, since the Churban Beis Hamikdash, the only place in the world about which Hashem cares is the four Amos of Halachah.

(c) Abaye learnt from here to always Daven in the place where he studied Torah - although before he heard this Halachah he was particular to Daven in Shul. And Rebbi Ami and Rebbi Asi would only Davened there where they had studied Torah, in spite of the fact that the were thirteen Shuls in Teverya (where they lived).

(a) "Yegi'a Kapecha ki Sochel, Ashrecha ve'Tov Lach" contains two rewards, whereas "Ashrei Kol Yerei Hashem" only contains one.; from which Ula learns that someone who benefits from the toil of his hands is greater than someone who fears Hashem (the Gra explains this to refer to Torah-study, and what the Gemara is saying is that someone who learns with Simchah is greater than who learns with Yir'ah, without Simchah).

(b) Shim'i ben Geira was Shlomoh's Rebbe. As long as he was alive, Shlomoh did not marry the daughter of Par'oh (who was later responsible for Shlomoh's 'sinning'). So we learn from here that a person should always make a point of living in the vicinity of his Rebbe, as his Rebbe's pressence and words of Mussar will help to keep him in check.

(c) This will not apply if his Yeitzer Hara is so strong that his Rebbe's presence and Mussar will not have any effect on him. Then he should better go and live elsewhere, since it is better to be a Shogeg than a Meizid.

(a) From "ve'Ozvei Hashem Yeichalu" we learn what happens to someone who leaves Shul during Leining.

(b) It is permitted to leave Shul, if necessary, between one Parshah and the next.

(c) The Gemara however, is not sure what the Din will be between two Pesukim.

(d) Rav Sheishes used to turn round and learn during Leining and say - 'Let them do their's, we will do our's!'
However there are many explanations of Rav Sheishes' Heter and under which circumstances (if any) one may take one;s cue from Rav Sheishes (see Tosfos).




(a) It is a Mitzvah to read the Parshah each week, twice from the text and once from Targum Unkelus. And it applies to all the Pesukim in the Parshah, even to those whose Targum is the same as the original.

(b) Someone who fulfills this Mitzvah is assured of long life.

(c) On Erev Yom Kipur, one is supposed to indulge in much eating , because anyone who eats and drinks on Yom Kipur is considered as if he had fasted on the ninth and the tenth - so when does he have time to fulfill the Shenayim Mikra and Echad Targum for the whole year?

(d) Rav Bibi bar Abaye wanted to read the Shenayim Mikra etc. in advance, but the old man informed him that is supposed to read it week by week, together with the community.

(a) It was customary, in those days, to roast chickens whole. Rebbi Yehudah therefore, ruled that one should Shecht the two large blood-vessels in the neck, in order to drain all the blood before the roasting.

(b) It is only an old man who has forgotten his learning due to circumstances out of his control whom one must treat with respect, but not one who forgot because he did not revise his learning.

(c) We learn this from the fact that the broken Luchos were placed together with the new Luchos in the Aron.

(a) It is inadvisable to cut meat on one's hand either because of the danger that one may cut oneself, or (even if the cut is only a minor one), because one might spoil the food by causing blood to spill all over it, thereby making it unappetizing for the other guests.

(b) By not to sit on the bed of a non-Jewess, Rava meant, either not to go to sleep without saying Krei'as Shema, or not to marry a convert.

(c) The literal meaning of Rava's statement is based on an episode which occurred with his disciple, Rav Papa. Rav Papa went to claim a debt from a non-Jewess. When she offered him a seat on a couch, he declined to sit down until she first lifted it up. Underneath, was a dead baby (presumably her son). Clearly, she had prepared a case of libel against him (to spare herself the need to pay), and had he sat down, she would have accused him of killing her baby.

(d) One should not go past the door of a Shul whilst Tefilah is in progress (due to Mar'is ha'Ayin), provided there is no other door to that Shul and no other Shul in town (otherwise, there is no case of Mar'is ha'Ayin, since people will not accuse him of not Davening with a Minyan, because, they will say, he entered the Shul by another entrance or Davened in another Shul. It is also in order if he is running )because they will say that there is an emergency), or if he is carrying a load (when they will say that he is on important business - and he will Daven afterwards), or if he is wearing Tefilin (one can hardly accuse a person who is wearing Tefilin of laxness in Davening).

(a) The Medians would only kiss (others except for their wives) on the back of the hand (and Rava considered this to be more hygienic (than kissing on the mouth). And they would always convene in the field (like Ya'akov, who called his wives out to the field to discuss with them matters which were of a secret nature. And that is why Rebbi Akiva admired the Medians.

(b) And Rabban Gamliel admired the Persians because they were discreet when they ate, in the bathroom and during intimacy.

(a) Although after dawn is considered night, according to the first Lashon of Rebbi Shimon, one may nevertheless recite the morning Shema, because *that* is the time of getting up ("be'Shachbecha"), which is the criterion of saying the Shema - not 'day' or 'night'.

(b) In the second Lashon, the reverse is true: Although, according to Rebbi Akiva, after dawn-break is considered day, it is still Zeman Kimah, as far as reciting the Shema is concerned.

(c) If one recites the Shema before dawn-break (according to Rashi), and after dawn-break (according to Tosfos), one omits 'Hashkiveinu', since it is not the time that one goes to lie down (according to Rashi), or continues to lie down (according to Tosfos).

(d) A pair of Rabbanan drank too much at the wedding festivities of Rebbi Yehoshua ben levi's son, and were in no fit state to recite the night-Shema until after dawn-break. When they asked Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi whether they are still permitted to recite it then, he replied that Rebbi Shimon is sufficiently worthy to rely on his opinion in a time of emergency (a Bedieved such as this). And this is the episode from which the Gemara understands that Rebbi Yehoshua rules like Rebbi Shimon (quoting Rebbi Akiva - at least in an emergency).

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