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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Berachos 15



(a) Rebbi Chiya bar Aba quoting Rebbi Yochanan, considers someone who washes his hands, puts on Tefilin, recites the Shema and says the Amidah as if he had built a Mizbei'ach and sacrificed a Korban on it.

(b) Since the Pasuk writes 'Erchatz be'Nikayon Kapai', and not "Architz Kapai", Rava adds, it is as if he had Toveled his whole body (and has now become pure).

(c) Rava himself agrees with that Talmid-Chacham, who learnt from the same Pasuk that someone who has no water with which to wash, should just wipe his hands with anything that will clean them (such as dust, earth and pieces of wood).

(a) Someone who is traveling, is obligated to search for water up to four Mil (approximately four Kilometers) in a forward direction. In any other direction, one is obligated to search up to - and excluding - one Mil (eighteen minutes walking distance).

(b) For the Shema, one should not search at all, because the time for Shema is far more limited, and Chazal were therefore afraid that in the process of searching for water, the time for Keri'as Shema might just expire.

(a) Rebbi Yossi learns from the word "Shema" that one must hear what one is saying.

(b) The Tana Kama learns from the word "Shema", that one may recite the Shema in any language that one understands. Rebbi Yossi infers both Derashos from "Shema".

(a) A Cheresh who can speak but not hear should not separate Terumah, because he cannot fulfill the obligation of reciting the Berachah over the separation.

(b) Rav Chisda thinks that the author of the Mishnah in Terumos must be Rebbi Yossi, who disqualifies 'Shema' if it is not heard, because the recital of Shema is d'Oraysa, whereas by the Berachah over the separation of Ma'asros, which is only de'Rabbanan, even Rebbi Yossi will agree that the omission of the Berachah, will not prevent one from being Yotze with the Mitzvah.
It cannot be Rebbi Yehudah (who is the Tana Kama of our Mishnah), he maintains, because, in his opinion, Rebbi Yehudah permits one - even Lechatchilah - to read the Shema without hearing oneself.

(c) The Gemara nevertheless tries to prove that Rebbi Yehudah only permits Bedieved someone who does not hear himself reading the Shema - from the word 'ha'Korei', which implies only Bedieved.
And if that is so, the author of the Mishnah in Terumos could well be Rebbi Yehudah.

(d) Our Mishnah may well begin with 'ha'Korei' (Bedieved) not an account of Rebbi Yehudah (who permits reciting the Shema even Lechatchilah, without hearing what one is saying), but to tell us how far Rebbi Yossi goes - that even Bedieved, he disqualifies the Shema.

(a) Rebbi Yehudah, quoting Rebbi Elazar ben Azaryah, learns that one needs to hear reciting the Shema, because the Torah writes "Shema Yisrael" etc. Whereas according to Rebbi Meir, it all depends on the Kavanah, as the Torah writes "Asher Anochi ... Al Levavecha"; saying it aloud is unnecessary.

(b) There are now two ways of resolving our Mishnah with the Beraisa of Rav Yehudah Brei de'Rebbi Shimon ben Pazi: Either Rebbi Yehudah himself (in our Mishnah) holds that one is even permitted to read the Shema Lechatchilah, without hearing the words, and in the latter Beraisa, he is only quoting the opinion of Rebbi Elazar ben Azarya, with which he does not agree. Or, Rebbi Yehudah does agree with Rebbi Elazar, and in our Mishnah, he specifically means 'ha'Korei' - Bedieved; and the author of the Beraisa quoted by Rav Yehudah Brei de'Rebbi Shimon ben Pazi, is Rebbi Meir, quoted in the latter Beraisa.




(a) The Gemara wants to say that just as when a Shoteh and a Katan read the Megilah, one is not even Yotze Bedieved, so too, should the Cheresh not be Yotze Bedieved either (like the opinion of Rebbi Yossi).

(b) It is possible for the author of both the Reisha and the Seifa to be Rebbi Yehudah, if the Reisha and the Seifa are dealing with two different kinds of Katan (and we will need to amend the wording of the Mishnah accordingly). The Reisha, which disqualifies the reading of a Katan, is speaking about a Katan who has not yet reached the age of Chinuch (Rashi seems to learn that his reading is *Kasher* Bedieved - but this is hard to understand), whereas the Seifa, which permits a Katan to read even Lechatchilah, speaks about a Katan who *has* reached the age of Chinuch.

(a) The author of the Beraisa 'Lo Yevarech Adam Birchas ha'Mazon be'Libo, ve'Im Beirach, Yatza' is Rebbi Elazar ben Azarya - and possibly Rebbi Yehudah, too.

(b) Had Rav Chisda quoting Shilo, ruled like Rebbi Yehudah, we may have thought that Rebbi Yehudah is lenient even Lechatchilah (like Rav Chisda himself maintains (on Amud 'Aleph'), and had he ruled like Rebbi Yehudah in the name of Rebbi Elazar ben Azarya, we would have said, that when Rebbi Elazar ben Azarya requires someone who is reading the Shema to hear what he is saying, he means that even Bedieved, he will not be Yotze, if he does not. Consequently, both rulings are necessary.

(a) It is not possible to accept a statement which invalidates all Berachos that the reciter does not hear, because in that case, what will we do with the Beraisa that validates Birchas ha'Mazon under such circumstances?

(b) So the Gemara amends the original statement to read that the Machlokes only concerns Keri'as Shema, where the Torah writes "Shema Yisrael", but as far as other Berachos is concerned, everyone agrees that one is Yotze, even if the reciter did not hear what he said.

(c) "Haskeis u'Shema Yisrael" refers to the Mitzvah of Torah-study, and taking the word "Haskeis" to be a derivative of 'le'Kateis' (to cut up), it means that one should be willing to suffer in order to study Torah.

(a) Both as regards the Din of hearing oneself reciting the Shema, and that of expressing the words carefully, we rule leniently, that one is Yotze (Bedieved) either way.

(b) How do we explain the juxtaposition of "Rechem" (the womb) and "She'ol" the grave), unless it is to compare them, tell us that just as the womb takes in (dead matter) and gives out (live), so too, the grave, takes in the person when he dies, and will later give him out (when he is alive) - a clear indication of Techi'as ha'Meisim.

(c) If the womb, which takes in quietly, gives out with cries of joy (and Mazel-Tov), how much more so the grave, which takes in with cries of sorrow, will give out with cries of joy!

(a) "u'Chesavtam" teaches us that even the commands - i.e. "u'Keshartam" and "u'Chesavtam" must be inserted in the Parshiyos of the Tefilin and the Mezuzos.

(b)&(c) The author of this Beraisa is Rebbi Yehudah, who learns by Sotah that, because the Torah writes "ha'Alos ha'Eileh", one only needs to write the actual curses on the parchment on which one writes the Parshah of Sotah (and not the commands). Here, where the Torah does not write any such expression, "ve'Chasav" implies that everything needs to be written.

(d) It is not because "ve'Chasav" is intrinsically restrictive that the Torah needs write "u'Chesavtam" (as the Gemara initially believed), but because otherwise, we would have compared "ve'Chasav" here to "ve'Chasav" by Sotah - to exclude the commands from the Parshiyos. Therefore, the Torah found it necessary to write "u'Chesavtam" that here, the writing must be complete ('Kesivah Tamah'), and that the commands must be inserted, too.

(a)&(b) "ve'Limadtem" teaches us that one must recite the words of the Shema with care ('Limud Tamah') - e.g. to make a break between "Al" and "Levavecha", "Eisev" and "be'Sadcha", "va'Avadtem" and "Meheirah" and "ha'Kanaf" and "Pesil" (See also Tosfos d.h. 'Bein').

(c) Someone who recites the Shema with care, can expect that, in time to come, the angels will cool down Gehinom for him, assuming that he will be sentenced to spend some time there (the normal temperature is sixty times that of the fire with which we are acquainted).

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