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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Berachos 16


1) Just like rivers elevate a person from Tum'ah to Taharah, say Chazal, so too, does Torah raise him from the scale of guilt to the scale of merit.

2) Rebbi Elazar heard the Beraisa expert telling Rebbi Yochanan that if someone errs in the middle of the paragraph, and is not sure where he is up to, he must go back to the beginning of that, if he is between paragraphs, and is not certain which one, he goes back to the first 'between paragraphs' in the Shema - "ve'Haya Im Shamo'a". Whereas if he errs by "u'Chesavtam', and doesn't know which one, then he goes back to the first one. Rebbi Yochanan added to this last Halachah that if he instinctively continued with "Lema'an Yirbu Yemeichem", then he may assume that *that* is where he was holding.


(a) Workers are obligated to descend from a tree or from scaffolding where they are working in order to Daven the Amidah, because Tefilah is 'Rachamim' and requires Kavanah. Keri'as Shema, is not a Tefilah, and, although the first Pasuk ' *does* require Kavanah, it is easy to have Kavanah for one Pasuk even when perched on a tree.

(b) The above Din does not apply to an olive or a fig-tree, which have many branches, and on which it is possible to Daven, even Tefilah, with Kavanah.

(c) The employer is obligated to descend even from a olive or from a fig-tree to Daven the Amidah.

(a) What the Mishnah means is that up to Motzei Shabbos, a Chasan who has not consummated his marriage, is Patur from reciting the Shema, because he is still worried about the Mitzvah, as we learnt earlier (on Daf 11a); after that, his worry dissipates. (This Mishnah presumes that the marriage took place on Wednesday, to conform with the opening Mishnah in Kesuvos.)

(b) Rabban Gamliel told his disciples that (although he taught them that a Chasan is exempt from reciting the Shema on the first night after his wedding), he had never instructed them to stop *him* from relieving himself of the yoke of Heaven for even one moment.

(c) It is not from the word "Derech" that we exempt someone who is busy a Mitzvah from performing another Mitzvah, but rather from the word "u've'Lechte*cha*" - inferring that only when a person is going on a personal journey he is Chayav to recite the Shema, but not when he is traveling for a Devar Mitzvah.

(a) There are different levels of Kavanah. And the Beraisa, which learns from the Gezeira Shavah of "Shema Yisrael" from "Haskeis u'Shema Yisrael" learns that one is at least obligated to stop work for the Shema, even if he is not obligated to descend from the tree.

(b) Beis Hillel, who permits one to continues working whilst reciting the Shema, is speaking about the remainder of the Shema, whereas Rav Mari Berah de'Bas Shmuel is referring to the first paragraph.

(c) the father of Rav Mari Berah de'Bas Shmuel was Isar Giyora.

(a) An employee is not permitted to Daven before the Amud (to be the Chazan) because that constitutes an excessive wasting of his employer's time (Apparently, he is obligated to leave the Minyan before Chazaras ha'Shatz - or possibly, after Kedushah, or after Modim).

(b) Employees who get paid proper wages, are obligated to curtail their Tefilah, and to Daven 'Havineinu', whereas those who receive no more than their meals from their employer, must Daven the full Amidah.




(a) Rabban Gamliel took a bath on the night that his wife died because he was finicky, and, the Rabbanan, who decreed Aninus of the night after the burial, restricted the prohibition of bathing on that night to bathing for pleasure, but not for medicinal or similar purposes (See also Tosfos, d.h. 'Istenis').

(b) He also accepted comfort on his slave Tavi, because the reason for the prohibition (that most slaves were inherently bad - to begin with, they were usually thieves) did not apply to him, since he was a righteous man.

(c) In the opinion of Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel, unless someone is on the level of being able to do so with Kavanah (in spite of his worries) is considered to be conceited, if he recites the Shema on the night of his marriage.

(a) One does not make the two rows for a slave who has dies, nor does one eulogize him.

(b) Rebbi Eliezer was trying to avoid accepting comfort for his slave who had died, so he left the disciples who had come to comfort him, to go first to the attic, then, when they did not take the hint and followed him there, to the ante-chamber, and then, when they did still failed to take the hint, he went into the main room.

(c) When he told them that he thought that they would get burnt by warm water etc., what he meant was that he thought that they could take a gentle hint, but that now he realized that they were not even capable of accepting a *broad* one.

(d) One wishes to a slave-owner whose slave has died, the same as one would wish him if he lost some property: namely, 'May Hashem restore your loss!'

(a) According to Rebbi Yossi, one eulogizes a righteous slave who has died, with the words 'Oy, what a good man! faithful, who was faithful and who benefited from the toil of his hands!'

(b) The Rabbanan disagreed even with such a eulogy, because, if one says praises for slaves, what is left for real Tzadikim?

(c) The reason that we do not refer to Ya'akov's sons (the fathers of the tribes) as Avos, cannot be because we do not know from which tribe we descend, because if it were, why would we call the four Mothers 'Imahos', considering that we do not know either from which Mother we descend?

(d) The real reason is because only the three were truly sufficiently important to be called 'Avos'.

10) They would call Rabban Gamliel's slaves 'Aba Peloni' or 'Ima Pelonis' (the equivalent of Mr. or Mrs. So and So), because they were important people.


(a) The Tena'im and Amora'im used to say these prayers after the conclusion of the last Berachah of the Amidah.

(b) We adapted the Tefilah 'Elokai, Netzor Leshoni mei'Ra', which Mar Berei de'Ravina used to say at the end of his Tefilah.

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