ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous dafBerachos 17
(a) It was when Rav Sheihes was fasting, that he used to ask Hashem to
accept his own diminished Cheilev and Dam in lieu of the Cheilev and Dam of
(b) Rebbi Yochanan would make his statement "Sof Adam la'Mus" etc., a Pasuk
in Mishlei, when he finished the book of Iyov.
(c) In connection with the final phrase of his statement (how praiseworthy
is the person who, on account of his good deeds, leaves this world with a
good name, he added the Pasuk "Tov Shem mi'Shemen Tov, ve'Yom ha'Maves
(when he leaves with world with his spiritual accomplishments) mi'Yom
Hivaldo (when he comes into it empty-handed").
(d) Rebbi Meir gave the following rrcipe to those who want Hashem to be
with them wherever they go: 'Learn Torah with all your heart (your
emotions) and with all your Soul (your intellect) with the intention of
knowing My ways. Go diligently to the Beis-ha'Medrash, guard My Torah in
your heart, and let My fear be opposite your eyes always. Guard your mouth
from all sin, and purify yourself and sanctify yourself from all acts of
guilt and inquity'.
(a)&(b) Referring to themselves as the Talmid-Chacham, and 'the friend' as
the Am-ha'Aretz, the Rabbanan of Yavneh continued '*My* work is in the
town, whilst *his* is in the field. *I* get up early to do my work, and
*he* gets up early to do his. *He* doesn't encroach in my work (to his
discredit), and *I* don't encroach in his.
(c) Maybe we can justify his disinterest in my work, because I spend a lot
of time at it, whereas he could, at best, spend only a little?
(d) That however, is no justification, for we have learnt 'It doesn't
matter whether a person does a lot (of Torah, or Tzedakah, or Ma'asim
Tovim), or whether he does a little - as long as he directs his heart
This does not mean that it is O.K. for a Talmid-Chacham to learn the hours
of an Am ha'Aretz, but that an Am ha'Aretz should learn the hours that are
expected of an Am ha'Aretz!
(a) 'Arum be'Yir'ah' means that, so important is Yir'as Shamayim, that one
should use every conceivable tactic to acquire more of it, and to put it
(b) Abaye expected people to be Marbeh Shalom not only to his own family,
but even to total strangers in the street - even to non-Jews! That is in
order that he should be endeared in this world and accepted by everyone.
(c) Nobody ever managed to greet Rabban Yochanan ben Zakai before he had
greeted them - not even a gentile!
(a) Rava maintained that the purpose of wisdom is Teshuvah and good deeds.
Otherwise, a person will learn and use his new-found knowledge to lash out
at his father, his mother, his Rebbe and against those who are more learned
and more experienced that he (although he may not be willing to admit it).
In short, learning must bring the student to more Yir'as Shamayim, as the
Pasuk in Tehilim writes "Reishis (the prime purpose of) Chochmah (is)
Yir'as Hashem, Siechel Tov le'Chol Osei*hem*". It does not say "le'Chol
Osim", but "le'Chol Oseihem", those who put their learning into practice.
(b) Rashi and Tosfos agree that 'she'Lo li'Shemah' in this context means to
learn in order to criticise Torah - to mock his friends. To learn
exclusively for the honor of Semichah is called 'li'Shemah'. The Gra
however, maintains that every motive other than for the purpose of putting
his learning into practice, is included in 'she'Lo li'Shemah'.
(c) It is said of someone who studies Torah (purely) she'lo li'Shemah',
that it is better if he had not been created.
(a) In Olom ha'Ba, no-one will eat or drink, there will be no procreation
and no business, no jealousy, no hatred and no competition. So what will
(b) The Tzadikim will sit there with their crowns on their heads, and
derive pleasur from looking at the Shechinah.
(c) "va'Yechezu es ha'Elokim, va'Yochlu va'Yishtu" refers to Moshe and
Aharon, Nadav and Avihu, and the seventy elders, who saw the Shechinah, and
felt satisfied as if they had eaten and drank. From which we learn that
seeing the Shechinah is such a satisfying experince that it dispenses with
the need to eat.
(a) The women earn their full reward in Olom ha'Ba bringing their children
to learn Torah and by encouraging their husbands to go and study Torah -
and by sending them away to learn - even to another town (if necessary).
Perhaps the reason that their reward is even greater than that of their
husbands, is much in the same way as someone who makes others give Tzedakah
is greater than the person who actually gives. Or because it is easier to
perceive the greatness of Torah-study, than of playing a secondary role.
(b) 'Ki Havu mifteri Rabbanan' means that when the Rabbanan would leave the
Yeshivah for home, they would first obtain permission from their
(c) "Alufeinu" means (our captains) in Torah, and "Mesubalim" in Mitzvos.
Others say "Alufeinu" means in Torah and Mitzvos, and "Mesubalim" (which
literally means 'burdened') with suffering; "Ein Peretz" - David ha'Melech
prayed that there should be no breach, referring to Achitofel, who caused a
*'breach* in the Kingdom of Beis David (See Tosfos, d.h. 'Peretz' and
'Tzevachah'); "ve'Ein Yotzeis", that our company should not be like that of
Shaul, from whom there emerged Do'eg, who *went out* to evil ways; "ve'Ein
Tzevachah", that our company should not be like that of Elisha, from whom
there emerged Geichazi, who became a Metzora (who had to cry out -
*Tzevachah* - 'Tamei, Tamei'). And by "bi'Rechovoseinu", David meant that
we should not have a son or a disciple who sinned *publicly*.
(a) "bi'Zero'a means 'on their own merits'.
The Rabbanan will hold that, the case of Keri'as Shema does not involve
conceit. Why not?
(b) According to the second interpretation of the Pasuk, the rest of the
world are sustained on the merits of those great Tzadikim, and those
Tzadikim decline to be fed even on those same merits.
(c) Rav Yehudah interprets "Abirei Leiv" as referring to the Guvai, a
certain hard-hearted nation in Bavel - possibly cousins of the Nesinim
(in that case, ha'Rechokim mi'Tzedakah" is meant in a derogatory sense -
who are far from desrving Tzedakah).
Rav Yosef proves their stubbornness, by the fact that not one of them ever
(d) The people of Masa Machsaya saw the glory of theTorah twice a year,
when all the Jews gathered there for the Yarchei Kala - in Adar and in Elul
- to hear Rav Ashi's pre-Yom-Tov Derashah; yet not one of them converted.
Because, when the Chasan recites the Shema, he is not behaving differently
than everybody else - He does not appear conceit; whereas by not doing work
on Tish'ah be'Av, he is setting himself apart from the rest of the
community, and *that* looks like conceit.
And as for Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel, the reason that he considers our case
of a Chasan conceited is because we know that an average person cannot
concentrate. Consequently, a Chasan who claims that he *can*, is showing
conceit; But that has no bearing on someone not doing work on Tish'ah'
be-Av, which does not require concentration.
Hadran Alach, 'Hayah Korei'!
(a) An Onen is Patur from Keri'as Shema, from Tefilin and from all the
Mitzvos, because, like a Chasan on the night of his wedding, he is worried
about the Mitzvah of burying his deceased relative.
(b) The reason that one changes the pall-bearers, is because it is a
Mitzvah to carry the coffin (a Chesed shel Emes), and every`body wants a
turn to perform it (Chibuv Mitzvah).
(c) Someone who is in front of the coffin, awaiting his turn to perform the
Mitzvah of burying the dead, is Patur from the Shema, since he has not yet
had the chance to perform the Mitzvah. The person behind the coffin, on the
other hand, have already performed the Mitzvah. Therefore, even if they
want to perform it again (which is fine) they cannot do so at the expense
of the Mitzvah of Keri'as Shema.
(d) Both of these however, are Patur from Tefilah, which is only
(a) If one assesses that it is possible to finish one paragraph of the
Shema before he reaches the Shurah, then he should begin reciting the Shema
on his way to the Shurah. And if not, then he should not even begin.
(b) At the Shurah itself, those who are standing in one of the inside rows,
who can see the faces of the mourners, are Patur from reciting the Shema,
whereas those who cannot, are Chayav.