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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Berachos 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 the Korbanos.

(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 'le'Shem Shamayim'!
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 into practice.

(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 happen there?

(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 colleagues.

(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'.

(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 converted.

(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.

8) The Rabbanan will hold that, the case of Keri'as Shema does not involve conceit. Why not?
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 mi'de'Rabbanan.

(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.

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