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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Berachos 19



(a) 'Whoever speaks evil about a deceased person may as well speak about a stone' could mean that the dead do not care what one says about them, even though they know what was said.

(b) The reason that the cane fell off the roof and killed the person who spoke evil about Shmuel, is not necessarily because Shmuel cared, but because Hashem takes the part of Tzadikim whether they care or not (much in the same way as he took the part of Moshe, when Miriam and Aharon spoke about him, even though Moshe himself did not care).

(c) 'Someone who speaks badly of a deceased Talmid-Chacham falls into Gehinom'.

(d) If one saw a Talmid-Chacham sin at night, one should dismiss what one saw, because he will definitely have done Teshuvah by day. This will not however, apply to money-matters, as long as he has not returned the money.

(a) Beis-Din will place a Niduy on someone who denigrates a Rav (and that includes Hashem). The three examples that Rebbi Elazar found in the entire Shishah Sidrei Mishnah are: someone who takes the Mitzvah of Chazal of washing the hands for bread lightly, someone who speaks evil about a deceased Talmid-Chacham and someone who speaks to Hashem in a conceited manner.


1. Some opinions maintain that it is simply not feasible for a Niduy to have been placed on Akavya, and that it is Elazar ben Chanoch on whom the Niduy was placed, for stating doubts about the Mitzvah de'Rabbanan of Netilas Yadayim.
2. Despite the fact that there was no-one in Yisrael like him, the Chachamim placed a Niduy on Akavya ben Mahalalel, who, maintaining that a convert and a set-free slave do not drink the Sotah-water, clained that Shemaya and Avtalyon (who made Kurkemis, the set-free slave, drink Sotah-water) - did so because they were converts like Karkemis.
3. The person who spoke to Hashem in a seemingly conceited manner was Choni ha'Me'agel, to whom Shimon ben Shetach said that, had he not been Choni, whom Hashem considers a member of His household, he would have placed a Niduy on him.
(c) We have already cited Rashi's interpretation of 'Dugma Hishkuha' in the previous question. Tosfos however, learns that what Akavya ben Mahalalel meant was that Shemaya and Avtalyon did not make her drink real Mei-Sotah, containing Hashem's Holy Name; what they gave her to drink was only a 'Dugma' - a sample of colored water, which resembled the Mei Sotah.

(d) If someone dies whilst the Niduy is still in effect, they place a large stone on his coffin - in lieu of Sekilah.

(a) According to Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi, there are twenty-four cases of Niduy due to Kavod ha'Rav, in *the Mishnah* - not in the Beraisa; which explains why Rebbi Elazar did not include the case of Todos from Rome, which is a Beraisa.

(b) Todos the man from Rome, introduced the custom into Rome to roast a kid-goat whole, on Seder-night, to commemorate the Korban Pesach, which consisted of a lamb or a kid, prepared in this way.

(c) Tanur shel Achnai was the title given to the oven over which Rebbi Eliezer argued with the Chachamim. It was an earthenware oven which became Tamei, and which they subsequently broke up into sections before placing sand between the sections and building it up again.
According to the Chachamim the oven regains its Tum'ah, whereas according to Rebbi Eliezer, it remains Tahor.
'The Rabbanan surrounded him with Halachos like a snake' - 'Achnai' (the source of the oven's title), but he did not relent.

(d) The Machlokes regarding Tanur shel Achnai is a Mishnah, so why did Rebbi Eliezer not count that as a fourth Mishnah of Niduy li'Chevod ha'Rav? Nevertheless, replies the Gemara, Niduy is not specifically mentioned in the Mishnah, only in the Beraisa.

4) Rebbi Elazar found only three cases of Niduy li'Chevod ha'Rav, because, whereas Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi compared and added to the list, cases mentioned in the Mishnah, which are similar in character, but where Niduy is not mentioned, Rebbi Elazar did not. *He* only listed those three cases where the Mishnah goes on to relate that the Chachomim imposed Niduy on the culprit.


(a) It is permitted to carry out an important person for burial, once the time to recite the Shema approaches, but not anybody else.

(b) In any event, if one has already begun to carry out the dead body, then one completes the Mitzvah.

(c) If the deceased is not lying before them, and the time for reciting the Shema arrives, then those present (who came for the Hespedim), all sit and recite the Shema, while the mourner sits silent. Whilst they Daven the Amidah, the mourner stands and declares Hashem to be in the right. He says: 'Master of the World, I have sinned abundantly before You. and You did not punish me one thousandth of what I deserve. May it be Your will, that You repair our breaches', etc.

(d) Abaye objected to the mourner's claim that he deserves more than he got, on the grounds that one should not open one's mouth to the Satan (invite trouble).

(a) When Yisrael issued the statement "Kim'at ki'Sedom Hayinu", the Navi replied "Shim'u D'var Hashem, Ketzinei S'dom".

(b) We learn from there that one should not open one's mouth to the Satan.

7) Even if one is able to complete only one paragraph or one Pasuk, before reaching the rows, he should do so.




(a) In the times of the Gemara, the mourner would sit on the ground, and the people would file past.

(b) According to Rebbi Yehudah, the criterion for being Patur from Keri'as Shema and the Mitzvos, is whether one came in order to pay one's respects to the mourner (when one is Patur) or just in order to perform a Mitzvah (in which case, he is Chayav).

(a) From "Ein Chochmah ... Neged Hashem" we learn that someone who finds Kil'ayim in his clothes, even in the middle of the main street, is obligated to remove them immediately - in spite of the importance the Torah attaches to Kavod ha'Beriy'os. 'Kol Makom she'Yesh Chilul Hashem (incorporating a blatant contravention of any La'av), Ein Cholkin Kavod la'Rav'.

(b) The graveyard through which Kohanim are permitted to pass is a Beis ha'P'ras, which is only de'Rabbanan (and all de'Rabbanan's are permitted in face of Kavod ha'Beriy'os).

(c) It is a Mitzvah to run to see non-Jewish kings, in order to distinguish (when the time arrives) between a non-Jewish king (a symbol of self-glorification), and a Jewish one (who represents Malchus Shamayim).

(d) Most graves had an opening at the front (see Tosfos d.h. 'Rov'), in which case, min ha'Torah, the Tum'ah went out at thay point, and not above the rest of the Aron. It is the Rabbanan who decreed Tum'ah over the entire Aron, and Tum'ah de'Rabbanan, as we have already ascertained, is permitted in face of Kavod ha'Beriy'os (including the Kavod due to kings).

(a) 'Gadol Kavod ha'Beriy'os, she'Docheh Lo Sa'aseh she'ba'Torah' refers to only one particular Lo Sa'aseh, namely that of "Lo Sasur", which is the source of all Mitzvos de'Rabbanan.

(b) They laughed at Rav bar Sheva, for attributing the concession of Kavod ha'Beriy'os to the La'av of "Lo Sasur", because finally, only de'Rabbanans are permitted in face of Kavod ha'Beriy'os, so how can Rav bar Sheva attribute the concession to "Lo Sasur" which is d'Oraysa?

(c) Rav Kahana argued that Chazal connected every de'Rabbanan to the Pasuk of "Lo Sasur" (in the form of an Asmachta), and that is the 'Lo Sa'aseh she'ba'Torah' to which the Beraisa referred.

(a) An elder for whom it is undignified to transport a lost sheep (for example) is exempt from returning it, should he find it wandering around.

(b) This is not a problem, as far as "Ein Chochmah" etc. is concerned, since we learn this from a Pasuk ("ve'His'alamta" - that sometimes one may hide from the lost article).

(c) Nevertheless, this can only serve as a source (for Kavod ha'Beriy'os to override a Torah La'av) for other money-based Mitzvos, but not for cases of Isur, since we cannot learn Isur from money-matters.

(a) A Meis Mitzvah is a corpse which has nobody to perform the burial rites - because there is no-one around to perform the Mitzvah. Whoever is present therefore, is obligated to bury him on the spot.

(b) We learn from "ve'la'Achoso" that someone who is on his way to Shecht his Pesach or to circumcise his son, and who would be Patur from burying his deceased relative, is nevertheless Chayav to bury a Meis Mitzvah (despite the fact that he will subsequently not be able to bring his Pesach or circumcise his son on the eighth day - both Mitzvos which carry with them the penalty of Kareis).

(c) Here, as in the previous answer, the concession is based on a Pasuk ("ve'la'Achoso").

(d) And here again, this concession cannot serve as a precedent for all cases of Kavod ha'Beriy'os (to learn from here that they should override all La'avin min ha'Torah), because here the transgression is performed negatively (by *not* bringing the Pesach, and by *not* circumcising one's son), but it does not follow that he may also positively transgress a Torah law - such as by wearing Sha'atnez (which is considered a positive transgression, due to the fact that he must first put the garment on).

(e) When it permits a Kohen or a Nazir to bury a Meis Mitzvah, what the Torah is actually doing is precluding a Meis Mitzvah from the Dinim of Tum'ah - as if it was not written (in the same way as it precludes the seven relatives with regard to a Kohen), and not because of Kavod ha'Beriy'os - an argument which is obviously not applicable to the obligation of a person going to bring his Pesach or to circumcise his son, to desist and to bury the Meis Mitzvah (there, his exemption can only be due to the Mitzvah of Kavod ha'Beriy'os).

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