(Permission is granted to print and redistribute this material
as long as this header and the footer at the end are included.)


prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

Previous daf

Berachos 21



(a) The source for Bensching is the Pasuk in Devarim "ve'Achalta ve'Sava'ta u'Veirachta" ... .

(b) The source for the Berachah before Torah-study is the Pasuk in Devarim "Ki Sheim Hashem Ekra, Havu Godel L'Elokeinu".

(a) Rebbi Yochanan argues that if eating, which does not require a Berachah (min ha'Torah) before, requires a Berachah afterwards; then Torah-study, which does require a Berachah before, should certainly require one afterwards!

(b) Similarly, he argues that, if Torah-study, which does not require a Berachah afterwards, requires one before, then surely eating, which does require a Berachah afterwards, should require one before!

(c) It is possibly due to the physical benefit that one derived from the food, that one recites a Berachah after eating - a reason that is not applicable to someone who has studied Torah.
And it is possibly because Torah brings a person to life in the World to Come that one recites a Berachah before studying it - a reason that does not apply to someone who is about to eat.

(d) In addition, our Mishnah requires a Ba'al Keri to recite a Berachah *after* eating but not *before*. Why the difference?
It can only be because, whereas Bensching is d'Oraysa, the Berachah before eating is only de'Rabbanan - not like Rebbi Yochanan, who learns it from a Kal va'Chomer from Birchas ha'Torah, which would make it d'Oraysa?

(a) According to Rav Yehudah, the intrinsic obligation of reciting Keri'as Shema (when one anyway says 'Emes ve'Yatziv') is only mi'de'Rabbanan. Whereas 'Emes ve'Yatziv' is d'Oraysa (see also Tosfos d.h. 'Safek').

(b) "u've'Shochbecha u've'Kumecha", according to him, refers to the Mitzvah of Torah-study (as we shall see later).

(c) Keri'as Shema is preferable, explains the Gemara, because it contains two things: Ol Malchus Shamayim and Yetzi'as Mitzrayim; whereas 'Emes ve'Yatziv' contains only the latter.

(d) Rebbi Elazar maintains that someone who is unsure whether he has Davened the Amidah or not, is Patur from Davening again. Rebbi Yochanan says 'u'Levai she'Yispalel Adam Kol ha'Yom Kulo'! - so he should 'repeat' the Amidah.

(a) Someone who remembers in the middle of his Tefilah that he has already Davened the Amidah, is obligated to stop immediately, even in the middle of a Berachah. Whereas someone who remembers in the middle of a weekday Amidah that it is Shabbos, should first finish the Berachah.

(b) This is because, whereas in the former case, the Berachah that he is currently Davening, is a Berachah le'Vatalah (since he has already Davened), this is not the case by someone who Davens a weekday Berachah on Shabbos. Why not?
Because in reality, the full Amidah is just as appropriate on Shabbos as it is on a weekday, only Chazal relieved us of the bother of Davening such a long Tefilah on Shabbos. Consequently, any Berachah that one *does* recite is not a Berachah le'Vatalah.

(c) Had Shmuel made only the first statement, we would have thought that it is only in an individual Tefilah that one must stop even in the middle of a Berachah, but if it is a question of Davening be'Tzibur, he should continue - because, Davening on one's own as opposed to Davening with a Tzibur, is considered as if he had not Davened at all.

(d) Whereas had Shmuel made only the latter statement, we would have said that it is only forbidden to commence the Amidah from the beginning, but that, if he is already in the middle, he should conclude it.




(a) Someone who does not bow down at Modim together with the community, conveys the impression that he is denying the sovereignty of the one to whom everybody else is bowing down.

(b) Rav Huna maintains that an individual who is Davening with the community, but misses Kedushah with them, may say Kedushah on his own when he reaches that point. Consequently, he need not be concerned about missing Kedushah be'Tzibur. Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi holds that Kedushah may only be said together with the 'Tzibur.

(c) We learn from "ve'Nikdashti be'Soch Benei Yisrael" that a Davar she'bi'Kedushah (including Borchu, Kedushah etc.) can only be said when there are ten men.
We learn a Gezeirah Shavah "*be'Soch* B'nei Yisrael" from "Hibadlu *mi'Toch* ha'Eidah ha'Zos" (referring to the congregation of Korach), and another Gezeirah Shavah "*Eidah*" from "Ad Masai *la'Eidah* ha'Ra'ah ha'Zos" (written in connection with the ten evil spies. The first Gezeirah Shavah teaches us that a Davar she'bi'Kedushah requires a community, and the second one, that a community consists of ten men.
The Gemara concludes that although 'Amen Yehei Shemei Raba' is greater than all other forms of Davar she'bi'Kedushah, one may nevertheless not interrupt the Amidah in order to answer it.

(a) Rebbi Yehudah comments: 'Is it because of the Torah's placement of the Parshah of a witch next to that of bestiality that authorizes us to kill her by stoning (the most stringent of all the deaths)?
*He* learns Sekilah by a witch from Ov and Yid'oni (two branches of witchcraft, which the Torah takes out of their context sentencing them to Sekilah, in order learn from them, all the other branches of witchcraft (together with which they were originally incorporated).

(b) Rebbi Yehudah learns from the juxtaposition of "Lo Yikach ... ve'Lo Yegaleh Kenaf Aviv" and "ve'Nasan ha'Ish ha'Shochev Imah", that the former Pasuk, like the latter, speaks about a woman whom his father raped.

(c) In the first set of Pesulim. Rebbi Yehudah rejects the Limud of Semuchin (learning by juxtaposition); in the latter, he himself learns from Semuchin.
So the Gemara concludes that Rebbi Yehudah learns Semuchin in Seifer Devarim, but not in the other books of the Torah.

(d) We have just proved that Rebbi Yehudah also learns Semuchin in Devarim. why then, does he not learn from the juxtaposition of the Pesukim "ve'Hoda'ata le'Vanecha " ... and "Yom Asher Amadta" ... that words of Torah are forbidden to a Ba'alei Keri, just like at Har Sinai.

(e) The Gemara answers that Rebbi Yehudah does indeed learn this Semuchin, but in a different way. He learns like Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi would do many years after him: namely, that someone who learns with his children (and grandchildren) Torah (creating another link in the chain of Torah that begun at Sinai) it is as if he himself received the Torah from Har Choreiv (Sinai).

(a) The final case does not need to be mentioned according to the Chachamim, because if they are obligated to Tovel for Tum'as Keri etc., in a case when the *Zivus or the Nidus* came first (and they were not yet obligated to Tovel when they saw Keri), then how much more so when they saw *Keri* first (and the obligation to Tovel preceded the Nidus or Zivus). The Mishnah must have included it to tell us that, even there (where the obligation to Tovel came first), she becomes Patur- according to Rebbi Yehudah - when she sees blood.
And we can deduce from here that, had she not seen blood afterwards, even Rebbi Yehudah would agree that a Meshameshes (as well as a Ba'al Keri) is obligated to Tovel before learning Torah.

(b) But that clashes with his own statement in our Mishnah, where he says that a Ba'al Keri may recite Berachos without having to Tovel?

(c) The Gemara wants to answer that when Rebbi Yehudah said 'Mevarech', he meant not verbally, but in his heart.

(d) This answer is unacceptable, because Rebbi Yehudah himself (in a Beraisa), argues with Rebbi Meir, who holds that a Ba'al Keri only thinks the Berachos before eating. In his (Rebbi Yehudah's) opinion, he actually recites them *verbally*.

(e) The Gemara finally answers that Rebbi Yehudah does permit a Ba'al Keri to recite the Berachos over food verbally, in spite of the fact that he forbids him to study Torah. This is because he gives the Berachos over food the status of Hilchos Derech Eretz, which he permits without Tevilah.

Next daf


For further information on
subscriptions, archives and sponsorships,
contact Kollel Iyun Hadaf,