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Berachos 24



(a) Rav Shisha B'rei de'Rav Idi would put his Tefilin on a bench and cover them with a cloth.

(b) Rava left his Tefilin between the sheet and the cushion and then instructed Rav Hamnuna B'rei de'Rav Yosef to go and fetch them, in order to teach him the Halachah currently under discussion.

(c) Rav Yehudah wanted to learn from Shmuel, that two people who are lying in bed together are permitted to turn round and recite the Shema, even though their buttocks are touching. But Rav Yosef objected on the grounds that it is only by a wife that Shmuel would permit this, since 'Ishto ke'Gufo', but not by any other two people.

(a) The Gemara at first thought that the Beraisa which permits the two people to recite the Shema by turning round, refers to a man and his wife, and the Beraisa which requires a division between them, to two other members of his family.

(b) But this answer is not acceptable, because the latter Beraisa uses the term 'B'nei Beiso', which refers specifically to a wife - and still the Beraisa requires a division (not like Rav Yosef - or like Shmuel)!
(See Tosfos, d.h. 've'ha'Tanya', who changes the wording in the Beraisa from which the Gemara asks - from 'B'nei Beiso', to 'Ishto', making it a different Beraisa from the one quoted earlier.)

(c) The Gemara concludes that, in fact, the two Beraisos actually dispute whether it is permitted to read the Shema when lying in bed back to back - even with one's wife.

(d) We see from the Beraisa which permits it, that buttocks do not constitute 'Ervah'.

(a) There is no proof from the Beraisa that permits a naked woman to take Chalah when she is seated, that buttocks do not constitute 'Ervah', because it could be speaking when she is sitting in such a way that the ground covers her buttocks, too.

(b) According to the second opinion, a girl from the age of eleven and a boy from the age of twelve are no longer considered small with regard to the Din in question ...

(c) ... provided that is, they have matured physically (i.e. "Shadayim Nachonu u'Se'arayich Tzimei'ach").
Once they have turned twelve and thirteen respectively however, this is not necessary (Rosh quoting the Rambam).

(d) Absolutely not! we may well rule like Shmuel regarding *putting one's Tefilin* between the sheet and the cushion when one's wife is in the same bed, but it does not follow that we will also rule like him when it comes to *reciting the Shema* under the same circumstances.

(a) Rav Papa exclaimed 'Sa'ar Sa'ar' about a protruding pubic hair, meaning that, from a Halachic point of view, there is no problem.

(b) It is strictly forbidden to look at any part of a woman's body, whether it is more than a Tefach, or less. (Rashi restricts the prohibition to the body of a married woman. It is not however clear what Rashi means, since what difference will it make -as regards looking - whether the woman is married or not?)

(c) What Rav Yitzchak meant when he said that 'Tefach be'Ishah Ervah' is that it is forbidden to recite Keri'as Shema in front of one Tefach of a woman's body which is normally covered - even if it is one's own wife, and that less than a Tefach is not considered 'Ervah' and is permitted.

(d) The Torah lists the Kumaz (an ornament worn under the clothes) together with the rings and bracelets - by the loot captured from Midyan - to teach us that it is as much forbidden to look (in order to derive pleasure) at the little finger of a woman (even though it is in no way a Makom Ervah, since it is not customary to keep it covered) as it is to look at the Makom ha'Toref.

(a) From the Pasuk "Gali Shok" etc., we learn that the calf of a woman is a Makom Ervah, regarding reciting the Shema (Davening or learning Torah) in front of it.

(b) And we learn from "Ki Kolech Naveh" that the voice of a woman is considered an 'Ervah', and that it is therefore forbidden to listen to a strange woman singing.

(c) Whilst "Sa'areich ke'Eider ha'Izim" teaches us that also the hair of a woman is considered Ervah, with regard to reciting the Shema.

(a) How could Rebbi hang up his Tefilin, in face of the undisputed Beraisa which states 'ha'Toleh Tefilav, Yislu Lo Chayav'. And it is about those who hang up their Tefilin that the Torah writes (in the curses in Ki Savo) "ve'Hayu Chayecha *Teluyim* Lecha Mineged".

(b) According to the second answer, it was his Tefilin-*bag* that Rebbi hung by its straps, not his *Tefilin*.

(c) The Chidush is that the Tefilin-bag containing the Tefilin, may be hung, and does need to be placed - like a Seifer-Torah does.




(a) Whenever Rebbi yawned, he would place his hand in front of his mouth.

(b) During the Amidah, he would not pick up his Talis from the floor, if it fell down whilst he was Davening.

(c) Burping and yawning during Davening is a sign of conceit only if it is done deliberately, but not when it comes inadvertently.

(d) Sneezing is a good sign - that just as he has been made to feel content down here, so too, will he be made to feel content in Heaven.
It is letting off a smell during the Amidah which is a bad sign, and which demonstrates that he is disgusting.

(a) Someone who Davens the Amidah loudly enough for others to hear, has little faith (he fails to believe that Hashem can hear his Tefilos - even when nobody else can).

(b) And if he actually raises his voice, he is compared to the false prophets (who, like the prophets of Ba'al, would scream their prayers, to make sure that their gods heard them whatever they were doing.

(c) Rebbi spat into his cloak or his scarf, whereas the Beraisa, which compares spitting during the Amidah to someone who spits in front of a king, is referring to someone who spits on the floor.

(d) Rav Asi would turn round and spit behind him. He did not spit into his cloak etc., because he was particularly finicky.

(a) Rebbi Aba kept his distance from Rav Yehudah, because he had in mind to move from Bavel to Eretz Yisrael, which Rav Yehudah maintained, was subject to a La'av mi'Divrei Nevi'im ("Bavelah Yuva'u, ve'Sham Yihyu" - Yirmiyahu).

(b) According to the first Lashon, Rebbi Aba heard that someone who emitted a smell during the Amidah, should wait for the smell to stop, before resuming the Amidah.
According to the second Lashon, he heard that someone who felt that he was about to emit a smell (and was unable to control it) should move four Amos back and say: 'Ribono Shel Olam, You created us full of holes and tubes. Our disgrace and shame whilst we are alive is revealed and known before You, and our end will be worms!' He then resumes the Amidah to the beginning of the Berachah where he left off.

(c) Everyone agrees that one must make a barrier between his *eyes* and his Ervah, and that is why he must press the blanket to his neck, in order to create that barrier.
But others maintain that he must also create a barrier between his *heart* and his Ervah, which is why they require him to press the blanket down on his heart.

(a) Rav Chisda commented that if Rebbi Yochanan himself were to tell him that one may place one's hands to one's mouth and recite the Shema in a dirty alleyway, he would not accept it.

(b) Rav Huna forbade a Talmid-Chacham to stand in a dirty alley-way, since a Talmid-Chacham is always thinking Torah-thoughts, and it is forbidden to think Divrei-Torah in a dirty place.

(c) Rav Huna forbids a Talmid-Chacham to stand still and think Divrei-Torah in a dirty alleyway, so how can he quote Rebbi Yochanan, who permits one to recite the Shema with his hand over his mouth (which will hardly deter his thoughts) whilst passing through a dirty alleyway?

(d) Rav Huna only forbids a Talmid-Chacham to *stand still* (thereby making it into a Makom Kavua) and think Divrei Torah, but not to think Divrei Torah whilst he is walking through.

(a) The only two places where Rebbi Yochanan prohibits thinking Divrei Torah, are the public bath-house and the bathroom.

(b) Rebbi Yochanan must be speaking when one is passing through, because to think Divrei Torah whilst standing still is forbidden even in dirty alleyways, as we explained earlier.

(c) What Rebbi Yochanan was telling Rebbi Avahu, that as far as *he* was concerned, one did not need to go back at all, since, in his opinion, it was permitted to recite the Shema whilst walking through dirty alleyways (provided he kept his mouth covered). Rebbi Avahu however, maintained that reciting the Shema whilst walking through such places was forbidden at all costs. In that case, Rebbi Yochanan told him, at which point he would resume the Shema would depend upon how long he had waited.

(d) It is according to Rav Chisda, like whom this particular Tana holds, that the Beraisa quotes these Pesukim - to say that someone who continues to read the Shema whilst walking through dirty alleyways, is treating the Mitzvos like a bad thing, and for him they will not be a source of long life, but to the contrary ...
And the Torah describes him as one who treats the word of Hashem with contempt.
On the other hand, if he does interrupt the Shema until he leaves them, he will be rewarded with long life.

(a) Rav Huna permits someone to recite the Shema, even if the top part of his body is not covered.

(b) For Tefilah, he must also cover the rest of his body, because in Tefilah, one stands before Hashem.

(c) If someone entered the bathroom with his Tefilin, he should place his hand over them until he has finished the first flow. Then he goes out and removes them, before continuing with the second flow.

(d) Stopping immediately - in the middle of a flow - could be dangerous, causing an illness which causes the stomach to swell.

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