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Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Berachos 25



(a) Rav Huna learns from the Pasuk "Kol ha'Neshamah Tehalel Kah", that it is the mouth and the nose which must be clean when praising Hashem, but not the rest of the body. Consequently, one may recite the Shema, even if there is Tzo'ah on another part of the body (provided there is no smell - e.g. if it is covered by his clothes; see Rosh, Si'man 45).

(b) Rav Chisda, on the other hand, learns from Kol "Atzmosai Tomarna Hashem", that all one's limbs should participate in the praise of Hashem, and that consequently, they must all be clean - without Tzo'ah.

(c) Rav Chisda maintains that it is not enough to move four Amos away from the source of the smell, but one needs to move four Amos away from the point where the smell itself stops.

(d) If excrement is lying *in front* of a person, he is obligated to move in front of it, or, should this not be possible, at least to the side.

(a) It is possible to sit beside excrement and to read the Shema, if the excrement is ten Tefachim high (e.g. on a ledge) or ten Tefachim low (e.g. in a pit).

(b)&(c) Rava rules like the second Beraisa, which forbids the Tzo'ah of dogs, only if it is being used for tanning animals' skins.
Rava does not refer to the Tzo'ah of chickens at all (nor to that of Chazeirim), which he will therefore agree is Asur (see Tosfos d.h. "Leis').

(d) Rav Sheishes told them to go and look in the Beis-Hamedrash, where there are always some Talmidim lying asleep on the mats, whilst others continue to learn, unperturbed by the smells that those who are sleeping inevitably emit.
Nevertheless, this concession is confined to learning, but not to reciting the Shema, which is forbidden when there is a smell.
And what's more, even learning is forbidden to the person who has emitted the smell.

(a) Rava argues that one cannot compare Tum'as Tzara'as, which depends on fixture - as the Torah writes "Badad *Yeishev*" (to exclude a moving Metzora from being Metamei). Whereas by Tzo'ah, the Torah writes "ve'Haya Machanecha Kadosh", making no distinction whether the object that interferes with the Kedushah of Machaneh Yisrael is still or moving.

(b) When Rav Papa rules that the mouth of a passing Chazir forbids one to recite the Shema, he speaks even about a Chazir whose mouth is clean, because he just came up from the river. Even then, it is forbidden to recite the Shema whilst the Chazir is passing (Presumably, this is because the mouth of the Chazir, which is constantly filthy, is similar to an earthenware potty, in front of which it is forbidden to recite the Shema, even when it is empty).

(c) The Torah requires a prepared place outside the camp (which the Torah calls "Yad"), where one goes to urinate. Nothing however, is mentioned about covering the urine, as it is with regard to similar instructions regarding relieving oneself, where the Torah also obligates the use of a peg (a "Yased"), with which one needs to cover the Tzo'ah.
From here we see that the Kedushah of the camp is disturbed by Tzo'ah which has not been covered, but not by uncovered urine. Clearly then, it is forbidden to read the Shema in front of uncovered Tzo'ah, but not in front of uncovered urine. The Torah only forbids urine whilst the person is actually urinating.

(d) According to the second Lashon, Safek Tzo'ah is Asur only in a trash heap, where one might expect to find it, but not in the house; whereas according to the first Lashon, Safek Tzo'ah is always forbidden, wherever it is.

(a) Most of the Amora'im are of the opinion that it is only as long as the urine is wet, that one may not recite the Shema in front of it, but not when it is dry (even if it's mark *is* still recognizable in the ground).

(b) The Gemara rebuff's Rav Yosef's refutal of Rav by suggesting that perhaps the correct version of Rav is the more stringent one, the one which forbids one to recite the Shema in front of Tzo'ah - even when it is dry like clay.

(c) Some hold that 'dry like clay' means that, if one throws it, it breaks up. Others maintain that even then, it is forbidden to recite the Shema, until it is so dry that when one rolls it, it breaks up.
Miflai Aflui means that it has become so hard that cracks have appeared in it.

(d) Rava rules that Tzo'ah up to the Shiur of dry as clay, is Asur, but urine is Asur only as long as it is wet.

5) If the Tana Kama and Rebbi Yossi do not argue over urine whose mark is still recognizable, that is because they both agree that, as soon as it has become dry, it is permitted to recite the Shema in front of it.
They argue over what is called dry. The Tana Kama maintains that as soon as it is not sufficiently wet to wet the hand which touches it, it is already called dry. Whereas according to Rebbi Yossi, it is not called dry until it is properly dry.




(a) Our Mishnah, which expects someone who is Toveling, to hurry in order to recite the Shema before sunrise, could hold like Rebbi Yehoshua, in whose opinion one has until three hours to recite the Shema. However, the Tana Kama is concerned with the Vasikin, who adhere to the Hidur Mitzvah of reciting the Shema at sunrise.

(b) If the heel or any other part of the body (except for the heart) sees the Ervah, one may nevertheless recite the Shema.

(c) When the heel sees the Ervah, Rava is lenient because 'the Torah was not given to Angels' (meaning that it is virtually impossible to keep to such rigid standards. Therefore, the Torah cannot possibly have forbidden it).

(d) One may recite the Shema, even when Tzo'ah can be seen through glass, because it is covered, and that conforms with what the Torah writes "ve'Chisisa es Tze'osecha".
But by Ervah, the Torah writes "ve'Lo *Yir'eh Becha* Ervas Davar". What is the difference whether it is covered with glass or not?

(a) One can easily dispense with the problem of a small piece of Tzo'ah, by spitting on it, and this will be effective provided the spittle is thick.

(b) If the Tzo'ah is in a hole, one can place one's shoe over the hole.

(c) If the Tzo'ah is stuck to the sole of one's shoe, the Gemara remains with a 'Teiku'.

(d) True, it is forbidden to recite the Shema in front of a naked Jew.
However, we may have thought that this prohibition is confined to Jews, and does not apply to non-Jews. Why? Because, since the Torah writes about non-Jews "Asher Besar Chamorim Besaram", maybe their nakedness is no different than that of animals, in which case, it will not have the Din of 'Ervah'.
However, we learn from the Pasuk "ve'Ervas Avihem Lo Ra'u" (written in connection with No'ach), that the nakedness of a non-Jew is also called 'Ervah'.

(a) According to Rav Yosef, it is *before* one urinates that the Tana and Rebbi Zakai argue over how much water is required. *After* he has urinated, they both agree that one needs to add a Revi'is in order to negate the urine.
He therefore instructed his Sha'mes to fetch a Revi'is of water to place in the pot before he urinated in it, like Rebbi Zakai.

(b) Generally, a G'raf shel Re'i and an Avit shel Mei Raglayim, were made of clay, which absorbs freely, but which never exudes completely. It is therefore forbidden to recite the Shema in front of them.

(a) Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel permits one to recite the Shema at a distance of four Amos, if the G'raf and the Avit are in front of the bed; but if they are behind the bed, he permits one to recite the Shema, even if one is standing right up to the bed, at a distance of less the four Amos.

(b) The Gemara seems to have had a tradition that Rebbi Shimon ben Elazar considers an entire room to be four Amos, and it is on that basis that the Gemara inverts the second Beraisa, so that Rebbi Shimon ben Elazar conforms with this opinion, which is also his opinion in the first Beraisa.
Consequently, Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel too, conforms with the opinion quoted in his name - in the first Beraisa (namely, that distancing oneself four Amos permits theShema to be recited.)

(a) Less than three Tefachim is considered Levud - as if it were joined. Consequently, if there is a G'raf or an Avit under a bed of no more than three Tefachim tall, it is condidered as if the bed was joined to the ground on all sides, and it will be permitted to recite Keri'as Shema - even within the distance of four Amos.

(b) Rav Yosef did not bother to ask Rav Huna what the Din would be by a bed of ten Tefachim tall. He took for granted that it would be forbidden, because, at such a height, how could the Avit possibly be considered covered?
Abaye however, commended him for not asking Rav Huna, though not for the reason that Yosef suggested, but because quite to the contrary, he tjought it obvious that a bed ten Tefachim tall is an independant domain, so that a G'raf shel Re'i etc., underneath will not be considered to be in the same domain as he is. Consequently, he will be permitted to recite the Shema in front of it.

(c) If the bed is between the heights of three and ten Tefachim, the Gemara itself remains in doubt as to whether one is permitted to recite the Shema in front of it or not.

(a) Rav Achai was angry with his Mechutan for leaving a Seifer-Torah in the bedroom where the Chasan and Kalah slept.

(b) The best thing to do with a Seifer-Torah under these circumstances, is to move it to another room or to place it inside a vessel within a vessel, one of which is not its natural covering. If either of these two is impractical, then he can put up a Mechitzah of at least ten Tefachim high.

(c) A coat spread over a cupboard is considered a vessel within a vessel.

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