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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Berachos 43



(a) According to Rebbi Yochanan, if a group of people recline whilst drinking wine, one person will recite a Berachah for all of them;
otherwise, each person has to recite the Berachah himself.

(b) Rav holds either that for wine, reclining is *not necessary* to combine them into one group, or that it is *ineffective* (so that each person will have to recite his own Berachah, even if they are reclining.

(c) They used to wash one hand before the meal, because, before they even entered the dining-room, the guests (comprising poor people) would gather in the lobby and be served wine, so they would wash the hand with which they intended to drink.

(d) Nevertheless, they would still be required to wash both hands for the meal.

(a) They did not combine for the Berachah over wine, because they intended moving into another room (of which their not leaning was indicative). Consequently, their drinking was not a fixture.

(b) Leaning is only effective in the Seifa, to combine them into one group for wine, because it also combined them into one group for the meal, so we apply the principle of 'Migu' (*since* leaning helps for the meal, it also helps for wine).

(c) Ben Zoma replied that in the middle of the meal everyone is busy eating, and will not pay attention to the Berachah of the individual who is reciting it.

(a) When two Berachos customarily follow each other, then whoever is honored with reciting the one, automatically earns the right to recite the other (in the vein of 'ha'Maschil be'Mitzvah Omrim Lo Gemor'), like we find by Bensching, where the person who washes Mayim Acharonim first (of the last five) automatically receives the honor of Bensching 'Mezuman'.

(b) Rebbi instructed Rav to wash his hands. Rav thought that maybe his hands were dirty, or that maybe he was eating too long.

(c) What Rebbi *really* meant was that Rav should now wash (first of the last five) in order that *he* should be the one to Bensch 'Mezuman' - a great honor!

(a) One recites a Berachah over incense as soon as the smoke rises from it.

(b) Rebbi Zeira was concerned that, at that stage, he had not yet derived benefit from it (perhaps he thought that, since the benefit of smelling is so minimal and short-lived [which is why it does not require a Berachah Acharonah], one needs to actually benefit before reciting the Berachah).

(c) They allayed his concern by reminding him, that with food, one also recites the Berachah only *after* having benefited (and there was no source to differentiate between the two).

(a)&(b) The Gemara first thought that over all types of incense, one recites 'Borei *Atzei* Besamim' with the exception of Musk, which comes from the dung of a deer, over which the correct Berachah is 'Borei *Minei* Besamim'.

(c) The Gemara refutes the above contention by quoting a Beraisa, which writes that one recites 'Borei *Minei* Besamim' only over those types of Besamim where the actual wood is brought to the table (such as the highly exquisite and expensive Afarsemon that was brought before Rebbi and the Emperor), or over myrtle twigs.

(d) Rav Yehudah would recite 'Borei Shemen Artzeinu', because he was particularly fond of Eretz Yisrael.
The Berachah that *we* recite over Afarsemon oil is 'Borei Shemen Oreiv'.

(a) Yes! The Gemara concludes that one always recites 'Borei Atzei Besamim' over Kosht, even if it has been soaked in oil, or ground.

(b)&(c) The correct Berachah over both jasmin and lavender is 'Borei Atzei Besamim'. The latter is called 'Eitz' (despite the fact that it grows as a stalk, and not in the form of a tree, because it is similar (in this regard) to flax, which grows as stalks, yet the Pasuk in Yehoshua refers to it as a tree ("va'Titmeneim be'Fishtei ha'Eitz".)




(a) The correct Berachah over a garden-lily is 'Borei Atzei Besamim'...

(b) ... whereas over a field-lily one recites 'Borei Isvei Besamim' (because the former, which is watered, is a more perfect and longer-lasting species.

(c) The appropriate Berachah over an Esrog or a quince is 'Asher Nasan Rei'ach Tov ba'Peiros'.

(d) The Berachah 'Asher Lo Chisar be'Olamo Kelum' etc. is the Berachah that one recites in Nisan, when one sees fruit-trees in blossom for the first time.

8) The obligation to recite a Berachah over smelling is derived from the last Pasuk in Tehilim: "Kol ha'Neshamah Tehalel Kah". What is it that gives *the Soul* pleasure (but not the body), if not the sense of smell!


(a) "Hi Mutzeis" is written in connection with Tamar, who was being taken out to be burnt, because of Yehudah's ruling that a Bas Kohen who committed adultery, must be put to death by burning (and she preferred to suffer this sentence rather than divulge publicly that, in fact, Yehudah was the man from whom she was pregnant).

(b) We learn from Tamar, that one should rather cast oneself into a burning furnace than put another Jew to shame.

(a) Rabban Gamliel ruled like Beis Shamai, who gave precedence to washing with oil over smelling the myrtle-twig, because, he argued, the oil is used both for smelling and for anointing, whereas the myrtle-twig is confined to smelling.

(b) According to our text in the Gemara (see Tosfos d.h. 'Hachi'), Rav Papa quoted Rava as saying 'Halachah ke'Beis Hillel', not because he heard this from him, but because he was embarrassed at having ruled like Beis Hillel, in spite of Rabban Gamliel's ruling to the contrary.

(a) The wine we are talking about is not the Kos shel Berachah (of Bensching - which one would obviously hold in one's right hand, and over which one would recite the Berachah ), but the wine brought at the end of the meal. Since one always holds the object over which he intends to recite the Berachah in one's right hand, it therefore follows that, since he is holding the oil in his right hand, then he will first recite the Berachah over the oil.

(b) Beis Hillel maintain that one holds the wine in one's right hand, and that it is the wine that therefore takes precedence regarding the Berachah. The oil that remains on one's fingers, one then rubs off on the Shamash's hair.

(c) If the Shamash is a Talmid-Chacham, then he rubs off the oil on the wall (today, of course, we have alternative - and more sophisticated - ways of wiping one's hands clean.
This will not be the Halachah according to the opinion which holds that the hair has the same Din as one's clothes (regarding a Talmid-Chacham going out into the street with them perfumed, as we shall soon see) In which case, a Shamash-Talmid Chacham will be no different than a Shamash-Am ha'Aretz.

(d) A Talmid Chacham is permitted to go out with perfumed clothes, and, according to some, even with perfumed hair, because the perfume is needed to remove the perspiration, and is not therefore considered disgusting.

(a) It is forbidden to go out alone at night or to speak to a woman in the street, because, in both cases, people will suspect him of immoral conduct.

(b) A Talmid-Chacham may however, go to a regular night-Shiur on his own, because everybody knows where he is going.
He may not however, speak with *any* woman in the street - even to his closest relative - because not everybody knows of his realtionship with the woman he is talking to, (If today, everyone tends to recognize everybody else's wives and daughters, it only goes to reflect a decline in the general levels of Tzeni'us.)

(c) He is forbidden to go with torn shoes, because a Talmid-Chacham should always look respectable, so it is a disgrace for him to walk with torn shoes.
He is however, permitted to go in the street with a single patch, or even with a double patch on the heel (only a double-patch on the front of the shoe is forbidden). Nor does the prohibition apply in the winter, when the mud (in those days, rain would inevitably leave the roads muddy) would hide the patches.

(a) A Talmid-Chacham who sits in a gathering of Amei ha'Aretz, may well take his from them - to behave in a manner that is unbecoming for a Talmid Chacham.

(b) He should not take large steps, because it causes a person to lose one five hundredth of his eyesight (though it is not clear, in that case, why the prohibition is confined to Talmidei-Chachamim.)

(c) The antidote for someone whose eyesight deteriorates due to the large steps he takes, is to drink the wine of Kidush on Friday night.

(d) And he should not walk with his head held high, as this drives away the Shechinah, about which the Pasuk writes "Melo Chol ha'Aretz Kevodo". (Again, it is not clear why this prohibition, like the last one, is confined to Talmidei-Chachamim).

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