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Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Berachos 44



(a) It is unusual to serve something very salty as the main dish, with bread served only in a secondary capacity. Therefore, the Gemara concludes, our Mishnah must be speaking when he first ate fruit of Ginusar, which, as we shall see in the Gemara, is so salty that it requires an exceptionally salty dish to counter its sweetness. And it is together with *that* salty dish, that they brought bread.

(b) When there were a hundred Talmidim following Rebbi Yochanan, Rabba bar bar Chanah was saying, they would serve each one *ten* fruits of Ginusar (and when there were ten, they would serve each one a hundred).

(c) The fruit of Ginusar affected everyone who partook of it in some way or another: the one swore that he had not eaten anything substantial (even after having partaken no less than a hundred fruits; the other left him with such a smooth forehead, that even a fly would slip off; all the hair of a third one fell out, and a fourth, went out of his mind.

(d) If they required forty Sa'ah of young birds to feed the fig-pickers, imagine how many pickers (and how many figs) there must have been in that harvest (particularly since figs do not all ripen at the same time, so that we are speaking of only a fraction of the entire harvest of figs that was actually growing)!

(a) They found eighty pairs of brothers who were Kohanim in Gufnis, aho were married to pairs of sisters who were Benos Kohen. In the whole os Bavel, they managed to find only one pair of sisters who were Kohanos married to two brothers - who were Talmidei Chachamim (Rami bar Chama and Mar Ukva bar Chama), but not Kohanim.

(b) A meal without salt or a dish which contains gravy is not a meal, says the Gemara.

(a) Rabban Gamliel maintains that one needs to Bensch after any one of the seven kinds.

(b) According to the Chachamim, one recites 'Al ha'Eitz' over the five fruits contained in the seven species.

(c) Whereas according to Rebbi Akiva, even if one's main meal consists of vegetables, one is obligated to Bensch.

(d) According to Rebbi Tarfon, the Berachah Rishonah for water (when it is drunk to quench one's thirst) is 'Borei Nefashos' - this is because water does not sustain, like other foods do, it only cools down the bodies' heat - (Tif'eres Yisrael).
Incidentally, according to Rebbi Tarfon, no Berachah Acharonah is required after drinking water.

(a) Rabban Gamliel maintains that the Pasuk (in Devarim) "ve'Achalta ve'Sa'va'ata u'Veirachta" pertains to all the seven kinds mentioned in the previous Pasuk.

(b) The Rabbanan argue that the Torah (after having already written "Eretz Chitah u'Se'orah"), again writes inserts the word "Eretz", to break between the former six and bread, which is written after the last "Eretz" (to say that "u'Veirachta" is restricted to bread.

(c) Rabban Gamliel answers that the Torah adds the word Eretz to differentiate between the "Chitah" mentioned before and the "Lechem" that is mentioned afterwards - to say that someone who chews wheat does not need to Bensch.

(a) One recites 'Mezonos' before, and 'Al ha'Michyah' after any food that is prepared from one of the five kinds of grain (wheat and spelt [which is a type of wheat], barley, and rye or oats [both of which are a type of barley]).

(b) It is not logical for Rav Chisda, who lived in Bavel, to have recited 'Al ha'Aretz ve'Al Peiroseha'(*'its* fruits' refers to the fruits of Eretz Yisrael), or for Rebbi Yochanan, who lived in Eretz Yisrael, 'al ha'Aretz ve'Al ha'Peiros', which is more appropriate for Bavel).

(c) The Gemara therefore, switches the opinions.




(a) Rav Papa rules that one recites a Berachah Acharonah over all foods, even over vegetables and water.

(b) Whenever Rav Ashi would remember (evidently, the Halachah was not yet clarified in his days), he would do like Rav Papa, and recite a Berachah Acharonah over everything.

(a) According to the Amora'im cited above, it is vegetables or water that require a Berachah before eating, but not afterwards.

(b) According to Rav Papa, it is Mitzvos.

(c) The Benei Eretz Yisrael would recite the Berachah - 'Lishmor Chukav', after removing their Tefilin.

(d) So according to them, it is 'Besamim', which require a Berachah before but not afterwards. (Tosfos d.h. 've'Livnei' does not know why the Gemara does not establish the Beraisa by *other* Mitzvos, such as Tzitzis, Lulav and Succah, where the Benei Eretz Yisrael agree that no Berachah is required after their performance.)

(a) The healthiest food the size of an egg is an egg.

(b) A slightly boiled egg (that is still runny), Ravin informs us, is better than six Lug (a Lug equals six egg-volumes) of flour.

(c) Rav Dimi points out that an egg that has been roasted until it is hard is healthy still than a slightly boiled one.
It must be stressed that although many of the Gemara's cures are probably effective, we do not on principle, accept them nowadays, either because we do not always fully understand what the Gemara means, or because the nature of people has changed, which means that the medications may have changed, too.

(a) The only vegetable that is sufficiently satisfying to make a meal, according to the Gemara, is a cabbage.

(b) One chews the spleen of an animal, because it is good for the teeth; but one should then spit it out, and not swallow it, because it is bad for the stomach.

(c) Leek, on the other hand, is good for the stomach, but bad for the teeth. Consequently, one should boil it well, and swallow it without chewing it.

(a) Eating food that has only partially grown hampers one's growth.

(b) The above only applies when the food has grown to less than twenty-five percent of its ultimate size.

(c) Ameimar and Rav Ashi were puzzled at Mar Zutra's refusal to eat raw vegetables before the end of the fourth hour. If he followed the opinion of Rav Yitzchak, who says that one should refrain from speaking with someone who has eaten vegetables within four hours, then why had he just been speaking with them - *after* they had eaten raw vegetables within four hours of daybreak?

(d) Mar Zutra explained that he followed the other statement of Rav Yitzchak, which forbids someone to *eat* raw vegetables within four hours of daybreak, but not to *speak* with someone who has done so.

(a) Even a tiny fish (provided it has fully grown) which lives among the reeds is healthy ('revives the soul'), since it too, has a soul.

(b) The neck of the animal is healthy, says the Gemara, since it is near the heart and the stomach (the Gemara describes this as 'Karov le'Nefesh'.)

(c) Cabbage, besides being healthy, also sustains.

(d) Honey (which the Gra omits) and the stomach (called 'Keivah') are also healthy.

(a) Rava maintains that turnip is healthy when one does not drink wine after it.

(b) Shmuel and Rav papa hold that turnip is healthy when it is well cooked with many large logs of wood.

(c) 'Sudni' means 'manufacturer of date-beer', which was Rav Papa's profession, which explains why Rava called him by that name. (According to the marginal notes, the word 'Sudni' is the acronym of 'Sod Hashem li'Yerei'av', which simply means that Rav Papa was a G-d-fearing man, who was on the level of receiving the secrets of Hashem.

(a) The salt will have no harmful effects, if the fish is well-cooked.

(b) Even if the fish is eaten when it has not been well-cooked, beer is still a good antidote for it?

(c) No Berachah is required for water that is drunk to remove a bone.

Hadran Alach, 'Keitzad Mevorchin'!

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