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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Berachos 53



(a) One is permitted to use a light lit by a non-Jew from that of a Jew (after Shabbos) or vice-versa.

(b) We have learnt in a Tosefta in Shabbos, that one is Chayav for carrying out a flame on Shabbos, which would not be the case if the old flame immediately disappeared, and is replaced by a new one. Why? Because on Shabbos one is Chayav only if one carries and puts down the same article as he carried out.

(c) It is permitted on Motza'ei Shabbos because the Berachah pertains to the part of the flame which the Jew added to the existing flame (which in itself, is not eligible).

(d) A flame lit by a non-Jew from another non-Jew is forbidden only because Chazal decreed that one may come to also use the original light lit by a non-Jew - immediately after he has lit it, before a new flame has had a chance to be added to the old one.

(a) If one has ascertained that the majority of the town's inhabitants are Jews, one is permitted to use a light that one sees outside the town, but not if the majority of them are non-Jews.

(b) If half the population are Jews, it is also permitted.

(c) The Tana of the Beraisa writes 'Im Rov Yisrael, Mevarech', because he used the expression 'Rov Nochrim' in the Reisha (where the Rov is specific).

(d) The Beraisa is speaking when he came across the child at Sheki'ah. A grown-up Jew would not be carrying a torch before the termination of Shabbos, and we would therefore taken for granted that he was a non-Jew, and it is only a child that one needs to ask whether he is a Jew or not.

(a) A light that is less bright than that of the opening of a furnace, is too dim to see by. It must have been lit exclusively for its heat, and is therefore not eligible for Birchas ha'Ner.

(b) When the furnace is first lit, the light is still very dim.
Consequently, it was not lit for its light, but for its heat. But later, when the light increases, one tends to increase the heat (by adding more fuel?), and one then also uses it for its light.

(c) If there is a prominent person in Shul, then we assume that the light was lit in deference to him, in which case, the light is not eligible for Birchas ha'Ner.

(d) If there is a Shamash (who eats on the premises), then the light was probably lit for him.

(e) However, this concession will not apply if the moon is shining, since the Shamash will then have no need of the light, and we will once again assume that the light was lit in deference to the important man.

(a) Beis Hillel holds that it is better for one person to be Motzi everyone with the Berachah of 'Borei Me'orei ha'Eish', because of the principle 'be'Rov Am Hadras Melech'.
But Beis Shamai are more concerned about the Bitul Beis ha'Medrash which will result, if one makes everybody stop to listen and to answer 'Amen'. Therefore it is better for everyone to recite his own Berachah.

(b) Rabban Gamliel says that one should not say 'Asusa' ('bless you!') to someone who sneezes in the Beis Hamedrash, since this causes the entire Beis Hamedrash to stop learning.
(See Gilyon ha'Shas for the reason that we bless someone who sneezes").

(a) A lamp that was lit for a dead person, was lit in deference to him, not to see by.

(b) It would however, be permitted, if one would not have lit the light during the day - only by night (a sure sign that it was not lit out of deference, but in order to see by).

(c) Besamim designated for a dead person, are meant to remove the foul smell (a negative use), and not to smell. One only recites a Berachah when the Besamim are designated for smelling (a positive use).

(a) The spicer stocks his spices in the hope that customers will smell the spices and be tempted to buy some.

(b) As long as one remains in the spicery, it will not be necessary to recite a second Berachah. Whenever he leaves the spicery, he will be required to recite a fresh Berachah upon his return.

(c) One recites 'Borei Shemen Areiv' over oil which is brought to remove the dirt from the hands; but 'Borei Atzei Besamim' when it is brought to smell.

(a) Even if the majority of the town's inhabitants are Jewish, one will not recite a Berachah over the Besamim that he smells, because some people will be preparing spices in order to spice their clothes (and not to smell). Add to that, women who use the spices for the purpose of witchcraft (also not for smelling); and since there is a majority of people using the spices for purposes other than smelling, no Berachah is made over them.

(b) We have already learnt, that if someone smells spices that are designated for spicing clothes, no Berachah is required.

(c) If someone walks through a gentile market and makes a point of smelling, he is a sinner, because of the spices of Avodah Zarah, which one is forbidden to smell.




(a) By a light which 'he saw, but from which he did not benefit', the Beraisa means, not that he is standing too far away to derive benefit, but a light that is on the verge of going out, and which everyone agrees, is not fit to recite the Berachah over.

(b) And by 'a light from which one derived but did not see', the Beraisa is referring to a light whose source is around the corner, and which cannot be seen, but its light can.

(c) 'Gechalim Lochshos' means coals which are still flaming; 'Gechalim Omemos', coals which are about to become extinguished. If a thin twig that one places among them catches fire by itself, it is a sign that the are still 'Lochshos'.

(d) The Gemara proves from the Pasuk in Yechezkel "Arazim Lo Amemuhu" etc., that the word 'Omemos' is spelt with an 'Ayin' and not with an 'Alef'.

(a) Rava maintains that one must actually be close enough to benefit from the light, to be able to distinguish between an Isar and a Pundiyon (two coins), or between the Meluzma (a weight) of Teverya and that of Tzipori.

(b) Rav Yehudah was standing too far away from the house of Ada Dayla to benefit from the light that emanated from it, when he recited the Berachah; whereas Rava was standing right next to Gurya bar Chama's house when *he* recited the Berachah - each one according to his opinion quoted in the Gemara.

(c) It is not necessary to search for a light on Motza'ei Shabbos, like one does, with other Mitzvos. If none is available, then it is not necessary to recite the Berachah.

(a) Someone who left his place with the express intention of Bensching elsewhere, is obligated to return to his place to Bensch, even according to Beis Hillel.

(b) The Tana inserted 'and he forgot', to teach us that even then, Beis Shamai obligates him to return to his place to Bensch (although this appears to clash with the principle 'Ko'ach de'Heteira Adif', and even more so when it is a matter of a leniency of Beis Hillel versus a stringency of Beis Shamai).

(c) Beis Shamai replied to Beis Hillel that if he forgot a purse on his rooftop, would he not go back to fetch it? And if he would do so for *his own sake*, then how much more so *for the sake of Hashem*!

(d) One Talmid went back, even though he left his place without Bensching *by mistake*; the other did not go back, even though he did so *deliberately*.
The former found a purse containing gold, the latter was devoured by a lion.

(a) Rabba bar bar Chana did not expect his fellow companions to understand why he could not Bensch where he was. Consequently, they would probably not be willing to wait for him to go back and Bensch.

(b) So he told them that he had forgotten his golden dove. He went back to Bensch and found - a golden dove!

(c) He picked 'a golden dove', because Yisrael are compared to a dove. Why is that?
Because just as a dove is saved by its wings - either by flying or because it fights with them - so too it is the Mitzvos which save Yisrael (perhaps the gold signifies that, in the eyes of Yisrael, the Mitzvos are more precious than gold, like the Pasuk says in Tehilim "ha'Nechemadim mi'Zahav u'mi'Paz Rav").

(a) The Shiur of four Milin given by Resh Lakish applies to when one ate a large meal, whereas that of 'as long as he still thirsty' to when he ate only a little.

(b) According to Rebbi Yochanan, the time-limit for Bensching is, as long as he is not yet hungry, on account of what he just ate.

(a) when our Mishnah obligates one to answer 'Amen', without hearing the beginning of the Berachah, it is speaking about a Berachah with which he does not intend to be Yotze.

(b) Rebbi Yossi says 'Gadol ha'Oneh Yoser min ha'Mevarech'.

(c) Rebbi Nehorai brings a proof for Rebbe Yossi's opinion from a battle, where the soldier's fight the battle, but the honors go to the mighty men, who enter the forray at the end, and finish the job.

(d) The Gemara answers that it is, in fact a Machlokes Tana'im, and that Rav and Rav Huna follow the opinion of those who say that the Mevarech is greater than the one who answers 'Amen'.

(a) One answers 'Amen' to the Berachah recited by a child, when he is actually reciting a Berachah over something, but not when he is only learning or practicing.

(b) When it was customary to bring oil at the end of the meal, to wash the dirt from one's hands, then someone who had not washed was not permitted to Bensch (in the same way as a Kohen who was dirty was not permitted to perform the Avodah).

(c) "ve'Hiskadishtem" - 'Eilu Mayim Rishonim'.
"vi'Heyisem Kedoshim" - 'Eilu Mayim Acharonim'.
"Ki Kadosh Ani" - 'Zeh Shemen Areiv'.
"Ani Hashem Elokeichem" - 'Zu Berachah'.

Hadran Alach, 'Eilu Devarim'!

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