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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Berachos 55



(a) Someone who Davens long (without expecting Hashem's response), who spends a long time at his table (so that he is able to feed the poor who come to him for food), and someone who spends a long time in the 'bathroom' are all elixirs of long life.

(b) A leaning wall, scrutiny in Tefilah and asking Hashem to punish someone else for one's own sake, all curtail life.

(c) A leaning wall curtails life because 'the Satan accuses at the time of danger', and because it causes the Beis Din shel Ma'alah to examine his deeds, to see whether he is worthy of being saved from the danger; scrutiny in Tefilah and praying for someone else to be punished for the very same reason: because his deeds will now be examined, to see whether he is worthy of his Tefilos being answered.

(d) Scrutiny in Tefilah is heading for trouble only if he expects his Tefilah to be answered, but not otherwise.

(a) The Pasuk first talks about the Mizbei'ach, and then goes on to call it a table?
To teach us that nowadays, when there is no Mizbei'ach, our table performs the job of the Mizbei'ach; it atone for our sins, by virtue of the poor people that we feed.

(b) Sitting a long time will lead to Tachtoniyos only if one presses - if one does not, then it keeps him in good trim and leads to long life.

(c) Rebbi Yochanan pointed out that he could hardly have a healthy complexion due to rearing pigs or taking a lot of interest, since both were forbidden to him.
The real reason for his healthy complexion, he informed her, was because he would make use of all twenty-four bathrooms that existed between the house of his host (where he ate) and the Beis Hamedrash.

(d) People who rear pigs and those who lend on interest are healthy-looking, because they have an excellent and easy source of income.

(a) Someone who declines to go, when he is called up to the Torah or to Bensch Mezuman when it is offered to him, will have his life curtailed.

(b) The third thing that curtails life is someone who behaves in an authoritative manner vis a vis other Jews. We learn this from Yosef, who apparently, was guilty of that, and who consequently, was the first of all the brothers to die (despite the fact that he was the second youngest).

(c) From "Palgei Mayim Leiv Melech be'Yad Hashem", "Tamid Einei Hashem Elokecha Bah mei'Reishis Shanah ve'Ad Achris Shanah" and "va'Tachlimeini ve'Hechyeini" respectively, we learn that to merit a good king, a good year and a good dream all require Divine mercy.

(d) A good Parnes (leader of the community) is the third thing that Hashem Personally announces.

(a) When Hashem asked Moshe what he thought about the appointment of Betzalel, he replied that if he was good in for Hashem, then he was good enough for him, too; and Yisrael said the same to Moshe, when he asked them what they thought about the appointment.
(Other reasons apart, it is a wise move to consult with one's subordinates, because it gives them the feeling of importance, and makes them feel good. They will, in all likelihood bow to your superior knowledge and agree with you. But see what happens if they are not consulted! They will hold it against you, and will probably disagree with your choice).

(b) Moshe first instructed Betzalel to build the Holy Vessels, and then the building of the Mishkan itself. But Betzalel queried Moshe on that point. How can one first build the Vessels? Where would one place them in the interim, he asked?
To which Moshe replied that Betzalel must have been in the Shadow of Hashem ('be'Tzeil Keil' - the same letters as 'Betzalel') to know exactly what Hashem had said.

(c) Betzalel knew the combination of letters that Hashem used to create the world, and was capable of doing likewise. We learn this from the expression of "be'Chochmah, bi'Sevunah u've'Da'as" used by both Betzalel - here - and by the creation of the world - in a Pasuk in Mishlei.

(d) "Yahiv Chachmesa la'Chakimin" teaches us that Hashem gives wisdom only to someone who is already wise (i.e. to someone who utilizes the wisdom with which he has been endowed). We can learn the same thing from the Pasuk "u've'Leiv Kol Chacham Leiv Nasati Chochmah".

(a) 'Kol Chalom, ve'Lo Tavas' means that any dream is fine, but not one in which one dreamt that he was fasting.

(b) Rav Chisda said that the worry caused by a bad dream helps to lessen the impact of the dream (i.e. part of the punishment inherent in the dream has already been absorbed by the worry). And the contentment which follows a good dream does the same, to lessen the impact of the inherent reward.

(c) From "ve'ha'Elokim Asa she'Yir'u mi'Panav", he derives that a bad dream is more effective than Malkus as far as instilling fear into a person is concerned, to induce him to do Teshuvah on his sins.

(d) "Mah le'Teven es ha'Bar" teaches us that it is just as impossible to have a dream without some nonsense, as it is to have corn without stubble.

(e) Yosef dreamt that the sun, the moon and eleven stars were bowing down to him. Now the sun signified his father, and the stars his brothers. But who was the moon, if not his mother Rachel? Yet how could that be? Rachel was no longer alive, so how could she possibly bow down to him? From here we can see, says the Gemara, that there is no dream without some nonsense.




(a) It took twenty-two years for Yosef's dream to come true, from which we learn that a person should be patient and wait twenty-two years for his dreams to come true - but no longer.

(b) Chazal explain the Pasuk "Lo Se'uneh Eilecha Ra'ah" to mean that 'bad dreams will not trouble you' (because they are a curse from which Hashem will spare the Tzadikim). So how can we refer to bad dreams as a Berachah.

(c) We also learn from there that a Jew will not come home and find his wife a Safek Nidah (which is worse than a Vaday Nidah).

(d) The Gemara therefore concludes that a Tzadik dreams good dreams, but, before he wakes up, he forgets them, in order that he should not be happy - thereby receiving his reward in this world (like the Rasha does).

(e) The Gemara rejects the contention that the Tzadik does not dream at all (and is therefore spared the confusion that results from bad dreams), and that it is others who dream the bad dreams about them, because Chazal have already taught us that someone who does not dreamat all for seven days, is considered an evil man with whom Hashem has refused to communicate.

(a) Why should he go and have the bad dream interpreted, the Gemara asks? Since we have learnt that a dream which has not been interpreted is like a letter that has not been read, surely it would be better not to have the dream interpreted at all?

(b) What he should therefore do, is to go to make good the dream in front of three people, to whom he says that he saw a good dream. They reply that the dream is good and should be good, and that they should decree in Heaven seven times that it should be good.

(c) The three Hafachos refer to the three Pesukim which contain a derivative of 'Hafoch' (in Tehilim, Yirmiyah and Devarim - respectively); The three Pediy'os refer to the three Pesukim which contain a derivative of 'Padah' (in Tehilim, Yeshayah and Shmuel - respectively);
And the three Shelomos refer to the three Pesukim which contain 'Shalom' (in Yeshayah, Divrei ha'Yamim and Shmuel - respectively).

(a) The gist of the text that one says in between the Berachos of the Kohanim, to deal with dreams that one has forgotten, is a prayer in which one asks Hashem to maintain and to strengthen the dream if it was good, and to cure it if it was bad.

(b) The second member of the trio advised someone who entered a town and was afraid of the Ayin ha'Ra, to hold his right thumb inside his left fist, and his left thumb inside his right fist.

(c) Yosef was not subject to the Ayin ha'Ra, as the Pasuk writes in Bereishis
... "Ben Poras Alei Ayin", and "ve'Yidgu (like fish, which are covered by the water and are not subject to the Ayin ha'Ra) la'Rov be'Kerev ha'Aretz" (both in Bereishis).

(d) Someone who is afraid of his own Ayin ha'Ra is advised to look at the left flank of his nose.

(a) The third member of the trio learnt from Rava not to reveal his illness on the day that he fell ill, because by so doing, he only encourages his own bad Mazel. However on the following day, he should let it be known that he is ill, in order that his friends should Daven for him, and for his enemies to rejoice over his misfortune - and the Pasuk in Mishlei writes "bi'Nefol Oyivcha Al Tismach ... Pen Yir'eh Hashem ve'Ra be'Einav, *ve'Heishiv mei'Alav Apo*" (so his speedy recovery is assured).

(b) Shmuel read the Pasuk in two ways: For a bad dream, he would read it factually, to say that dreams are nonsensical. Whereas for a good dream, he explained it in the rhetoric "Are dreams nonsensical"? (Of course not! Since) we have learnt in another Pasuk, in Bamidbar "ba'Chalom Adaber Bo".

(c) Rava reconciles the two above-mentioned Pesukim like this: Dreams are nonsensical, when they are initiated by demons, but when they come through the Angels, they are the word of Hashem.

(a) There were twenty-four dream interpreters in Yerushalayim.

(b) Rebbi Ban'ah went to all twenty-four to have his dream interpreted, and he received twenty-four different interpretations, all of which came true.

(c) Rebbi Elazar maintained that all dreams follow their interpretation, and he learned it from theChief Butler in the Pasuk in Bereishis "va'Yehi, Ka'asher Pasar Lanu Kein Hayah".

(d) But only, if the interpretation follows the pattern of the actual dream.

(a) The Chief Baker knew that Yosef's interpretation of the Chief Butler's dream was correct, because, together with his own dream, he also dreamt the interpretation of the butler's dream.

(b) If someone gets up and quotes a Pasuk 'out of the blue', then he should consider it a minor prophecy.

(c) A morning-dream, a dream which someone else dreams about oneself and a dream which is interpreted within a dream, are destined to come true.

(d) Some add to the list a dream that one dreams twice.

(a) We learn from "Ant Malka, Ra'ayonech Al Mishkavach Saliku", that a person tends to dream what he thinks about during the day.

(b) Rava proves this from the fact that one does not dream things that are impossible, such as a golden date-palm, or putting an elephant through the eye of a needle.

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