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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Berachos 61



(a) We learn from "Al Tevahel es Picha" etc., that, when one speaks to Hashem, one's words should be concise.

(b) The two 'Yudin' in "va'Yitzer" cannot refer to the two Yetzarim - the Yetzer ha'Tov and the Yetzer ha'Ra - because that would mean that animals, by whom the Torah writes only one 'Yud', have no Yetzer ha'Ra, yet we see that animals damage, bite and kick.

(c) So we learn from the two 'Yudin', the saying 'Oi Li mi'Yotzri, Oi Li mi'Yitzri'! meaning 'Woe to me from my Creator, if I follow my Yeitzer ha'Ra, and woe to me from my Yetzer ha'Ra, who will not leave me alone if I don't!

(d) "Achor va'Kedem Tzartani" means that Hashem created man last of the works of the creation, but first to be punished.

(e) By 'first to be punished', Rebbi Ami is referring to the generation of the flood, where the people perished before the animals.

(a) "Zachar u'Nekevah Bera'am" refers to Hashem's original intention (which ultimately materialized - because 'Sof Ma'aseh be'Machshavah Techilah'), whereas "Ki be'Tzelem Elokim Asa es ha'Adam" refers to the actual creation, where (according to the opinion which holds 'Zanav'), Hashem created man only.

(b) "va'Yisgar Basar Tachtenah" refers to the location of the cut.

(c) "va'Yevi'eha El ha'Adam", from which we see that Hashem acted as Adam's Shushbin (best-man), teaches us that it is a Mitzvah to be a Shushbin and that one should not consider it below one's dignity to be a Shushbin for someone who is of a lower status than oneself.

(a) According to those who learn 'Pirtzuf', it was the face of man that led the way, because we have learnt in a Beraisa that walking behind a woman on a bridge (even one's own wife) is prohibited, and there, the prohibition is one of Derech Eretz, not of Ervah.

(b) Someone who makes a point of walking behind women in the river, forfeits his portion in the World to Come! Why?
Because a woman is forced to raise the hem of her skirt as she walks through the water, and this enables the man to catch a glimpse of a part of her uncovered body.

(c) A man who counts money into a woman's hand, for the opportunity to gaze at her, will not escape the Din of Gehinom, even though he may possess Torah and Mitzvos like Moshe Rabeinu.

(d) Someone who walks behind his wife is termed by Chazal an 'Am ha'Aretz'.

(a) When the Pasuk writes that Mano'ach and Elkanah followed their wives, and Elisha, the woman, it means that they followed their advice, not that they actually walked behind them.

(b) We learn that a woman should walk behind the man, from Rifkah, by whom the Torah writes in Bereishis "va'Takam Rifkah ve'Na'aroseha etc., va'Telachnah Acharei ha'Ish".

(c) Chazal have said: 'Achorei Ari, ve'Lo Achorei Ishah; Achorei Ishah, ve'Lo Achorei Akum; Achorei Akum, ve'Lo Achorei Beis Hakeneses'.

(d) Rav learns from "Zevuvei Maves Yav'ish" etc., that the Yetzer ha'Ra is like a fly (which, as small as it is, it has the power to spoil the most fragrant oil with which it comes into contact; so too, the Yetzer ho'Ra, as small as he is [see Maharsha], he can spoil even the greatest Tzadik, when he comes into contact with him. Also, like a fly, the Tetzer ha'Ra never gives up - he keeps coming back - again, again and again). Shmuel learns from "la'Pesach Chatas Rovetz" that he is compared to a grain of wheat (from the similarity of "Chatas" to "Chitah") - according to the opinion that the tree from which Adam ha'Rishon ate from was wheat (see Maharsha). Rav also adds that the Yetzer ha'Ra sits between the two openings of the heart.

He is referring to Chazal, who say we have two hearts, one represents the Yetzer ha'Tov, and the other, the Yetzer ha'Ra. He only has power over those who are in the centre, somewhere in between (and those aspects of every individual where he is uncertain).The complete Rasha doesn't need the Yezter ha'Ra to sin (nor does the ordinary, in those aspects of Torah which are beyond his level of Bechirah); and the complete Tzadik is not vulnerable to the attacks of the Yetzer ha'Ra (nor is the ordinary Jew in those aspects of Torah which are below his level of Bechirah). The Yetzer ha'Ra sits in the middle, waiting to catch the person who is weak and undecided.




(a) Everybody is born with two kidneys, one of which advises him to do good, the other, bad. Presumably, it is the right-hand kidney that advises him to do good, because of the Pasuk in Koheles, which writes "Lev Chacham li'Yemino, ve'Lev Kesil li'Semolo".


1. The lungs draw the juices from the stomach.
2. The liver makes a person angry.
3. The gall injects a drop into the liver and quells the anger.
4. The spleen and the stomach of a chicken break-up the food.
(c) The stomach brings on sleep, and the nose awakens him. Should they switch rolls, the person will become weaker and weaker.
(a) We learn from "ve'Libi Chalal be'Kirbi", which was said by David Hamelech, that Tzadikim are governed by their Yeitzer Tov; from "Ne'um Pesha la'Rasha, Bekerev Libi" etc., that the Resha'im`` are governed by their Yetzer ha'Ra; whereas from "La'amod li'Yemin Evyon, Lehoshia *mi'Shof*tei** Nafsho" we learn that it is both Yetzarim which govern him, sometimes the one wins, and sometimes the other.

(b) Abaye reckoned that if Rabbah calls himself 'a Benoni', it doesn't leave much hope for most other people, who would then have to be termed 'Resha'im'.
Rebbi Chanina ben Dosa is the example the Gemara gives of the Tzadik, who derived no benefit whatsoever from this world (since he used to eat no more than a Kav of carabs from Erev Shabbos to Erev Shabbos), and for whom Olam ha'Ba was therefore created.
Achav ben Omri, on the other hand, was such a Rasha that he had to receive all the reward for the good deeds that he performed in *this* world, the pleasures of which created specifically for him and for the likes of him. And that is why Achav was exceedingly wealthy.

(a) Some people prefer their bodies to their money (they are more concerned about their health than about their wealth). Therefore the Torah writes "be'Chol Nafshecha" (that one should give even one's body to Hashem); and there are others who prefer their money (who are more concerned about their wealth than about their health). Therefore the Torah writes "u've'Chol Me'odecha" (Gra).

(b) Rebbi Akiva adds that one is even obligated to give up one's life for Hashem, too.

(c) Rebbi Akiva answered Papus that, like the fish, whose lives may be at great risk when they are *in* the water, yet they cannot survive *out* of it, so too, are we Jews; if our lives are at risk when we *do* study Torah, then how much more so, when we *don't* ('Ki Hem Chayeinu ve'Orech Yameinu')!

(d) When Papus was later seized by the Romans - even though he had *not* been learning or teaching Torah - and placed in the same prison as Rebbi Akiva, he told Rebbi Akiva that at least Rebbi Akiva had been imprisoned for a worthy cause (Torah-study), whereas he, Papus, had been captured on account of worthless matters.

(a) Rebbi Akiva was taking upon himself 'Ol Malchus Shamayim' as he was being tortured. When his disciples expressed amazement at his composure, he explained to them how, throughout his entire life, he was longing to fulfil the Mitzvah of "u've'Chol Nafshecha", so how could he possibly not grasp the opportunity, now that it had arisen.
According to the Gra that we quoted above, Rebbi Akiva's disciples (who held like Rebbi Eliezer, in whose opinion one is not obligated to actually give up one's life under these circumstances, only to suffer); so they queried their Rebbe's Mesiras Nefesh. To which he replied, that in *his* opinion, "be'Chol Nafshecha" does indeed mean that one is obligated to give up one's life, which is what he was doing.

(b) As Rebbi Akiva passed away, a Bas Kol rang out saying, "Fortunate are you Rebbi Akiva; you are prepared to receive a part in the World to Come!"

(c) The angels asked Hashem why He allowed Rebbi Akiva to be killed by the Romans. Why did He not take his life Himself . 'Is this the reward of Torah'?", they asked Him?

(d) Hashem replied that the reward of the Tzadikim is not here, in this world, but in the World to Come.

(a) Kalus Rosh is forbidden in front of the Eastern Gate only under four conditions: 1. Within Tzofim (fifteen Mil); 2. If the Eastern Gate was visible from there; 3. That there was no wall in between; 4. And only in the time when the Beis Hamikdash stood.

(b) Rebbi Yossi also applies the latter three conditions to the Din of relieving oneself facing the Beis Hamikdash.

(c) The Chachamim, unlike the Tana Kama, restrict the prohibition in Yehudah to relieve oneself facing East-West, to when one is in line with the Beis Hamikdash, but not if one is to the north or the south of the Beis Hamikdash.

(d) Rabbah was upset to find the stones that he had so meticulously placed placed rearranged in a different position, because he followed the opinion of Rebbi Akiva, who forbids sitting in an East-West position, even in Chutz la'Aretz. In fact, Abaye, who turned the stones in such a way that Rabbah would have had to face East-West, was testing Raba to see whether he would react or not.

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