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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Berachos 64



(a) 'Kol ha'Dochek es ha'Sha'ah, ha'Sha'ah Dochkaso' means, that someone who tries to attain his ambition by force, is heading towards defeat.

(b) The prime example of this is Avshalom, who tried to take the throne by force.

(a) Rav Yosef should have become Rosh Yeshivah before Rabba, because he was 'Sinai' (the big Baki, who possessed a storehousse of knowledge, consisting of numerous Beraisos), whereas Rabba was 'Oker Harim', (the sharper of the two when it came to Pilpul, a deeper understanding of those very Beraisos); and we have a principle that 'Sinai' takes precedence over 'Oker Harim' - because everyone needs his broad expertise.

(b) He declined the offer to become Rosh Yeshivah first, because he had been informed by the astrologers that he would be the Rosh Yeshivah for two years. So he reckoned that, if he bided his time, allowing Rabba to become Rosh Yeshivah first, he would be certain to live two years longer than Rabba's tenure.
(It appears that, although Chazal have taught us 'Ein Mazel le'Yisrael', that only means that a bad Mazel can be changed through good deeds, but not that the prediction of the Mazel should be ignored. Moreover, a good prediction on the part of the Mazel is unlikely to change.)

(c) We can learn from here that 'someone who stands down at the appropriate moment (shows a low profile), will win out in the end - ''ve'Chol ha'Nidcheh Mipnei ha'Sha'ah, Sha'ah Nidchis Mipanav'!

(d) All the years that Rabba reigned, Rav Yosef would not even call the blood-letter (the doctor) to his house (a practice that was normally considered the prerogative of the Rosh Yeshivah), but made a point of going to *him* (either in deference to Rabba, or in order to ensure that the astrologer's prediction would not materialize before Rabba's demise).

(a) On the day of trouble, David Hamelech is telling us, it is Ya'akov, more than either of the other Avos, who will Daven for help. *He* was the father of the twelve tribes from which we are all descended. *He* is the one who shouldered the responsibility of raising them (sure enough, we are called 'Benei *Yisrael*'?). So *he* is the one who, when it comes to the crunch, Davens for their salvation.

(b) They ate 'before Hashem', the Pasuk says, to teach us that anyone who derives benefit from a Se'udah at which a Talmid-Chacham is sitting, is as if he had benefited from the glory of the Shechinah.

(c) 1. One should never say to a live person 'Lech be'Shalom' (insinuating 'Go *with* the peace that you already have, but not to a peaceful future'; whereas 'Lech *le*'Shalom' suggests a wish that the person being addressed should go to a peaceful future). We learn this from David, who said to Avshalom 'Lech be'Shalom', and he went to his death, whilst Moshe, who was told by Yisro 'Lech le'Shalom', went on to succeed on his danger-fraught mission. 2. One says 'Lech be'Shalom' to a dead man before one buries him.

(a) Someone who makes a point of going from Shul to the Beis Hamedrash to study Torah, will merit to greet the Shechinah.

(b) We also learn from the Pasuk of "Yelchu me'Chayil El Chayil" etc. that, just as Talmidei-Chachamim have no rest in this world (because they are forever climbing from one level to another), so too, will they continue to have no rest in the World to Come, as they continue to climb from one level of Torah-study to another (from Yeshivah to Yeshivah, from Medrash to Medrash) (see Maharsha).

(c) Berachos, Nidah, Yevamos and Kerisus, all conclude with the famous saying of Rebbi Elazar quoting Rebbi Chanina (that we say after 'Ein k'Elokeinu' every Shabbos) 'Talmidei-Chachamim Marbim Shalom ba'Olam'.

(d) We have just said that Talmidei-Chachamim, with their combined love of Hashem and of their fellow Jews, spread upon the world the wonderful blessing of peace!

The Masechta began 'Me'eimasai Korin es Shema be'Arvis? mi'Sha'ah she'ha'Kohanim Nichnasim Le'echol bi'Terumasan etc.'. Chazal have said that on the merit of reciting the Shema, Hashem will save Yisrael from their enemies - and there will be peace (see Rashi, Devarim 20:3).

The Kohanim too, are symbolical of peace, particularly Aharon ha'Kohen, who was an Ohev Shalom and a Rodef Shalom. Perhaps that is why the Tana connects the Mitzvah of Keri'as Shema with the Kohanim eating Terumah. This fits beautifully with the end of the Masechta, which concludes with "Hashem Oz le'Amo Yiten (to fight and overcome their enemies - which refers to the Keri'as Shema, as we just explained); Hashem Yevarech es Amo va'Shalom" - (which refers to the Kohanim, who bless Yisrael, and whose blessing concludes with the word 'Shalom')!

Hadran Alach, 'ha'Ro'eh' u'Selika Lah Maseches Berachos!
On to Shabbos


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