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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

Introduction to Berachos

Berachos 2

Please note that the review questions and answers concern themselves
primarily with the explanation of Rashi, and are not necessarily Halachah.


(a) What is the earliest time to recite the Keri'as Shema shel Arvis?
There are three opinions regarding the final time.
(b) What are they?

(c) So why did the custom evolve to recite the Shema before night, and what are obligations as regards reciting it when the time arrives?

(d) Why did Chazal decree that Mitzvos whose time is until morning, should be performed before midnight?

2) What are the 'Hekter Chalavim ve'Eivarim', until when must they be performed - Does the decree of midnight apply to them?


(a) What is the source for the Mitzvah of reciting the Shema, that allows the Tana to take it for granted?

(b) Which other Kashya does the Gemara answer with that Pasuk?

(c) Which other Pasuk could have been the Tana's source for mentioning the night Keri'as Shema first?

(a) Considering that the Kohanim eat their Terumah at nightfall, why did the Tana not just write that the time for the night recital of the Shema is at nightfall?

(b) In that case, how must we interpret "u'Va ha'Shemesh" and "ve'Taher"?

(c) What else could the above phrase mean, and what made Chazal learn the way that they did?

(d) How did they decide which of the two above interpretations is the correct one in Eretz Yisrael?

Answers to questions


5) According to the Beraisa, the earliest time to recite the Shema is when a poor man comes in from work to eat his bread dipped in salt, and the final time (for everyone) is when he gets up from his meal. The Seifa definitely provides us with a fourth opinion.

(a) Is it possible to reconcile the Reisha with our Mishnah?
In yet another Beraisa, Rebbi Meir gives the earliest time as 'when people come in to eat their bread on Friday night', whilst the Rabbanan hold the Tana of our Mishnah.
If 'Oni' and 'Kohen' are the same Shiur, (as we just suggested), and 'Oni' and 'people' are the same Shiur (as the Gemara currently suggests), then Rebbi Meir and the Rabbanan are not arguing!
(b) What does the Gemara initially say about this?
One Pasuk describes how they used to work whilst others held their swords at the ready, form dawn-break until the stars came out. Another Pasuk writes that the night was for work, and the day for guarding.
(c) Why is the first Pasuk alone not sufficient proof that night is gauged from when the stars come out, and how is the proof strengthened by the second Pasuk?
(a) How does the Gemara ultimately prove that the Shiur of 'Oni' and that of 'Kohen' cannot be one and the same (in which case, 'Oni' and 'people' in the Beraisa above, could)?

(b) Who is the author of our Mishnah, which gives the Shiur as 'Kohen'?

Rebbi Chanina is the Tana who gives the Shiur of 'Oni'.
(c) Bearing in mind that Rebbi Eliezer gives the Shiur as 'when Shabbos comes in', what is the proof that the Shiur of 'Oni' is later than that of 'Kohen'?
7) According to Rebbi Meir (in the latter Beraisa), the earliest time to recite the Shema is when the Kohanim Tovel.
(a) What problem does Rebbi Yehudah have with that?

(b) How does Rebbi Meir justify` himself?

8) Rebbi Eliezer in the Beraisa, gives the earliest time for reciting the Shema as being when Shabbos comes in.
How can we reconcile this with our Mishnah, which writes from the time that the Kohanim enter to eat their Terumah (after which it gives the final time for reciting the Shema - where the first opinion is that of Rebbi Eliezer? (two answers)

Answers to questions

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