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Pesachim 7


The Gemara explains that we do Bitul Chametz at the time of Bedikah, because since we are involved with getting rid of the Chametz at that moment, we will remember to be Mevatel it.

We cannot do Bitul during the sixth hour of the fourteenth of Nisan because the Chametz at that time is already forbidden. We do not do Bitul before the sixth hour, when it is still permitted to derive benefit from (but not to eat) the Chametz, because since no designated act or moment will be associated with the Bitul, one might forget to perform the Bitul.

HALACHAH: The ROSH (1:9) cites a Teshuvah from RASHI in which he says that nowadays we should do Bitul not only at the time of Bedikah but *also* at the end of the fifth hour, which is indeed a time "designated" by an act - - this is when we burn our Chametz, since it is about to become forbidden entirely. This second Bitul is done in order to be Mevatel any Chametz that might have remained from the bread that we ate on the morning of the fourteenth, which we were not yet Mevatel. This is the ruling of the SHULCHAN ARUCH (OC 434:3).


QUESTION: The Gemara says that one recites a Berachah for a Mitzvah "Over l'Asiyasah," before doing the Mitzvah. Why does the Gemara use this unusual phrase and not say simply "Lifnei Asiyasah?"


(a) The NIMUKEI YOSEF (Hilchos Tefilin D"H Over) explains that "*Over* Bl'Asiyasan," means "ahead of" and not "before," the Mitzvah that is to be performed. That is, one first begins to become *involved* in the performance of the Mitzvah (such as by lifting the Shofar or Lulav or beginning to wrap the Tefilin on one's arm), and then one "runs ahead of the Mitzvah" and recites the blessing right before actual *fulfilling* the Mitzvah.

This meaning of "Over" is evident from the verse that is cited as a proof for the meaning of "Over," "And Achima'atz ran... and overtook (va'Ya'avor) the Kushi." That is, the Kushi was ahead of him, but Achima'atz overtook him and went right before him. The second and third verses cited by the Gemara use the word Over in a similar manner. Yakov first lined up his family before him, then he passed before them; similarly, after the nation lines up, the king passes before them to lead them (he does not wait in front for the formation to form behind him).

(b) The SHA'AGAS ARYEH (#26) explains that the word Over can mean *either* before, or after (past: Avar). The Gemara means to teach us that b'Di'eved, one may recite the Berachah on a Mitzvah even *after* the Mitzvah has been performed, as the Hagahos Oshri (Berachos 1:13) maintains (and not like the Rambam (Hil. Berachos 11:5), who disagrees).

(c) One of the Gemara's sources that the word Over means "before" is the verse "Their king passed before them (Over), and Hashem was at their head." Perhaps the word Over is used with reference to when Berachos are recited, to hint to this verse, which is a clue as to the proper format for a Berachah: every Berachah must begin with a mention of the name of Hashem and His kingship, as the Gemara tells us in Berachos 49a.

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