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by Rabbi Ephraim Becker
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld

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Pesachim 110


(a) Question: A new decision to have relations should separate them, and not create a pair?!
(b) Answer: The Bereisa means that after eating or drinking in pairs one should not have relations (at all), due to the danger.
(c) [R. Yehudah] The danger of pairs is only if the person does not interrupt [e.g. sees the marketplace] in between.
(d) R. Ashi reported that R. Chazina b. Bivi would step out to the market between each cup.
1. This is only if he intends to travel afterwards, not to remain at home.
2. Going to sleep is like the intent to travel.
3. Going to the outhouse is like travelling.
(e) Question: But there *is* a concern even if he remains at home!?
1. Rava kept count of his drinks with the beams of his house.
2. Abaye's step-mother would monitor his cups (even at home).
3. R. Nachman b. Yitzhok's attendant would do so, as well.
(f) Answer: Important people are different (at more risk).
(g) [Ula] All pairs are dangerous except ten.
1. He is consistent with his ruling elsewhere:
2. Ten cups were instituted in the house of mourning.
3. This clearly indicates that ten is not dangerous.
4. Eight cups are, however, dangerous.
5. R. Chisda and Rabah b. R. Huna maintain that Shalom (the 7th word in Birkas Kohanim) adds only good, however, *six* are dangerous pairs.
6. Rabah and R. Yosef maintain that Vichuneka (the 5th word) adds only good, however *four* are dangerous pairs.
7. Abaye and Rava maintain the Veyishmirecha (the 3rd word) adds only good.
8. Rava would serve pairs of drinks to his students, and did not attribute a weakness of one of his students to pairs.
(a) The Shed Yosef [as reported by R. Yosef] said that Ashmedai, the king of the Shedim is appointed over pairs.
1. One explanation: A king is not a menace, and the concern is diminished.
2. Another explanation: A king is worse, given his being quick- tempered and free to penetrate any barrier.
(b) The Shed Yosef also gave the following report [R. Papa]:
1. We kill over two, but not over four.
2. We injure over four.
3. Over two, it is whether it was intentional or accidental.
4. Over four, only if it was intentional.
5. A person who ate pairs and then travels may protect himself.
(i) He places each thumb into the opposing hand, and announces that he is now three.
(ii) If he hears a retort that he is an even number, he must immediately respond that he is the next odd number.
(iii) This once happened and it went to 101 before the Shed burst.
(c) Ameimar reported having learned a formula for (cursing them and thus) protecting oneself from sorceresses.

(d) In Eretz Yisrael they were not particular about pairs.
(e) R. Dimi (of Neharda'a) was particular even regarding purchasing an even-numbered barrel; he once had such a barrel and it burst.
(f) The principle is that excessive concern breeds problems, and those who are not concerned are not disturbed. (One should, however, take heed.)
(a) Two eggs, two nuts, two cucumbers and two of some other food are Halachah l'Moshe m'Sinai.
(b) Owing to their doubt over what the "other" is, the Rabbis forbade all pairs.
(c) That which was reported (above) that 10, 8, 6, and 4 are not considered pairs only relates to Mazikim, not to Keshafim, but Keshafim are a problem even beyond ten.
(d) In the cited incident, a man was subject to Keshafim even by 16.
(e) [A. Avira] Plates and loaves are not subject to pairs.
(f) The principle is that which is man-made is not subject to pairs, while that which is Heaven-made (such as foods) is.
(g) Stores do not add to pairs (two explanations in Rashbam).
(h) If one has decided to stop, and subsequently decides to resume, there is no pairs.
(i) A guest is not subject to pairs.
(j) A woman (at her husbands table) is not subject to pairs, but if she is an important woman we take heed.
(k) Asparagus (wine) adds good (to make an odd number) but not evil.
(l) In a matter of doubt over pairs, some say to be stringent (and drink another cup), others say to be lenient.
(m) Two cups of wine and one of beer do not combine, however two of beer and (then) one of wine combine. (A mnemonic is brought from a Mishnah in Keilim.)
(n) [R. Nachman citing Rav] A cup within the meal adds to two cups prior to the meal to create an odd number, but two cups within the meal do not add to one prior, and remain an even number.
(o) Question [R. Mesharshiya]: Look at the person, not the meal!?
1. Even R. Mesharshiya would agree that cups *after* the meal do not add to the number during the meal.
2. This is based on the incident of Rabah b. Nachmani (Bava Metzia 86a where the table had to be re-set before the person in order for the additional cup to help him).
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