(Permission is granted to print and redistribute this material
as long as this header and the footer at the end are included.)


brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld

Ask A Question about the Daf

Previous daf

Sotah, 40


OPINIONS: The Gemara asks what the Tzibur is supposed to say when the Shali'ach Tzibur recites the blessing of "Modim." A number of Amora'im are quoted who give various phrases of praises to say. Rav Papa says that it is appropriate to say all of them. The BEIS YOSEF (OC 127) writes that because of this we refer to the prayer that the Tzibur says as "Modim d'Rabanan," which means the prayer of "Modim" that was composed by many Rabanan.

Is one supposed to add a Berachah ("Baruch Atah...") at the end of the prayer of "Modim d'Rabanan" or not?

(a) Our Gemara indeed implies that no Chasimah should be said at the end of the prayer. This is consistent with the teaching of the Gemara in Berachos (46a) that one only ends a praise with a Berachah ("Baruch Atah...") when it also starts with a Berachah ("Baruch Atah...").

This is the ruling of the RAMBAM (Hilchos Berachos 9:4).

(b) However, the Yerushalmi (cited by Tosfos here, DH Al) does include a Berachah at the end of Modim d'Rabanan: "Baruch Atah Hashem, E-l ha'Hoda'os." (The RASHBA in Berachos (34a, end of DH Rava Kara) explains why the Yerushalmi says that Modim d'Rabanan ends with a Berachah even though it does not start with a Berachah.) This was the practice of the ROSH as cited by the Tur (OC 127), with which the Darchei Moshe concurs.

(c) However, the TALMIDEI RABEINU YONAH in Berachos (32a of the pages of the Rif, DH u'v'Yerushalmi), regarding a similar contradiction between the Bavli and the Yerushalmi (whether or not the blessing of "Borei Nefashos" ends with a Berachah), make a compromise and write that one should end with a Berachah but omit the words "Atah Hashem."

This is our practice, both we regard to the blessing of Borei Nefashos and with regard to Modim d'Rabanan, as the Shulchan Aruch (OC 127) writes. (The Rema does not protest this ruling.)


QUESTION: The Gemara says that in the Beis ha'Mikdash, the person reciting the blessings would conclude the blessing with the words, "Baruch Hashem Elokei Yisrael Min ha'Olam v'Ad ha'Olam...." The people would respond "Baruch Shem Kevod Malchuso..." after the blessing. The Gemara explains that the reason was because "we do not respond 'Amen' in the Beis ha'Mikdash." Why did they recite a different Chasimah to blessings, and give a different response to blessings, in the Beis ha'Mikdash?

ANSWER: The MAHARSHA here explains that only in this world do we pronounce the name of Hashem with the name of "Adnus." In Olam ha'Ba, Hashem's name will be pronounced the way it is written (Pesachim 50a). In the Beis ha'Mikdash, they said "Ad ha'Olam" (lit. "until the world") to show that only until the end of this world will we use the name "Adnus" to refer to Hashem. After this world, the Name will be revealed it its entirety. That is why in the Beis ha'Mikdash "Baruch Shem Kevod... *le'Olam va'Ed*" ("*forever*") is the refrain. Since in the blessings uttered in the Beis ha'Mikdash we allude to the Tetragrammaton as it is *spelled*, we proclaim that it is *this* name that will be used "for eternity," i.e. in Olam ha'Ba.

The Maharsha continues and says that we respond "Amen" after blessings because the word "Amen" alludes to both names of Hashem -- the way that it is written (which has a Gematria value of 26), and the way that it is pronounced (which has a Gematria of 65) -- which have a combined value of 91 (the same value as "Amen"). We do not say "Amen" in the Beis ha'Mikdash because we want to emphasize the eternity of the ineffable Name and we do not want to allude to the finite quality of this world (which is represented by the Holy Name as it is pronounced). We therefore say instead, "Baruch Shem Kevod... le'Olam va'Ed" (which alludes only to the Holy Name as it is spelled). (MAHARSHA, DH Minayin sh'Ein)

HA'GAON RAV YITZCHAK HUTNER zt'l (Pachad Yitzchak, Yom Kipur) adds that it is for the same reason that we say "Baruch Shem Kevod Malchuso..." after the verse "Shema Yisrael...." Normally, we only have in mind the concept of Hashem's Adnus, His sovereignty, when we mention the name of Hashem in a blessing our in our prayers (see OC 5). When we say Shema, though, we must also have in mind the ineffable Name, as it is written (Vilna Gaon, ibid.). Since we allude to the spelling of that name, we say immediately afterwards, "Baruch Shem Kevod... le'Olam va'Ed" -- that is, "this is the name that will last forever!"

QUESTION: The Mishnah says that after the Kohen Gadol reads Parshas Acharei Mos (Vayikra 16-18) and the verses from Parshas Emor that discuss Yom Kipur (Vayikra 23:26-32), he reads by heart the verses in Parshas Pinchas (Bamidbar 29:7-11) that deal with Yom Kipur.

Why is it permitted for him to read verses by heart? The Halachah states that it is prohibited to read by heart verses which are written in the Torah (Gitin 60b)!


(a) The RITVA (70a) explains, based on the Yerushalmi, that the prohibition applies only to reading verses from the Torah for which there is an obligation to read publicly ("Chovas Keri'as Tzibur"). The prohibition does not apply to reading verses for the sake of reviewing the Torah, or for the sake of giving praise to Hashem. When the Kohen Gadol reads the Torah by heart on Yom Kipur, it is permissible because there is no obligation to publicly read these verses; rather, they are read just to review the topics relevant for the day. (This is in contrast to the explanation of Rashi, who says that there is an actual obligation to publicly read the verses. According to the Ritva, there is no obligation, but it was done merely to review the verses dealing with Yom Kipur.)

(b) The TOSFOS YESHANIM (70a) says that there is no *prohibition* to read verses in the Torah by heart; rather, it is a *Mitzvah Min ha'Muvchar* (the choicest way of performing the Mitzvah) to read the verses from the Sefer Torah. On Yom Kipur, the Rabanan permitted the Kohen Gadol to read part of the Torah by heart in order not to trouble the Tzibur gathered there to wait as he rolled the Sefer Torah to the proper place. The Rabanan permitted him not to do the Mitzvah in the choicest way for the sake of the honor of the Tzibur.

(c) The TALMIDEI RABEINU YONAH in Berachos (9b) explain as follows. There are certain verses which the Torah requires an individual to read, but does not require that he read them from a Sefer Torah. For example, the Torah requires each person to recite the Shema, but it is permitted to recite it by heart. The Torah does not expect every person to read the Shema twice each day from a Sefer Torah. The same is true regarding the verses of Birkas Kohanim recited by Kohanim each day when they bless the people. Similarly, the Gemara in Ta'anis (27b) says that when the Beis ha'Mikdash is not standing, by reciting the Parshah of Korbanos it is as if one brought the Korbanos. Certainly, the Torah does not require that the Parshah of Korbanos be recited from a Sefer Torah.

Since the Torah revealed that any of these Parshi'os may be recited by heart, then even when one is *not* performing a Mitzvah when reading them, one may read them by heart. For this reason, the Kohen Gadol may read these verses, which deal with the Korbanos of Yom Kipur, by heart.

It may be added that these three answers of the Rishonim appear to be arguing about the reason for the requirement to read verses from a Sefer Torah and not by heart.

The first reason offered is that if one reads verses by heart, he might make a mistake. This reason is consistent with the explanation of the Ritva (a), who says that it is necessary to read from a Sefer Torah only when there is an obligation to publicly read the verses. In order for the Tzibur to fulfill the obligation, the reader must not make a mistake. However, when reading verses for the sake of giving praise to Hashem, if one makes a mistake it does not matter because he is not attempting to fulfill any obligation.

The second reason given for the obligation to read verses from the Sefer Torah and not by heart is cited by the BEIS YOSEF (OC 49), and by the RITVA in Gitin (60b) in the name of the RAMBAN. The written word which one sees when reading the verses contains certain elements and meanings which one does not see when he recites those verses by heart. The advantage of reading the verses with those extra meanings, though, is only a Mitzvah Min ha'Muvchar; one certainly fulfills his obligation if he does not have access to those deeper meanings. This is consistent with the answer of the Tosfos Yeshanim (b).

The third reason is offered by the KOL BO. If one was reading from the Sefer Torah and then recites verses by heart, the people might think that those verses are not part of the Torah. Therefore, one must always read from the Sefer Torah. This reason is consistent with the answer of the Talmidei Rabeinu Yonah (c). If verses are normally recited by heart in the course of a Mitzvah, everyone knows that they are in the Torah and that they are recited by heart only out of necessity. No one will err and think that they are not written in the Torah. (M. Kornfeld)

QUESTION: The Mishnah relates that the Kohen Gadol would recite eight blessings in the afternoon on Yom Kipur when he read the Torah. Four of them are familiar blessings: Birkas ha'Torah, Avodah ("Retzeh"), Hoda'ah ("Modim"), and Mechilas Avon (the normal Berachah of the Shemoneh Esreh of Yom Kipur). In addition, he recites another four Berachos: a Berachah for the Mikdash, Yisrael, Kohanim, and for Yerushalayim. The Mishnah adds that the Kohen Gadol then recites "the rest of the Tefilah."

The Gemara (41a) explains that "the rest of the Tefilah" refers to a prayer that the Kohen Gadol recites beseeching Hashem to protect the Jewish people. It ends with the Berachah of "Baruch... Shomei'a Tefilah."

If the Kohen Gadol also recites the Berachah of "Shome'a Tefilah," then he is reciting *nine* Berachos, and not just eight! Why does the Mishnah say that he recites only eight Berachos?


(a) The words "v'Al Yerushalayim" do not appear in the text of the Mishnah in the Mishnayos (both here and in Yoma 7:1) and in the Yerushalmi (Sotah 7:6 and Yoma 7:1). The BACH and VILNA GA'ON delete these words from the Mishnah in the Vilna Shas in Yoma (68b). In addition, these words do not appear in the Beraisa cited in Yoma (70a) which lists the eight Berachos. Likewise, most of the Rishonim quote the Mishnah without these words (see Rambam in Mishnah Torah and Perush ha'Mishnayos, Rashi in Yoma, Rabeinu Elyakim, and others).

Although Rashi here writes that the Yerushalmi explains what the Berachah for Yerushalayim was, we have no such Yerushalmi. It seems probable that there is a mistake in Rashi. Rashi does not discuss what the Berachah for *Kohanim* was, and what he meant to say was that the Berachah for *Kohanim* is described in the Yerushalmi (which indeed it is). Accordingly, the Berachah of "Shomei'a Tefilah" is the eighth Berachah.

According to the Girsa that reads "Al Yerushalayim," perhaps the Mishnah is providing another description for the Berachah for the "Mikdash," which, according to the Yerushalmi cited by the Rambam (Hilchos Avodas Yom ha'Kipurim 3:11), ends with a Berachah of "Shochen b'Tzion" (referring to Yerushalayim).

(b) The RAMBAM (Perush ha'Mishnayos, here and in Yoma) and the BARTENURA (in Yoma) counts the Berachah of the Torah as *two* Berachos -- one before the Kohen Gadol reads the Torah and one after. He counts the Berachah for Yisrael, and the Berachah of "Shomei'a Tefilah," as one Berachah; the Kohen Gadol prays that Hashem protect the Jewish people and he concludes the Berachah with "Shomei'a Tefilah," like the Beraisa cited by our Gemara (41a) says.

It seems probable that the Rambam's Girsa in the Mishnah was that the Berachah for "Kohanim" was said first, and then "Al Yisrael" and "the rest of the Tefilah," like the order appears in the Beraisa (cited on 41a and Yoma 70a), implying that "Al Yisrael" and "Shomei'a Tefilah" were recited together. (However, in the Mishnah Torah (Hilchos Avodas Yom ha'Kipurim 3:11), the Rambam explains the Mishnah like the Rishonim cited above, in (a), and places the Berachah for the Kohanim *after* the Berachah for Yisrael.)

(c) The ME'IRI cites some who have the Girsa of "Al Yerushalayim," and he writes that according to this Girsa, the last Berachah is a general Berachah and is not included in the count of eight Berachos.

Next daf


For further information on
subscriptions, archives and sponsorships,
contact Kollel Iyun Hadaf,