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Menachos 43



(a) To examine the Techeiles, Rav Yitzchak b'rei de'Rav Yehudah would bring alum (or straw [Rambam]), fenugreek-juice and urine from a forty-day old baby. 'Meimei-Raglayim ben Arba'im Yom' might also mean - urine that is forty days old.

(b) He would then soak the Techeiles in them ...

(c) ... if the appearance of the Techeiles became spoilt, it was a sign that it was Kala Ilan; whereas if it did not, it was genuine Techeiles.

(a) Rav Ivya cited Rav Avira who would bring hard barley yeast - which he baked in the Techeiles. If it improved, he would know that it was Techeiles, whereas if it deteriorated, it was Kala Ilan.

(b) The significance of 'Shinuy Sheker, Shinuy Emes' is - if someone changes a stipulation by detracting from his word, it is a bad thing, whereas if he changes by adding to it, it is a good thing (Like here, if the Techeiles improved, it was a good sign; whereas if it deteriorated, it was a bad sign).

(c) To reconcile the Beraisa with all of this - we explain the Tana's words 'Techeiles Ein Lah Bedikah' to mean - that there is no way of testing whether Techeiles has been prepared to use (in which case it will be Kasher) of for testing (and it will be Pasul). Alternatively, he means - that one cannot examine a caldron of Techeiles (without taking some of it out for testing, as we explained).

(a) When they tested the Techeiles that Mar from Mashchi (who lived in the time of Rav Acha'i) brought ...
1. ... with the first of the above tests (that of Rav Yitzchak b'rei de'Rav Yehudah) - it became spoiled.
2. ... with the second test (that cited by Rav Ivya) - it improved.
(b) The b'nei Eretz Yisrael reconciled this apparent discrepancy - by combining the two tests. In other words, even if one performed Rav Yitzchak b'rei de'Rav Yehudah's test, and it turned out to be negative, one still remained with the option of performing that cited by Rav Ivya, and the Techeiles would still be Kasher, as long as it still improves with the second test.
(a) When we state that Rebbi Mani was Machmir like the Beraisa, we mean - that he would make a point of buying Tzitzis from an expert.

(b) That old man commented - that those who lived long ago used to do that, and succeeded in their business ventures.

(c) The Beraisa rules - that someone who purchases a garment with Tzitzis from ...

1. ... a Jewish store - may trust that it is Kasher, and the same applies to someone who buys from ...
2. ... a Nochri merchant - because he will not risk losing his reputation by purchasing them from a fellow Nochri (i.e. one can safely assume that he bought them from a Yisrael).
3. ... a private Nochri - must consider them Pasul.
(d) What makes the leniency by purchasing Tzitzis from a Nochri merchant all the more surprising is - the fact that Chazal forbade selling Tzitzis to a Nochri.
(a) One of the reasons that Chazal forbade the sale of a garment with Tzitzis to a Nochri is because of 'Zonah', meaning - that we are afraid that either the same Nochri may have a relationship with a prostitute, who, mistaking him for a Yisrael (because he wears Tzitzis), will live with him, and transgress the La'av of "Lo Sis'chaten Bam"; or that he will give them as an Esnan to a Nochri prostitute, who will then tell people that she received them as a gift from P'loni Yisrael, thereby slurring his name.

(b) Rav Yehudah's reason for the prohibition - is in case that same Nochri accompanies a Yisrael on a journey, and because the Yisrael, mistaking him for a fellow Yisrael (because he is wearing Tzitzis), is not on his guard, the Nochri will be able to kill him.

(a) Rav Yehudah attached Tziztis to his wife's garments - because he maintained 'Laylah Z'man Tzitzis' (in which case it is a 'Mitzvas Asei she'La'av ha'Zeman Gerama' [not bound by time], which pertains to women no less than to men.

(b) The reason that he would recite a B'rachah over his own Tzitzis every morning was - because he held like Rebbi - who ruled, with regard to Tefilin, that one recites a B'rachah each time that one puts them on (even though on any given day, there is only one Mitzvah).

(c) Nevertheless, Rav Yehudah would recite a B'rachah only each morning (and not each time he took off a garment and put it on again even more than once a day) - because being an extremely modest man, he would not take off any garment in the course of the day, once he had put it on in the morning.

(d) The significance of 'each morning' is - that that was when he would put on his day Beged (see 'Eizehu Mekoman')

(a) The Tana Kama in the Beraisa includes everyone in the Mitzvah of Tzitzis 'Kohanim, Levi'im, Yisre'eilim, Geirim, Nashim and Avadim'. Rebbi Shimon argues over -'Nashim', which he exempts, because it is a Mitzvas Asei she'ha'Zeman Gerama' (since he holds 'Laylah La'av Z'man Tzitzis Hu').

(b) We ask why the Tana finds it necessary to mention 'Kohanim, Levi'im and Yisre'eilim. And we answer that seeing as we learn from the juxtaposition of "Lo Silbash Sha'atnez ... Gedilim Ta'aseh Lach", we might have thought - that only Yisre'eilim, who are subject to the Isur of Sha'atnez, are Chayav Tzitzis, but not Kohanim, who are not.

(c) The only Beged of the Bigdei Kehunah that contains Sha'atnez is - the Avneit (the belt).

(a) Rebbi Shimon learns from the Pasuk ...
1. ... "u'Re'isem Oso" - that a night-garment (or a garment that one wears at night) is Patur from Tzitzis.
2. ... "Asher Techaseh Bah" (which is superfluous, and serves as a 'Ribuy') - that the garment belonging to a blind person requires Tzitzis.
(b) We include the garment of a blind person and exclude a night garment (and not vice-versa) - because although a blind man cannot see, others can (whereas at night-time, nobody can).

(c) The Rabbanan learn from ...

1. ... "*Asher* Techaseh Bah" (which is otherwise redundant) - that a five-cornered garment requires Tzitzis.
2. ... "Gedilim ... al *Arba* Kanfos Kesuscha" - "Arba", 've'Lo Shalosh'.
3. ... "u'Re'isem Oso" - that looking at the Mitzvah of Tzitzis, will help us to fulfill the Mitzvah of Keri'as Sh'ma, as we shall see shortly.
(d) The Chachamim interpret the Pasuk "Asher Techaseh Bah" and " Gedilim ... al Arba Kanfos Kesuscha" the way they do, and not vice-versa - because a five-cornered garment has four corners (whereas a three-cornered one does not).



(a) Based on the Mishnah in B'rachos, looking at the Mitzvah of Tzitzis helps us to fulfill the Mitzvah of K'riyas Sh'ma (as we just explained) - inasmuch as the latter falls due from the moment that one can distinguish between the Techeiles and the Lavan of one's Tzitzis.

(b) When, in another Beraisa, the Tana says 'Re'ei Mitzvah Zu u'Zechor Mitzvah Acheres ha'Semuchah Lah' - he is referring to the Isur of wearing Kil'ayim (which, as we have already learned, is written immediately prior to it) See Hagahos Redal.

(c) In still another Beraisa, the Tana writes that once someone becomes Chayav to fulfill this Mitzvah, he becomes Chayav to fulfill all the Mitzvos, by which he means - either that most Mitzvos fall due in the daytime, simultaneously with the Mitzvah of Tzitzis (to teach us that Tzitzis is a Mitzvas Asei she'ha'Zeman Gerama, like Rebbi Shimon), or that as soon as a boy becomes obligated to fulfill the Mitzvah of Tzitzis, when he turns bar-Mitzvah, he becomes Chayav to keep all the Mitzvos (see 'Taharas ha'Kodesh').

(d) The Tana of yet another Beraisa learns from the juxtaposition of ...

1. ... Tzitzis ("u'Re'isem Oso") to "u'Zechartem es Kol Mitzvos Hashem" - that the Mitzvah of Tzitzis is compared to all the Mitzvos (also hinted in the numerical value of "Tzitzis", plus the four Tzitzis plus the eight threads, as we already learned).
2. ... "u'Re'isem Oso" to "u'Zechartem es ... " to "Va'asisem Osam" - that seeing leads to remembering, which in turn, leads to performing.
(a) Rebbi Shimon in a Beraisa, learns from the Gezeirah-Shavah' "u'Re'isem *Oso*" and "es Hashem Elokecha Tiyra, *ve'Oso* Sa'avod" - that someone who fulfills the Mitzvah of Tzitzis with Zerizus (alacrity), will merit to greet the Shechinah, when the time comes.

(b) The Tana of another Beraisa describes Yisrael as beloved, because Hashem surrounded them with Mitzvos - Tefilin on their heads and on their arms, Tzitzis on their garments and Mezuzos on their door-posts.

(c) The connection between what we just said and the Pasuk "Sheva ba'Yom Hilalticha al Mishpetei Tzidkecha" is - that these four (or three) Mitzvos, really incorporate seven, seeing as Tzitzis incorporates four Tzitziyos (which, unlike the Parshiyos of the Tefilin and the Mezuzah, are visible).

(a) When David Hamelech once entered the bath-house, he lamented that he was spiritually naked, because none of these Mitzvos applied there. He consoled himself however - when he recalled the B'ris Milah (which reminded constantly, that he was an Eved Hashem).

(b) After exiting the bath-house - he sang "Lamnatzei'ach al ha'Sheminis", in honor of the eighth Mitzvah (see Agados Maharsha).

(c) When Rebbi Eliezer quoted the Pasuk "ve'ha'Chut ha'Meshulash Lo bi'Meheirah Yinasek", he was referring to - the same three Mitzvos that we are currently discussing, Tefilin, Tzitzis and Mezuzah.

(d) Someone who keeps all three, he says - will be protected from sin, as the Pasuk writes "Choneh Mal'ach Hashem Saviv li'Yerei'av Va'yechaltzem" (meaning that Hashem will deliver them from sinning).

(a) Rebbi Meir in a Beraisa, explain the deeper meaning of Techeiles. By virtue of its similar appearance, it reminds a person of - the sea, which reminds him of the sky, which in turn, reminds him of the Kisei ha'Kavod of Hashem (see Rashash).

(b) The "Ma'aseh Livnas ha'Sapir" that is beneath Hashem's Feet is reminiscent of - the Kisei ha'Kavod (for so the Pasuk writes "ke'Mar'eh Even Sapir D'mus Kisei").

(c) According to Rebbi Meir, the sin of negating the Lavan is graver than that of negating the Techeiles - because it is that much easier.

(d) And he gives a Mashal to two Avadim - who were commanded, one to bring a seal of clay (as a sign of Avdus [see Tosfos DH 'Chosem']), the other, a seal of gold. If both failed to carry out their instructions, it is obvious that the sin of the first one is the graver of the two, seeing as (since it is so much easier to obtain a clay seal than a golden one), he really has no excuse for not having obeyed his instructions.

(a) In another Beraisa, Rebbi Meir obligates the reciting of a hundred B'rachos daily. And he derives this from the Pasuk "ve'Atah Yisrael, Mah Hashem Elokecha Sho'el me'Imach" - since the word "Mah" can also be read as 'Me'ah' (meaning a hundred [see also Tosfos DH 'Sho'el').

(b) Rav Chiya b'rei de'Rav Ivya suggests that one supplements the missing B'rachos (caused by the shorter Amidah) - by smelling spices and eating sweets during the course of the day.

(c) Rebbi Meir adds three B'rachos to the Seider ha'Yom. Two of them are 'she'As'ani Yisrael' and 'she'Lo As'ani Ishah'. The third is - 'she'Lo As'ani Bur' (an inferior type of Am-ha'Aretz).

(a) When Rav Acha bar Ya'akov heard his son recite the last B'rachah, he objected - on the grounds that this is nothing to thank Hashem for (seeing as it lies in one's own hands whether to become one or not). Alternatively, unlike a Nochri and a woman) a Bur is Chayav all the Mitzvos, just like a Talmid-Chacham in which case it has no place in a list together with them).

(b) He therefore replaced it with - 'she'Lo As'ani Aved'.

(c) The problem with that is - that it resembles the B'rachah 'she'Lo As'ani Ishah' (seeing as a woman is a Shifchah to her husband just like an Eved is to his master).

(d) We answer this with 'Zil T'fei', meaning that the Avdus of an Eved is more degrading than that of a woman. Alternatively - it should be read 'Zil Tafi', which will mean - 'Go and add it (anyway)' in order to help complement the hundred B'rachos.

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