Thursday, September 18, 2008

Berachos 4b - Part 3

Statement of Rabbi Elazar: Rabbi Elazar says in the name of Rabbi Avina - One who says Tehillah L'Dovid three times a day it is guaranteed that he is a ben olam haba.

Question: What is the reason?

Answer #1: If you say it is because it follows the order of the alef beis why not say Ashrei Temimei Derech which follows the alef beis 8 times?

Answer #2: Rather it is because of the passuk of poseach es yadecha. If so, why not say hallel hagadol which says nosen lechem l'chol basar?

Answer #3: Rather it is because it has both factors within it.

Statement of Rabbi Yochanon: Why doesn't it say a pasuk for the letter nun in Ashrei? Because that letter contains the downfall of the enemies of Israel as it says Naflah Lo Sosif Kum Besulas Yisrael.

Statement from the West: In the west they explain that pasuk to mean that she fell but she no longer falls and she gets up the besulas yisrael.

Concluding thought of the gemara: The gemara concludes that nevertheless, even though nun is left out, King David does include it and supports the fallen b'ruach hakodesh when he writes somech Hashem l'chol hanoflim.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Berachos 4b - Part 2

The Gemara quotes the previous baraissa:

The Master said: One recites Krias Shma and then davens [maariv].

The Gemara says that this baraissa supports R' Yochanan's opinion that "Who is a ben olam haba? One who is somech geulah to tefillah of maariv.

The Gemara quotes R' Yochanan and then cites Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levy who argues. He says that tefillos were made to be "in the middle" [surrounded by krias shma].

Question: The Gemara asks, what is the source of this dispute?

The Gemara offers two answers to this question. One is based on pesukim and the other on sevara.

Answer #1 (Sevara): R' Yochanan holds that there was a geulah at night, only that the main geulah was in the morning. R' Yehoshua ben Levy on the other hand holds that since the main geulah was in the morning so that is the only geulah that counts.

Answer #2 (Pesukim): Both of them darshen the pasuk of b'shachbecha u'vekumecha. R' Yochanan says that going to sleep is compared to getting up that just like by getting up we are somech geulah l'tefillah - so too by going to sleep. R' Yehoshua ben Levy says that just like by getting up shma is said close to bedtime so too by going to sleep shma is said close to bedtime.

Mar Breih D'Ravina now asks a question based on the Mishna later on 11a.

Mishna: In the evening one makes two berachos before [shma] and two berachos after.

Question: How is it that we are being somech geulah l'tefillah in maariv? Isn't the beracha of Hashkivenu an interruption?

Answer: Once the Rabbis instituted Hashkivenu it all becomes part of a "lengthened" mentioning of geulah. It is a geulah arichta.

The gemara proves this sevara from a statement of R' Yochanan.

Statement of R' Yochanan: First [in shemoneh esrai] on says Hashem Sefasai and at the end he says yihiyu l'ratzon.

Proof from R' Yochanan's Statement: If one is saying Hashem Sefasai in Shacharis so how is he being somech geulah l'tefillah? One must answer that once the Rabbis instituted Hashem Sefasai it becomes part of a lengthened tefillah. So too, by Hashkivenu it becomes part of a lengthened geulah.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Berachos 4a - Part 5, Berachos 4b - Part 1

In the Mishna the Chachamim said that one reads Shema until chatzos. The gemara asks:

Question: Who do the chachamim follow? If they follow R' Eliezer let them say like him? And, if the follow Rabban Gamliel let them say like him?

Answer: They actually follow Rabban Gamliel. They only say that you have until chatzos in order to distance one from aveirah. This is as we learned in a beraissa:

Beraissa: The Chachamim made a fence for their words in order that a person shouldn't come from the field in the evening and say let me eat, drink, and sleep a little and then I will say Shema and daven. Then he will be grabbed by sleep and it will turn out that he has slept all night. Rather one should come from the field in the evening and enter the shul - if he usually reads he should read, if he usually learns he should learn and he should read shema and daven and eat his bread and bentch. And anyone who transgresses the words of the sages is liable to death.

The Gemara asks on the Beraissa:

Question: Why only here does the beraissa specify the death penalty?

Answer # 1: Because there is the chance of accidentally falling asleep.

Answer # 2: We are trying to go against the one who says that davening maariv is a reshus. This beraissa comes to teach it is an obligation.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Berachos 4a - Part 4

Question: The gemara previously quoted a pasuk (Tehillim 86) where King David refers to himself as a chassid. The gemara now questions this based on a pasuk in Tehillim 27 where King David says, "lulei he'emanti l'ros b'tuv Hashem". It was taught in the name of Rabbi Yossi - why are there nekudos on top of lulei? The idea is that King David says, "I am certain that You give reward to tzaddikim in the future. I am not certain if I am amongst them." Thus, it would seem that King David didn't consider himself a chassid!?

Answer: The Gemara answers that King David was afraid that he may sin in the future. This follows the teaching of R' Yaakov bar Iddi.

Teaching of R' Yaakov bar Iddi: There is a contradiction. In one pasuk (Beraishis 28) Hashem says He is guarding and protecting Yaakov Avinu. In another pasuk (Beraishis 32) it says that Yaakov was very afraid. The answer is that Yaakov was worried of of future sin.

This is as we find in a Baraissa.

Baraissa: The pasuk in Az Yashir (Shemos 15) says "ad yaavor amcha Hashem ad yaavor am zu kanissa". The first ad yaavor is the first entering into Israel. The second refers to the second entering into Israel. From this the Chachmim said that the Jews in the time of Ezra would've been worthy of miracles like the Jews in the time of Yehoshua. The only reason that they weren't was due to sin.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Berachos 4a - Part 3

Rav Ashi offers a 3rd answer to why Moshe Rabbeinu said "k'chatzos" if he really knew exactly when midnight was:

Answer # 3: It was actually the midnight of the 13th going into the 14th and Moshe said to the Jews that Hashem says that tomorrow at midnight, like right now, I will go out into Mitzrayim.

The Gemara now analyzes a pasuk in Tehillim 86. In the pasuk King David states that he is a chassid. Levy and R' Yitzchak argue about how to interperet this pasuk:

Opinion # 1: King David says to Hashem, "Master of the Universe, Am I a not a chassid? For all the kings of the east and the west sleep three hours into the day and "I awaken at chatzos to praise you" (Tehillim 119).

Opinion # 2: King David says to Hashem, "Master of the Universe, Am I not a chassid? For all the kings of the east and the west sit in groups of honor, while I sit with my hands in blood and afterbirth in order to make a woman tehorah for her husband. And not only that, but everything I do I decide with Mephiboshes my Rebbi. And I say to him, "Meshiboshes my Rebbi, have I judged properly? Have I been mechayev properly? Have I declared innocence properly? Have I been metaher properly? Have I been metamei properly?" And I was never embarrassed.

R' Yehoshua the son of R' Iddi asks:

what is the meaning of the pasuk in Tehillim 119 which says regarding King David "And I will speak your testaments before kings and I am won't be embarrassed"?


His name wasn't Mephiboshes but, rather, Ish Boshes. Why was he called Mephiboshes? Because he embarrassed King David in halacha. Therefore David merited and Kilav descended from him.

And R' Yochanan says:

His name wasn't really Kilav, but Daniel. And why was he called Kilav? Because he embarrassed Mephiboshes in halacha. Shlomo in his wisdom said about him, "Son, if your heart is wise let my heart also rejoice" (Mishlei 23) and "My wise son and my heart is happy and I will respond with a sharp thing" (Mishlei 27).

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Berachos 4a - Part 2

The Gemara previously asked how King David could know precisely when midnight was, when even Moshe Rabbeinu didn't know this. The gemara now presents a second answer to this question.

Second Answer: Rabbi Zeira says, In reality both Moshe Rabbeinu and King David knew precisely when chatzos was. If so we are left with two questions:

Question #1: Why did King David need the harp?

Answer: It was like an alarm clock that woke him up.

Question #2: Why did Moshe Rabbeinu say "at around midnight" which implies he didn't know exactly when midnight was?

Answer: Moshe did know. However, the astrologers of Pharoah may not have known and they would say Moshe was a liar. This follows Mar's statement: Train your tongue to say "I don't know" for otherwise you may be grabbed as a liar.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Berachos 3b - Part 6, Berachos 4a - Part 1

The gemara previously stated that the servants of King David asked Achitofel, the Sanhedrin, and the Urim V'Tumim about going out to war.

Rav Yosef brings a pasuk to support this. The pasuk in Divrei HaYamim Alef 27 lists Achitofel, Benayahu ben Yehoyada, Evyasar, and then the general Yoav. Achitofel is the adviser. This is clear from a pasuk in Shmuel Beis 16 that says that Achitofel's advice was sought after like the word of God. Benayahu ben Yehoyada refers to the Sanhedrin. Evyasar refers to the Urim V'Tumim. There is also a pasuk along these lines in Shmuel Beis 20 that says that Benayahu ben Yehoyada was over the "Kreisi U'pleisi". They are called the Kreisi U'pleisi because their words of clear-cut (kreisi) and amazing (pleisi). After them came the general to the king, Yoav.

Rav Yitzchak bar Abba, and some say Rav Yitzchak bar Rav Iddi, now asks, what pasuk tells us about the harp that woke up King David? It is the pasuk in Tehillim 27 which says that the harp awakens him in the morning.