THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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1) ONE'S ESOPHAGUS IS NOT FREE WHILE HE EATS
OPINIONS: The Mishnah says that in the middle of a meal, each person should
recite his own blessing over wine and not be exempted by one person
reciting the blessing for everyone. Ben Zoma in the Gemara explains that
the reason is because during the meal, "a person's esophagus is not free."
What does this mean?
(a) RASHI explains that when people are eating, they are not paying
attention and they will not hear the blessing that is recited on behalf of
HALACHAH: The Rishonim discuss the possibility of having one person get
everyone's attention in order to recite a blessing for them. By getting
their attention, they will stop eating and will not have food in their
esophagus (see Tosfos DH Ho'il).
(b) The ROSH (6:29) explains that when they are eating, people are not
permitted to speak (see Shulchan Aruch OC 170:1), and thus they may not say
"Amen" to the blessing if another person recites a blessing for them. Even
though they could be exempted from the Berachah by merely hearing the
blessing and not saying "Amen," nevertheless another person may not recite
a blessing for them during the meal because they *might* say "Amen" and
(a) The TUR (OC 174) says that this Halachah depends on these two opinions
of Rashi and the Rosh. The Tur's logic seems to be as follows: According to
Rashi, one may, l'Chatchilah, get everyone's attention in order for them to
stop eating while one recites a blessing for them. According to the Rosh,
though, we are worried that even though the one reciting the Berachah has
everyone's attention during the Berachah, the people will continue to eat
as soon as it is finished (before they answer Amen) and by doing so they
may endanger themselves.
The REMA (OC 174:8) rules leniently, that if one gets the attention of
those dining at the meal, he may recite a blessing on their behalf.
(b) RABEINU ELCHANAN (Tosfos DH Ho'il), however, says that even according
to Rashi, it will not help to get their attention because the Rabanan made
an unconditional decree that one not recite a blessing for others during a
meal ("Lo P'lug Rabanan").
2) HALACHAH: THE BLESSING FOR BLOSSOMING FRUIT TREES
Rav Yehudah says that if one sees blossoming fruit trees during the month
of Nisan, he recites a special blessing. What conditions are necessary in
order to recite this blessing?
3) LYING TO SAVE FACE
(a) The HILCHOS KETANOS (2:28), cited by the BE'ER HEITEV (OC 226:1), rules
that one recites this blessing only for a tree that bears edible fruit.
(b) Although the Gemara says that one recites the blessing when he sees the
tree during the month of Nisan, the Acharonim point out that this blessing
applies *whenever* one sees a blossoming fruit tree for the first time that
year (MACHTZIS HA'SHEKEL; the BIRKEI YOSEF writes that, based on reasons of
Kabalistic nature, one should recite this blessing specifically during the
month of Nisan). Some rule that one may recite the blessing even after the
fruit has grown (VILNA GA'ON 226:2).
Why, then, does the Gemara mention the month of Nisan? Because this is when
an abundance of trees are blossoming. (Possibly, the Gemara means that one
should not recite the blessing for the early bloomers.) Accordingly, one
who lives in South Africa could certainly say the blessing in Tishrei,
which is when the first fruit trees blossom in that climate.
(c) The later Acharonim say that one should recite the blessing upon seeing
at least *two* blossoming fruit trees together. This is because the Gemara
says, "When one sees *trees* blossoming," in the plural.
QUESTION: Rav Papa said that he heard from his rebbi, Rava, that the
Halachah is like Beis Hilel. According to Rashi (DH v'Lo Hi), Rav Papa
lied in order to save himself from embarrassment.
(1) How could Rav Papa lie?
(2) And how could he make claims in the name of his rebbi which his rebbi
never really said? This question is particularly difficult in light of the
Gemara earlier (27b) that said that one who says things in the name of his
rebbi that he did not really hear causes the Shechinah to depart from the
The same may be asked on the Gemara in Pesachim 112a which says (according
to Rashi's explanantion there) that if a person wants his view to be
accepted, "he should say it in the name of a great person." How can one lie
just to have his opinion accepted?
(1) The P'NEI YEHOSHUA explains that Rav Papa was not entirely lying. Rava
*did* say that the Halachah is like Beis Hilel, although it was not in the
context of our Sugya (rather, he said it regarding a completely different
Halachah in Bava Metzia 43b).
To answer the question from the Gemara in Pesachim (how could one claim
that his rebbi said a certain Halachah in order to give weight to his
opinion?), the KORBAN EIDAH cited by RAV AKIVA EIGER (in Gilyon ha'Shas)
explains that this applies only to teachings of Musar and Aggadah, but not
(2) The Acharonim offer various explanations for Rav Papa's actions, some
disagreeing with Rashi's interpretation of the Gemara:
(a) The TESHUVOS HA'RALBACH explains that if one acted upon his mistake
and, consequently, will be very embarrassed if people know that he erred,
he may save himself from that embarrassment by lying. If one did not
actually conduct himself in practice in accordance with his mistake, then
his embarrassment is not so great and he may *not* lie to save himself from
(b) The P'NEI YEHOSHUA explains that Rav Papa held that the Halachah was
like Beis Hilel and he assumed that his rebbi, Rava, would agree with that
ruling, since he normally ruled like Beis Hilel elsewhere. (This approach
is not like Rashi's approach, who explains that Rav Papa indeed
(c) The RAMA M'PANO explains that Rav Papa was so sure that his ruling was
true that, in his humility, he did not want to take credit for it, and so
he attributed his ruling to Rava.