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 FORGOT TO RECITE A BLESSING BEFORE EATING
QUESTION: Rav Chisda was asked, if someone already ate and did not recite a
blessing, should he still recite a blessing? Rav Chisda answered, "Should
one who ate garlic and whose breath has a foul smell eat more garlic in
order for his breath to have a fouler smell?" Ravina said, "Therefore, even
if one has finished his meal, he may go back and recite the blessing."
2) HALACHAH: COVERING ONE'S HEAD FOR BLESSINGS
Rashi explains Rav Chisda's answer as saying that if he did something wrong
by not saying a blessing before he eat, how can he do something else wrong
and recite a Berachah le'Vatalah. According to Rashi's explanation of Rav
Chisda, what is Ravina's "therefore?" Ravina is saying the opposite of what
Rav Chisda answered!
(a) The MAHARSHA alters the text of Rashi and explains that Rashi means to
say that one should not commit a second wrongdoing by not saying a blessing
before he *continues* eating. That is, Rav Chisda agrees that it is
required to say a blessing even after one has eaten without a blessing.
Accordingly, the P'NEI YEHOSHUA says that the words in Rashi, "v'Ya'aseh
Berachah le'Vatalah" belong later (in the end of DH Mahu she'Yachzor).
(b) The VILNA GA'ON (in Imrei Noam) suggests that according to our text of
Rashi, Rashi must not have had the word "Hilkach" ("therefore") in the
Gemara. Ravina is actually arguing with Rav Chisda and saying that one may
recite a blessing even though he has finished eating. (The TZELACH suggests
a similar explanation.)
OPINIONS: The Gemara mentions ten things which a Kos Shel Berachah
requires. One of those ten things is "Ituf" (lit. "wrapping"). In
explaining what "Ituf" is, the Gemara says that Rav Papa would wrap himself
(in a Talis, Rashi), and Rav Asi would wrap a turban around his head.
According to the Rishonim (see TOSFOS DH Ein Lanu and ROSH 7:35) that say
that one should be careful to practice all of the things that are discussed
in the Gemara, how do we fulfill the concept of "Ituf?"
(a) RABEINU YERUCHAM, cited in the Beis Yosef (OC 183) says that one must
"place a head covering on his head because it is forbidden to recite a
blessing with an uncovered head."
HALACHAH: The MISHNAH BERURAH (OC 183:11) cites the MAGEN AVRAHAM who says,
citing the BACH that a G-d-fearing person should wear a hat when he recites
Birkas ha'Mazon, and that some also have the practice to put on their
jacket (like Rav Papa's "Ituf").
(b) The BEIS YOSEF asks that this cannot be what "Ituf" means, because if
so, it applies to *all* blessings, and not just Kos Shel Berachah. Why did
the Gemara mention it specifically with regard to Kos Shel Berachah? The
Beis Yosef therefore explains that "Ituf" refers to a respectable covering
that is placed on top of the regular head covering, which people who stand
other blessings, one needs only the regular head covering (such as the
Kipah that we wear today), while for Birkas ha'Mazon on a cup of wine, one
should wear the more respectable head covering (such as a hat) over the
regular one. The PERISHAH (OC 183:15) refers to the Beis Yosef earlier in
Orach Chaim (OC 8) who writes that the reason for this head covering is
that it serves as an expression of "modesty [while one stands before
Hashem], and it inspires him to humble himself, and it brings him to the
fear of Hashem," because by putting on a respectable head covering, one
performs a concrete action that shows that he is standing before the Holy
3) "A CUP OF PUNISHMENT"
QUESTION: The Gemara says that a person should not make Birkas ha'Zimun on
a second cup of wine, because if a person drinks two cups of wine the
Mazikin could harm him, and one should not recite a blessing on an emissary
4) THE ORDER OF BLESSINGS IN HAVDALAH
The Gemara in Pesachim (109b) says that when a person says Birkas ha'Mazon
on the night of the Pesach Seder, he recites it over the third cup of wine.
The Gemara there says that the cup of wine over which he recites Birkas
ha'Mazon serves to make it as if he drank three cups, and thus he is not
reciting Birkas ha'Mazon on an even number (which would arouse the
Mazikin). If so, in our Gemara, if he drank two cups and no he wants to
make Birkas ha'Zimun on a third cup, why should he not be able to?
(a) RABEINU YONAH answers that on Pesach night, one is *obligated* to drink
the third cup (because of the Mitzvah of Arbah Kosos, the Four Cups; even
if one has no wine, he is obligated to take from charity). Here, though,
the obligation to drink the third cup is not of the same severity (because
if one does not have wine upon which to recite Birkas ha'Mazon, then he has
no obligation to beg for wine). Since he does not have an unavoidable
obligation to drink the third cup upon which he recites Birkas ha'Mazon, it
does not join the other two to make it as if he drank three.
(b) RABEINU YONAH cites another answer. When one drinks the third cup, then
he will not have consumed an even number. Right now, though, before he
recites Birkas ha'Mazon over a third cup, he *has* consumed an even number
of cups. He will therefore be worried about the Mazikin harming him and he
will not be able to have the proper concentration necessary to recite
Birkas ha'Mazon on behalf of others. Thus, the Gemara is not saying that he
may not recite Birkas ha'Mazon at all if he drank two cups. Rather, it is
saying that he may not recite it *on behalf of others* (to be Motzi them),
because he will not concentrate properly since he drank two cups and is
worried about the Mazikin harming him (until he drinks the third).
(c) The RITVA answers that if he drank only one cup, he should not say
Birkas ha'Mazon and drink a second cup, because then he will have consumed
an even number.
According to the Mishnah, Beis Shamai and Beis Hillel argue concerning the
order of blessings in Havdalah on Motza'ei Shabbos, when one is also saying
Birkas ha'Mazon ("Mazon") on the same cup of wine on which he is saying
Havdalah. Both agree that the blessing on the flame ("Ner") comes first,
and the blessing of Havdalah comes last. They argue about the order of the
two middle blessings, Birkas ha'Mazon and the blessing on the spices
According to the Beraisa on 52a, the argument is whether the blessing for
Besamim comes before Ner (Beis Hillel) or Ner comes before Besamim (Beis
The Gemara does not offer any explanation for these arguments. What is the
reasoning behind each opinion?
(a) Regarding the argument in the Mishnah, the TALMIDEI RABEINU YONAH
explain that everyone agrees that Ner is first because it is the first
thing that one benefits from on Motza'ei Shabbos, when it becomes dark and
one needs the light. Beis Shamai maintains that the blessing for Mazon
comes next because since one is now finishing the meal, he has an immediate
obligation to recite Birkas ha'Mazon. Since the Besamim are included only
for the sake of one's parting Neshamah Yeseirah (and is not an essential,
intrinsic part of Havdalah), it can wait until after Mazon. Beis Hillel, on
the other hand, maintains that the blessing for Besamim should be recited
immediately after Ner because -- being one of the blessings said as part of
the Motza'ei Shabbos Havdalah service -- it naturally deserves to be
associated with Ner, and we delay Birkas ha'Mazon until afterward. They
both agree that the blessing of Havdalah comes last because of the reason
given in the Gemara (52a) that it is best to delay the departure of
(b) We may explain the argument as recorded by the Beraisa as follows. Beis
Shamai maintains that the Ner comes first because it is dark and one is
already gaining benefit from the flame, as stated above. Beis Hillel
maintains that Besamim comes first because of the rule, "Tadir u'sh'Eino
Tadir, Tadir Kodem." Since one may smell Besamim and enjoy their aroma and
recite a blessing throughout the week, while one may not recite a blessing
on a flame except on Motza'ei Shabbos during Havdalah, Besamim are
considered "Tadir," or more frequent. (M. Kornfeld)