ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous dafBerachos 43
(a) According to Rebbi Yochanan, if a group of people recline whilst
drinking wine, one person will recite a Berachah for all of them;
otherwise, each person has to recite the Berachah himself.
(b) Rav holds either that for wine, reclining is *not necessary* to combine
them into one group, or that it is *ineffective* (so that each person will
have to recite his own Berachah, even if they are reclining.
(c) They used to wash one hand before the meal, because, before they even
entered the dining-room, the guests (comprising poor people) would gather
in the lobby and be served wine, so they would wash the hand with which
they intended to drink.
(d) Nevertheless, they would still be required to wash both hands for the
(a) They did not combine for the Berachah over wine, because they intended
moving into another room (of which their not leaning was indicative).
Consequently, their drinking was not a fixture.
(b) Leaning is only effective in the Seifa, to combine them into one group
for wine, because it also combined them into one group for the meal, so we
apply the principle of 'Migu' (*since* leaning helps for the meal, it also
helps for wine).
(c) Ben Zoma replied that in the middle of the meal everyone is busy
eating, and will not pay attention to the Berachah of the individual who is
(a) When two Berachos customarily follow each other, then whoever is
honored with reciting the one, automatically earns the right to recite the
other (in the vein of 'ha'Maschil be'Mitzvah Omrim Lo Gemor'), like we find
by Bensching, where the person who washes Mayim Acharonim first (of the
last five) automatically receives the honor of Bensching 'Mezuman'.
(b) Rebbi instructed Rav to wash his hands. Rav thought that maybe his
hands were dirty, or that maybe he was eating too long.
(c) What Rebbi *really* meant was that Rav should now wash (first of the
last five) in order that *he* should be the one to Bensch 'Mezuman' - a
(a) One recites a Berachah over incense as soon as the smoke rises from it.
(b) Rebbi Zeira was concerned that, at that stage, he had not yet derived
benefit from it (perhaps he thought that, since the benefit of smelling is
so minimal and short-lived [which is why it does not require a Berachah
Acharonah], one needs to actually benefit before reciting the Berachah).
(c) They allayed his concern by reminding him, that with food, one also
recites the Berachah only *after* having benefited (and there was no source
to differentiate between the two).
(a)&(b) The Gemara first thought that over all types of incense, one
recites 'Borei *Atzei* Besamim' with the exception of Musk, which comes
from the dung of a deer, over which the correct Berachah is 'Borei *Minei*
(c) The Gemara refutes the above contention by quoting a Beraisa, which
writes that one recites 'Borei *Minei* Besamim' only over those types of
Besamim where the actual wood is brought to the table (such as the highly
exquisite and expensive Afarsemon that was brought before Rebbi and the
Emperor), or over myrtle twigs.
(d) Rav Yehudah would recite 'Borei Shemen Artzeinu', because he was
particularly fond of Eretz Yisrael.
The Berachah that *we* recite over Afarsemon oil is 'Borei Shemen Oreiv'.
(a) Yes! The Gemara concludes that one always recites 'Borei Atzei Besamim'
over Kosht, even if it has been soaked in oil, or ground.
(b)&(c) The correct Berachah over both jasmin and lavender is 'Borei Atzei
Besamim'. The latter is called 'Eitz' (despite the fact that it grows as a
stalk, and not in the form of a tree, because it is similar (in this
regard) to flax, which grows as stalks, yet the Pasuk in Yehoshua refers to
it as a tree ("va'Titmeneim be'Fishtei ha'Eitz".)
(a) The correct Berachah over a garden-lily is 'Borei Atzei Besamim'...
The obligation to recite a Berachah over smelling is derived from the last
Pasuk in Tehilim: "Kol ha'Neshamah Tehalel Kah". What is it that gives *the
Soul* pleasure (but not the body), if not the sense of smell!
(b) ... whereas over a field-lily one recites 'Borei Isvei Besamim'
(because the former, which is watered, is a more perfect and longer-lasting
(c) The appropriate Berachah over an Esrog or a quince is 'Asher Nasan
Rei'ach Tov ba'Peiros'.
(d) The Berachah 'Asher Lo Chisar be'Olamo Kelum' etc. is the Berachah that
one recites in Nisan, when one sees fruit-trees in blossom for the first
(a) "Hi Mutzeis" is written in connection with Tamar, who was being taken
out to be burnt, because of Yehudah's ruling that a Bas Kohen who committed
adultery, must be put to death by burning (and she preferred to suffer this
sentence rather than divulge publicly that, in fact, Yehudah was the man
from whom she was pregnant).
(b) We learn from Tamar, that one should rather cast oneself into a burning
furnace than put another Jew to shame.
(a) Rabban Gamliel ruled like Beis Shamai, who gave precedence to washing
with oil over smelling the myrtle-twig, because, he argued, the oil is used
both for smelling and for anointing, whereas the myrtle-twig is confined to
(b) According to our text in the Gemara (see Tosfos d.h. 'Hachi'), Rav Papa
quoted Rava as saying 'Halachah ke'Beis Hillel', not because he heard this
from him, but because he was embarrassed at having ruled like Beis Hillel,
in spite of Rabban Gamliel's ruling to the contrary.
(a) The wine we are talking about is not the Kos shel Berachah (of
Bensching - which one would obviously hold in one's right hand, and over
which one would recite the Berachah ), but the wine brought at the end of
the meal. Since one always holds the object over which he intends to recite
the Berachah in one's right hand, it therefore follows that, since he is
holding the oil in his right hand, then he will first recite the Berachah
over the oil.
(b) Beis Hillel maintain that one holds the wine in one's right hand, and
that it is the wine that therefore takes precedence regarding the Berachah.
The oil that remains on one's fingers, one then rubs off on the Shamash's
(c) If the Shamash is a Talmid-Chacham, then he rubs off the oil on the
wall (today, of course, we have alternative - and more sophisticated - ways
of wiping one's hands clean.
This will not be the Halachah according to the opinion which holds that the
hair has the same Din as one's clothes (regarding a Talmid-Chacham going
out into the street with them perfumed, as we shall soon see) In which
case, a Shamash-Talmid Chacham will be no different than a Shamash-Am
(d) A Talmid Chacham is permitted to go out with perfumed clothes, and,
according to some, even with perfumed hair, because the perfume is needed
to remove the perspiration, and is not therefore considered disgusting.
(a) It is forbidden to go out alone at night or to speak to a woman in the
street, because, in both cases, people will suspect him of immoral
(b) A Talmid-Chacham may however, go to a regular night-Shiur on his own,
because everybody knows where he is going.
He may not however, speak with *any* woman in the street - even to his
closest relative - because not everybody knows of his realtionship with the
woman he is talking to, (If today, everyone tends to recognize everybody
else's wives and daughters, it only goes to reflect a decline in the
general levels of Tzeni'us.)
(c) He is forbidden to go with torn shoes, because a Talmid-Chacham should
always look respectable, so it is a disgrace for him to walk with torn
He is however, permitted to go in the street with a single patch, or even
with a double patch on the heel (only a double-patch on the front of the
shoe is forbidden). Nor does the prohibition apply in the winter, when the
mud (in those days, rain would inevitably leave the roads muddy) would hide
(a) A Talmid-Chacham who sits in a gathering of Amei ha'Aretz, may well
take his from them - to behave in a manner that is unbecoming for a Talmid
(b) He should not take large steps, because it causes a person to lose one
five hundredth of his eyesight (though it is not clear, in that case, why
the prohibition is confined to Talmidei-Chachamim.)
(c) The antidote for someone whose eyesight deteriorates due to the large
steps he takes, is to drink the wine of Kidush on Friday night.
(d) And he should not walk with his head held high, as this drives away the
Shechinah, about which the Pasuk writes "Melo Chol ha'Aretz Kevodo".
(Again, it is not clear why this prohibition, like the last one, is
confined to Talmidei-Chachamim).