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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Berachos 54

Perek ha'Ro'eh



(a) When one sees a place where miracles were performed on behalf of Yisrael, one recites 'Baruch ... she'Asah Nisim la'Avoseinu ba'Makom ha'Zeh'.
Note that 'Baruch always incorporates the full text of a Berachah i.e. 'Baruch Ata Hashem' etc.

(b) And on a place where idolatry was destroyed, one recites 'Baruch ... she'Akar Avodah Zarah mei'Artzeinu'.

(c) The Berachah over seeing comets, earthquakes, thunder, storm-winds and lightning is 'Baruch ... she'Kocho u'Gevaraso Malei Olam'.

(d) And over mountains, famous hills, seas, rivers and deserts, Oseh Ma'aseh Bereishis'.

(a) According to Rebbi Yehudah, the correct Berachah for seeing one of the major oceans is 'Baruch ... she'Asa es ha'Yam ha'Gadol'.

(b) Over the first rains and good news one recites 'Baruch ... ha'Tov ve'ha'Meitiv'.

(c) And over bad news 'Baruch ... Dayan ha'Emes'.

(d) Over a new house or new utensils one recites 'Baruch ... Shehechiyanu' etc.

(a) The Mishnah gives two examples of 'ha'Tzo'ek le'she'Avar': A man who prays that his pregnant wife should give birth to a boy (which would require a *hidden* miracle to change); and one who prays that the scream that he heard as he approached the town, should not have emanated from his house (which would require an *open* one).

(b) A retroactive Tefilah is worthless.

(c) Someone who is about to pass through a town of wicked leaders from whom he anticipates trouble, requests from Hashem before he enters, that he should enter in peace, and before he leaves, that he should leave in peace.

(d) According to Ben Azai, he prays before he enters that he should enter in peace, and when he has entered, he thanks Hashem for granting him a successful entry.
Before leaving, he prays to Hashem for a successful departure, and, when he has left, he thanks Him for that.

(a) "be'Chol Levavcha" means with both 'hearts', or inclinations, the good and the bad (meaning that one should also utilize one's bad character-traits to serve Hashem, or that one works on them to break them).

(b) "Be'Chol Nafshecha" means with all one's soul, or one's life, meaning that a Jew should be willing to give up his life for Hashem, should the need arise.

(c) "be'Chol Me'odecha" means: either with all one's money (property) - to give everything that one possesses in the service of Hashem (i.e. to lose all that one owns if necessary, in order not to transgress a Lo Sa'aseh - but not to fulfil an Asei);
or it means to be grateful to Hashem for whatever measure Hashem metes out to oneself - to be literally happy with one's lot, whatever it might be.

(a) By 'Sha'ar ha'Mizrach', the Mishnah means the outer wall of the Har ha'Bayis, which is the Easternmost gate of the Beis Hamikdash.

(b) The reason for the prohibition (not to be lightheaded in front of the Eastern-gate) is because all the six gates of the Beis Hamikdash (the Har ha'Bayis, the Ezras Nashim, the Ezras Yisrael, the Ulam, the Heichal and the Kodesh Kodoshim) were in line. Consequently, someone who behaved in a light-headed manner in front of the Eastern-gate, was doing so facing the entrance of the Kodesh Kodoshim.

(c) One should not enter the Har ha'Bayis with one's stick, one's shoes, one's money-belt, or the dust on one's feet.

(d) One should not take a short-cut through the Har ha'Bayis, and certainly not spit.

(a) Ezra and his Beis-Din changed the text from 'Min ha'Olam' to 'Min ha'Olam ve'Ad ha'Olam'. This to counter the Apikorsim, who claimed that there is only one world (denying the World to Come) and proving their point from the wording 'Min ha'Olam'.

(b) They also introduced the novelty of greeting with the Name of Hashem, which they learnt from Gid'on, and from the Angel who spoke to Boaz.

(c) "Eis La'asos la'Hashem, Hefeiru Torasecha" means that sometimes, one needs to break Torah in order to safeguard it (this refers only to Chazal, but not to individuals).

(d) It is disrespectful to use Hashem's Holy Name for greeting one's friends. Yet it is Hashem's wish that we pursue peace, so, in pursuit of peace, Chazal permitted the use of Hashem's Name - like the Kohen, who would blot out Hashem's Holy Name, in order to reunite a Sotah with her husband, to make peace between husband and wife.

(a) We learn the obligation to recite a Berachah when passing a place where a miracle occured, from Yisro, who said "Baruch Hashem, Asher Hitzil Eschem" etc., referring to the miracles of Egypt.

(b) Whoever passes the spot where a national miracle was performed, is obligated to recite the Berachah; whereas in the case of a private miracle, it is only the beneficiary of the miracle, his children and his grandchildren who recite the Berachah.




(a) Vaheiv and Sufah, two Metzora'im, discovered the remains of the Amori'im who had been hiding in caves above the mountain pass, waiting for Yisrael to pass by below, in order to shoot at them from above and to kill them. However, when the Aron (which traveled three days ahead of Yisrael) arrived, Hashem performed a miracle, by moving the two mountains together, so that the juttings of the one, entered the corresponding caves of the other, crushing the waiting Amori'im, and sending their crushed remains down into the valley below, as the two mountains parted and returned to their places.

(b) The Avnei Elgavish' were the final fall of hail-stones which fell during the plague of hail in Egypt, and which did not reach the earth when Moshe prayed for the plague to cease. They stopped in mid-air, where they remained suspended, until the days of Yehoshua, when they fell upon the enemy as they fled.
"Elgavish" is the acronym of 'Al Gav Ish', and refers to Moshe and Yehoshua, who are both referred to as 'Ish'. They stopped at the bidding of Moshe, and they finished their descent at the bidding of Yehoshua.

(c) When Og perceived the Camp of Yisrael, three Parsah (= twelve Mil) by three Parsah, he uprooted a mountain of that size (See Maharsha, who explains that the Gemara cannot be taken literally, and who therefore explains it allegorically), in order to throw it down on Yisrael and kill them all. But Hashem intervened; He first sent ants to eat a hole in the mountain, which then fell around Og's neck, and then extended his teeth, to hook round the mountain, so that Og was unable to lift it off. Moshe was now able to come and kill him without interference.

(d) Moshe himself was ten Amos tall. He jumped ten Amos into the air, and his arm with the extended sword caught Og on his ankle, killing him (according to the Medrash, Og then fell, enabling Moshe to sever his head).

(a) "va'Tipol ha'Chomah *Tachteha*" implies that the wall sunk into the ground.

(b) Upon seeing Lot's wife, one recites two Berachos: 'Baruch ... Dayan ha'Emes' (meaning 'Blessed be ... the Judge of truth'), and 'Baruch ... Zocher Tzadikim', because of Lot who was saved.

(c) The Tzadik in this Berachah refers, not to Lot (who was not a Tzadik), but to Avraham, on whose merit Lot was saved.

(d) Although "va'Tipol" implies that the walls of Yericho toppled over, this is not so, since the Torah uses the word "Tachteha", which means that they sunk into the ground, as we explained earlier. In any case, the walls were so thick, that they were actually square, in which case, even if they had fallen, it would not have been noticeable (as it normally is, when large stones topple over on to their sides). Consequently, we take "Tachteha" literally, but not 'va'Tipol".

(a) The four people who need to thank Hashem after their redemption, are someone who ...
1. ... came up from the Sea;
2. ... traversed a desert;
3. ... recovered from an illness:
4. ... came out of prison.
The commentaries give a Si'man for them, in the word ve'Chol ha'*Chayim* Yoducha Sela - which is the acronym of '*Ch*avush, *Y*am, *Y*isurin and *M*idbar.
They all need to recite 'Baruch ... ha'Gomeil le'Chayavim, Tovos, she'Gemalani Kol Tov'.

(b) From "vi'Yeromemuhu bi'*Kehal* Am" we learn, that this Berachah must be recited in front of ten people.

(c) And from "u've'Moshav Zekeinim Yehaleluhu", that at least two of the ten should be Talmidei-Chachamim.

(d) All ten do not need to be Talmidei-Chachamim, because then the Pasuk should have written ... "bi'Kehal *Zekeinim*", rather than "bi'Kehal *Am*".

(e) The Gemara does not know why we do not require two Talmidei-Chachamim *over and above* the ten people.

(a) Rav Yehudah's comment was that Rav Chanah Bagdesa'ah and the Rabbanan had exempted *him* from having to recite Birchas ha'Gomel, since they had recited it for him.

(b) At least ten people must have been present, for Birchas ha'Gomel to have been effective.

(c) Rav Yehudah would be Yotze with the Birchas ha'Gomel recited by others, providd he answered 'Amen' (though not through 'Shomei'a ke'Oneh').

(a) Some opinions add to the list of people who need guarding, a woman who has given birth, a mourner and a Talmid-Chacham at night-time (it is not clear why specifically at night-time; Rashi however, does not appear to have those words in his text).

(b) All of these require guarding from the demons.

(c) The demons are jealous of the Chasan, the Kalah, and of the Talmid-Chacham. whereas he takes advantage of a sick person, a mourner and a woman who has given birth, all of whose Mazel is down.

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