THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
Ask A Question about the Daf
1) BEIN HA'SHEMASHOS
QUESTION: The Gemara quotes a Beraisa in which Rebbi Yehudah states that an
average person can walk 10 Parsa'os (40 Mil) in one day. He adds that in the
time between Amud ha'Shachar (dawn) and Hanetz ha'Chamah (sunrise), and in
the time between Sheki'ah (sunset) and Tzeis ha'Kochavim (nightfall) a
person can walk 4 Mil.
2) HALACHAH: THE TIME THAT IT TAKES TO WALK ONE "MIL"
This implies that according to Rebbi Yehudah, Bein ha'Shemashos (the period
of time between sunset and nightfall) is the time that it takes to walk 4
Mil. However, in Shabbos (34b-35a), Rebbi Yehudah himself holds that Bein
ha'Shemashos is the time that it takes to walk *3/4* of a Mil (according to
Rabah's interpretation of Rebbi Yehudah's opinion there, and 2/3 of a Mil
according to Rav Yosef's interpretation)!
How could Rebbi Yehudah say that the duration of Bein ha'Shemashos is *4*
Mil, when in Shabbos he says that it is only 2/3 or 3/4 of a Mil? How do we
reconcile these two statements of Rebbi Yehudah? (TOSFOS, DH Rebbi Yehudah)
(a) TOSFOS (DH Rebbi Yehudah, and in Shabbos 35a, DH Trei) explains, in the
name of RABEINU TAM, that there is a difference between the Gemara here and
the Gemara in Shabbos. The Gemara here says "*mi'Sheki'as* ha'Chamah," (and
not *mi'Shetishka* ha'Chamah, as it says in the Gemara in Shabbos), and it
is referring to the moment that the sun disappears *from our eyes*. That
point marks the *beginning* of sunset. At that moment, though, it is still
journeying through the firmament (i.e. away from us). When the sun passes
through the entire thickness of the firmament, it is considered to be the
"end of the sunset." This is referred to as "*mi'Shetishka* ha'Chamah."
Shortly afterwards (3/4 Mil), its remaining light disappears altogether and
three stars can be seen.
In summary, the order of events is: (1) the sun disappears from our view,
after which time the sun *begins* to set (2) a period of 3 1/4 Mil (or 3 1/3
according to Rav Yosef) passes, after which the sun has finished setting.
This point marks the start of the Beis ha'Shemashos under discussion in
Shabbos. (3) Then a period of 3/4 Mil (or 2/3 according to Rav Yosef)
passes, after which time the light of the sun has completely disappeared and
the stars come out. According to this, Halachic nightfall does not occur
until long after sunset -- the time it takes to walk 4 Mil. This is the view
of RABEINU TAM.
(b) The VILNA GA'ON (SHENOS ELIYAHU, beginning of Maseches Berachos, and in
BI'UR HA'GRA OC 235 and 261) explains that both here and in Shabbos, the
times mentioned (4 Mil and 3/4 Mil) start from the time that the sun
completely disappears from our view. However, the Gemara here is talking
about a different *Tzeis ha'Kochavim* than the Gemara in Shabbos (and not a
different Sheki'as ha'Chamah, as Rabeinu Tam suggests). Here in Pesachim,
"Tzeis ha'Kochavim" refers to the time at which every last ray of light
disappears from the sky (which is four Mil after sunset), and *all* of the
stars can be seen. In Shabbos, "Tzeis ha'Kochavim" refers to the time at
which *three medium-size stars* can be seen, which is the Halachic
definition of nightfall. (The Gemara here, by contrast, is an Agaddic
discussion and is not referring to the Halachic definition of Tzeis
According to the VILNA GA'ON, then, nightfall occurs shortly after sunset --
the time that it takes to walk 3/4 of a Mil.
(c) The RE'EM (SEFER YER'EI'IM) says that the Gemara here is talking about
both a different Sheki'ah and a different Tzeis ha'Kochavim than the Gemara
in Shabbos. The Gemara here is talking about the period of time from when
the sun sets until the last ray of sunlight disappears. The Gemara in
Shabbos, when it discusses "Bein ha'Shemashos," is talking about the time
*before* the sun has set, the last moment that it is still visible. Bein
ha'Shemashos is a period of 3/4 of a Mil beginning from *before* the sun has
completely set, i.e. while the sun is still visible. Nightfall is when the
sun can no longer be seen, which comes at the end of Bein ha'Shemashos. Our
Gemara is Agaddic and is not discussing Halachic definitions of sunset and
OPINIONS: The Gemara, in many places, expresses a value of time in terms of
how long it takes the average person to walk one Mil. For example, in
Pesachim (46a) the Gemara says that dough becomes Chametz if left without
being baked or handled for the amount of time that it takes to walk one Mil.
The RAMBAM (Hilchos Ma'achalos Asuros 6:10; SHULCHAN ARUCH YD 69:6) says
that in order to remove the blood from meat it must be salted for the amount
of time that it takes to walk one Mil. How long is this time period?
Our Sugya is the basis for ascertaining the length that it takes to walk one
Mil. Ula (93b) states that in one day (the day of the equinox, when daytime
and nighttime are of equal duration), a person can walk 10 Parsa'os, or 40
Mil. However, 5 of these Mil are used for the period between Amud ha'Shachar
and Hanetz ha'Chamah (that is, a person can walk 5 Mil in the time between
dawn and sunrise), and 5 more are used for the period between Sheki'as
ha'Chamah and Tzeis ha'Kochavim. As a result, a person can walk 30 Mil from
Hanetz (sunrise) until Sheki'ah (sunset). If that period is 12 hours long
(720 minutes), then the time that it takes to walk 1 Mil is *24 minutes*
(720 / 30 = 24).
However, the Gemara challenges Ula's opinion from Rebbi Yehudah in a
Beraisa. Rebbi Yehudah says, like Ula, that a person can walk 40 Mil in one
day. However, as Rashi explains, according to Rebbi Yehudah, a person can
walk only 4 Mil, and not 5, between Amud ha'Shachar and Hanetz and between
Sheki'ah and Tzeis ha'Kochavim. If so, that leaves 32 Mil which a person can
walk during the day, between sunrise and sunset. Accordingly, the time that
it takes to walk 1 Mil is *22 1/2 minutes* (720 / 32 = 22.5).
However, there is a different understanding of Rebbi Yehudah's statement in
the Yerushalmi (Berachos 1:1, as cited by the SHENOS ELIYAHU Berachos 1:1
and BI'UR HA'GRA OC 459). When Rebbi Yehudah says that a person can walk 40
Mil in one day, it means 40 Mil from sunrise to sunset. The distance one can
walk from dawn to sunrise (and from sunset to nightfall) is an *additional*
4 Mil, and is not part of the total 40 Mil. Although this creates a much
greater discrepancy between the distance a person walks per day according
to Ula and the distance he walks according to Rebbi Yehudah, on the other
hand, it is much more consistent with Rebbi Yehudah's contention that the
time between Alos and Hanetz is "1/10 of the day" (i.e. of the 12 hours
*between Hanetz and Sheki'ah*). This, then, may be what our Gemara means by
saying "[Ula] made a mistake in counting the time from Hanetz to Sheki'ah,"
when he heard Rebbi Yehudah's statement. That is, Ula thought that the 10
Mils *included* that period, while it actually was *besides* that period
(Vilna Gaon, ibid.). Consequently, according to the Yerushalmi, the time it
takes to walk one Mil is *18 minutes* (720 / 40 = 18).
What is the Halachah?
(a) The BEIS YOSEF (OC 459, and in SHULCHAN ARUCH 459:2) cites the opinion
of the TERUMAS HA'DESHEN who says that the time it takes to walk one Mil is
18 minutes. The Terumas ha'Deshen bases this opinion on our Gemara. Although
he reaches this figure through a different calculation (see Bi'ur ha'Gra,
ibid.), this figure is consistent with the understanding of the Yerushalmi
in Rebbi Yehudah. This is also the ruling of the Rambam at the beginning of
his Perush ha'Mishnayos in Berachos.
HALACHAH: The BI'UR HALACHAH (OC 459:2) writes that when it comes to making
Matzah, we are stringent and consider dough that sat still for 18 minutes to
be considered Chametz. On the other hand, when it comes to salting meat, we
are stringent and consider a Mil to be 24 minutes, and thus require that
meat be salted for at least 24 minutes (that is b'Di'eved; l'Chatchilah,
meat should be salted for at least an hour).
(b) The RAMBAM (Perush ha'Mishnayos, Pesachim 3:2) says that the time it
takes to walk one Mil is *24 minutes*. The Rambam seems to be ruling like
Ula, as is clear from his ruling in Hilchos Korban Pesach (5:8) where he
states that "Derech Rechokah" is defined as 15 Mil outside of Yerushalayim,
which is the opinion of Ula. Even though Ula's opinion was refuted by the
Gemara, apparently the Rambam had a different text in his Gemara (Bi'ur
ha'Gra OC 459). TOSFOS (Pesachim 11b, Dh Echad Omer) and the ROSH (Ta'anis
1:12) also cite the opinion of Ula.
(c) The BI'UR HA'GRA (OC 459) points out that according to way Rashi and
Tosfos seem to understand the conclusion of our Gemara (i.e. not like the
Yerushalmi), the time that it takes to walk one Mil should be 22 1/2