Pesachim 104-110
פסחים ק“ד - ק“י

Friday, March 12, 2021
כ“ח אדר תשפ“א
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From the Desk of Rabbi Yaakov Fisch

As we enter the final stages of Maseches Pesachim, we are focusing on the core Mitzvos of the Seder night. We learned this week about many practices of the Seder including eating matzo, maror and drinking four cups of wine. Another core feature, is the mitzvah of eating the main foods of the Seder in a manner of reclining. This is called הסיבה. The reason for eating things in a manner of הסיבה is that in ancient times people used to while lying down on beds. A good illustration of that is in the Megilas Esther is that we read about people on beds during a feast. One may ask, how reclining while eating and practicing הסיבה shows any sign of freedom today when that is not our practice? I was thinking of the difference between flying economy and business on an airplane. One of the primary features of the airplane is putting your legs up and leaning back in order to sip a drink. People will pay thousands for that privilege. That is the idea behind הסיבה and that is why we recline on Pesach night to trigger those feelings of freedom.

Have a Peaceful Shabbos,

Rabbi Yaakov Fisch

Pesachim 104

כל הברכות כולן פותח בברוך וחותם בהן בברוך חוץ מברכת מצות וברכת הפירות וברכה הסמוכה לחבירתה וברכה אחרונה שבקרית שמע שיש מהן פותח בברוך ואין חותם בברוך ויש מהן שחותם בברוך ואין פותח בברוך והטוב והמטיב פותח בברוך ואינו חותם בברוך

The Gemara teaches us the rules about the anatomy of a bracha/blessing. The basic structure of a blessing should begin with the word ברוך and have a conclusion with ברוך. There some exceptions to this, and they are listed in this above-quoted braisa. The blessings that are made on fruits (or other foods). These blessings do not conclude with a ברוך. The blessings of a mitzvah i.e. for Tallis or Tefillin, these blessings begin with a ברוך but do not conclude with a ברוך. The blessing after the Shema concludes with a ברוך which leads into the Amida. Another example that is quoted in the Braisa, is the final blessing of bentching which starts with a ברוך and doesn’t end with a ברוך. This blessing is referred to as הטוב והמטיב. The reason for that it is another category from the earlier blessings in the bentching. As the final blessing of bentching is a rabbinic mitzvah, unlike the earlier blessings which were biblical mitzvahs. Another category is what is referred to as וברכה הסמוכה לחבירתה. That means if you have a series of blessings and the first blessing begins with a ברוך, the subsequent blessings do not need to start with a ברוך. A prime example of that is the Shemone Esrei. The first blessing starts with a ברוך, but all the subsequent blessings do not because it is a ברכה הסמוכה לחבירתה. Rashi in the Tractate of Kesubos questions the structure of the Sheva Brachos that some of these blessings recited under the chuppa begin with a ברוך and some do not.

This structure does not seem to be consistent with our Gemara which states that any set of blessings on consecutive order is considered ברכה הסמוכה לחבירתה and doesn’t need to start with a ברוך. Rashi explains that although that they are recited in succession, they unrelated to each other. The first blessing of שֶׁהַכֹּל בָּרָא לִכְבוֹדוֹ is thanking G-d for allowing the gathering for this wedding. The following blessing of יוֹצֵר הָאָדָם opens with a ברוך and is unrelated to the previous one. It is a general blessing on the creation of Man. The subsequent blessing of אֲשֶׁר יָצַר is also unrelated and this is really this first of the blessings referring to marriage, and that is why it starts with a ברוך. All the subsequent blessings (besides the last) do not begin with a ברוך since they are connected to the אֲשֶׁר יָצַר. Rabbeinu Tam disagrees with Rashi and simply states that since the first two blessings of the Sheva Brachos are so short, they begin with a ברוך. The third blessing of אֲשֶׁר יָצַר since it follows such a short blessing it starts with a ברוך.


Pesachim 105

בעא מיניה רבינא מרב נחמן בר יצחק מי שלא קידש בערב שבת מהו שיקדש והולך כל היום כולו אל מדאמרי בני רבי חייא מי שלא הבדיל במוצאי שבת מבדיל והולך כל השבת כולו הכא נמי מי שלא קידש בערב שבת מקדש והולך כל היום כולו

The Gemara states that one did not make Kiddush on Friday night, one may make Kiddush the entire Shabbos. The Shulchan Aruch says that this applies not only if it was unintentional, but even if the individual didn’t make Kiddush on Friday night for whatever reason, he may mary recite Kiddush the entire Shabbos. The Rema adds that one must omit “Vayechulu” if he is making the evening Kiddush during the Day. These are the words of the Shulchan Aruch and the Rema in Ch. 271:8 of the Laws of Shabbos.

אִם לֹא קִדֵּשׁ בַּלַּיְלָה, בֵּין בְּשׁוֹגֵג בֵּין בְּמֵזִיד, יֵשׁ לוֹ תַּשְׁלוּמִין לְמָחָר כָּל הַיּוֹם. {הַגָּה: וְאוֹמֵר כָּל הַקִּדּוּשׁ שֶׁל לַיְלָה מִלְּבַד וַיְכֻלּוּ

The Mishna Berura adds that original Kiddush must be made b’makom seuda. This means there needs to be an accompanying seuda. The final time one can make the Kiddush Friday night would be at sundown on Shabbos evening. These are the words of the Mishna Berura.

יש לו תשלומין וכו’ – ופשוט דבעינן שיהיה ג”כ מקום סעודה כמו בלילה:(כל היום – עד ביה”ש ובביה”ש מצדד הפמ”ג דיאמר הנוסח של קידוש בלי הזכרת שם ומלכות בפתיחה וחתימה ע”ש

Pesachim 106

ת"ר (שמות כ) זכור את יום השבת לקדשו זוכרהו על היין אין לי אלא ביום בלילה מנין ת"ל זכור את יום השבת לקדשו בלילה מניין אדרבה עיקר קדושא בלילה הוא קדיש דכי קדיש תחלת יומא בעי לקידושי ותו בלילה מנין ת"ל זכור את יום תנא מיהדר אלילה וקא נסיב ליה קרא דיממא ה"ק זכור את יום השבת לקדשו זוכרהו על היין בכניסתו אין לי אלא בלילה ביום מנין ת"ל זכור את יום השבת ביום מאי מברך אמר רב יהודה בפה"ג

The Gemara teaches us that it is a Biblical Mitzvah for one to recite the Kiddush on Friday night over a glass of wine. This is learned from the verse of זכור את יום השבת לקדשו. You shall remember Shabbos to sanctify it. And one must remember it on wine. Tosfos quotes other verses from Tanach that the verse of זכור is associated with wine. There is a dispute among the Rishonim about the parameters of this Mitzvah. According to Rashi the Biblical Mitzvah is to make it over a glass of wine. However, Tosfos and the Rambam disagree and hold that it is only a Biblical Mitzvah to make kiddush. The requirement to have wine is a rabbinic mitzvah. If one does not have enough money to purchase both wine for kiddush and food for the Shabbos dinner, he should purchase the wine for kiddush. This is the ruling of the Shulchan Aruch in Ch. 271:3 of the Laws of Shabbos. 

אִם אֵין יָדוֹ מַשֶּׂגֶת לִקְנוֹת יַיִן לְקִדּוּשׁ וּלְהָכִין צָרְכֵי סְעֻדָּה לִכְבוֹד הַלַּיְלָה וְלִכְבוֹד הַיּוֹם וּלְקִדּוּשׁ הַיּוֹם, מוּטָב שֶׁיִּקְנֶה יַיִן לְקִדּוּשׁ הַלַּיְלָה מִמַּה שֶּׁיָּכִין צָרְכֵי הַסְעֻדָּה אוֹ מִמַּה שֶּׁיִּקְנֶה יַיִן לְקִדּוּשׁ הַיּוֹם. וְהָא דְּתַנְיָא: כְּבוֹד יוֹם קֹדֶם לִכְבוֹד לַיְלָה, הַיְנוּ דַּוְקָא בִּשְׁאָר צָרְכֵי סְעֻדָּה אֲבָל אִם אֵין לוֹ אֶלָּא כּוֹס אֶחָד לְקִדּוּשׁ, כְּבוֹד לַיְלָה קֹדֶם לִכְבוֹד יוֹם.

The Mishna Berura explains the reason is because the requirement of Kiddush is a biblical mitzvah, unlike the rest of the meal. These are the words of the Mishna Berura. והטעם דקידוש הלילה עיקרו הוא מדאורייתא וקידוש היום הוא רק מדרבנן

Pesachim 107

משום ר' אלעזר בר רבי שמעון אמרו מקדשין מטעימת יין כל שהוא ר' יוסי בר יהודה אומר מלא לוגמא אמר רב הונא אמר רב וכן תני רב גידל דמן נרש המקדש וטעם מלא לוגמא יצא ואם לאו לא יצא אמר רב נחמן בר יצחק אנא תנינא לה לא גידול בר מנשיא ולא גידול בר מניומי אלא גידול סתמא למאי נפקא מינה למירמא דידי' אדידיה

The Gemara discusses the amount of wine required for consumption for kiddush. The first view quoted is in the name of Rabbi Elazar who is lenient and says that just tasting a drop of wine would be sufficient. R’ Yosi will the following Rabbis say that the minimum amount of wine would be a מלא לוגמא. That is the amount that it would take to fill up a cheek full of wine.The question debated among the poskim is a requirement for this minimum amount to be consumed to be done exclusively by the individual making the kiddush or could it be done by one of the participants and the individual making the kiddush would not have to drink anything. The Rashbam and the Rosh are lenient on this issue and hold that the individual making the kiddush doesn’t have to consume anything and the requirement of מלא לוגמא can be fulfilled if one of the participants drink from the wine. The Geonim disagree and maintain that the text of the Gemara states that that individual making the kiddush must consume the minimum amount of wine which is a מלא לוגמא.

In terms of practical halacha, the Shulchan Aruch in the Laws of Shabbos in Ch. 271:14 brings down both opinions and says that one should attempt to fulfill the position of the Geonim (and have the individual making the kiddush drink the מלא לוגמא). These are the words of the Shulchan Aruch:

אִם לֹא טָעַם הַמְקַדֵּשׁ, וְטָעַם אֶחָד מֵהַמְּסֻבִּין כִּמְלֹא לֻגְמָיו (פי’ מְלֹא פִּיו), יָצָא; וְאֵין שְׁתִיַּת שְׁנַיִם מִצְטָרֶפֶת לִמְלֹא לֻגְמָיו, וּמִכָּל מָקוֹם מִצְוָה מִן הַמֻּבְחָר שֶׁיִּטְעֲמוּ כֻּלָּם. וְיֵשׁ אוֹמְרִים דְּכֵיוָן שֶׁבֵּין כֻּלָּם טָעֲמוּ כִּמְלֹא לֻגְמָיו יָצְאוּ, דִּשְׁתִיַּת כֻּלָּם מִצְטָרֶפֶת לְכַשִּׁעוּר. וְהַגְּאוֹנִים סוֹבְרִים שֶׁאִם לֹא טָעַם הַמְקַדֵּשׁ לֹא יָצָא, וְרָאוּי לָחוּשׁ לְדִבְרֵיהֶם.

The Mishna Berura clarifies that the ruling of the Shulchan Aruch is only l’chatchila (ideally), but post facto (b’dieved), one can rely on one of the participants drinking the minimum amount of מלא לוגמא. These are the words of the Mishna Berura:

היינו ליזהר לכתחלה ובדיעבד הסכימו הרבה אחרונים דאפילו שתיית כל המסובין מצטרפין למלא לוגמיו אך שלא ישהה ע”י שתיית כולם יותר מכדי אכילת פרס.

Pesachim 108

יין איתמר משמיה דרב נחמן צריך הסיבה ואיתמר משמיה דרב נחמן אין צריך הסיבה ולא פליגי הא בתרתי כסי קמאי הא בתרתי כסי בתראי אמרי לה להאי גיסא ואמרי לה להאי גיסא אמרי לה להאי גיסא תרי כסי קמאי בעו הסיבה דהשתא הוא דקא מתחלא לה חירות תרי כסי בתראי לא בעו הסיבה מאי דהוה הוה ואמרי לה להאי גיסא אדרבה תרי כסי בתראי בעו הסיבה ההיא שעתא דקא הויא חירות תרי כסי קמאי לא בעו הסיבה דאכתי עבדים היינו קאמר השתא דאיתמר הכי ואיתמר הכי אידי ואידי בעו הסיבה

There is a dispute about the requirement to drink the four cups of wine during the seder with הסיבה (in a reclining manner). The first opinion states that the first two cups of wine require הסיבה as they are drunk during the primary component of the retelling of the story of leaving the Exodus. The other opinion argues and holds that one should have הסיבה while the latter two cups are drunk. That is because, during the first two cups, the individual is still at the phase of עבדים היינו and still not. The Gemara concludes that since this is subject to a dispute and it is inconclusive, one should practice הסיבה while drinking all four cups of wine.The Ran asks the following question. There is a dispute among two opinions as to what part of drinking the four cups of wine one should practice הסיבה. However, no opinion advocates that one should practice הסיבה during all four cups of wine. How come does the Gemara conclude that one should practice הסיבה during all four cups?? This is especially difficult to understand as we have the rules of ספיקא דרבנן לקולא which means in the event of a rabbinic dispute we would have a lenient conclusion. How then do we conclude that one should practice הסיבה for all four cups? The Ran responds by saying that the rule of ספיקא דרבנן לקולא is only when otherwise it would cause an inconvenience.

However, if it would not otherwise cause an inconvenience, one should not be lenient even in a rabbinic dispute. The Mishna L’melech challenges this from a case where it was not clear if this city was a “walled” city and the megillah should be read on the 15th of Adar or an unwalled city and have the megillah read on the 14th of Adar. The Ran says that one can be lenient since it’s a doubt in a Rabbinic issue or a ספיקא דרבנן. According to the Ran, it is questioned that we should not be lenient if it’s not too great of an inconvenience (although it can be argued that it’s an inconvenience there; nonetheless, the Mishne L’melech feels that it is a contradiction). The Turei Even responds that before every Mitzvah a person has a Chezkas Chiyuv which only gets fulfilled after the person has definitely performed the Mitzvah. If the individual has not completed the Mitzvah with a level of certainty, he has not fulfilled his cheskas chiyuv. In the case of the four cups of wine, if he only drank the first two cups with הסיבה but not the latter two, it can be argued that the cheskas chiyuv has not been fulfilled as there was no הסיבה with the second two cups. However, in the case of the city which was a doubt if it was walled since most cities are not walled, it can be argued that he has fulfilled his cheskas chiyuv since most cities are not walled and this city and be categorized as an unwalled city and the megillah should be read on the 14th of Adar. 

Pesachim 109

ת"ר חייב אדם לשמח בניו ובני ביתו ברגל שנא' (דברים טז) ושמחת בחגך במה משמחם ביין רבי יהודה אומר אנשים בראוי להם ונשים בראוי להן אנשים בראוי להם ביין ונשים במאי תני רב יוסף בבבל בבגדי צבעונין בארץ ישראל בבגדי פשתן מגוהצין תניא רבי יהודה בן בתירא אומר בזמן שבית המקדש קיים אין שמחה אלא בבשר שנאמר (דברים כז) וזבחת שלמים ואכלת שם ושמחת לפני ה' אלהיך ועכשיו שאין בית המקדש קיים אין שמחה אלא ביין שנאמר (תהילים קד) ויין ישמח לבב אנוש

There is an important mitzvah of Simcha on Yom Tov. That is not just an abstract idea to be happy but rather to engage in specific activities that generate happiness. According to the Tanna Kamma, one fulfills it by drinking wine. Rabbi Yehuda disagrees and says that there is not a one size fits all approach. Men may achieve Simcha with wine, but women earn Simcha with nice clothing. Rabbi Yehuda Ben Beseira says that in the times of the Beis Hamikdash (Temple), one fulfilled the mitzvah of Simcha by eating, and now one fulfills it by drinking wine. Tosfos qualifies the Tanna Kamma by saying that the Mitzvah of Simcha is fulfilled with wine is only in contemporary times. However, in the times of the Beis Hamikdash, one fulfilled it by eating meat. The Rambam disagrees with Tosfos and says that even in contemporary times, one fulfilled the mitzvah of Simcha by eating meat AND drinking wine as both of these activities trigger feelings of Simcha. These are the words of the Rambam in the Laws of Yom Ch. 6:18:וְהָאֲנָשִׁים אוֹכְלִין בָּשָׂר וְשׁוֹתִין יַיִן שֶׁאֵין שִׂמְחָה אֶלָּא בְּבָשָׂר וְאֵין שִׂמְחָה אֶלָּא בְּיַיִ.. The Beis Yosef challenges the Rambam from our Gemara as it is clear that the mitzvah of eating meat was only during the time of the Beis Hamikdash. In our times, one fulfills the mitzvah of Simcha with drinking wine and not eating meat!! What is the explanation of the Rambam?? The Acharonim explain that the Rambam interpreted our Gemara that now that the Beis Hamikdash has been destroyed, we have the means of drinking wine to fulfill the Mitzvah of Simcha in addition to eating meat and not to the exclusion of meat. Shulchan Aruch rules not in accordance with the Rambam and says it is sufficient for one to have wine to fulfill the mitzvah of Simcha on Yom Tov.

Pesachim 110

במערבא לא קפדי אזוגי רב דימי מנהרדעא קפיד אפילו ארושמא דחביתא הוה עובדא ופקע חביתא כללא דמילתא כל דקפיד קפדי בהדיה ודלא קפיד לא קפדי בהדיה ומיהו למיחש מיבעי

The Gemara has a lengthy discussion about zuggos. These are activities that someone does in pairs i.e., he has two drinks, two dishes of foods, etc. This is followed by a lengthy and technical conversation about what falls into the parameters of zuggos or not. This is followed by a statement that out “west” in Israel. The Rabbis out in Israel (the primary conversation and discourse of the Talmud were in Babylon) were not particular about zuggos, and it did not affect them. This is the conclusion here: if you are particular about zuggos, in Heaven, they will scrutinize you, but if you are not particular about zuggos it will not affect you. The question is — is Zuggos and by extension, the issue of keshufim a real thing or just a fabrication? If it’s a real and legitimate thing — how can it be shrugged off? And if it’s not a real thing, how can one suffer from it? The larger issue here is if there are real negative spiritual powers that we call kishuf etc. The Rambam is famous in his position that he mocks the legitimacy of kishuf. He writes in the Laws of Avoda Zarah, 

 דְבָרִים הָאֵלּוּ כֻּלָּן דִּבְרֵי שֶׁקֶר וְכָזָב הֵן וְהֵם שֶׁהִטְעוּ בָּהֶן עוֹבְדֵי כּוֹכָבִים הַקַּדְמוֹנִים לְגוֹיֵי הָאֲרָצוֹת כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּנְהֲגוּ אַחֲרֵיהֶן. וְאֵין רָאוּי לְיִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁהֵם חֲכָמִים מְחֻכָּמִים לְהִמָּשֵׁךְ בַּהֲבָלִים אֵלּוּ וְלֹא לְהַעֲלוֹת עַל לֵב שֶׁיֵּשׁ תּוֹעֶלֶת בָּהֶן.

He basically writes that they are complete falsehoods and no one should make a mistake for following them. This generated a lot of controversy as there are many Talmudic sources for kishuf, evil eye, etc. that indicate that these ideas although the Torah forbids many, are real and not illusions. I want to suggest an approach to an answer based on a perplexing about Rav Yochanan that sat outside the mikvah so that women would view him as they exited the mikvah. He was questioned, aren’t you concerned about the “evil eye”? He responded that he was a descendant of Yosef and was not subject to the evil eye.

The Gemara quotes two verses to support that idea. I find that argument somewhat bizarre. Does that mean that Rav Yochanan was a biological descendant of Yosef? While that is certainly possible, I find that highly unlikely. Furthermore, there is a Gemara in Berachos which states that if someone goes into a city and is afraid of the “evil eye”, he should state that he is from the descendants of Yosef and he is not subject to the evil eye. Does that sound like some kind of joke?? How can someone say that they are Yosef’s descendants– either you are or you are not? I would like to suggest another approach. Yaakov blessed Yosef that he is not subject to the evil eye because he surpassed the norms and expectations that people in Egyptian and modern society of the time by not succumbing to the temptation of Potiphar’s wife. In return, he was blessed that we have not limited the scrutiny that most people are subjected to with the evil eye. The point was that since he lived his life to a higher spiritual plane, he wasn’t subjected to the evil eye and its heavenly scrutiny. I think that might be a general understanding of the Rambam over here as well. The Rambam does not mean that evil eye, kishuf, zuggos, etc. are a fabrication. Rather, he means to say that one that leads his life to a higher spiritual calling and exceeds the norms and expectations will not be subjected to any of the negative spiritual infulences. Perhaps that is the Gemara’s intent that in the “West” they said that anyone who was not particular about zuggos was not affected by this. According to this, it means that anyone who lives according to a higher spiritual calling won’t be affected by zuggos as Rav Yochanan, who lived according to Yosef’s path.


Weekly Quiz

  • 1. Why doesn’t the Shemone Esrei (from the second bracha onward) begin with Baruch Atah?
  • 2. If someone doesn’t make kiddush Friday night, until when can he make kiddush?
  • 3. What are the two forms of Havdallah that we make every Motzai Shabbos?
  • 4. What is the source from the Torah that kiddush needs to be recited on wine?
  • 5. If someone did not make Havadallah on Motzai Shabbos, he can make Havdallah through Tuesday. Which brachos cannot be recited in such an instance and why?
  • 6. What is the minimum amount that one must drink for Kiddush? Does the person making kiddush have to drink it or can one of the participants drink on his behalf?
  • 7. Does one have to recline while drinking the four cups of wine? If yes, is it all or some of the four cups?
  • 8. Who are the people that are exempt from reclining?
  • 9. What are women obligated in drinking the four cups of wine if it’s a time bound mitzvah? What does the Rashbam say?
  • 10. What is the dispute between the Tanna Kamma and Rabbi Yehuda as to how one fulfills Simchas Yom Tov?
  • Mazel Tov! Nice job to those who submitted the quiz last week and did really well! Meir Cohen, Aryeh Gross, Grayson, & Avi Zaguriist Title