Pesachim 111-117
פסחים קי“א - קי“ז

Friday, March 19, 2021
ו‘ ניסן תשפ“א
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From the Desk of Rabbi Yaakov Fisch

It’s hard to believe that our journey of studying the Tractate of Pesachim is coming to a conclusion. It has been a most enjoyable experience delving into the sweet pages of the Talmud with all of you. As the sage Ben Bag Bag taught us in Pirkei Avos, “delve in it and continue to delve in for everything is in it”. The Sage was teaching us that no matter how many times one studies a particular area of Torah, there is always a fresh perspective or angle. I have learned Pesachim multiple times but this experience was by far the most meaningful and impactful. This was despite the requirement to wear masks because of the pandemic for the entire duration of Pesachim. I was thinking of all the trying times throughout our history that our people have learned Pesachim under challenging circumstances. All of you and your wives and children deserve a Mazel Tov for such commitment to Torah study! It’s an honor and privilege for me to lead this group!

May we go from strength to strength!

Rabbi Yaakov Fisch 


Pesachim 111

תלאי בביתא קשי לעניותא כדאמרי אינשי תלא סילתא תלא מזוניה ולא אמרן אלא ריפתא אבל בישרא וכוורי לית לן בה אורחיה היא פארי בביתא קשי לעניותא נשורא בביתא קשי לעניותא בלילי שבתות ובלילי רביעית שרו מזיקין עילויה איסרא דמזוני נקיד שמיה איסרא דעניותא נבל שמיה צעא אפומא דחצבא קשי לעניותא מאן דשתי מיא בצעי קשי לברוקתי דאכיל תחלי ולא משי ידיה מפחיד תלתין יומין

The Gemara discusses different things that could bring someone to a state of poverty. The basic underlying theme in this case if you don’t respect the material things as the food in your home, then God forbid, it could lead to poverty. The Gemara gives three examples of this. The first example is if one has bread hanging in the air in a basket. The Gemara says it’s fine if the meat is hanging in the home. (I guess that may be where the custom of the hanging salamis came from). Tosfos questions the commentary from

Rashi on Chaggigah from our Gemara. Rashi states there that it would be appropriate to hang bread up in a home and in our Gemara, it says that it can cause poverty! Rabbeinu Tam in Chagigah offers another interpretation. He says that Gemara is not to be taken literally as one should not hang bread up. Instead, the point is that someone will be so eager to pay back his debate it is as if he is hanging his bread on a tree for his creditor to see.


Pesachim 112

משה דברים צוה ר"ע את רבי שמעון בן יוחי כשהיה חבוש בבית האסורין אמר לו רבי למדני תורה אמר איני מלמדך אמר לו אם אין אתה מלמדני אני אומר ליוחי אבא ומוסרך למלכות אמר לו בני יותר ממה שהעגל רוצה לינק פרה רוצה להניק אמר לו ומי בסכנה והלא עגל בסכנה אמר לו אם בקשת ליחנק היתלה באילן גדול וכשאתה מלמד את בנך למדהו בספר מוגה מאי היא אמר רבא ואיתימא רב משרשיא בחדתא שבשתא כיון דעל על לא תבשל בקדירה שבישל בה חבירך מאי ניהו גרושה בחיי בעלה דאמר מר גרוש שנשא גרושה ארבע דעות במטה

The Gemara relates that the Romans incarcerated Rabbi Akiva for teaching Torah. Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai pleaded that Rabbi Akiva to teach him some Torah. Rabbi Akiva responded that the cow wants to feed more than the calf wants to nurse. He then tells him to make sure that whatever he learns from should be edited and clear because if there are any errors, it maye leave an indelible mark that won’t be easily erased. Tosfos challenges this by saying that Rava (who was quoted here) said in the tractate of Bava Basra that it’s important to learn the content even if there are mistakes

present in the text. That is because the errors will eventually fade over time. Tosfos makes the distinction between the two Gemaras as follows. In our Gemara, the student is learning out of a book or sefer with written errors published in it. Those are the kind of mistakes that leave an indelible mark that won’t easily fade over time. However, the Gemara in Bava Basra refers to the case when the student hears the information orally before learning it from a text. In such a situation, we are confident that the misinformation will fade over time from the student

Pesachim 113

אמר רבי יוחנן שלשה מנוחלי העוה"ב אלו הן הדר בא"י והמגדל בניו לתלמוד תורה והמבדיל על היין במוצאי שבתות מאי היא דמשייר מקידושא לאבדלתא 

Rabbi Yochanan says that three groups of people inherit the world to come. They are the people who live in the Land of Israel, the people who raise their children to the study of Torah and the people who make Havdallah on wine on Motzai Shabbos. The Gemara qualifies this statement by saying this wine must be left over from kiddush. It seems that these three things are so random. Why would these three things be so important that if one embraces them — they inherit the World to Come?? The Ben Yehoda explains that this Gemara is based on the teaching of the Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai from Berachos 5a that G-d gave the Jewish People three gifts, and they are all acquired with suffering. The three gifts are Torah, the Land of Israel, and the World to Come. These are the words of the Gemara:  תניא רבי שמעון

בן יוחאי אומר שלש מתנות טובות נתן הקדוש ברוך הוא לישראל וכולן לא נתנן אלא ע”י יסורין אלו הן תורה וארץ ישראל והעולם הבא – Our Gemara explains that someone that lives in Eretz Yisroel experiences some suffering and will be worthy of meriting a portion in the World to Come. Someone that raises their children to the study of the Torah will also merit a portion in the World to Come in the spirit of a child can bring merit to their parent. The reason for making Havdallah on wine from Kiddush on Shabbos is that Shabbos is considered a part of the World to Come, and if you honor the Shabbos on its departure, it is equivalent to connecting to the World to Come in a small way.

Pesachim 114

אמר ר"ל זאת אומרת מצות צריכות כוונה כיון דלא בעידן חיובא דמרור הוא דאכיל ליה בבורא פה"א הוא דאכיל ליה ודילמא לא איכוון למרור הלכך בעי למהדר לאטבולי לשם מרור דאי סלקא דעתך מצוה לא בעיא כוונה למה לך תרי טיבולי והא טביל ליה חדא זימנא ממאי דילמא לעולם מצות אין צריכות כוונה ודקאמרת תרי טיבולי למה לי כי היכי דליהוי היכירא לתינוקות וכי תימא א"כ לישמעינן שאר ירקות אי אשמעינן שאר ירקות הוה אמינא היכא דאיכא שאר ירקות הוא דבעינן תרי טיבולי אבל חזרת לחודא לא בעי תרי טיבולי קמשמע לן דאפי' חזרת בעינן תרי טיבולי כי היכי דליהוי ביה היכירא לתינוקות ועוד תניא אכלן דמאי יצא אכלן בלא מתכוין יצא אכלן לחצאין יצא ובלבד שלא ישהא בין אכילה לחבירתה יותר מכדי אכילת פרס

The Gemara has a lengthy discussion about Maror and many of the components of the Mitzvah. One of the areas that are not directly addressed in the Gemara is the amount of Maror one should have to consume in order to fulfill the Mitzvah. The Rosh argues that one must consume at least a kezayis of Maror for the Mitzvah. Unlike the earlier obligation of Karpas that has no special Bracha (beyond Ha’adama) and does not require a kezayis. He bases his argument based on the requirement that the Bracha is worded as a special Bracha of על אכילת מרור. According to the Rosh, the Shaagas Aryeh argues that the Mitzvah of Maror would not command the requirement of a kezayis on its merits but rather because of its special Bracha. The Shaagas Aryeh questions this by asking since there is already a pre-existing היקש (comparison of biblical concepts) between Matzo and Maror, why cant we simply compare Matzo to Maror in this

regard as well! Just as there is an obligation to consume a kezayis of Matzo, there should be an obligation to consume kezayis of Maror! Rav Chaim Brisker answers this based on his explanation of the Ramabam who does not enumerate the Mitzvah of eating Maror as one of the 613 mitzvos despite that it is written on the Torah in the manner of  עַל־מַצּ֥וֹת וּמְרֹרִ֖ים יֹֽאכְלֻֽהוּ. This is because explains, Rav Chaim, that the Mitzvah of Maror is not an independent mitzvah but rather a condiment to accompany the Pesach offering. Therefore, it cannot be compared to Matzo in regards to the obligation of the quantity size for the Mitzvah since the Mitzvah of Matzo is an independent Mitzvah and Maror is not. That is why the Rosh entertained the thought that Maror would not require a kezayis, if not for the requirement to have a special blessing of על אכילת מרור which indicates to us it is significant that it needs the requirement of a kezayis. 


Pesachim 115

פשיטא היכא דאיכא שאר ירקות מברך אשאר ירקות בורא פרי האדמה ואכיל והדר מברך על אכילת מרור ואכיל היכא דליכא אלא חסא מאי אמר רב הונא מברך מעיקרא אמרור ב"פ האדמה ואכיל ולבסוף מברך עליה על אכילת מרור ואכיל מתקיף לה רב חסדא לאחר שמילא כריסו הימנו חוזר ומברך עליה אלא אמר רב חסדא מעיקרא מברך עליה בורא פרי האדמה ועל אכילת מרור ואכיל ולבסוף אכיל אכילת חסא בלא ברכה בסוריא עבדי כרב הונא ורב ששת בריה דרב יהושע עביד כרב חסדא והלכתא כוותיה דרב חסדא רב אחא בריה דרבא מהדר אשאר ירקות לאפוקי נפשיה מפלוגתא

A question that is a debated among the Rishonim about Maror is why there is no blessing of בורא פרי האדמה before eating the Maror. We make the  בורא פרי האדמה before eating the vegetable for the Karpas.  So why don’t we make the blessing before eating the Maror? The Rashbam writes that since he made an earlier בורא פרי האדמה when he was eating the Karpas, that includes the Maror as well. Tosfos disagrees with this approach. As he writes earlier, one must make a blessing on the second cup if wine despite having made a blessing on the first cup of wine because there is a significant time lapse between the two cups of wine. The whole section of Maggid, which includes the beginning of Hallel, is recited during that time. Furthermore, Tosfos argues that once Hallel starts, one cannot eat or drink. This indicates the section following Hallel is a new segment and the second cup of wine would warrant a new blessing. For the same reason, Tosfos says the Rashbam is incorrect, and the Maror should require a  בורא פרי האדמה since it’s in a new segment of the Seder. Tosfos concludes that the reason that Maror does not require a  בורא פרי האדמה is that it’s eaten after the Matzo and its included in the Seuda with the Hamotzi and no blessings are

necessary in the meal. A practical difference between the Rashbam and Tosfos would be if a Barei Nefashos is required after Karpas. According to Rashbam, it would not be appropriate since the  בורא פרי האדמה is still in effect for the Maror that would be eaten later on. However, according to Tosfos, it would be suitable for one to make a Barei Nefashos after eating the vegetables at Karpas. Since it is subject to a dispute, the Poskim advise one to eat less than a Kezayis for Karpas to avoid the requirement of Kezayis. 

That is how the Mishna Berura explains the Shulchan Aruch in Ch.  473:53 of the Laws of Pesach. These are his words:לפי שבכזית יש ספק בברכה אחרונה אם יברך אותה או לא ע”כ טוב יותר שיאכל פחות מכזית שלא יהא בו חיוב כלל לכו”ע:



Pesachim 116

זגו לו כוס שני וכאן הבן שואל אביו ואם אין דעת בבן אביו מלמדו מה נשתנה הלילה הזה מכל הלילות שבכל הלילות אנו אוכלין חמץ ומצה הלילה הזה כולו מצה שבכל הלילות אנו אוכלין שאר ירקות הלילה הזה מרור שבכל הלילות אנו אוכלין בשר צלי שלוק ומבושל הלילה הזה כולו צלי שבכל הלילות אין אנו חייבים לטבל אפילו[מטבילין] פעם אחת הלילה הזה שתי פעמים

The most famous part of the Seder is arguably the child asking the four questions with the Mah Nishtanah. This seems to be a bizarre question. Of course,  the night of Pesach should look different than all the night of the year as all holidays have their own unique practices and observances. We do not ask on the night of Sukkos, why is this night different than the rest of the year in regards to sitting in the sukkah and not a house. That is because it’s perfectly understandable that we don’t eat in the house during sukkos as it’s the special mitzvah of the holiday. What then is so peculiar about Pesach that we need to challenge the Seder with the questions of Mah Nishtana? A closer look at the questions of the Mah Nishtana reveal an interesting pattern. The first two questions are why do eat matzo and maror specifically on this night. The practice of eating Matzo which is the poor man’s bread and bitter herbs are food items that reflect the time of slavery that we commemorate. The latter two questions are who do we have the mitzvah to dip and have the mitzvah to eat in a manner of reclining. These two questions reflect royalty as this was the practice in ancient times to dip their foods and eat in reclining manner. I essence the question of the Mah Nishtana is, what kind of night is this? Is this a night that is dedicated to commemorating slavery or a night dedicated to celebrating liberty and freedom? It’s not just a question for the Seder, it’s a question of our identity and how we define ourselves. As we retell the story of our beginning and how this story shaped our future, we will ultimately learn the answer to this important question.


Pesachim 117

א"ר שמעון בן לקיש (בראשית יב) ואעשך לגוי גדול זהו שאומרים אלהי אברהם ואברכך זהו שאומרים אלהי יצחק ואגדלה שמך זהו שאומרים אלהי יעקב יכול יהו חותמין בכולן

Rabbi Shimon Ben Lakish extrapolated from this verse in the Torah that this verse teaches us that although  Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov are mentioned in the first blessing of the Amida (Shemoneh Esreh), the conclusion of the blessing only mentions Avraham. Rabbi Shimon Shkopf has a powerful insight based on this passage. It is well known that the three patriarchs represent the three spiritual pillars of the world in the Torah Study, Service (Prayer), and Practice of Good Deeds (Chesed). Avraham exemplified Chesed, Yitzchak demonstrated service, and Yaakov was legendary for his Torah study. Each of these patriarchs made not just a contribution into the world on their own behalf but an everlasting behalf on the future of the Jewish people. Now that we are thousands of years away from these righteous men and their contributions, it can be asked how committed are their descendants, the Jewish people to the path of our ancestors? The approach of Torah study that was bequeathed to us by Yaakov is very weak in our times. From the millions of Jews in the world, how many Jews are truly connected to the Torah study? Although that number is growing compared to recent years, it is still a tiny fraction as our brethren

continue to assimilate to intermarry and assimilate. The same can be said for our connection to our commitment to Avodah-Prayer.  After all, how many people are attending minyan on a regular basis? A small fraction of the general population! Even those that attend minyan, who can say that their prayer experience is so immersive and meaningful? An even smaller percentage of people! R’ Shimon Shkopf argues that the Jewish people, no matter how secular or disconnected from their heritage, continue to practice Chesed in terms of Chesed. There are so many organizations that are dedicated to Tikkun Olam and while they may be misguided, they are coming from a good place and that is a good place and that is to do Chesed.  Where does this come from? R’ Shimon says, this is something that we inherited from Avraham Avinu. As we stand in the end of days, we don’t stand to be merited in the merit of Torah or Avodah/Service but we will be redeemed in the merit of all our Chesed, and that is what it means בך חותמין ואין חותמין בכולן. Or as the verse in Yeshayahu says, צִיּוֹן בְּמִשְׁפָּט תִּפָּדֶה וְשָׁבֶיהָ בִּצְדָקָה


Weekly Quiz

  • 1. What is Rabbi Akiva’s position about living within your means? What is the exception to that?
  • 2. What is the order of kiddush according to Beis Shammai? What is the reason for that?
  • 3. What is the order of kiddush according to Beis Hillel? What is the reason for that?
  • 4. If someone only has the bitter vegetables to be used for BOTH karpas and maror. What blessings does he make and when? Please state the position of Rav Huna and Rav Chisda. 
  • 5. Why do Hillel and the Rabbis have a dispute about eating the Matzo and Maror together?
  • 6. What is the reason to wash your hands before dipping your vegetables?
  • 7. Please give two explanations to the words of לחם עוני
  • 8. What is the difference between גאל ישראל and גואל ישראל?
  • 9. Please name three things that the Gemara compares a persons parnassa is difficult to. 
  • 10. Why does the “Great Hallel” have 26 verses?