ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous dafBerachos 46
(a) Rebbi Avahu made a party for the Rabbanan as a mark of thanks to
Hashem, when Rebbi Zeira recovered from his illness.
(b) Rebbi Zeira declined to make a Berachah Rishonah on behalf of the
guests, because Rebbi Yochanan said that it is the Ba'al ha'Bayis who
ought to make 'ha'Motzi'. He then declined to Bensch because of Rav Huna,
who said that the person who makes 'ha'Motzi' is the person who ought to
(c) Rebbi Avahu however, followed the opinion of Rebbi Yochanan, who held
that the Ba'al ha'Bayis makes 'ha'Motzi', because, since he is the owner of
the Se'udah, he will do so with a generous heart; whereas it is the (most
prominent) guest who Bensches, in order to bless the Ba'al ha'Bayis (by
means of the special Berachah near the end of Bensching).
(d) 'Nechasav Kerovin la'Ir' is one of the points mentioned in that
Berachah, and its significance is that if the owner is near his property,
he can easily keep an eye on it, and maintain it in good shape.
(a) According to Rav Nachman, in whose opinion Birchas ha'Zimun goes only
till 'Nevarech', when there is no Mezuman, Birchas ha'Mazon begins with
Birchas ha'Zan; but according to Rav Sheishes, who holds that Birchas
ha'Zimun extends until ha'Zan es ha'Kol, then when there is no Mezuman,
Birchas ha'Mazon begins with 'Nodeh Lecha'. (See Tosfos, d.h. 'Ad Heichan',
who disagrees with Rashi in this point, and who therefore learns a
different Peshat in the Sugya.)
(b) The Gemara initially thinks that the Machlokes Tena'im is equivalent to
the Machlokes Amora'im (something that the Gemara always presents in the
form of a Kashya, since it is considered presumptuous for Amora'im to
repeat a Machlokes Tena'im without specifically quoting them).
The Beraisa which says 'Birchas ha'Zimun, Shetayim ve'Shalosh, holds that
Mezuman extends until ha'Zan es ha'Kol (like Rav Sheishes) - when there is
a Mezuman, there are three Berachos, and when there is not, there are two.
And the Beraisa which says 'Shalosh ve'Arba', holds like Rav Nachman, that
Mezuman goes only as far as 'Nevarech she'Achalnu mi'Shelo', which it calls
(c) Rav Nachman maintains that according to both Beraisos, Birchas ha'Zimun
goes only as far as 'Nevarech', and the Beraisa which says 'three and four'
is therefore fine and needs no interpretation. The Beraisa however, which
says 'two and three', is referring to the workers, whom the Chachamim
permitted to incorporate the Berachah of Yerushalayim in that of ha'Aretz,
in order to return to work as soon as possible.
And Rav Sheishes maintains that both Beraisos agree with him, that Birchas
ha'Zimun extends until 'ha'Zan es ha'Kol', so that the Beraisa which says
'two or three' is self-explanatory.
As for the Beraisa which says three or four, it is of the opinion that
Birchas 'ha'Tov ve'ha'Meitiv' is d'Oraysa. Consequently, when there is a
Mezuman, there are *four* Berachos, when there is not, there are only
(According to all opinions, both Beraisos only include those Berachos which
(a) From the fact that the workers are exempt from saying 'ha'Tov
ve'ha'Meitiv', and that it begins with a Berachah - despite its being a
'Berachah ha'Semuchah la'Chaverta', it is evident that it is only
(b) A further proof is from Rebbi Akiva, who maintains that in Bensching in
the house of an Aveil, they say 'Baruch Dayan ha'Emes' instead of 'ha'Tov
ve'ha'Meitiv' (according to the Chachamim, they would incorporate both in
the fourth Berachah).
(c) Chazal instituted 'ha'Tov ve'ha'Meitiv' when the Romans ultimately
permitted the corpses from Beitar to be buried, and they were still found
to be whole.
(a) A Berachah only needs to begin with a Berachah and to end with one,
when it deals with a number of topics, but not when it deals with only
*one*, as short Berachos inevitably do.
(b) 'Emes ve'Yatziv' is a 'Berachah ha'Semuchah la'Chaverta' - it is
Semuchah to 'Ahavah Raba' (which in turn, is Semuchah to the Berachah of
'Yotzer Or'); nor is the Shema considered a Hefsek in between them. That is
why it ('Emes ve'Yatziv') does not begin with a Berachah.
(c) According to Rav Sheishes, someone who interrupts his meal to answer
Mezuman, will resume from 'Nodeh Lecha' when he finishes his meal.
(a) If the most distinguished person reclines below the second most
distinguished one (with his back to him), how will he be able to converse
(b) The Chief Rabbi pointed out to Rav Sheishes that the Persians used to
gesticulate with their hands, so it was so necessary for for the most
distinguished person to face the person to whom he was speaking, because he
could make himself understood by means of his hand movements.
(c) It was customary in Persia, the Chief Rabbi answered, to give everyone
their own tables. Consequently, as soon as the most distinguished person
had washed, they brought him his table with food on it, so that he did not
need to wait for anybody.
(d) If the least prominent would wash Mayim Acharonim first, then the more
prominent person would be forced to wait with dirty hands.
But the Chief Rabbi again defended the custom on the grounds that they did
not remove his table until the others had finished washing Mayim Acharonim.
In this way, he did not have to wait with dirty hands, but could carry on
(a) According to the Beraisa, when there are only two people, the more
prominent one reclines on top, with the second in importance below him.
(b) When there are three, the most distinguished person reclines first, but
in the middle (like the Persians), second to him reclines above him, and
the third, below him.
In this way, he will be able to converse naturally with the third in
prominence. This is better than placing them in the reverse order; i.e. the
third above the first, and the second below him (thus enabling the first in
prominence to talk to the second naturally), becauseplacing the third in
prominence higher than the second in prominence, would be a slight to his
(c) In any gathering of more than five people, it is the least important
who begin washing first, until they reach the last five, when the most
prominent person present will then wash first.
(d) The first person to wash out of the last five will be the one to
(a) It is not necessary to honor a great person (by allowing him to go in
front) whilst traveling or whilst crossing a bridge.
(b) Ravin used to travel regularly from Eretz Yisrael to Bavel in order to
publicize Rebbi Yochanan's statements and opinions.
(c) Abaye was not impressed, when Ravin let his donkey go ahead of his own
(though *he* was the more prominent of the two). (In spite of what we have
only just learnt - that 'Ein Mechabdin bi'Derachim' - see Tosfos d.h.
(d) One is obligated to show deference to a greater person when arriving at
any doorway which is *fit* for a Mezuzah (even though it does not actually
have one). Rashi explains this to mean that one is obligated to show
deference by *all* doorways, and it only comes to exclude travelers on the
road or whilst crossing a bridge.