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Pesachim 110


AGADAH: There is a widespread custom to open the door of one's house during the Seder when reciting the verse, "Shefoch Chamascha Al ha'Goyim...," after Birchas ha'Mazon. Why is this done?

(a) The Gemara discusses the problems of drinking in pairs ("Zugos;" see Insights to 109b). The Gemara says that if one "sees the public marketplace" between pairs of cups of wine, then the cups do not join together and it is not considered as if he drank pairs. Some Acharonim suggest that this qualification to the concern of Zugos explains the custom of opening the door. Drinking four cups of wine on the Seder night could, theory, pose a problem of Zugos. Therefore, we open the door in order to "see the public area" in order to avoid Zugos. (Even though the Gemara says that there is no problem of Zugos when one is in his home, the Gemara says that if one is going to sleep, then there is a problem of Zugos. Since most people go to sleep after drinking the four cups of wine, there is a concern of Zugos. Even though the Gemara said that there is no problem of Zugos when drinking the Arba Kosos, nevertheless we open the door as a precautionary measure.) (HAGADAH of the ZECHER YEHOSEF)

(b) The BEIS HA'LEVI suggests another reason for why we open the door, using the exact opposite logic. The REMA (OC 480) says that we open the door to show that we are not afraid of an damaging agents on this night, for it is "Leil Shimurim," the night when we are privileged to receive special Divine protection, as the Gemara tells us (109b). Why do we show this now, near the end of the Seder, and not at the beginning of the night?

The answer is that at this point in the night we are about to end the Seder by drinking Zugos. We show that we are not afraid of the potentially harmful effects of drinking Zugos, for this night is Leil Shimurim.

(c) The BE'ER YOSEF (Rav Yosef Salant, of Yerushalayim), suggests another reason for opening the door. It seems from the Gemara that the houses in Yerushalayim in which the Korban Pesach were eaten were very crowded, and people couldn't wait to finish their Pesach meat and leave. One is not allowed to eat some of the Pesach in one house and some in another house (85b). Therefore, to prevent people from leaving the house before they have finished eating the Pesach, the practice may have been to lock the doors of the house until after Birchas ha'Mazon. Afterwards, the doors were flung open and they would leave the house for the airy and roomy rooftops to recite the Hallel (86a). To remind ourselves of this practice, we, too, open the doors after Birchas ha'Mazon!

QUESTION: The Gemara says that Rava would escort his Talmidim out of his home by giving them four cups of wine, because he held than anything more than two posed no problem of Zugos. The RASHBAM asks that Rava earlier implied that there *is* a problem of Zugos with more than two, when he asserted that the only reason why the Arba Kosos do not constitute Zugos because "a Kos Shel Berachah can only join for good, and not for bad." If not for that reason, though, they *would* constitute Zugos!

The RASHBAM answers that Rava was not concerned for Zugos with the Arba Kosos, but he was concerned for Kishuf (as the Gemara says on 110b). Therefore, the Rabanan would not have enacted the Arba Kosos if there would have been a concern for Kishuf. Rava explains that since these cups are each a Kos Shel Berachah, there is no problem of Kishuf.

Why, then, did Rava escort the Talmidim out by giving them four cups, if the powers of Kishuf affects pairs in even number more than two? (CHAVAS YA'IR #25, 26; RASHASH)

In addition, the Gemara proves that since the Rabanan enacted ten cups of wine to be consumed in a Beis ha'Avel (house of mourning), it must be that *ten* does not pose a problem of Zugos. However, there should still be a problem of *Kishuf* with ten! How could the Rabanan make an enactment to do something which might lead to a danger of Kishuf? (CHAVAS YA'IR #26, cited by the DEVAR SHMUEL)


(a) The CHAVAS YA'IR answers that Rava gave four cups only occasionally, when a Talmid would leave. Something done only on occasion is not a cause to worry about Kishuf, since it is unlikely that a Mechashef will meet up with that person at random. Similarly, then cups of wine at a house of mourning is an infrequent occurrence, and therefore there is no fear of Kishuf. Only for something which would become an established practice of Zugos for *everyone*, such as the Arba Kosos, must the Rabanan be concerned for Kishuf.

(b) The RASHASH answers the first question by citing RABEINU YONAH (quoted by the ROSH 10:25). One of the reasons given for dipping the Maror into Charoses is because eating un-dipped Maror can be dangerous to one's health (114b). Nevertheless, we find that if one eats Chazares, a type of Maror, as Karpas, the Mishnah does not mention that he needs to dip it in Charoses! Only when he eats the Maror the second time, to fulfill the Mitzvah of Maror, does it say that he must dip it. Why is there a difference between the two times that one eats Maror? If it is dangerous to eat it un-dipped, then the Rabanan should require that it be dipped both times!

Rabeinu Yonah answers that, as the Gemara tells us, the first tasting of Maror is not to fulfill the Mitzvah but only to serve as a catalyst to get the children to ask questions. Even though eating Maror without dipping it poses a danger to one's health, people nevertheless often eat it without dipping, and it was not the Rabanan who told us to eat Chazeres at this point in the meal, the Rabanan left us to eat it however we want and did not make it obligatory to dip the first Maror. The second Maror, though, is obligatory and is used to fulfill the Mitzvah. Therefore, the Rabanan decreed that one fulfill the Mitzvah in a way that there is no threat of danger. When enacting the proper way to fulfill a Mitzvah d'Rabanan, the Rabanan were concerned for our well-being.

The same might apply to the Mitzvah d'Rabanan of Arba Kosos. Kishuf is not a common problem, and people are normally not concerned with it. Rava did not worry about protecting his students from a fear of Kishuf when he escorted them out with four cups, because those four cups were not an item of a Mitzvah -- if they wanted, they could drink only three cups. It was not Rava's responsibility, then, to be concerned for Kishuf. The Arba Kosos, on the other hand, is a Mitzvah which the Rabanan enacted, and therefore they had to be concerned for our well-being. Consequently, they would only enact the Mitzvah if there was no concern for Kishuf.


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