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Berachos Chart #1
TIMES, FROM *EARLIEST* TO *LATEST*
|1)||REBBI MEIR OF THE *FIRST* BERAISA AND REBBI ACHA OF THE *LAST*
(according to RI)
|When people eat their meal Friday night (according to RI)(1)|
|2)||REBBI ELIEZER OF THE BERAISA||When Shabbos begins(2)|
|3)||REBBI MEIR OF THE *SECOND* BERAISA|| Slightly before three stars appear(3)
("when Kohanim immerse to eat Terumah")
|4)||MISHNAH (2a), AND REBBI YEHOSHUA OF THE BERAISA(4)||When three stars appear
(when Kohanim may eat their Terumah)
|5)||REBBI CHANINA OF THE BERAISA (AND REBBI MEIR OF THE *FIRST* BERAISA, ACCORDING TO TOSFOS(7)||When a poor man prepares(5) to eat his evening meal(6)
(when people eat on Friday night, according to TOSFOS(7) and TOSFOS HA'ROSH)
|6a)||REBBI ACHA OF THE BERAISA (ACCORDING TO RASHI'S SECOND APPROACH)||When people eat their meal Friday night(8|
|6b)||REBBI ACHA OF THE BERAISA (according to RASHI's first approach in DH Nichnasim, and according to TOSFOS DH v'Iy(7) and the TOSFOS HA'ROSH)(10)||When people eat their weekday evening meal(9)|
(1) Tosfos (2a, DH me'Eimasai) cites the Ri who asserts that this is the earliest of all the times. This is not the way Tosfos later (2b, DH v'Iy and 3a, DH Kasha d'Rebbi Meir) seems to understand. The Ri must explain that Rav Acha in the Beraisa (2b) is referring to the time when people eat on *Erev Shabbos*, and not during the week, because otherwise the question of Tosfos (3a, DH Kasha d'Rebbi Meir) remains. The question of Tosfos on 2b (DH v'Iy) may be answered according to the Ri following the approach of Rav Hai Ga'on, as mentioned in Tosfos ha'Rosh ad loc. (See footnote #7 for an explanation of the answer of Tosfos DH v'Iy.)
(2) That is, at sunset, which is the beginning of Rebbi Yehudah's Bein ha'Shemashos and precedes Tzeis ha'Kochavim by a little more than the time it takes to walk half a Mil. (Rebbi Eliezer's sunset is not the blink of an eye before Tzeis ha'Kochavim, as Tosfos proves on 3a, DH Kasha d'Rebbi Eliezer.)
(3) That is, a little before Rebbi Yosi's Bein ha'Shemashos. It is still considered daytime and the Kohanim immerse at that time in order to be able to eat Terumah after dark.
(4) Although the Mishnah uses the word "Nichnasim" and Rebbi Yehoshua uses the word "Metaharim," Tosfos (3a, DH Kasha d'Rebbi Eliezer) appears to equate the two. (In Dikdukei Sofrim #50, the Girsa is "sheha'Kohanim *Tehorim Nichnasim* le'Echol....") (5) That is, when he prepares his meal, and not when he eats it, because he may not eat before reciting the Shema, as the Gemara says later on 3b (Tosfos DH mi'Sha'ah).
(6) This is later than Tzeis ha'Kochavim, as the Gemara (2b) explains. With regard to Rashi's statement according to the text of the Maharsha (that this time is the latest "of all of them"), the Acharonim prove that the proper text is not that of the Maharsha. Rather, the phrase "of all of them" belongs only in the previous comment of Rashi. Its repetition in the next comment of Rashi is incorrect and it should be omitted from the text. This seems to have been the text of the Tosfos ha'Rosh and Rishonim as well.
(7) The words of Tosfos (2b, DH v'Iy) need clarification (see the Maharsha and the Achronim who attempt to give explanations for Tosfos). From the Tosfos ha'Rosh it is clear that his intention is to say that if the time when a poor person comes in to eat his meal is *after* Tzeis ha'Kochavim, then that time and the time when all other people eat on Friday night are the same. According to this explanation, there are not so many different opinions as to when one may begin to read the Shema. According to the explanation of Tosfos and the Rosh, Rebbi Acha of the Beraisa must be referring to the time when people come in to eat on a *weeknight*, and not on an Erev Shabbos.
(8) This is later than the time when a poor person eats, according to the preferred text in Rashi (2b DH Nichnasim), in contrast to the text of the Maharsha (see footnote #6).
(9) This must be later than the time when a poor person eats, because according to Tosfos and Tosfos ha'Rosh, the time when a poor person eats and the time when people eat on Friday night are the same. On weekday nights, it is clear that people eat later than they eat on Friday night.
(10) According to the second explanation in Rashi earlier (2b, in the words of Rebbi Acha; see 6A in chart), and also according to the Ri in Tosfos (2a, see 1A in chart), this time is not mentioned in the Gemara or in the Beraisa at all. According to Tosfos and the Rosh, the time when people eat on Friday night is not a separate time of its own, but it is the time when the poor person eats. Thus, according to all of the Rishonim we have quoted, there are only six opinions in the Gemara as to when one may begin to read Shema in the evenings.
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