BERACHOS 18 (1 Elul) - Dedicated l'Iluy Nishmas Esther Chaya Rayzel (Friedman) bas Gershon Eliezer (Yahrzeit: 30 Av, Yom Kevurah: 1 Elul) by her daughter and son-in-law, Jeri and Eli Turkel of Raanana, Israel. Esther Friedman was a woman of valor who was devoted to her family and gave of herself unstintingly, inspiring all those around her.

[18a - 47 lines; 18b - 55 lines]

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We recommend using the textual changes suggested by the Bach and the marginal notes of the Vilna Shas. This section is devoted to any other important corrections that Acharonim have pointed out in the Gemara, Rashi and Tosfos.

[1] Gemara 18a [line 35]:

The words "Mipnei Nochrim u'Mipnei Listim" מפני נכרים ומפני לסטים

should be "Mipnei Ganavim u'Mipnei Listim" מפני גנבים ומפני לסטים

This is the Girsa in the Rif, Rosh and Tur #403.


1)[line 24]"לועג לרש חרף עושהו""LO'EG LA'RASH CHEREF OSEHU" - "One who mocks the destitute, blasphemes his Maker..." (Mishlei 17:5) (LO'EG LA'RASH)

(a)There are certain actions that are prohibited because of the verse "Lo'eg la'Rash Cheref Osehu". Most of the prohibitions deal with not pointing out to a person (or a corpse) that he is destitute of Mitzvos.

(b)For example, it is prohibited to walk in a cemetery with one's Tzitzis uncovered (SHULCHAN ARUCH OC 23:1, 3). Another Gemara (Menachos 41a) brings an example of attaching Tzitzis to the shrouds of the dead. (There is actually a Machlokes Tana'im in the matter, and the Poskim disagree as to whether shrouds require Tzitzis or not. See YOSEF DA'AS to Menachos ibid, She'elos u'Teshuvos l'Sikum 41:4 for the differing opinions and current practices.)

2)[line 27]מת תופס ארבע אמות לקריאת שמעMES TOFES ARBA AMOS L'KERI'AS SHEMA- a corpse occupies (lit. grabs) four Amos with regard to reading the Shema (that is, one may not read the Shema when he is within four Amos of a corpse)

3)[line 34]דסקיאDISAKYA- a large leather sack or saddlebag (usually with two pouches: "Di" - two; "Sakya" - pouches)

4)[line 40]שקלי ואזליSHAKLEI V'AZLEI- were walking

5)[line 41]הוה קשדיא תכלתא דרבי יונתןHAVAH KA'SHADYA TECHELTA D'REBBI YONASAN- the garment to which Rebbi Yochanan's Tzitzis were tied was hanging down (the word Techelta literally means Techeles, the greenish-blue color with which some of the woolen strings of the Tzitzis garment are dyed) (see Insights to Menachos 44:1 for a discussion of the identity of the Techeles)

6)[line 42]דלייהDALYEI- lift it up

7a)[line 46]"ובניהו בן יהוידע בן איש חי רב פעלים מקבצאל הוא הכה את שני אריאל מואב והוא ירד והכה את הארי בתוך הבאר ביום השלג""U'VENAYAHU VEN YEHOYADA BEN ISH CHAYIL RAV PE'ALIM MI'KAVTZE'EL; HU HIKAH ES SHNEI ARI'EL MOAV, V'HU YARAD V'HIKAH ES HA'ARI B'SOCH HA'BOR B'YOM HA'SHALEG." - "And Benayahu, the son of Yehoyada, was a G-d-fearing man of many achievements from Kavtze'el; he struck down the two commanders of Moav, and he also went down and slew a lion in a well on a snowy day." (Shmuel II 23:20) - The Gemara interprets this homiletically to mean, "The one who produced and gathered together many workers (i.e. students) for Torah." (BENAYAHU BEN YEHOYADA)

(a)Benayahu ben Yehoyada was the head of Sanhedrin and one of the greatest Tzadikim of his generation, who was equaled by no one, neither in the time of the first Beis ha'Mikdash nor in the time of the second. Later, he became Shlomo ha'Melech's right-hand man, performing a number of difficult missions on his behalf (including killing Yo'av, capturing Ashmada'i (the king of the demons), and obtaining the Shamir worm).

(b)He was also a fearless warrior who killed two of Moav's top officers, as well as a lion in a large pit (where there is no room to flee) on a cold, snowy day — circumstances that render a lion particularly vicious.

(c)An interesting story is told about him in the Midrash. When the king of Persia was ill, the doctors prescribed the milk of a lioness, a commodity that was virtually impossible to obtain. So he sent an emissary to Shlomo ha'Melech, who promptly sent Benayahu ben Yehoyada. The latter took with him a number of servants and made his way to the nearest lion's den, where he found a feeding lioness. Slowly inching his way towards her, he threw it one goat after another, causing it to become more and more placid, until it allowed him to play with it, until eventually he was able even to milk it and to get away with his prize.

b)[last line]"הוא הכה את שני אריאל מואב""HU HIKAH ES SHNEI ARI'EL MOAV"- "He slew two lion-hearted men of Moav." (Shmuel II 23:20) - The Gemara interprets this homiletically to mean, "He defeated (in Torah learning) all the people that lived during the time of the two Batei Mikdash that originally had been built by King David and King Shlomo, who descended from Moav through Ruth.


8)[line 7]תבר גזיזי דברדאTAVAR GEZIZEI D'BARDA- he cut a hole in the ice

9)[line 8]סיפרא דבי רבSIFRA D'VEI RAV- Toras Kohanim, one of the earliest commentaries on Vayikra, which, when stated anonymously, follows the opinion of Rebbi Yehudah b'Rebbi Ila'i. It is known as "Sifra d'Vei Rav," since: (a) students of every Beis Midrash ("Bei Rav") were well-versed in it (as opposed to the teachings of Rebbi Yishmael, which were known primarily by his personal students — RASHI to Chulin 66a); (b) it was written by the Amora named Rav (circa 220 C.E.), who collected the Beraisa'os that it contains (SEDER HA'DOROS citing the RAMBAM Hakdamah l'Zera'im, et al.). Our Gemara indicates that Benayahu ben Yehoyada was the originator of all of the Derashos to the verses of Vayikra that appear in Sifra d'Vei Rav.

10)[line 9]יומא דסיתואYOMA D'SISVA- a winter day

11)[line 11]"ואתה חלל רשע נשיא ישראל""V'ATAH CHALAL RASHA, NESI YISRAEL"- "and you profane, wicked prince of Yisrael [whose day has come, when iniquity shall have an end.]" (Yechezkel 21:30) - The word "Chalal," profane, blasphemous, also has the connotation of a dead body (as in Bamidbar 19:16).

12)[line 13]נפוק לקרייתאNAFUK L'KIRYASA- they went out to the villages in the farmlands [to inspect their fields] (RASHI to Beitzah 9b)

13)[line 14]אייקר להוAYAKAR LEHU TALMIDAIHU- they forgot their Torah learning

14)[line 17]רמהRIMAH- vermin; the worm in a grave

15)[line 19]הקניטתוHIKNITATU- he angered, vexed him

16)[line 19]שתי רוחותSHTEI RUCHOS- two spirits [of two young girls who had died]

17)[line 20]נשוטNASHUT- let us fly, roam

18)[line 21]הפרגודHA'PARGOD- the Heavenly curtain before HaSh-m's presence

19)[line 22]שאני קבורה במחצלת של קניםSHE'ANI KEVURAH B'MACHATZELES SHEL KANIM- "I am buried in a mat made from twigs, and not in proper shrouds." Therefore, (a) she was embarrassed to "appear in public" with such poor attire (RAV YAKOV EMDEN), or (b) her spirit could not depart from the grave because the twigs protected the body and it had not yet rotted. As long as the body is present, the spirit cannot depart from it (TZELACH).

20)[line 24]רביעה ראשונהREVI'AH RISHONAH- the early rains; i.e. the rain that falls before the 17th of Marcheshvan

21)[line 31]שדפוןSHIDAFON- (a) blight; (b) damage to the crops caused by searing, hot east winds

22)[line 33]אשתקדESHTAKAD- last year

23)[line 36]אותה ריבהOSAH RIVAH- the girl (who had been buried in the mat of reeds)

24)[line 39]אושפזיכתיהUSHPEZICHTEI- hostess, landlord

25)[line 39]עד דאתי ואזיל לבי רבAD D'ASI V'AZIL L'VEI RAV- by the time he went to the Yeshiva and returned

26)[line 40]לחצר מותL'CHATZAR MAVES- (a) to the cemetery (RASHI); (b) a spiritual place where the souls congregate on their way up to the heavens (VILNA GA'ON)

27)[line 40]צנורא דדשא בדוך פלןTZINORA D'DASHA B'DUCH PLAN- in the door-hinge socket (a hole in the threshold) in such-and-such a place

28a)[line 41]תשדר לי מסרקאיTESHADER LI MASREKA'I- "send me my comb." She said this in order that people should feel sorry for her, since she died at so young an age (RASHI).

b)[line 41]גובתאי דכוחלאGUVTAI D'KUCHLA- "my tube of blue" or tinted powder used for painting the eye-lids

29)[line 41]פלניתאPELANISA- so-and-so (feminine)

30)[line 42]דומהDUMAH- the angel that guards the dead

31)[line 43]בר אכיל זוזי דיתמיBAR ACHIL ZUZEI D'YASMEI- the son who benefits from (lit. eats) the money of orphans

32)[line 44]בעינא אבא בר אבאBA'INA ABA BAR ABA- I want Aba, son of Aba

33)[line 45]סליק למתיבתא דרקיעאSALIK L'MESIVTA D'REKI'A- he went up the heavenly Yeshiva

34)[line 46]אבראיAVRA'I- outside

35)[line 47]אחלישתיה לדעתיהACHLISHTEI L'DAITEI- you made him feel bad; you discouraged him

36)[line 48]הוה קא בכי ואחיךHAVAH KA BACHI V'ACHICH- he was crying and then he smiled

37)[line 49]לעגל קא אתיתL'AGAL KA ASIS- you are coming here (dying) soon

38)[line 49]חשיבת בהאי עלמאCHASHIVAS B'HAI ALMA- you are held in high regard in (a) the world of the living (RASHI); (b) the World to Come (TOSFOS)

39)[line 50]אמתא דרחיאAMSA D'RECHAYA- the base of the mill

40)[line 51]עילאי ותתאי דידן ומיצעי דיתמיILA'EI V'TATA'EI DIDAN, U'MITZA'EI

D'YASMEI - the money on the top and the bottom is ours, and the money in between belongs to the orphans

41)[line 52]פנו מקוםPANU MAKOM- clear a place; make room