BERACHOS 21 (4 Elul) - Dedicated l'Iluy Nishmas Chaim Yisachar (ben Yaakov) Smulewitz of Cleveland on his Yahrzeit, by his daughter and son in law, Jeri & Eli Turkel of Raanana, Israel.

[21a - 47 lines; 21b - 58 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 21b [line 43]:

The words "Notzi l'Zeh l'Sekilah" נוציא לזה לסקילה

should be "Notzi Zeh l'Sekilah" נוציא זה לסקילה

This is the Girsa of Dikdukei Sofrim #100, Rashi on our page, and the Gemara Yevamos 4a.


1)[line 40]ולואיU'LEVAI- If only! (How great it would be!), i.e. Rebbi Yochanan rules that one does repeat the Tefilah

2)[line 45]צליTZALI- prayed


3)[line 35]במשנה תורהB'MISHNEH TORAH- in the Book of Devarim

4)[line 39]"מכשפה לא תחיה""MECHASHEIFAH LO SECHAYEH."- "You shall not let a witch live. (Rather, she is liable to the death penalty.)" (Shemos 22:17) - A Mechashef is one who practices witchcraft (as the Torah prohibits in Shemos 22:17, and as described in the Mishnah and Gemara, Sanhedrin 67a)

5)[line 41]סמכו ענין לוSAMCHO INYAN LO- the Torah wrote the subject of witches next the subject of bestiality

6a)[line 43]אובOV

The Gemara (Sanhedrin 65b) defines a Ba'al Ov as someone who attempts to communicate with the dead by bringing up a deceased person through sorcery and having it speak. To get it to speak, the diviner would put a certain bone in his armpit and flap his arms or move around in various ways.

b)[line 43]ידעוניYID'ONI

Yid'oni is a form of witchcraft that is accomplished by placing a bone from the Yidu'a or Adnei ha'Sadeh creature (Kil'ayim 8:5) in the mouth of the diviner in order to communicate with the dead.


(a)In the Introduction to the Sifra (the Halachic Midrash to Vayikra), Rebbi Yishmael lists thirteen methods that Chazal use for extracting the Halachah from the verses of the Torah. One of them is "Kol Davar she'Hayah bi'Chlal v'Yatza Min ha'Klal l'Lamed, Lo l'Lamed Al Atzmo Yatza, Ela l'Lamed Al ha'Klal Kulo Yatza." Accordingly, if an action or object was included in a general category of Halachah and was then singled out by the verse in order to tell us that certain Halachos apply to it, the Halachos that apply to that object are applicable to everything in the general category. There are three applications of this rule:

1.When a new Halachah is explicitly written in the Parshah discussing the object that was singled out.

2.When there is no new Halachah written there, then we look for some new law that the Torah may be teaching us by the fact that it singled it out (for example, l'Chalek — to differentiate all of the actions so that each one will be Mechayav a separate Korban or a separate set of Malkus).

3.If we cannot say that the object was singled out to teach us l'Chalek, we say that it comes to limit the general category only to those members that are similar to and share the characteristics of the object that was singled out (this is similar to the rule of "Klal u'Frat u'Chlal" — see Background to Kerisus 21:2). (This rule should not be confused with "Davar she'Hayah bi'Chlal v'Yatzah li'Don b'Davar he'Chadash" (see Background to Temurah 13:6a), which refers to a case where the new law that is mentioned with regard to the object that was singled out is in contradiction to the general rule of the Klal.)

8a)[line 46]אנוסת אביוANUSAS AVIV- a woman who was raped by one's father

b)[line 46]מפותת אביוMEFUTAS AVIV- and a woman who was seduced by one's father

9)[line 49]כנף שראה אביוKANAF SHE'RA'AH AVIV- (lit. the cloak-border that his father has seen) a women with whom his father had relations

10)[line 52]הר חורבHAR CHOREV- Mount Sinai

11)[line 53]זבZAV

(a)A Zav (Vayikra 15:1-15), a man who emits Zov two or three times, whether it is emitted in one day or in two or three consecutive days, is an Av ha'Tum'ah (the Tum'ah generated by a Zav is discussed in Background to Nidah 71:35). Zov is a clear discharge with the appearance of the white of a sterile or spoiled egg, in contrast with semen, which has the consistency of fresh egg white. Zov can also be a pus-like discharge resembling the liquid from barley dough or soft barley batter. A man who emits Zov one time is Tamei like a Ba'al Keri (see Background to Nidah 72:6) and must immerse and wait for nightfall to become Tahor.

(b)A man who emits a discharge that may be Zov is "checked" in seven ways to determine whether or not he becomes a Zav. If this discharge came about b'Ones (due to an external cause), he is Tahor. The seven external causes are: 1. eating too much; 2. drinking too much; 3. carrying a heavy load; 4. jumping; 5. being sick; 6. (a) seeing a frightening sight (RASHI to Nazir 65b); (b) seeing a woman, even without having unclean thoughts (ROSH to Nazir ibid.); 7. having unclean thoughts.

(c)In order to start his purification process, a Zav must count seven "clean" days ("Shiv'ah Nekiyim") in which he experiences no discharge of Zov (checking once in the morning and once towards evening), as it states in Vayikra 15:13. On the seventh day or afterwards, he must immerse in a spring during the day. At nightfall he becomes Tahor, if he did not emit Zov again beforehand (ibid.).

(d)If a Zav emits Zov only two times, he does not bring a Korban. Even if the first time was b'Ones, as long as the second emission was not, he is Tamei. If he emitted Zov three times, whether it is emitted in one day or in two or three consecutive days, he has to bring a Korban after he becomes Tahor (on the eighth day) in order to enter the Beis ha'Mikdash and to eat Kodshim. The Korban is two Torim (turtledoves) or two Bnei Yonah (common doves), one offered as an Olah and one as a Chatas.

(e)In the case of three emissions, he is only obligated in a Korban if the first two were not b'Ones. The third emission may come about b'Ones according to the Rabanan. According to Rebbi Eliezer, he is only obligated in a Korban if all three emissions are not b'Ones (Nazir 65b). However, if the Zav had an emission during Shiv'ah Nekiyim, even b'Ones, all agree that this emission stops his count, and he must start counting again (Zavim ibid.; RAMBAM, Hilchos Mechusrei Kaparah 3:1). If the Zav emits Keri during the Shiv'ah Nekiyim, he loses that day, but he continues his count on the next day.

(f)If, however, the third time that a Zav emitted Zivah occurred during his Shiv'ah Neki'im, he is not required to bring a Korban. Rather, he begins a new count of Shiv'ah Neki'im. Even if he emits Zivah three times consecutively during Shiv'ah Neki'im, he need not bring a Korban (RAMBAM ibid. 3:4). Following this reasoning, a Zav will never be required to bring a Korban unless he emits Zivah three times during three or less consecutive days.

12)[line 53]נדהNIDAH

By Torah Law, a woman who has her period is a Nidah for seven days. It makes no difference whether she experienced bleeding only one time or for the entire seven days. At the end of seven days, after nightfall, she immerses in a Mikvah to become Tehorah, if the bleeding has stopped. (The current practice is to consider all women who experience bleeding to be Zavos — see Background to Nidah 71:34:b-e — and therefore they must count seven clean (i.e. bloodless) days before they go to the Mikvah.)


(a)"Tum'as Beis ha'Setarim" refers to an object that is Tamei that comes into contact with the concealed part of a person or object. Under such circumstances, the object cannot make a person Tamei by Maga (touching), but it can make him Tamei by Masa (carrying). For example, if a piece of a Sheretz (see Background to Nidah 28:22a) was found in the folds of a person's skin (i.e. in his armpit or elbow), he is Tahor because a Sheretz is only Metamei through Maga. If, however, he had a Neveilah in the folds of his skin, he is Tamei, because a Neveilah is also Metamei through Masa.

(b)The Gemara (Nidah 41b) states that a Meshameshes, a woman who has marital relations, is only Temei'ah because of a Gezeiras ha'Kasuv, a "decree of the verse" (from Vayikra 15:18), since the Shichvas Zera touches her in a Beis ha'Setarim. Accordingly, the only reason that a woman has to immerse in a Mikvah to become Tehorah after marital relations is because of the words "v'Rachatzu ba'Mayim" (ibid.).