BERACHOS 55 (15 Nisan - first day of Pesach) - Dedicated by Aharon Ungar of Ramat Beit Shemesh in honor of the usher crew at the Grand Siyum HaShas, Meir Solomon and his wonderful staff of Baruch Rofei Cholim, and for a Refu'ah Sheleimah for Akiva Baruch ben Chayah.

[55a - 55 lines; 55b - 56 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 55a [line 19]:

The words "d'Chi Azlina Badikna Nafsha'i" דכי אזלינא בדיקנא נפשאי

should be "Ki Azlina Badikna Nafsha'i" כי אזלינא בדיקנא נפשאי (Dikdukei Sofrim #1)


1)[line 2]"תוחלת ממשכה מחלה לב [ועץ חיים תאוה באה]""TOCHELES MEMUSHACHAH, MACHALAH LEV [V'ETZ CHAYIM TA'AVAH BA'AH]"- "A drawn-out hope [causes] a sickness of the heart; [but a desire fulfilled is a Tree of Life]" (Mishlei 13:12).

2)[line 4]קיר נטויKIR NATUY- a wall about to collapse or any similar dangerous situation

3)[line 5]עיון תפלהIYUN TEFILAH- examining or delving into one's prayers: (a) in order to concentrate better so that one will pray with the proper intent; (b) with the expectation that they must be fulfilled

4)[line 5]מוסר דין על חבירו לשמיםMOSER DIN AL CHAVEIRO LA'SHAMAYIM- when a person claims that another person is worthy of punishment by HaSh-m

5)[line 6]מעיין בהME'AYEN BAH- he waits for his prayer to be fulfilled

6)[line 7]מפיש ברחמיMAFISH B'RACHAMEI- he keeps asking HaSh-m for more mercy (this is the person who is not Me'ayen Bah. The Gemara is explaining why his Tefilah is so lengthy.)

7)[line 12]תחתוניותTACHTONIYOS- abdominal troubles, piles, etc.

8)[line 13]עלי קניםALEI KANIM- bulrush leaves; alt. sugar cane leaves

9)[line 13]לולבי גפניםLULEVEI GEFANIM- (O.F. vedile) tendrils of a grapevine

10)[line 13]מוריגי בהמהMORIGEI VEHEMAH- any part of an animal that has a rough surface, e.g. the cheeks, tongue, etc.

11)[line 14]שמרי ייןSHEMAREI YAYIN- wine sediments

12)[line 14]סידSID- lime; plaster

13)[line 14]חרסיתCHARSIS- a clay shard

14)[line 16]מאריך ותליMA'ARICH V'TALI- he spends a long time in the Beis ha'Kisei, sitting on his knees

15)[line 18]הימנותאHEIMNUSA!- I swear to it!

16)[line 29]פרנסPARNAS- a patron; leader

17)[line 45]למי שיש בו חכמהL'MI SHE'YESH BO CHOCHMAH- That is, one who possesses fear of HaSh-m, (Midrash) as it states, "Reishis Chochmah Yir'as HaSh-m" (Tehilim 111:10)

18)[line 30]"[ואלישע דבר אל האשה אשר החיה את בנה לאמר קומי ולכי את וביתך וגורי באשר תגורי] כי קרא ה' לרעב [וגם בא אל הארץ שבע שנים]""[VE'ELISHA DIBER EL HA'ISHAH ASHER HECHYAH ES BNAH LEIMOR, 'KUMI U'LECHI AT U'VEISECH V'GURI BA'ASHER TAGURI,] KI KARA HASH-M LA'RA'AV [V'GAM BA EL HA'ARETZ SHEVA SHANIM']" - "[And Elisha spoke to the woman (the Shunamis) whose son he had brought back to life, saying, 'Arise and go forth, you and your family, and reside wherever you see fit,] for HaSh-m has declared a famine, [and it is coming to the land for seven years']" (Melachim II 8:1) (ELISHA, THE SHUNAMIS WOMAN, GECHAZI, AND THE KING)

(a)The Shunamis woman followed Elisha's instruction and went to live in the land of the Pelishtim until the famine had passed.

(b)Upon her return to Eretz Yisrael, she discovered that robbers had taken ownership of her house and field.

(b)The king (Yehoram ben Achav) was talking to Gechazi, the servant of Elisha, who was describing how Elisha revived the son of the Shunamis woman, when the Shunamis woman herself arrived to appeal to the king to restore her stolen property.

(c)Gechazi's testimony and the timely appearance of the subject of their discussion herself had its effect. The king immediately ordered the robbers to return the Shunamis' property and to pay her restitution for the seven years' worth of produce that they had reaped and from which they had benefited.

19)[line 45]"ומנדעא""U'MANDA'A"- "and knowledge" (Daniel 2:21)

20)[line 47]לא טוותLO TAVAS- not dreams which one sees while he is fasting

21)[line 48]מפשרMAFSHAR- which was not interpreted

22)[line 49]עציבותיה מסתייהATZIVUSA MISTAYEI- the gloominess that one feels after having a bad dream helps to counteract any ill effect that it is bodes

23)[line 50]בדיחותיה מפכחא ליהBEDICHUSA MEFAKCHA LEI- the very fact that one enjoys a good dream dissipates the effect that it predicts

24)[line 51]מנגדאMI'NAGDA- more than Malkus (lashes)

25)[line 51]"עשה שייראו מלפניו""ASAH SHE'YIRE'U MI'LEFANAV"- "HaSh-m did this (caused tragedies to occur) so that [people] should fear him" (Koheles 3:14).

26a)[line 53]תבןTEVEN- straw

b)[line 53]הברHA'BAR- grain


27)[line 7]שבעSAV'A- plenty

28)[line 7]כפנאKAFNA- famine

29)[line 10]אחיתופלACHISOFEL

Achisofel was the advisor to King David who later aided Avshalom ben David in the revolt against his father (Shmuel II 15:12-17:23, Divrei ha'Yamim I 27:34). His advice was considered tantamount to receiving counsel from HaSh-m (Shmuel II 16:23). He is one of the four non-royal personages who have no Chelek la'Olam ha'Ba (no portion in the World to Come), due to his denial of the coming of Mashi'ach (the redeemer), which includes the fact that Mashi'ach will descend from David through Shlomo (RAMBAM Hilchos Teshuvah 3:6, Peirush ha'Mishnayos to Sanhedrin Perek Chelek, ha'Yesod Sheneim Asar). He intended that Avshalom should kill his father, after which he would have Avshalom convicted and killed for the very same sins that he caused Avshalom to transgress. At that point he intended to take the monarchy for himself (TIFERES YISRAEL to Sanhedrin 10:2:12).

30)[line 25]"ויאמר העם אל שאול היונתן ימות אשר עשה הישועה [הגדולה הזאת בישראל חלילה חי ה' אם יפל משערת ראשו ארצה כי עם אלקים עשה היום הזה ויפדו העם את יונתן ולא מת]""VA'YOMER HA'AM EL SHA'UL, 'HA'YONASAN YAMUS, ASHER ASAH HA'YESHU'AH [HA'GEDOLAH HA'ZOS B'YISRAEL? CHALILAH, CHAI HASH-M, IM YIPOL MI'SA'AROS ROSHO ARTZAH, KI IM EL-OKIM ASAH HA'YOM HA'ZEH.' VA'YIFDU HA'AM ES YONASAN V'LO MES]" - "And the people said to Sha'ul, 'Shall Yonasan die, who effected this great salvation? [Chalilah, by the life of HaSh-m, not a hair of his head shall fall to the ground, for he performed a good deed for the sake of HaSh-m this day!' And (so) the people redeemed Yonasan that day and he did not die]" (Shmuel I 14:45) (THE PEOPLE SAVE YONASAN)

(a)As a result of the efforts of Yonasan and his armor-bearer, the Pelishtim were forced to flee from the battlefield with Yisrael in close pursuit. To encourage the people to complete the victory, Shaul ha'Melech took an oath forbidding anyone to eat until nightfall, thereby preventing the battle-weary soldiers from being distracted from the task at hand.

(b)Meanwhile, the people — who were in pursuit of the enemy — entered a forest containing sugarcanes from which luscious honey dripped in abundance. Afraid to contravene the king's oath, the hungry soldiers overcame their temptation to taste from the rivers of honey that flowed freely before them. Only Yonasan — who was not present when his father declared the oath and was blissfully unaware that the honey was forbidden — innocently dipped the edge of his staff into the honey and tasted it.

(c)When the people informed him of his father's oath, he wholeheartedly disagreed. On the contrary, he argued, if one taste of the honey had such a positive effect on him, how much more so would a good meal at this juncture give him the strength to increase the victory over the Pelishtim.

(d)After suggesting that the army pursue the Pelishtim that very night and defeat them once and for all, the Kohen asked the Urim v'Tumim, but received no reply. When no reply was forthcoming, the king realized that something was amiss. By means of lots, he discovered that Yonasan was the guilty party. In reply to Shaul's query, Yonasan told his father what he had done, and Shaul immediately sentenced him to death.

(e)The people, however, would not accept Shaul's ruling, arguing that since Yonasan had been responsible for their victory over the Pelishtim, they would not allow one hair to fall from his head. They nullified Shaul's oath, and "redeemed" Yonasan from the death-sentence.

31)[line 30]פרסי ידייהוPARSEI YADAIHU - they stretch out their hands [to bless the people] (BIRKAS KOHANIM)

The Kohanim are required to bless the people with the three-fold blessing, as described in Bamidbar 6:22-27. In the Beis ha'Mikdash the blessing was said using the four-letter Name of HaSh-m known as the Shem ha'Meforash (the Tetragrammaton). (According to Tosfos (Sotah 38a DH Harei Hu Omer), this applies only when there is Giluy Shechinah in the Beis ha'Mikdash. Since there was no Giluy Shechinah after the passing of Shimon ha'Tzadik, the Kohanim stopped saying Birkas Kohanim with the Shem ha'Meforash.) It is called "Nesi'as Kapayim," which literally means "Elevating of the Hands," since the Kohanim recite the blessing with raised arms.

32)[line 34]אדיר במרוםADIR BA'MAROM- the great One Who is on high

33)[line 35]דחיל מעינא בישאDACHIL ME'EINA BISHA- he is afraid of "the Evil Eye"

34)[line 36]זקפא דידא דימיניהZAKFA D'YADA D'YAMINEI- the thumb of his right hand

35)[line 37]"בן פורת יוסף בן פורת עלי עין...""BEN PORAS YOSEF, BEN PORAS ALEI AYIN..."- "Yosef is a fruitful bough, a fruitful bough next to a well..." (Bereishis 49:22).

36)[line 38]עולי עיןOLEI AYIN- those who rise above the [Evil] Eye, and vanquish it

37)[line 40]אטרפא דנחיריהA'TARFA D'NECHIREI D'SEMALEI- [he should look] at the side of his left nostril

38a)[line 42]דרחים ליD'RACHIM LI- who love me

b)[line 42]דסני ליD'SANI LI- who hate me

39)[line 42]לחדי ליLECHEDEI LI- should be happy because of me

40)[line 55]"אנת מלכא רעיונך על משכבך סלקו [מה די להוא אחרי דנה וגלא רזיא הודעך מה די להוא. ואנה לא בחכמה די איתי בי מן כל חייא רזא דנה גלי לי להן על דברת די פשרא למלכא יהודעון ורעיוני לבבך תנדע]""ANT [HU] MALKA, RAIYONACH AL MISHKEVACH SELIKU [MAH DI LEHEVEI ACHAREI DENA, V'GALEI RAZAYA HOD'ACH MAH DI LEHEVEI. VA'ANA LO B'CHOCHMAH DI ISAI BI MIN KOL CHAYAYA RAZA DENA GELI LI L'HEIN AL DIVRAS DI FISHRA L'MALKA YEHOD'UN], V'RAIYONEI LIVEVACH TINDA" - "You, O king, your thoughts came to you while you were on your bed [concerning what will happen in the future, and the One who reveals secrets has informed you what will be. And as for me, it is not because I possess more wisdom than any other being that that this secret was revealed to me, but rather to make the interpretation known to the king], so that you may know that which has occupied your thoughts" (Daniel 2:29-30) (DANIEL, AND NEVUCHADNETZAR'S DREAM)

(a)All of the sages of Bavel were put to death because they were unable to inform Nevuchadnetzar as to what he had dreamed or what his dream meant. Next in line were Daniel and his friends. Daniel asked the king for time to work out the interpretation of the dream (see Malbim). He used that time to pray for Divine assistance.

(b)That night, their prayers were answered. Daniel had a vision in which he was informed both of the contents of the dream and its interpretation. The following morning, he was once again ushered in to the king's presence, where, like Yosef before Pharaoh, he made it clear that he was merely repeating what HaSh-m had revealed to him. He proceeded to describe the strange creature that the king had seen in his dream, depicting the four kingdoms (Bavel, Madai, Yavan, and Edom) that would dominate the world until the time of Mashi'ach.

41)[last line]לא מחווLO MECHAVU- they do not depict

42)[last line]פילאPILA- an elephant

43)[last line]בקופא דמחטאB'KUPA D'MACHATA- through the eye of a needle