• June 23, 2021
  • 13 5781, Tamuz
  • פרשת בלק

Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food

Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food

Why did the great sages of the Talmud institute blessings over the food we eat? What are the principles underlying the way we make blessings? Join Rabbi Yitzhak Zuriel as he learns the sixth chapter of Masechet Brachot covering the major selections from the Talmud on why and how we say blessings over food.

Next Class

June 24, 2021
0
Days
15
Hours
13
Mins

Timezone

Time of Class

Tue, Thu 3:00 am, 4:00 am
November 3, 2020 4:00 am - 5:00 am
Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food: Lesson
Class description

Welcome to new and continuing students! I am excited to begin this new semester and the topic of ברכות הנהנין, specifically the sugyot concerning the halachot of the blessings we make before eating food. The material is found in Chapter 6 of Masechet Berachot and we will study the gemara in this chapter from the beginning.

In the first part of this shiur, we will learn the first mishnayot of the chapter, and then begin the gemara on Berachot 35a .

November 5, 2020 4:00 am - 5:00 am
Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food: Lesson
Class description

In the previous (our first) shiur, we studied the mishnayot of the first half of chapter 6, to see the basic concepts that will occupy the gemara and will serve as starting points for various halachic discussions.

In this shiur, we will begin learning the first sugya in the gemara on the first mishna, on Berachot 35a. We will follow the methodology that I outlined in the previous class.

November 10, 2020 4:00 am - 5:00 am
Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food: Lesson
Class description

In the previous shiur, we read, translated, and identified the component pieces and logical flow of the first half of the gemara’s sugya about the source of the obligation to make berachot before eating. Please review this material. If you have any questions, you can write them to me by email, or raise them at the beginning of this shiur.

In this shiur, we will now start again at the beginning of the sugya on Berachot 35a, this time to fully understand each of the successive sections and how they contribute to the development of the idea in the sugya.

November 12, 2020 4:00 am - 5:00 am
Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food: Lesson
Class description

In the previous shiur, we discussed in depth the drash (we also raised the question of whether this is a true drash or an asmachta) brought by the gemara to answer the opening question of the sugya: What is the (Torah) source for the requirement to make a blessing before eating food?  We also learned the pesukim that are the context of this drash and discussed the mitzva of reva’i, the fourth year fruit of a planted tree. At the end of the shiur we learned the Rashi on the words קדש הלולים, which reminded us that what we learn from the drash so far applies only to reva’i and not to any other kinds of fruit.  Please review this material; if there are questions I will be happy to discuss them at the beginning of this shiur.

In this shiur, we will now encounter the difficulty (kushya) raised by the amoraim in the gemara with this drash: that it is unavailable because the basis for the drash is used already for learning something else. We will spend time understanding the background to the kushya, including learning the Rashi. All of this is on Berachot 35a.

November 17, 2020 4:00 am - 5:00 am
Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food: Lesson
Class description

In the previous shiur, we understood the primary difficulty for the amoraim in the gemara with the drash that was used in the beraita with which the gemara began.

In this shiur, the amoraim will refine the problem and show us exactly for whom (i.e. which amoraic position regarding the scope of the mitzvah of  נטע רבעי) this problem exists. We will begin with the words הניחא למאן דתני, about half  way  down the page on Berachot 35a.

November 19, 2020 4:00 am - 5:00 am
Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food: Lesson
Class description

In the previous shiur, we read carefully the gemara’s fine-tuning of the difficulty with the drash brought in the beraita at the top of the page. Now that we understand the kushya, we can discuss more fully the answer given, which we read very quickly at the end of the shiur. Please review this material, and if there are any questions you can ask them at the beginning of this shiur,

In this shiur, as noted, we will first go over the answer brought by the gemara, which essentially requires an additional drash, which we will discuss. Following this, we will then move on to the 2nd half of the sugya. We will read it, translate it, and break it down into its component parts, trying to identify the flow of the logic. The goal of the gemara remains: to fully work out the source and derivation of the obligation to make a blessing before eating any kind of food. This takes us down to the two dots, towards the bottom of the page on Berachot 35a.

November 24, 2020 4:00 am - 5:00 am
Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food: Lesson
Class description

In the previous shiur, we finished discussing the gemara’s refinements to the kushya with the derivation from the verse with which the gemara began. Then we continued in the gemara, reading and translating and breaking down the next part of the discussion into its component parts. We identified the logical flow but did not fully discuss the style of the gemara’s language and how to understand what is being done with the Torah sources. Please review what we have done and if there are questions up to this point on the language I will be happy to answer them at the beginning of this shiur.

In this shiur, we will discuss in depth the latter chunk of gemara, which will take us down towards the end of this sugya, to the two dots 5 lines before the bottom of Berachot 35a. We will attempt to understand the logic of the midrashic method employed by the amoraim that is called בנין אב, and the related type of drash called מה הצד.

November 26, 2020 4:00 am - 5:00 am
Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food: Lesson
Class description

In the previous shiur, we continued along with the development in the gemara of the derivation of the requirement to make a bracha before eating food, for those among the earlier sages who held that the verse about reva’i is only for כרם, a grape vineyard. We got to the point where the gemara has now proposed learning a בנין אב משני כתובים,  learning from a prototype/model created from the common denominator of two separate categories in the Torah: כרם and קמה (grain, i.e. wheat etc. or bread).  Please review this; if there are questions I we can discuss them before we move on to the next stage of the gemara.

In this shiur, we will enter the final stages of the sugya in the gemara. We will read down to the end of the sugya, and break it down into its logical parts before we discuss each of them in depth. And we will encounter the surprising end of the sugya, 5 lines from the bottom of Berachot 35a.

December 1, 2020 4:00 am - 5:00 am
Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food: Lesson
Class description

In the previous shiur, we finished our initial reading of the sugya to the end, at the two dots 5 lines up from the bottom of Berachot 35a: we read and translated it, and then identified the pieces and the flow of the logic. In so doing, we saw and discussed how the sugya comes to its final conclusion. However, there were details along the way to which we did not pay attention, so we are not completely finished with the sugya.  Please review what we have done, and if there are questions we will discuss them at the beginning of this shiur, or during the shiur as they come up.

In this shiur, we will finish discussing this first sugya of the chapter. We will go back and discuss the various details that we previously glossed over, we will read the comments of Rashi on these, and we will also study the important final comments of Tosafot on the page.  Time allowing, we will begin the new section of gemara at the bottom of Berachot 35a.

December 3, 2020 4:00 am - 5:00 am
Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food: Lesson
Class description

In the previous shiur, we finished the first sugya of the chapter. You are welcome, and encouraged, to review it and if you have any questions you can send them to me by email or raise them at the beginning of this shiur.

In this shiur, we will move on to new material brought by the gemara in the lines immediately following the above sugya, at the bottom of the page of Berachot 35a and continuing for several lines at the top of Berachot 35b.  This material expands upon the reason for the rabbinic requirement to say a beracha before eating food.

December 8, 2020 4:00 am - 5:00 am
Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food: Lesson
Class description

In the previous shiur, we learned most of the additional material brought to expand upon the idea of the sevara that is the basis for the obligation to make a beracha before eating food.

In this shiur, we will finish that material, and read related comments of Rashi and Tosafot.  Following this, we will move down to approximately two-thirds of the way to the bottom of the page on Berachot 35b, where the gemara relates to the exception brought by the mishna to its first halacha (חוץ מן היין…).

December 10, 2020 4:00 am - 5:00 am
Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food: Lesson
Class description

In the previous shiur, we read and discussed the final segments of the sugya about the reason(s) that we say a beracha before eating.  We then began the next sugya (it begins 11 lines up from the end of the midsized lines in the Vilna printing of Berachot 35a), which is about the halacha in the mishna regarding the beracha for wine. This beracha is special and unlike the beracha for all other products that come from a tree. We read and translated the sugya, and then we marked up about half of the sugya (down to the beginning of the third line before the end of the midsized lines on the same page), using key words and phrases to help us identify and visualize the logical components and the flow of the logic. Please review all of this material and if there are any questions we can discuss them at the beginning of this shiur.

In this shiur, we will continue and finish parsing the sugya (which ends in the 6th line before the bottom of the page) into its components and visualize its flow. Then we will go back to the beginning and discuss each item in depth in its sequence, and also see the related comments of Rashi and Tosafot.

December 15, 2020 4:00 am - 5:00 am
Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food: Lesson
Class description

In the previous shiur, we finished charting the logical flow of the sugya that seeks the reason why grape wine has its own special beracha. Then we went back to the beginning and began studying each segment in depth. We completed the discussion that rejected the reason first proposed: that the juice of the grape, with which we make wine, constitutes a change that improves the product so much that it deserves a unique blessing. We got up to the alternative answer proposed by the amora Mar Zutra.  Please review this material. If you have questions you can raise them by email to me or directly at the beginning of this class.

In this shiur, we will learn in depth the alternative answer of Mar Zutra, and the subsequent replacement of it by yet a different answer. The discussion will take us afield to a mishna about a detail in the laws of nedarim (vows), which the amoraim find relevant to the query at hand.  All of this material is on the page at Berachot 35b.

December 17, 2020 4:00 am - 5:00 am
Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food: Lesson
Class description

In the previous shiur, we saw how the gemara considered, then rejected, the first distinction suggested between wine and olive oil to explain why olive oil does not have a special beracha as wine does. We also learned the Rashi on these lines of the gemara. At the end of the shiur, we saw the new suggestion of the gemara. (Ending 12 lines up from the bottom of Berachot 35b.) Please review this material and if there are questions we will discuss them in this shiur.

In this shiur, we will learn how the gemara finally resolves the question regarding borei pri ha-gefen and why this unique type of beracha exists davka for wine. We will also learn the related comments of Rashi and Tosafot. Time allowing, we will move onto the next segment of the gemara, which is an addendum to our sugya that examines what the earlier amoraim were thinking when they spoke about consumption of olive oil.

 

December 22, 2020 4:00 am - 5:00 am
Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food: Lesson
Class description

In the previous shiur, we finished the sugya about Borei Peri haGafen (6 lines up from the bottom of the page at Berachot 35b) and discussed its conclusion. Please review and if there are questions we can discuss them at the beginning of this shiur. You can also send them to me by email.

In this shiur, we will read the last comments of Rashi and Tosafot on that sugya before we move on to reading the next sugya, which searches for the case alluded to previously, in which one would make a beracha of Borei Pri haEitz on olive oil.

December 24, 2020 4:00 am - 5:00 am
Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food: Lesson
Class description

In the previous shiur, we read and translated the new sugya (starting with ” גופא”,  which is 5 lines up from the bottom of the page on Berachot 35b), and then we went back and used key words and phrases to identify the successive pieces of material in the gemara and the role of each in the flow of the sugya. Please review this.

In this shiur, we will go back to the beginning of this sugya, about the beracha for consuming olive oil, and discuss each segment in depth.

December 29, 2020 4:00 am - 5:00 am
Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food: Lesson
Class description

We are in the middle of the sugya (at the bottom of Berachot 35b) that is looking for the case in which we would make a bracha of בורא פרי העץ before consuming olive oil.

In the previous shiur, we discussed in depth the first two suggested answers offered by the amoraim in the gemara, and why each is rejected. Please review this material and if there are questions we can discuss them at the beginning of this shiur.

In this shiur, we will learn in depth the gemara’s third and final answer, see why it is also problematic but how the problem is resolved by a further refinement of the understanding of the case. We will study the comments of Rashi on this segment, and time allowing we will also see the comments of Tosafot.

December 31, 2020 4:00 am - 5:00 am
Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food: Lesson
Class description

In the previous shiur, we studied the third (and final..) answer of the gemara to the question of which case of olive oil consumption requires the beracha of borei peri ha-‘eitz.  We also studied and discussed the difficulty the gemara raised with this case as well, and the answer given, which is a refinement and narrowing of the case ע”י אניגרון to a specific situation and use. We also studied the comments of Rashi on this material. At the end of the shiur we read the difficulty in Rashi’s explanation raised by Tosafot (the first comment of Tosafot at the top of Berachot 36a), in which the beraita quoted does not make sense.  Please review this material and we will discuss any questions at the beginning of this shiur.

In this shiur, we will start with the abovementioned Tosafot and read his two alternative answers to his question. Then we will go back to the sugya and learn the final difficulty raised, and its resolution.

January 5, 2021 4:00 am - 5:00 am
Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food: Lesson
Class description

In the previous shiur, we studied the Tosafot (with beginning words לא יערענו), reviewed his difficulty with Rashi’s explanation, and discussed his two alternative answers for how to understand the beraita about using olive oil as a remedy for a sore throat on Shabbat. We then completed the sugya about olive oil, discussing the gemara’s answer as to why the amoraic halacha about the beracha to be made is indeed something we would not have known without this source.

In this shiur, we move on to a new sugya, about the beracha to be made on flour from wheat and related questions. This short sugya continues down the middle part of Berachot 36a.

January 7, 2021 4:00 am - 5:00 am
Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food: Lesson
Class description

In the previous shiur, we read and translated the new sugya on Berachot 36a –about the beracha that should be made upon consumption of wheat flour–and then we identified the logical component segments and how they are interrelated, thereby mapping the flow of the sugya. All this we did without attempting to understand any of the actual content of the discussion. If there are any questions about the key words we identified for mapping the sugya, please raise them at the beginning of this shiur.

In this shiur, we will study the specific arguments and inferences made in each segment of the sugya, and discuss their halachic implications. We will also study the comments of Rashi and Tosafot.

January 12, 2021 4:00 am - 5:00 am
Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food: Lesson
Class description

In the previous shiur, we discussed in depth the question asked by the amoraim about the beracha to be made before eating wheat flour (or some form of ground wheat), and the two opposing rulings given, by Rav Yehuda and by Rav Nahman.  We then studied the argument of Rava against Rav Nahman’s ruling. On all of the above we also studied Rashi’s comments. At the very end of the shiur we discussed Rav Nahman’s counter-argument against Rava, but we still need to read the Rashi comment on this.  Please review this material and if there are questions we will deal with them at the beginning of this shiur.

In this shiur, we will begin with studying Rashi’s explanation of Rav Nahman’s counter-argument against Rava. Then we will move on in the gemara to Rava’s attempt to disprove Rav Nahman’s counter-argument, and Rav Nahman’s dismissal of that attempted proof, which concludes this sugya about halfway down the page at Berachot 36a. And we will learn the comments of Rashi on this exchange.

January 14, 2021 4:00 am - 5:00 am
Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food: Lesson
Class description

In the previous shiur, we continued in the sugya on Berachot 36a  concerning the beracha to be made on wheat meal/flour. We discussed in depth how Rav Nahman defended his position both by dismissing Rava’s attempted proof from a diyuk on the earlier amoraic halacha stated by Shmuel, and also by showing why Shmuel’s halacha needed to be stated the way it was.  Please review the material and if there are questions I will be happy to discuss them at the beginning of this shiur.

In this shiur, we will study the final segment of the sugya, in which Rava and Rav Nahman argue one last point, which emerges from Rav Nahman’s previous answer. Time allowing, we will move on to begin a new sugya, on the subject of the beracha בורא מיני מזונות  and which discusses the categories of foods for which we say that beracha.

January 19, 2021 4:00 am - 5:00 am
Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food: Lesson
Class description

In the previous shiur, we finished the sugya about wheat meal/flour, which ends in the middle of the page on Berachot 36a.
We then skipped to the bottom of the following page, to Berachot 36b, to begin a new sugya, about the blessings to be  made over the five species of grain, and rice and millet. We read and translated the first part of the sugya, which took us down to the end of the 8th line down from the top of the page on Berachot 37a. Please review this material, and as I suggested, you are welcome to attempt to map for yourselves the logical flow of the material in this part of the sugya.

In this shiur, we will begin by identifying the pieces of the part of the sugya that we have already read and translated, decide what is the role of each, and trace the logical flow that connects them. Then we will go back over it and discuss it in depth, and learn as well the related comments of Rashi. Following this, we will continue on to the next part of the sugya.

January 21, 2021 4:00 am - 5:00 am
Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food: Lesson
Class description

In the previous shiur, we finished discussing the first part of the sugya about rice/millet and their berachot. Please review the logic of this segment of the gemara: the way the gemara explains the need for both of the similar halachic statements attributed to Rav and Shmuel together. After that we read and translated the second segment of the sugya, ending after the 2nd word on the 20th line down from the top of the page at Berachot 37a in the printed format of the Vilna shas.  You are invited to attempt to identify the different pieces of material and their function and try to map the logical flow.

In this shiur, we will first go over the previously read material, identify its parts, and their logical flow. Then we will go back over and discuss it in depth. Following that we will move on to the next section of the gemara.

January 26, 2021 4:00 am - 5:00 am
Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food: Lesson
Class description

In the previous shiur, we explained in depth and discussed the 2nd part of the sugya on Berachot 37a. Please review and if there are questions we can discuss them before we move on in the sugya.

In this shiur, we will read, translate and break the remainder of the sugya into its logical parts and identify its flow. Then we will discuss each point in depth. In this part of the sugya, the amoraim refuse to accept the ruling derived/implied from the two statements of Rav and Shmuel brought at the beginning of the sugya. We will see how the sugya concludes the discussion, somewhat surprisingly.

January 28, 2021 4:00 am - 5:00 am
Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food: Lesson
Class description

In the previous shiur,  we read and translated, then identified the pieces of material that make up the last part of the sugya, mapping out its logical flow. We then started again  from the beginning of this section, and discussed in depth the baraita about ma’aseh kederah, which seems to contradict the understanding of the amoraim concerning rice. Please review this material; we can discuss any questions you may have before we proceed.

In this shiur, we will finish learning the sugya., which ends 13 lines from the bottom of the page on Berachot 37a.  We will review the sugya in its entirety. We will discuss how both Rav and Shmuel together can possibly be refuted.

February 2, 2021 4:00 am - 5:00 am
Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food: Lesson
Class description

In the previous shiur, we finished the sugya about rice and saw how the amoraim decided that that the beracha בורא מיני מזונות  should be used for rice, despite the sources in the name of Rav and Shmuel that implied otherwise and were proven to be in contradiction to the tanaitic sources.

In this shiur, the gemara (Berachot 37a and continuing onto 37b) will again look at the tanaitic sources (baraitot) that had been previously quoted, and compare them with others that are contradictory in some respects. Out of this discussion will emerge the full halacha concerning also the blessing to be said after eating rice, which is as we know it today from the poskim.

February 4, 2021 4:00 am - 5:00 am
Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food: Lesson
Class description

In the previous shiur, we learned a short piece of gemara that went back to the first part of the long baraita quoted in the previous sugya and found another baraita that contradicts it. The resolution was to identify the contradicting baraita with the minority opinion of R. Yehuda as expressed in the mishna itself. Following this we started the new, longer sugya. We read, translated, and identified the pieces and their role in the flow of the sugya.  Please review this and see if you can understand the flow of the sugya and its content on your own.

In this shiur we will once again go through the sugya from its beginning, this time to discuss in depth its ideas and concepts, and to gain insights from the story concerning R.Gamliel and R.Akiva in the baraita quoted by the gemara. Starting at 14 lines up from the bottom of the page at Berachot 37a.

February 9, 2021 4:00 am - 5:00 am
Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food: Lesson
Class description

In the previous shiur, we learned the first part (which is most) of the sugya about the blessing to be said after eating rice, including the long baraita (containing the story about Rabban Gamliel and R. Akiva) from which the amora R. Sheshet attempts to resolve the apparent contradiction between the two baraitot quoted at the beginning of the sugya. This took us up to the end of the 8th line from the top of the page at Berachot 37b. Please review this material and make sure you understand which part of the baraita is actually relevant for R. Sheshet’s answer. If there are questions, we will discuss them at the beginning of this shiur.

In this shiur, we will learn the final segments of this sugya — starting with the last part of R. Sheshet’s answer. Following this, we will jump ahead to the next page, Berachot 38a, to learn a sugya about the correct formulation of the blessing we say before bread: haMotzi.

February 11, 2021 4:00 am - 5:00 am
Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food: Lesson
Class description

In the previous shiur, we completed the sugya about the blessing to be made after eating rice in any form.  If there are any questions about how the gemara reached its conclusion in this sugya, I am happy to answer them at the beginning of this shiur.

In this shiur, we will jump ahead to a new sugya, which returns to discussing the mishna brought at the beginning of the chapter. This new, relatively short, sugya begins towards the bottom of the page at  Berachot 38a, and it is about the correct formulation of the blessing we say before bread: “haMotzi”.

February 16, 2021 4:00 am - 5:00 am
Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food: What is the correct wording of the beracha over bread (II)?
Class description

In the previous shiur, we read, translated, identified the parts and flow, and then began learning in depth the new sugya that begins 13 lines up from the bottom of Berachot 38a , and continues into the first few lines of the next page. Please review the material and if there are questions we can discuss them at the beginning of this shiur.

In this shiur, we will continue our in-depth study of this sugya, including the story brought about R. Zeira and the son of Rav Zavid, to its conclusion.

February 18, 2021 4:00 am - 5:00 am
Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food: What is the correct wording of the beracha over bread (III)?
Class description

In the previous shiur, we discussed Rava’s analysis of the dispute between R.Nehemia and the Chachamim  (tana kama) in the baraita with which the sugya starts, concerning the correct word to use–מוציא or המוציא–in the blessing before we eat bread. We also studied the gemara’s extension of Rava’s analysis, itself extended further by Rashi, that includes how each side of the dispute deals with the verse used by the other side to prove their point (according to Rava’s explanation). Finally, we discussed the first part of the story brought in the gemara, about R.Zeira and the son of Rav Zavid. Please review.

In this shiur, we will complete our in-depth study of this sugya, starting with the last part of the story brought about R. Zeira and the son of Rav Zavid, and reach the sugya’s conclusion. This material is found in the last lines of the page at Berachot 38a and the top of Berachot 38b.

February 23, 2021 4:00 am - 5:00 am
Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food: New Mishna – Berachot 40a
Class description

In this shiur, which is our last shiur of the winter WebYeshiva semester, we will  jump ahead to the next mishna in the chapter and learn the first segments of gemara that discuss it. The mishna and the gemara that we will learn are found at the bottom of the page at Berachot 40a. The subject of the mishna is the halacha in בדיעבד cases, where one made the incorrect beracha: does one need to go back and make the correct beracha, or can the beracha that was made already still work?

After the break for Purim/Pesach we will resume our study of this chapter, beginning on April 20. Looking forward to continuing with you!

April 20, 2021 3:00 am - 4:00 am
Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food: Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food
Class description

Welcome to all new and returning students!

I am happy that after the long break we are resuming learning and I am excited to be learning the material with you.

We will be learning new material in the 6th chapter of Berachot, starting on Berachot 40a, 7 lines up from the bottom of the page, where the gemara discusses the reason the mishna (a few lines above, we’ll review it) included what seems to be an obvious–and unnecessary to state–halacha in the case where one said the incorrect beracha before eating.

 

April 22, 2021 3:00 am - 4:00 am
Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food: Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food
Class description

In the previous shiur, we read through, translated, and mapped the flow of the short sugya that begins on Berachot 40a, 2 lines after the Mishna that is found towards the bottom of the page.  We stopped after discussing the opinions of R.Meir and R.Nehemiah in the baraita. You are welcome to watch/listen to the recording of the shiur if you could not participate live.

In this shiur, we will discuss the somewhat enigmatic opinion of R.Yehuda in that baraita, which is the main focus of this sugya, and we will see an interesting explanation of it from the writings of Rav Shabtai Sabato, the Rosh Yeshiva in Mitzpe Yericho.  Time allowing, we will move on to the following sugya.

April 27, 2021 3:00 am - 4:00 am
Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food: Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food
Class description

In the previous shiur, we finished discussing the short sugya that sought an explanation for the seemingly unnecessary statement in the mishna towards the bottom of Berachot 40a. Then we read and translated the next sugya, starting from the third line of the page at Berachot 40b, and going down to the 3rd wide line in the middle of the page. We did not have time to break the sugya into its component parts and to identify its flow, so you are welcome to do so in preparation for this shiur.

In this shiur, we will first identify the parts and logical flow of the sugya, then discuss it in depth.

April 29, 2021 3:00 am - 4:00 am
Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food: Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food that depart from the standard halachic formula
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In the previous shiur, we first went over the sugya to identify its components and its logical flow. Then we began our in-depth learning of the sugya with the meimra that presents Rav Huna’s and R. Yohanan’s different opinions about one who said the bracha שהכל נהיה בדברו over bread or wine. We also read Rashi’s explanation of the importance of wine as the reason for the relevant part of Rav Huna’s position, both here in our sugya and in the later sugya on Daf 42a. Please review this material. If there are questions you can send them by email or raise them at the beginning of this shiur.

In this shiur, we will continue with the discussion of the later amoraim who refute the kushya of  נימא כתנאי, and thereby clarify the issues of halachic concern to the amoraim, and the issues of concern to the tanaim. Starting at the 6th line from the top of the page at Berachot 40b.

May 4, 2021 3:00 am - 4:00 am
Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food: Rabbinic Perspectives: She-haKol nihiye bi-dvaro – בדיעבד and לכתחילה
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In the previous shiur, we continued on in the sugya, and after discussing the gemara’s answers for Rav Huna and R.Yohanan to the difficulty of נימא כתנאי, we moved on to the story of Binyamin the shepherd and the gemara’s discussion of the apparent problems with Rav’s ruling in the story.

In this shiur, we will complete our discussion of the last part of the sugya, and move on to the last part of the gemara before we start the new mishna, which is found a little more than halfway down the page on Berachot 40b. This mishna lists foods for which the beracha שהכל נהיה בדברו is said לכתחילה.

May 6, 2021 3:00 am - 4:00 am
Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food: What must be included in a blessing?
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In the previous shiur, we completed our discussion of the sugya that includes the story of Binyamin the Shepherd. We saw how the ambiguity in the peshat of the sugya actually led to two identical halachic rulings in the Shulchan Aruch that the wording Binyamin used works (בדיעבד) in place of both the blessing of HaMotzi and the first blessing (HaZan) of Birkat HaMazon.  Then we read, translated, parsed and discussed the following short sugya, which examines the dispute between Rav and R.Yohanan about the minimum requirements for content of a bracha. Please review this material and if there are any questions I will be happy to discuss them at the beginning of this shiur.

In this shiur, we will finish our discussion in depth of the dispute between Rav and R.Yohanan. We will first learn more carefully the baraita that Abaye brings in support of Rav.  Then we will study the Tosafot that relates to the halachic conclusions from this piece of gemara. Following this and time allowing, we will learn the new mishna, about the applicability of the blessing she-haKol. All of this is in the middle of the page at Berachot 40b.

May 11, 2021 3:00 am - 4:00 am
Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food: All about the blessing She-haKol…
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In this shiur we will study the mishna in the middle of the page at Berachot 40b, which details the kinds of foods on which one should (לכתחילה) make the blessing שהכל נהיה בדברו. The latter part of the mishna deals with a different subject: how you choose on which food to make a bracha that is common to a number of different foods that are in front of you on the table. After we learn and discuss the mishna, we will learn the first part of the gemara, which basically supplements the information in the mishna and then proceeds to explain the meaning of the concept “נובלות”.

May 13, 2021 3:00 am - 4:00 am
Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food: Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food
Class description

In the previous shiur, we learned the new mishna, in the middle of the page at Berachot 40b, and then proceeded to read, translate and identify the parts and logical flow of the first sugya.  We stopped before discussing in depth the gemara’s  difficulty with the baraita that expands on and details the types of foods on which the blessing She-haKol is said.

In this shiur, we will learn in depth the gemara’s discussion following the difficulty raised concerning mushrooms. Following this, we will learn the next sugya, which attempts to find the correct meaning of the term נובלות in the mishna.

May 20, 2021 3:00 am - 4:00 am
Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food: Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food
Class description

In the previous shiur, we finished the initial discussion in the gemara at Berachot 40b following the mishna about the blessing she-haKol , which focused on the question why that blessing is said before eating mushrooms. We then read and translated the long next sugya of gemara, which is about the reference to נובלות in the mishna, and which ends on the 4th line of Berachot 41a.

In this shiur, we will first identify the component pieces of the sugya and the flow of the logic. Then we will go back over it in depth, and also learn the comments of Rashi.  Time allowing, we will begin reading the gemara on the last part of the mishna, which deals with the basic question introduced in the mishna by the tanaim: how you choose on which food to make a bracha that is common to a number of different foods that are in front of you on the table.

May 25, 2021 3:00 am - 4:00 am
Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food: Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food
Class description

In the previous shiur, we identified the pieces that make up the sugya about נובלות and traced the flow of logic in the sugya. Then we began going over it in depth. We got up to discussing the difficulty raised on the wording of the mishna according to the איכא דאמרי , which is 9 lines from the bottom of Berachot 40b. In this shiur, we will continue from there and complete the sugya in depth.

June 1, 2021 3:00 am - 4:00 am
Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food: קדימות בברכות: The role of the seven species in beracha precedence
Class description

In the previous shiur, we finished discussing in depth the sugya that attempted to clarify the meaning of the term “נובלות” in the mishna.

In this shiur, we move on to the next sugya, which is about the last part of the mishna. This deals with the basic question introduced in the mishna by the tanaim: how you choose on which food to make a bracha that is common to a number of different foods that are in front of you on the table. This new sugya begins at the fifth line from the top of the page at Berachot 41a and continues down to about one-third of the next page (41b).

June 3, 2021 3:00 am - 4:00 am
Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food: Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food
Class description

In the previous shiur, we read, translated, and parsed the gemara into its logical segments, up to where the gemara begins discussing the dispute between R.Ami and R.Yitzhak Nafha. Please review how we did this. If there are any questions I will be happy to answer them at the beginning of this shiur.

In this shiur, we will continue parsing the sugya down to where we stopped translating, i.e. the 12th line up from the bottom of Berachot 41a . Then we will discuss the overall flow of the gemara from the beginning of the sugya. Following this, we will go back to the beginning of the sugya to discuss it in depth.

June 8, 2021 3:00 am - 4:00 am
Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food: The halacha of preference for the species on which to make a beracha that is common to more than one species (III)
Class description

In the previous shiur, we identified the different logical pieces of the sugya up to where we stopped reading — 12 lines up from the bottom of the page on Berachot 41a — and then went back to the beginning to discuss in depth the dispute of R.Yehuda and the Chachamim in the mishna and the statement of the amora עולא, which states his opinion regarding the nature and scope of that dispute. Finally, we discussed the attempted refutation of עולא and the initial answer offered by the gemara to deflect the refutation, the latter found 11 lines down from the top of Daf 41a. We also read the relevant comments of Rashi. Please  review this material; if there are questions we will discuss them at the beginning of this shiur.

In this shiur, we will continue analyzing in depth the gemara’s discussion, with a new objection to עולא raised by the amoraim, including the rather lengthy set of arguments brought in support of this objection.  We will continue with the gemara’s final answer to the difficulty raised, based on amendation of the text. Then we will move on to the amoraic dispute between R.Ami and R.Yitzhak Nafha, and the explanation of both sides offered in the gemara. We will learn the Rashi on this material and, time allowing, study some of the comments of Tosafot.

June 10, 2021 3:00 am - 4:00 am
Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food: R. Yehuda and the Chachamim argue even when the berachot are different…?
Class description

In the previous shiur, we finished discussing the gemara in depth and with Rashi up to the mahloket between R.Ami and R.Yitzhak Nafha, about halfway down the page on Berachot 41a.  We also learned the the mishna and beginning of the gemara on Daf 44a, where the halacha of  עיקר וטפלה עמו is presented, and learned there the Rashi and Tosafot.

In this shiur, we will discuss the remaining segments of the sugya up to where we stopped reading and translating. This includes the dispute between R.Ami and R.Yitzhak Nafha,  We will need to understand the gemara’s difficulty with one of the two positions, and how it is resolved.  We will also read and discuss Rashi’s comments on these lines, and a couple of the comments of Tosafot as well.

June 15, 2021 3:00 am - 4:00 am
Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food: The dispute between R. Yehuda and the Chachamim (continued clarifications by Tosafot)
Class description

In the previous shiur, we completed our discussion in depth of the main part of the sugya. We discussed how the dispute between R.Yehuda and the Chachamim can apply–according to one opinion– both to the issue of choosing the specific kind of fruit, out of more than one that are in front of a person to eat, on which to make the beracha common  to them, and also in certain cases to the issue of which beracha to make first if there are fruit to eat that have among them more than one beracha to make. In the last part of the shiur, we learned the first part of the first Tosafot at the top of the page at Berachot 41a, which clarified the intent of the amora עולא (and also the amora in the later section who agrees with him) regarding the nature of the agreement between R.Yehuda and the Chachamim when the fruit/food to be eaten does not all have the same beracha. Please review this material, and I am happy to answer any questions or further discuss any of this at the beginning of this shiur before we continue.

In this shiur, we will continue learning the Tosafot that we began, and also learn a short Tosafot further down the page. Then we will go back to the gemara and begin learning the new part of the sugya, i.e. we will read and translate and break down the remaining part of the sugya (starting 12 lines up from the bottom of Berachot 41a starting with the words  “ופליגא דרבי חנן”) into its logical segments and identify the flow. This part of the sugya will present an entirely different drash and different set of information learned from the pasuk in Devarim 8 that lists the seven species that adorn the Land of Israel.

June 17, 2021 3:00 am - 4:00 am
Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food: The dispute between R. Yehuda and the Chachamim (continued clarifications by Tosafot) (2)
Class description

In the previous shiur, we reviewed the first part of Tosafot at the top of the page at Berachot 41a ( ד”ה אבל בשאין ברכותיהן שוות), learned the second part of Tosafot which brought a kushya based on the story of Bar Kapara on Daf 39a to our case of ב”פ העץ and ב”פ האדמה. We also studied the story involving Bar Kapara itself, the gemara’s discussion of it, and part of the Rashi on it.  Please review and raise any questions at the beginning of this shiur.

In this shiur, we will learn Tosafot’s answer to the kushya, and then take a look again at the last part in the gemara of the discussion of the Bar Kapara story (with Rashi.. and part of  Tosafot there,  ד”ה חביב עדיף). We will finish the remainder of the Tosafot that we began on our page and then read the short comment of Tosafot towards  the bottom of the page ד”ה במאי פליגי. Time allowing, we will move on to the last part of the sugya, towards the bottom of Berachot 41a.

June 22, 2021 3:00 am - 4:00 am
Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food: The amoraic dispute about the drash on the verse of the 7 species
Class description

In the previous shiur, we finished learning the story about Bar Kapara on Daf 39a (with Rashi and the Tosafot there), and went back and finished the Tosafot that we were learning on our sugya on Berachot 41a.  If there are questions about this material, I am happy to discuss them at the beginning of this shiur.

In this shiur, we are moving on to discuss the use of the verse in Devarim 8 that mentions the 7 species, to understand how it supports the answer brought by R.Yirmiya, and we will see the Rashi on this. Then we will move on to the new material that presents a totally different way to understand the significance of the verse about the 7 species. Because this part of the sugya involves a lot of outside information, we will use Rashi for this purpose as we discuss the gemara on each word of the verse. Time allowing, we will learn the final lines of the sugya and put it all together.

June 24, 2021 3:00 am - 4:00 am
Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food: Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food
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June 29, 2021 3:00 am - 4:00 am
Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food: Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food
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July 1, 2021 3:00 am - 4:00 am
Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food: Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food
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July 6, 2021 3:00 am - 4:00 am
Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food: Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food
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July 8, 2021 3:00 am - 4:00 am
Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food: Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food
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July 13, 2021 3:00 am - 4:00 am
Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food: Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food
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July 15, 2021 3:00 am - 4:00 am
Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food: Rabbinic Perspectives: Blessings over food
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Rabbi Yitzhak Zuriel has been enjoying guiding students in how to learn and understand Talmud at WebYeshiva.org since its founding. He began his teaching career as a teacher and educational director at Michlelet Bruria in the 1980s. For over 20 years, he has been working as a software engineer in Jerusalem, and during that time has been an editor and contributor to the company NDS's Torah journal, Chiddushei Torah@NDS, that was published annually from 1996-2014 . He and his wife reside in Ma'ale Adumim and are parents to five children and have many grandchildren.