Shiur Points 6/25/18 Beitza 35a

Beitza 35a

1- We went further into the idea of שבת קובעת למעשר.

Image result for olive press

2- Our Gemara quotes a Mishnah concerning one who places a large amount of olives in an olive press. In general, the olives in the press are considered ‘unfinished’ since they are not meant to be eaten but to produce olive oil. So eating a few olives from the press would not require מעשר as it is a סעודת ארעי.

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סעודת ארעי

Now, when lunchtime comes along, this fellow פרעסער dips his hand into the press and removes 10 olives to munch on. This large amount of olives creates a סעודת קבע  requiring מעשר to be given.

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סעודת קבע

However, according to Reb Eliezer, even if one takes out many olives,  since the uneaten balance may be returned to the olive press, then all 10 olives are not considered סעודת קבע.


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3- Further in the Gemara we find the case of one that is holding a cluster of grapes. This cluster is not חייב במעשר.

How is that? Rashi explains that ‘generally, a cluster of grapes is considered ‘unfinished’’. לא נגמרה מלאכתו

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We discussed the meaning of this:

Was Rashi (who was a winemaker) referring specifically to wine grapes (only) that are usually not eaten?

Or perhaps he was referring to all types of grapes,  including ‘table grapes’, and it’s just that eating habits have changed since his time. Perhaps centuries ago, grapes were generally not consumed as food but only processed into wine.  


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Table grapes were first planted in the USA in 1839.

Therefore grapes are considered ‘unfinished’ and not חייב במעשר until they turn into wine.

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4- We spoke about ברכות that have changed in time. A prime example is the carrot.

The Alter Rebbe (11) writes that on raw carrots one makes שהכל since it is not the normal way to eat them!  Most people eat carrots when they are cooked. 

colorful carrots to grow in your garden

purple carrots

Carrots, the way they used to look…no one ate these uncooked.

When has this changed? Reb Zalman Shimon Dworkin (d. 1985) would say that one should indeed make  שהכל on raw carrots.

5- We spoke about perhaps another change. When one washes on bread all the other ברכות on the food dishes that follow are not made.


Because these items such as fish and meat are usually not eaten without bread’. (4,1)

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Thus, the  ברכה המוציא, applies on the balance of the meal. However, deserts, such as cake, since one eats cake also outside of the meal, the המוציא does not apply to them.

Now let’s think….. Who eats fish with bread today? Soup maybe. Sometimes. But are fish and meat ‘usually eaten in a bread meal’?

In other words – is fish any different today, than say an apple, in regard to eating them with bread or in  a bread meal?

Image result for soup in bread bowl

6- We discussed that the Alter Rebbe wrote these הלכות in three places.

1- שולחן ערוך

2- לוח ברכת הנהנין

3- סדר ברכת הנהנין

See the language here  his שולחן ערוך.

(177, 1)

א דברים הבאים בתוך הסעודה אם הם דברים הבאים מחמת הסעודה דהיינו דברים שדרך לקבוע סעודה עליהם בין ללפת בהם את הפתב כגון בשר ודגים וירקות וגבינה וביצים ומיני מלוחים בין למזון ולהשביע כגון כרוב ותרדין ודייסא וכל מעשה קדרה שאינן באין ללפת אלא לתבשיל ולמזון א”צ ברכה לפניהם אפילו אוכלם בלא פת שברכת המוציא פוטרתם ולא לאחריהם שברכת המזון פוטרתםי

(שכיון שאין דרכם  לאכול אותם כל היום כמו הפירות אלא בשעת סעודה בלבד הרי הם טפלים לפת שהוא עיקר הסעודה ולכן נפטרים בברכת הפת אע”פ שאוכלם בלא פת ).

7- In connection to Birchas Hanehenin, this story was related:

Once a rabbi arrived in town for a “prubbe” to see if he was up to the task of becoming their Rav.

They placed a sumptuous plate of various fruit in front of him and waited to see which fruit he would choose first, thereby demonstrating his Halachic acumen.

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When the the plate was brought before the rabbi, he blanched, unsure of which fruit to eat first. Turning to his hosts, he excused himself to use the facilities. Alone, he pulled out one of the above mentioned three sefarim struggling in vain to determine which fruit to eat first. Meanwhile, the townspeople proceeded to mix up and slice some of the fruit, thereby adding further layers of complexity to the question!

Finally the rabbi returned, believing he could pull it off.

Gazing upon the discombobulated plate of fruit again, his eyes fell and was stumped. Again he asks to be excused to use the facilities…..

Until his return the townspeople added and removed and sliced some  of the fruits.  The Rabbi returns once again and could not figure out what Brocho to make.

Another aged Talmid Chochom, realizing that this Rabbi was not up to par tells him: ” …פשפש ולא מצא “.

What did he mean with that? It was a classical ‘double entendre’.  [a figure of speech or a particular way of wording that is devised to be understood in two ways,]

The Gemore says in Berochos (5,a)

אם רואה אדם שיסורין באין עליו יפשפש במעשיו שנא’ “נחפשה דרכינו ונחקורה ונשובה עד ה’ ”

פשפש ולא מצא יתלה בבטול תורה שנאמר “אשרי הגבר אשר תיסרנו יה ומתורתך תלמדנו”

When a person sees that he is afflicted with pain and wonders as to why he deserved to be punished from Above, he should first reflect on his actions . יפשפש במעשיו.

If he can’t find anything wrong in his way of life…… פשפש ולא מצא…..  he should attribute his pain to his ביטול תורה.

So the old Talmid Chochom meant to say:

פשפש ולא מצא…… meaning that this ‘Rabbi did פשפש twice….. and still can’t figure out the proper ברכה… so one must attribute his lack of knowledge to his own ביטול תורה……..

פשפש ולא מצא יתלה בבטול תורה



Shiur 06/12/18 – Beitza 34b – 35a

Beitza 34b -35a

1- We continued the Sugya of Shabbos creating a new status. Shabbos elevates the status of  fruits and produce to the level of טבל.

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2- For Gimmel Tamuz we studied the text of Reshimos #105. 

The point the Rebbe is making is that a Yid can never be outnumbered. His being and existence is a stand-alone entity that cannot be nullified.

Whereas in Halacha, for example, a particle of food may be nullified, נתבטל, a Yid, despite being a minority, a ‘single digit’, cannot be overwhelmed or diluted by huge ‘numbers’. He forever maintains his importance and uniqueness.  

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The Rebbe points out the various shiurim we find in the laws of ביטול such as רוב (one in a mixture of three) 17,  60, 100 (Teruma) , 200 (orlah) and 960.

Thus the highest number of ביטול, is 960. Meaning that something that is mixed into a mixture that has 960 parts is definitely בטל.

But a Yid overcomes this ‘960’ that is stacked up against him – thus showing his resilience.

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Where do we find this powerful message? In the square area of מחנה ישראל.  

As the Rebbe explains, a simple mathematical calculation shows that area of מחנה ישראל was 576,000,000 square Amos.

See graph below.


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Concerning various Halachos we find that a person’s body ‘fills’ one square Amo.  

If one divides the 600,000 Yiden into the 576,000,000 square Amos, it shows that every person, despite only needing one square Amo for himself, had 960 square Amos in מחנה ישראל.

Image result for ‫מחנה ישראל‬‎

[An Amo is 18” or 1.5 feet. A square Amo is 2.25 square feet. So 960 square Amos is 2,160 square feet! That’s a nice sized apartment…]

So despite his own ‘personal space’ being only one square Amo he was allotted 960 times that amount.

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And yet his little square Amo holds its own and is never overwhelmed or  בטל, even in a 1:960 ratio. 

960 being the sum when all individual particles lose their identity. When something is outnumbered by a ratio of one in 960 this ‘one’ ceases to exist. It cannot  ‘holds its own’ status, Except the Yid.

The makeup and size of Machane Yisroel came about as a result of the final 40 days that משה רבינו  spent on הר סיני asking for and receiving a full pardon for the חטא העגל.

Thus 40 days and nights has 960 hours……



Shiur 06/05/18 – Beitza 34b

Beitza 34b

1- We continued the discussion of the idea that Shabbos elevates/changes the status of a person and/or food.

Image result for shabbos effectOur Gemara is the source of all the resulting הלכות about the effect of Shabbos on the world.

The case discussed concerns the transition of harvested farm produce to the level of  טבל.

In order for produce to enter the stage of טבל, making it inedible until תרומות ומעשרות  have been given, it needs to be:

A- Brought into the house or courtyard.

B- Ready to eat.

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If these two parameters are not present, then min Hatorah it is not טבל and one can eat these grains and fruits even as a full meal and Miderabonon only as a snack. For example – eating an apple as a snack in the orchard prior to giving תרומות ומעשרות would be permitted. For although a picked apple is considered ‘finished food’ it has not yet reached the house.  

2- Our Gemara states that on Shabbos (and perhaps Yom Tov too) fruit that is ready but still out in the field would not be permissible to eat, even as a snack, without first giving the תרומות ומעשרות.


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Because due to the obligation to have עונג – enjoyment of food on Shabbos, the מצוה gives importance to the snack as if it is an ‘important meal’ – סעודת קבע. Therefore, these fruits, despite them still being out on the farm (never brought into the house) cannot be eaten, even after Shabbos (unless ones takes care of the  תרומות ומעשרות).

See below about עונג on Shabbos

[The Gemara’s question is if Shabbos would elevate non-processed food to be considered  פירות שנגמרה מלאכתן]

Image result for ‫פירות שנגמרה מלאכתן‬‎


3- A direct result of this effect of Shabbos is the Halacha that one should not even drink water prior to Kiddush. Although drinking water is obviously not a סעודת קבע, nevertheless Shabbos give it importance. Pesachim 105a.

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4- Another example: An Am Ha’aretz does not lie on Shabbos. Thus, if on Shabbos an AH claims that he gave Ma’aser from his fruit one can rely on his say so and is permitted to eat it.

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Did you give maaser?

We mentioned the paradox that after Havdalah these fruits are not permitted to be eaten, unless Ma’aser is given……

5- The example we spoke about last week if eating a small amount of cake or cookies on Shabbos would obligate one to wash and bentch.

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6- The example of the שפת אמת. Pesachim 35,b. Concerning the eating of Matzah on Pesach.

Matzah that is טבל one is not יוצא.

So if one has his סדר out on the farm, where the grain is not טבל yet, it would seem that he can be יוצא since grains on the farm are not טבל  as they have not arrived at the house. 

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Seder on the cotton Farm

The שפת אמת, based on our Gemara, suggests that perhaps the Mitzvah of Matzah is קובע! Therefore the grain is indeed considered טבל.

We will discuss next week if eating in a Sukka also creates ‘importance’.

7- We concluded by learning the beginning of the  Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch in Hilchos Shabbos where he brings two opinions if eating fine food and dressing with clean clothes on Shabbos is מן התורה or  מדרבנן.