Berakhot 16aברכות ט״ז א
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
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16aט״ז א

אֹהָלִים לִנְחָלִים דִּכְתִיב כִּנְחָלִים נִטָּיוּ כְּגַנּוֹת עֲלֵי נָהָר כַּאֲהָלִים נָטַע וְגוֹ' לוֹמַר לְךָ מָה נְחָלִים מַעֲלִין אֶת הָאָדָם מִטּוּמְאָה לְטׇהֳרָה אַף אֹהָלִים מַעֲלִין אֶת הָאָדָם מִכַּף חוֹבָה לְכַף זְכוּת:

tents juxtaposed to streams, as it is written: “As streams stretched forth, as gardens by the riverside; as aloes [ahalim] planted by the Lord, as cedars by the water” (Numbers 24:6)? The Gemara vocalizes the word ohalim, tents, rather than ahalim. They are juxtaposed in order to tell you: Just as streams elevate a person from ritual impurity to purity after he immerses himself in their water, so too tents of Torah elevate a person from the scale of guilt to the scale of merit.

הַקּוֹרֵא לְמַפְרֵעַ לֹא יָצָא וְכוּ':

We learned in our mishna: One who recited Shema out of order did not fulfill his obligation. One who recited and erred, should return to the place in Shema that he erred.

רַבִּי אַמֵּי וְרַבִּי אַסִּי הֲווֹ קָא קָטְרִין לֵיהּ גְּנָנָא לְרַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר אֲמַר לְהוּ אַדְּהָכִי וְהָכִי אֵיזִיל וְאֶשְׁמַע מִלְּתָא דְבֵי מִדְרְשָׁא וְאֵיתֵי וְאֵימָא לְכוּ אֲזַל אַשְׁכְּחֵיהּ לְתַנָּא דְּקָתָנֵי קַמֵּיהּ דְּרַבִּי יוֹחָנָן

With regard to an error in the recitation of Shema, the Gemara recounts: Rabbi Ami and Rabbi Asi were once tying a wedding canopy in preparation for the wedding of Rabbi Elazar. He said to them: In the meantime, until you finish, I will go and hear something in the study hall, and I will come and say it to you. He went and found the tanna who recited mishnayot in the study hall, who was reciting this Tosefta before Rabbi Yoḥanan:

קָרָא וְטָעָה וְאֵינוֹ יוֹדֵעַ לְהֵיכָן טָעָה בָּאֶמְצַע הַפֶּרֶק יַחְזוֹר לָרֹאשׁ בֵּין פֶּרֶק לַפֶּרֶק יַחְזוֹר לְפֶרֶק רִאשׁוֹן בֵּין כְּתִיבָה לִכְתִיבָה יַחְזוֹר לִכְתִיבָה רִאשׁוֹנָה

One who recited Shema and erred, and does not know where exactly he erred; if he was in the middle of a paragraph when he realized his error, he must return to the beginning of the paragraph; if he was between one paragraph and another when he realized his error but does not remember between which paragraphs, he must return to the first break between paragraphs. Similarly, if one erred between writing and writing, i.e., between the verse: “And you shall write them on the door posts of your house and on your gates” (Deuteronomy 6:9) in the first paragraph and the identical verse (Deuteronomy 11:20) in the second paragraph, he must return to the first writing.

אֲמַר לֵיהּ רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן לֹא שָׁנוּ אֶלָּא שֶׁלֹּא פָּתַח בִּלְמַעַן יִרְבּוּ יְמֵיכֶם אֲבָל פָּתַח בִּלְמַעַן יִרְבּוּ יְמֵיכֶם סִרְכֵיהּ נָקֵט וְאָתֵי

Rabbi Yoḥanan said to him: They only taught this halakha in a case where one did not yet begin: “In order to lengthen your days” (Deuteronomy 11:21) which follows that verse at the end of the second paragraph. However, if he already began to recite: In order to lengthen your days, he can assume that he assumed his routine and continued and completed the second paragraph.

אֲתָא וַאֲמַר לְהוּ אֲמַרוּ לֵיהּ אִלּוּ לֹא בָּאנוּ אֶלָּא לִשְׁמוֹעַ דָּבָר זֶה דַּיֵּינוּ:

Rabbi Elazar came and told Rabbi Ami and Rabbi Asi what he heard. They said to him: Had we come only to hear this, it would have been sufficient.

מַתְנִי' הָאוּמָּנִין קוֹרִין בְּרֹאשׁ הָאִילָן וּבְרֹאשׁ הַנִּדְבָּךְ מַה שֶּׁאֵינָן רַשָּׁאִין לַעֲשׂוֹת כֵּן בִּתְפִלָּה

MISHNA: The primary issue in this mishna is the requisite degree of concentration when reciting Shema. Laborers engaged in their work may recite Shema while standing atop the tree or atop the course of stones in a wall under construction, which they are not permitted to do for the Amida prayer, which requires intent of the heart.

חָתָן פָּטוּר מִקְּרִיאַת שְׁמַע לַיְלָה הָרִאשׁוֹנָה וְעַד מוֹצָאֵי שַׁבָּת אִם לֹא עָשָׂה מַעֲשֶׂה וּמַעֲשֶׂה בְּרַבָּן גַּמְלִיאֵל שֶׁנָּשָׂא אִשָּׁה וְקָרָא לַיְלָה הָרִאשׁוֹנָה אָמְרוּ לוֹ תַּלְמִידָיו לִמַּדְתָּנוּ רַבֵּינוּ שֶׁחָתָן פָּטוּר מִקְּרִיאַת שְׁמַע אָמַר לָהֶם אֵינִי שׁוֹמֵעַ לָכֶם לְבַטֵּל הֵימֶנִי מַלְכוּת שָׁמַיִם אֲפִילּוּ שָׁעָה אַחַת:

The mishna continues: A groom is exempt from the recitation of Shema on the first night of his marriage, which was generally Wednesday night, until Saturday night, if he has not taken action and consummated the marriage, as he is preoccupied by concerns related to consummation of the marriage. The mishna relates that there was an incident where Rabban Gamliel married a woman and recited Shema even the first night. His students said to him: Didn’t our teacher teach us that a groom is exempt from the recitation of Shema? He answered them: Nevertheless, I am not listening to you to refrain from reciting Shema, and in so doing preclude myself from the acceptance of the yoke of the Kingdom of Heaven, for even one moment.

גְּמָ' תָּנוּ רַבָּנַן הָאוּמָּנִין קוֹרִין בְּרֹאשׁ הָאִילָן וּבְרֹאשׁ הַנִּדְבָּךְ וּמִתְפַּלְּלִין בְּרֹאשׁ הַזַּיִת וּבְרֹאשׁ הַתְּאֵנָה וּשְׁאָר כָּל הָאִילָנוֹת יוֹרְדִים לְמַטָּה וּמִתְפַּלְּלִין וּבַעַל הַבַּיִת בֵּין כָּךְ וּבֵין כָּךְ יוֹרֵד לְמַטָּה וּמִתְפַּלֵּל לְפִי שֶׁאֵין דַּעְתּוֹ מְיוּשֶּׁבֶת עָלָיו

GEMARA: With regard to laborers, the Sages taught in a Tosefta: Laborers, while engaged in their labor, may recite Shema while standing atop the tree or atop the course of stones in a wall under construction. And they may pray atop the olive tree or the fig tree, as those trees have many branches close together, so one could stand on them and focus properly while praying. In the case of all the rest of the trees, however, they must climb down and pray. However, the homeowner, who is self-employed, in all cases, regardless of the type of tree, must climb down and pray, as he will be unable to focus appropriately. Since, in contrast to the laborers, it is his prerogative to climb down and pray, the Sages did not permit him to pray atop the tree.

רָמֵי לֵיהּ רַב מָרִי בְּרַהּ דְּבַת שְׁמוּאֵל לְרָבָא תְּנַן הָאוּמָּנִין קוֹרִין בְּרֹאשׁ הָאִילָן וּבְרֹאשׁ הַנִּדְבָּךְ אַלְמָא לָא בָּעֵי כַּוָּנָה וּרְמִינְהִי הַקּוֹרֵא אֶת שְׁמַע צָרִיךְ שֶׁיְּכַוֵּין אֶת לִבּוֹ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל וּלְהַלָּן הוּא אוֹמֵר הַסְכֵּת וּשְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל מַה לְּהַלָּן בְּהַסְכֵּת אַף כָּאן בְּהַסְכֵּת

Rav Mari, son of the daughter of Shmuel, raised a contradiction before Rava: We learned in our mishna: Laborers may recite Shema atop the tree or atop the course of stones in a wall under construction. We see that he does not require intent, simple recitation is sufficient. And he raised a contradiction from the verbal analogy taught in a baraita: One who recites Shema must focus his heart, as it is stated: “Hear [Shema], Israel.” And below, later in Deuteronomy, it says: “Pay attention, and hear [shema], Israel” (Deuteronomy 27:9). Just as there one must pay attention, so too here one must pay attention.

אִשְׁתִּיק אֲמַר לֵיהּ מִידֵּי שְׁמִיעַ לָךְ בְּהָא אֲמַר לֵיהּ הָכִי אָמַר רַב שֵׁשֶׁת וְהוּא שֶׁבְּטֵלִין מִמְּלַאכְתָּן וְקוֹרִין

Rava was silent as he had no response. But he said to him: Have you heard anything on this matter? He replied: Rav Sheshet said as follows: And this halakha, that laborers may recite Shema atop the tree only applies when they are idle from their work and recite it so they can focus their hearts.

וְהָתַנְיָא בֵּית הִלֵּל אוֹמְרִים עוֹסְקִים בִּמְלַאכְתָּן וְקוֹרִין

The Gemara challenges this: But wasn’t it taught in a baraita that Beit Hillel say: Laborers engage in their labor and recite Shema?

לָא קַשְׁיָא הָא בְּפֶרֶק רִאשׁוֹן הָא בְּפֶרֶק שֵׁנִי

The Gemara responds: This is not difficult. This, which says that laborers must be idle from their labor, is referring to a case when they are reciting the first paragraph of Shema, while that, which says that they may continue to work, is in a case when they are reciting the second paragraph.

תָּנוּ רַבָּנַן הַפּוֹעֲלִים שֶׁהָיוּ עוֹשִׂין מְלָאכָה אֵצֶל בַּעַל הַבַּיִת קוֹרִין קְרִיאַת שְׁמַע וּמְבָרְכִין לְפָנֶיהָ וּלְאַחֲרֶיהָ וְאוֹכְלִין פִּתָּן וּמְבָרְכִין לְפָנֶיהָ וּלְאַחֲרֶיהָ וּמִתְפַּלְּלִין תְּפִלָּה שֶׁל שְׁמוֹנֶה עֶשְׂרֵה אֲבָל אֵין יוֹרְדִין לִפְנֵי הַתֵּיבָה וְאֵין נוֹשְׂאִין כַּפֵּיהֶם

The Sages taught in a Tosefta: Laborers who were working for a homeowner are obligated to recite Shema and recite the blessings before it and after it; and when they eat their bread they are obligated to recite the blessing before and after it; and they are obligated to recite the Amida prayer. However, they do not descend before the ark as communal prayer leaders and the priests among them do not lift their hands to recite the Priestly Blessing, so as not to be derelict in the duties they were hired to perform.

וְהָתַנְיָא מֵעֵין שְׁמוֹנֶה עֶשְׂרֵה אָמַר רַב שֵׁשֶׁת לָא קַשְׁיָא הָא רַבָּן גַּמְלִיאֵל הָא רַבִּי יְהוֹשֻׁעַ

The Gemara challenges this: Didn’t we learn in a different baraita that laborers recite an abridged prayer consisting of a microcosm of the Amida prayer in place of the full Amida prayer? The Gemara responds: This is not difficult. This baraita obligating laborers to recite the full Amida prayer is in accordance with the opinion of Rabban Gamliel, as he holds that one must always recite the full eighteen blessings. This baraita which allows laborers to abridge their prayers is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yehoshua, who permits one to abridge the Amida prayer.

אִי רַבִּי יְהוֹשֻׁעַ מַאי אִירְיָא פּוֹעֲלִים אֲפִילּוּ כָּל אָדָם נָמֵי

The Gemara objects: But if this baraita is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yehoshua, why did the baraita discuss a case involving laborers in particular? Rabbi Yehoshua holds that every person may also recite an abridged version of the Amida prayer.

אֶלָּא אִידֵּי וְאִידֵּי רַבָּן גַּמְלִיאֵל וְלָא קַשְׁיָא כָּאן בְּעוֹשִׂין בִּשְׂכָרָן כָּאן בְּעוֹשִׂין בִּסְעוּדָתָן

Rather, we must say that this baraita and that baraita are both in accordance with the opinion of Rabban Gamliel, and this is not difficult: Here, in the baraita where laborers pray the abridged version of the Amida prayer, refers to a case where laborers work for their wage beyond the meal provided by their employer; while here, in the baraita where laborers must pray the full Amida prayer, refers to a case where laborers work only for their meal.

וְהָתַנְיָא הַפּוֹעֲלִים שֶׁהָיוּ עוֹשִׂים מְלָאכָה אֵצֶל בַּעַל הַבַּיִת קוֹרִין קְרִיאַת שְׁמַע וּמִתְפַּלְּלִין וְאוֹכְלִין פִּתָּן וְאֵין מְבָרְכִים לְפָנֶיהָ אֲבָל מְבָרְכִין לְאַחֲרֶיהָ שְׁתַּיִם כֵּיצַד בְּרָכָה רִאשׁוֹנָה כְּתִקּוּנָהּ שְׁנִיָּה פּוֹתֵחַ בְּבִרְכַּת הָאָרֶץ וְכוֹלְלִין בּוֹנֵה יְרוּשָׁלָיִם בְּבִרְכַּת הָאָרֶץ

And indeed it was taught in a baraita: Laborers who were performing labor for the homeowner recite Shema and pray; and when they eat their bread they do not recite a blessing beforehand because the blessing recited before food is only an obligation by rabbinic law, but they recite two of the three blessings normally recited in the blessing thereafter, the Grace after Meals, which is an obligation by Torah law. How so? The first blessing is recited in its standard formula; the second blessing, he begins to recite the blessing of the land and they include the blessing: Who builds Jerusalem within the blessing of the land, at which point they conclude the Grace after Meals.

בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּעוֹשִׂין בִּשְׂכָרָן אֲבָל עוֹשִׂין בִּסְעוּדָתָן אוֹ שֶׁהָיָה בַּעַל הַבַּיִת מֵיסֵב עִמָּהֶן מְבָרְכִין כְּתִיקּוּנָהּ:

In what case is this said? This is said with regard to laborers who work for their wage, but if they work for their meal or if the homeowner reclined and ate the meal with them, they recite the blessings in their standard formula.

חָתָן פָּטוּר מִקְּרִיאַת שְׁמַע תָּנוּ רַבָּנַן בְּשִׁבְתְּךָ בְּבֵיתֶךָ פְּרָט לְעוֹסֵק בְּמִצְוָה וּבְלֶכְתְּךָ בַּדֶּרֶךְ פְּרָט לְחָתָן מִכָּאן אָמְרוּ הַכּוֹנֵס אֶת הַבְּתוּלָה פָּטוּר וְאֶת הָאַלְמָנָה חַיָּיב

We learned in the mishna that a groom is exempt from the recitation of Shema on the first night of his marriage. The Sages taught the source of this halakha in a baraita based on the verse: “When you sit in your home, and when you walk along the way.” When you sit in your home, to the exclusion of one who is engaged in performance of a mitzva, who is exempt from the recitation of Shema; and when you walk along the way, to the exclusion of a groom, who is also exempt from the recitation of Shema. The baraita adds that from here, from this interpretation of the verses, they said: One who marries a virgin is exempt from the recitation of Shema on his wedding night, but one who marries a widow is obligated.

מַאי מַשְׁמַע אָמַר רַב פָּפָּא כִּי דֶרֶךְ מָה דֶּרֶךְ רְשׁוּת אַף הָכָא נָמֵי רְשׁוּת

The Gemara clarifies the meaning of this baraita, and asks: From where is it inferred that the verse: “When you walk along the way,” enables us to derive that a groom is exempt from the obligation to recite Shema? Rav Pappa said that it is derived: Like the way; just as the journey along a specific way described in the verse is voluntary and involves no mitzva, so too all of those who are obligated to recite Shema are engaged in voluntary activities. However, one engaged in performance of a mitzva is exempt from the obligation to recite Shema.

מִי לָא עָסְקִינַן דְּקָאָזֵיל לִדְבַר מִצְוָה וַאֲפִילּוּ הָכִי אָמַר רַחֲמָנָא לִיקְרֵי

The Gemara asks: Are we not dealing with a case where one is walking along on his way to perform a mitzva; nevertheless, the Torah said to recite Shema, indicating that he is obligated even if he set out to perform a mitzva.

אִם כֵּן לֵימָא קְרָא בְּלֶכֶת מַאי בְּלֶכְתְּךָ שְׁמַע מִינַּהּ בְּלֶכֶת דִּידָךְ הוּא דִּמְחַיְּיבַתְּ הָא דְמִצְוָה פְּטִירַתְּ

The Gemara explains: If so, that the intention was to obligate in all cases, let the Torah say: When walking along the way. What is the meaning of: When you walk along the way? Conclude from this: It is in a case of your walking, meaning that when you do this for your own purposes and of your own volition, you are obligated to recite Shema, but when you go with the objective of performing a mitzva, you are exempt.