Berakhot 16bברכות ט״ז ב
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
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16bט״ז ב

אי הכי מאי איריא הכונס את הבתולה אפי' כונס את האלמנה נמי

The Gemara questions this: If so, why discuss a case of one who is marrying a virgin in particular? Even one who is marrying a widow is performing a mitzva and should also be exempt.

הכא טריד והכא לא טריד

The Gemara responds that nevertheless, there is a distinction between one marrying a virgin and one marrying a widow. Here, in the case of one who marries a virgin, the groom is preoccupied by his thoughts, while here, in the case of one who marries a widow, he is not preoccupied.

אי משום טרדא אפילו טבעה ספינתו בים נמי אלמה אמר רבי אבא בר זבדא אמר רב אבל חייב בכל מצות האמורות בתורה חוץ מן התפילין שהרי נאמר בהן פאר שנאמר (יחזקאל כד, יז) פארך חבוש עליך וגו'

The Gemara challenges: If a groom is exempt from the recitation of Shema simply due to preoccupation, then even one who is preoccupied because his ship sank at sea should be exempt. If so, why then did Rabbi Abba bar Zavda say that Rav said: A mourner is obligated in all the mitzvot mentioned in the Torah except for the mitzva to don phylacteries, as the term splendor is stated with regard to phylacteries, as it is stated that the prophet Ezekiel was prohibited to mourn and was told: “Bind your splendor upon yourself” (Ezekiel 24:17). If even a mourner, who is pained and preoccupied, is obligated to recite Shema, clearly preoccupation has no bearing upon one’s obligation.

אמרי התם טרדא דרשות הכא טרדא דמצוה:

The Gemara responds: Nevertheless, there is a distinction between the cases. There, it is a case of preoccupation with a voluntary act, as there is no mitzva to be preoccupied with his mourning, but here, in the case of a groom, the cause of the preoccupation is the mitzva itself.

מתני׳ רחץ לילה הראשון שמתה אשתו אמרו לו תלמידיו למדתנו רבינו שאבל אסור לרחוץ אמר להם איני כשאר בני אדם אסטניס אני

MISHNA: The mishna relates another episode portraying unusual conduct by Rabban Gamliel. He bathed on the first night after his wife died. His students said to him: Have you not taught us, our teacher, that a mourner is prohibited to bathe? He answered them: I am not like other people, I am delicate [istenis]. For me, not bathing causes actual physical distress, and even a mourner need not suffer physical distress as part of his mourning.

וכשמת טבי עבדו קבל עליו תנחומין אמרו לו תלמידיו למדתנו רבינו שאין מקבלין תנחומין על העבדים אמר להם אין טבי עבדי כשאר כל העבדים כשר היה

Another exceptional incident is related: And when his slave, Tavi, died, Rabban Gamliel accepted condolences for his death as one would for a close family member. His students said to him: Have you not taught us, our teacher, that one does not accept condolences for the death of slaves? Rabban Gamliel said to his students: My slave, Tavi, is not like all the rest of the slaves, he was virtuous and it is appropriate to accord him the same respect accorded to a family member.

חתן אם רוצה לקרות קרית שמע לילה הראשון קורא רבן שמעון בן גמליאל אומר לא כל הרוצה ליטול את השם יטול:

With regard to the recitation of Shema on one’s wedding night, the Sages said that if, despite his exemption, a groom wishes to recite Shema on the first night, he may do so. Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel says: Not everyone who wishes to assume the reputation of a God-fearing person may assume it, and consequently, not everyone who wishes to recite Shema on his wedding night may do so.

גמ׳ מ"ט דרבן (שמעון בן) גמליאל קסבר אנינות לילה דרבנן דכתיב (עמוס ח, י) ואחריתה כיום מר ובמקום אסטניס לא גזרו ביה רבנן:

GEMARA: With regard to Rabban Gamliel’s bathing on the first night after the death of his wife, the Gemara asks: What is the reason that Rabban Gamliel did not practice the customs of mourning after his wife died? The Gemara answers: He holds that acute mourning [aninut] is in effect only on the day of the death itself, but acute mourning at night is only by rabbinic law, as it is written: “And I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentations; I will bring sackcloth upon your loins and baldness upon every head; and I will make you like a mourner for an only child, and the end will be like a bitter day” (Amos 8:10). Therefore, by Torah law one’s acute mourning is only during the day, like a bitter day, while the acute mourning at night that follows is only rabbinic. And in the case of a delicate person, the Sages did not issue a decree that one should afflict himself during the period of acute mourning.

וכשמת טבי עבדו וכו':

We learned in our mishna that: When his servant, Tavi, died, Rabban Gamliel accepted condolences for him.

ת"ר עבדים ושפחות אין עומדין עליהם בשורה ואין אומרים עליהם ברכת אבלים ותנחומי אבלים

The Sages taught in a baraita: For slaves and maidservants who die, one does not stand in a row of comforters to console the mourners, and one recites neither the blessing of the mourners nor the consolation of the mourners.

מעשה ומתה שפחתו של רבי אליעזר נכנסו תלמידיו לנחמו כיון שראה אותם עלה לעלייה ועלו אחריו נכנס לאנפילון נכנסו אחריו נכנס לטרקלין נכנסו אחריו אמר להם כמדומה אני שאתם נכוים בפושרים עכשיו אי אתם נכוים אפילו בחמי חמין לא כך שניתי לכם עבדים ושפחות אין עומדין עליהם בשורה ואין אומרים עליהם ברכת אבלים ולא תנחומי אבלים אלא מה אומרים עליהם כשם שאומרים לו לאדם על שורו ועל חמורו שמתו המקום ימלא לך חסרונך כך אומרים לו על עבדו ועל שפחתו המקום ימלא לך חסרונך

An incident is related that when Rabbi Eliezer’s maidservant died, his students entered to console him. When he saw them approaching he went up to the second floor, and they went up after him. He entered the gatehouse [anpilon], and they entered after him. He entered the banquet hall [teraklin], and they entered after him. Having seen them follow him everywhere, he said to them: It seems to me that you would be burned by lukewarm water, meaning that you could take a hint and when I went up to the second floor, you would understand that I did not wish to receive your consolations. Now I see that you are not even burned by boiling hot water. Did I not teach you the following: For slaves and maidservants who die, one does not stand in a row of comforters to console the mourners, and one neither recites the blessing of the mourners nor does he recite the consolation of the mourners, as the relationship between master and slave is not like a familial relationship? Rather, what does one say about them when they die? Just as we say to a person about his ox or donkey which died: May the Omnipresent replenish your loss, so too do we say for one’s slave or maidservant who died: May the Omnipresent replenish your loss, as the connection between a master and his slave is only financial in nature.

תניא אידך עבדים ושפחות אין מספידין אותן ר' יוסי אומר אם עבד כשר הוא אומרים עליו הוי איש טוב ונאמן ונהנה מיגיעו אמרו לו אם כן מה הנחת לכשרים:

It was taught in another baraita: One does not eulogize slaves and maidservants. Rabbi Yosei says: If he was a virtuous servant, one recites over him a eulogy of sorts: Alas, a good and loyal man who enjoyed the fruits of his hard labor. They said to him: If so, what praise have you left for virtuous Jews? A Jewish person would be proud to be eulogized in that manner.

ת"ר אין קורין אבות אלא לשלשה ואין קורין אמהות אלא לארבע

The Sages taught in a baraita: One may only call three people patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but not Jacob’s children. And one may only call four people matriarchs, Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah.

אבות מאי טעמא אילימא משום דלא ידעינן אי מראובן קא אתינן אי משמעון קא אתינן אי הכי אמהות נמי לא ידעינן אי מרחל קא אתינן אי מלאה קא אתינן אלא עד הכא חשיבי טפי לא חשיבי

The Gemara asks: What is the reason for this exclusivity with regard to the Patriarchs? If you say that it is because we do not know whether we descend from Reuben or from Simon, so we cannot accurately say our father Reuben, for example, if so, with regard to the Matriarchs as well, we do not know whether we descend from Rachel or from Leah, and we should not call Rachel and Leah matriarchs either. Instead, the reason the sons of Jacob are not called patriarchs is not for that reason, but because until Jacob they are significant enough to be referred to as patriarchs, but beyond Jacob, they are not significant enough to be referred to as patriarchs.

תניא אידך עבדים ושפחות אין קורין אותם אבא פלוני ואמא פלונית ושל ר"ג היו קורים אותם אבא פלוני ואמא פלונית

This serves as an introduction; although older people are often referred to with the honorific: Father so-and-so, it was taught in another baraita: One may not refer to slaves and maidservants as father [abba] so-and-so or mother [imma] so-and-so. And they would call the slaves and maidservants of Rabban Gamliel “father so-and-so” and “mother so-and-so.”

מעשה לסתור משום דחשיבי:

The Gemara asks: Is a story cited in order to contradict the previously stated halakha? The Gemara answers: There is no contradiction; rather, because Rabban Gamliel’s servants were significant, they were addressed with these honorifics.

א"ר אלעזר מאי דכתיב (תהלים סג, ה) כן אברכך בחיי בשמך אשא כפי כן אברכך בחיי זו ק"ש בשמך אשא כפי זו תפלה ואם עושה כן עליו הכתוב אומר (תהלים סג, ו) כמו חלב ודשן תשבע נפשי ולא עוד אלא שנוחל שני עולמים העוה"ז והעולם הבא שנאמר (תהלים סג, ו) ושפתי רננות יהלל פי:

The Gemara cites an aggadic statement concerning prayer and the recitation of Shema. Rabbi Elazar said: What is the meaning of that which is written: “So I will bless You as I live, to Your name I will raise my hands” (Psalms 63:5)? So I will bless You as I live, refers to the recitation of Shema, and to Your name I will raise my hands, refers to the Amida prayer, which is characterized as lifting one’s hands to God. And if one does so, recites Shema and prays, the verse says about him: “As with fat and marrow, my soul will be satisfied” (Psalms 63:6). And not only does he receive this reward, but he inherits two worlds, this world and the World-to-Come, as it is stated: “With lips of joys [renanot], my mouth praises You” (Psalms 63:6). The plural, joys, refers to two joys, that of this world and that of the World-to-Come.

ר' אלעזר בתר דמסיים צלותיה אמר הכי יהי רצון מלפניך ה' אלהינו שתשכן בפורינו אהבה ואחוה ושלום וריעות ותרבה גבולנו בתלמידים ותצליח סופנו אחרית ותקוה ותשים חלקנו בגן עדן ותקננו בחבר טוב ויצר טוב בעולמך ונשכים ונמצא יחול לבבנו ליראה את שמך ותבא לפניך קורת נפשנו לטובה.

The Gemara describes how after Rabbi Elazar concluded his prayer, he said the following additional prayer:
May it be Your will, Lord our God,
to cause to dwell in our lot love and brotherhood, peace and friendship.
And may You make our borders rich in disciples
and cause us to ultimately succeed, that we will have a good end and hope.
And may You set our portion in the Garden of Eden,
and may You establish for us a good companion and a good inclination in Your world.
And may we rise early and find the aspiration of our hearts to fear Your name,
and may the satisfaction of our souls come before You, i.e., may You hear our prayers that we may have spiritual contentment in this world for the best.

רבי יוחנן בתר דמסיים צלותיה אמר הכי יהי רצון מלפניך ה' אלהינו שתציץ בבשתנו ותביט ברעתנו ותתלבש ברחמיך ותתכסה בעזך ותתעטף בחסידותך ותתאזר בחנינותך ותבא לפניך מדת טובך וענותנותך.

Similarly, the Gemara recounts that after Rabbi Yoḥanan concluded his prayer, he said the following additional prayer:
May it be Your will, Lord our God,
that You look upon our shame and behold our plight,
that You clothe Yourself in Your mercy,
and cover Yourself with Your might,
that You wrap Yourself in Your loving-kindness,
and gird Yourself with Your grace,
and may Your attributes of goodness and humility come before You.

ר' זירא בתר דמסיים צלותיה אמר הכי יהי רצון מלפניך ה' אלהינו שלא נחטא ולא נבוש ולא נכלם מאבותינו

Similarly, after Rabbi Zeira concluded his prayers he said the following additional prayer:
May it be Your will, Lord our God,
that we not sin or shame ourselves,
and that we not disgrace ourselves before our forefathers,
in the sense that our actions should not disgrace the actions of our forefathers.

ר' חייא בתר דמצלי אמר הכי יהי רצון מלפניך ה' אלהינו שתהא תורתך אומנותנו ואל ידוה לבנו ואל יחשכו עינינו.

After Rabbi Ḥiyya prayed he said the following:
May it be Your will, Lord our God,
that Your Torah should be our vocation,
and may our heart not become faint nor our eyes dim.

רב בתר צלותיה אמר הכי יהי רצון מלפניך ה' אלהינו שתתן לנו חיים ארוכים חיים של שלום חיים של טובה חיים של ברכה חיים של פרנסה חיים של חלוץ עצמות חיים שיש בהם יראת חטא חיים שאין בהם בושה וכלימה חיים של עושר וכבוד חיים שתהא בנו אהבת תורה ויראת שמים חיים שתמלא לנו את כל משאלות לבנו לטובה.

After his prayer, Rav said the following:
May it be Your will, Lord our God,
that You grant us long life, a life of peace,
a life of goodness, a life of blessing,
a life of sustenance, a life of freedom of movement from place to place, where we are not tied to one place,
a life of dread of sin, a life without shame and disgrace,
a life of wealth and honor,
a life in which we have love of Torah and reverence for Heaven,
a life in which You fulfill all the desires of our heart for good.

רבי בתר צלותיה אמר הכי יהי רצון מלפניך ה' אלהינו ואלהי אבותינו שתצילנו מעזי פנים ומעזות פנים מאדם רע ומפגע רע מיצר רע מחבר רע משכן רע ומשטן המשחית ומדין קשה ומבעל דין קשה בין שהוא בן ברית בין שאינו בן ברית

After his prayer, Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi said the following:
May it be Your will, Lord our God, and God of our forefathers,
that You save us from the arrogant and from arrogance in general,
from a bad man, from a bad mishap,
from an evil instinct, from a bad companion,
from a bad neighbor, from the destructive Satan,
from a harsh trial and from a harsh opponent,
whether he is a member of the covenant, a Jew,
or whether he is not a member of the covenant.

ואע"ג דקיימי קצוצי עליה דרבי.

And the Gemara notes that Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi would recite this prayer every day despite the fact that royal officers stood watch over Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi for his protection; nevertheless, he prayed to avoid conflict or hindrance resulting from arrogance.

רב ספרא בתר צלותיה אמר הכי יהי רצון מלפניך ה' אלהינו שתשים שלום

After his prayer, Rav Safra said the following:
May it be Your will, Lord our God, that You establish peace