Berakhot 24aברכות כ״ד א
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
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24aכ״ד א

כל לנטורינהו טפי עדיף והיכא מנח להו אמר רבי ירמיה בין כר לכסת שלא כנגד ראשו

Because whatever offers more protection is preferable even at the cost of deprecation. And where under his head does he place them? Rabbi Yirmeya said: He places them between the pillow and the mattress, not directly aligned with his head but rather a bit to the side.

והא תני רבי חייא מניחן בכובע תחת מראשותיו דמפיק ליה למורשא כובע לבר

The Gemara asks: Didn’t Rabbi Ḥiyya teach a baraita that in that case he places them in a pouch used for phylacteries, directly under his head? The Gemara replies: He does so in a manner that the bulge in the pouch, where the phylacteries are, protrudes out and is not beneath his head.

בר קפרא צייר להו בכילתא ומפיק למורשהון לבר רב שישא בריה דרב אידי מנח להו אשרשיפא ופריס סודרא עילוייהו

On this note, the Gemara relates that Bar Kappara would tie them in his bed curtain and project their bulge outward. Rav Sheisha, son of Rav Idi, would place them on a bench and spread a cloth over them.

אמר רב המנונא בריה דרב יוסף זימנא חדא הוה קאימנא קמיה דרבא ואמר לי זיל אייתי לי תפילין ואשכחתינהו בין כר לכסת שלא כנגד ראשו והוה ידענא דיום טבילה הוה ולאגמורן הלכה למעשה הוא דעבד

Rav Hamnuna, son of Rav Yosef, said: I was once standing before Rava and he told me: Go and bring me my phylacteries. And I found them in his bed, between the mattress and the pillow, not aligned with his head. And I knew that it was the day of his wife’s immersion in the ritual bath for purification from the ritual impurity of a menstruating woman, and he certainly engaged in marital relations in order to fulfill the mitzva, and he did so, he sent me to bring him his phylacteries, to teach us the practical halakha in that case.

בעי מיניה רב יוסף בריה דרב נחוניא מרב יהודה שנים שישנים במטה אחת מהו שזה יחזיר פניו ויקרא קריאת שמע וזה יחזיר פניו ויקרא קריאת שמע אמר ליה הכי אמר שמואל ואפילו אשתו עמו

Rav Yosef, son of Rav Neḥunya, who raised a dilemma above, raised a dilemma before Rav Yehuda: Two individuals sleeping in a single bed, given that it was standard practice to sleep without clothing, what is the halakha; is it permissible for this one to turn his head aside and recite Shema and for that one turns his head and recites Shema; or is it prohibited because they are unclothed and are considered unfit to recite Shema even though they are covered with a blanket? He said to him: Shmuel said as follows: This is permitted even if his wife is in bed with him.

מתקיף לה רב יוסף אשתו ולא מיבעיא אחר אדרבה אשתו כגופו אחר לאו כגופו

Rav Yosef strongly objects to this response: You say that he is permitted to recite Shema in bed with his wife, and needless to say he is permitted to do so when in bed with another. On the contrary, since his wife is like his own flesh, and he will not have lustful thoughts of her, it is permitted; another is not like his own flesh and it is prohibited.

מיתיבי שנים שישנים במטה אחת זה מחזיר פניו וקורא וזה מחזיר פניו וקורא ותניא אחריתי הישן במטה ובניו ובני ביתו בצדו הרי זה לא יקרא קריאת שמע אלא אם כן היתה טלית מפסקת ביניהן ואם היו בניו ובני ביתו קטנים מותר

The Gemara raises an objection to this from the resolution of an apparent contradiction between two baraitot. It was taught in one baraita: Two unclothed individuals who are sleeping in a single bed, this one turns his head aside and recites Shema and that one turns his head aside and recites Shema. And it was taught in another baraita: One who is sleeping in bed and his unclothed children and members of his household are beside him, may not recite Shema unless a garment separates between them. If his children and the members of his household were minors, it is permitted to recite Shema even without a garment separating between them.

בשלמא לרב יוסף לא קשיא הא אשתו והא באחר אלא לשמואל קשיא

Granted, according to Rav Yosef, the apparent contradiction between the two baraitot is not difficult, as this baraita is referring to a case where his wife is in the bed with him, while this other baraita is referring to a case where another person is in bed with him and there is concern lest he will have lustful thoughts. However, according to Shmuel, who permits one to recite Shema regardless of who is in bed with him, it is indeed difficult. How would he interpret the baraita that prohibits?

אמר לך שמואל לרב יוסף מי ניחא והתניא היה ישן במטה ובניו ובני ביתו במטה לא יקרא קריאת שמע אלא אם כן היתה טליתו מפסקת ביניהן אלא מאי אית לך למימר אשתו לרב יוסף תנאי היא לדידי נמי תנאי היא:

The Gemara replies: Shmuel could have said to you: And according to Rav Yosef’s opinion, does it work out well? Wasn’t it taught in that same baraita that one who is sleeping in bed and his children and members of his household are beside him, may not recite Shema unless a garment separates between them? Doesn’t Rav Yosef hold that his wife is like his own flesh and no separation is necessary? Rather, what have you to say in response? Rav Yosef holds that there is a tannaitic dispute in the case of one’s wife; I, too, hold that it is a tannaitic dispute, and I accept the ruling of one of the baraitot.

אמר מר זה מחזיר פניו וקורא קריאת שמע והא איכא עגבות מסייע ליה לרב הונא דאמר רב הונא עגבות אין בהם משום ערוה לימא מסייע ליה לרב הונא האשה יושבת וקוצה לה חלתה ערומה מפני שיכולה לכסות פניה בקרקע אבל לא האיש

The Gemara reverts to clarify something mentioned above. The Master said in a baraita: This one turns his head aside and recites Shema. The Gemara notes a difficulty: Aren’t there bare buttocks? This supports the opinion of Rav Huna, as Rav Huna said: Buttocks do not constitute nakedness. Let us say that the following mishna supports Rav Huna’s opinion: A woman sits and separates her ḥalla naked, despite the fact that she must recite a blessing over the separation of the ḥalla, because she can cover her face, a euphemism for her genitals, in the ground, but a male, whose genitals are not covered when he sits, may not do so. The mishna teaches that exposed buttocks do not constitute nakedness.

תרגמה רב נחמן בר יצחק כגון שהיו פניה טוחות בקרקע:

Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak interpreted the mishna as referring to a case where her face, genitals, was completely covered in the ground such that her posterior was covered by the ground. Therefore, proof for Rav Huna’s opinion cannot be brought from this mishna.

אמר מר אם היו בניו ובני ביתו קטנים מותר ועד כמה אמר רב חסדא תינוקת בת שלש שנים ויום אחד ותינוק בן תשע שנים ויום אחד איכא דאמרי תינוקת בת אחת עשרה שנה ויום אחד ותינוק בן שתים עשרה שנה ויום אחד אידי ואידי עד כדי שדים נכנו ושערך צמח

The Master said in a baraita: If his children and the members of his household were minors, even though they are unclothed, it is permitted to recite Shema even without a garment separating between them. The Gemara asks: Until what age is one still considered a minor? Rav Ḥisda said: A girl until she is three years and one day old, and a boy until he is nine years and one day old, for these are the ages from which a sexual act in which they participate is considered a sexual act. Some say: A girl eleven years and one day old and a boy of twelve years and one day old, as that is the age at which they are considered adults in this regard. This age is only approximate, as the age of majority for both this, the boy, and that, the girl, is at the onset of puberty in accordance with the verse: “Your breasts were formed and your hair was grown” (Ezekiel 16:7).

אמר ליה רב כהנא לרב אשי התם אמר רבא אף על גב דתיובתא דשמואל הלכתא כוותיה דשמואל הכא מאי אמר ליה אטו כולהו בחדא מחתא מחתינהו אלא היכא דאיתמר איתמר והיכא דלא איתמר לא איתמר

Rav Kahana said to Rav Ashi: There, with regard to the law of phylacteries, Rava said: Despite a conclusive refutation of the opinion of Shmuel, the halakha is in accordance with the opinion of Shmuel. Here, what is the ruling? He said to him: Were all of them woven in the same act of weaving? Are there no distinctions between different cases? Rather, where it is stated, it is stated, and where it is not stated, it is not stated, and there is no comparison.

אמר ליה רב מרי לרב פפא שער יוצא בבגדו מהו קרא עליה שער שער:

Rav Mari said to Rav Pappa: Does it constitute nakedness if one’s pubic hair protruded from his garment? Rav Pappa said about him: A hair, a hair. You are splitting hairs and being pedantic over trivialities.

אמר ר׳ יצחק טפח באשה ערוה למאי אילימא לאסתכולי בה והא אמר רב ששת למה מנה הכתוב תכשיטין שבחוץ עם תכשיטין שבפנים לומר לך כל המסתכל באצבע קטנה של אשה כאילו מסתכל במקום התורף

Rabbi Yitzḥak stated: An exposed handbreadth in a woman constitutes nakedness. The Gemara asks: Regarding which halakha was this said? If you say that it comes to prohibit looking at an exposed handbreadth in her, didn’t Rav Sheshet say: Why did the verse enumerate “anklets and bracelets, rings, earrings and girdles” (Numbers 31:50), jewelry that is worn externally, over her clothing, e.g., bracelets, together with jewelry worn internally, beneath her clothing, near her nakedness, e.g., girdles? This was to tell you: Anyone who gazes upon a woman’s little finger is considered as if he gazed upon her naked genitals, for if his intentions are impure, it makes no difference where he looks or how much is exposed; even less than a handbreadth.

אלא באשתו ולקריאת שמע

Rather, it is referring even to his wife, with regard to the recitation of Shema. One may not recite Shema before an exposed handbreadth of his wife.

אמר רב חסדא שוק באשה ערוה שנאמר גלי שוק עברי נהרות וכתיב תגל ערותך וגם תראה חרפתך אמר שמואל קול באשה ערוה שנאמר כי קולך ערב ומראך נאוה אמר רב ששת שער באשה ערוה שנאמר שערך כעדר העזים:

Along these lines, Rav Ḥisda said: Even a woman’s exposed leg is considered nakedness, as it is stated: “Uncover the leg and pass through the rivers” (Isaiah 47:2), and it is written in the following verse: “Your nakedness shall be revealed and your shame shall be seen” (Isaiah 47:3). Shmuel further stated: A woman’s singing voice is considered nakedness, which he derives from the praise accorded a woman’s voice, as it is stated: “Sweet is your voice and your countenance is alluring” (Song of Songs 2:14). Similarly, Rav Sheshet stated: Even a woman’s hair is considered nakedness, for it too is praised, as it is written: “Your hair is like a flock of goats, trailing down from Mount Gilead” (Song of Songs 4:1).

אמר רבי חנינא אני ראיתי את רבי שתלה תפיליו מיתיבי התולה תפיליו יתלו לו חייו

The Gemara resumes its discussion of phylacteries. Rabbi Ḥanina said: I saw Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi hang his phylacteries. The Gemara raises an objection: It was taught in a baraita that one who hangs his phylacteries will have his life hang in the balance.

דורשי חמורות אמרו והיו חייך תלאים לך מנגד זה התולה תפיליו

Moreover, the Symbolic Interpreters of the Torah said that the verse: “And your life shall hang in doubt before you [minneged]” (Deuteronomy 28:66), that is the punishment of one who hangs his phylacteries.

לא קשיא הא ברצועה הא בקציצה

The Gemara replies: This apparent contradiction is not difficult, as this baraita, which condemns one who hangs his phylacteries, refers to one who hangs them by the strap, allowing the leather boxes into which the parchment is placed to dangle in a deprecating way, which is certainly prohibited. That baraita, which relates that Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi would hang his phylacteries and that it is clearly permitted, refers to when one hangs them from the box with the straps dangling.

ואיבעית אימא לא שנא רצועה ולא שנא קציצה אסור וכי תלה רבי בכיסתא תלה

And if you wish, say another explanation instead: There is no difference whether he hangs the phylacteries from the strap and there is no difference whether he hangs the phylacteries from the box; both are prohibited. And when Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi hung his phylacteries, he hung them in their pouch.

אי הכי מאי למימרא מהו דתימא תיבעי הנחה כספר תורה קא משמע לן:

The Gemara asks: If so, what is the purpose to relate that incident? The Gemara replies: Lest you say that phylacteries would require placement atop a surface, as is the custom with a Torah scroll. Therefore, it teaches us that this is unnecessary.

ואמר רבי חנינא אני ראיתי את רבי שגיהק ופיהק ונתעטש ורק

Since Rabbi Ḥanina related a story involving Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi, the Gemara cites another such story. Rabbi Ḥanina said: I saw Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi, while he was praying, belch, yawn, sneeze, spit,