Berakhot 52bברכות נ״ב ב
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תוכו ואוגנו ואזנו וידיו טהורין נטמא תוכו נטמא כולו

while its inner side, and its rim, the edge of the vessel that protrudes outwards, and its ear-shaped handle, and its straight handles are pure. However, if the inside of the vessel became ritually impure, it is all ritually impure.

במאי קא מיפלגי

Although the decrees of Beit Hillel and Beit Shammai are different, they are based on realistic contingencies and on concerns shared by both parties. The Gemara seeks to clarify: With regard to what do they disagree? What is the crux of their dispute?

בית שמאי סברי אסור להשתמש בכלי שנטמאו אחוריו במשקין גזרה משום ניצוצות וליכא למגזר שמא יטמאו המשקין שבידים בכוס

The Gemara explains: Beit Shammai hold: It is prohibited to use a vessel the outer side of which has been rendered ritually impure by liquids. This prohibition stems from a decree of the Sages, due to concern for drips of liquid that would fall from inside the vessel to its outer side, as those drips themselves would be rendered ritually impure by virtue of their contact with the outer side of the vessel. And Beit Shammai hold that there is no reason to issue a decree due to the concern of Beit Hillel lest the liquid on one’s hands will be rendered ritually impure by the cup, as Beit Shammai hold that the use of a vessel of that kind is prohibited.

ובית הלל סברי מותר להשתמש בכלי שנטמאו אחוריו במשקין אמרי ניצוצות לא שכיחי ואיכא למיחש שמא יטמאו משקין שבידים מחמת הכוס

And Beit Hillel hold: One is permitted to use a vessel the outer side of which has been rendered ritually impure by liquid, as they say: Drips are uncommon, and decrees are not issued on the basis of an uncommon case. Because Beit Hillel permit the use of a vessel of that kind, there is concern lest the liquid on one’s hands will be rendered ritually impure due to the cup.

דבר אחר תכף לנטילת ידים סעודה

Alternatively, Beit Hillel hold that one mixes the water with the wine in the cup and then washes his hands due to the principle: Immediately after the washing of the hands comes the meal. Therefore, he mixes the water and wine in the cup, then he washes his hands, and then he immediately proceeds to the meal.

מאי דבר אחר הכי קאמרי להו בית הלל לבית שמאי לדידכו דאמריתו אסור להשתמש בכלי שאחוריו טמאין דגזרינן משום ניצוצות אפילו הכי הא עדיפא דתכף לנטילת ידים סעודה:

The Gemara asks: What is the point of Beit Hillel adding: Alternatively? The Gemara answers: Beit Hillel said to Beit Shammai as follows: Even according to you, who said that it is prohibited to use a vessel the outer side of which is ritually impure as we issued a decree due to concern for drips, even so, our opinion is preferable to yours, as our opinion adheres to the principle: Immediately after the washing of the hands comes the meal.

בית שמאי אומרים מקנח וכו׳:

We learned in the mishna that Beit Hillel and Beit Shammai disagree over where the cloth that one used to dry his hands should be placed. Beit Shammai say: After washing, one dries his hands with a cloth and places it on the table. And Beit Hillel say: One places it on the cushion upon which he is sitting.

תנו רבנן בית שמאי אומרים מקנח ידיו במפה ומניחה על השלחן שאם אתה אומר על הכסת גזרה שמא יטמאו משקין שבמפה מחמת הכסת ויחזרו ויטמאו את הידים

In a Tosefta, the Sages taught in greater detail: Beit Shammai say: After washing, one dries his hands with a cloth and places it on the table, as if you say that he should place the cloth on the cushion, there is room to issue a decree lest the liquids on the cloth, which is wet because he used it to dry his hands, become ritually impure due to their contact with the cushion, and the liquids would in turn render the hands of anyone who touches the towel ritually impure.

ונטמייה כסת למפה אין כלי מטמא כלי

The Gemara asks: Even without the liquid, let the cushion render the towel ritually impure directly? The Gemara answers: There is a principle: A vessel does not render another vessel ritually impure.

ונטמייה כסת לגברא גופיה אין כלי מטמא אדם

The Gemara asks: Let the cushion render the man sitting upon it ritually impure. The Gemara answers: There, too, there is a general principle: A vessel does not render a person ritually impure.

ובית הלל אומרים על הכסת שאם אתה אומר על השלחן גזרה שמא יטמאו משקין שבמפה מחמת השולחן ויחזרו ויטמאו את האוכלין

And Beit Hillel say: One places it on the cushion upon which he is sitting, as if you say that he should place it on the table, there is room to issue a decree lest the liquids on the towel might be rendered ritually impure by their contact with the table, and those liquids in turn will render the food placed on the table ritually impure.

ולטמא שלחן לאוכלין שבתוכו הכא בשלחן שני עסקינן ואין שני עושה שלישי בחולין אלא על ידי משקין

The Gemara asks: Let the table render the food upon it ritually impure directly. The Gemara explains: Here we are dealing with a table that has second degree ritual impurity status, and an object of second degree ritual impurity status can only confer third degree ritual impurity status upon non-sacred items by means of liquids. By rabbinic decree, liquids that come into contact with second degree ritual impurity assume first degree ritual impurity status and, consequently, can render non-sacred items impure.

במאי קמיפלגי בית שמאי סברי אסור להשתמש בשלחן שני גזרה משום אוכלי תרומה

The Gemara seeks to clarify: With regard to what do they disagree? The Gemara answers: The basis of their dispute is that Beit Shammai hold: It is prohibited to use a table that has second degree ritual impurity status for purposes of eating because of a decree due to those who eat teruma. A table with that status renders teruma ritually impure through contact. To prevent priests who partake of teruma from unwittingly eating off a table of that sort, a decree was issued prohibiting its use even with non-sacred foods.

ובית הלל סברי מותר להשתמש בשלחן שני אוכלי תרומה זריזין הם

And Beit Hillel hold: It is permitted to use a table that has second degree ritual impurity status, and we are not concerned about the priests. As those who eat teruma are vigilant and would ascertain the status of a table before eating.

דבר אחר אין נטילת ידים לחולין מן התורה

Alternatively, Beit Hillel hold that there is no requirement of washing of the hands for non-sacred items by Torah law.

מאי דבר אחר הכי קאמרי להו בית הלל לבית שמאי וכי תימרו מאי שנא גבי אוכלין דחיישינן ומאי שנא גבי ידים דלא חיישינן אפילו הכי הא עדיפא דאין נטילת ידים לחולין מן התורה מוטב שיטמאו ידים דלית להו עיקר מדאורייתא ואל יטמאו אוכלים דאית להו עיקר מדאורייתא:

The Gemara asks: What is the point of Beit Hillel adding the additional reason introduced with: Alternatively? The Gemara answers: Beit Hillel said to Beit Shammai as follows: And if you say, what is the difference with regard to food that we are concerned that it might be rendered ritually impure by the cloth on the table; and what is the difference with regard to hands that we are not concerned that they might be rendered ritually impure by the cloth placed on the cushion? Beit Hillel continue: We can respond that even so, this is preferable, as there is no requirement of washing of the hands for non-sacred items by Torah law. It is preferable that hands, whose impurity has no basis in Torah law, will become ritually impure with second degree ritual impurity status, and food, whose impurity has a basis in Torah law, will not become ritually impure.

בית שמאי אומרים מכבדין וכו׳:

We learned in the mishna that Beit Hillel and Beit Shammai disagree over whether cleaning the place where one ate or washing one’s hands should be performed first after the meal. Beit Shammai say: One sweeps the area of the house where the meal took place and he washes his hands with the final waters thereafter. And Beit Hillel say: One washes his hands and sweeps the house thereafter.

תנו רבנן בית שמאי אומרים מכבדין את הבית ואחר כך נוטלין לידים שאם אתה אומר נוטלין לידים תחלה נמצא אתה מפסיד את האוכלין אבל נטילת ידים לבית שמאי תחלה לא סבירא להו מאי טעמא משום פירורין

The Sages taught in a Tosefta where this issue is discussed in greater detail: Beit Shammai say: One sweeps the area of the house where the meal took place and washes his hands thereafter, as if you say that one washes his hands first, the water is liable to splash on the remaining crumbs and you will have ruined the food. But Beit Shammai do not hold that the washing of the hands is first. What is the reason? Due to concern, lest the crumbs will be made disgusting.

ובית הלל אומרים אם שמש תלמיד חכם הוא נוטל פירורין שיש בהם כזית ומניח פירורין שאין בהן כזית

And Beit Hillel say: If the attendant is a Torah scholar, he removes the crumbs that are an olive-bulk from the table at the end of the meal and leaves only crumbs that are not an olive-bulk, as food that is less than an olive-bulk is not considered food and there is no prohibition to ruin it.

מסייע ליה לרבי יוחנן דאמר רבי יוחנן פירורין שאין בהם כזית מותר לאבדן ביד

This supports the opinion of Rabbi Yoḥanan, as Rabbi Yoḥanan said: Crumbs that are less than an olive-bulk in size, one may destroy them with his hand without violating the prohibition against ruining food.

במאי קמיפלגי בית הלל סברי אסור להשתמש בשמש עם הארץ ובית שמאי סברי מותר להשתמש בשמש עם הארץ

Here too the Gemara poses the question: With regard to what do they disagree? The Gemara answers: The basis of their argument is that Beit Hillel hold: One is forbidden to use the services of a waiter who is an am ha’aretz. Therefore, there is no room for concern that food will be ruined as only crumbs remain on the table. And Beit Shammai hold: One is permitted to use the services of an attendant who is an am ha’aretz. Food will remain on the table and, therefore, there is room for concern that food will be ruined. The solution is to clean the food off the table and only then wash one’s hands.

אמר רבי יוסי בר חנינא אמר רב הונא בכוליה פרקין הלכה כבית הלל בר מהא דהלכה כבית שמאי ורבי אושעיא מתני איפכא ובהא נמי הלכה כבית הלל:

Rabbi Yosei bar Ḥanina said that Rav Huna said: In our entire chapter, the halakha is in accordance with the opinion of Beit Hillel, except for this case, where the halakha is in accordance with the opinion of Beit Shammai. And Rabbi Oshaya would teach the opposite and reverse the opinions of Beit Hillel and Beit Shammai as they appear in our mishna, and in this case as well, the halakha is in accordance with the opinion of Beit Hillel.

בית שמאי אומרים נר ומזון וכו׳:

We learned in the mishna that Beit Shammai say: One recites the blessing over the candle, then the Grace after Meals blessing, then the blessing over the spices, and finally the blessing of havdala. And Beit Hillel say: The order is candle, spices, Grace after Meals, and havdala.

רב הונא בר יהודה איקלע לבי רבא חזייה לרבא דבריך אבשמים ברישא אמר ליה מכדי בית שמאי ובית הלל אמאור לא פליגי דתניא בית שמאי אומרים נר ומזון בשמים והבדלה ובית הלל אומרים נר ובשמים מזון והבדלה

The Gemara relates that Rav Huna bar Yehuda happened to come to Rava’s house. He saw that Rava recited a blessing over the spices first. Rav Huna bar Yehuda said to him: Now since Beit Hillel and Beit Shammai do not disagree with regard to the blessing over light, as we learned in our mishna that Beit Shammai say: One recites the blessing over the candle, then the Grace after Meals blessing, then the blessing over the spices, and finally the blessing of havdala. And Beit Hillel say: The order is candle, and spices, Grace after Meals, and havdala, why did you recite the blessing over the spices first?

עני רבא בתריה זו דברי רבי מאיר אבל רבי יהודה אומר לא נחלקו בית שמאי ובית הלל על המזון שהוא בתחילה ועל הבדלה שהיא בסוף על מה נחלקו על המאור ועל הבשמים שבית שמאי אומרים על המאור ואחר כך בשמים ובית הלל אומרים בשמים ואחר כך מאור

Rava answered after him: Indeed, that is the statement of Rabbi Meir. However, Rabbi Yehuda says in a baraita that Beit Hillel and Beit Shammai neither disagree with regard to Grace after Meals that it is recited first, nor with regard to havdala, which is recited last. With regard to what do they disagree? They disagree with regard to the light and the spices. Beit Shammai say: One recites a blessing over light and over spices thereafter, and Beit Hillel say: One recites a blessing over spices and over light thereafter.

ואמר רבי יוחנן נהגו העם כבית הלל אליבא דרבי יהודה:

And Rabbi Yoḥanan said: The people were accustomed to conduct themselves in accordance with the opinion of Beit Hillel according to the interpretation of Rabbi Yehuda. The blessing over the spices is recited first.

בית שמאי אומרים שברא כו׳:

The mishna cited a dispute between Beit Hillel and Beit Shammai with regard to the formula of the blessing over fire in havdala. Beit Shammai say: Who created [bara] the light of fire. And Beit Hillel say: Who creates [boreh] the lights of fire.

אמר רבא בברא כולי עלמא לא פליגי דברא משמע כי פליגי בבורא בית שמאי סברי בורא דעתיד למברא ובית הלל סברי בורא נמי דברא משמע

Regarding this, Rava says: With regard to the word bara, everyone agrees that it means created in the past. Where they disagree is with regard to the word boreh. Beit Shammai hold: Boreh means that God will create in the future, and Beit Hillel hold: Boreh also means that He has created in the past.

מתיב רב יוסף יוצר אור ובורא חשך יוצר הרים ובורא רוח בורא השמים ונוטיהם אלא אמר רב יוסף בברא ובורא כולי עלמא לא פליגי דברא משמע כי פליגי במאור ומאורי דבית שמאי סברי חדא נהורא איכא בנורא ובית הלל סברי טובא נהורי איכא בנורא תניא נמי הכי אמרו להם בית הלל לבית שמאי הרבה מאורות יש באור:

Rav Yosef raised an objection: How can there be a dispute over the meaning of the word boreh? In the following verses it is clear that it refers to acts of creation in the past: “Who forms light and creates [boreh] darkness” (Isaiah 45:7), “Who forms mountains and creates [boreh] wind” (Amos 4:13), or “Who creates [boreh] the heavens and stretches them out” (Isaiah 42:5). Rather, said Rav Yosef: With regard to both bara and boreh, everyone agrees that they mean created. Where they disagree is with regard to the light of the fire or the lights of the fire. As Beit Shammai hold that there is one light in a fire, and Beit Hillel hold that there are many lights in a fire, as a flame consists of red, green, and white light. That was also taught in a baraita: Beit Hillel said to Beit Shammai: There are many lights in the fire.

אין מברכין כו׳: בשלמא נר משום דלא שבת אלא בשמים מה טעם לא

We learned in the mishna that one may neither recite a blessing over the candle nor over the spices of gentiles. The Gemara asks: Granted, the prohibition against the recitation of a blessing over a candle of gentiles in havdala, as the flame of the candle did not rest. Because it was burning during Shabbat, one should not recite a blessing over it at the conclusion of Shabbat. However, what is the reason that one may not recite a blessing over spices of gentiles?

אמר רב יהודה אמר רב הכא במסבת גוים עסקינן מפני שסתם מסבת גוים לעבודה זרה היא

Rav Yehuda said that Rav said: Here we are dealing with a party arranged by gentiles and the spices used at that party were prohibited because the parties of gentiles are generally devoted to idolatry.

הא מדקתני סיפא אין מברכין לא על הנר ולא על הבשמים של עבודה זרה מכלל דרישא לאו בעבודה זרה עסקינן

The Gemara asks: But from that which was taught in the latter clause of the mishna: One may neither recite a blessing over the candle nor over the spices of idolatry, infer by implication that in the first clause of our mishna we are not dealing with idolatry? There must be a different reason why the spices of gentiles are prohibited.

אמר רבי חנינא מסורא מה טעם קאמר מה טעם אין מברכין על הנר ולא על הבשמים של גוים מפני שסתם מסבת גוים לעבודה זרה

Rabbi Ḥanina of Sura said: These two halakhot are complementary, and the mishna states the halakha employing the style of: What is the reason. The mishna should be understood as follows: What is the reason that one may neither recite a blessing over the candle nor over the spices of gentiles? Because the parties of gentiles are generally devoted to idolatry and one may neither recite a blessing over the candle nor over the spices of idolatry.

תנו רבנן אור ששבת מברכין עליו ושלא שבת אין מברכין עליו מאי שבת ומאי לא שבת

The Sages taught in a baraita: Over light that rested, one may recite a blessing in havdala, and over light that did not rest, one may not recite a blessing. The Gemara asks: What is meant by rested, and what is meant by did not rest?