Pesachim 108aפסחים ק״ח א
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
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108aק״ח א

בין הכוסות הללו אם רצה לשתות ישתה בין שלישי לרביעי לא ישתה ואי אמרת מסעד סעיד אמאי ישתה הא קא אכיל למצה אכילה גסה אלא שמע מינה מגרר גריר

During the Passover seder, between these cups that one is obligated to drink, e.g., between the first two of the four cups of wine, if one wants to drink he may drink. However, between the third and fourth cups, which are consumed after the meal, one may not drink. And if you say that wine satisfies a person, why may one drink extra cups? He will later eat matza when he is already satiated, which will constitute an excessive eating. Rather, learn from this that wine whets the appetite.

רב ששת הוה יתיב בתעניתא כל מעלי יומא דפסחא נימא קא סבר רב ששת סמוך למנחה גדולה תנן ומשום פסחא הוא דילמא מימשך ואתי לאימנועי מלמעבד פיסחא הוא

The Gemara relates that Rav Sheshet would fast the entire eve of Passover. The Gemara asks: Shall we say that Rav Sheshet maintains that this practice was necessary because of two factors? First, when the mishna states that one may not eat adjacent to minḥa time, we learned this ruling with regard to the period of time adjacent to the greater minḥa, and the reason for the prohibition is due to the Paschal lamb, lest one be drawn after one’s meal and come to refrain from performing the sacrifice of the Paschal lamb.

וסבר לה כי הא דאמר רבי אושעיא אמר רבי אלעזר מכשיר היה בן בתירא בפסח ששחטו שחרית בארבעה עשר לשמו ומצפרא זמן פסחא הוא דכולי יומא חזי לפסחא

And second, Rav Sheshet maintains in accordance with that statement that Rabbi Oshaya said that Rabbi Elazar said: Ben Beteira would deem valid a Paschal lamb that was slaughtered in the morning on the fourteenth of Nisan for its own purpose, as from the morning it is already the time during which a Paschal lamb may be sacrificed, as the whole day is fit for the Paschal lamb.

דסבר בין הערבים בין ערב דאתמול לערב דהאידנא

As ben Beteira maintained that when the Torah says the Paschal lamb must be sacrificed bein ha’arbayim (Exodus 12:6), which literally means: Between the evenings, but is often rendered: In the afternoon, the term refers to any time between the evening of yesterday and the current evening of the fourteenth. In other words, as Rav Sheshet maintained that the reason one may not eat on Passover eve is to prevent him from being distracted from preparing the Paschal lamb, and he also maintained that the Paschal offering may be sacrificed during the entire day of the fourteenth of Nisan, therefore, he would not eat that entire day.

אמרי לא שאני רב ששת דאיסתניס הוה דאי טעים בצפרא מידי לאורתא לא הוה מהני ליה מיכלא:

They say in response to this suggested interpretation of Rav Sheshet’s practice: No, it is by no means clear that this was his reasoning. Rav Sheshet was different, as he was delicate [istenis], for if he would taste some food in the morning, the food he ate at night would not be effective for him. He would therefore fast the whole day so that he could eat matza at night with a hearty appetite.

ואפילו עני שבישראל לא יאכל עד שיסב: איתמר מצה צריך הסיבה מרור אין צריך הסיבה יין איתמר משמיה דרב נחמן צריך הסיבה ואיתמר משמיה דרב נחמן אין צריך הסיבה

We learned in the mishna that even the poorest of Jews should not eat until he reclines. It was stated that amora’im discussed the requirement to recline. Everyone agrees that matza requires reclining, i.e., one must recline when eating matza, and bitter herbs do not require reclining. With regard to wine, it was stated in the name of Rav Naḥman that wine requires reclining, and it was also stated in the name of Rav Naḥman that wine does not require reclining.

ולא פליגי הא בתרתי כסי קמאי הא בתרתי כסי בתראי אמרי לה להאי גיסא ואמרי לה להאי גיסא אמרי לה להאי גיסא תרי כסי קמאי בעו הסיבה דהשתא הוא דקא מתחלא לה חירות תרי כסי בתראי לא בעו הסיבה מאי דהוה הוה

The Gemara explains: And these two statements do not disagree with each other: This statement is referring to the first two cups, and that statement is referring to the last two cups. However, it was not clear which two cups require reclining according to Rav Naḥman. Some say the explanation in this manner and some say it in that manner. The Gemara elaborates: Some say it in this manner, that the first two cups require reclining, as it is now that freedom begins. Since reclining is a sign of freedom, while discussing the exodus from Egypt it is appropriate to drink while reclining. By contrast, the last two cups do not require reclining, because what was already was. In other words, by this point one has completed the discussion of the Exodus and has reached the latter stages of the seder.

ואמרי לה להאי גיסא אדרבה תרי כסי בתראי בעו הסיבה ההיא שעתא דקא הויא חירות תרי כסי קמאי לא בעו הסיבה דאכתי עבדים היינו קאמר השתא דאיתמר הכי ואיתמר הכי אידי ואידי בעו הסיבה

And some say it in that manner and claim that on the contrary, the last two cups require reclining, as it is at that time that there is freedom. However, the first two cups do not require reclining, as one still says: We were slaves. The Gemara concludes: Now that it was stated so, and it was stated so, i.e., there are two conflicting opinions and it cannot be proven which two cups require reclining, both these sets of cups and those require reclining.

פרקדן לא שמיה הסיבה הסיבת ימין לא שמה הסיבה ולא עוד אלא שמא יקדים קנה לוושט ויבא לידי סכנה

The Gemara continues to discuss the halakha of reclining. Lying on one’s back is not called reclining. Reclining to the right is not called reclining, as free men do not recline in this manner. People prefer to recline on their left and use their right hand to eat, whereas they find it more difficult to eat the other way. And not only that, but if one reclines to the right, perhaps the windpipe will precede the esophagus. The food will enter the windpipe, and one will come into danger of choking.

אשה אצל בעלה לא בעיא הסיבה ואם אשה חשובה היא צריכה הסיבה בן אצל אביו בעי הסיבה איבעיא להו תלמיד אצל רבו מאי

A woman who is with her husband is not required to recline, but if she is an important woman, she is required to recline. A son who is with his father is required to recline. A dilemma was raised before the Sages: What is the halakha with regard to a student who is with his teacher? Perhaps he is not obligated to recline, as he is in awe of his rabbi, and reclining is a sign of complete freedom and independence.

תא שמע (אמר) אביי כי הוינן בי מר זגינן אבירכי דהדדי כי אתינן לבי רב יוסף אמר לן לא צריכתו מורא רבך כמורא שמים

Come and hear a proof that Abaye said: When we were in the house of my Master, Rabba, there was not enough room for everyone to recline on Passover, so we reclined on each other’s knees, to fulfill the obligation to recline. When we came to the house of Rav Yosef, he said to us: You need not recline, as the fear of your teacher is like the fear of Heaven. A student is subject to the authority of his teacher and may not display freedom in his presence.

מיתיבי עם הכל אדם מיסב ואפילו תלמיד אצל רבו כי תניא ההיא בשוליא דנגרי

The Gemara raises an objection: A person must recline in the presence of anyone, and even a student who is with his teacher must do so. This baraita directly contradicts the statement of Rav Yosef. The Gemara answers: When that baraita was taught, it was with regard to a craftsman’s apprentice, not a student of Torah in the company of his rabbi. One who is in the presence of a person teaching him a trade is not in awe of his instructor, and he is therefore obligated to recline.

איבעיא להו שמש מאי תא שמע דאמר רבי יהושע בן לוי השמש שאכל כזית מצה כשהוא מיסב יצא מיסב אין לא מיסב לא שמע מינה בעי הסיבה שמע מינה

A dilemma was raised before the Sages: What is the halakha with regard to a waiter?Is a waiter obligated to recline? The Gemara answers: Come and hear a solution, as Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said: A waiter who ate an olive-bulk of matza while reclining has fulfilled his obligation. The Gemara infers: If he ate matza while reclining, yes, he has fulfilled his obligation; if he was not reclining, no, he has not fulfilled the obligation. Learn from this that a waiter requires reclining. The Gemara concludes: Indeed, learn from it that this is the case.

ואמר רבי יהושע בן לוי נשים חייבות בארבעה כוסות הללו

And Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said: Women are obligated in these four cups of wine at the Passover seder.