כי פליגי בעל ביעור מר סבר מעיקרא משמע ומר סבר להבא משמע
Where they disagree is with regard to the formula: Concerning the elimination of leaven. One Sage, Rav Pappi, maintains that it is referring to an act that was performed previously. Since this formula is referring to the removal of leaven as a task already completed, it would be more appropriate for a blessing recited after performance of that mitzva was completed. And the other Sage, Rav Pappa, maintains that this expression refers to the future.
מיתיבי ברוך אשר קדשנו במצותיו וצונו על המילה
The Gemara raises an objection to Rav Pappi’s opinion from the formula of the blessing recited just prior to circumcision: Blessed are You…Who has made us holy through His mitzvot and has commanded us concerning circumcision. Apparently this expression indeed is referring to a future act.
התם היכי נימא נימא למול לא סגיא דלאו איהו מהיל אבי הבן מאי איכא למימר אין הכי נמי
The Gemara rejects this contention: That is no proof, as what alternative formula can we recite there? If we say: He, Who has made us holy through His mitzvot and commanded us to circumcise, is there no alternative to he himself, i.e., the boy’s father, circumcising his son? The father is commanded to circumcise his son, and he may appoint one who is not commanded to circumcise his son to act in his stead. Therefore, the more general formula of the blessing is recited: About the circumcision. The Gemara raises a difficulty: In a case where the child’s father himself circumcises his son, what can be said? The Gemara responds: Yes, it is indeed so. If the father himself performs the circumcision he in fact recites the blessing: And has commanded us to circumcise.
מיתיבי ברוך אשר קדשנו במצותיו וצונו על השחיטה התם נמי היכי נימא נימא לשחוט לא סגיא דלאו איהו שחט
The Gemara raises an objection to Rav Pappi’s opinion. The blessing recited over ritual slaughter is: Blessed…Who has made us holy through His mitzvot and has commanded us concerning slaughtering. This blessing likewise indicates that this formula is appropriate prior to an action. The Gemara again rejects this claim: There too, what alternative formula can we recite? If we say: Who has commanded us to slaughter, is there no alternative to his slaughtering the animal? There is no mitzva to slaughter an animal. It is merely the necessary preparation before one may eat meat. Therefore, the more general formula of the blessing is recited: Concerning slaughtering.
פסח וקדשים מאי איכא למימר אין הכי נמי
The Gemara raises a difficulty: If so, with regard to the slaughter of the Paschal lamb and other consecrated animals, what can be said? One is indeed commanded to slaughter these animals. The Gemara answers: Yes, it is indeed so. When slaughtering the Paschal lamb or any other offering, one recites: Who has commanded us to slaughter.
מיתיבי העושה לולב לעצמו מברך שהחיינו וקימנו והגיענו לזמן הזה נטלו לצאת בו אומר אשר קדשנו במצותיו וצונו על נטילת לולב שאני התם דבעידנא דאגבהה נפק ביה
The Gemara raises an objection to Rav Pappi’s opinion from the Tosefta: One who prepares a lulav for himself recites the blessing: Who has given us life, sustained us, and brought us to this time. When he takes it to fulfill with it the obligation to take the lulav, he says: Who has made us holy through His mitzvot and has commanded us concerning the taking of the lulav. Although he has yet to perform the mitzva, he does not recite the formula: To take. The Gemara answers: It is different there, as at the time when he lifts the lulav before he recites the blessing, he already fulfilled his obligation by Torah law. Consequently, the formula: Concerning the taking, is indeed more appropriate for an action that he has already performed.
אי הכי לצאת בו יצא בו מיבעי ליה אין הכי נמי ומשום דקא בעי למיתנא סיפא לישב בסוכה תנא רישא נמי לצאת בו
The Gemara raises an objection: If so, the statement that he takes it to fulfill his obligation with it is imprecise, as the tanna should have said that he took the lulav with which he already fulfilled his obligation. The Gemara answers: Yes, it is indeed so; the tanna should have formulated the halakha in that manner. But due to the fact that he wants to teach the latter clause of the baraita: One who comes to sit in the sukka, he likewise taught in the first clause: To fulfill his obligation with it. This phrase maintains the consistency of the language of the Tosefta, even though it is imprecise with regard to the halakha of lulav.
דקתני סיפא העושה סוכה לעצמו אומר ברוך אתה ה׳ שהחיינו וקימנו והגיענו לזמן הזה נכנס לישב בה אומר ברוך אשר קדשנו במצותיו וצונו לישב בסוכה והלכתא על ביעור חמץ
As it teaches in the latter clause of this baraita: One who erects a sukka for himself recites: Blessed are You, God, Who has given us life, sustained us, and brought us to this time. When he enters to sit in the sukka he says: Blessed…Who has made us holy through His mitzvot and has commanded us to sit in the sukka. In summary, no conclusive proof has been found for either side of this debate. The Gemara concludes: And the halakha is that one should recite: Concerning the removal of leaven, as that expression is referring to the future as well.
דכולי עלמא מיהא מעיקרא בעינן לברוכי מנלן דאמר רב יהודה אמר שמואל כל המצות מברך עליהן עובר לעשייתן
The Gemara poses a question: In any event, it is clear from the previous discussion that everyone agrees that one is required to recite a blessing prior to performing a mitzva. From where do we derive this principle? It is as Rav Yehuda said that Shmuel said: With regard to all the mitzvot, one recites a blessing over them prior to [over] their performance.
מאי משמע דהאי עובר לישנא דאקדומי הוא אמר רב נחמן בר יצחק דאמר קרא וירץ אחימעץ דרך הככר ויעבר את הכושי אביי אמר מהכא והוא עבר לפניהם ואיבעית אימא מהכא ויעבר מלכם לפניהם וה׳ בראשם
The Gemara asks: From where may it be inferred that the word over is the language of priority? Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak said that the verse said: “And Ahimaaz ran by the way of the plain, and overran [vaya’avor] the Cushite” (II Samuel 18:23), i.e., Ahimaaz overtook the Cushite. Abaye said: It is derived from here: “And he passed [avar] before them” (Genesis 33:3). And if you wish, say instead that the proof is from here: “And their king passed [vaya’avor] before them and God at their head” (Micah 2:13).
בי רב אמרי חוץ מן הטבילה ושופר בשלמא טבילה דאכתי גברא לא חזי אלא שופר מאי טעמא וכי תימא משום דילמא מיקלקלא תקיעה אי הכי אפילו שחיטה ומילה נמי
In the school of Rav they say: One recites a blessing prior to performing all mitzvot, except for the ritual immersion after a nocturnal emission and the blowing of the shofar. The Gemara elaborates: Granted one does not recite a blessing prior to immersion, as this man who has not yet immersed is still unfit to recite a blessing because he is ritually impure. However, with regard to a shofar, what is the reason that one does not recite a blessing before sounding the shofar? And lest you say the reason is due to a concern lest the sounding of the shofar emerge flawed, and the blessing will be in vain, if so, one should not recite a blessing even prior to ritual slaughter and circumcision, as in those cases too one might fail to perform the action in the requisite manner.
אלא אמר רב חסדא חוץ מן הטבילה בלבד איתמר תניא נמי הכי טבל ועלה בעלייתו אומר ברוך אשר קדשנו במצותיו וצונו על הטבילה:
Rather, Rav Ḥisda said: Except for prior to immersion alone was stated, due to the aforementioned reason. The Gemara adds: That was also taught in a baraita: With regard to one who immersed for ritual purification after a nocturnal emission and emerged, as he emerges he recites: Blessed…Who has made us holy through His mitzvot and commanded us concerning immersion.
לאור הנר וכו׳: מנא הני מילי אמר רב חסדא למדנו מציאה ממציאה ומציאה מחיפוש וחיפוש מחיפוש וחיפוש מנרות ונרות מנר
The mishna states that one searches for leaven by the light of the lamp, etc. The Gemara asks: From where are these matters, i.e., that the search should be conducted by the light of the lamp, derived? Rav Ḥisda said: We derive it by the hermeneutic principles of verbal analogy and juxtaposition: The term finding in one context is derived from finding in another context, and finding is derived from the word searching, and this searching is derived from searching elsewhere, and searching there is derived from the word lamps, and lamps is derived from lamp.
מציאה ממציאה כתיב הכא שבעת ימים שאר לא ימצא בבתיכם וכתיב התם ויחפש בגדול החל ובקטן כלה וימצא ומציאה מחיפוש דידיה
The Gemara cites the relevant verses included in the above derivation. Finding in one context is derived from finding in another context by verbal analogy, as it is written here: “Seven days leaven shall not be found in your houses” (Exodus 12:19), and it is written there: “And he searched, starting with the eldest, and ending with the youngest; and the goblet was found in Benjamin’s sack” (Genesis 44:12). And the word finding in this verse is connected to searching in that same verse by juxtaposition, as the verse says: “And he searched... and was found.”
וחיפוש מנרות דכתיב בעת ההיא אחפש את ירושלים בנרות ונרות מנר דכתיב נר (אלהים) [ה׳] נשמת אדם חפש כל חדרי בטן
And searching is derived from lamps by means of juxtaposition, as it is written: “And it shall come to pass that at that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps” (Zephaniah 1:12). And finally, the word lamps is derived from lamp by means of juxtaposition, as it is written: “The spirit of man is the lamp of God, searching all the inward parts” (Proverbs 20:27). Together these verses indicate that the search for leaven must be conducted by the light of the lamp.
תנא דבי רבי ישמעאל לילי ארבעה עשר בודקים את החמץ לאור הנר אף על פי שאין ראיה לדבר זכר לדבר שנאמר שבעת ימים שאר לא ימצא ואומר ויחפש בגדול החל ובקטן כלה ואומר בעת ההיא אחפש את ירושלים בנרות ואומר נר (אלהים) [ה׳] נשמת אדם חפש
Similarly, the school of Rabbi Yishmael taught: On the night of the fourteenth one searches for leavened bread by the light of the lamp. Although there is no absolute proof for this matter, there is an allusion to this matter, as it is stated: “Seven days leaven shall not be found in your houses,” and it says: “And he searched, starting with the eldest, and ending with the youngest; and the goblet was found.” And it says: “At that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps,” and it says: “The spirit of man is the lamp of God, searching all the inward parts.”
With regard to this teaching, the Gemara asks a question: What is the reason for the last citation introduced by the final And the verse says? Why doesn’t the previous verse, “At that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps,” provide sufficient proof that the search must be conducted by the light of the lamp?
וכי תימא האי בעת ההיא קולא הוא דקאמר רחמנא לא בדיקנא לה בירושלים בנהורא דאבוקה דנפיש נהורא טובא אלא בנהורא דשרגא דזוטר נהורא טפי דעון רבה משתכח ועון זוטר לא משתכח תא שמע נר ה׳ נשמת אדם:
And the Gemara answers: The last verse is necessary, lest you say that this verse: “At that time, etc.” is a leniency, as God is saying: I will not search Jerusalem by the light of a torch, whose light is great, and through which I will expose every sin. Rather, I will search by the light of a small lamp, whose light is smaller, which will ensure that great sins will be discovered and small sins will not be discovered. To counter this argument, the tanna states: Come and hear, “The spirit of man is the lamp of God, searching all the inward parts.” This verse indicates that everything will be found by the light of the lamp, which is the most effective manner of searching.
תנו רבנן אין בודקין לא לאור החמה ולא לאור הלבנה ולא לאור האבוקה אלא לאור הנר
The Sages taught: One does not search for leaven, neither by the light of the sun, nor by the light of the moon, nor by the light of a torch. Rather, the search should be conducted by the light of a lamp,