Arvei Pesachim #14: 105b

  • Rav Yair Kahn

Gemora Pesachim

Yeshivat Har Etzion


SHIUR #14: 105b


by Rav Yair Kahn




Ha-Mavdil be-Tefilla Tzar

ikh le-Havdil Al ha-Kos


Although one recites havdala in the amida of ma'ariv on Motzaei Shabbat, he is still required to recite havdala again over a cup of wine thereafter. The need to recite havdala twice reflects a certain duality with respect to the nature of this mitzva. Havdala, like kiddush, is an expression of the uniqueness of Shabbat. To achieve this end, we verbally praise and declare the singularity of Shabbat. This praise is proclaimed both as Shabbat begins as well as at its point of departure, and does NOT require a cup of wine.


Aside from praise, havdala also signals the end of "oneg Shabbat" (Shabbat meals) and one is not permitted to eat until the line separating "oneg Shabbat" from mundane weekly meals is drawn (see 105a). This boundary is expressed in the havdala we recite over wine (al ha-kos).


Tosafot (s.v. shema mina ha-mavdil) note the gemara in Berakhot, which parallels havdala with kiddush. Havdala should be recited both during tefilla and over a kos just as kiddush is recited both in Arvit and later again before the meal. This comparison is based on the above dualism of havdala which is analogous to kiddush. Aside from being a declaration of the uniqueness of Shabbat (during tefilla), kiddush over a kos, be-makom seuda (see 101a), also introduces "oneg Shabbat." (See shiur #3)


U-shma Mina Berakha Te'una Kos


The necessity of a kos shel berakha for birkat ha-mazon, seems to place this berakha in the same category as kiddush, havdala and birkat eirusin (the berakha made under the chuppa). In other words, the berakha itself contains hymn and praise which must be recited in a glorified and regal fashion. A full cup of wine is used in order to achieve this goal.


However, Tosafot (s.v. shma mina berakha) suggest the possibility that birkat ha-mazon only requires a kos when there is a zimmun (when three adults eat together). This opinion apparently assumes that it is not the berakha itself which demands a kos, since the birkat ha-mazon itself is not changed significantly when it is recited with a zimmun. (It is difficult to base the need for a kos on the additional birkat ha-zimmun, the extra section added at the beginning.) Rather, it is the public ceremonial aspect inherent in the zimmun which demands glorification. When an individual thanks Hashem and praises Him following his meal, the berakha lacks the exalting aspect of "shira," which is identified with a kos shel berakha. However, when a group is formed, and as a unit they recite the berakha, birkat ha-mazon is elevated and transformed from a berakha into shira.


As a matter of fact, the source of zimmun is indicative of this transformation: "What is the source (of zimmun)? R. Asi said: 'Gadlu la-Hashem iti u-neromema shemo yachdav' (exalt Hashem with me and we shall elevate His name in unison). R. Avahu said we can learn it from this verse: 'Ki shem Hashem ekra havu godel le-Elokeinu' (when I proclaim the name of Hashem you shall exalt our God" (Berakhot 45a). Both these sources clearly suggest the shift from berakha to shira achieved through zimmun.


However, it seems that even according to the final opinion accepted by Tosafot, that a kos is needed even when birkat ha-mazon is recited privately, it is nevertheless not the berakha per se which is defined as shira. After all, Tosafot agree that according to R. Gamliel, there is a case where the berakha of birkat ha-mazon does not require a kos. A kos is necessary only when birkat ha-mazon is recited following a meal. However, after eating from the 7 species (which obligate a full birkat ha-mazon according to R. Gamliel), there is no kos shel berakha.


Although the text of the berakha is identical in both cases, there is apparently a basic discrepancy regarding the nature of the berakha. In the case of the 7 species, the obligation of the berakha is generated by the singular quality of these foods and their unique connection to Eretz Yisrael. Therefore, we are obligated to praise and thank Hashem for giving us Eretz Yisrael. Birkat ha-mazon following a meal, on the other hand, is not generated solely because wheat (bread) is one of the 7 species. We are obligated to exalt Hashem for the sustenance he provides to the entire world. Therefore, after partaking of the 7 species, birkat ha-mazon is a regular birkat shevach ve-hoda'a, which does not necessitate a kos. However, following a seuda, the same text is considered shira, in which we exalt Hashem over a kos shel berakha.


It is interesting that Tosafot in Berakhot (37a s.v. Natan), do not accept the solution offered by our Tosafot mentioned above. Instead, they argue that R. Gamliel, while requiring birkat ha-mazon after wine in general, agrees that birkat ha-mazon is unnecessary after drinking the wine of kos shel berakha. However, whenever, the complete text of birkat ha-mazon is recited, even after eating one of the 7 species according to R. Gamliel, a kos is needed. The Ba'alei Tosafot in Berakhot apparently accept our initial understanding, that birkat ha-mazon as a berakha, similar to kiddush, is shira and demands a kos shel berakha.


Shema Mina Ta-amo Pagmo


The Rambam (Hilkhot Shabbat 29:16) explains that a kos pagum is disqualified from kiddush since it is considered shiyurei ha-kosot (the wine left over at the bottom of the cup). Since a kos shel berakha is essentially defined as a glorified framework for shira, discarded leftovers are incompatible for this purpose. According to this understanding, a kos pagum is disqualified only with respect to a kos shel berakha (see Rashbam 106a s.v. kapid).


The Meiri (s.v. ha-Shishi) claims that the berakha for a kos pagum is not "borei peri ha-gafen." Apparently, he maintains the position that pegam is not limited to kos shel berakha. Rather, pegam affects the quality of the wine in general. The explanation is that "Borei peri ha-gafen" is not a function of wine in the physical sense. It is a special berakha reserved for wine due to its distinguished status and quality. Therefore, wine, which due to certain circumstances lacks this special status, also loses this distinct berakha.


Can a kos that has been disqualified as pagum be rehabilitated? This issue is not addressed in the Bavli. However, the Talmud Yerushalmi (Berakhot 7:5) states: "R. Yonah sipped from a cup and then fixed it." However, the Yerushalmi does not describe the remedy used by R. Yonah.


The Rosh (siman 14) explains that one can restore a kos pagum to its original status by refilling it with wine or water. The Maharam Me-Rotenburg (Hagahot Maimoniot Hilkhot Shabbat ch. 29) argues that this method is invalid. Instead he claims that the wine should be poured into other wine thereby undergoing the halakhic process of bittul. Perhaps we can explain that the Rosh defined the pegam in terms of the CUP (kos) - the kos is considered pagum; the wine is unaffected. Therefore, it is possible to correct the pegam by refilling the cup, thereby halakhically creating a new kos. However, the Maharam maintains that the pegam disqualifies the wine itself. Therefore he argues that that merely adding wine or water is ineffective without resorting to the laws of bittul, which annuls the status of the disqualified wine by physically mixing it within a larger amount of qualified wine. It is common practice to refill the cup and then pour it all back into the bottle, thus combining the Rosh with the Maharam Me-Rotenburg.


[It should be noted, that according to the Meiri, the pegam definitely focuses on the wine itself. The wine loses its unique status, and consequently its special berakha. The option that the focus is on the kos exists only if the halakha of kos pagum is limited to kos shel berakha, like the Rashbam.]




Chada Milta Hi


The standard explanation is that we cannot prove from the beraita both that tasting disqualifies a kos, and a kos shel berakha requires a minimum amount. Assuming that the beraita is referring to a situation where one originally had only a revi'it (the minimum amount), he could not use the same cup twice even if tasting does not disqualify the cup, since there would no longer be a revi'it after the first taste. Therefore, although Rav Ashi ACCEPTS both halakhot, he argues that a proof for "taamo pagmo" cannot be brought from the beraita.


The Raavya (siman 514) offers a novel interpretation of the gemara. According to the Raavya, Rav Ashi argues that the two problems - pegam and minimal amount - are essentially one. The reason tasting disqualifies the cup is because the cup is no longer full and is therefore lacking the amount required. Based on this new understanding of pegam, the Ra'avya explains a difficult minhag, in which bread crumbs were used to refill a kos pagum in order to restore its eligibility as a kos shel berakha. Clearly, the Ra'aya considers the pegam to be in the kos and not the wine, and would agree with the Rosh that refilling the kos suffices.


Afilu A-chavita Pegima


It is not clear what question, if any, is being argued by the Amoraim. Perhaps, the size of the vessel is critical in determining whether the drinking disqualifies the remaining wine as leftovers or not. If one drinks from a large wooden barrel of wine, he is normally just tasting the wine to discern its quality. Therefore, it is difficult to define the remaining wine as leftovers. This case is in sharp contrast to drinking from a cup of wine. The middle case is where one sips from the bottle.


The Rashbam (s.v. afilu) notes that the reference of Mar bar Rav Ashi is to relatively small vessels (urns rather than barrels). However, if one sips from large wooden barrels, he does not disqualify all the wine in the barrel. Apparently, he was unwilling to consider the possibility of disqualifying the wine as pagum in such a situation. The Beit Yosef (O.C. 182) notes that Rabbeinu Yerucham does not restrict Mar bar Rav Ashi's statement and apparently disqualifies the entire barrel.


The Maggid Mishna (Hilkhot Shabbat 29:16), in an attempt at explaining an enigmatic Ra'avad, suggests that if one drank wine from a bottle, and then poured the remaining wine into an empty cup, the kos is not considered pagum. Clearly, this possibility views pegam as focusing on the kos. Hence, pouring into a new cup effectively erases the pegam. (It is possible that only in the case where one sipped from the bottle do we consider the pegam to be only in the kos. However, if one drank directly from a cup, the wine that was leftover is pagum. Accordingly, the solution of the Ra'avad would not be acceptable for pagum wine leftover in a cup.)


The Maggid Mishna, however, rejects this possibility.


Perhaps, the Maggid Mishna understands that Mar bar Rav Ashi, who disqualifies the barrel, applies this halakha even though one normally pours from the barrel into another cup before reciting the berakha. Therefore, it is implicit that Mar bar Rav Ashi rejects the suggestion of the Ra'avad. However, the Ra'avad can counter that this is the focus of the argument among the Amoraim, and he accepts the ruling of Rav Idi.



Sources for next week:

1. 106a "Tanu rabanan... einav be-rosho."

2. Tosafot s.v. " zakhreihu;" Nazir 3b "hahu... me-har Sinai," Tosafot s.v. "mai."

3. Rambam and Ra'avad Hilkhot Shabbat 29:10, Ran (22a in the pages of the Rif) s.v. "zakhreihu," R. Dovid s.v. "ha."


1. Is the requirement of wine during kiddush of biblical or rabbinic origin?

2. What is the source and nature of kiddusha rabba?






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