Arvei Pesachim #32: 117b

  • Rav Yair Kahn

Gemora Pesachim

Yeshivat Har Etzion





by Rav Yair Kahn




Ve-tzarikh She-yazkir Yetziat Mitzrayim Be-kiddush


The requirement to mention "yetziat Mitzrayim" in kiddush indicates a connection between Shabbat and yetziat Mitzrayim. This relationship is explicit in the "aseret ha-dibrot" (ten commandments) as they appear in Devarim (5:14). The Ramban (ibid.) explains that both Shabbat and yetziat Mitzrayim attest to the existence and omnipotence of God. Therefore, including yetziat Mitzrayim in kiddush emphasizes those themes that are central to kiddush.


The necessity to mention yetziat Mitzrayim is derived from a derasha (from pesukim). The Minchat Chinukh (mitzva 31) therefore concludes that this halakha is mi-deoraita (Biblical). Furthermore, he claims that failure to mention yetziat Mitzrayim in kiddush totally invalidates it. However, he quotes various authorities who claim that the mitzva of kiddush, at least on the Biblical level, is fulfilled by tefillat ma'ariv (which includes a berakha of "mekadesh ha-shabbat"), despite the fact that it contains no mention of yetziat Mitzrayim. Evidently, according to them, the basic mitzva of kiddush can be fulfilled even if yetziat Mitzrayim is omitted.


It is noteworthy that neither the Rambam nor the Shulchan Arukh quote this halakha. Perhaps they did not consider the derasha quoted in our gemara as a real indication of the Torah's intention. They maintained that it is only a play on words used by Chazal in order to present a certain point. (This is known as "asmakhta.") Therefore, they did not include our gemara within the corpus of halakha. On the other hand, both the Rif and Rosh quote our gemara, indicating that it is, in their opinion, accepted as halakha.


The Chida (Chaim Sha'al siman 43) suggests that the requirement to mention yetziat Mitzrayim in kiddush is limited to the kiddush of the seder night. Accordingly, there is no need to mention yetziat Mitzrayim within the context of the standard kiddush, which we recite every Shabbat. This possibility reflects the unique character of the kiddush of the seder night. We will return to this point later.



Shabbat De-keviya Ve-kayma


Our gemara concludes that the proper conclusion for kiddush on Shabbat is "mekadesh ha-Shabbat", while on Yom Tov we say "mekadesh Yisrael ve-hazemanim." The issue of whether to mention "Yisrael", is based on whether the Jewish people play a role in sanctifying the day. Calendar-based holidays are dependent upon the actions of the Jewish people who designate the new month. Therefore, Yisrael is considered active with regard to the sanctity of Yom Tov. However, regarding the sanctity of Shabbat, which comes weekly, irrespective of the date, the Jewish people play no role.


A quick glance at a sugya in Berakhot (49a) will elucidate our gemara. The gemara there invalidates berakhot which have a complex chatima (ending), involving two separate concepts. It follows that one may use the composite chatima "mekadesh Yisrael ve-hazemanim" only because there is a relationship between the kedusha of Yisrael and the kedusha of the holiday. We bless Hashem who sanctified Yisrael, who in turn sanctified the Yom Tov. Thus, the chatima is valid since it is considered an integrated whole. However, regarding Shabbat, since Yisrael is not a factor with regard to the sanctity of Shabbat, no similar integration is possible. "Mekadesh Yisrael ve-haShabbat" must be interpreted: mekadesh Yisrael and mekadesh ha-Shabbat as well, which is complex and therefore invalid.


Based on this sugya, we understand the position of the elders of Pumbedita, who insisted that Yisrael is never mentioned regarding Shabbat. However, our gemara quoted another opinion, that of Rava, which legitimizes the format of "mekadesh Yisrael ve-haShabbat" within the context of tefilla, due to its public character. This position, which allows for this composite berakha, seems to ignore the gemara in Berakhot. However, even if we interpret Rava as a dissenting opinion, the conclusion of our gemara, which adopted the position of the elders of Pumbedita is consistent with that gemara (Berakhot).


Rav Soloveitchik suggested an alternate explanation, according to which even Rava's opinion does not contradict the gemara in Berakhot. He argued that although Shabbat is not calendar-based, it is nonetheless sanctified to a certain extent by the Jewish people. True, Shabbat arrives with or without any act of Yisrael; however, the Jewish people join in the act of sanctifying the Shabbat. Accordingly, the kiddush which we recite is not merely praise, but is an act of consecration as well. The holiness of Shabbat is not dependent on our act, but we affirm the holiness of Shabbat by reciting kiddush. [In previous shiurim, we dealt with the aspect of Shabbat which is dependent upon Yisrael]. If we adopt this approach, we can accept even "mekadesh Yisrael ve-haShabbat" as an integrated whole, and not as a complex chatima. (See shiurim Le-zekher Abba Mari vol. 2 pg. 145-146.)



Kol Chad Ve-chad Na'avid Bei Mitzva


Based on this mishna, the gemara initially assumes that a kos is generally required for birkat ha-mazon. However, the gemara concludes that this point cannot be proven from our mishna. It is possible that a kos is necessary for birkat ha-mazon only on the seder night, due to the halakha of the arba kosot. Accordingly, there is no inherent connection between the arba kosot and birkat ha-mazon: Four kosot were instituted as a show of freedom; yet Chazal preferred to introduce a halakhic framework for these kosot. Therefore, each kos was attached to a specific berakha, and was thereby awarded the status of kos shel berakha. Accordingly, the halakha of arba kosot is independent of their status as a kos shel berakha. (See shiur # 20, and Chiddushei HaGriz, hilchot chametz u’matza 7:9.)


Rav Soloveitchik however, developed an alternate understanding of our gemara. According to him, the berakhot to which the arba kosot were attached are all connected in some specific way to the seder night. This is clearly the case with respect to the second kos, which is attached to the berakha of "ga'al Yisrael" - he who redeemed Yisrael. Furthermore, we already noted (shiur # 19) that the context of the second kos, according to some commentators, includes all of sippur yetziat mitzrayim. The fourth kos, which is recited over hallel, can also be seen as relating specifically to the seder night. This is obvious if hallel is an integral part of sippur yetziat mitzrayim. However, it is also the case if the hallel results from the unique personal involvement specific to the seder night, based on the obligation of "bekhol dor va-dor" (see shiur # 30).


However, the first kos, recited over kiddush, appears to be the regular obligation of kiddush, standard for every Shabbat and Yom Tov. Rav Soloveitchik suggested that kiddush of the seder night contains two elements. It is both a regular kiddush as well as a statement specific to the seder night. After all, kiddush specifically includes a mention of yetziat mitzrayim. This contention is supported by the opinion of the Chida which we quoted at the beginning of this shiur. He argued that normal kiddush does not require a mention of yetziat mitzrayim; the halakha requiring such a mention, is specific to kiddush of the seder night. Furthermore, kiddush discusses the chosenness of Yisrael, a theme which is also specific to the seder night. In addition, kiddush in general is praise and glorification of the day. Hence, kiddush on the seder night, contains specific glorification of the uniqueness of this night. This goes to the heart of sippur yetziat mitzrayim, which accentuates the singularity of the seder night (cf. ma nishtana). [Based on this, Rav Soloveitchik explained why, according to the Taz (OC 402:1), it is necessary to wait until nightfall to recite kiddush, although on a normalYom Tov kiddush can be recited earlier. (See shiur # 1].


We can make a parallel claim regarding the third kos. This kos, which was instituted within the context of birkat ha-mazon, also relates specifically to yetziat mitzrayim. The content of the second berakha of birkat ha-mazon is hoda'a (thanks) to Hashem for having taken us out of mitzrayim, presenting us with the Torah and then giving us Eretz Yisrael. On the seder night, thanking Hashem for taking us out of mitzrayim has special significance. Moreover, the third kos is not recited only over the birkhat hamazon, but also relates to the entire meal. The meal, as a celebration of the holiday, clearly reflects the singularity of the seder night. Furthermore, this uniqueness is expressed by the menu, which includes matza, maror, korekh and afikoman.


According to this explanation, our gemara concludes that instituting a kos for birkat ha-mazon can not indicate that birkat ha-mazon usually demands a kos. Rather, it could be that as one of the arba kosot, this kos also finds specific expression related to yetziat mitzrayim within the context of birkat ha-mazon. Therefore, birkat ha-mazon only requires a kos within the narrow context of the seder night. (See Shiurim Le-zekher Abba Mari vol. 2 pg. 154-5, and Siakh Hagrid pg. 8-11.)



Tosafot s.v. Revi'i


According to Tosafot, there is no mention whatsoever of the possibility of a fifth kos. However, Tosafot quote the opinion of Rav Yosef Tov-Elem, who allows for a fifth kos under certain circumstances. If a person must drink an additional cup of wine, because of physical or even psychological reasons, he is permitted to do so, as long as he recites hallel ha-gadol (see 118a) over this kos. This opinion stems from a version of the beraita quoted later (118a), according to which hallel hagadol is recited over a fifth (not fourth) kos. Since all the mishnayot and gemarot only mention arba kosot, the surprising introduction of a fifth was interpreted by Rav Yosef Tov-Elem as a "heter" (allowance), limited to extenuating circumstances.


Taking a more liberal approach, the Ramban interpreted the beraita which introduced the fifth kos as an option. Accordingly, anyone who wished to drink more wine merely had to recite hallel hagadol over this kos. The sources which referred only to arba kosot, were dealing with the amount of wine which is obligatory.


Rav Zerachya Halevi, the Ba'al Ha-ma'or, argued that the beraita (118a), ascribed to R. Tarfon, disagrees with our mishnayot. According to R. Tarfon, all five cups are mandatory, in contrast to the accepted opinion which obligates only four. Therefore, he claimed that there is no place for a fifth cup (or hallel hagadol) in halakha.


All the opinions mentioned above, agree that basically one is not allowed to drink wine after the first four kosot. They disagree whether a fifth kos can be permitted by transforming it into an additional kos shel berakha related to the seder night. Some connect this prohibition to the halakha "ein maftirin achar ha-pesach afikoman" - it is forbidden to consume anything following the eating of the korban pesach. According to them, this halakha excludes drinking as well as eating after the korban.


Others claim that the prohibition of drinking a fifth cup is an extension of the prohibition of drinking between the third and fourth cups. The common understanding is that this halakha was instituted in order to avoid drunkenness which could impede the remainder of the seder. The Ramban suggests the additional possibility that one should not appear to be adding to the arba kosot.


The Ra'avad, on the other hand, explains that although the obligation is limited to four kosot, there is a mitzva to add a fifth kos recited over hallel hagadol. The first four kosot reflect the famous four terms of redemption, which describe freedom from the Egyptian bondage. The fifth kos was added to represent the fifth term "ve-heveti," which refers to eventual destination of Eretz Yisrael. According to this, hallel hagadol is not introduced in order to permit a fifth kos (otherwise forbidden), but in order to add an additional dimension to the seder night, the ultimate realization of Jewish destiny.



Sources and Questions for next week's shiur;



1. 118a "Mai birkat ha-shir ... zu shi'abud malkhuyot."

2. Second mishna Sukka 38a.

3. Ran [26a in the pages of the Rif] s.v. Mai; until "Ve-ra'aya la-davar" ve-khi teima ve-harei mafsikin ... kakh tirtzu ba-zeh."

4. Rashbam s.v. Ve-R. Yochanan; Tosafot s.v. R. Yochanan; Shulchan Arukh OC siman 490.



1. Why is there no berakha before the Hallel of the seder night?

2. What are the differences regarding the berakha after the Hallel between regular Hallel and that of the seder night?

3. Why was Hallel ha-gadol introduced into the haggada?






To receive this Gemorah shiur every week, write to:

With the message:

 [email protected]

Subscribe yhe-Pesachim


This shiur is provided courtesy of the Virtual Beit Midrash, the premier source of online courses on Torah and Judaism - 14 different courses on all levels, for all backgrounds.

Make Jewish learning part of your week on a regular basis - enroll in the
Virtual Beit Midrash

(c) Yeshivat Har Etzion2002 All rights reserved to Yeshivat Har Etzion

Yeshivat Har Etzion
Alon Shvut, Israel, 90433
[email protected]