Arvei Pesachim #4: 100b - 101b

  • Rav Yair Kahn

Gemora Pesachim

Yeshivat Har Etzion




SHIUR ARVEI PESACHIM #4: 100b - 101b

by Rav Yair Kahn



La'afukei Orchim


The accepted halakhic ruling is in accordance with Shmuel that kiddush must be recited in the PLACE of a meal. The gemara explains that the custom to recite kiddush in the synagogue (although the congregants do not eat there) is for visitors who will actually eat in the Synagogue. This raises the obvious question: If there are no visitors, should kiddush be recited?


The Ge'onim and Rishonim debate this point. Some simply declare that in such a case kiddush should not be recited. If the kiddush is nevertheless recited, it constitutes a berakha le-vatala (an unnecessary berakha, which is prohibited).


Rabbeinu Yona counters that Shmuel's restriction of kiddush to the locality of a meal is only a rabbinic condition. According to Torah law, there is no such requirement (the Rosh disagrees). Therefore, the custom to recite kiddush in the synagogue is relevant even if there are no visitors eating in the synagogue. People who don't know how to recite kiddush by themselves will fulfill at least their Torah obligation via the kiddush recited in the synagogue. (See Rosh end of siman 5.)


Other Rishonim go a step further, claiming that once the practice was enacted in ancient times, where guests were common, it becomes law. It is subsequently binding even if the original reason is no longer relevant. Consequently, even if everyone will recite kiddush individually in their own homes, the custom to recite kiddush in the synagogue remains in effect. Although no one in the synagogue is fulfilling the requirement to make kiddush, the berakha is not "le-vatala," since it is halakhically demanded. Perhaps we can add that the custom creates a new institution of PUBLIC KIDDUSH (which need not be tied to a meal). Therefore, there is significance to kiddush in the synagogue despite the subsequent necessary private kiddush. We find a similar phenomenon with respect to tefilla. The Sages instututed the repitition of the Shemona Esrei for the benefit of those who do not know how to pray on their own. This repetition is subsequently required even where all the congregants are literate. It is quite possible that this public repetition introduces a new sort of prayer - public prayer - in which the congregation as a whole participates and thereby includes the illiterate congregants. Hence, this public prayer is meaningful even when there are no illiterates present.


A further complication of the kiddush in the synagogue involves the drinking from the wine. As Tosafot (s.v. "yedei") points out, someone must drink the wine of kiddush, though this need not necessarily be the one who made the blessing. If however one has not fulfilled the mitzva of kiddush, then one is not permitted to eat anything at all, including drinking the wine of this synagogue kiddush itself. If, on the other hand, no one drinks, the blessing over the wine (bore pri hagefen) would appear to be levatala, even if the blessing of kiddush itself is not. For this reason, it is customary in those synagogues where kiddush is recited to give the wine to a child to drink. The logic is that he is old enough to be obligated to make a berakha before drinking but not old enough to be prohibited to eat before kiddush. If, on the other hand, there is a new institution of public kiddush which is divorced from the seuda requirement, it might be argued that the wine can be drunk, as part of that institution, even though the individual has not fulfilled his personal obligation of kiddush.


Ein Kiddush Ela Be-makom Seuda


The Rashbam (101a s.v. "af") offers two sources for the din of Shmuel:


1. The halakha is derived from the verse "ve-karata le-Shabbat oneg" - "and you should declare Shabbat enjoyable." From this, we derive that the declaration of Shabbat (kiddush) should be within the context of "oneg" (the Shabbat meal).

2. The law is based on logic. Since kiddush is recited over wine, there is a demand for a cup which is connected to the meal, and is therefore considered more significant. These two possibilities lead to two diverse ways of understanding the relationship between kiddush and the Shabbat meal:


If the context of the meal is necessary in order to enhance the cup of wine qualitatively (option #2), there is no indication of any intrinsic connection between kiddush and the meal itself. The context of the meal serves a technical function of uplifting and deepening the quality of the cup. Conceptually, however, the kiddush is related to the wine but not to the meal.


If, however, the verse demands that the declaration of Shabbat be made in relation to "oneg," which is equivalent to the Shabbat meal, this would seem to reflect an integral connection between the two. This relationship can be explained as follows: There is basically no need or possibility to declare or sanctify Shabbat since its status is objectively established and imposed, irrespective of man's actions (as opposed to Yom Tov which the Jewish people sanctify through beit din). Whether or not the Jewish people declare Shabbat, it descends upon the world, and work is automatically prohibited. The significance of sanctification (kiddush) is only with respect to the subjective element of Shabbat. This subjective component finds expression in the obligation to experience and enjoy Shabbat. Consequently, kiddush which is recited over a cup of wine is integrally connected to the Shabbat meal.



Tosafot s.v. Ta'imu


Although the phrase ta'imu midi (taste a bit) implies an insignificant snack, Tosafot claim that bread is required. (The Magen Avraham insists on a kezayit of bread, while the Elya Rabba argues that a taste is sufficient.)


The Shulchan Arukh (273:5) claims that wine (an additional cup following kiddush) or bread constitute a makom seuda. The Magen Avraham (273:11) adds that if wine is sufficient, clearly cookies and cakes (mezonot) are acceptable as well. This ruling is widely accepted.


However, all the above opinions agree that fruit do not suffice. The immediate consequence of this law is that one must eat at least mezonot at a "kiddush;" otherwise, it is not a "seuda," one has not fulfilled the obligation of kiddush, and consequently it is forbidden to eat anything at all. (The Ri'az argues that on Shabbat even fruit are considered as significant and constitute a makom seuda.)


Question to think about: How would the two different understandings of the makom seuda requirement affect this issue?



Sources for next week's shiur:


1. 101a "Ve-Rav Yochanan amar ... echad zeh ve-echad zeh tzarikh levarekh" [middle of 101b].

2. Tosafot 101a s.v. Shinui.

3. Rashi 101b s.v. Mi-makom, Tosafot 101a s.v. Aval, Rambam Hilkhot Berakhot 4:3-5, Hasagot HaRa'avad.

4. Tosafot 101b s.v. Ela.




1. What generates the berakha "ha-tov ve-hameitiv" with respect to wine, according to the Rashbam? According to Tosafot?

2. On what two points do the Rambam and Ra'avad argue regarding "shinui makom?" Is there any relationship between these two points?

3. How does the Rashbam define the category "devarim ha-te'unim berakha acharona bi-mekoman?" What is included in this category according to Tosafot?






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