Arvei Pesachim #16: 106a

  • Rav Yair Kahn

Gemora Pesachim

Yeshivat Har Etzion



SHIUR #16: Mi she-Lo Hivdil (106a)

by Rav Yair Kahn


Mi she-Lo Hivdil

The gemara presents two opinions regarding the deadline for havdala. The first opinion allows one to recite havdala “the entire week.” The gemara (106a) explains that means until Tuesday evening, since the three days following Shabbat are considered the post-Shabbat section of the week. However, on Wednesday a new section of the week begins, comprised of three days which anticipate the upcoming Shabbat. Ameimar argues that havdala may only be recited until Sunday evening.


At first glance, the focus of the argument is the time limit of the basic obligation of havdala. Ameimar maintains that havdala must be recited on “motza'ei Shabbat” which includes all of Sunday. The contesting opinion argues that the time frame of havdala spans the entire post-Shabbat period which continues until Wednesday. (See Me'iri Ta'anit 30b s.v. Kol.)


However, the Shulchan Arukh (OC 299:6) rules that the option of reciting havdala till Wednesday is limited to one who FORGOT to recite havdala. This means that if one intentionally delayed havdala, he does not have the option of waiting until Wednesday. Apparently, the Shulchan Arukh maintains that the time frame for the mitzva of havdala is limited to motzei Shabbat. The possibility of reciting havdala until Wednesday is a separate category of "tashlumim" - the chance to make up missed opportunities. The Shulchan Arukh, therefore, rules that the privilege of "tashlumim" is granted only in cases where havdala was inadvertently missed.


According to this understanding, there may be a basic distinction between the two opinions quoted in the gemara. Ameimar, who does not allow havdala after Sunday, is dealing with the time frame of the mitzva of havdala, which is motzei Shabbat, or the entire Sunday. The conflicting opinion agrees with Ameimar regarding the basic time frame, but introduces another concept of tashlumim. Accordingly, if one intentionally delayed havdala, he would have the opportunity to recite havdala the entire Sunday. However, the privilege of making up the missed havdala until Wednesday, would be limited to an the case of an unintentional omission.


However, R. Sa'adia Ga'on (in his Siddur) rules like Ameimar that havdala can only be recited until Sunday evening. Nevertheless, he adds the stipulation that this only applies if the omission of havdala was unavoidable. In other words, according to R. Sa'adia Ga'on, the time frame for the mitzva of havdala is only Saturday night (and not Sunday). The debate in the gemara of reciting havdala on Sunday or Tuesday evening is about the time period for tashlumim.


This issue is discussed extensively within the context of Hilkhot Tisha Be-Av, concerning havdala when Tisha Be-Av falls out on Sunday. The Ramban (Torat Ha-adam) claims that tashlumim of havdala is limited to a situation where the obligation of havdala existed during the proper time. Therefore, if for some reason there was no obligation of havdala on motzei Shabbat, there is also no possibility (nor need) for tashlumim until Wednesday. Since there is no obligation of havdala (over wine) on Tisha Be-Av, there is also no possibility of havdala afterwards. (The Rosh, Ta'anit 4:40 argues that even on Tisha Be-Av itself, the basic obligation of havdala over wine exists. However, it cannot be implemented due to the fast.)


The ruling of the Behag is opposite that of the Ramban. On the one hand, he maintains that the deadline for havdala is Sunday evening. Nevertheless, when Tisha Be-Av falls on Sunday, he allows for havdala after the culmination of the fast on Sunday night (halakhically Monday). He argues that since eating is prohibited on the Sunday of Tisha Be-Av, one may still recite the havdala on Monday. Perhaps, we can explain that the reason havdala can normally be recited only on Sunday is not because motzei Shabbat (including Sunday) is the time frame of the mitzva. Rather, as we move further away from Shabbat havdala loses its significance. This is because havdala (over wine) constitutes the separation between the Shabbat meal and ordinary everyday eating. With the passage of time, this line of demarcation becomes blurred. When Tisha Be-av falls on Sunday, on the other hand, since eating is prohibited all of Sunday, this line separating oneg Shabbat from everyday meals, can be drawn clearly and sharply on Sunday night following the fast. Therefore, havdala retains its significance and may be recited. (The Ran, based on a slightly different version of the Behag, explains his position differently.)


In explaining the Behag, we can also suggest that there are two aspects to havdala:

1. Praise concerning Shabbat upon its culmination.

2. Havdala functioning as a "matir" – permiossion for us to resume normal everyday eating.


The limitation of havdala to motzei Shabbat (or all of Sunday), is linked to the aspect of praise which relates to Shabbat itself, and therefore, comes at the close of Shabbat. However, the aspect of "matir" is theoretically possible even after Sunday. Normally, however, even the aspect of "matir" becomes tarnished with the passage of time. But when Tisha Be-Av falls on Sunday, since eating is prohibited the entire day, the aspect of "matir" is fresh with the culmination of Tisha Be-Av. Therefore, havdala can be recited on the Sunday night following Tisha Be-Av. (Note: These two aspects of havdala are parallel to the two aspects of kiddush. See shiur #10)




Ha-Notel Yadav Lo Yekadesh


Rashi and the Rashbam explain that the gemara is dealing with the issue of hefsek regarding netilat yadayim. R. Bruna initially claims that Rav rules that kiddush constitutes a hefsek. Therefore, if one DID wash his hands prior to reciting kiddush, he must wash again before eating bread. R. Yitzchak rejects R. Bruna's claim, since Rav would quite often recite kiddush over bread. In such a case, kiddush would follow the netilat yadayim, but would, nevertheless, not be considered a hefsek. Therefore, kiddush does not constitute a hefsek even when recited over wine.


The Rambam (Hilkhot Shabbat 29:9) mentions the option of reciting kiddush over bread. Nonetheless, he rules (ibid. 29:6) that one should not wash his hands prior to kiddush. If one inadvertently washed his hands before kiddush, he should recite kiddush over bread, even though his initial intention was to do so over wine. It would appear from these halakhot in the Rambam, that the problem of washing before kiddush is unrelated to the problem of hefsek. It is clear that kiddush is not considered a hefsek, since kiddush can be recited, after washing, over bread. Nevertheless, for some other reason, one should not wash before kiddush. This "other reason," however, must be defined.


R. Soloveitchik zt"l explains that kiddush functions as a "matir" - permitting one to begin the Shabbat meal. Therefore, it is forbidden to eat or drink prior to kiddush (hilkhot Shabbat 29:5). Furthermore, not only is actual eating or drinking forbidden, initiating a meal before kiddush is prohibited as well. Washing one's hands in order to eat bread is considered the introductory stage of the meal, and should FOLLOW, not precede kiddush. If, however, one recites kiddush over bread, then washing one's hands is a necessary component of the kiddush itself. Therefore, it is not considered as introducing the meal prior to kiddush. Consequently, if one inadvertently washed hands before kiddush, he should recite kiddush over bread, thus avoiding the problem of introducing the meal before kiddush. (See Shiurim le-Zekher Abba Mori, vol. 2, pp. 136-7. A variation of this theme is found in the Ba'al Ha-Ma'or. See R. David s.v. Ha De-amrinan Ha-notel.)

Sources for next week's shiur:

1. 106b-107a "Zimnin sagi'in ... adidei"

2. Tosafot s.v. Mekadesh [until "U-beyerushalmi]

3. Tosafot s.v. Ta'am

4. 107a Rashbam s.v. Chamar medina, Rambam Hilkhot Sha:17.



1. According to Rabbenu Tam one does not have the option of using bread for kiddush. What is the basis of his reasoning?

2. What is the conceptual basis for the opinion that ta'am eino mekadesh u-mavdil?

3. What is the definition of “chamar medina”?

4. Is there a difference between kiddush and havdala regarding the eligibility of chamar medina?






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]