Arvei Pesachim #17: 106b

  • Rav Yair Kahn

Gemora Pesachim

Yeshivat Har Etzion



SHIUR #17: Zimnin de-Chaviva Alei Rifta (106b)

by Rav Yair Kahn



According to Rabbeinu Tam, one may not recite kiddush over bread. Therefore, he interprets the gemara as referring to kiddush recited over wine, but immediately prior to a meal. In such a case, Rav would wash his hands before kiddush, which clearly indicates that kiddush is not a hefsek with respect to netilat yadayim. The gemara also refers to alternate occasions when Rav did not recite kiddush over wine before bread. According to Rabbeinu Tam, this option is based on Rav's opinion that kiddush does not have to be recited be-makom se'uda (see 100b).


However, the simple reading of this gemara indicates that there IS an option of reciting kiddush over bread. Rashi and the Rashbam, as well as the Rambam (Hilkhot Shabbat 29:9) concur with this interpretation, thus enabling one who prefers bread to use it for kiddush. The Rema (Darkhei Moshe OC 272:3) goes one step further, mandating the use of bread for one who dislikes wine. In short, all the above opinions agree that, with regards to kiddush, bread is an acceptable alternative for wine.


This conclusion must be assessed in light of the derasha from which we derive the requirement of wine for kiddush (see 106a). According to many Rishonim, this requirement is of biblical origin. (Whether or not the actual drinking itself is biblical is a separate topic. See shiur #11.) How can it be possible to ignore this requirement simply because one prefers bread?


Furthermore, argues Rabbeinu Tam, everyone agrees that bread cannot be used for havdala, and thus, it is unreasonable to assume that it is acceptable for kiddush. After all, we find that the laws of kiddush are generally more restrictive than those of havdala. For instance, the gemara (107a) suggests that beer can replace wine for havdala but not for kiddush.


Rav Soloveitchik zt"l explains that the Torah does not specifically demand the use of wine for kiddush. Rather, the biblical obligation refers to the necessity of reciting kiddush within the context of oneg Shabbat. Therefore, bread, which is the basis of the Shabbat meal - a fulfillment of oneg Shabbat - is a suitable replacement for kiddush wine. Beer, however, is not included within the category of oneg Shabbat and is, thus, not acceptable for kiddush. (See Tosafot s.v. Mekadesh, and Rosh siman 17.)


Although the Rosh (siman 17) accepts Rashi's interpretation which allows for kiddush over bread, he nevertheless limits this possibility to kiddush at night. Kiddush in the day, however, cannot be recited over bread. We can explain this distinction based on the technicality that kiddush in the day consists of nothing other then a birkat ha-nehenin (borei peri ha-gafen). Therefore, if one would substitute bread for the wine, the meal would begin with ha-motzi just like a weekday meal, and consequently, there would be no noticeable declamatory statement which could be considered kiddush.


The distinction of the Rosh can also be understood in light of our analysis of the berakha "borei peri ha-gafen" (see Shiur #11). We suggested that only this berakha can function as kiddush since it is both a birkat ha-nehenin as well as a birkat ha-shir. Therefore, although bread can replace wine, ha-motzi cannot substitute for "borei peri ha-gafen" as the text of kiddush, which requires shira.


There is a nafka mina (practical difference) between these two explanations. If one requires the specific berakha of "borei peri ha-gafen" for kiddusha rabba (second explanation), then chamar medina (accepted alcoholic beverages whose berakha is she-hakol) could not be used either. However, if one requires a noticeable declaration, then reciting the berakha of she-hakol prior to the meal is sufficient. The Rosh himself permits the use of chamar medina, thus clearly siding with the first explanation. However, there are many Rishonim who argue that chamar medina is unsuitable for kiddush (which allows for the second explanation).



Ta'am Eino Mekadesh


The position of R. Huna that one cannot recite kiddush after eating indicates an intrinsic relationship between kiddush and eating. The kiddush must precede the meal by its very definition. Or to phrase it differently, kiddush after one already ate has no halakhic significance. However, such a suggestion requires elucidation.


R. Soloveitchik zt"l explains that kiddush functions as a "matir," permitting one to eat on Shabbat. Before kiddush, eating is forbidden and, therefore, if one eats beforehand, the role of kiddush as a matir is undermined and the kiddush becomes altogether pointless.


Furthermore, as we noted in previous shiurim (see 101a), we sanctify Shabbat with respect to oneg Shabbat through the kiddush. Therefore, kiddush must be recited be-makom se'uda since it relates to, and initiates, the Shabbat meal. However, if one already ate his Shabbat meal prior to kiddush, there is no point in reciting the kiddush.


It is instructive that the Rashbam and Tosafot (s.v. Ta'am) maintain that R. Huna only disqualifies kiddush at NIGHT after eating at night. However, R. Huna agrees that the kiddush may still be recited in the DAYTIME prior to the daytime meal. (The reference to this kiddush during the day is apparently NOT to kiddusha rabba, but the complete kiddush ha-yom normally recited at night). According to the above, the reason is clear: The kiddush in the day immediately precedes the Shabbat meal. Consequently, it is defined as a bona fide kiddush, insofar as it initiates a Shabbat meal.



Ta'am Eino Mavdil


Since havdala is parallel to kiddush, we should not be surprised to discover that the two have similar halakhic parameters. Since there is a prohibition to eat before reciting havdala over wine, havdala can be defined as a "matir" (as we suggested regarding kiddush). Consequently, if one eats prior to havdala, he not only violates an injunction, but also undermines the possibility of reciting havdala in the future.


If, however, ta'am eino mekadesh is due to the inherent connection that exists between the kiddush and oneg Shabbat, then the application of this law to havdala is questionable. After all, there is no requirement that havdala be be-makom se'uda, and therefore no indication that havdala is intrinsically linked up with eating.


Nevertheless, it is reasonable to argue that while kiddush consecrates Shabbat by initiating se'udat Shabbat, havdala terminates Shabbat as far as oneg Shabbat is concerned. In other words, havdala expresses the end of oneg Shabbat, and any subsequent meal is considered a se'udat chol. Therefore, eating on motza'ei Shabbat before reciting havdala is prohibited. Furthermore, if one illegitimately ate before havdala, there is no longer any purpose to a subsequent havdala. Hence. ta'am eino mavdil.




Hilkheta Ta'am Mekadesh Ta'am Mavdil


The gemara concludes that one may recite kiddush and havdala even after eating. At first glance, this seems to contradict the theory that kiddush and havdala function as a matir. Rather, we can assume that both kiddush and havdala reflect the obligation to commemorate Shabbat verbally as it enters and departs (see the Rambam Hilkhot Shabbat 29:1) and to praise Hashem for bestowing Shabbat, with all its sanctity, upon Am Yisrael. Since kiddush and havdala are in the category of praise and do not function as a matir, it is reasonable that the obligation remains even after one eats illegitimately.


However, there are opinions that one may recite havdala after eating only on motza'ei Shabbat. The possibility of havdala until Tuesday is limited to one who did not eat at all. Therefore, Ameimar abstained from food, in order to be able to recite havdala on Sunday.


A plausible explanation is that havdala is comprised of both the matir component as well as the praise element. When recited prior to eating on motza'ei Shabbat both fexist. However, one who illegitimately eats before havdala forfeits the matir component, but can nonetheless recite havdala due to the element of praise. On the other hand, one who neglected to recite havdala when Shabbat ends (i.e., motza'ei Shabbat) can still recite havdala as a matir, although he misses his opportunity of praise which is limited to the narrow context of Shabbat (when it departs). Therefore, if one eats and neglects to recite havdala on motza'ei Shabbat, he can no longer recite havdala at all since both elements, matir and praise, have been forfeited.


Even dissenting opinions which allow one who ate to recite havdala until Tuesday may agree with this complex view of havdala. Therefore, even if the matir factor was undermined by eating, one can still recite havdala as praise. These opinions maintain that the obligation of praise exists during the entire post-Shabbat section of the week (i.e., until Tuesday).




Chamar Medina


Ameimar agreed to recite havdala over beer, only upon realizing that in that particular location, beer was considered chamar medina. The Rambam (Hilkhot Shabbat 29:17) defines chamar medina as the preferred beverage of a specific area. The Rashbam, on the other hand, argues that an alternate beverage is not considered chamra de-medina unless there is no wine available.


The opinion of the Rambam can be appreciated if we consider that the basic purpose of a kos shel berakha is to praise Hashem in a majestic and glorified manner. In areas where some other drink (as opposed to wine) is the accepted dignified beverage, this other drink is suitable for a kos shel berakha.


However, it is important to note that even in those places wine can nevertheless be used. We are forced to conclude that the objective halakhic status of wine transcends specific subjective local conditions. Therefore, according to the Rambam, wine is always acceptable for a kos shel berakha.


The Rashbam basically agrees with the Rambam. However, he insists on the primacy of wine due to its objective halakhic status. Therefore, alternate beverages attain the status of chamar medina, only when wine is unavailable.



Mahu li-Kedushei a-Shichra


After apparently accepting the possibility of havdala over chamar medina, the gemara questions the viability of using beer for kiddush. The gemara then rejects this option for kiddush and proceeds to invalidate this alternative regarding havdala as well.


The tension between the beginning and the end of the sugya is dealt with by the various commentators. Tosafot (106b s.v. Mekadesh) suggest that the gemara accepts the use of chamar medina per se for havdala; however, it disqualifies the use of beer for both havdala and kiddush only in a location where the beer is not considered chamar medina. According to this explanation, it is very possible that chamar medina may be used for kiddush.


The Rashbam, on the other hand, does not distinguish between the beginning and the end of the sugya - both are referring to a situation where there is no wine available and therefore beer is considered chamar medina. According to this interpretation, the Rosh (siman 17) concludes that the end of the sugya disagrees with the beginning. Since we accept the option of chamar medina regarding havdala, it is most likely valid regarding kiddush as well.


The Rambam, however, disqualifies chamar medina with respect to kiddush, which in his mind is consistent with the end of the sugya. Nevertheless, regarding havdala he accepts chamar medina as a legitimate option. In other words, Ameimar's position regarding havdala is accepted only where it explicitly contradicts the ensuing gemara.


Perhaps we can explain the distinction between kiddush and havdala as follows: The use of wine for havdala corresponds to the standard "kos shel berakha," whose function it is to praise Hashem in a glorified and majestic fashion. To achieve this purpose, chamar medina is a suitable substitute in locations where other drinks replace wine as the accepted dignified beverage. As the gemara says (107a): "Kegon zeh ra'ui le-kadesh alav ve-lomar alav kol shirot ve-tishbachot she-ba'olam." (Bread, however, which never serves in this capacity is invalid.) Kiddush, on the other hand, is not only a kos shel berakha. It is a sanctification of the Shabbat by initiating oneg Shabbat as well. Therefore, it must be recited over those items which reflect oneg Shabbat. Consequently, kiddush can be recited over wine or bread, but not over chamar medina.


Sources for next week's shiur:

1. 107a "Samukh le-mincha... michla" (108a)

2. Rashbam 107b s.v. O Dilma; Mahu.

Tosafot s.v. Dilma

3. Rashi s.v. U-mishum;

Rambam Hilkhot Chametz u-Matza 6:12

4. Rashi s.v. Aval;

Rashbam s.v. Targima;

Tosafot s.v. Mini



1. Is it possible to conclude that "samukh le-mincha" refers to mincha gedola? If so, would the prohibition be applicable nowadays?

2. Does one fulfill the mitzva of eating matza if one ate "akhila gasa?

3. What falls under the category of "minei targima?






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