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Arvei Pesachim #22: 114a

  • Rav Yair Kahn

Gemora Pesachim

Yeshivat Har Etzion

Gemorah Arvei Pesachim

Shiur 22: 114a

By Rav Yair Kahn


Mishna: Mazgu Lo Kos Rishon


Although the halakha of the four cups of wine is unique to the seder night, the first of these cups is the standard kiddush which is recited on every Shabbat and Yom Tov. Therefore, it is not surprising that our mishna, which discusses the first cup, is merely a reproduction of a mishna in Berakhot (51b) which deals with kiddush in general. The Mishna quotes a controversy between Beit Shamai and Beit Hillel regarding the order of the various berakhot of kiddush. Beit Hillel maintains that the berakha over the wine should precede the actual berakha of kedushat ha-yom, while Beit Shamai switches this order.


The ensuing beraita quotes the respective arguments of Beit Shamai and Beit Hillel. Beit Shamai maintains that kedushat ha-yom should come first since it is the main and dominant factor. The berakha on wine is recited at this point only as a derivative of the kedushat ha-yom - sanctity of the day. Therefore, it is proper to sanctify the day and follow with the berakha on the wine. Beit Hillel counter that in fact wine is the determining factor, for if one did not have wine (or bread), he would not recite the kedushat ha-yom. Hence they argue that the berakha on the wine should precede the kedushat ha-yom. (The beraita continues with a secondary argument.)


In spite of the detail of this beraita, it is nonetheless unclear what issue lies at the root of their argument. Does Beit Shamai disagree with Beit Hillel's assumption and argue that kiddush IS recited in the absence of wine? On the other hand, isn't it clear that Beit Shammai is correct in declaring that neither the wine-blessing nor kiddush would be recited at all, save for the sanctity of the day? Can Beit Hillel deny the primacy of kedushat ha-yom within the context of kiddush?


Perhaps we can suggest that the Beit Shamai - Beit Hillel controversy hinges upon their respective approaches to kiddush al ha-kos. In the shiur at the beginning of the perek (shiur #3, also see Rashbam 101a s.v. Af) we noted two alternate interpretations regarding the relationship between kiddush and the kos. According to one, the wine is secondary and functions only as a context whereby the kiddush is recited in a dramatic and majestic fashion. This approach clearly awards primacy to the recital of kedushat ha-yom and considers the berakha on the wine to be subsidiary. From this perspective, the position of Beit Shamai seems superior.


However we also noted an alternate approach, whereby the entire focus of the kiddush al ha-kos is oneg Shabbat, reflected by the wine and the Shabbat meal. According to this understanding, the wine is accorded a central role and is the basic factor which generates the obligation of kiddush al ha-kos. The argument of Beit Hillel - that without wine there would be no kiddush whatsoever - is an expression of this understanding of kiddush al ha-kos. Consequently, we can appreciate Beit Hillel who prefers to begin with the berakha on wine.


Gemara: Peshita de-Ha Nafik Bat-kol


The gemara questions the necessity of ruling in accordance with the opinion of Beit Hillel, since a heavenly voice (bat-kol) has already established that the halakha is always in their favor. Our sugya offers alternate approaches regarding bat-kol. According to one, the bat-kol is authoritative, and therefore the beraita must date back to the pre-bat-kol era. The second, based on R. Yehoshua, maintains that a bat-kol, or any divine intervention, is irrelevant regarding halakha. Therefore, despite an explicit bat-kol, the beraita is justified in ruling according to Beit Hillel.


Tosafot (s.v. De-amar) contrast our gemara, which wavers on this issue, with the sugya in Bava Metzia (59b) in which the position of R. Yehoshua rejecting divine intervention is clearly adopted. To solve this discrepancy, Tosafot distinguish between the bat-kol which established the law according to Beit Hillel (Eiruvin 13b), and that which expressed support for R. Eliezer (Bava Metzia 59b). Regarding the bat-kol endorsing R. Eliezer, the bat-kol was totally discarded since it conflicted with the majority opinion. Beit Hillel on the other hand was embraced by the majority. Therefore, the bat-kol favoring them could be accepted.


Apparently, Tosafot at this point maintain that signs from heaven which conflict with the halakhic process are rejected in absolute terms. Divine intervention cannot interfere with the halakhic process. Accordingly, "lo ba-shamayim hi" establishes the autonomy of the halakhic system and its primacy over divine signals. This interpretation, however, would allow for heavenly messages in order to clarify issues which cannot be solved via the halakhic process.


However, Tosafot proceed to reject bat-kol even regarding Beit Hillel, although not conflicting with the halakhic process, apparently totally rejects bat-kol as a legitimate method. Accordingly, "lo ba-shamayim hi" totally de-legitimizes the use of divine signals as a determining halakhic factor. Only the human process of torah she-ba'al peh can legitimately be utilized in the establishment of halakha.


114a: Mishna: Hevi'u Lefanav

Rishonim disagree as to the reason behind the bringing of the seder plate before the start of the Haggada. Rabbenu David (114a s.v. Hevi'u) explains: "When the second cup is poured, they bring before him matza and chazeret and charoset and the paschal sacrifice [at the time of the Temple], so that he will tell the story of the departure from Egypt from the time that matza and maror are placed before him." In other words, having matza and maror in front of him is a prerequisite for the mitzva of retelling the story of the Exodus.

Tosafot (114a s.v Hevi'u lefanav; see also 116a s.v. Va-amartem) explain the Mishna differently: "As soon as the table is removed, it is brought back with the matza and maror on it, for it is necessary to recite in the Haggada 'THIS matza ...' (matza zu), 'THIS maror' (maror zeh), etc." It seems that Tosafot disagree with Rabbenu David - Tosafot do not require that one have matza and maror before him during the recital of the entire Haggada, but rather only at one specific point.

The Minchat Chinukh (mitzva 21) argues outright with Rabbenu David, stating: "The notion of 'at the time matza and maror are in front of you' refers to the time-frame in which there is a COMMANDMENT to eat the matza and maror (and not that actual matza and marror be present). This is obvious since not having the matza in front of you during the reading of the Haggada does not detract from your fulfillment of the mitzva, nor have we found the notion that the mitzva of reciting the Haggada is dependent on the [presence of] matza or maror." As opposed to Rabbenu David, the Minchat Chinukh states that there is no such relationship between the mitzvot and the story, and therefore the aforementioned law of having the matza and maror in front of you refers only to the time of this mitzva.


Mishna: U-shnei Tavshilin


The two tavshilin are brought in order to commemorate the two sacrifices which were eaten on the seder night, at the time of the Beit Hamikdash. Along with the paschal lamb - korban pesach - one would sacrifice an additional korban, refered to as chagigat arba'a asar - the chagiga sacrificed on the fourteenth [of Nisan].


In a previous mishna (69b), this korban is treated as a regular korban shelamim. However, the gemara (70a) quotes the opinion of Ben Teima who bases the laws of this chagiga on those of the korban pesach. The aforementioned mishna allows the chagigat arba'a asar to be eaten for two nights and the day in between, as is common regarding all shelamim. Ben Teima argues that the deadline of this chagiga is the first night, like the korban pesach. Similarly, Ben Teima demands that the chagiga be roasted in the same manner as the korban pesach, as opposed tothe conflicting opinion which allows one to cook the chagiga.


The Rambam (Hilkhot Korban Pesach 10:13) rules that the chagigat arba'a asar is a normal korban shelamim. Tosafot, on the other hand, (114b s.v. Shnei) accept the opinion of Ben Teima.


Let us return to the two commemorative tavshilin. There are several options mentioned in the gemara (114b) regarding the specifics of the two tavshilin. The various options can be reduced to two issues. 1. What type of tavshilin are required and permissible? 2. What is considered two tavshilin as opposed to one complex tavshil?


Regarding the first issue, we find two opposing opinions. While Rav Yosef demanded the use of meat, Rav Huna sufficed with cooked vegetables. They seem to be debating how rigorous a reminder of the korbanot are necessary. Rav Yosef is strict in his demand of meat, which parallels the substance used for korbanot. In fact, the Rach claims that according to this opinion, one piece of meat should be roasted, as was the korban pesach, and the second cooked similar to the chagiga. [The Rach apparently agrees with the Rambam that the laws of this chagiga are those of a regular shelamim.] Tosafot (114b s.v. Shnei) reject this opinion because they accept the position of Ben Teima. However, instead of demanding that both pieces of meat be roasted, similar to the actual sacrifices, they mention that both should be cooked [as is suggested by the term 'tavshilin']. Apparently, they felt uncomfortable with too rigorous an application of the laws of actual sacrifices, so as to avoid the appearance that these tavshilin have the status of sacrifices (see 116b).


Rav Huna, who allowed the use of cooked vegetables, apparently was not concerned with such a strict commemoration. According to him, the tavshilin are merely symbolic, and therefore, he adopted a more liberal approach. The Rashbam (s.v. Silka) notes that Rav Huna surely would allow, although not demand, the use of meat. The Rashash, however, suggests that perhaps Rav Huna felt uncomfortable with the rigorous parallel to korbanot, and therefore insisted that the use of meat be avoided.


The two remaining opinions are interesting with regards to the second question. However, they may also be relevant regarding the Rav Huna-Rav Yosef controversy. Ravina mentions the use of meat; however, it is possible that he only demanded that one of the tavshilin be meat. The Ran makes a similar suggestion according to Chizkiya, with the additional note that fish can be used in place of meat. In fact, it is our custom to use a roasted "zero'a" [meat] to parallel the korban pesach, and a cooked or roasted egg to symbolize the chagiga [see O.C. 473:4].


Regarding the second issue, both Rav Huna and Rav Yosef are similar, insofar as they both mention two totally independent tavshilin. Chizkiya goes a step further, and considers fish cooked together with an egg as two tavshilin. Ravina, however, is extreme in this regard. According to him, even meat cooked in broth, is categorized as two tavshilin.





Tosafot s.v. Echad


As mentioned previously, the two tavshilin are commemorative of the two korbanot sacrificed on Erev Pesach and eaten on the seder night, the korban pesach and korban chagiga. Tosafot question the legitimacy of this practice when Erev Pesach falls out on Shabbat, and only the korban pesach would have been sacrificed. Initially, Tosafot claim that only one tavshil commemorating the korban pesach should be brought. This is also the opinion of the Rosh (siman 25) who adds that bringing two tavshilin may cause errors in subsequent years, after the Beit Hamikdash is rebuilt.


Tosafot subsequently quote the dissenting opinion of the Ri. According to him, one should not be too exact in the comparison to korbanot. By making such an exact analogy, it appears as if one is treating the tavshilin as actual korbanot. Therefore the Halakha was not concerned by this imprecision, and demanded two tavshilin even on Motza'ei Shabbat.


The entire issue raised by Tosafot is based upon the premise that only the korban pesach can be sacrificed on Shabbat. This is certainly the case according to the view that chagigat arba'a asar is likened to a korban shelamim (whose sacrifice on Shabbat is forbidden). However, Tosafot themselves adopt the position of Ben Teima that the laws of this chagiga correspond to those of korban pesach. Evidently, according to Tosafot, this analogy to korban pesach is limited, and doesn't include the ability to sacrifice on Shabbat. In fact this point is noted explicitly in a previous Tosafot (70b s.v. Mai).


However, there is an additional opinion quoted by Tosafot (ibid), which maintains that Ben Teima allows this chagiga to be sacrificed on Shabbat along with the korban pesach. Obviously according to this opinion, the dilemma of Tosafot concerning the two tavshilim on Motzaei Shabbat does not even begin.



Sources and questions for next week's shiur:



1. 114b (top) "Amar Reish Lakish ... mai mitzva."

Clarification: "Dmai" is grain which is suspect of not having been tithed. It is prohibited by rabbinic edict but may be eaten by the poor.

2. Rosh Hashana 28a "Shalchu lei ... nivukhei."

[3. ADVANCED: Ba'al Ha-ma'or "ha de-Tania ...;" Hasagot ha-Ra'avad "Ve-hahi ..."]

4. 114b (bottom) "Heikha de-ika ... mi-plugta;" 115a Tosafot s.v. Matkif.



1. How do the various Rishonim rule regarding the requirement of intention while performing mitzvot?

2. Is it possible to demand intention during the performance of certain mitzvot, while foregoing this requirement regarding others? What might possibly be the grounds for such a distinction?

3. What is the basis for Rav Chisda's ruling that the berakha on the mitzva of maror should be recited even when eating maror in place of karpas?






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