Talmud Tips

For the week ending 7 June 2014 / 9 Sivan 5774

Rosh Hashana 29 - 35

by Rabbi Moshe Newman
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“All of the berachot can be said by a person for another person to hear and fulfill that person’s obligation, even though the person saying the beracha has already said it for himself and fulfilled his own obligation; however, regarding berachot for bread and wine, he may say them for others only if he is saying them for himself as well, but not if he is not.”

The Sage Ahava the son of Rabbi Zeira is quoted as teaching this halacha on our daf and it is cited in the Shulchan Aruch. The first statement refers to berachot such as those said before doing a mitzvah, such as the beracha for the mitzvah of shofar, or when the beracha is itself a mitzvah, since all of Klal Yisrael are “guarantors” for each other and are responsible to help ensure that each person fulfills his obligation. However, when it comes to a beracha on food, although it is forbidden to eat without a beracha, and therefore the beracha is also a mitzvah, one is not obligated to eat this particular food. Therefore, his beracha is for taking his personal enjoyment and benefit and the enjoyer needs to say his own beracha for himself. One is not a “guarantor” for the other in this case and cannot say a beracha for the other unless he is also eating and has enjoyment and benefit from the food as well. (Rashi)

  • Rosh Hashana 29a

“On the first day of the week they sang ‘To God is the world and all that is in it, the world and all the dwellers in it’.”

Rabbi Akiva teaches a beraita that begins with this verse, and he describes the shir (song) for each day that was sung while offering the daily sacrifices in the Beit Hamikdash. The first day’s song was the entirety of chapter 24 of Tehillim: “To G-d is the world and all that is in it….” The essence of Day One was that that G-d created a heaven and earth in order to give them to Mankind to have and use, while He was the only Ruler in existence. (Rashi)

  • Rosh Hashana 31a

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