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3
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1answer
121 views

Making a Bracha on pleasurable things

A couple lines up from the bottom of the first daf of Keitzad Mevarchin, the Gemarah gives its reason for making Brachas. Its answer (my translation) is "It is forbidden for a person to get pleasure ...
8
votes
1answer
155 views

Sharp sword on the throat

The Gemara says Berachot 10a אפי' חרב חדה מונחת על צוארו של אדם אל ימנע עצמו מן הרחמים Even if a sharp sword is resting on one's thought he shouldn't hold back from (asking for) mercy." Why ...
6
votes
2answers
132 views

“Hit him with a hammer until he pays attention!” Literally?

Abaye makes a rather harsh judgment on someone who is unattentive in prayer (Ber. 34a): Hit him with a hammer until he pays attention! Is this meant to be taken as Halachah? Or is it just meant to ...
5
votes
1answer
132 views

Was King David the head of the Sanhedrin?

It's widely assumed that Dovid HaMelech was the head of the Sanhedrin; see, for example, Kesef Mishneh in the beginning of Rambam's introduction to Yad HaChazaka. However, the Gemara in Berachos 4a ...
4
votes
1answer
106 views

Kohanim on first shift can't say Shema'?

The first Mishnah in Berachoth quotes R' Eli'ezer's opinion that the time for reciting Shema' in the evening extends only until the end of the first shift (the Kohanim would serve in the Beith ...
2
votes
0answers
99 views

Meaning of dreams with some kinds of animals

The gemara in berachot says: "All kinds of beasts are a good sign in a dream, except the elephant, the monkey and the long-tailed ape" (57b). Why is a dream with an elephant, a monkey or a long-tailed ...
1
vote
1answer
195 views

Two Brachos before shema and one after in the morning, and two before and after in the evening

In the first Gemara of Brachos, the gemara quotes a 'seifa' that says: THE MORNING SHEMA IS PRECEDED BY TWO BRACHOS AND FOLLOWED BY ONE. THE EVENING SHEMA IS PRECEDED BY TWO BRACHOS AND FOLLOWED BY ...