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Tractate Berakoth, by , by A. Lukyn Williams, [1921], at

Women Slaves and Children excluded. The Quantity of Food over which Grace must be said.

M.VII. 3 (2). Women, and slaves, and little children, 4 are not invited [to say the Benediction]. What is the least account of food which qualifies for the invitation? Not less than the size of an olive. R. Judah says not less than the size of an egg.

T. V. 14. All are under obligation to say in the case of the Benediction after the meal: priests, Levites, and Israelites and proselytes and slaves, freedmen, priests of illegitimate birth, 5 Nethinim, and bastards, eunuchs of men, and eunuchs by birth, 6 and eunuchs of all kinds. 7 All are under obligation, and can set the majority free from obligation. 8 Persons of uncertain or double sex

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are under obligation, but cannot set the majority free from the obligation.

13. One who is of double sex sets one like himself free [from his obligation], but no one else; one who is of uncertain sex sets neither free.

16. One who is half a slave and half of free birth sets neither one like himself nor any one else free [from their obligation].

17. Women and slaves and children do not set the majority free from their obligation. [Yet] in fact they say: 1 A woman says the Benediction for her husband, a son for his father, a slave for his master.

18. A child who can eat anything about the size of an olive we include in the invitation to say the Benediction, but him who cannot eat anything about the size of an olive we do not. We do not insist on preciseness with a child, whether he says, "Let us bless," or says, "Blessed be He." We do not take him up for this, but the precisians do take him up for this.

20. Rabban Simeon ben Gamaliel says: If they have gone upstairs, and have reclined at meat, and he dips his hands (in the dish) with them, although he has not eaten with them [any] corn as much as an olive, behold these invite him. 2

11. If a sweet relish comes to him in the middle of the meal, one says the Benediction over the meal, and lets the sweet relish go free.

12. R. Mona 3 says in the name of R. Judah, A bit of bread that comes with dessert after food requires a Benediction before it and after it.

13. The first water (for washing before the meal) is a matter of choice; the latter 4 (after the meal) a

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matter of obligation. In the case of the first water if one wishes to leave off, one leaves off; but in the case of the latter water, if one wishes to leave off one does not.


60:4 Cf. M. III. 3 (supra, p. 23).

60:5 priests of illegitimate birth (chālālim), e.g. sons of a priest who had married a widow.

60:6 Cf. Matt. 1912.

60:7 The language is that of Deut. 231.

60:8 can set . . . free from obligation. By one of them saying the Benediction on behalf of those who are present.

61:1 they say. i.e. This is the Rule.

61:2 these invite him, viz., to say the Benediction after the meal.

61:3 R. Mona. His usual name, as it seems, is Mana. Evidently a mishna-teacher of the fourth generation, c. 160-200 A.D.

61:4 The first water . . . the latter. These become technical expressions for the ceremonial washing before and after meals, and p. 62 occur in the proverb: "[The neglect of] the first water makes one eat pork [for the host thinks one a Gentile], and [the neglect of ] the latter water commits murder," i.e. one duty neglected brings about the commission of a serious, but relatively small, sin, a second the commission of a great one. The proverb is given summing up an illustration of its truth, in T. B. Yoma, 83 b.

Next: M. VII. 4-6. The Words of the Invitation depend on the Number Present