|Tractate Berachot, Chapter 5
Fire and mixtures [of animals]2 are not [actually existent] from the six days of creation,3 but they are considered to be [as if they are existent] from six days of creation.4 Rebbi Yossi says, “The fire of hell was created on the second day [of creation] and will never be extinguished,5 as it is said, ‘And they will go out and see the corpses of men who rebelled against Me, because their worms will not die and their fire will not be extinguished, and they will be loathsome to all mankind.’”6 (Yeshayahu 66:24) We do not say a Beracha [on seeing the light of the fire and on smelling the spices during Havdalah] on the fire and spices of a bath house.7
מסכת ברכות פרק ה
האש והכלאים אינן מששת ימי בראשית אבל חשובין מששת ימי בראשית. רבי יוסי אומר אש גיהנם נבראת ביום השני ואינה כבה עולמית שנאמר (ישעיהו סו:כד) ויצאו וראו בפגרי האנשים, הפושעים בי: כי תולעתם לא תמות, ואישם לא תכבה, והיו דיראון, לכל בשר. האש והבשמים של מרחץ אין מברכין עליהן.
- Since the previous Toseftot discussed the Beracha on seeing the light of fire of Havdalah which commemorates the creation of fire, the Tosefta continues with an Aggadic statement about the creation of fire. It is not related to any Mishna. In addition, the Tosefta says a new law about Havdalah which is related to the discussion of Mishna 6 of chapter 8, which says that we do not make a Beracha during Havdalah on a candle and spices that were put by a dead body.
- Animals that do not naturally occur, but are rather a hybrid of two different species of animals, such as a mule, which is a hybrid of a male donkey and a female horse.
- Meaning that God did not create them as a separate standalone thing, but rather they were created by man after God’s process of creation was over. Talmud Bavli (Pesachim 54a) says that man created the first fire by rubbing two stones together and figured out how to breed a horse and a donkey to create a mule.
- Talmud Yerushalmi (Berachot 8:5, Daf 60a) has a slightly different version of this quote. Instead of saying that “they are considered to be from six days of creation” it says that “God thought about them during six days of creation”, implying that it was God who created them on the 8th day after Shabbat and not man. I think that this is not what our Tosefta is trying to say, but rather it means as I explained above in the previous note that God did not create them, but rather it was man who created them later. The Tosefta has to clarify that even though God did not create fire, we consider it as if He did, because in the Beracha on seeing the light of fire, in Havdalah, we say that it was God who “creates the light of fire”. The reason that we consider fire to be created by God is because it is something so basic to human life that without it life cannot exist and it is God who put the idea in man’s mind how to extract fire by hitting two rocks together, and not something that man thought up on his own. See Talmud Bavli (Pesachim 54a). Hybrid animals are something so strange that they are considered to be created by God as well, since it is God who formed their bodies in such a way allowing their union to produce offspring, even though it is something that logically should not work, since most different types of animals cannot produce offspring if bred.
It is interesting to note that the Tosefta goes against the common Greek and Roman belief that it was the gods who created fire and not man, as known from the Greek myth of Prometheus who stole the fire from the gods and gave it to humans. I have to admit that it is really strange for the Rabbis to believe that it was man who created fire and not God, because fire occurs in nature in various places, such as when lightning strikes a tree or a volcano erupts and flowing lava burns everything in its path, so it does not make any sense to say that fire is something that was created by man when it is a natural phenomena. It make more sense to say that man created hybrid animals, because different species of animals generally do not copulate in nature and have to be pushed by humans to do so. It should be noted that Talmud Bavli (Pesachim 54a) sites the opinion of Rebbi Nechemyah who says that God created both the light (meaning fire, since light itself was created on the 1st day as it says in the Torah (Bereishit 1:4)) and the mule on the 6th day of creation, which clearly argues on this Tosefta. It is difficult to say that our Tosefta means that it was man who simply figured out how to reproduce them and control them and did not create them from scratch, since that is not what the literal meaning of the Tosefta implies.
- Rebbi Yossi argues on the Tanna Kama and holds that God created fire on the 2nd day and the place where he created it first was hell.
- The verse in Yeshayahu is talking about God telling the prophet that in the end of days all men will worship God and will see how the wicked people will get punished. Rebbi Yossi uses it to support his opinion that hell itself will never cease to exist, even in the end of days when all people will recognize the supremacy of God.
- In Zuckermandel’s edition of the Tosefta this last line belongs to the next Tosefta which makes more sense in the context. Mishna 8:6 says that we do not make a Beracha during Havdalah on a candle and spices that were put by a dead body. Talmud Bavli (Berachot 53a) explains that the reason is because for Havdalah the candle and the spices must serve the purpose of pure pleasure for the individual who is using them, where as spices by a dead body are placed there to neutralize the smell of the corpse and the candle is placed to honor the dead person, and neither one of them is for looking at or for smelling for pleasure. The same reasoning applies to the spices and the fire of a bath house. The fire in the bath house is used to heat up the water and is not meant to be looked at and the spices are used to neutralize the smell of sweat from all the sweaty people who are walking around and are not meant to be smelled for pleasure.
|Tractate Berachot, Chapter 5
Tosefta 371[If a person] was standing in a store [that sells] spices all day [long], he only says the Beracha [on smelling spices] once [in the beginning].2 [But if] he was going in and out [of the store all the time, then] he says a Beracha [on smelling the spices] each time [he goes back inside the store].3
מסכת ברכות פרק ה
היה עומד בחנות של בשמים כל היום אינו מברך אלא אחת. היה נכנס ויוצא נכנס ויוצא מברך על כל אחת ואחת
- Since the previous Tosefta mentioned the Beracha on smelling spices during Havdalah, this Tosefta states a new law regarding the Beracha on smelling spices in general. It is not related to any Mishna.
- Talmud Bavli (Berachot 53a) explains that spices that are sold in a store are intended to be smelled so that people will enjoy their smell and buy them because of that. Therefore a person has to say a Beracha on smelling spices when he just walks into the store and smells all the different spices simultaneously. He does not have to specifically smell some particular spice in order to say the Beracha. This is opposed to spices that are placed by a dead body that are not intended to be smelled at all, but rather to neutralize the bad odor of the corpse, as I explained above in the previous Tosefta, note 7.
- The reason that he has to say the Beracha on smelling the spices every time he walks back in is because it is considered to be an interruption of the smell when he walked out of the store. So each time he comes back in it is like he smelled something from scratch, therefore requiring a new Beracha. This is similar to saying new Berachot on food if a meal was interrupted, as was discussed above in chapter 4, Tosefta 17.