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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Berakoth
Perhaps they will depose you later on. He replied to her: [There is a proverb:] Let a man use a cup of honour1 for one day even if it be broken the next. She said to him: You have no white hair. He was eighteen years old that day, and a miracle was wrought for him and eighteen rows of hair [on his beard] turned white. That is why R. Eleazar b. Azariah said: Behold I am about seventy years old,2 and he did not say [simply] seventy years old. A Tanna taught: On that day the doorkeeper was removed and permission was given to the disciples to enter. For Rabban Gamaliel had issued a proclamation [saying]. No disciple whose character does not correspond to his exterior3 may enter the Beth ha-Midrash. On that day many stools4 were added. R. Johanan said: There is a difference of opinion on this matter between Abba Joseph b. Dosethai and the Rabbis: one [authority] says that four hundred stools were added, and the other says seven hundred. Rabban Gamaliel became alarmed and said: Perhaps, God forbid, I withheld Torah from Israel!5 He was shown in his dream white casks full of ashes.6 This, however, really meant nothing; he was only shown this to appease him.7
A Tanna taught: Eduyyoth8 was formulated on that day — and wherever the expression 'on that day' is used, it refers to that day — and there was no halachah about which any doubt existed in the Beth ha-Midrash which was not fully elucidated. Rabban Gamaliel also did not absent himself from the Beth ha-Midrash a single hour, as we have learnt: On that day Judah, an Ammonite proselyte, came before them in the Beth ha-Midrash. He said to them: Am I permitted to enter the assembly?9 R. Joshua said to him: You are permitted to enter the congregation. Said Rabban Gamaliel to him: Is it not already laid down, At Ammonite or a Moabite shall not enter into the assembly of the Lord?10 R. Joshua replied to him: Do Ammon and Moab still reside in their original homes? Sennacherib king of Assyria long ago went up and mixed up all the nations, as it says, I have removed the bounds of the peoples and have robbed their treasures and have brought down as one mighty their inhabitants;11 and whatever strays [from a group] is assumed to belong to the larger section of the group.12 Said Rabban Gamaliel to him: But has it not been said: But afterward I will bring back the captivity of the children of Ammon, saith the Lord,13 so that they have already returned? To which R. Joshua replied: And has it not been said, And I will turn the captivity of My people Israel,14 and they have not yet returned? Forthwith they permitted him to enter the congregation. Rabban Gamaliel thereupon said: This being the case,15 I will go and apologize to R. Joshua. When he reached his house he saw that the walls were black. He said to him: From the walls of your house it is apparent that you are a charcoal-burner.16 He replied: Alas for the generation of which you are the leader, seeing that you know nothing of the troubles of the scholars, their struggles to support and sustain themselves! He said to him: I apologize.17 forgive me. He paid no attention to him. Do it, he said, out of respect for my father. He then became reconciled to him. They said: Who will go and tell the Rabbis? A certain fuller said to them: I will go. R. Joshua sent a message to the Beth hamidrash saying: Let him who is accustomed to wear the robe wear it;18 shall he who is not accustomed to wear the robe19 say to him who is accustomed to wear it, Take off your robe and I will put it on? Said R. Akiba to the Rabbis: Lock the doors so that the servants of Rabban Gamaliel should not come and upset the Rabbis.20 Said R. Joshua: I had better get up and go to them. He came and knocked at the door. He said to them: Let the sprinkler son of a sprinkler21 sprinkle; shall he who is neither a sprinkler nor the son of a sprinkler say to a sprinkler son of a sprinkler, Your water is cave water22 and your ashes are oven ashes?23 Said R. Akiba to him: R. Joshua, you have received your apology, have we done anything except out of regard for your honour? Tomorrow morning you and I will wait on him.24 They said: How shall we do? Shall we depose him [R. Eleazar b. Azariah]? We have a rule that we may raise an object to a higher grade of sanctity but must not degrade it to a lower.25 If we let one Master preach on one Sabbath and one on the next, this will cause jealousy. Let therefore Rabban Gamaliel preach three Sabbaths and R. Eleazar b. Azariah one Sabbath. And it is in reference to this that a Master said: 'Whose Sabbath was it? It was the Sabbath of R. Eleazar b. Azariah'.26 And that disciple27 was R. Simeon b. Yohai.
THE TIME FOR THE ADDITIONAL PRAYER IS THE WHOLE DAY. R. Johanan said: And he is [nevertheless] called a transgressor.28
Our Rabbis taught: If a man had two Tefillahs to say, one for minhah and one for musaf, he says the one for minhah, and afterwards he says the one for musaf. because the one is daily29 and the other is not daily. R. Judah says: He says the musaf one first and then he says the minhah one; the former is an obligation that will soon lapse30 while the other is an obligation that will not lapse. R. Johanan said: The halachah is that he says the minhah Tefillah first and then the musaf one. When R. Zera was tired from studying, he used to go and sit by the door of the school of R. Nathan b. Tobi. He said to himself: When the Rabbis pass by, I will rise before them and earn a reward.31 R. Nathan b. Tobi came out. He said to him: Who enunciated a halachah in the Beth ha-Midrash? He replied: Thus said R. Johanan: The halachah does not follow R. Judah who said that a man first says the musaf Tefillah and then the minhah one. He said to him: Did R. Johanan say it? — He replied, Yes.32 He repeated it after him forty times. He said to him: Is this the one [and only] thing you have learnt [from him]33 or it is a new thing to you?34 He replied: It is a new thing to me, because I was not certain [whether it was not the dictum] of R. Joshua b. Levi.
R. Joshua b. Levi said: If one says the musaf Tefillah after seven hours, then according to R. Judah the Scripture says of him, I will gather them that are destroyed [nuge]35 because of the appointed season, who are of thee.36 How do you know that the word 'nuge' here implies destruction? It is as rendered by R. Joseph [in his Targum]:37 Destruction comes upon the enemies of Israel38 because they put off till late the times of the appointed seasons39 in Jerusalem.
R. Eleazar said: If one says the morning Tefillah after four hours, then according to R. Judah the Scripture says of him, 'I will gather them that sorrow because of the appointed season, who are of thee'. How do we know that this word nuge implies sorrow? Because it is written, My soul melteth away for heaviness [tugah].40 R. Nahman b. Isaac said: We learn it from here: Her virgins are afflicted [nugoth] and she herself is in bitterness.41
R. 'Awia was once ill and did not go to hear the lecture of R. Joseph.1 On the next day when he came Abaye tried to appease R. Joseph. He said to him [R. 'Awia]: Why did your honour not come to the lecture yesterday? He replied: I felt weak and was not able. He said to him: Why did you not take some food and come? He replied: Does not your honour hold with the dictum of R. Huna? For R. Huna said: It is forbidden to a man to taste anything until he has said the musaf Tefillah. He said to him: Your honour ought to have said the musaf Tefillah privately and taken something and come. He replied: Does not your honour hold with what R. Johanan has laid down, that it is forbidden for a man to say his Tefillah before the congregation says it? He said to him: Has it not been said in regard to this: This refers to when he is with the congregation? And the law is neither as stated by R. Huna nor by R. Joshua b. Levi. 'It is not as stated by R. Huna', namely in what we have just said.2 'It is not as stated by R. Joshua b. Levi', namely, in what R. Joshua b. Levi said: When the time for the minhah Tefillah arrives it is forbidden to a man to taste anything until he has said the minhah Tefillah.
MISHNAH. R. NEHUNIA B. HA-KANEH USED TO SAY A PRAYER AS HE ENTERED THE BETH HA-MIDRASH AND AS HE LEFT IT — A SHORT PRAYER. THEY SAID TO HIM: WHAT SORT OF PRAYER IS THIS? HE REPLIED: WHEN I ENTER I PRAY THAT NO OFFENCE SHOULD OCCUR THROUGH ME,3 AND WHEN I LEAVE I EXPRESS THANKS FOR MY LOT.
GEMARA. Our Rabbis taught: On entering what does a man4 say? 'May it be Thy will, O Lord my God, that no offence may occur through me, and that I may not err in a matter of halachah and that my colleagues may rejoice in me5 and that I may not call unclean clean or clean unclean, and that my colleagues may not err in a matter of halachah and that I may rejoice in them'. On his leaving what does he say? 'I give thanks to Thee, O Lord my God, that Thou hast set my portion with those who sit in the Beth ha-Midrash and Thou hast not set my portion with those who sit in [street] corners,6 for I rise early and they rise early, but I rise early for words of Torah and they rise early for frivolous talk; I labour and they labour, but I labour and receive a reward and they labour and do not receive a reward; I run and they run, but I run to the life of the future world and they run to the pit of destruction.
Our Rabbis taught: When R. Eliezer fell ill, his disciples went in to visit him. They said to him: Master, teach us the paths of life so that we may through them win the life of the future world. He said to them: Be solicitous for the honour of your colleagues, and keep your children from meditation,7 and set them between the knees of scholars, and when you pray know before whom you are standing and in this way you will win the future world.
When Rabban Johanan ben Zakkai fell ill, his disciples went in to visit him. When he saw them he began to weep. His disciples said to him: Lamp of Israel, pillar of the right hand,8 mighty hammer! Wherefore weepest thou? He replied: If I were being taken today before a human king who is here today and tomorrow in the grave, whose anger if he is angry with me does not last for ever, who if he imprisons me does not imprison me for ever and who if he puts me to death does not put me to everlasting death, and whom I can persuade with words and bribe with money, even so I would weep. Now that I am being taken before the supreme King of Kings, the Holy One, blessed be He, who lives and endures for ever and ever, whose anger, if He is angry with me, is an everlasting anger, who if He imprisons me imprisons me for ever, who if He puts me to death puts me to death for ever, and whom I cannot persuade with words or bribe with money — nay more, when there are two ways before me, one leading to Paradise and the other to Gehinnom, and I do not know by which I shall be taken, shall I not weep? They said to him: Master, bless us. He said to them: May it be [God's] will that the fear of heaven shall be upon you like the fear of flesh and blood. His disciples said to him: Is that all?9 He said to them: If only [you can attain this]! You can see [how important this is], for when a man wants to commit a transgression, he says, I hope no man will see me.10 At the moment of his departure he said to them: Remove the vessels so that they shall not become unclean, and prepare a throne for Hezekiah the king of Judah who is coming.11
MISHNAH. RABBAN GAMALIEL SAYS: EVERY DAY A MAN SHOULD SAY THE EIGHTEEN BENEDICTIONS. R. JOSHUA SAYS: AN ABBREVIATED EIGHTEEN.12 R. AKIBA SAYS: IF HE KNOWS IT FLUENTLY HE SAYS THE ORIGINAL EIGHTEEN, AND IF NOT AN ABBREVIATED EIGHTEEN. R. ELIEZER SAYS: IF A MAN MAKES HIS PRAYERS A FIXED TASK, IT IS NOT A [GENUINE] SUPPLICATION. R. JOSHUA SAYS: IF ONE IS TRAVELLING IN A DANGEROUS PLACE, HE SAYS A SHORT PRAYER, SAYING, SAVE, O LORD, THY PEOPLE THE REMNANT OF ISRAEL; IN EVERY TIME OF CRISIS13 MAY THEIR REQUIREMENTS NOT BE LOST SIGHT OF BY THEE. BLESSED ART THOU, O LORD, WHO HEARKENEST TO PRAYER. IF HE IS RIDING ON AN ASS HE DISMOUNTS AND PRAYS. IF HE IS UNABLE TO DISMOUNT HE SHOULD TURN HIS FACE [TOWARDS JERUSALEM]; AND IF HE CANNOT TURN HIS FACE HE SHOULD CONCENTRATE HIS THOUGHTS ON THE HOLY OF HOLIES. IF HE IS TRAVELLING IN A SHIP OR ON A RAFT,14 HE SHOULD CONCENTRATE HIS THOUGHTS ON THE HOLY OF HOLIES.
GEMARA. To what do these eighteen benedictions correspond? R. Hillel the son of Samuel b. Nahmani said: To the eighteen times that David mentioned the Divine Name in the Psalm, Ascribe unto the Lord, O ye sons of might.15 R. Joseph said: To the eighteen times the Divine Name is mentioned in the Shema'. R. Tanhum said in the name of R. Joshua b. Levi: To the eighteen vertebrae in the spinal column.
R. Tanhum also said in the name of R. Joshua b. Levi: In saying the Tefillah one should bow down [at the appropriate places] until all the vertebrae in the spinal column are loosened. 'Ulla says: Until an issar16 of flesh is visible opposite his heart.17 R. Hanina said: If he simply bows his head, he need do no more. Said Raba: This is only if it hurts him [to stoop] and he shows that he would like to bow down.
These eighteen are really nineteen? — R. Levi said: The benediction relating to the Minim18 was instituted in Jabneh.19 To what was it meant to correspond? — R. Levi said: On the view of R. Hillel the son of R. Samuel b. Nahmani,20 to The God of Glory thundereth;21 on the view of R. Joseph, to the word 'One'22 in the Shema'; on the view of R. Tanhum quoting R. Joshua b. Levi, to the little vertebrae in the spinal column.
Our Rabbis taught: Simeon ha-Pakuli23 arranged the eighteen benedictions in order before Rabban Gamaliel in Jabneh. Said Rabban Gamaliel to the Sages:24 Can any one among you frame a benediction relating to the Minim?25 Samuel the Lesser arose and composed it. The next year26 he forgot it
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