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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Berakoth
and he tried for two or three hours to recall it, and they did not remove him.1 Why did they not remove him seeing that Rab Judah has said in the name of Rab: If a reader made a mistake in any of the other benedictions, they do not remove him, but if in the benediction of the Minim, he is removed, because we suspect him of being a Min? — Samuel the Lesser is different, because he composed it. But is there not a fear that he may have recanted? — Abaye said: We have a tradition that a good man does not become bad. But does he not? It is not written, But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness and committeth iniquity?2 — Such a man was originally wicked, but one who was originally righteous does not do so. But is that so? Have we not learnt: Believe not in thyself until the day of thy death?3 For lo, Johanan the High Priest officiated as High Priest for eighty years and in the end he became a Min? Abaye said: Johanan4 is the same as Jannai.5 Raba said: Johanan and Jannai are different; Jannai was originally wicked and Johanan was originally righteous. On Abaye's view there is no difficulty, but on Raba's view there is a difficulty? — Raba can reply: For one who was originally righteous it is also possible to become a renegade. If that is the case, why did they not remove him? — Samuel the Lesser is different, because he had already commenced to say it [the benediction]. For Rab Judah said in the name of Rab — or as some say. R. Joshua b. Levi: This applies only if he has not commenced to say it, but if he has commenced, he is allowed to finish.
To what do the seven blessings said on Sabbath6 correspond? — R. Halefta b. Saul said: To the seven voices mentioned by David [commencing with] 'on the waters'.7 To what do the nine said on New Year [Musaf Tefillah] correspond?8 Isaac from Kartignin9 said: To the nine times that Hannah mentioned the Divine Name in her prayer.10 For a Master has said: On New Year Sarah, Rachel and Hannah were visited.11 To what do the twenty-four said on a last day correspond?12 R. Helbo said: To the twenty-four times that Solomon used the expression 'prayer' etc. on the occasion when he brought the ark into the Holy of Holies.13 If that is so, then let us say them every day? — When did Solomon say them? On a day of supplication;14 We also say them on a day of supplication.
R. JOSHUA SAYS: AN ABBREVIATED EIGHTEEN. What is meant by 'AN ABBREVIATED EIGHTEEN'? Rab said: An abbreviated form of each blessing; Samuel said: Give us discernment, O Lord, to know Thy ways, and circumcise our heart to fear Thee, and forgive us so that we may be redeemed, and keep us far from our sufferings, and fatten us in the pastures of Thy land, and gather our dispersions from the four corners of the earth, and let them who err from Thy prescriptions be punished,15 and lift up Thy hand against the wicked, and let the righteous rejoice in the building of Thy city and the establishment of the temple and in the exalting of the horn of David Thy servant and the preparation of a light for the son of Jesse Thy Messiah; before we call mayest Thou answer; blessed art Thou, O Lord, who hearkenest to prayer.16 Abaye cursed anyone who prayed 'Give us discernment'.17 R. Nahman said in the name of Samuel: A man may say 'Give us discernment' any time of the year except on the outgoing of Sabbath and of festivals, because he has to say habdalah in 'that graciously giveth knowledge'. Rabbah b. Samuel demurred to this. Let him, [he said] make a fourth blessing18 of it by itself. Have we not learnt: R. Akiba says: He says it as a fourth blessing by itself; R. Eleazar says: He says it in the thanksgiving?19 — Do we follow R. Akiba all the year that we should follow him now? Why do we not follow R. Akiba the rest of the year? Because eighteen blessings were instituted, not nineteen. Here too, seven were instituted,20 not eight. Mar Zutra demurred to this. Let him [he said] include it21 in 'Give us discernment' [by saying]. O lord, our God, who distinguisheth between holy and profane. — This is indeed a difficulty.
R. Bibi b. Abaye said: A man may say 'Give us discernment' any time in the year except in the rainy season, because he requires to make a request in the benediction of the years.22 Mar Zutra demurred to this. Let him include it [by saying], And fatten us in the pastures of Thy land and give dew and rain? — He might become confused. If so, by saying habdalah23 in 'that grantest discernment' he might equally become confused? They replied: In that case, since it comes near the beginning of the Tefillah he will not become confused, here, as it comes in the middle of the Tefillah he will become confused. R. Ashi demurred to this. Let him say it in 'that hearkenest to prayer'?24 For R. Tanhum said in the name of R. Assi: If a man made a mistake and did not mention the miracle of rain25 in the benediction of he resurrection of the dead, we turn him back;26 [if he forgot] the request for rain in the benediction of the years,27 we do not turn him back, because he can say it in 'that hearkenest unto prayer', and [if he forgot] habdalah in 'that grantest knowledge' we do not turn him back, because he can say it later over wine?28 — A mistake is different.29
The text above [said]: R. Tanhum said in the name of R. Assi: If one made a mistake and did not mention the miracle of rain in the benediction of the resurrection, he is turned back; [if he forgot] the request in the benediction of the years he is not turned back, because he can say it in 'that hearkenest unto prayer'; [if he forgot] habdalah in 'that grantest knowledge' he is not turned back, because he can say it later over wine. An objection was raised: If one made a mistake and did not mention the miracle of rain in the benediction of the resurrection, he is turned back; [if he forgot] the request in the benediction of the years, he is turned back; [if he forgot] habdalah in 'that grantest knowledge' he is not turned back because he can say it later over wine! — There is no contradiction; the one case where he is turned back refers to where he is saying it by himself, the other, with the congregation. What is the reason why he is not turned back when he says it with the congregation? Because he hears it from the Reader,30 is it not? If so then instead of 'because he can say it in "who hearkenest unto prayer"', we should have 'because he hears it from the Reader'? — In fact in both cases he is saying it by himself, and still there is no contradiction; the one case refers to where he remembers before he comes to 'that hearkenest unto prayer'
, the other case where he only remembers after 'that hearkenest unto prayer'.
R. Tanhum said in the name of R. Assi quoting R. Joshua b. Levi: If one made a mistake and did not mention the New Moon in the 'Abodah1 benediction, he goes back to the 'Abodah. If he remembered in the 'thanksgiving',2 he goes back to the 'Abodah; if he remembers in 'grant peace',3 he goes back to the 'Abodah. If he has finished, he goes back to the beginning. R. Papa son of R. Aha b. Ada said: In saying that if he has finished he goes back to the beginning, we mean only, if he has moved his feet; but if he has not yet moved his feet4 he goes back to the 'Abodah. He said to him: From where have you that? — He replied: I have heard it from Abba,5 and Abba Meri had it from Rab. R. Nahman b. Isaac said: When we say that if he has moved his feet he goes back to the beginning, we mean this to apply only to one who is not accustomed to say a supplication after his Tefillah,6 but if he is accustomed to say a supplication after his Tefillah, he goes back to the 'Abodah. Some report: R. Nahman b. Isaac said: When we say that if he has not moved his feet he goes back to the 'Abodah, we mean this to apply only to one who is accustomed to say a supplication after his Tefillah, but if he is not accustomed to say a supplication after his Tefillah, he goes back to the beginning.
R. ELIEZER SAYS: HE WHO MAKES HIS PRAYER A FIXED TASK etc. What is meant by a FIXED TASK? — R. Jacob b. Idi said in the name of R. Oshaiah: Anyone whose prayer is like a heavy burden on him. The Rabbis say: Whoever does not say it in the manner of supplication.7 Rabbah and R. Joseph both say: Whoever is not able to insert something fresh in it.8 R. Zera said: I can insert something fresh, but I am afraid to do so for fear I should become confused.9 Abaye b. Abin and R. Hanina b. Abin both said: Whoever does not pray at the first and last appearance of the sun.10 For R. Hiyya b. Abba said in the name of R. Johanan: It is a religious duty to pray with the first and last appearance of the sun. R. Zera further said: What text confirms this? — They shall fear Thee with the sun, and before the moon throughout all generations.11 In the West they curse anyone who prays [minhah] with the last appearance of the sun. Why so? — Perhaps he will miss the time.12
R. JOSHUA SAYS: HE WHO IS WALKING IN A DANGEROUS PLACE SAYS A SHORT PRAYER … IN EVERY TIME OF CRISIS. What is 'TIME OF CRISIS' ['ibbur]? R. Hisda said in the name of Mar 'Ukba: Even at the time when Thou art filled with wrath ['ebrah] against them like a pregnant woman, may all their need not be overlooked by Thee.13 Some there are who say that R. Hisda said in the name of Mar 'Ukba: Even at the time when they transgress ['oberim] the words of the Torah may all their requirements not be overlooked by Thee.
Our Rabbis taught: One who passes through a place infested with beasts or bands of robbers says a short Tefillah. What is a short Tefillah? — R. Eliezer says: Do Thy will in heaven above,14 and grant relief15 to them that fear Thee below and do that which is good in Thine eyes.16 Blessed art Thou, O Lord, who hearest prayer. R. Joshua says: Hear the supplication of Thy people Israel and speedily fulfil their request. Blessed art Thou, O Lord, who hearest prayer. R. Eleazar son of R. Zadok says: Hear the cry of thy people Israel and speedily fulfil their request. Blessed art Thou, O Lord, who hearkenest unto prayer. Others say: The needs of Thy people Israel are many and their wit is small.17 May it be Thy will, O Lord our God, to give to each one his sustenance and to each body what it lacks. Blessed art Thou, O Lord, who hearkenest unto prayer. R. Huna said: The halachah follows the 'Others'.
Said Elijah to Rab Judah the brother of R. Sala the Pious: Fall not into a passion and thou wilt not sin, drink not to excess and thou wilt not sin; and when thou goest forth on a journey, seek counsel of thy Maker and go forth. What is meant by 'seek counsel of thy Maker and go forth'? — R. Jacob said in the name of R. Hisda: This refers to the prayer before setting forth on a journey. R. Jacob also said in the name of R. Hisda: Whoever sets forth on a journey should say the prayer for a journey. What is it? — 'May it be Thy will, O Lord my God, to lead me forth in peace, and direct my steps in peace and uphold me in peace, and deliver me from the hand of every enemy and ambush by the way, and send a blessing on the works of my hands, and cause me to find grace, kindness, and mercy in Thy eyes and in the eyes of all who see me. Blessed art Thou, O Lord, who hearkenest unto prayer'.18 Abaye said: A man should always
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