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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Berakoth
but the former with thirteen.1 R. Abba2 says: He must express thanksgiving at the beginning and end of it, or at the very least once; and one who omits to do so at least once is blameworthy. And whoever concludes the blessing of the land with 'Who givest lands in inheritance' and 'Who buildest Jerusalem' with the words 'Saviour of Israel' is a boor.3 And whoever does not mention the covenant and the Torah in the blessing of the land and the kingdom of the house of David in 'Who buildest Jerusalem' has not performed his obligation. This supports R. Ela; for R. Ela said in the name of R. Jacob b. Aha in the name of our Teacher:4 'Whoever omits to mention covenant and Torah in the blessing of the land and the kingdom of the house of David in 'Who buildest Jerusalem' has not performed his obligation. There is a difference of opinion between Abba Jose b. Dosethai and the Rabbis. One authority says that [God's] kingship must be mentioned in the blessing 'Who is good and bestows good', the other says it need not be mentioned. The one who says it must be mentioned holds that this blessing has only Rabbinic sanction,5 the one who says it need not be mentioned holds that it has Scriptural sanction.
Our Rabbis taught: How does one conclude the blessing of the building of Jerusalem? — R. Jose son of R. Judah says: Saviour of Israel. 'Saviour of Israel' and not 'Builder of Jerusalem'? Say rather, 'Saviour of Israel' also. Rabbah b. Bar Hanah was once at the house of the Exilarch. He mentioned one6 at the beginning of [the third blessing] and both at the end.7 R. Hisda said: Is it a superior way to conclude with two? And has it not been taught: Rabbi says that we do not conclude with two?
The [above] text [stated]: Rabbi says that we do not conclude with two. In objection to this Levi pointed out to Rabbi that we say 'for the land and for the food'?8 It means, [he replied] a land that produces food. [But we say,] 'for the land and for the fruits'?9 — [It means,] a land that produces fruits. [But we say], 'Who sanctifiest Israel and the appointed seasons'?10 [It means,] Israel who sanctify the seasons. [But we say,] Who sanctifiest Israel and New Moons? — [It means,] Israel who sanctify New Moons. [But we say,] Who sanctifies the Sabbath, Israel and the seasons?11 — This is the exception.12 Why then should it be different? — In this case it13 is one act, in the other two, each distinct and separate.14 And what is the reason for not concluding with two? — Because we do not make religious ceremonies into bundles.15 How do we decide the matter? — R. Shesheth says: If one opens with 'Have mercy on Thy people Israel' he concludes with 'Saviour of Israel'; If he opens with 'Have mercy on Jerusalem', he concludes with 'Who buildest Jerusalem'. R. Nahman, however, said: Even if one opens with 'Have mercy on Israel', he concludes with 'Who buildest Jerusalem', because it says. The Lord doth build up Jerusalem. He gathereth together the dispersed of Israel,16 as if to say: When does God build Jerusalem? — When He gathereth the dispersed of Israel.
R. Zera said to R. Hisda: Let the Master come and teach us [grace]. He replied: The grace after meals I do not know myself, and shall I teach it to others? — He said to him: What do you mean? — Once, he replied. I was at the house of the Exilarch, and I said grace after the meal, and R. Shesheth stretched out his neck at me like a serpent,17 and why? — Because I had made no mention either of covenant or of Torah18 or of kingship.19 And why did you not mention them [asked R. Zera]? Because, he replied. I followed R. Hananel citing Rab; for R. Hananel said in the name of Rab: If one has omitted to mention covenant, Torah and kingship he has still performed his obligation: covenant, because it does not apply to women; 'Torah and kingship' because they apply neither to women nor to slaves. And you [he exclaimed] abandoned all those other Tannaim and Amoraim and followed Rab!
Rabbah b. Bar Hanah said in the name of R. Johanan: The blessing 'Who is good and bestows good' must contain mention of [God's] kingship. What does he tell us? That any benediction which does not contain mention of [God's] kingship is no proper blessing? R. Johanan has already said this once!20 R. Zera said: He tells us that it requires kingship to be mentioned twice,21 once for itself and once for the benediction 'Who buildest Jerusalem'.22 If that is so, we should require three times, once for itself, once for 'Who buildest Jerusalem', and once for the blessing of the land?23 Hence what you must say is: Why do we not require one for the blessing of the land? — Because it is a benediction closely connected with the one which precedes it. Then 'Who buildest Jerusalem' should also not require it, being a benediction closely connected with the one which precedes it? — The fact is that, strictly speaking, the blessing 'Who buildest Jerusalem' also does not require it, but since the kingdom of the house of David is mentioned,24 it is not seemly that the kingship of heaven also should not be mentioned.25 R. Papa said: What he [R. Johanan] meant is this: It requires two mentions of the kingship [of heaven] besides its own.26
R. Zera was once sitting behind R. Giddal, and R. Giddal was sitting facing R. Huna, and as he [R. Giddal] sat, he said: If one forgot and did not mention in the grace Sabbath, he says, 'Blessed be He who gave Sabbaths for rest to His people Israel in love for a sign and a covenant, blessed is He who sanctifies the Sabbath!' He [R. Huna] said to him: Who made this statement? — He replied, Rab. He then continued: If one forgot and did not mention the festival, he says, 'Blessed is He who gave holy days to His people Israel for joy and for remembrance, blessed is He who sanctifies Israel and the festivals'. He again asked him who made the statement, and he answered, Rab. He then continued: If one forgot and did not mention the New Moon, he says, 'Blessed is He who gave New Moons to His people Israel for a remembrance'. But, said R. Zera: I do not know whether he also said that he must add 'for joy', or not, whether he concluded with a benediction or not, or whether he said it on his own authority or was repeating the words of his teacher.27
Once when R. Giddal b. Manyumi was in the presence of R. Nahman, R. Nahman made a mistake [in the grace],28
and he went back to the beginning. He said to him: What is the reason why your honour does this? — He replied: Because R. Shila said in the name of Rab: If one makes a mistake, he goes back to the beginning. But R. Huna has said in the name of Rab: If he goes wrong, he says, 'Blessed be He who gave [etc.]'? — He replied: Has it not been stated in reference to this that R. Menashia b. Tahalifa said in the name of Rab: This is the case only where he has not commenced, 'Who is good and bestows good'; but if he has commenced 'Who is good and bestows good', he goes back to the beginning.
R. Idi b. Abin said in the name of R. Amram quoting R. Nahman who had it from Samuel: If one by mistake omitted to mention New Moon in the Tefillah, he is made to begin again; if in the grace after meals, he is not made to begin again. Said R. Idi b. Abin to R. Amram: Why this difference between Tefillah and grace? — He replied: I also had the same difficulty, and I asked R. Nahman, and he said to me: From Mar Samuel personally I have not heard anything on the subject, but let us see for ourselves. [I should say that] in the case of Tefillah, which is obligatory, he is made to begin again, but in the case of a meal, which he can eat or not eat as he pleases, he is not made to begin again. But if that is so [said the other], in the case of Sabbaths and festivals, on which it is not possible for him to abstain from eating, I should also say that if he makes a mistake he must go back to the beginning? — He replied: That is so; for R. Shila said in the name of Rab: If one goes wrong, he goes back to the beginning. But has not R. Huna said in the name of Rab that if one goes wrong he says 'Blessed is He who gave [etc.]'? — Has it not been stated in reference to this that this is the case only if he has not commenced 'Who is good and bestows good', but if he has commenced, 'Who is good and bestows good', he goes back to the beginning?
HOW MUCH [MUST ONE HAVE EATEN] TO COUNT etc. This would seem to show that R. Meir's standard is an olive and R. Judah's an egg. But we understand the opposite, since we have learnt: Similarly, if one has left Jerusalem and remembers that he has in his possession holy flesh, if he has gone beyond Zofim1 he burns it on the spot, and if not he goes back and burns it in front of the Temple with some of the wood piled on the altar. For what minimum quantity do they turn back? R. Meir says: In either case,2 the size of an egg; R. Judah says: In either case the size of an olive.3 R. Johanan said: The names must be reversed. Abaye said: There is no need to reverse. In this case [of zimmun] they differ in the interpretation of a Scriptural text. R. Meir holds that 'thou shalt eat' refers to eating and 'thou shalt be satisfied' to drinking, and the standard of eating is an olive. R. Judah holds that 'And thou shalt eat and be satisfied' signifies an eating which gives satisfaction, and this must be as much as an egg. In the other case, they differ in their reasoning. R. Meir considers that the return for a thing should be analogous to its defilement; just as its defilement is conditioned by the quantity of an egg, so is the return for it conditioned by the quantity of an egg.4 R. Judah held that the return for it should be analogous to its prohibition. Just as the prohibition thereof comes into force for the quantity of an olive, so is the return for it conditioned by the quantity of an olive.
MISHNAH. WHAT IS THE FORMULA FOR ZIMMUN? IF THERE ARE THREE, HE [THE ONE SAYING GRACE] SAYS, 'LET US BLESS [HIM OF WHOSE BOUNTY WE HAVE EATEN]'. IF THERE ARE THREE BESIDE HIMSELF HE SAYS, 'BLESS'. IF THERE ARE TEN, HE SAYS, LET US BLESS OUR GOD'; IF THERE ARE TEN BESIDE HIMSELF HE SAYS,'BLESS'. IT IS THE SAME WHETHER THERE ARE TEN OR TEN MYRIADS.5 IF THERE ARE A HUNDRED HE SAYS, 'LET US BLESS THE LORD OUR GOD'; IF THERE ARE A HUNDRED BESIDE HIMSELF HE SAYS, 'BLESS'. IF THERE ARE A THOUSAND HE SAYS 'LET US BLESS THE LORD OUR GOD, THE GOD OF ISRAEL'; IF THERE ARE A THOUSAND BESIDE HIMSELF HE SAYS 'BLESS'. IF THERE ARE TEN THOUSAND HE SAYS, 'LET US BLESS THE LORD OUR GOD, THE GOD OF ISRAEL, THE GOD OF HOSTS, WHO DWELLS AMONG THE CHERUBIM, FOR THE FOOD WHICH WE HAVE EATEN'. IF THERE ARE TEN THOUSAND BESIDE HIMSELF HE SAYS, 'BLESS'. CORRESPONDING TO HIS INVOCATION THE OTHERS RESPOND, 'BLESSED BE THE LORD OUR GOD THE GOD OF ISRAEL, THE GOD OF HOSTS, WHO DWELLS AMONG THE CHERUBIM, FOR THE FOOD WHICH WE HAVE EATEN'. R. JOSE THE GALILEAN SAYS: THE FORMULA OF INVOCATION CORRESPONDS TO THE NUMBER ASSEMBLED, AS IT SAYS: BLESS YE GOD IN FULL ASSEMBLIES, EVEN THE LORD, YE THAT ARE FROM THE FOUNTAIN OF ISRAEL.6 SAID R. AKIBA: WHAT DO WE FIND IN THE SYNAGOGUE? WHETHER THERE ARE MANY OR FEW7 THE READER SAYS, 'BLESS YE THE LORD.8 R. ISHMAEL SAYS: BLESS YE THE LORD WHO IS BLESSED.
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