Berakhot 29aברכות כ״ט א
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29aכ״ט א

והשקיף בה שתים ושלש שעות ולא העלוהו

and scrutinized it, in an attempt to remember the blessing for two or three hours, and they did not remove him from serving as prayer leader.

אמאי לא העלוהו והאמר רב יהודה אמר רב טעה בכל הברכות כלן אין מעלין אותו בברכת המינים מעלין אותו חיישינן שמא מין הוא

The Gemara asks: Why did they not remove him? Didn’t Rav Yehuda say that Rav said: One who was serving as the prayer leader before the congregation and erred in reciting any of the blessings, they do not remove him from serving as the prayer leader. However, one who erred while reciting the blessing of the heretics they remove him, as we suspect that perhaps he is a heretic and intentionally omitted the blessing to avoid cursing himself. Why, then, did they not remove Shmuel HaKatan?

שאני שמואל הקטן דאיהו תקנה

The Gemara answers: Shmuel HaKatan is different because he instituted this blessing and there is no suspicion of him.

וניחוש דלמא הדר ביה אמר אביי גמירי טבא לא הוי בישא

The Gemara continues: Let us suspect that perhaps he reconsidered and, although he had been righteous, he had a change of heart? Abaye said: We learned through tradition that a good person does not become wicked.

ולא והכתיב ובשוב צדיק מצדקתו ועשה עול ההוא רשע מעיקרו אבל צדיק מעיקרו לא

The Gemara challenges this: And does he not become wicked? Isn’t it explicitly written: “And when the righteous one returns from his righteousness and does wicked like all of the abominations that the wicked one has done, will he live? All of the righteous deeds that he has done will not be remembered given the treachery that he has carried out, and in his sin that he has transgressed, for these he shall die” (Ezekiel 18:24)? Abaye responds: That verse refers to a righteous individual who was initially wicked and repented, but ultimately returned to his evil ways. However, one who is initially righteous does not become wicked.

ולא והא תנן אל תאמין בעצמך עד יום מותך שהרי יוחנן כהן גדול שמש בכהונה גדולה שמנים שנה ולבסוף נעשה צדוקי

The Gemara asks: And does he not become wicked? Didn’t we learn in a mishna: Do not be sure of yourself until the day you die, as Yoḥanan the High Priest served in the High Priesthood for eighty years and ultimately became a Sadducee. Even one who is outstanding in his righteousness can become a heretic.

אמר אביי הוא ינאי הוא יוחנן רבא אמר ינאי לחוד ויוחנן לחוד ינאי רשע מעיקרו ויוחנן צדיק מעיקרו הניחא לאביי אלא לרבא קשיא

Abaye responded: He is Yannai he is Yoḥanan. In other words, from its inception, the entire Hasmonean dynasty had the same positive attitude toward the Sadducees, and there was no distinction between Yoḥanan Hyrcanus and Alexander Yannai. Yoḥanan the High Priest had Sadducee leanings from the outset. Rava said: Yannai is distinct and Yoḥanan is distinct. They did not share the same position in this regard. Yannai was wicked from the outset and Yoḥanan was righteous from the outset. If so, it works out well according to Abaye’s opinion; however, according to Rava’s opinion, it is difficult. How could Yoḥanan, a righteous individual, have changed and turned wicked?

אמר לך רבא צדיק מעיקרו נמי דלמא הדר ביה אי הכי אמאי לא אסקוהו

The Gemara responds: Rava could have said to you: There is also room for concern that one who is righteous from the outset will perhaps reconsider and turn wicked, as was the case with Yoḥanan the High Priest. If so, the original question is difficult: Why did they not remove Shmuel HaKatan from serving as the prayer leader?

שאני שמואל הקטן דאתחיל בה דאמר רב יהודה אמר רב ואיתימא רבי יהושע בן לוי לא שנו אלא שלא התחיל בה אבל התחיל בה גומרה:

The Gemara answers: The case of Shmuel HaKatan is different, as he began reciting the blessing of the heretics and while reciting it he became confused and forgot the end of the blessing. Consequently, he was not suspected of heretical leanings. Indeed, Rav Yehuda said that Rav, and some say that Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi, said: They only taught that one who errs while reciting the blessing of the heretics is removed in a case where he did not begin reciting it. But if he began reciting it, then we allow him to collect his thoughts and finish reciting it.

הני שבע דשבתא כנגד מי אמר רבי חלפתא בן שאול כנגד שבעה קולות שאמר דוד על המים

To this point, the Gemara discussed allusions to the nineteen blessings that constitute the weekday Amida prayer. The Gemara asks: Corresponding to what were these seven blessings of the Shabbat Amida prayer instituted? The Gemara answers: Rabbi Ḥalafta ben Shaul said: Corresponding to the seven “voices” which David mentioned on the waters; in other words, the seven times that “the voice of God” is mentioned in Psalms 29, which served as the source for the weekday prayer.

הני תשע דראש השנה כנגד מי אמר רבי יצחק דמן קרטיגנין כנגד תשעה אזכרות שאמרה חנה בתפלתה דאמר מר בראש השנה נפקדה שרה רחל וחנה

The Gemara asks further: Corresponding to what were these nine blessings of the Rosh HaShana additional prayer instituted? Rabbi Yitzḥak of Kartignin said: They correspond to the nine mentions of God’s name that Hannah said in her prayer (I Samuel 2:10). The connection between Hannah’s prayer and Rosh HaShana is based on what the Master said: On Rosh HaShana, Sarah, Rachel, and Hannah were remembered and the divine decree that they would conceive their sons was issued.

הני עשרים וארבע דתעניתא כנגד מי אמר רבי חלבו כנגד עשרים וארבע רננות שאמר שלמה בשעה שהכניס ארון לבית קדשי הקדשים אי הכי כל יומא נמי נמרינהו אימת אמרינהו שלמה ביומא דרחמי אנן נמי ביומא דרחמי אמרי להו:

The Gemara continues: Corresponding to what were these twenty-four blessings of the Amida prayer of the fast days instituted? Rabbi Ḥelbo said: They correspond to the twenty-four “songs” that Solomon said when he brought the ark into the Holy of Holies during the dedication of the Temple, as there are twenty-four expressions of song, prayer, and supplication there (I Kings 8). The Gemara asks: If so, then let us say these twenty-four blessing every day. The Gemara answers: When did Solomon say them? On a day of supplication for mercy. We, too, say them on a day of supplication for mercy.

רבי יהושע אומר מעין שמנה עשרה: מאי מעין שמונה עשרה רב אמר מעין כל ברכה וברכה ושמואל אמר הביננו ה׳ אלהינו לדעת דרכיך ומול את לבבנו ליראתך ותסלח לנו להיות גאולים ורחקנו ממכאובינו ודשננו בנאות ארצך ונפוצותינו מארבע תקבץ והתועים על דעתך ישפטו ועל הרשעים תניף ידיך וישמחו צדיקים בבנין עירך ובתקון היכלך ובצמיחת קרן לדוד עבדך ובעריכת נר לבן ישי משיחך טרם נקרא אתה תענה ברוך אתה ה׳ שומע תפלה

We learned in the mishna that Rabbi Yehoshua says that each day one recites an abridged version of the prayer of eighteen blessings. The Gemara asks: What is the abridged version of the prayer of eighteen blessings? There are different opinions. Rav said: One recites an abridged version of each and every blessing. Shmuel said: An abridged version of the prayer of eighteen blessings refers to a blessing composed specifically to be recited in place of the thirteen middle blessings. It contains references to each of the thirteen middle blessings. The formula for that blessing is: Grant us understanding, Lord our God, to know Your ways, and sensitize our hearts so that we may revere You, and forgive us so that we may be redeemed, and keep us far from our suffering, and satisfy us with the pastures of Your land, and gather our scattered people from the four corners of the earth, and those who go astray shall be judged according to Your will, and raise Your hand against the wicked, and may the righteous rejoice in the rebuilding of Your city, and the restoration of Your Sanctuary, and in the flourishing of Your servant David, and in establishing a light for Your Messiah, son of Yishai. Before we call, may You answer. Blessed are You, Lord, Who listens to prayer.”

לייט עלה אביי אמאן דמצלי הביננו

Although Shmuel mentioned this abridged prayer, Abaye would curse anyone who recited the prayer: Grant us understanding, as he held that one may recite it only in exigent circumstances (Rabbi Ḥananel, Me’iri).

אמר רב נחמן אמר שמואל כל השנה כולה מתפלל אדם הביננו חוץ ממוצאי שבת וממוצאי ימים טובים מפני שצריך לומר הבדלה בחונן הדעת

The Gemara further restricts the occasions when one may recite the abridged prayer. Rav Naḥman said that Shmuel said: One may recite: Grant us understanding throughout the entire year, except for in the evening prayer at the conclusion of Shabbat and at the conclusion of Festivals, because he must recite the prayer of distinction [havdala] in the blessing: Who graciously grants knowledge.

מתקיף לה רבה בר שמואל ונימרה ברכה רביעית בפני עצמה מי לא תנן רבי עקיבא אומר אומרה ברכה רביעית בפני עצמה רבי אליעזר אומר בהודאה

Rabba bar Shmuel strongly objects to this: After reciting the three initial blessings, let us say havdala as an independent fourth blessing, and afterwards recite the prayer of Grant us understanding. This is feasible. Didn’t we learn in a mishna that Rabbi Akiva says: He says havdala as an independent fourth blessing? Rabbi Eliezer says: He says havdala in the blessing of thanksgiving.

אטו כל השנה כולה מי עבדינן כרבי עקיבא דהשתא נמי נעביד כל השנה כולה מאי טעמא לא עבדינן כרבי עקיבא תמני סרי תקון תשסרי לא תקון הכא נמי שבע תקון תמני לא תקון

The Gemara responds: Do we practice in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Akiva throughout the entire year regarding this issue, that we will also practice this way now? Throughout the entire year, what is the reason that we do not practice in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Akiva? Because they instituted eighteen blessings, they did not institute nineteen. Here too, they instituted seven blessings, they did not institute eight. Therefore, the possibility to recite havdala as an independent fourth blessing is rejected.

מתקיף לה מר זוטרא ונכללה מכלל הביננו ה׳ אלהינו המבדיל בין קדש לחול קשיא:

Mar Zutra strongly objects to this: Let us include havdala in the framework of the abridged blessing: Grant us understanding, Lord our God, Who distinguishes between sacred and profane. No response was offered to this objection, and it remains difficult.

אמר רב ביבי בר אביי כל השנה כולה מתפלל אדם הביננו חוץ מימות הגשמים מפני שצריך לומר שאלה בברכת השנים מתקיף לה מר זוטרא ונכללה מכלל ודשננו בנאות ארצך ותן טל ומטר

Rav Beivai bar Abaye said: There is an additional restriction that applies to the abridged prayer. One may recite Grant us understanding throughout the entire year, except during the rainy season, because he must recite the request for rain in the blessing of the years. Mar Zutra strongly objects to this: Let us include the request for rain in the framework of the abridged blessing: And satisfy us with the pastures of Your land, and grant dew and rain.

אתי לאטרודי אי הכי הבדלה בחונן הדעת נמי אתי לאטרודי

The Gemara responds: That is unfeasible, as he will become confused by introducing a new element to the standard formula of the blessing. The Gemara asks: If so, by introducing havdala in the framework of the abridged blessing in the section alluding to the blessing, Who graciously grants knowledge, he will also become confused. Why did the Gemara fail to respond to Mar Zutra’s strong objection with regard to havdala in that manner?

אמרי התם כיון דאתיא בתחלת צלותא לא מטריד הכא כיון דאתיא באמצע צלותא מטריד

The Gemara answers: They say that these cases are different: There, regarding havdala, since the introduction of the new element comes at the beginning of the prayer, he will not become confused. Here, since the request for rain comes in the middle of the prayer, he will become confused.

מתקיף לה רב אשי ונימרה בשומע תפלה דאמר רבי תנחום אמר רב אסי טעה ולא הזכיר גבורות גשמים בתחיית המתים מחזירין אותו שאלה בברכת השנים אין מחזירין אותו מפני שיכול לאומרה בשומע תפלה והבדלה בחונן הדעת אין מחזירין אותו מפני שיכול לאומרה על הכוס טעה שאני:

Rav Ashi strongly objects to this: If so, let us say the request for rain in the framework of the abridged blessing in the section alluding to the blessing Who listens to prayer. As Rabbi Tanḥum said that Rav Asi said: One who erred and did not mention the might of the rains in the blessing on the revival of the dead, we require him to return to the beginning of the prayer and repeat it. However, one who erred and failed to recite the request for rain in the ninth blessing of the Amida, the blessing of the years, we do not require him to return to the beginning of the prayer and repeat it because he can recite it in the blessing Who listens to prayer. And one who erred and failed to recite havdala in the blessing Who graciously grants knowledge, we do not require him to return to the beginning of the prayer and repeat it, as he can recite havdala over the cup of wine. One can ask for rain in the blessing Who listens to prayer, and, consequently, can introduce it at the end of the abridged blessing without becoming confused. The Gemara responds: One who erred is different, and only then does he have the option to ask for rain in the blessing Who listens to prayer. Ab initio, the request for rain may not be inserted there.

גופא אמר רבי תנחום אמר רב אסי טעה ולא הזכיר גבורות גשמים בתחיית המתים מחזירין אותו שאלה בברכת השנים אין מחזירין אותו מפני שיכול לאומרה בשומע תפלה והבדלה בחונן הדעת אין מחזירין אותו מפני שיכול לאומרה על הכוס

The statement that Rabbi Tanḥum said that Rav Asi said was incidental to the previous discussion. The Gemara attempts to understand the matter itself. Rabbi Tanḥum said that Rav Asi said: One who erred and did not mention the might of the rains in the blessing on the revival of the dead, we require him to return to the beginning of the prayer and repeat it. However, one who erred and failed to recite the request for rain in the blessing of the years, we do not require him to return to the beginning of the prayer and repeat it because he can recite it in the blessing Who listens to prayer. And one who erred and failed to recite havdala in the blessing Who graciously grants knowledge, we do not require him to return to the beginning of the prayer and repeat it, as he can recite havdala over the cup of wine.

מיתיבי טעה ולא הזכיר גבורות גשמים בתחיית המתים מחזירין אותו שאלה בברכת השנים מחזירין אותו והבדלה בחונן הדעת אין מחזירין אותו מפני שיכול לאומרה על הכוס

The Gemara raised an objection based on what was taught in the Tosefta: One who erred and did not mention the might of the rains in the blessing on the revival of the dead, we require him to return to the beginning of the prayer and repeat it. One who erred and failed to recite the request for rain in the blessing of the years, we require him to return to the beginning of the prayer and repeat it. However, one who erred and failed to recite havdala in the blessing Who graciously grants knowledge, we do not require him to return to the beginning of the prayer and repeat it, as he can recite havdala over the cup of wine. The Tosefta contradicts the statement of Rabbi Tanḥum with regard to one who erred and failed to recite the request for rain in the blessing of the years.

לא קשיא הא ביחיד הא בצבור

The Gemara responds: This is not difficult. This case, where we require him to return to the beginning of the prayer and repeat it, refers to a situation where he is praying as an individual. While that case, where we do not require him to return to the beginning of the prayer and repeat it, refers to a situation where he is praying as part of a congregation.

בצבור מאי טעמא לא משום דשמעה משליח צבור אי הכי האי מפני שיכול לאומרה בשומע תפילה מפני ששומע משליח ציבור מיבעי ליה

The Gemara raises a difficulty: When praying as part of a congregation, what is the reason that he need not need return to the beginning of the prayer and repeat it? Because he can fulfill his obligation when he hears it from the communal prayer leader in the repetition of the Amida prayer. If so, Rabbi Tanḥum’s formulation is imprecise. That which he said that he need not return to the beginning of the prayer and repeat it because he can recite it in the blessing: Who listens to prayer, should have been: Because he hears it from the communal prayer leader. This proves that the attempt to rebuff the challenge from the Tosefta to Rabbi Tanḥum was incorrect.

אלא אידי ואידי ביחיד ולא קשיא הא דאדכר קודם שומע תפלה

Rather, both this statement of Rabbi Tanḥum and that statement in the Tosefta refer to one praying as an individual, and it is, nevertheless, not difficult. This case, where we do not require him to return to the beginning of the prayer and repeat it, refers to a case where he recalls his error before he reaches the blessing: Who listens to prayer, in which case he can ask for rain in that blessing.