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Birkat HaMinim
Source Sheet by Ben Goldberg
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Created November 17, 2013 · 6692 Views נוצר 17 November, 2013 · 6692 צפיות

  1. מדרש תנחומא ג׳:א׳:ב׳
    (ב)  ילמדנו רבינו, העובר לפני התיבה וטעה ולא הזכיר ברכת המינים, מנין שמחזירין אותו? כך שנו רבותינו, העובר לפני התיבה וטעה, בכל ברכות כלן, אין מחזירין אותו. טעה בברכת המינים, מחזירין אותו ואומרה בעל כרחו. ומפני מה מחזירין אותו? חיישינן שמא מין הוא, שאם יהא בו צד מינות, קלל עצמו ועונין הקהל אמן. 
    Complex Midrash Tanchuma, Vayikra 2
    Let our rabbis teach us: one who passes before the ark [i.e., serves as precentor for the 'amidah] and errs by not mentioning the birkat haminim--from whence do we know that we make him repeat the prayer? That is what the rabbis taught: One who passes before the ark and errs in any or all of the blessings, we do not make him repeat the prayer. But if he errs in the birkat haminim, we make him repeat and recite it against his will. And why do we make him repeat it? We are concerned lest he is a min, for if he has some aspect of minut, he will curse himself and the congregation will answer "amen."
  2. Panarion 29:9 by Epiphanius of Salamis (c. 315-403) [He is considered a Church Father, and the Panarion is a compilation of heresies.]

    No only do Jewish people have a hatred of [the Nazoreans]; they even stand up at dawn, at midday, and toward evening, three times a day when they recite their prayers in the synagogues, and curse and anathematize them. Three times a day they say, "God curse the Nazoraeans." For they harbor an extra grudge against them, if you please, because despite their Jewishness, they preach that Jesus is the Christ--the opposite of those who are still Jews, for they have not accepted Jesus.
  3. Tur, OH 118. (Yaakov ben Asher,  Cologne 1270 - Toledo c.1340)
    י"ב -קללת המלשינים. וקבעוה אחרי המשפט, שכיון שנעשה משפט כלו המלשינים, וכולל הזדים עמהם
    No. 12-Curse of the informers. It was fixed after the blessing about justice, that once justice was done the informers were consumed, including the insolent among them.
  4. The Koren Siddur, Commentary by Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks, 2009. (Pg. 120-123)

    Faith (emuna) in Judaism involves the idea of loyalty—to a people and its heritage. This prayer is a protest against disloyalty. The Talmud (Berakhot 28b) says that, to formulate this prayer, Rabban Gamliel turned to Shmuel HaKatan. Rabbi Kook pointed out that Shmuel HaKatan was known for his attachment to the principle, "Do not rejoice when your enemy falls."(Avot 4,19). Only a person who deeply loved his fellow human beings could be entrusted with the task of constructing this prayer, which must be free of animosity and schadenfreude.
  5. Sources selected from Cursing the Christians? A History of the Birkat HaMinim by Ruth Langer (Oxford UP, 2012).
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