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Wednesday, 28 Tishrei 5778 / October 18, 2017

Rambam - 3 Chapters a Day

Rambam - 3 Chapters a Day

Tefilah and Birkat Kohanim - Chapter Two, Tefilah and Birkat Kohanim - Chapter Three, Tefilah and Birkat Kohanim - Chapter Four

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Tefilah and Birkat Kohanim - Chapter Two

1

In the days of Rabban Gamliel, the numbers of heretics among the Jews increased. They would oppress the Jews and entice them to turn away from God.

Since he saw this as the greatest need of the people, he and his court established one blessing that contains a request to God to destroy the heretics. He inserted it into the Shemoneh Esreh so that it would be arranged in the mouths of all. Consequently, there are nineteen blessings in the Shemoneh Esreh.

א

בימי ר"ג רבו האפיקורוסין בישראל והיו מצירים לישראל ומסיתין אותן לשוב מאחרי השם וכיון שראה שזו גדולה מכל צרכי בני אדם עמד הוא ובית דינו והתקין ברכה אחת שתהיה בה שאלה מלפני השם לאבד האפיקורוסין וקבע אותה בתפלה כדי שתהיה ערוכה בפי הכל נמצאו כל הברכות שבתפלה תשע עשרה ברכות:

In the days of Rabban Gamliel - The commentaries question which Rabban Gamliel the Rambam refers to. Seder Hadorot points to Rabban Gamliel, the elder, grandson of Hillel the Elder, who lived in the first half of the first century of the Common Era. Dorot Harishonim, however, believes this to refer to the latter's grandson, who headed the Rabbinical court in Yavneh from 80 CE, after it was established there by Rabban Yochanan ben Zakkai following the destruction of the Second Temple.

the numbers of heretics among the Jews increased - In Hilchot Teshuvah 3:8, the Rambam describes a heretic (apikoros) as one who denies the notion of prophecy or the idea that knowledge could be transmitted from the Creator to human beings, one who refutes the prophecy of Moshe Rabbenu, or one who denies God's omniscience regarding the actions of human beings.

Some manuscript editions of the Mishneh Torah use the word min (non-believer) instead of apikoros. In Hilchot Teshuvah 3:7, the Rambam describes the min as one who does not believe in God, whereas the heretic denies not God, but Torah.

Historically, this could refer to the Saducees and other Jews with assimilationist tendencies that began to multiply at this time. Though they were definitely a minority among the people, their number was signficant enough to warrant concern. Others interpret this as a reference to the early Christians who launched many missionary campaigns to attract the Jews.

They would oppress the Jews - by slandering them to the Roman conquerors.

and entice them to turn away from God. - and adopt other lifestyles as above.

Since he saw this as the greatest need of the people, - for the devotion to Torah is the backbone of our people's continuity

he and his court established one blessing that contains a request to God to destroy the heretics. He inserted it into the Shemoneh Esreh so that it would be arranged in the mouths of all. - Berachot 28b relates:

Rabban Gamliel said to the Sages: "Is there no one who knows how to establish the blessing of the nonbelievers?"
Shmuel Hakatan rose and composed it.

Olat Re'iah explains why this Sage was chosen: All of our great and wise Sages were able to compose the other blessings of the Shemoneh Esreh which are full of love and giving. The blessing of the heretics differs for it appears full of hate and destruction.

The composition of this blessing required great care, since the content must not imply the hatred of people per se, but a righteous indignation, born out of love for God and the pain felt when His Majesty is not honored. Shmuel HaKatan authored the famous statement: "Refrain from joy at the fall of your enemies" (Pirkei Avot 4:19). Thus, he was most worthy to author this blessing. His zealousness bore no trace whatsoever of hate, but was a true reflection of his unbounded love for God and His Torah.

Consequently, there are nineteen blessings in the Shemoneh Esreh. - We do, however, still call the prayer the Shemoneh Esreh, based on its original eighteen blessings.

2

In each Shemoneh Esreh, every day, a person should recite these nineteen blessings in the proper order.

When does the above apply? When his concentration is not disturbed and he is able to read fluently. However, if he is distracted and bothered, or unable to pray fluently, he should recite the first three [blessings], one blessing that summarizes all the intermediate ones, and the last three [blessings], and [thereby] fulfill his obligation.

ב

בכל תפלה שבכל יום מתפלל אדם תשע עשרה ברכות אלו על הסדר במה דברים אמורים כשמצא דעתו מכוונת ולשונו תמהר לקרות אבל אם היה טרוד ודחוק או שקצרה לשונו מהתפלל יתפלל שלש ראשונות וברכה אחת מעין כל האמצעיות ושלש אחרונות ויצא ידי חובתו:

In each Shemoneh Esreh, - i.e., in all three prayer services

every day, a person should recite these nineteen blessings in the proper order. When does the above apply? When his concentration is not disturbed and he is able to read fluently. - i.e., when he is able to pray with the proper intention and recite the words properly and clearly.

However, if he is distracted and bothered, or unable to pray fluently, he should recite the first three [blessings] - The Mishnah, Berachot 28b, states:

Rabban Gamliel says that one should recite eighteen blessings each and every day (i.e., that each time he prays he should recite all eighteen blessings).
Rabbi Yehoshua says that one should recite the abbreviated version of the eighteen.
Rabbi Akiva says that if the Shemoneh Esreh is fluent in his mouth he should recite all eighteen blessings; and if not, the abbreviated version of the eighteen blessings.

The Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 110:1 states that in unusual circumstances, e.g., when travelling or when in a place where he would be distracted or interrupted, one may recite the shortened version of the Shemoneh Esreh. The Mishnah Berurah adds that in normal circumstances, one is forbidden to recite this prayer. It is questionable if this is also the Rambam's intent or if he was more lenient and allowed such a prayer to be recited by a person who had difficulty concentrating even under ordinary conditions.

one blessing that summarizes all the intermediate ones - as stated in the following Halachah.

and the last three [blessings], and [thereby] fulfill his obligation. - The first and last three blessings may not be shortened or changed in any way, as we learned in Chapter 1, Halachah 9.

3

This is the blessing that they established as the abbreviated summary of the intermediate [blessings]:

Give us knowledge, O God, our Lord, to know Your ways, and circumcise our hearts to fear You. Forgive us so that we will be redeemed. Distance us from pain. Cause us to prosper and to dwell in the pastures of Your land.
Gather the scattered from the four [corners of the earth]. Judge those led astray in accordance with Your knowledge. Raise Your hand over the wicked, and let the righteous rejoice in the building of Your city and the reestablishment of Your sanctuary, in the flourishing of the might of David, Your servant, and in the clear shining light of the son of Yishai, Your anointed one.
Before we call, You answer, as [Isaiah 65:24] states: "And before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I heed," for You are the One who answers at all times, the Redeemer and Savior from all distress. Blessed are You, O God, the One Who hears prayer.

ג

וזוהי הברכה שתקנו מעין כל האמצעיות:

הביננו ה' אלהינו לדעת את דרכיך ומול את לבבנו ליראתך לסלוח היה לנו להיות גאולים רחקנו ממכאוב ודשננו ושכננו בנאות ארצך ונפוצים מארבע תקבץ והתועים בדעתך ישפטו ועל הרשעים תניף ידך וישמחו צדיקים בבנין עירך ובתיקון היכלך ובצמיחת קרן לדוד עבדך ובעריכת נר לבן ישי משיחך טרם נקרא אתה תענה כדבר שנאמר והיה טרם יקראו ואני אענה עוד הם מדברים ואני אשמע כי אתה הוא עונה בכל עת פודה ומציל מכל צוקה ברוך אתה יי שומע תפלה:

And this is the blessing that they established as the abbreviated summary of the intermediate [blessings] - This follows the opinion of Shmuel (Berachot 29a). Rav differs and maintains that one utters an abbreviated summary of each and every blessing.

Give us knowledge, O God, our Lord, to know Your ways - This phrase relates to the first intermediate blessing, חונן הדעת ("The One who bestows knowledge...").

and circumcise our hearts to fear You. - This corresponds to the blessing of "Return us, our Father, to Your Torah." The beginning of wisdom is the fear of God (Psalms 111:10) - i.e., our involvement in Torah is ultimately that which leads us to true fear of Heaven and Teshuvah (repentance).

Forgive us - This corresponds to the blessing סלח לנו (Forgive us...), the third of the intermediate blessings.

so that we will be redeemed - This relates to the fourth blessing, גואל ישראל (the Redeemer of Israel).

Distance us from pain - This corresponds to the blessing of רפואה (healing), the fifth intermediate blessing.

Cause us to prosper and to dwell in the pastures of Your land. - This relates to ברכת השנים, the blessing for material wealth. It is interesting that this blessing also mentions specifically the idea of dwelling in Eretz Yisrael as the ultimate prosperity and blessing.

The Zohar explains that all blessing and bounty enters the world through Eretz Yisrael and from there it is apportioned to the rest of the world. Jerusalem and the Holy Temple serve as the repositories for Divine grace and act as the meeting point between Heaven - the source of the bounty - and earth, the recipient of this blessing. Therefore, true prosperity, in both a material and spiritual sense, can only be achieved in Eretz Yisrael.

Gather the scattered from the four [corners of the earth] - This corresponds to the blessing of the gathering of the exiles, the seventh intermediate blessing.

Judge those led astray in accordance with Your knowledge - This relates to the eighth intermediate blessing, "Return our judges..."

Raise Your hand over the wicked - This corresponds to the blessing of the nonbelievers (Halachah 1). Even though this was not part of the original eighteen blessings, it was also incorporated into the abbreviated version of the Shemoneh Esreh.

and let the righteous rejoice - This relates to the tenth intermediate blessing, על הצדיקים (upon the righteous). In that blessing we ask God to grant a just reward to the righteous and pious. The text of this blessing also clarifies the Sages' appreciation of this reward - the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the Temple - as expressed in the continuation of this section of the blessing.

in the building of Your city and the reestablishment of Your sanctuary - this corresponds to the blessing of the rebuilding of Jerusalem, the eleventh intermediate blessing.

in the flourishing of the might of David, Your servant, and in the clear, shining light of the son of Yishai, Your anointed one. - This relates to the twelfth blessing, called the blessing of the Messiah, the descendant of David.

Before we call, You answer, as [Isaiah 65:24] states: "And before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking, I heed," - Berachot 29a does not quote this verse or any other verse. No mention of a verse appears in the texts of Rav Yitzchak Alfasi or Rabbenu Asher's version of Shmuel's blessing. The Rambam's source for its inclusion is unclear.

for You are the One who answers at all times, the Redeemer and Savior from all distress. Blessed are You, O God, the One Who hears prayer.- concluding the blessing which is based on שומע תפילה ("who hears prayer"), the last of the intermediate blessings.

4

When does the above apply? In the summer. However, in the winter, one should not recite "Give us knowledge...," since he must mention "the petition" in the blessing for material wealth.

Similarly, on Saturday nights and the nights after a holiday, one should not recite "Give us knowledge...," since one must say Havdalah in [the blessing of] the One who bestows knowledge.

ד

בד"א בימות החמה אבל בימות הגשמים אינו מתפלל הביננו מפני שצריך לומר שאלה בברכת השנים וכן במוצאי שבתות וימים טובים אינו מתפלל הביננו מפני שצריך לומר הבדלה בחונן הדעת:

When does the above apply? In the summer. - Only then, may one recite the abbreviated version of the Shemoneh Esreh mentioned in the above two halachot.

However, in the winter, one should not recite "Give us knowledge" - Havineinu, the first word of the abbreviated version of the Shemoneh Esreh, is used to refer to the entire prayer.

since he must mention "the petition" - for dew and rain that is included...

in the blessing for material wealth - This petition is recited only in the winter as explained in Halachot 16 and 17. The omission of this petition would render the abbreviated Shemoneh Esreh incomplete.

Berachot 29a suggests that perhaps the petition for dew and rain could be added to the abbreviated version of the Shemoneh Esreh at the appropriate time of year, but rejects this idea. Because of the infrequency with which one would normally recite this blessing, any change in the text would confuse people and result in errors.

Similarly, on Saturday nights and the nights after a holiday, one should not recite "Give us knowledge...," since one must say Havdalah in [the blessing of] the One who bestows knowledge. - to differentiate between the previous holy day and the upcoming day. This prayer is added in the first intermediate blessing of the Shemoneh Esreh: חונן הדעת ("the One who bestows knowledge") as explained in Halachah 12.

Berachot 29a also suggests adding the Havdalah prayer in the abbreviated summary of the Shemoneh Esreh, distinguishing between the inclusion of Havdalah and the petition for rain, which could not be mentioned in the abbreviated version of the Shemoneh Esreh as explained above.

They explain that Havdalah is recited in the first of the intermediate blessings and would therefore be easy to remember and not cause errors, whereas the petition for rain is in the middle, when concentration is more difficult.

The question is left unresolved in the Talmud and therefore, some authorities allow it to be included in the abbreviated version. However, most do not. Rabbenu Yonah explains that it is omitted because its mention would create the impression that Havdalah was a blessing in its own right, just as all the other statements in this version of the Shemoneh Esreh are shortened versions of individual blessings.

5

On Sabbaths and holidays, one recites seven blessings in each of the four [Amidah] prayers of that particular day: the first three, the last three, and one in the middle, appropriate to that particular day.

On Sabbaths, one concludes the intermediate blessing with "who sanctifies the Sabbath." On the festivals, he concludes with "who sanctifies Israel and the appointed times." When the Sabbath and a festival [coincide], he concludes with "who sanctifies the Sabbath, Israel and the appointed times."

On Rosh Hashanah, he concludes with "the King over all the Earth, who sanctifies Israel and the Day of Remembrance." If it is [also] the Sabbath, he concludes with "the King over all the Earth, who sanctifies the Sabbath, Israel and the Day of Remembrance."

ה

ובשבתות ובימים טובים מתפלל שבע ברכות בכל תפלה ותפלה מארבע תפלות של אותו היום שלש ראשונות ושלש אחרונות וברכה אמצעית מעין אותו היום בשבתות חותמין בברכה אמצעית מקדש השבת וברגלים חותם בה מקדש ישראל והזמנים ואם היה שבת ויום טוב חותמים בה מקדש השבת וישראל והזמנים בראש השנה חותמין בה מלך על כל הארץ מקדש ישראל ויום הזכרון ואם היה שבת חותם בה מלך על כל הארץ מקדש השבת וישראל ויום הזכרון:

On Sabbaths and holidays - These are days of joy and thanksgiving when pleading and supplication are not appropriate. We are content with the world as it is and focus on its completeness.

one recites seven blessings in each of the four [Amidah] prayers - See Chapter 1, Halachah 8.

of that particular day: the first three, the last three - i.e., These six blessings are recited without change in all of the Amidah prayers as stated in Chapter 1, Halachah 9.

and one in the middle, appropriate to that particular day - in place of the requests mentioned during the week.

On Sabbaths, one concludes the intermediate blessing with "who sanctifies the Sabbath." - since after the creation of the world, God "blessed the seventh day and made it holy" (Genesis 2:3).

And on the festivals - i.e., Pesach, Shavuot and Sukkot

he concludes with "who sanctifies Israel and the appointed times." - As opposed to the conclusion of the blessing on Sabbath, the blessing of the holidays first mentions the sanctification of Israel and then of the specific time. The sanctification of the holidays is determined by the Jewish people since the exact date of each festival is based on the establishment of Rosh Chodesh (the first day of the month) of that particular month.

In Hilchot Kiddush Hachodesh 2:10, the Rambam explains that we are obligated to rely on the day established Rosh Chodesh by the Jewish court. This matter was handed over to them completely. God, who commanded the observance of the holiday, commanded us to rely on them.

This concept is based on the verse in Leviticus 23:4: "These are the appointed days of God, sacred days, that you shall designate them in their appointed time." The word אתם, otam, translated as “them,” may, with a different pronunciation mark be read as otam, “you,” indicating that “you,” the court on the earthly plane, is responsible for the establishment of the times of the festivals based on their designation of the day of Rosh Chodesh.
Therefore, we first mention God's sanctification of Israel and then Israel's subsequent sanctification of the holidays.

When the Sabbath and a festival coincide, he concludes with "who sanctifies the Sabbath, Israel and the appointed times." - Beitzah 17a discusses this particular situation:

A holiday that falls on Sabbath: Beit Shammai says that one recites eight [blessings], reciting the blessing for Sabbath independently and the blessing for the holiday independently.
Beit Hillel says that one recites seven [blessings], beginning with Sabbath and concluding with Sabbath, reciting the blessing particular to the sanctity of the holiday in the middle.
Rebbe [Rabbi Yehudah Hanasi] says that one should conclude with "who sanctifies the Sabbath, Israel and the appointed times."
A student was reviewing [this matter] in the presence of Ravina and said "who sanctifies Israel, Sabbath and the appointed times." Ravina said to him: "And is Sabbath sanctified by Israel? Sabbath is eternally sanctified. Rather, one should say: 'who sanctifies the Sabbath, Israel and the appointed times.'”
Rav Yosef says: "The halachah follows Rebbe and Ravina's answer."

On Rosh Hashanah he concludes with "the King over all the Earth, who sanctifies Israel and the Day of Remembrance." If it is [also] the Sabbath, he concludes with "the King over all the Earth, who sanctifies the Sabbath, Israel and the Day of Remembrance." - We mention God's sovereignty for the essence of the service of Rosh HaShanah is the acceptance of God as our King (See Rosh HaShanah 16a).

Rosh Hashanah is called the Day of Remembrance, since on this day, we ask God to remember us for good and to bless us. This will be discussed in the context of the blessings of the Rosh Hashanah Musaf Prayer in the next halachah.

6

When does this apply? In the Evening Prayers, the Morning Prayers and the Minchah Prayers. However, in the Musaf Prayer on Rosh Hashanah, one recites nine blessings: the first three and the last three [recited] every day, and three intermediate blessings.

The first of the intermediate blessings is concerned with Malchuyot - [acceptance of God's sovereignty];
the second with Zichronot - [acknowledgement of God's remembrance of the Jewish people]; and
the third with Shofarot - [describing the blowing of the shofar.]

One concludes each one of them with an appropriate chatimah.

ו

במה דברים אמורים בתפלת ערבית ושחרית ומנחה אבל תפלת המוספין של ראש השנה מתפלל תשע ברכות שלש ראשונות ושלש אחרונות של כל יום ושלש אמצעיות ראשונה מן האמצעיות ענינה מלכיות שנייה זכרונות שלישית שופרות וחותם בכל אחת מהן מעניינה:


When does this - i.e., the previously stated halachah that one recites seven blessings on Rosh Hashanah

apply? In the Evening Prayers, the Morning Prayers and the Minchah Prayers. - These services resemble those of other holidays.

However, in the Musaf Prayer on Rosh Hashanah, one recites nine blessings: the first three and the last three [recited] every day, - for these are constants in all prayer services.

and three intermediate blessings. - Rosh HaShanah 16a mentions the source for these blessings, quoting God as saying: "On Rosh Hashanah, recite in My presence Malchuyot, Zichronot and Shofarot. Malchuyot, in order that you shall make Me King over you. Zichronot, in order that your remembrance will be good in front of Me, and with what? The shofar."

As explained in detail in Hilchot Shofar 3:7-9, each of these blessings is based on ten verses from the Bible that center on the blessings's theme.

The first of the intermediate blessings - Rosh HaShanah 32a explains that the blessing which mentions the sanctity of the Rosh HaShanah holiday and its sacrifices is also included in Malchuyot.

is concerned with Malchuyot [acceptance of God's sovereignty] - Similarly, this blessing emphasizes the unity of God which permeates creation for this is the ultimate expression of God's sovereignty.

the second with Zichronot [acknowledgement of God's remembrance of the Jewish people] - Hilchot Shofar 3:9 emphasizes how one should mention only those remembrances which are of a positive nature.

and the third with Shofarot [describing the blowing of the shofar]. - Rosh HaShanah 16a relates:

Rabbi Abahu asks: "Why do we blow with the shofar of a ram? As the Holy One blessed be He said: Blow a ram's horn before Me so that I shall remember the binding of Yitzchak the son of Avraham, and I will consider it as if you bound (and sacrificed) yourselves to Me."

One concludes each one of them with an appropriate chatimah. - The conclusions are as follows:

Malchuyot - "... The King over all the Earth who sanctifies Israel and the Day of Remembrance" (This conclusion is also used for the intermediate blessing in all the prayers of Rosh Hashanah.)
Zichronot - "...The One who remembers the Covenant.”
Shofarot - "...The One who hears the Teru'ah” - based on Leviticus 23:24.

See also the Rambam's Order of Prayer for the Whole Year at the end of the Book of the Love of God.

7

On Yom Kippur, one recites seven blessings in each of the five prayers of the day; the first three and the last three blessings, and the intermediate blessing appropriate to the day.

One concludes the latter blessing in each of the services with: "the King over all the Earth, who sanctifies Israel and the Day of Atonement." If [Yom Kippur] falls on the Sabbath, one concludes [this blessing in] each service with: "the King over all the Earth, who sanctifies the Sabbath, Israel and the Day of Atonement."

ז

ביוה"כ מתפלל בכל תפלה מחמש תפלות שבע ברכות שלש ראשונות ושלש אחרונות ואמצעיות מעין היום וחותם בכל אחת מהן מלך על כל הארץ מקדש ישראל ויום הכפורים ואם חל להיות בשבת חותם בכל תפלה מהן מלך על כל הארץ מקדש השבת וישראל ויוה"כ:


On Yom Kippur, one recites seven blessings - See Yoma 87b and Niddah 8b.

in each of the five prayers of the day - I.e., Maariv, Shacharit, Musaf, Minchah and the Ne'ilah Prayer discussed in Chapter 1:7.

the first three and the last three blessings, - recited in every Amidah prayer.

and the intermediate blessing appropriate to the day. - mentioning the unique character of Yom Kippur.

One concludes the latter blessing in each of the services with: "the King over all the Earth, who sanctifies Israel and the Day of Atonement." - Soferim 19:6 mentions the chatimah of this prayer as:

who pardons and forgives our transgressions and the transgressions of His people Israel with mercy, and atones for their wrongdoing, the King over all the Earth, who sanctifies Israel and the Fast Day of Atonement.

A similar text is quoted in the Tur, Orach Chayim 613 and in most Yom Kippur Machzorim (prayer books).

One cannot presume that the Rambam is mentioning only the end of a longer chatimah in our halachah, since in his Order of Prayer for the Whole Year, the conclusion of the intermediate blessing for Yom Kippur is as it appears in this halachah. The Rambam's text appears to be based on the Siddur of Rav Sa'adiah Gaon.

If [Yom Kippur] falls on the Sabbath, one concludes [this blessing in] each service with: "the King over all the Earth, who sanctifies the Sabbath, Israel and the Day of Atonement." - I.e., as for the rest of the holidays, the word Sabbath is simply inserted into the chatimah of the blessing after מקדש (who sanctifies). This is also the case according to the more widely accepted longer version of the chatimah of this intermediate blessing.

8

When does the above apply? On the Fast Day of each and every year. However, on the Fast Day of the Jubilee Year, one recites a Musaf Prayer of nine blessings like the Musaf Prayer of Rosh Hashanah. They are exactly the same blessings, no less and no more.

These blessings are only recited when the Jubilee Year is in effect.

ח

בד"א ביום צום של כל שנה ושנה אבל ביום צום של שנת היובל מתפלל תפלת המוספים תשע ברכות כמו שהתפלל במוסף ראש השנה והם אותן הברכות עצמן לא פחות ולא יותר ואין מתפללין אותן אלא בזמן שהיובל נוהג:


When does the above apply? On the Fast Day - i.e., Yom Kippur, the only day when the Torah requires fasting

of each and every year. However, on the Fast Day of the Jubilee Year - the final year of a 50-year cycle. Every seventh year is called the Sabbatical year. There is a cycle of seven Sabbatical years, the end of which is the fiftieth year - the Jubilee Year. See Leviticus 25:8-13 and Hilchot Shemitah V'yovel, Chapters 10-13.

one recites a Musaf Prayer of nine blessings like the Musaf Prayer of Rosh Hashanah. - See Halachah 6.

They are exactly the same blessings, no less and no more. - The Mishnah (Rosh Hashanah 26b) states that the Jubilee Year is equivalent to Rosh Hashanah regarding the blowing of the shofar and the blessings. Rashi explains that the shofar is blown in the same fashion as on Rosh Hashanah, albeit for a different reason, and that nine blessings are recited in the Musaf Prayer of Yom Kippur of the Jubilee Year.

These blessings are only recited when the Jubilee Year is in effect. - The Jubilee Year is observed only when all the tribes of Israel dwell in Israel. The dispersion of even a part of the people put an end to the celebration of the Jubilee Year (Erichin 32b). Thus, the exile of the tribes of Reuven, Gad and half the tribe of Menasheh described in I Chronicles 5:26 caused the end of the celebration of the Jubilee Year. (See Hilchot Shemitah V'Yovel 10:8.)

In Hilchot Melachim 12:1, the Rambam writes that with the Mashiach's coming, the celebration of the Jubilee year will be renewed.

9

Before the first blessing of each and every Amidah-prayer, one states: "God, open my lips, and my mouth will utter Your praise" [Psalms 51:17]. Upon concluding the prayer, he says: "May the utterances of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be in accordance with Your will, O God, my Rock and Redeemer" [Psalms 19:15], and then steps backwards.

ט

בכל תפלה מהתפלות פותח קודם לברכה ראשונה יי' שפתי תפתח ופי יגיד תהלתך וכשהוא חותם בסוף התפלה אומר יהיו לרצון אמרי פי וגו' ואח"כ צועד לאחוריו:

Before the first blessing of each and every prayer, one states: "God, open my lips, and my mouth will utter Your praise" [Psalms 51:17]. - See Berachot 4b which quotes Rabbi Yochanan as requiring this verse to be recited before every prayer.

Rabbenu Yonah explains that this verse must be understood in conjunction with the verse that follows it: "You do not desire that I offer sacrifices; a burnt offering, You do not want:" (Psalms 51:18). After his relations with Bathsheva, King David realized that he could not attain forgiveness by offering a sacrifice, since a sacrifice is accepted only after an act done unwittingly. Therefore, he asked that God assist him in finding the proper means of expression through prayer to achieve atonement.

We, too, are in a similar situation for we have no Temple and our prayers were instituted in the place of our sacrifices. (See Chapter 1, Halachah 5.) Accordingly, we ask God to assist us in our desire to utter His praises, and request our needs in such a way that it will be desirable to Him.

Berachot 4b raises a question regarding the recitation of this verse before Shemoneh Esreh. Rabbi Yochanan himself states that one who starts the Shemoneh Esreh immediately after the blessing after Kri'at Shema, גאל ישראל (Who redeemed Israel) is called a person of the World to Come. (See Chapter 7, Halachah 18, where the Rambam mentions this halachah.)

Why is the recitation of this verse not considered an interruption between the blessing and the Shemoneh Esreh? The Talmud answers that this verse is considered as an integral part of the Shemoneh Esreh, and thus, is viewed as a "long prayer."

Upon concluding the prayer, he says - Berachot 9b mentions that just as King David wrote this verse after eighteen chapters of praise (it appears in Psalm 19), we recite it after eighteen blessings of prayer.

"May the utterances of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be in accordance with Your will, O God, my Rock and Redeemer" [Psalms 19:15] - This verse is particularly apt for recitation after the Shemoneh Esreh. Proper intention during the Shemoneh Esreh is a very difficult matter (See Chapter 4, Halachah 15). Therefore, at the end of the Shemoneh Esreh we ask God to heed our words in any case:

"May the utterances of my mouth..." - meaning to say: May the words which I uttered in the midst of the Shemoneh Esreh be accepted by You even if my intention was not complete and my mouth acted independently of my heart and mind. "... and the meditations of my heart..."; i.e., those lofty thoughts and desires which burn in my heart, but I cannot express, may they also be heard by You and received favorably.

and then steps backwards. - after completing the Shemoneh Esreh, one takes three steps backwards. See Yoma 53b and Chapter 5, Halachah 10.

10

On Rosh Chodesh and the intermediate days of a festival, one recites 19 blessings in the Evening Prayer, Morning Prayer, and Minchah Prayer as on other days. In the Avodah, one adds: "Our God and God of our fathers, let our remembrance rise and come,..."

In the Musaf Prayer of the intermediate day of a festival, one recites the Musaf Prayer of the holiday itself. On Rosh Chodesh, one recites seven blessings; the first three and last three, and one in the middle that refers to the special Rosh Chodesh sacrifice. One concludes with: "... who sanctifies Israel and Roshei Chodashim."

י

בראשי חדשים ובחולו של מועד מתפלל ערבית שחרית ומנחה תשע עשרה ברכות כשאר הימים ואומר בעבודה אלהינו ואלהי אבותינו יעלה ויבוא במוסף בחולו של מועד מתפלל תפלת המוסף כמו שמתפלל ביום טוב ובראשי חדשים מתפלל שבע ברכות שלש ראשונות ושלש אחרונות ואמצעית מעין קרבן ראש חדש וחותם בה מקדש ישראל וראשי חדשים:


On Rosh Chodesh and the intermediate days of a festival - i.e., those days between the first Yom Tov (two days in the diaspora) and last Yom Tov on Pesach and Sukkot. They are called Chol Hamo'ed, the "mundane" days of the festivals - i.e., those days which are simultaneously part of the festival, but also days on which most work is allowed. (See the Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 530-548 for the laws of Chol Hamo'ed.)

one recites 19 blessings in the Evening Prayer, Morning Prayer, and Minchah Prayer as on other days. - One's prayers resemble those of an average weekday, and not those of a festival. However,...

In the Avodah, - This is the first of the last three blessings of the Shemoneh Esreh, which expresses our desire for the return of the service (avodah) of the Temple.

one adds - a passage expressing the uniqueness of the day.

"Our God and God of our fathers, let our remembrance rise and come,..." - This is added in the Avodah blessing before the statement "And let our eyes see Your return to Zion in mercy. Blessed are You..."

The source for this addition is Shabbat 24a which states that on Chol HaMo'ed and Rosh Chodesh we should ask God to remember us favorably and to bless us with mercy and lovingkindness on this special day of sanctity. Rashi (Shabbat 24a) explains that we should request mercy for Israel and Jerusalem in order to restore the daily sacrifices to the Temple.

The laws pertaining to a person who omitted this addition in his prayers are mentioned in Chapter 10, Halachot 10-11.

In the Musaf Prayer of the intermediate day of a festival, one recites the Musaf Prayer of the holiday itself. - I.e., the service is essentially the same with only minor changes in the text of the blessings.

On Rosh Chodesh, - in the Musaf prayers

one recites seven blessings; the first three and last three, - blessings that are recited in every Amidah

and one in the middle that refers to the special Rosh Chodesh sacrifice. - which included several burnt offerings and a special sin offering (Numbers 28:11-15).

One concludes with: "... who sanctifies Israel and Roshei Chodashim." – See Berachot 49a.

11

On a Sabbath that occurs during the intermediate days of a festival, and Rosh Chodesh that falls on the Sabbath, in the Evening, Morning, and Minchah Prayers, one recites the seven blessings as on every Sabbath and adds: "Our God and God of our fathers, let our remembrance rise and come..." in the Avodah.

In the Musaf Prayer, one begins and concludes the intermediate blessing with a reference to the Sabbath, and mentions the sanctified nature of the day in the middle. He concludes [the blessing] on Rosh Chodesh with: "who sanctifies the Sabbath, Israel and Roshei Chodashim." On the intermediate days of a festival, he concludes in the same fashion as on the holiday itself that occurs on Sabbath.

יא

שבת שחלה בחולו של מועד וכן ראש חדש שחל להיות בשבת מתפלל ערבית ושחרית ומנחה שבע ברכות כשאר השבתות ואומר יעלה ויבא בעבודה במוסף מתחיל בברכה אמצעית בענין שבת ומשלים בענין שבת ואומר קדושת היום באמצע ברכה וחותם בה בראשי חדשים מקדש השבת וישראל וראשי חדשים ובחולו של מועד חותם בה כמו שהוא חותם ביום טוב שחל להיות בשבת:

On a Sabbath that occurs during the intermediate days of a festival and Rosh Chodesh that falls on the Sabbath, in the Evening, Morning, and Minchah Prayers, one recites the seven blessings as on every Sabbath, - i.e., just as in regard to the the daily prayers mentioned in the previous halachah, the basic structure of the prayer service remains the same on these days; similarly, on the Sabbath, there is no major deviation in practice.

and adds: "Our God and God of our fathers, let our remembrance rise and come..." in the Avodah. - as is done in the weekly service.

In the Musaf Prayer, - which is recited on Sabbath regardless

one - recites seven blessings, the first and last three which are always recited and the middle blessing appropriate to the unique nature of the day. One...

begins and concludes the intermediate blessing with a reference to the Sabbath, and mentions the sanctified nature of the day in the middle. - This halachah is based on a beraita quoted in Beitzah 17a and Eruvin 40b. However, the Rambam's interpretation of this passage differs from that of other commentaries.

Both Rashi and Rabbenu Nissim interpret "concluding with Sabbath" to mean that the chatimah of the middle blessing should be "... who sanctifies the Sabbath," with no mention of Rosh Chodesh or the relevant festival. In contrast, the Rambam maintains that this refers to the text of the blessing itself and not the chatimah.

[It is interesting to note that the position which states that in the chatimah of the blessing one need mention only Sabbath does have halachic importance. The Bi'ur Halachah, Orach Chayim 487, rules that a person who forgets to insert the end of the chatimah "...Israel and the appointed times" on the Sabbath of Chol HaMoed and only mentions the Sabbath fulfills his obligation בדיעבד - i.e., after the fact, the mention of Sabbath alone is enough. Rabbi Moshe Feinstein discusses this issue in the fourth volume of Orach Chayim in Iggerot Moshe, siman 21:3.

He concludes [the blessing] on Rosh Chodesh with: "who sanctifies the Sabbath, Israel and Roshei Chodashim;" - following the logic mentioned in halachah 5 that the sanctity of the Sabbath is mentioned first for it is not dependent on the Jews' consecration of the months.

On the intermediate days of a festival, he concludes in the same fashion as when the holiday itself occurs on Sabbath. - i.e., "...who sanctifies the Sabbath, Israel and the appointed times," as mentioned in Halachah 5.

12

On a holiday that occurs on the first day of the week, at night, one inserts into the fourth blessing [the following]:

And You have made known to us Your righteous statutes and have taught us to perform the decrees of Your will. And You have given us, God, our Lord, the sanctity of the Sabbath, the glory of the festival and the rejoicing of the pilgrim feast. You have distinguished between the sanctity of the Sabbath and that of the holiday, and You have sanctified the seventh day above the six workdays. And You have set apart and sanctified Your people Israel with Your holiness. You have given us, O God, our Lord, festivals for joy, holidays and appointed times for gladness...

On the night after the Sabbath and after a holiday all year long, one recites the Havdalah prayer in "You bestow knowledge..." even though he [also] recites the Havdalah prayer over a cup.

יב

ויום טוב שחל להיות באחד בשבת מתפלל בברכה רביעית בלילה ותודיענו משפטי צדקך ותלמדנו לעשות חוקי רצונך ותתן לנו יי' אלהינו קדושת שבת וכבוד מועד וחגיגת הרגל בין קדושת שבת לקדושת יום טוב הבדלת ואת יום השביעי מששת ימי המעשה הקדשת (והבדלת והקדשת את עמך ישראל בקדושתך) ותתן לנו ה' אלהינו מועדים לשמחה חגים וזמנים לששון וכו' ובמוצאי שבת ובמוצאי יום טוב של כל השנה מבדיל באתה חונן אע"פשהוא מבדיל על הכוס:

On a holiday that occurs on the first day of the week, - i.e., it occurs immediately after the the Sabbath.

at night, - The Jewish day starts after sunset. Thus, the prayer of the holiday will be recited Saturday night. Therefore,...

one inserts into the fourth blessing - i.e., the middle blessing of the seven recited on a holiday.

[the following]: - This extra Havdalah prayer is added between the first and second paragraphs of the middle blessing.

"And You have made known to us Your righteous statutes and have taught us to perform the decrees of Your will. And You have given us, God, our Lord, the sanctity of the Sabbath - Berachot 33b. The Talmud discusses the exact placement of the Havdalah paragraph in the context of a three-sided disagreement on the issue in the Mishnah (Berachot 33a).

There are slight differences between the text quoted by the Rambam and the text found in most contemporary siddurim. In his Order of Prayers for the entire year found at the conclusion of Sefer Ahavah, the Rambam also mentions a slightly different text. See also Hilchot Shabbat 29:28.

the glory of the festival - this is manifested in the prohibition of "work" on a holiday, as on the Sabbath, and the obligation to eat our finest foods and dress in our best clothes.

and the rejoicing of the pilgrim feast. -This refers to the special sacrifices brought on the holidays.

You have distinguished between the sanctity of the Sabbath and that of the holiday, and You have sanctified the seventh day above the six workdays. - i.e., on a holiday one is allowed to do certain types of work which are forbidden on the Sabbath. These are called מלאכות אוכל נפש, those activities necessary for cooking and preparing food. (See Hilchot Shivitat Yom Tov 1:1.) The punishment for transgressing the Sabbath prohibitions is also more severe than that for transgressing the prohibitions of a holiday.

And You have set apart and sanctified Your people Israel with Your holiness. You have given us, O God, our Lord, festivals for joy, holidays and appointed times for gladness, etc. - Joy and gladness are especially relevant to the holidays, as it is written: "And you shall rejoice in your holidays...and you shall be only joyous" (Deuteronomy 16:14-15). The Rambam discusses the halachot based on these verses in Hilchot Shivitat Yom Tom 6:17-18.

On the night after the Sabbath and after a holiday all year long, one recites the Havdalah prayer - This is the addition to the Evening Prayer that mentions the distinction between the Sabbath and the rest of the week. (See also the commentary on Halachah 4.)

in "You bestow knowledge..." - i.e., the first of the intermediate blessings in the weekday Shemoneh Esreh.

14Berachot 33a states that without knowledge and understanding a person cannot comprehend these distinctions in time. Accordingly, the Havdalah prayer is recited in the blessing recognizing God as the source of our gift of thought.

even though he [also] recites the Havdalah prayer over a cup - I.e., he is obligated to recite Havdalah in the fourth blessing of the Shemoneh Esreh even though he must also recite the full Havdalah service over a cup of wine afterwards.

Berachot 33a,b explains that originally Havdalah was established to be recited in the Shemoneh Esreh. When the Jewish people began to prosper, the Sages then required that it be said over a cup of wine. (Rashi explains that the original decree that it be mentioned in prayer was forgotten.) Then the fortunes of the Jewish people declined again, and the Sages reinstituted the obligation to recite Havdalah in prayer. They also ruled that after Havdalah in the Shemoneh Esreh, one must also recite the Havdalah service over a cup of wine. A parallel is drawn to Friday night when we mention Kiddush in prayer and then make Kiddush over a cup of wine afterwards.

The Rambam begins his discussion of Havdalah within the context of the halachot of the specific prayers recited on various holidays. Therefore, he first mentions the halachot of Havdalah recited on a holiday and only, afterwards, mentions the halachot of Havdalah recited in the Shemoneh Esreh every Saturday night though seemingly, the latter would be given priority.

13

On Chanukah and Purim, one adds "For the miracles,..." in the blessing of thanks.

On the Sabbath that occurs during Chanukah, one mentions "For the miracles,..." in the Musaf Prayer, just as he does in all the other prayers.

יג

בחנוכה ובפורים מוסיפין בהודאה על הניסים שבת שחלה להיות בחנוכה מזכיר על הניסים במוסף כמו שמזכיר בשאר תפלות:


On Chanukah and Purim, one adds "For the miracles,..." - Both Chanukah and Purim are commemorated with the same basic prayer, על הניסים. This prayer begins with a statement of thanks for the miracles and redemption relevant to these days, and then a paragraph describing the events of the holiday is recited.

Shabbat 24a, which discusses the laws of Chanukah, is the source for this prayer. However, this Talmudic passage mentions only Chanukah, and not Purim. However, Rav Yitzchak Alfasi quotes a Tosefta from Berachot which equates Chanukah and Purim.

Hagahot Maimoniot quotes Rav Amram Gaon that על הניסים is not recited at night on Purim because we have not yet read Megillat Esther. This position is not accepted. It is, however, interesting that a difference was made, according to Rav Amram, between the על הנסים of Chanukah and that of Purim.

in the blessing of thanks. - I.e., in the blessing which begins: "we acknowledge with thanks that You are God, our Lord...," the second of the last three blessings of the Shemoneh Esreh. Tosafot (Shabbat 24a) explains that since על הנסים is a prayer of thanks and not supplication, it is included in the blessing of thanks in the Shemoneh Esreh.

On the Sabbath that occurs during Chanukah, one mentions "For the miracles,..." in the Musaf Prayer, just as he does in all the other prayers. - Shabbat 24a asks whether v’al hanisim is mentioned in the Musaf Prayer or not. Rav Huna and Rav Yehudah are of the opinion that it should not be mentioned, since Musaf is not usually recited on Chanukah, and, therefore, there is no need to refer to Chanukah during the Musaf prayer of the Sabbath. Rav Nachman and Rabbi Yochanan hold that since Musaf is simply one of the prayers of the day, and על הנסים is recited on this day, its inclusion in Musaf is in place.

The Talmud ultimately decides in favor of the position of Rav Nachman and Rabbi Yochanan. This is supported by the fact that on Yom Kippur which falls on the Sabbath, reference is made to the Sabbath in the Ne'ilah prayer, even though Ne'ilah is not normally recited on the Sabbath.

The Rambam does not mention this halachah with regard to Purim, since it is only in rare cases that Purim occurs on the Sabbath. Purim is generally celebrated on the fourteenth of Adar, which never occurs on the Sabbath according to our fixed calendar. However, cities which were walled at the time of Joshua's conquest of Israel celebrate Purim on the fifteenth of Adar (Shushan Purim). Nevertheless, there are very few such cities.

Jerusalem is, however, one of them, and there, Purim can fall on the Sabbath. In such a case, על הנסים is said on the Sabbath, even though most of the other commandments of Purim are fulfilled either on the Friday before or the Sunday afterwards. (See the Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 688:6 and the Mishnah Berurah there.)

14

On Fast Days, even an individual who fasts [by his own volition] adds "Answer us..." in "the One who hears prayer."

The leader of the congregation recites it as an independent blessing between "the One who redeems Israel" and "the One who heals...," and concludes with "the One who answers in times of trouble." Thus, he recites 20 blessings.

On the ninth of Av, one adds [the following] to the blessing of "the One who rebuilds Jerusalem": "Have mercy on us, God, our Lord, and on Your people, Israel, and Jerusalem, Your city, the mourning city,..."

יד

בימי התענית אפילו יחיד שהתענה מוסיף בשומע תפלה עננו וכו' ושליח ציבור אומרה ברכה בפני עצמה בין גואל לרופא וחותם בה העונה בעת צרה (ומושיע) ונמצא מתפלל עשרים ברכות בתשעה באב מוסיפין בבונה ירושלים רחם יי' אלהינו עלינו ועל ישראל עמך ועל ירושלים עירך ועל העיר האבילה כו':

On Fast Days, - This includes the communal fast days (the third of Tishre, the tenth of Tevet, the thirteenth of Adar, the seventeenth of Tammuz, and the ninth of Av) and those fast days proclaimed in response to a specific time of trouble, such as a lack of rain. (See Chapter 1 of Ta'anit.)

even an individual who fasts [by his own volition] - i.e., even one who accepts upon himself a fast in response to a bad dream or for purposes of spiritual growth, although it is not a public fast day.

adds "Answer us..." - Ta'anit 13b refers to the prayer of fast days. Rashi explains that this is aneinu (Answer us...), a prayer of supplication asking God to look down upon us with favor and not hide His countenance from us because of our wrongdoing.

in "the One who hears prayer." - I.e., the last of the intermediate blessings of the Shemoneh Esreh. Ta'anit 13b states:

Rav Yehudah taught his son Rav Yitzchak, who said: "An individual who accepts a fast upon himself recites the prayer of fast days. And where does he say it? Between גואל לרופא - i.e., the blessing of redemption and that of healing!"
Rav Yitzchak asked upon this position: "Can an individual establish an extra blessing for himself?" Rather, Rav Yitzchak is of the opinion that it should be inserted into the blessing of "the One who hears prayer." Rav Sheshet is also of this opinion.

Although the Talmud refers specifically to one who accepted a fast upon himself, it is clear from the continuation of the discussion there that the same halachah applies to the silent Shemoneh Esreh recited by everyone on a public fast day also.

It is interesting to note that the Rambam obligates one to add עננו in all the prayers recited on a Fast Day. This is in line with Shabbat 24a which states: "On fast days...in the Evening, Morning, and Minchah Prayers, one adds a mention of the particular day in 'the One who hears prayer.' However, the Tur quotes the Geonim that one should recite עננו only in the Minchah Prayer. Since one could be overcome by terrible hunger and break the fast, if one recited עננו earlier he would have spoken falsely when he mentioned the fast day. Therefore, according to this position, this prayer should be mentioned only in the Minchah service at the end of the fast days.

The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 565:3) quotes the Tur's position, but distinguishes between the four public fast days that occur every year (i.e., those mentioned above in our commentary) and other public fast days. On the four main public fasts, he obligates the individual to mention עננו in all his prayers. Since the Sages declared it a public fast, even were he to eat later on, he would not have spoken falsely in his prayer.

The Ramah ( ibid.), however, mentions that it is customary to recite עננו in Minchah only. The Magen Avraham explains that even one reciting Minchah in the early afternoon should add עננו, because even if he eats later on, at least he fasted until midday. (See Ramah, Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 562:1.) Sephardim follow the custom of the Shulchan Aruch, and Ashkenazim follow the ruling of the Ramah and therefore recite עננו only in Minchah.

The leader of the congregation recites it as an independent blessing between "the One who redeems Israel" and "the One who heals...," and concludes with "the One who answers in times of trouble." Thus, he recites 20 blessings. - This is based on the passage from Ta'anit 13b quoted above. A clear distinction is made between the silent Shemoneh Esreh uttered by all the congregants and the repetition recited aloud by the שליח ציבור (leader of the congregation). The שליח ציבור does establish for himself, as representative of the community as a whole, an independent blessing relevant to the fast day. Therefore, he recites 20 blessings, as explained by the Rambam: 19 blessings as on any day, and one extra that is particular to the fast day.

There is no disagreement regarding the obligation of the שליח ציבור to recite עננו in the Morning Prayer. He is praying on behalf of the entire community. Therefore, we need not worry about the possibility of the fast being broken, since it is not possible that a number from among the congregants will not fast the whole day (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 565:3). (See the Bi'ur Halacha who holds that at least ten people must intend to fast in order for the שליח ציבור to recite עננו.)

On the ninth of Av, - The fast day commemorating the destruction of the First and Second Temple, both destroyed on this date, approximately 500 years apart. This fast is different from the other public fasts mentioned above in that it starts at sundown and lasts until sundown, a full day later.

one adds [the following] to the blessing of "the One who rebuilds Jerusalem" - i.e., the eleventh intermediate blessing of the Shemoneh Esreh. It is appropriate that the addition regarding the ninth of Av be placed in this blessing, which speaks of rebuilding Jerusalem.

Despite this logic, there is some question regarding the inclusion of this prayer in this blessing. The source for this addition is the Jerusalem Talmud (Ta'anit 2:2). That passage questions whether the addition should be made in the עבודה (the first of the last three blessings in the Shemoneh Esreh) or the הודאה (the second of the last three blessings). It explains that as a general rule commemorative prayers are mentioned in הודאה, while prayers regarding the future are placed in עבודה.

Rabbenu Yitzchak Alfasi quotes this passage, but adds that the custom is to recite the addition in בונה ירושלים (the blessing of Jerusalem). He explains that this decision is based on Avodah Zarah 8a which states that even though normally, we add special requests in the blessing of שומע תפילה (the One who hears prayer), one is able to make a request relevant to one of the blessings of the Shemoneh Esreh, in that blessing itself. Therefore, our prayers and supplications regarding the rebuilding of Jerusalem may rightfully be placed in the blessing of בונה ירושלים. (See Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 557:1.)

"Have mercy on us, God, our Lord, and on Your people, Israel, and Jerusalem, Your city, the mourning city,..." - The Hebrew term is רחם עלינו. This version appears in the Jerusalem Talmud. However, in both Rabbenu Asher's and Rabbenu Yitzhak Alfasi's quotes of that passage, the terms used is נחם (Console us...). This version is found in most siddurim, although the version of Yemenite Jewry is רחם, as in the Rambam.

There is also a question regarding when this prayer is recited. The Rambam seems to indicate that רחם (or נחם) is to be recited in every prayer on the ninth of Av. However, the Ramah (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 557:1) states that it should only be recited in Minchah, just like עננו on fast days.

The Tur (Orach Chayim 557) quotes the custom of saying רחם in the Evening and Morning Prayers, and נחם during Minchah. The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 557:1) rules that נחם should be recited in all three prayers of the day. This is the custom of Sephardim, though Ashkenazim follow the ruling of the Ramah mentioned above. (See the Mishnah Berurah 557:1.)

The Ramah explains that the rationale behind his decision is that the fire which destroyed the Temple broke out on the afternoon of the ninth of Av. Hence, we ask for comfort at that time specifically. Alternatively, the Ritba explains that only in the afternoon are we able to be comforted. Until then the pain of our loss is too real.

15

During the rainy season, [the phrase] "the One who causes the rain to fall" is recited in the second blessing. In the summer, [one adds] "the One who causes the dew to descend."

When does one recite "the One who causes the rain to fall"? From the Musaf Prayer on the last holiday of Sukkot until the Morning Prayer of the first holiday of Pesach. [Conversely,] from the Musaf Prayer of the first holiday of Pesach, one utters "the One who causes the dew to descend."

טו

כל ימות הגשמים אומר בברכה שניה מוריד הגשם ובימות החמה מוריד הטל מאימתי אומר מוריד הגשם מתפלת המוספין של יו"ט האחרון של חג עד תפלת שחרית של יום טוב הראשון של פסח ומתפלת המוספין של יום טוב הראשון של פסח אומר מוריד הטל:

During the rainy season, [the phrase] "the One who causes the rain to fall" - This is not the full text of the addition. We praise G‑d as "the One who causes the wind to blow and the rain to fall" (משיב הרוח ומוריד הגשם, Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 114:1).

is recited in the second blessing. - Berachot 33a states: "One mentions the strength of the rains in (the blessing of) the resurrection of the dead." The second blessing of the Shemoneh Esreh mentions the resurrection of the dead five times and is therefore often referred to as the blessing of 18תייחת םיתמה (resurrection of the dead). The Talmud continues to explain a parallel between the resurrection of the dead and the winter rains which renew life in the dry ground.

In the summer, [one adds] "the One who causes the dew to descend" - This represents one of the differences between Sephardic and Ashkenazic practice. Sephardic tradition, following the Rambam and the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 114), obligates the utterance of מוריד הטל in the summer. In contrast, the Ramah, (ibid., 114:3) explains that the custom of the Ashkenazim is not to utter 18לטהáדירומ.

The 14Shulchan Aruch HaRav (Orach Chayim 114:3) explains the latter position based on Ta'anit 3a, which states that the Sages did not obligate one to mention the winds or dew for they are never lacking. Nevertheless, if one desires to mention them, he may. Ashkenazim do include משיב הרוח in the winter, because of the mention of the rains which are necessary. Sephardim and the Nusach Sephard recited by Chassidim do mention טל in the summertime.

When does one recite "the One who causes the rain to fall"? From the Musaf Prayer on the last holiday of Sukkot - The Mishnah (Ta'anit 2a) states:

From when does one mention the strength of the rains? Rabbi Eliezer says: "From the first holiday of Sukkot (i.e., the first Yom Tov, the fifteenth of Tishre). Rabbi Yehoshua says: "From the last holiday of Sukkot (i.e., Shemini Atzeret)."
Rabbi Yehudah says: "[When] one leads the congregation on the last holiday of Sukkot: the last one (i.e., the one who leads the congregation in Musaf) mentions it; the first one (the one who leads the Morning Prayer) does not mention it. On the first holiday of Pesach (the fifteenth of Nisan), the first one mentions it, the last one does not mention it."

The halachah follows Rabbi Yehudah's position. Even though the beginning of Sukkot is also the beginning of the rainy season, we do not mention rain until the end of Sukkot, since rain on Sukkot is a bad omen. Sukkah 28b-29a draws a comparison to a servant who brings his master wine only to have the wine spilled in his face - i.e., we build our sukkot in order to serve our Master, but He causes the rain to fall, as if to say that He does not desire our service and requests that we leave His presence.

until the Morning prayer of the first holiday - i.e., the first day, in contrast to the seventh day, which is also a holiday.

of Pesach - The Mishnah (Ta'anit 12b) explains that rain after this time is also an unfavorable omen.

The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 114:2) adds that one may not begin to mention the rain until the שליח ציבור has mentioned it. Therefore, before Musaf on Shemini Atzeret, there is a custom to remind the congregation to mention the rains in order to allow everyone to say משיב הרוח ומוריד הגשם in their silent prayer.

The Ra'avad, quoted in Tur, Orach Chayim 114, explains that the שליח ציבור must announce משיב הרוח ומוריד הגשם (or מוריד הטל in the summertime), and then the congregation may utter it in their silent prayer. The Beit Yosef points out, however, that a simple reminder is enough, so that everyone will remember and recite the same words. Therefore, one may recite 18בישמ חורה in his silent prayer even though the שליח ציבור does not make the "official" announcement until his repetition of Musaf.

The laws regarding the omission of משיב הרוח ומוריד הגשם or the mention of מוריד הטל in its place are mentioned in Chapter 10, Halachah 8.

[Conversely,] from the Musaf Prayer of the first holiday of Pesach, one utters "the One who causes the dew to descend." - This is based on the Jerusalem Talmud (Ta'anit 1:2) which states that one should mention the dew during all three festivals. We of course stop mentioning the dew when we begin to mention the rain on Shemini Atzeret, the last of the holidays.

The laws regarding the omission of מוריד הטל or the mention of משיב הרוח ומוריד הגשם in its place are also mentioned in Chapter 10, Halachah 8.

16

[Beginning] from the seventh of Marcheshvan, one petitions for rain in the blessing of prosperity, [and continues to do so] as long as one mentions the rain.

Where does the above apply? To Eretz Yisrael. However, in Shin'ar, Syria, Egypt and areas adjacent to or similar to these, one petitions for rain 60 days after the autumnal equinox.

טז

משבעה ימים במרחשון שואלין את הגשמים בברכת שנים כל זמן שמזכיר הגשם במה דברים אמורים בארץ ישראל אבל בשנער ובסוריא ובמצרים ובמקומות הסמוכות לאלו והדומין להן שואלין את הגשמים ביום ששים אחר תקופת תשרי:

[Beginning] from the seventh of Marcheshvan, - The Mishnah (Ta'anit 10a) states:

On the third of Marcheshvan, one petitions for rain. Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel says: "On its seventh day, 15 days after the festival, in order that the last one in Israel can reach the Euphrates River."

one petitions for rain - Even though we mention the rains in the second blessing of the Shemoneh Esreh from the end of Sukkot (see the previous halachah), we do not actually beseech God to cause the rain to fall until later. The formula used to petition for rain is ותן טל ומטר ("And give dew and rain").

in the blessing of prosperity - i.e., the sixth of the intermediate blessings of the Shemoneh Esreh, which is the petition for material prosperity. This decision is based on the Mishnah (Berachot 33a), which is also our source for the rules regarding משיב הרוח ומוריד הגשם in the previous halachah.

[and continues to do so] as long as one mentions the rain. - i.e., as long as one utters משיב הרוח ומוריד הגשם, which is until the first day of Pesach, as mentioned above. The Mishnah (Ta'anit 5a) states:

Until when does one request rain? Rabbi Yehudah says: "Until Pesach has passed." Rabbi Meir says: "Until Nisan has passed..."

Ta'anit 4b interprets Rabbi Yehudah's statements to mean that one requests rain until the conclusion of Musaf on the first day of Pesach (i.e., the fifteenth of Nisan).

Where does the above apply? To Eretz Yisrael. - In his commentary on the above Mishnah, the Rambam explains that all the laws in Ta'anit regarding the proper time for rain and the fasts resulting from a lack thereof are relevant to Eretz Yisrael and areas with a similar climate.

However in Shin'ar, - Babylonia. See Targum Onkelos, Genesis 11:2.

Syria, Egypt and areas adjacent to or similar to these, one petitions for rain 60 days after the autumnal equinox. - This is based on Ta'anit 10a, which states that in the Diaspora the petition for rain should be made 60 days after the equinox because the rains would not begin to fall until then.

As the diaspora of the Jewish people spread beyond the Mediterranean region, questions regarding this law were raised. Rabbenu Asher (See Tur and Beit Yosef, Orach Chayim 117) raised the question of praying for rain in the summer in Spain or Germany when the climate of the land requires it. Similarly, since the crops in his area would be seriously damaged if rains were not to fall until late November, he lauds the practise (followed in Provence) which begins petitioning for rain in Marcheshvan. At present, the question has become more sensitive when many Jews live in the Southern hemisphere whose rainy season coincides with our summer.

Nevertheless, Rav Yosef Karo rules that all places outside of Eretz Yisrael should follow the practice observed in Babylonia. This position is accepted halachically. (See Shulchan Aruch Orach Chayim 117:1 and Shulchan Aruch HaRav which discusses this issue at length.)

One begins the petition for rain in the Evening Prayer of the sixtieth day (Shulchan Aruch, ibid.). Both the day of the Equinox and the sixtieth day are included in the counting of sixty days. Thus, one actually starts to petition in the first week of December (Beit Yosef ibid.).

The laws regarding the omission of ותן טל ומטר are mentioned in Chapter 10, Halachah 9.

17

In places that require rain in the summer months, such as the distant islands, they petition for rains when they need them, in [the blessing of] "the One who hears prayer."

[Even] where the holidays are observed for two days, "the One who causes the rain to fall" is recited in the Musaf Prayer of the first day of Shemini Atzeret. Its recitation is continued throughout the rainy season.

יז

מקומות שהן צריכין לגשמים בימות החמה כגון איי הים הרחוקים שואלין את הגשמים בעת שהן צריכין להן בשומע תפלה ומקומות שהן עושין יום טוב שני ימים אומר מוריד הגשם בתפלת מוסף של יום ראשון של שמיני עצרת ומתפלל והולך כל ימות הגשמים:


In places - that are too small to be considered as "lands" and thus, should be considered as individuals (Rabbenu Asher).

Alternatively, lands whose climate is diametrically opposed to that of Eretz Yisrael such as the countries of the Southern hemisphere (Kessef Mishneh).

that require rain in the summer months, such as the distant islands, - or any other place whose climate is such that rain is required in the summer months (Rambam, Commentary to the Mishnah, Ta'anit 1:3).

they petition for rains when they need them, - regardless of what time of year that may be.

in [the blessing of] "the One who hears prayer." - Ta'anit 14b relates that the residents of Nineveh asked Rabbi Yehudah Hanasi:

"We require rain even in Tammuz [August], how are we to act? Are we considered as individuals and [add our petitions] in 'the One who hears prayer' or as a community and [add our petitions] in the blessing for prosperity?"
He (Rabbi Yehudah Hanasi) sent to them: "As individuals and in `the One who hears prayer.'

Rabbenu Nissim states that even though we learn in Avodah Zarah 8a that a special request for success should be added in the blessing for material prosperity (18םינשהáתכרב), a petition for rain is different, since rain in Tammuz is destructive to most of the world. Therefore, a community who needs rain at this times is considered as an individual who requests a personal boon. Accordingly, their petition for rain is mentioned in the blessing of 18עמוש הליפת (the One who hears prayer).

[Even] - i.e., surely this is the case in Eretz Yisrael. However, even...

where the holidays are observed for two days - i.e., in most places in the diaspora and in certain places in Eretz Yisrael (See Hilchot Kiddush HaChodesh, Chapter 9), where originally, there was a doubt whether this was, in fact, the eighth day of the holiday or not, nevertheless, the prayer...

"the One who causes the rain to fall" is recited in the Musaf Prayer of the first day of Shemini Atzeret. Its recitation is continued - Ta'anit 4b entertains the possibility of mentioning 18םשגהáדירומ in Musaf on the first day and then refraining from its mention until Musaf on the second day. However, it concludes that after it is mentioned once its recitation should be continued without interruption.

throughout the rainy season. - The placement of this halachah seems questionable. Why didn't the Rambam discuss this law in Halachah 15 where the rest of the laws of מוריד הגשם appear?

The Kessef Mishneh explains that the Rambam desired to discuss all the laws of rain, both מוריד הגשם and the petition for rain in ברכת השנים with reference to Eretz Yisrael. Within the context of that subject, he mentioned the differences that apply in the diaspora. Afterwards, he continued to mentioned the laws of מוריד הגשם as they apply to outside the Holy Land.

18

Throughout the entire year, one concludes the third blessing with "the Holy God" and the eleventh blessing with "the King who loves righteousness and justice." [However,] on the ten days from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur, one concludes the third one with "the Holy King" and the eleventh one with "the King of Justice."

יח

כל השנה כולה חותם בברכה שלישית האל הקדוש ובברכת עשתי עשרה מלך אוהב צדקה ומשפט ובעשרת הימים שמראש השנה עד מוצאי יום הכפורים חותם בשלישית המלך הקדוש ובעשתי עשרה המלך המשפט:


Throughout the entire year, one concludes the third blessing with "the Holy God" and the eleventh blessing with "the King who loves righteousness and justice." - In his responsum (97), the Rambam teaches that one need mention "the King" only during the Ten Days of Repentance, but that during the rest of the year, "the One who loves righteousness and justice" is sufficient.

[However,] on the ten days from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur, one concludes the third one with "the Holy King" - Rashi (Berachot 12b) mentions that God's sovereignty is more evident during these ten days when He judges the world. Therefore, we emphasize this concept in our prayers.

and the eleventh one with "the King of Justice" - Our translation follows the interpretation of Rashi (ibid.). Literally, the Hebrew המלך המשפט means: "the just King."

Rabbenu Manoach points out the difference between the regular chatimah - מלך אוהב צדקה ומשפט - and that recited during the 10 Days of Repentance - המלך המשפט. The regular chatimah indicates God's desire that his creations act in a just and righteous manner. The special one, however, relates to God's judgement of the world.

The laws regarding a person who forgets these changes while praying are mentioned in Chapter 10, Halachah 13.

19

There are places that are accustomed during these ten days to add in the first blessing: "Remember us for life,..." and in the second one: "Who is like You, Merciful Father,..." In the blessing of thanksgiving, [they add]: "Remember Your mercy,..." In the last blessing, they add: "In the Book of life,..."

During these ten days, there are also those accustomed to add [the following prayers] in the third blessing: "And so put Your fear... And so..." On Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, it is the commonly accepted practice to add [these prayers] in the third blessing.

יט

יש מקומות שנהגו להוסיף בעשרת ימים אלו בברכה ראשונה זכרנו לחיים כו' ובשנייה מי כמוך אב הרחמים וגו' ובהודאה זכור רחמיך וכו' ומוסיפין בברכה אחרונה בספר חיים וכו' וכן יש מקומות שנהגו להוסיף בעשרת ימים אלו בברכה שלישית ובכן תן פחדך ובכן כו' אבל בראש השנה וביוה"כ מנהג פשוט הוא להוסיף בשלישית ובכן תן פחדך וכו':


There are places that are accustomed during these ten days to add in the first blessing - i.e., the ten days from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur, inclusive. The source for this halachah is Soferim 19:8. There it states the following:

Just as the chatimot [of the blessings] of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are different from those of other holidays, so too, the prayers [of these days] themselves differ.
One does not make any special mention of remembrances in the first three or last three [blessings], except on the holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur themselves alone. And even on these days, they allowed it only with difficulty.

The ""remembrances" referred to in the Mishnah are the very additions mentioned by the Rambam in this halachah. It is clear from the Mishnah that they are to be mentioned only on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, and not on any of the intermediate days. However, the general practice is to add these special prayers on all ten days. (See Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 602.)

The difficulty regarding these additions stems from Berachot 34a which states that one may not add any special requests in the first three or last three blessings of the Shemoneh Esreh. (See Chapter 6, Halachah 3.) However, Rabbi Yitzchak ibn Gayut explains that since these remembrances are relevant to the needs of the entire community, they may be recited in the first three and last three blessings. Berachot (ibid.) prohibits only requests made by an individual for his personal needs.

"Remember us for life,..." - "Remember us for life, O King, who desires life, and inscribe us in the Book of Life for our sake, O living God." This is placed near the end of the first blessing, between למען שמו באהבה and 18עישומוáרזועáךלמ ןגמו.

and in the second one: "Who is like You, Merciful Father,..." - Who is like You, Merciful Father, who remembers His creations for life with mercy." This is placed before the end of this blessing 18תויחהלáהתאáןמאנו םיתמ.

In the blessing of thanksgiving [they add] "Remember Your mercy,..." - This particular version can be found in Otzar HaGeonim on Rosh Hashanah. However, the version found in Ashkenazi, Sephardi and Nusach Sephard siddurim is: "And inscribe for good life, all the children of Your Covenant."

In the last blessing they add: "In the book of life,..." - "In the book of life, blessing and peace, and good provision, may we be remembered and inscribed before You, we and Your people of the House of Israel, for life and peace." This is placed immediately before the chatimah of the last blessing of the Shemoneh Esreh.

During these ten days, there are also those accustomed to add [the following prayers] in the third blessing: "And so put Your fear... And so..." On Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, it is the commonly accepted practice to add [these prayers] in the third blessing. - These are the additional paragraphs of supplication inserted in the third blessing of the Shemoneh Esreh. The first one starts with "And so put Your fear, O God, our Lord, on all Your nations,..." The second paragraph begins with "And so give honor, O God, to Your people,...;" the third with "And so may the righteous see and be joyous,..." It is our custom to add these special prayers on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur only, and not during the intermediate days.

Tefilah and Birkat Kohanim - Chapter Three

1

The mitzvah of reciting the Morning Prayer entails that one begin praying at sunrise. The time [for prayer, however,] extends until the fourth hour, i.e., a third of the day.

If one transgresses or errs and prays after the fourth hour, he has fulfilled the obligation of prayer, but not the obligation of prayer in its time. Just as prayer is a positive Scriptural commandment, so too, its recitation at the proper time is a Rabbinic commandment, as established for us by Sages and Prophets.

א

תפלת השחר מצותה שיתחיל להתפלל עם הנץ החמה וזמנה עד סוף שעה רביעית שהיא שלישית היום ואם עבר או טעה והתפלל אחר ארבע עד חצות היום יצא ידי חובת תפלה אבל לא יצא ידי חובת תפלה בזמנה שכשם שתפלה מצוה מן התורה כך מצוה מדבריהם להתפלל אותה בזמנה כמו שתקנו לנו חכמים ונביאים:

2

We have already stated that the time of the Minchah Prayer was established in correspondence to the daily afternoon sacrifice. Since the daily [afternoon] sacrifice was offered every day at nine and a half hours, [the Sages] established its time as nine and a half hours. This is referred to as "the lesser Minchah."

When the eve of Pesach fell on Friday, they would slaughter the daily [afternoon] sacrifice at six and a half hours. Accordingly, [the Sages] ordained that one who prays [Minchah] after six and a half hours has fulfilled his obligation. When this time arrives, the time of its obligation begins. This is referred to as "the greater Minchah."

ב

כבר אמרנו שתפלת המנחה כנגד תמיד של בין הערבים תקנו זמנה ולפי שהיה התמיד קרב בכל יום בתשע שעות ומחצה תקנו זמנה מתשע שעות ומחצה והיא הנקראת מנחה קטנה ולפי שבערב הפסח שחל להיות בערב שבת היו שוחטין את התמיד בשש שעות ומחצה אמרו שהמתפלל מאחר שש שעות ומחצה יצא ומשהגיע זמן זה הגיע זמן חיובה וזו היא הנקראת מנחה גדולה:

3

Many people are accustomed to recite [the afternoon service at both Minchah] Gedolah and K'tanah, and [to consider] one of them as an optional prayer.

Some of the Geonim taught that it is proper to recite the optional prayer only [at the time of Minchah] Gedolah. This is reasonable, since it corresponds to [the offering of a sacrifice] which was not frequent every day.

If one recites [the service] as an obligatory prayer [at the time of Minchah] Gedolah, he should recite it only as an optional prayer [at the time of Minchah] K'tanah.

ג

נהגו אנשים הרבה להתפלל גדולה וקטנה והאחת רשות והורו מקצת הגאונים שאין ראוי להתפלל רשות אלא הגדולה וכן הדין נותן מפני שהיא כנגד דבר שאינו תדיר בכל יום ואם התפלל הגדולה חובה לא יתפלל קטנה אלא רשות:

4

Behold, you have learned that the time of Minchah Gedolah is from six and a half hours until nine and a half hours, and the time of Minchah K'tanah is from nine and a half hours until there are one and a quarter hours left in the day. One may [however,] recite [the afternoon service] until sunset.

ד

הא למדת שזמן מנחה גדולה משש שעות ומחצה עד תשע שעות ומחצה וזמן מנחה קטנה מתשע שעות ומחצה עד שישאר מן היום שעה ורביע ויש לו להתפלל אותה עד שתשקע החמה:

5

The proper time of the Musaf Prayer is after the Morning Prayer, until seven hours of the day. One who recites it after seven hours, even though he has acted negligently, fulfills his obligation, since its time is the entire day.

ה

תפלת המוספין זמנה אחר תפלת השחר עד שבע שעות ביום והמתפלל אותה אחר שבע שעות אף ע"פ שפשע יצא ידי חובתו מפני שזמנה כל היום:

6

Regarding the Evening Prayer - even though it is not obligatory - a person who does recite it [must know that] its proper time is from the beginning of the night until dawn.

The proper time of the Ne'ilah prayer is such that one completes it close to sunset.

ו

תפלת הערב אף ע"פ שאינה חובה המתפלל אותה זמנה מתחילת הלילה עד שיעלה עמוד השחר ותפלת נעילה זמנה כדי שישלים אותה סמוך לשקיעת החמה:

7

One who recites a prayer before its proper time does not fulfill his obligation and must recite it again at its time. If, due to extenuating circumstances, one recites the Morning Prayer after dawn, [but before the proper time], he does fulfill his obligation.

One may recite the Evening Prayer of the Sabbath night on the eve of the Sabbath before sunset. Similarly, he may recite the Evening Prayer of Saturday night on the Sabbath. Since the Evening Prayer is not obligatory, we are not especially careful about its time. Nevertheless, one must recite the Shema at its proper time after the appearance of the stars.

ז

המתפלל תפלה קודם זמנה לא יצא ידי חובתו וחוזר ומתפלל אותה בזמנה ואם התפלל תפלת שחרית בשעת הדחק אחר שעלה עמוד השחר יצא ויש לו להתפלל תפלת ערבית של לילי שבת בערב שבת קודם שתשקע החמה וכן יתפלל ערבית של מוצאי שבת בשבת לפי שתפלת ערבית רשות אין מדקדקין בזמנה ובלבד שיקרא ק"ש בזמנה אחר צאת הכוכבים:

8

Anyone who intentionally allowed the proper time for prayer to pass without praying, cannot rectify the situation and cannot compensate [for his failure to pray].

[If he unintentionally failed to pray or was unavoidably detained or distracted, he can compensate for the [missed] prayer during the time of the prayer closest to it. He should first recite the prayer of this time, and afterwards, the [prayer of] compensation.

ח

כל מי שעבר עליו זמן תפלה ולא התפלל במזיד אין לו תקנה ואינו משלם בשוגג או שהיה אנוס או טרוד משלם אותה תפלה בזמן תפלה הסמוכה לה ומקדים תפלה שבזמנה ואחריה מתפלל את התשלומין:

9

How is this [exemplified]?

One who errs and does not recite the Morning Prayer before half the day passes should recite the Minchah Prayer twice, the first as Minchah [itself] and the second as compensation for the Morning Prayer.

One who errs and does not recite the Minchah Prayer before sunset should recite the Evening Prayer twice, the first as the Evening Prayer [itself] and the second as compensation for the Minchah Prayer.

[Similarly,] one who errs and does not recite the Evening Prayer before dawn should recite the Morning Prayer twice, the first as the Morning Prayer [itself] and the second as compensation for the Evening Prayer.

ט

כיצד טעה ולא התפלל שחרית ועבר חצי היום יתפלל מנחה שתים ראשונה תפלת מנחה והשנייה תשלומי שחרית טעה ולא התפלל מנחה עד ששקעה החמה יתפלל ערבית שתים ראשונה ערבית ושנייה תשלומי מנחה טעה ולא התפלל ערבית עד שעלה עמוד השחר מתפלל שחרית שתים ראשונה שחרית והשניה תשלומי ערבית:

10

One who errs and does not recite two consecutive prayers can only compensate for the last of them. How is this [exemplified]?

One who errs and recites neither the Morning Prayer nor the Minchah Prayer should recite the Evening Prayer twice, the first as the Evening Prayer [itself] and the last as compensation for Minchah. The Morning Prayer, however, has no compensation, since its time has already passed. This is also the case for other prayers.

י

טעה ולא התפלל לא תפלה זו ולא תפלה הסמוכה לה אינו משלם אלא אחרונה בלבד כיצד טעה ולא התפלל לא שחרית ולא מנחה מתפלל ערבית שתים ראשונה ערבית והאחרונה תשלומי מנחה אבל שחרית אין לה תשלומין שכבר עבר זמנה וכן בשאר תפלות:

11

If two prayers are before him, Minchah and Musaf, he should first recite Minchah and afterwards Musaf. There are those who teach that one should not do this in a congregation, in order that people not err.

יא

היו לפניו שתי תפלות של מנחה ושל מוספין מתפלל של מנחה ואח"כ מתפלל של מוספין ויש מי שמורה שאין עושין בציבור כן כדי שלא יטעו:

Tefilah and Birkat Kohanim - Chapter Four

1

Five things prevent one from praying, even though the time [for prayer] has arrived:
1) the purification of one's hands;
2) the covering of nakedness;
3) the purity of the place of prayer;
4) things that might bother and distract one; and
5) the proper intention of one's heart.

א

חמשה דברים מעכבין את התפלה אף על פי שהגיע זמנה טהרת ידים וכיסוי הערוה וטהרת מקום תפלה ודברים החופזים אותו וכוונת הלב:

2

The purification of one's hands - What does this imply? One must wash his hands in water until the joint. [Only] afterwards may he pray.

[The following rules apply when] a person is travelling on the road when the time for prayer arrives: If he has no water, but is within four millin - i.e., 8000 cubits - of a source of water, he should proceed to it, wash his hands, and then pray. If the distance to the water is greater than this, he should clean his hands with pebbles, earth, or a beam, and pray.

ב

טהרת ידים כיצד רוחץ ידיו במים עד הפרק ואחר כך יתפלל היה מהלך בדרך והגיע זמן תפלה ולא היה לו מים אם היה בינו ובין המים ארבעה מילין שהם שמונת אלפים אמה הולך עד מקום המים ורוחץ ואח"כ יתפלל היה בינו ובין המים יותר על כן מקנח ידיו בצרור או בעפר או בקורה ומתפלל:

3

When does this apply? [When the water is] ahead of him. However, if the place with water is behind him, we do not obligate him to retrace his steps more than one mil. However, if he has passed further beyond the water, he is not obligated to return. Rather, he should clean his hands and pray.

When do the above statements requiring one to purify merely his hands alone for prayer apply? To the other services, but not for the Morning Prayer. For the Morning Prayer, one should wash his face, hands, and feet, and only afterwards, may he pray. If he is far from water, he may clean his hands only and then pray.

ג

בד"א לפניו אבל אם היה מקום המים לאחוריו אין מחייבין אותו לחזור לאחוריו אלא עד מיל אבל אם עבר מן המים יותר אינו חייב לחזור אלא מקנח ידיו ומתפלל במה דברים אמורים שאינו מטהר לתפלה אלא ידיו בלבד בשאר תפלות חוץ מתפלת שחרית אבל שחרית רוחץ פניו ידיו ורגליו ואחר כך יתפלל ואם היה רחוק מן המים מקנח ידיו בלבד ואח"כ יתפלל:

4

All the ritually impure need only wash their hands in order to pray, just like those not in such a state. Even if they are able to immerse themselves [in a mikveh] and ascend from their impure state, this immersion is not required [for prayer].

We have already explained that Ezra decreed that only one who has had a seminal emission is prohibited from Torah study until he has immersed himself. The Rabbinical Court [that existed afterwards] decreed that [this applies] even to prayer, i.e., such a person alone should not pray until he immerses himself.

These decrees were not put into effect because of questions of ritual purity and impurity, but rather to ensure that the Torah scholars would not overindulge in marital intimacy with their wives. Therefore, they instituted ritual immersion only for one who has a seminal emission, thereby excepting him from the other ritually impure.

ד

כל הטמאין רוחצין ידיהן בלבד כטהורין ומתפללים אע"פ שאפשר להם לטבול ולעלות מטומאתן אין הטבילה מעכבת וכבר בארנו שעזרא תיקן שלא יקרא בעל קרי בלבד בדברי תורה עד שיטבול ובית דין שעמדו אחר כן התקינו אף לתפלה שלא יתפלל בעל קרי בלבד עד שיטבול ולא מפני טומאה וטהרה נגעו בה אלא כדי שלא יהיו תלמידי חכמים מצויים אצל נשותיהן כתרנגולים ומפני זה תקנו טבילה לבעל קרי לבדו והוציאוהו מכלל הטמאין:

5

Therefore, at the time of this decree, it was said that even a זב who had a seminal emission, a menstruating woman who emitted semen, and a woman who saw traces of menstrual blood after relations, required immersion to recite the Shema and to pray because of the seminal emission, despite [the fact that they remained] ritually impure.

This is reasonable, since this immersion was not a matter of purity, but a result of the decree so that they would not constantly be with their wives.

This decree regarding prayer was also abolished, since it was not universally accepted by the Jewish people, and the community at large was unable to observe it.

ה

לפיכך היו אומרין בזמן תקנה זו שאפילו זב שראה קרי ונדה שפלטה שכבת זרע ומשמשת שראתה דם נדה צריכין טבילה לקריאת שמע וכן לתפלה מפני הקרי אף על פי שהם טמאין וכן הדין נותן שאין טבילה זו מפני טהרה אלא מפני הגזירה שלא יהיו מצויין אצל נשותיהן תמיד וכבר בטלה גם תקנה זו של תפלה לפי שלא פשטה בכל ישראל ולא היה כח בציבור לעמוד בה:

6

It is widespread custom in Shin'ar and Spain that one who has had a seminal emission does not pray until he has washed his whole body in water, [based on the command]: "Prepare to meet your God, Israel" (Amos 4:12).

To whom does this refer? To a healthy person or to a sick person who engaged in intimacy, but a sick person who has had an accidental emission is exempt from bathing and there is no such custom regarding this matter. Similarly, there is no such custom regarding a זב who has a seminal emission and a menstruating woman who emits semen. Rather, they should clean themselves, wash their hands, and pray.

ו

מנהג פשוט בשנער ובספרד שאין בעל קרי מתפלל עד שרוחץ כל בשרו במים משום הכון לקראת אלהיך ישראל בד"א בבריא או בחולה שבעל אבל חולה שראה קרי לאונסו פטור מן הרחיצה ואין בזה מנהג וכן זב שראה קרי ונדה שפלטה שכבת זרע אין בהן מנהג אלא מקנחין עצמן ורוחצין ידיהן ומתפללין:

7

The proper covering of one's nakedness: What is implied?

Even if one covers his genitalia in the fashion necessary for the recital of the Shema, he may not pray until he covers his heart. If one did not - or was unable to - cover his heart, as long as he covered his nakedness when he prayed, he has fulfilled his obligation. However, a priori, he should not do so.

ז

כיסוי הערוה כיצד אף על פי שכסה ערותו כדרך שמכסין לקריאת שמע לא יתפלל עד שיכסה את לבו ואם לא כסה לבו או שנאנס ואין לו במה יכסה הואיל וכסה ערותו והתפלל יצא ולכתחלה לא יעשה:

8

The purity of the place of prayer: What is implied?

One should not pray in a place of filth, a bathhouse, a latrine or garbage heap. [Similarly, one should not pray] in a place that is not presumed to be clean until he checks it.

The general rule is that one should not pray in any place in which one would not recite the Shema. [Thus,] just as one separates oneself from excreta, urine, a foul odor, a corpse and the sight of nakedness for Kri'at Shema, so too, he should separate himself for Shemoneh Esreh.

ח

טהרת מקום התפלה כיצד לא יתפלל במקום הטנופת ולא במרחץ ולא בבית הכסא ולא באשפה ולא במקום שאינו בחזקת טהרה עד שיבדקנו כללו של דבר כל מקום שאין קורין בו קריאת שמע אין מתפללין בו וכשם שמרחיקין מצואה וממי רגלים וריח רע ומן המת ומראיית הערוה לקריאת שמע כך מרחיקין לתפלה:

9

[The following rules apply] when one finds excreta in his place [of prayer.] Since he transgressed by not checking the place before he began to pray, he must pray again in a clean place.

[The following rules apply] when one finds excreta while he is in the midst of prayer: If he can walk forwards such that [the feces] will be left four cubits behind him, he should do so. If not, he should move to the side. If he is unable [to do the latter], he should stop praying.

The great Sages would refrain from praying in a house in which there was beer or brine at the time of its foaming because of the foul odor, even though it was a clean place.

ט

המתפלל ומצא צואה במקומו הואיל וחטא מפני שלא בדק עד שלא התפלל חוזר ומתפלל במקום טהור היה עומד בתפלה ומצא צואה כנגדו אם יכול להלך לפניו כדי שיזרקנה לאחריו ארבע אמות יהלך ואם לאו יסלקנה לצדדין ואם אינו יכול יפסיק גדולי החכמים לא היו מתפללים בבית שיש בו שכר ולא בבית שיש בו מורייס בעת עפושו מפני שריחו רע אע"פשהמקום טהור:

10

Things that might bother and distract him: What is implied?

One who must relieve himself should not pray. Whenever anyone who must relieve himself prays, his prayer is an abomination and he must pray again after he relieves himself.

If a person can restrain himself for the length of time that it takes to walk a parsah, his prayer is considered prayer.

Nevertheless, a priori, one should not pray until he has checked himself very well, checked his intestines, rid himself of phlegm and mucus and any [other] bothersome thing. [Only] afterwards should he pray.

י

דברים החופזים אותו כיצד אם היה צריך לנקביו לא יתפלל וכל הצריך לנקביו והתפלל תפלתו תועבה וחוזר ומתפלל אחר שיעשה צרכיו ואם יכול להעמיד עצמו כדי פרסה תפלתו תפלה ואף על פי כן לכתחלה לא יתפלל עד שיבדוק עצמו יפה יפה ויבדוק נקביו ויסיר כיחו וניעו וכל הדבר הטורדו ואחר כך יתפלל:

11

[The following rules apply to] one who burps, yawns, or sneezes during prayer: Should a person do so voluntarily, it is deprecating. [However,] if the person checked himself before he prayed and did so against his will, it is of no consequence.

If saliva comes up during prayer, one should cause it to be absorbed into his tallit or clothes. If he is bothered by this, he may throw it behind him with his hand in order that he not be bothered during his prayer and be distracted.

If one passes gas unwittingly during prayer, he should wait until the gas subsides and return to his prayer.

יא

מי שגיהק ופיהק ונתעטש בתפלתו אם לרצונו הרי זה מגונה ואם בדק גופו קודם שיתפלל ובא לאונסו אין בכך כלום נזדמן לו רוק בתפלתו מבליעו בטליתו או בבגדו ואם היה מצטער בכך זורקו בידו לאחוריו כדי שלא יצטער בתפלה ונמצא טרוד יצא ממנו רוח מלמטה כשהוא עומד בתפלה שלא לדעתו שוהה עד שתכלה הרוח וחוזר לתפלתו:

12

One who desires to pass gas from below and is bothered exceedingly, to the extent that he cannot restrain himself, should walk back four cubits, [expel the gas], and then wait until the gas subsides. He should say:

Master of all the world, You created us with many orifices and ducts. Our shame and disgrace is apparent and known before You. Shame and disgrace during our life, worm-eaten and decaying in our death.

He then returns to his place and prays.

יב

בקש להוציא רוח מלמטה ונצטער הרבה ואינו יכול להעמיד עצמו מהלך לאחריו ארבע אמות וממתין עד שתכלה הרוח ואומר רבון כל העולמים יצרתנו נקבים נקבים חלולים חלולים גלוי וידוע לפניך חרפתנו וכלמתנו חרפה וכלמה בחיינו תולעה ורמה במיתתנו וחוזר למקומו ומתפלל:

13

When urine flows on a person's legs during Shemoneh Esreh, he should wait until the flow ceases, and return to the place at which he stopped. If he waited the time necessary to complete his Shemoneh Esreh, he should return to the beginning.

יג

היה עומד בתפלה ונטפו מי רגליו על ברכיו ממתין עד שיכלו המים וחוזר למקום שפסק ואם שהה כדי לגמור את התפלה חוזר לראש:

14

Similarly, one who urinates should wait the length of time it takes to walk four cubits, and then pray. After one has prayed, he should wait this length of time before urinating, in order to make a distinction following the words of prayer.

יד

וכן המשתין מים שוהה כדי הילוך ד' אמות ואח"כ יתפלל ומשהתפלל שוהה אחר תפלתו כדי הילוך ארבע אמות ואחר כך משתין כדי שיפסוק דברי התפלה מפיו:

15

Proper intention: What is implied?

Any prayer that is not [recited] with proper intention is not prayer. If one prays without proper intention, he must repeat his prayers with proper intention.

One who is in a confused or troubled state may not pray until he composes himself. Therefore, one who comes in from a journey and is tired or irritated is forbidden to pray until he composes himself. Our Sages taught that one should wait three days until he is rested and his mind is settled, and then he may pray.

טו

כוונת הלב כיצד כל תפלה שאינה בכוונה אינה תפלה ואם התפלל בלא כוונה חוזר ומתפלל בכוונה מצא דעתו משובשת ולבו טרוד אסור לו להתפלל עד שתתיישב דעתו לפיכך הבא מן הדרך והוא עיף או מיצר אסור לו להתפלל עד שתתיישב דעתו אמרו חכמים ישהה שלשה ימים עד שינוח ותתקרר דעתו ואחר כך יתפלל:

16

What is meany by [proper] intention?

One should clear his mind from all thoughts and envision himself as standing before the Divine Presence. Therefore, one must sit a short while before praying in order to focus his attention and then pray in a pleasant and supplicatory fashion.

One should not pray as one carrying a burden who throws it off and walks away. Therefore, one must sit a short while after praying, and then withdraw.

The pious ones of the previous generations would wait an hour before praying and an hour after praying. They would [also] extend their prayers for an hour.

טז

כיצד היא הכוונה שיפנה את לבו מכל המחשבות ויראה עצמו כאלו הוא עומד לפני השכינה לפיכך צריך לישב מעט קודם התפלה כדי לכוין את לבו ואח"כ יתפלל בנחת ובתחנונים ולא יעשה תפלתו כמי שהיה נושא משאוי ומשליכו והולך לו לפיכך צריך לישב מעט אחר התפלה ואחר כך יפטר חסידים הראשונים היו שוהין שעה אחת קודם תפלה ושעה אחת לאחר תפלה ומאריכין בתפלה שעה:

17

A person who is drunk should not pray, because he cannot have proper intention. If he does pray, his prayer is an abomination. Therefore, he must pray again when he is clear of his drunkenness. One who is slightly inebriated should not pray, [but] if he prays, his prayer is prayer.

When is a person considered as drunk? When he is unable to speak before a king. [In contrast,] a person who is slightly inebriated is able to speak before a king without becoming confused. Nevertheless, since he drank a revi'it of wine, he should not pray until his wine has passed from him.

יז

שכור אל יתפלל מפני שאין לו כוונה ואם התפלל תפלתו תועבה לפיכך חוזר ומתפלל כשיתרוקן משכרותו שתוי אל יתפלל ואם התפלל תפלתו תפלה אי זה שכור זה שאינו יכול לדבר לפני המלך שתוי יכול לדבר בפני המלך ואינו משתבש אע"פ כן הואיל ושתה רביעית יין לא יתפלל עד שיסיר יינו מעליו:

18

Similarly, one should not stand to pray in the midst of laughter or irreverent behavior, nor in the midst of a conversation, argument or anger, but rather in the midst of words of Torah.

[However, one should not stand to pray] in the midst of a judgment or a [difficult] halachic issue, even though these are words of Torah, lest one's mind be distracted by the halachah in question. Rather, [one should pray] in the midst of words of Torah that do not require deep concentration, e.g., laws that have already been accepted.

יח

וכן אין עומדין להתפלל לא מתוך שחוק ולא מתוך קלות ראש ולא מתוך שיחה ולא מתוך מריבה ולא מתוך כעס אלא מתוך דברי תורה ולא מתוך דין והלכה אף על פי שהם דברי תורה כדי שלא יהא לבו טרוד בהלכה אלא מתוך דברי תורה שאין בה עיון כגון הלכות פסוקות:

19

Before reciting occasional prayers, e.g., the Musaf Prayer of Rosh Chodesh or the prayers of the festivals, one must review his prayers lest he make mistakes in them.

A person walking in a dangerous place, e.g., a place frequented by wild animals or bandits, when the time of the Amidah arrives, should recite [only] a single blessing:

The needs of Your people, Israel, are great and their knowledge is limited. May it be Your will, O God, our Lord, that You will provide each and every one with a sufficient livelihood, and give to each individual all that he lacks. And that which is good in Your eyes, You should do. Blessed are You, God, the One who hears prayer.

He may recite it as he walks on the road. [However,] if he is able to stop [to recite it], he should. When he arrives at a settlement and his mind is composed, he should recite a proper Amidah of 19 blessings.

יט

תפלות הפרקים כגון תפלת מוסף ראש חדש ותפלת מועדות צריך להסדיר תפלתו ואח"כ עומד ומתפלל כדי שלא יכשל בה היה מהלך במקום סכנה כגון מקום גדודי חיות ולסטים והגיע זמן תפלה מתפלל ברכה אחת וזו היא:

צרכי עמך ישראל מרובים ודעתם קצרה יהי רצון מלפניך ה' אלהינו שתתן לכל אחד ואחד כדי פרנסתו ולכל גויה וגויה די מחסורה והטוב בעיניך עשה ברוך אתה יי' שומע תפלה ומתפלל אותה בדרך כשהוא מהלך ואם יכול לעמוד עומד וכשהוא מגיע לישוב ותתקרר דעתו חוזר ומתפלל תפלה כתקנתה תשעה עשר ברכות:

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