SECTION 50 The Rationale for Reciting the Mishnah Beginning Eizehu Mekoman. (1–3)

סימן נ טַעַם לָמָּה אוֹמְרִים מִשְׁנַת "אֵיזֶהוּ מְקוֹמָן" וּבוֹ ג' סְעִיפִים:

1 [The Sages] established [the practice of] reciting the chapter beginning Eizehu Mekoman1 and the beraisa beginning Rabbi Yishmael2 after the passage describing the daily burnt-offering, so that everyone will merit studying Scripture, Mishnah, and Talmud every day.3 For the beraisa beginning Rabbi Yishmael takes the place of Talmud, since Midrash4 is equivalent to the Talmud.

Because [this beraisa] is the opening passage of Toras Kohanim,5 i.e., the introduction to all the passages concerning the sacrifices, its [recitation] was ordained close to that of the sacrifices. Similarly, the mishnah beginning Eizehu Mekoman was ordained [to be recited] after [the passages describing] the daily sacrifice, as [implied by the interpretation of the verse],6 “In every place incense is burnt and sacrifices are offered to My name....” [Our Sages ask:] But is incense burnt and are sacrifices offered “in every place”?! Rather, this verse alludes to Torah scholars who study the laws of the sacrificial service [of the Beis HaMikdash] every day, wherever they are located — and [G‑d promises], “I consider it as if they burnt incense and offered sacrifices to My name.”

Another reason for which the chapter [beginning Eizehu Mekoman is recited] is that it does not include any differences of opinion [between the Sages].7 Rather, it is an unequivocal teaching transmitted to Moshe at Sinai.

א קָבְעוּ לִשְׁנוֹת אַחַר פָּרָשַׁת הַתָּמִידא פֶּרֶק "אֵיזֶהוּ מְקוֹמָן"ב,1 וּבְרַיְתָא דְּרַבִּי יִשְׁמָעֵאל,ג,2 כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּזְכֶּה כָּל אָדָם לִלְמֹד בְּכָל יוֹם3 מִקְרָא מִשְׁנָה וְתַלְמוּד,ד דִּבְרַיְתָא דְּרַבִּי יִשְׁמָעֵאל הִיא בִּמְקוֹם תַּלְמוּד שֶׁהַמִּדְרָשׁ4 כְּתַלְמוּד.ה וּמִפְּנֵי שֶׁהִיא תְּחִלַּת תּוֹרַת כֹּהֲנִים,5 שֶׁהוּא רֹאשׁ לְכָל פָּרָשַׁת הַקָּרְבָּנוֹת – קְבָעוּהָ אֵצֶל הַקָּרְבָּנוֹת.ו וְכֵן מִשְׁנַת "אֵיזֶהוּ מְקוֹמָן" קְבָעוּהָ אַחַר הַתָּמִיד, מִשּׁוּם שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר:ז,6 "וּבְכָל מָקוֹם מֻקְטָר מֻגָּשׁ לִשְׁמִי", וְכִי בְּכָל מָקוֹם מַקְטִירִין וּמַגִּישִׁין? אֶלָּא אֵלּוּ תַּלְמִידֵי חֲכָמִים שֶׁעוֹסְקִין בְּהִלְכוֹת עֲבוֹדָה בְּכָל יוֹם בְּכָל מָקוֹם שֶׁהֵם – מַעֲלֶה אֲנִי עֲלֵיהֶם כְּאִלּוּ מַקְטִירִים וּמַגִּישִׁים לִשְׁמִי.ח וְעוֹד, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁבְּפֶרֶק זֶה אֵין בּוֹ מַחֲלֹקֶתט,7 וְהוּא מִשְׁנָה בְּרוּרָה לְמֹשֶׁה מִסִּינַי:

2 The reading of the above chapter and above beraisa is considered as studying the Mishnah and the Talmud only for a person who understands [them].8 If a person does not understand, he must [first] learn and understand, for if not, this is not considered as study.9 For even with regard to prayer, it is preferable for one to pray in a language that he understands.10 Nevertheless, [with regard to prayer,] it could be argued that although he does not understand, the Holy One, blessed be He, knows his intent and understands [his words]. If, by contrast, one reads a mishnah without understanding it, this is not considered study at all.

ב אֵין קְרִיאַת פֶּרֶק זֶה וּבְרַיְתָא זוֹ עוֹלָה לְלִמּוּד מִשְׁנָה וְתַלְמוּד אֶלָּא לְמִי שֶׁמֵּבִין,י,8 אֲבָל מִי שֶׁאֵינוֹ מֵבִין – צָרִיךְ לִלְמֹד וּלְהָבִין, שֶׁאִם לֹא כֵן אֵינוֹ נֶחְשָׁב לְלִמּוּד,9 שֶׁאַף בִּתְפִלָּה מוּטָב לְהִתְפַּלֵּל בְּלָשׁוֹן שֶׁמֵּבִין,יא,10 אֶלָּא שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹמַר שֶׁאַף שֶׁהוּא אֵינוֹ מֵבִין הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא יוֹדֵעַ כַּוָּנָתוֹ וּמֵבִין, אֲבָל אִם אוֹמֵר הַמִּשְׁנָה וְאֵינוֹ מֵבִין – אֵינוֹ נִקְרָא לִמּוּד כְּלָל:

3 In some places, Eizehu Mekoman is not recited in the home of a mourner, for a mourner is forbidden to study the Torah. This is not a correct [practice], for any [passages] that are included in the order of the daily [prayers] are not included in [the prohibition against] Torah study by a mourner, as will be explained in sec. 554 and in Yoreh Deah, sec. 384.11

ג יֵשׁ מְקוֹמוֹת שֶׁאֵין אוֹמְרִים "אֵיזֶהוּ מְקוֹמָן" בְּבֵית הָאָבֵל,יב מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאָסוּר בְּתַלְמוּד תּוֹרָה. וְאֵין זֶה נָכוֹן, שֶׁכָּל שֶׁהוּא סֵדֶר הַיּוֹם – אֵין בּוֹ מִשּׁוּם תַּלְמוּד תּוֹרָה לָאָבֵל,יג כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן תקנ"דיד וּבְיוֹרֶה דֵּעָה סִימָן שפ"ד:11