Brachot 26

And so we come to the end of the 3rd chapter and start the 4th chapter of Masechet Brachot. The 4th chapter is one of my personal favourites but more of that soon.

In the Koren Summary of Perek III they state:-

“Several problems were addressed in this chapter. Primary among them is how the recitation of Shema requires one to distance himself from anything disgusting, filthy, or ritually impure. However, other related halakhic and aggadic matters were also cited”.

The Koren Introduction to Perek IV is also informative:-

“The primary focus of this chapter is the Amida prayer, also called Shemoneh Esreh (Eighteen), which was the number of blessings originally instituted in the weekday prayer. It is recited on weekdays, on Shabbat, and on Festivals. The fundamental question is: What is the source of the Amida prayer? Is it tied to Shema, the course of a person’s daily life, the days that turn into night and vice-versa? Or is the primary element its connection to the sacred service performed in the Temple, serving as a substitute form of worship since its destruction? This dilemma, manifest in the dispute amongst the Sages whether prayer was instituted by the Patriarchs or established parallel to the daily offerings in the Temple, touches upon the different characteristics of prayer and serves as a basis for the halakhic questions discussed in this chapter”.

איתמר, רבי יוסי ברבי חנינא אמר: תפלות אבות תקנום; רבי יהושע בן לוי אמר: תפלות כנגד תמידין תקנום. תניא כוותיה דרבי יוסי ברבי חנינא, ותניא כוותיה דרבי יהושע בן לוי. תניא כוותיה דרבי יוסי ברבי חנינא: אברהם תקן תפלת שחרית – שנאמר בראשית י”ט וישכם אברהם בבקר אל המקום אשר עמד שם, ואין עמידה אלא תפלה, שנאמר תהלים ק”ו ויעמד פינחס ויפלל; יצחק תקן תפלת מנחה – שנאמר +בראשית כ”ד ויצא יצחק לשוח בשדה לפנות ערב, ואין שיחה אלא תפלה, שנאמר תהלים ק”ב תפלה לעני כי – יעטף ולפני ה’ ישפך שיחו, יעקב תקן תפלת ערבית – שנאמר בראשית כ”ח ויפגע במקום וילן שם, ואין פגיעה אלא תפלה, שנאמר ירמיהו ז’ ואתה אל תתפלל בעד העם הזה ואל תשא בעדם רנה ותפלה ואל תפגע בי.

According to this opinion in the Talmud the Patriarchs instituted one of the daily prayer services each. The psukim quoted all make for a logical answer but we are left unconvinced due to the lack of a Patriarch for the Additional/Mussaf prayer. Maybe it just makes more sense that Ezra and the Men of the Great Assembly instituted fixed prayers for the weekday and Shabbat and festivals in order to replace the now lost Temple service.


About bookabazza

I am an Osteopath and University Lecturer who is trying to keep up with the 7 year daf yomi cycle. I thought I would try and share a few small thought on the daf each week.
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