Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Rif Brachot 15b



{Brachot 24b}
One who causes his voice to be heard in prayer is of those of little faith, and one who raises his voice in prayer is of the false prophets.
If he belches or yawns voluntarily he is of the arrogant, but involuntarily, there is nothing to it.
One who passes wind from below - this is a bad omen for him - and others say, it is clear that he is a violator {our gemara has "a debased one"}.
But one who sneezes {passes wind} from above - it is a good omen for him - just as they give him relief below {on earth}, so too they give him relief above {in heaven}.

And one who spits while in prayer is as if he spits before the king. But if he has to spit when standing in prayer, he should absorb it in his tallit. And if his tallit is nice he should absorb it in his scarf. And if he is squeamish it is permitted to spit behind him.

And it is forbidden to wrap himself {in the tallit if it fell off} and to place his hand on his chin {when he belches. the Rif seems to have a different girsa here than our gemara, which has Rabbi putting his hand on his chin} when he stands in prayer.

"One who causes hsi voice to be heard - he is of those who are little of faith."
Rav Huna said: they only said this in the case where he is able to have concentration {direct his heart} while silent, but if he is not able to have concentration while silent, it is permitted.
And these words are when he isby himself, but when in a congregation, no.
What is the reason? Because perhaps he will disturb the congregation.

They learnt {in a brayta}: If he was standing in prayer and he passes gas, he should wait until the smell passes and then prays. If he wishes to pass gas, he walks back 4 cubits and passes gas, and waits until the smell passes. And when the wind passes, he says: Master of the worlds, You have created us with different holes and hollows. It is revealed and known before your our disgrace, embarrassment and shame - disgrace and shame in our lives, and worms and rotting in our deaths. And he prays {resumes his prayer}.

Rav Huna said: a Torah scholar may not stand in a filthy place, for it is impossible for him to not have {think thoughts of} Torah.
And Rabbi Yochanan said, in all {places} it is permitted to meditate {on thoughts of Torah} with the exclusion of a bath house and a privy.

They learnt {in a brayta}: one should not walk in the filthy alleyways and place his hand over his mouth and recite Shema. And not only that but if he was reading and comes {to such an alleyway} he should pause.
If he does not pause, what?
R Mayasha the son of the son of Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi cited Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi: Upon him the Scripture states: (Yechezkel 20:25)

כה וְגַם-אֲנִי נָתַתִּי לָהֶם, חֻקִּים לֹא טוֹבִים; וּמִשְׁפָּטִים--לֹא יִחְיוּ, בָּהֶם. 25 Wherefore I gave them also statutes that were not good, and ordinances whereby they should not live;
Rav Ada bar Matna said: (Bamidbar 15:31)

לא כִּי דְבַר-ה בָּזָה, וְאֶת-מִצְוָתוֹ הֵפַר; הִכָּרֵת תִּכָּרֵת הַנֶּפֶשׁ הַהִוא, עֲו‍ֹנָה בָהּ. {פ 31 Because he hath despised the word of the LORD, and hath broken His commandment; that soul shall utterly be cut off, his iniquity shall be upon him. {P}
Rav {our gemara has Rav Asi} said: (Yeshaya 5:18)

יח הוֹי מֹשְׁכֵי הֶעָו‍ֹן, בְּחַבְלֵי הַשָּׁוְא; וְכַעֲבוֹת הָעֲגָלָה, חַטָּאָה. 18 Woe unto them that draw iniquity with cords of vanity, and sin as it were with a cart rope,
And if he pauses, what {is his reward}?

Rabbi Avahu said: Upon him the Scriptures say: (Devarim 32:47)

מז כִּי לֹא-דָבָר רֵק הוּא, מִכֶּם--כִּי-הוּא, חַיֵּיכֶם; וּבַדָּבָר הַזֶּה, תַּאֲרִיכוּ יָמִים עַל-הָאֲדָמָה, אֲשֶׁר אַתֶּם עֹבְרִים אֶת-הַיַּרְדֵּן שָׁמָּה, לְרִשְׁתָּהּ. {פ 47 For it is no vain thing for you; because it is your life, and through this thing ye shall prolong your days upon the land, whither ye go over the Jordan to possess it.' {P}
And when he returns he should return to the place where he left off, even if he paused

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