Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Rif Brachot 3a


it is like a lengthy geula [blessing].

And in the morning prayer {Shemoneh Esrei} one also needs to juxtapose geula to the {Amida} prayer. And even though in the beginning one says (Tehillim 51:17)

יז ה, שְׂפָתַי תִּפְתָּח; וּפִי, יַגִּיד תְּהִלָּתֶךָ. 17 O Lord, open Thou my lips; and my mouth shall declare Thy praise.

since the Sages established ה שְׂפָתַי תִּפְתָּח in the prayer, it is like a lengthy prayer {Amida}.

Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said: even though a person said keriat Shema in shul, it is a mitzvah to read it upon his bed, and specifically the first parsha of Shema, as we say in Perek HaRoeh {Brachot daf 60}.

{Brachot 5a} Rabbi Nachman (*bar Yitzchak) said {as regards this Shema said upon the bed}: if he is a Torah scholar he need not. Abaye said: even a Torah scholar needs to say one verse of mercy, such as beYadecha `afqid ruchi - "In Your hands I entrust my soul."

R"A {perhaps Rav Ashi who might (or else Mar Zutra) give the prooftext? The gemara seems to have R Yitzchak} said: One who reads the kriyat Shema upon his bed, it is as if he is wielding a double-edged sword. For it says in Tehillim 149:5-6:

ה יַעְלְזוּ חֲסִידִים בְּכָבוֹד; יְרַנְּנוּ, עַל-מִשְׁכְּבוֹתָם. 5 Let the saints exult in glory; let them sing for joy upon their beds.
ו רוֹמְמוֹת אֵל, בִּגְרוֹנָם; וְחֶרֶב פִּיפִיּוֹת בְּיָדָם. 6 Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand;
{Now the Rif brings in Shevuot 15b about the Shir Shel Pegaim because it continues into Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi saying one says this upon the bed.}

And we are gores there that the (Shevuot 15b) that the Shir Shel Pegaim is with כנורות, נבלים, and תופים {different types of musical instruments} and they say Tehillim 91:1

א יֹשֵׁב, בְּסֵתֶר עֶלְיוֹן; בְּצֵל שַׁדַּי, יִתְלוֹנָן. 1 O thou that dwellest in the covert of the Most High, and abidest in the shadow of the Almighty;

until Tehillim 91:9:

ט כִּי-אַתָּה יְהוָה מַחְסִי; עֶלְיוֹן, שַׂמְתָּ מְעוֹנֶךָ. 9 For thou hast made the LORD who is my refuge, even the Most High, thy habitation.

and then say Tehillim 3:2:

ב ה, מָה-רַבּוּ צָרָי; רַבִּים, קָמִים עָלָי. 2 LORD, how many are mine adversaries become! Many are they that rise up
until Tehillim 3:9:

ט לַה הַיְשׁוּעָה; עַל-עַמְּךָ בִרְכָתֶךָ סֶּלָה. 9 Salvation belongeth unto the LORD; Thy blessing be upon Thy people. Selah

Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi ordered all of these verses {to be said before going to sleep}.
How could he do this? But Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said that it is forbidden to cure oneself using words of Torah!?
To protect oneself, it is different. {End quote of the gemara}

{Brachot 5b} We learnt in a brayta: Abba Binyamin says: all my days I troubled myself about 2 things: that my prayer should be close to my bed, and that my bed should be placed from North to South.

Rav Chamma bar Chanina said, and some say Rav Yitzchak said: Anyone who places his bed from north to south will have male children, as it states in Tehillim 17:14:

יד מִמְתִים יָדְךָ יְהוָה, מִמְתִים מֵחֶלֶד--
חֶלְקָם בַּחַיִּים, וצפינך (וּצְפוּנְךָ) תְּמַלֵּא בִטְנָם:
יִשְׂבְּעוּ בָנִים-- וְהִנִּיחוּ יִתְרָם, לְעוֹלְלֵיהֶם.
14 From men, by Thy hand, O LORD, from men of the world, {N}
whose portion is in this life, and whose belly Thou fillest with Thy treasure; {N}
who have children in plenty, and leave their abundance to their babes.
{with וּצְפוּנְךָ being taken to mean North rather than treasure, and בָנִים taken to mean boys rather than children generally.}

They learnt in a brayta: Abba Binyamin says: Two who entered a shul to pray and one of them finished his prayer before his friend, and does not wait for his friend, but leaves, his prayer is torn up before his face, for it says (Iyyov 18:4)

ד טֹרֵף נַפְשׁוֹ, בְּאַפּוֹ: הַלְמַעַנְךָ, תֵּעָזַב אָרֶץ; וְיֶעְתַּק-צוּר, מִמְּקֹמוֹ. 4 Thou that tearest thyself in thine anger, shall the earth be forsaken for thee? Or shall the rock be removed out of its place?
{Perhaps the prompting for this is two psukim earlier, that Bildad says that his friend should consider - in prayer - and afterwards they will speak:
ב עַד-אָנָה, תְּשִׂימוּן קִנְצֵי לְמִלִּין; תָּבִינוּ, וְאַחַר נְדַבֵּר. 2 How long will ye lay snares for words? Consider, and afterwards we will speak.

And if he waits, what is his reward?
Rabbi Chanina said: he merits these blessings that it says in Yeshaya 48:18ff:

יח לוּא הִקְשַׁבְתָּ, לְמִצְו‍ֹתָי; וַיְהִי כַנָּהָר שְׁלוֹמֶךָ, וְצִדְקָתְךָ כְּגַלֵּי הַיָּם. 18 Oh that thou wouldest hearken to My commandments! then would thy peace be as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea;

{etc., read there.}

And the Sages explained it and applied it to the evening prayer, for if he leaves him alone and goes, they fear lest he {his friend} come to danger. Therefore he needs to wait for his friend until he finishes his prayer.

{Brachot 3a} They learnt in a brayta: Rabbi Yossi said: One time I was travelling on the road, and I entered a ruin of the ruins of Yerushalayim in order to pray, and Eliyahu, may he be remembered for good, came, and watched over me {while standing} at the entrance until I finished, and when I finished he said to me "Peace be upon you my master." I said to him "Peace be upon you my master and teacher."
He said to me: My son, why did you enter this ruin?
I said to him: To pray.
He said to me: You should have prayed on the road.
I said to him: I feared lest passersby interrupt me.
He said to me: You should have prayed a short prayer
{Tefilla Ketzara, but it is not clear that Tefilla Ketzara is meant literally, with its full implications as elsewhere.}
At that time I learnt from him three things: I learnt that we pray

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