Thursday, July 24, 2014

The tent with four doors

Hi,

"Your house should be open wide. How so? This teaches that one’s house should be open wide to the south, east, north and west, as Job prepared four entrances to his house. Why did Job prepare four entrances to his house? So that the needy would not pain themselves to circumnavigate the entire house. One who came from the north could enter normally, one who came from the south could enter normally, and so from each direction. Therefore Job prepared four entrances to his home."

(Midrash, Avot d'Rabbi Natan 7:1)

המצפה לישועה,
Mordechai

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The reward for community service

Hi,

"Rabbi Shimon ben  Lakish taught: Shaul merited to take the throne only because his grandfather lit lamps for the community.

"Thus he was named Ner [lamp] – Divrei haYamim I 8:33 says, "Ner fathered Kish", but Shemuel I 9:1 says "Kish the son of Aviel" – Shaul's grandfather's name was Aviel, but because he lit lamps for the community, he was also called Ner."

(Talmud Yerushalmi Sheviit 3:7)

המצפה לישועה,
Mordechai

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Praying with our eyes and hearts

Hi,

"One sage said: One who prays must turn his eyes downward, as Kings I 9:3 says, 'My eyes and My heart will be there forever.' A second said: His eyes should be upward, as Lamentations 3:41 says, 'We will raise our hearts in our hands.'

"Rabbi Yishmael son of Rabbi Yosi joined them; he asked, 'What are you discussing?' They said, 'Prayer.' He said, 'My father said: One who prays must turn his eyes downward and his heart upward, to satisfy these two verses.'" 

(Talmud, Yevamot 105b)

המצפה לישועה,
Mordechai

Monday, July 21, 2014

Numerology in the Amidah?

Hi,

"The Ashkenazi sages have said that in the first three blessings [of the Amidah] there are 107 words, because they are based on Psalm 29 which contains 91 words, and Isaiah 29:23 [16 words]."

(Tur Orach Chaim 113)

המצפה לישועה,
Mordechai

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Our Three Names

Hi,

"A person is called three names: One that his father and mother call him, one that others call him, and one that he is called in the chronicle of his life."

(Midrash, Kohelet Rabbah 7:3)

Alternatively:


A person is called three names: One that his father and mother call him, one that others call him, and one that he acquires for himself. The best of them is the one that he acquires for himself.

(Midrash Tanchuma, Vayyakhel 1)

המצפה לישועה,
Mordechai

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Origin of Communal Prayer

Hi,

"From the time of our master Moses until the Great Assembly, the Shechinah was revealed at the site of offerings, and prophecy remained in Israel, and each individual's prayer and blessing to G-d for his benefit from this world was heard. 

"To me, this is why Jews did not gather in their places of dwelling in those days, evening and morning and afternoon, at a special site, to pray as a community. Rather, each one prayed individually wherever it happened – for we do not find in the Prophets or Writings a communal prayer, until after the destruction, when the Great Assembly enacted eighteen blessings and the sacred recitations that requre a minyan.

"Granted that Moses enacted for Israel that they should read from the Torah… but as far as prayer, which did not have one form for all but rather each person spoke according to the purity of his tongue, it appears that each person prayed privately, wherever he could."

(Mabit, Beit Elokim, Shaarei haYesodot 38)

המצפה לישועה,
Mordechai

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Add to your amidah

Hi,

"Rav Yehudah son of Rav Shemuel bar Shelat cited Rav: Although they have said that one may make all of his requests in the blessing of 'He who hears prayer', one who wishes to add at the end of each blessing in keeping with its theme may do so.

"Rabbi Chiya bar Ashi cited Rav: Although they have said that one may make all of his requests in the blessing of 'He who hears prayer', one who has an ill person in his home may mention it in the blessing for the sick, and one who needs parnasah may mention it in the blessing of the years.


"Rabbi Chiya bar Ashi cited Rav: Although they have said that one may make all of his requests in the blessing of 'He who hears prayer', one who wishes to recite more after his prayer may even add a prayer like that of Yom Kippur."

(Talmud, Avodah Zarah 8a)

המצפה לישועה,
Mordechai