Thursday, July 17, 2014

Origin of Communal Prayer


"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,

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