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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Berakoth

Folio 9a

No! It is in reality day, but he calls it night because some people go to bed at that time. R. Aha b. Hanina said in the name of R. Joshua b. Levi: The Halachah is as stated by R. Simeon who said in the name of R. Akiba. R. Zera says: However, he must not say [the prayer]: 'cause us to lie down'.1  When R. Isaac b. Joseph came [from Palestine], he said: This [tradition] of R. Aha b. Hanina in the name of R. Joshua b. Levi was not expressly said [by R. Joshua], but it was said [by R. Aha] by inference.2  For it happened that a couple of scholars became drunk at the wedding feast of the son of R. Joshua b. Levi, and they came before R. Joshua b. Levi [before the rise of the sun] and he said: R. Simeon is a great enough authority to be relied on in a case of emergency.

IT ONCE HAPPENED THAT HIS SONS CAME HOME [LATE], etc. How is it that they had not heard before of this opinion of R. Gamaliel? — [They had heard], but they asked thus: Do the Rabbis join issue with you? For if so, where there is a controversy between an individual and a group, the Halachah follows the group. Or do the Rabbis agree with you [in substance], but they say: UNTIL MIDNIGHT, in order to keep a man far away from transgression? — He replied: The Rabbis do agree with me, and it is your duty [to recite the Shema']. But they say, UNTIL MIDNIGHT, in order to keep a man far from transgression.

AND NOT IN RESPECT TO THIS ALONE DID THEY SO DECIDE, etc. But does R. Gamaliel say 'until midnight', that he should continue AND NOT IN RESPECT TO THIS ALONE DID THEY SO DECIDE? — That is what R. Gamaliel said to his sons: Even according to the Rabbis who say, 'UNTIL MIDNIGHT', the obligation continues until the dawn breaks, but the reason they said, 'UNTIL MIDNIGHT', was in order to keep a man far away from transgression.

THE BURNING OF THE FAT, etc. But [the Mishnah] does not mention the eating of the Passover offering. This would point to a contradiction [with the following Baraitha]: The duty of the recital of the Shema' in the evening, and of the Hallel3  on the night of the Passover, and of the eating of the Passover sacrifice can be performed until the break of the dawn? — R. Joseph says: There is no contradiction. One statement [the Mishnah] conforms with the view of R. Eleazar b. Azariah, and the other with the view of R. Akiba. For it has been taught: And they shall eat of the flesh in that night.4  R. Eleazar b. Azariah says: Here it is said: 'in that night', and further on it is said: For I will go through the land of Egypt in that night.5  Just as the latter verse means until midnight, so also here it means until midnight. R. Akiba said to him: But it is also said: Ye shall eat it in haste,6  which means: until the time of haste?7  [Until the break of the dawn]. [Said R. Eleazar to him,]8  If that is so, why does it say: in the night? [R. Akiba answered,]8  Because I might think that it may be eaten in the daytime9  like the sacrifices; therefore it is said: 'in the night', indicating that only in the night is it eaten and not in the day. We can understand why according to R. Eleazar b. Azariah, whose opinion is based on the Gezerah shawah,10  the word 'that' is necessary. But according to R. Akiba what is the purpose of this word 'that'?11  — It is there to exclude another night. For, since the Passover sacrifice is a sacrifice of minor sanctity and peace-offerings are sacrifices of minor sanctity, I might think that just as the peace-offerings are eaten for two days and one night so is also the Passover-offering eaten for two nights instead of the two days, and therefore it might be eaten for two nights and one day! Therefore it is said: 'in that night'; in that night it is eaten, but it is not eaten in another night. And R. Eleazar b. Azariah?12  He deduces it from the verse: And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning.13  R. Akiba? — If [you deduced it] from there, I could say that 'morning' refers to the second morning. And R. Eleazar? — He answers you: 'Morning' generally means the first morning.

And [the controversy of] these Tannaim is like [the controversy of] the other Tannaim in the following Baraitha: There thou shalt sacrifice the passover-offering at even, at the going down of the sun, at the season that thou camest forth out of Egypt.14  R. Eliezer says: 'At even',15  you sacrifice; 'at sunset', you eat; and 'at the season that thou camest out of Egypt',16  you must burn [the remainder]. R. Joshua says: 'At even', you sacrifice; 'at sunset', you eat; a and how long do you continue to eat? Till 'the season that thou camest out of Egypt'.

R. Abba said: All agree that when Israel was redeemed17  from Egypt they were redeemed in the evening. For it is said: The Lord thy God brought thee forth out of Egypt by night.18  But they did not actually leave Egypt till the daytime. For it is said: On the morrow after the passover the children of Israel went out with a high hand.19  About what do they disagree? — About the time of the haste.20  R. Eleazar b. Azariah says: What is meant by 'haste'? The haste of the Egyptians.21  And R. Akiba says: It is the haste of Israel.22  It has also been taught likewise: 'The Lord thy God brought thee forth out of Egypt by night.' But did they leave in the night? Did not they in fact leave only in the morning, as it says: 'On the morrow after the passover the children of Israel went out with a high hand? But this teaches that the redemption had already begun in the evening.

Speak now [na] in the ears of the people, etc.23  In the school of R. Jannai they said: The word 'na' means: I pray. The Holy One, blessed be He, said to Moses: I pray of thee, go and tell Israel, I pray of you to borrow from the Egyptians vessels of silver and vessels of gold, so that

To Part b

Original footnotes renumbered. See Structure of the Talmud Files
  1. V. P.B. p. 99. This is essentially a night prayer.
  2. From a decision of R. Joshua.
  3. V. Glos.
  4. Ex. XII, 8.
  5. Ibid. 12.
  6. Ibid. 11.
  7. The hour of the break of dawn, when they hastened out of Egypt, v. Ex. XII, 22.
  8. Inserted with MS.M.
  9. I.e., during the very day on which it was slaughtered.
  10. V. Glos.
  11. The text should have simply stated 'in the night'.
  12. How does he deduce this latter ruling?
  13. Ibid. XII, 10.
  14. Deut. XVI, 6.
  15. In the afternoon.
  16. At the break of dawn. Hence according to R. Eliezer, the time of eating extends only till midnight.
  17. I.e., obtained permission to leave.
  18. Ibid. XVI, 1.
  19. Num. XXXIII, 3.
  20. Which is the termination of the time when it is permitted to eat; v. Ex. XII, 11 and the Gemara above.
  21. At midnight the Egyptians hastened to urge Israel to leave Egypt.
  22. I.e., in the morning when the Israelites hastened to go out.
  23. Ex. XI, 2.
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Berakoth 9b

this righteous man [Abraham] may not say: And they shall serve them, and they shall afflict them1  He did fulfill for them, but And afterward shall they come out with great substance2  He did not fulfill for them. They said to him: If only we could get out with our lives! A parable: [They were] like a man who was kept in prison and people told him: To-morrow, they will release you from the prison and give you plenty of money. And he answered them: I pray of you, let me go free today and I shall ask nothing more!

And they let them have what they asked.3  R. Ammi says: This teaches that they let them have it against their will. Some say, against the will of the Egyptians, and some say, against the will of the Israelites. Those that say 'against the will of the Egyptians' cite the verse: And she that tarrieth at home divideth the spoil.4  Those that say: 'against the will of the Israelites', say it was because of the burden [of carrying it]. And they despoiled Egypt.5  R. Ammi says: This teaches that they made it like a snare6  without corn. Resh Lakish said: They made it like a pond without fish.

I am that I am.7  The Holy One, blessed be He, said to Moses: Go and say to Israel: I was with you in this servitude, and I shall be with you in the servitude of the [other] kingdoms.8  He said to Him: Lord of the Universe, sufficient is the evil in the time thereof! Thereupon the Holy One, blessed be He, said to him: Go and tell them: I AM has sent me unto you.9

Hear me, O Lord, hear me.10  R. Abbahu said: Why did Elijah say twice: 'Hear me'? This teaches that Elijah said before the Holy One, blessed be He: Lord of the Universe, 'hear me', that the fire may descend from heaven and consume everything that is upon the altar; and 'hear me', that Thou mayest turn their mind that they may not say that it was the work of sorcery. For it is said: For Thou didst turn their heart backward.11


GEMARA. What is the meaning of BETWEEN BLUE AND WHITE? Shall I say: between a lump of white wool and a lump of blue wool? This one may also distinguish in the night! It means rather: between the blue in it and the white in it.13  It has been taught: R. Meir says: [The morning Shema' is read] from the time that one can distinguish between a wolf and a dog; R. Akiba says: Between an ass and a wild ass. Others say: From the time that one can distinguish his friend at a distance of four cubits. R. Huna says: The halachah is as stated by the 'Others'. Abaye says: In regard to the tefillin,14  the halachah is as stated by the 'Others'; in regard to [the recital of] the Shema', as practised by the watikin.15  For R. Johanan said: The watikin used to finish it [the recital of the Shema'] with sunrise, in order to join the ge'ullah with the tefillah,16  and say the tefillah in the daytime. R. Zera says: What text can be cited in support of this? They shall fear Thee with the sun,17  and so long as the moon throughout all generations.18  R. Jose b. Eliakim testified19  in the name of the holy community of Jerusalem:20  If one joins the ge'ullah to the tefillah, he will not meet with any mishap for the whole of the day. Said R. Zera: This is not so! For I did join, and did meet with a mishap. They asked him: What was your mishap? That you had to carry a myrtle branch into the king's palace?21  That was no mishap, for in any case you would have had to pay something in order to see the king! For R. Johanan said: A man should always be eager to run to see the kings of Israel. And not only to see the kings of Israel, but also to see the kings of the Gentiles, so that, if he is found worthy,22  he may be able to distinguish between the kings of Israel and the kings of the Gentiles.

R. Ela said to 'Ulla: When you go up there,23  give my greeting to my brother R. Berona in the presence of the whole college, for he is a great man and rejoices to perform a precept [in the correct manner]. Once he succeeded in joining ge'ullah with tefillah,24  and a smile did not leave his lips the whole day. How is it possible to join the two, seeing that R. Johanan has said:25  At the beginning of the tefillah one has to say, O, Lord, open Thou my lips,26  and at the end he has to say, Let the words of my mouth be acceptable etc.?27  — R. Eleazar replied: This28  must then refer to the tefillah of the evening. But has not R. Johanan said: Who is it that is destined for the world to come? One who joins the ge'ullah of the evening with the tefillah of the evening? — Rather said R. Eleazar: This must then refer to the tefillah of the afternoon. R. Ashi said: You may also say that it refers to all the tefillahs, but since the Rabbis instituted [these words]28  in the tefillah, the whole is considered one long tefillah. For if you do not admit this, how can he join in the evening, seeing that he has to say the benediction of 'Let us rest'?29  You must say then that, since the Rabbis ordained the saying of 'Let us rest', it is considered one long ge'ullah.30  So here, since the Rabbis instituted these words in the tefillah, the whole is considered one long tefillah.

Seeing that this verse, 'Let the words of my mouth be acceptable etc.' is suitable for recital either at the end or the beginning [of the tefillah], why did the Rabbis institute it at the end of the eighteen benedictions? Let it be recited at the beginning? — R. Judah the son of R. Simeon b. Pazzi said: Since David said it only after eighteen chapters [of the Psalms],31  the Rabbis too enacted that it should be said after eighteen blessings. But those eighteen Psalms are really nineteen? — 'Happy is the man' and 'Why are the nations in an uproar'32  form one chapter. For R. Judah the son of R. Simeon b. Pazzi said: David composed a hundred and three chapters [of psalms], and he did not say 'Hallelujah' until he saw the downfall of the wicked, as it says, Let sinners cease out of the earth, and let the wicked be no more. Bless the Lord, O my soul. Hallelujah.33  Now are these a hundred and three? Are they not a hundred and four? You must assume therefore that 'Happy is the man' and 'Why are the nations in an uproar' form one chapter. For R. Samuel b. Nahmani said in the name of R. Johanan:

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Original footnotes renumbered. See Structure of the Talmud Files
  1. Gen. XV, 14.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Ex. XII, 36.
  4. Ps. LXVIII, 13.
  5. Ex. XII, 36.
  6. For birds with corn for a lure. Var. lec.: like husks without grain, like a net without fish.
  7. Ibid. III, 14.
  8. Babylon and Rome.
  9. Ibid.
  10. I Kings XVIII, 37.
  11. Ibid. Sc., from such a thought.
  12. It is not a transgression. On the contrary, he has the ordinary merit of one who reads in the Torah, though he has not fulfilled the obligation of reading the Shema'.
  13. In one and the same lump of wool which was dyed blue but had some white spots in it. J. T. refers it to the 'fringes' which contain a thread of blue and which are used when reading the Shema'.
  14. I.e., the time for putting them on. MS.M. reads Tefillah (v. Glos.).
  15. Lit., strong' (sc., in piety), a title probably applied to certain men who, in the time of the Hasmonean kingdom, set an example of exceptional piety. Some identify them with the Essenes.
  16. V. supra 4b.
  17. I.e., when the sun rises. E.V. 'While the sun endureth'.
  18. Ps. LXXII, 5.
  19. I.e., transmitted a tradition.
  20. V. J.E. p. 226.
  21. He was compelled to do some forced labour. V. T.J.
  22. To live to the time of the restoration of the Jewish kingdom and to see the Jewish kings.
  23. To Palestine.
  24. Apparently this means, having read the Shema' after the manner of the watikin. V. Tosaf. ad loc.
  25. V. supra, 4b.
  26. Ps. LI, 17.
  27. Ps. XIX, 15.
  28. The recital of these extra verses at the beginning and end of the tefillah.
  29. V. supra, 4b.
  30. The benediction of 'Let us rest' also comes between ge'ullah and tefillah.
  31. It comes at the end of Ps. XIX.
  32. The opening verses of Pss. I and II.
  33. Ibid. CIV, 35.
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