HISTORY OF PRAYER
Dr. Yosef Tabory – Spring 2000
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Wednesday June 28
With prayer, tendency to pray for immediate personal needs. Issue is what do we mean by prayer and how do we communicate with God – how can he help us. For some, prayer is like korbanot – have to get all details correct – meticulous service. People think you just have to do the ritual properly like the sacrifice. Others have their minds wandering.
Present a paper and a test. The paper will deal with one of the aspects of Tefilah. Find what appeared in the meantime – pick a subject and read the articles and do more basic research in primary sources. Read from the hoveret a book by Heineman and articles by Fleischer.
READ 8th CHAPTER OF HEINAMAN’S BOOK
First, what is tefilla? We think of it as not so much praise of God, but as personal immediate requests. An ability to affect what God will do. Some hold payer is not meant to influence God, but prayer is to change the person who prays. He prays that he will be happy with what he has. Cain has the first prayer as a request. Adam doesn’t formalize a request. Prayer is communication with God – we talk to God, God talks to us as nevua or Torah. When we learn Torah, we are learning the word of God. When we talk to God, we are basically praying. When we think of prayer as a communication, Adam spoke to God and would be the first. In tanach, all prayers are spontaneous. With few exceptions, no formulaic blessings. Mikra Bikkurim and Yidduyi Maaser. Birkat Kohanim is addressed to the people – they are talking to people. On a korban hatat, there is no formula for confessing the sin, but is required. Shma’ is not a tefilla – it’s when we listen to d’var hashem. Even those which are obligatory, they are only for specific times or occasions. The tefilla of tehilim, Hanna and Yona are spontaneous and for a need.
In Bayit Sheni in sefer hitzonim, find other prayers. Daniel is evidence that in the time of Daniel there was a custom to pray three times a day. We don’t know when it started. Daniel is at the end of Hurban bayit rishon. Question is when did this custom start. We pray three times a day depending on how you divide the day. The tamid is morning and afternoon – you can do something tamid and it means perpetually like the menorah which was always burning. Also have doing an action many times. You can’t offer sacrifices 24hr a day, but you divide up the day to make it as if you are doing it all day. The korban tamid is morning and night. Hazal divided that into morning noon and night. This is unique to Daniel and does not follow the pattern of korbanot. Have in tehilim erev, boker and tzaharaim.
Find prayers in Qumran. Also find that they prayed at specific times dutring the day. What is unique about Qumran is that they broke away from the beit hamikdash. The people who are obligated to pray 3 times a day is connected to korbanot in both time and theologically. Fixed prayer becomes a ritual and it must also be done precisely. You can’t just ask someone to pray regularly and spontaneously. Once you formalize the prayer, you lose the spontaneity and the kavanah as well. Tefilah is associated with korbanot and the idea that when the ritual of korbanot is no longer available, you look for an alternate worship of God. Idea of ma’amadot – mishna in Taanint about the mishmarim. This is only mentioned in passing; the mishna starts by saying that the kohanim did birkat kohanim 5 times a day, thus mentioned but as a digression. Easy to add conjectures based on this. Tabory wrote that the maamadot were originally a form of liturgy at a time when there was no temple worship. Tefilla began at the time of the anshe kenesset hagedolah at the beginning of bayit sheni. Some hold it began around bayit rishon.
One of Tabory’s question is during the time of the hashmonaim when there were no korbanot, what did they do? We know that at the time of the 2nd hurban, this was a major catastrophe and thought it was the end of Judaism. He assumes that when the Syrians polluted the temple, there must have been a similar feeling. When Shimon Hatzadik said that avoda was one of the 3 things on which the world stands and lived before the hashmonaim – this was not a statement of R. Shimon, but a general feeling of the time and the need for avoda.
Today, we don’t have sacrifices, we have pasuk in Hosea the time will come when we can pay all those vows. The hazal was we will pay the debt with our mouth – the study of the texts of the korbanot. The maamadot are represented by hazal as being part of the liturgy of the temple. The purpose was to stand at the beit hamikdash and read the torah. The natural thing would be for them to read the korbanot – you read what you are doing. The most obvious place of this was the kohen gadol on yom kippur who reads about seder avodat kohanim. The king on hakel read parashat hamelech. Two parshiot which talk about mezuzah therefore have two parshiyot. 4 for tefillin. But with the kohanim, they read from bereishit – the days of the week. Reading about the creation supports the creation. You short circuit the maintaining of the world not by korbanot but by reading the creation.
Clear that the kohanim ruled the mikdash. The hahamim tried to take over (taharat hametzora main authority was the haham) and tell the kohanim what to do, ultimately, the kohanim were in charge. The yisraelim had nothing to do in the mikdash. Maamadot come to stress the idea that everybody is an equal part of the korbanot. Three are read in the maamadot – the division of 3 readers is not a natural division because on Sunday had to read part of Monday so that you have enough. Every day, they read two days. You divide into three for the three classes and give everyone an equal share – equal partners in the avoda. On Friday, they read vayechulu – got the pesukim from Thursday. They did not read on Shabbat – there were no maamadot on Shabbat because Shabbat was a time when everybody learned torah. Evidence that people gathered to learn not to pray. Therefore didn’t need delegation of people to. Used Torah as avoda instead of korbanot – hadn’t gotten to prayer. Formalized liturgy takes place. The maamadot were an attempt of liturgical replacement of the korbanot or a surrogate. One of the ideas they instituted was democracy and no need for Shabbat or yom tov. When Philo writes about the pesach, everyone does their own korban. Philo describing this says every Jew reaches the level of a Kohein.
This reconstruction solve issue of the role of the kohanim in the maamadot. In the time of hazal, find all three groups participated. The kohanim stood on the steps, the levim stood on the duchan and the yisraelim stood outside and their observation was equivalent to participation. By watching what the kohanim did they were doing the avoda themselves. In the temple. we have three groups and the yisraelim were called the maamad. Presumably, the kohanim were not part of the maamadim. In the liturgical maamad, there were clearly kohanim. Tabory argues that at some time when temple worship was not considered to be done properly, they looked for a substitute to keep the work going and instituted maamad of people going to different locations (no singular one because then like a bama conflicting with the temple) where everyone participates.
Afterwards, when the temple was restored, hazal were not willing to give up the democracy, but couldn’t do it in the framework of the beit hamikdash. They took the people from the maamad and some came to yerushalayim and were present at the avoda. Tabory claims this was one of the original surrogates. They did not use prayer, but used the learning of the Torah and did have the idea of equality. No requirement for hazan to be a kohein.
See the mishna in Tamid 5:1 of prayer in bayit sheni. Didn’t have amida, but series of berachot. The berachot which they said and the mahloket in the gemara (if ahava) and read shema, birkat kohanim emet veyatziv. One or three brachot of hodaya if you include avoda (retzei) or not. Birkat shalom isn’t hodaya but a bakasha. If only the kohanim, not a tefilla at all. Clear that shalom was an appendix to the amida which ends with tov shimcha…lehodaot. Also, you have mishtahavim at the beginning and the end by the hoyada. You don’t have the 3-13-3 symmetry, have 3-14-1, but do have symmetry of bowing. Included in the tefilla is the birkat kohanim but not the one from the mikdash. Non-mikdashik concept because no place for 5 times a day birkat kohanim or neilah. Have example of small liturgy at time of temple.
Have liturgy of kohein gadol and hakel. This is a liturgy not just learning because the kohein added 8 berachot (according to hazal also said at hakhel). Common to all three liturgies: all had blessings and they all developed around the reading of the Torah. They add to this the berachot.
Thursday June 29
Tefilla in the mikra: The torah says that in a time of tzara, ki tavo milchama…the Torah is prescribing a call to God v’hareiotem b’hatzotzrot. Hazal have an opinion that this is terua’ with an instrument. This implies that the Torah doesn’t mention any other way of explaining trouble. From this pasuk, Ramban derives that if there is a hiyyuv of tefilla, it is only in a time of distress. Sefer haHinuch says that according to the Ramban if someone is in a time of tzara doesn’t pray, misses a mitzvat ase. Ramban himself isn’t clear in this statement if there is at all, then it is only in a time of trouble. Bur Ramban says clearly at the end of the Sefer HaMitzvoth, he says explicity that he doesn’t count the mitzvah of tefillah even in the time of trouble.
What prayer do we have? We have two full versions of havineinu (Bavli and Yerushalmi). Personal prayers, yehi ratzons. Asherei and last 5 perakim of tehilim. Keddusha is mentioned as part of the liturgy in Sotah, but not the complete liturgy – a pasuk from yeshayahu (kadosh) and yehezkel (baruch). Hazal understood the relationship as each one experienced the same thing differently – in kedusha, we see the melachim as a choir of angels. Not two aspects of the same vision, but seeing something else – some says kadosh, some answer. The third contribution of Yisrael is malchut – the only pasuk regarding malchut. All the pesukim which mention malchut don’t refer to God. Shma’ is also an expression of malchut, therefore not such an interpolation into keddusha as an alternative pasuk of expressing malchut. You have several option of malchut. We know how many berachot and the content or topics of the amida. We know kiddush, birkot hanehenin, ends of asher yatzar (argument). Also what we don’t say (modim twice). Birchot hatorah, birchot hashaha, baruch shepetarani, birkat hamazon… We have a lot of tangential information about prayer. We don’t really have a nusach of the amida, or the berachot of shema. Therefore, we get to speculate as to what they did.
Deal with communal prayer In bayit sheni, it stood on it’s own not part of ritual. Doesn’t require intermediary, democraric, and spontaneous. Keva’ came into being in the early period of bayit sheni and crystallized in a fixed for afterwards. Touches on philosophical aspects.
Forms of berachot – why our berachot begin in the second person and end in the third. Comes from two sources – the biblical (second person) and then the rabbinic clause when we describe the verb. In tanach, “baruch hashem” is said to a human being (Moshe) not to God, talking about God in the third person. The second model is the type which ends off longer paragraphs which ends off with a general act lifted from a pasuk. Really the ata came in later to make the forms more similar, but really should all be in the third person.
Hazal looked down upon the shaliach tzibbur looking as “you.” Hazal’s berachot are not in that style with a few exceptions (barchu, or a ger). The main focus is two places where he tries to reconstruct how exceptions came about. Prayer for taanuyot has “hu yaaneh etchem.” Speculates this form was taken from the mikdash and the kohanim would respond as a confirmation. The basic liturgy of the Kohanim as manded by the Torah was speaking to the people. It is not clear that birkat kohanin has anything to do with the mikdash. The same halachot which appear to be the same halachot with the avoda and the birkat kohanim, have different reasons (ba’al mum and not wearing shoes). Hazal try to take away the pattern that the shaliach tzibbur is above the people. In the metaphor of hazal, he represents the people before God. Therefore he stands in front. Not talking to the people, but to God in the name of the people.
What was the tefillah in the beit haknesset and the shul. Have the tefillot integraly part of the avoda like hallel. Those originated in the beit hamikdash. The other’s were innovations prior to bayit sheni and were then incorporated into the avoda but on the periphery.
On Hoshannot – primative form of poetry, but seems that they were bound by meter and the like and were bound by ancient meter. Also had litany prayer – a series of petitions and responses. How does the community express its participation? Responses or as we saw, just watching. Ps. 136 is a precursor to this. A litany has a verbal response which recurs throughout the prayer. Ki l’olam hasdo whether or not it makes sense (Sichon and Og). We don’t always keep the litany formhas to deal with the nature of out participation where we feel that everybody says everything on their own. Hallel was recited as a litant where the people responded and just said haleluyah. Hallel of the halleluyah and of hodu l’hashem. Today we have both – these two sections. The Teimamin say halleluyah at the end of each section. Tabory says they corrupted the ancient tradition. Originally had two sections to it – it’s supposed to have halleluyah and the second is l’hodot and have hodu l’hashem ki tov.
The actual tefilot were written at different points in time for different reasons. Then they were defined as public prayer. At some situations, participation could not be complete without total participation.
See the Heineman doc
The amida was more organic as creation as opposed to a given time. We assume our amida was a compliation of other berachot and tefilot. Since they come from randomly different sources, may have redundancies. Some like Shabbat don’t follow the from and were probably from different sources.
Tehilat of Midrash
Hahamim would insert prayers. Sometimes they would add praise to name of God. At the end of the lectures, had informal prayers connecting what they were speaking about to God. At the end they make a request e.g. the end of avot. Ultimately when they combined the deradhot to the liturgy. E.g. Uva l’tzion traces back to the derashot. At the end, he discusses how prayer evolved – more and more formalities with openings for openings and closings for closings. The Kadish dates back to 4th century after they said a halacha and at the end, they would give shevach. The midrash elements do not talk to God, only make reference.
Wants to identity the characteristic as he sees it and goes through the differences between the yahid an rabbim. Shows how the kaddish changes in different uses. Despite the different realms of tefillah, have similarities. Only have shem hashem no kinuyyim. Gradual change to the formalized tzibbur which he places on hachmei Bavel – see geniza fragments which have the older forms.
The essence of Heineman’s methodology is finding forms of tefillah. Heineman attempts to understand tefillah from the texts themselves, not from historians or hazal.
Bavel versus Eretz Yisrael of 1 and 3 year cycle. Before the hurban, had beit kenesset just for learning torah. Hahamim avoided these places. After the hurban the cycle developed to read over the course of the year and this was brought over to Bavel. The amida was instituted and was a dramatic change to Jewish ritual. They didn’t like davening in batei kenesiyot. In Eretz Yisrael, they cut it down to 1/3 to make room for the amida.
Fleisher abandoned form criticism and looked at the traditions. There is no proof that people prayed in formal fixed patters before the hurban. The beit haknesset was just a gathering place. Never any evidence they davened in communal gathering. Fleischer assumes that it didn’t exist. There are several severe problems with his theory because we know in Eretz Yisrael, it was called beit hakenesset, but in hutz laaretz was called a place of prayer (proseusoche ?). He didn’t look at the prayers themselves.
According to Fleischer, there was no public tefilah before Rabban Gamliel. Rabban Gamliel created word for word nusach which was not accepted. When you look at the amida, it seems that it was compiled from different sources – it doesn’t seem coherent. Fleischer tries to make it coherent.
Heineman holds the amida developed from different sources. Fleischer holds it came all at once by R. Shimon Ben Gamliel. But it seems today that the berachot don’t really go together – not by one author.
The thirteen middle berachot are made up of personal requests and then communal requests. Goel yisrael doesn’t fit. The amida is a hova on the individual and also communal. The sifre (page 36 in hoveret) has a different order or matir assurim – he understands the geula as a geulah kelallit but of matir assurim. Rava says Goel Yisrael is on the future – the one before is in past tense.
The difference is how do we weigh the historical evidence. If we look at the tefillah itself, Tabory agrees with Heineman – a collected canonization of different works. But, this doesn’t fit in historically of people gathering together to pray.
Mishna (page 3 in Hovreret) Sotah about praying in different languages. Some in all languages some only in lashon hakodesh. This is a list, supposedly comprehensive. But what about everything else? You could assume not lashon hakodesh if people don’t understand. Apparently, this is not a biblical list because it mentions tefillah. This list of hazal as far as liturgy, is sporadic in some cases, we have complete texts, on other fundamental things, we don’t have the text. We don’t have the texts of birkat hamishpat – whether it’s a restoration of judicial system or punishment and even in hazal have different traditions. Important to hazal whether to start with ahavat olam or ahava rabba. Talking about formative tekufa where some things were developed and others left open.
Read Lawrence Hoffman Canonization pages 1-9, 160-171 and any random chapter in the middle.
Wednesday July 5
The course is divided into 1) history of prayer – how we get the minhagim we have today 2) History of the prayers themselves Go to bibliography on tefila – reshimat hatefila…in the reference section divided up according to prayers. Take one and update the bibliography and present the subject in an integrated manner with personal observations.
For Monday: Read Stephen Reif Judaism and Hebrew Prayer: New Perspective…
Chapter 7 – (207-255)
Canonization – standard of what is appropriate and not. Geonic period was a time of canonization. However, tefilla continues evolving. I suppose, this depends on the definition of “canon.” To a certain extent, tefila is canonized, but there is no set nusach. No one can change the hatima of a beracha, but there are still differences (sephard, ashkenaz and eidut mizrach). Hoffman claims this started in the time of the Geonim, but the Gemara already has rules of berachot – motzi or hamotzi so really the Gemara started the canonizing process. During the period of the Geonim, nusach Eretz Yisrael came to an end totally – not really because of the Geonim, but the force the crusades had on Jewish life.
When Jews settle, they take what they have, but change the nusach slightly. The differences may be minor, but still form a new nusach. No doubt in Eretz Yisrael itself there were different minhagim. The Gemara talks about differences between yehuda and galil but not about liturgical differences. The hoveret has differences between Sura and Pumpeditha. There was no “nusach sepharad” – a liturgy for all Spain – but a nusach of Barcelona and the different communities.
Sefer HaHilukim lists the differences between Bavel and Eretz Yisrael written at the beginning of Geonic period (possibly end of Talmud, but we don’t know when exactly). He lists 40 hilukim, but don’t know why exactly picked. Eretz Yisrael has a tendency to stand for many practices whereas Bavel sits. We know the author lives in Eretz Yisrael because he calls people “anshei mizrach” thus referring to Bavel and placing himself west in Eretz Yisrael. The question is whether the reasons are accurate. He explains that those who stand for shema are following Beit Shammai. The problem is that to fully hold of Beit Shammai, you would stand for the morning and sit for night. Dr. Tabory: we have a more fundamental difference of standing during tefila. When you have something which needs and explanation, better to give a more comprehensive solution. The interpretation of Beit Shammai only applies to Shema but nothing else. Rather see from other cases, they tend to stand for other things. Similarly, Ashkenazim tend to stand e.g. kaddish, Sepharadim don’t.
The HaHilukim doesn’t take a stand and is not a comprehensive list. He neglects the most important difference is the number of berachot in amida. Eretz Yisrael had 18, Bavel had 19. The difference was on Bonei Yerushalaim Bavel have 1 beracha for David and 1 for Yerushalayim and Eretz Yisrael has one for both. Hazal record they added birkat haminim and if Rabban Gamliel had 18, then at the time they added birkat haminim, they had 19. Modern Scholarship holds Bavel added the beracha because the Rosh Gola was from David and it was added out of kavod. Or Eretz Yisrael combined them because they wanted to preserve 18. Common theme in liturgy of following numbers e.g. the 3 berachot in the morning – if one was knocked out, question is what you say instead. The beracha according to Eretz Yisrael is “elokei david uboneh yerushalaim” the only one which has a double hatima which goes against the principle of “ein hatima b’shnaim”- or don't have two ideas in one beracha. Note that the differences of minhagim might not have started in Bavel, but came from Eretz Yisrael. Scholars like to trace Eretz Yisrael traditions to Sura, most likely Rav brought Eretz Yisrael traditions with him. Eretz Yisrael traditions also continued in Ashkenaz.
Page 6 number 7 in hoveret – Simhat Torah once every 3.5 years (175 parshiyot) or annually. No fixed cycle, but several cycles. In Eretz Yisrael itself there were various minhagim. There could have been a place in Eretz Yisrael which read the Torah annually – we do know from here and elsewhere they there were differences within Eretz Yisrael itself regarding reading the Torah. We don’t have evidence for an annual cycle in Eretz Yisrael. Fleischer claimed the original reading cycle was one year and they shortened it because of derashot and piyutim.
Earliest Siddur – R. Natanai Gaon in Sura. Response to community in Spain. See page 7 number 11. Following Natanai Gaon, we have Amram Gaon which is the first real siddur and set the pattern for all other siddurim to come. E.g. he writes the whole order of the tefillot from morning (Bamidmar 29 (the tamid) korbanot) and the like. Amram included the text of the tefilla and the halachot – today have halachot of mashiv haruach, others have larger collections of halachot. There is a critically scholarly edition by Goldschmidt, but a copyist was not a philological scholar and has in shema…aher and other obvious mistakes. Therefore the manuscript underwent numerous changes, so scholars who quote Amram are aware it might not be accurate. The copyist would change the text before the halachot. Then the siddur of R. Saadiah Gaon was lost in 14th century and found in 19th century, published in 20th by three scholars. The order does not make a practical siddur as the instructions are in Arabic. It is assumed that the siddur of R. Saadiah Gaon presents a better tradition than Amram. Since R. Saadiah Gaon was ignored for so many centuries, likely it’s closer to the original. Naomi Cohen writes there is a contradiction between the instructions and the tefilla. He calls 18 berachot, but there are clearly 19 and several of the hatimot follow Eretz Yisrael as opposed to Bavel. Scholars accept it as more authentic, but still problematic.
Pirkei Ben Baboi (pages 6-7) a grand-student of Yehudai Gaon. He wrote a letter to North Africa regarding a mahloket between Eretz Yisrael and Bavel. The border between Bavel and Eretz Yisrael was slightly east of the Jordan. Same as difference between Persia and Rome. The assumption was all Jews to the east followed Bavel and the west followed Eretz Yisrael. The Jews from Eretz Yisrael traveled all over the world – see Cicero talks about Jews in Rome. Jewish community in Spain in time of Visigoths. The Arab conquest changed the political structures. The dividing line was no longer north-south, but east-west border – basically runs through the Mediterranean (splitting north and south). The political scheme in North Africa changed accordingly. The Geonim utilized the economic might of the Islamic empire to increase their power and central authority. Eretz Yisrael became less important and all communities disappeared except for Fostat which at one point was the capital of Egypt before Cairo. Cairo grew and Fostat became a suburb and eventually absorbed by Cairo. The community carried on even when in Eretz Yisrael there were no communities. Pirkei Ben Baboi writes a critique of minhagei Eretz Yisrael and calls any deviation a minhag shemad which were accepted and then became engrained in their culture. One of the reasons for this was the Karaim who claimed the torah shebeal peh was corrupt because of all the mahloket. The Karaim followed the minhagim of Eretz Yisrael as part of their polemic against the Geonim that there are alternative traditions. Pirkei Ben Baboi considers the Talmud as an encyclopedia – if not mentioned in Talmud not a valid beracha. Eretz Yisrael was free with creating new berachot. See Page 17 number 5. Also, Pirkei Ben Baboi criticized piyutim as not being real tefila.
Thursday July 6
The Bibliography in the library is Z6371L5T31993
Read Guthold Article on page 13, and Peretz or Haran.
See Sarei HaElef Harishonim, EJ, Artscroll for sources if don’t know the sefer and date.
From the standpoint of liturgy, the end of Geonic period is marked by the end of minhag Eretz Yisrael. This period has minhag Bavel as the only minhag. In North Africa, there are some remnants of minhag Eretz Yisrael in hutz laaretz. See page 9 in the hoveret. Clear that the Romanians followed Eretz Yisrael but eventually adopted Bavel traditions. They kept more minhagim of Eretz Yisrael. Had back border of Yonina (actually Greece) and no sepharadim came and took over. The exile forced the sepharadim out and they became the elite and took over the minhagim where they settled. Therefore since the sepharadim didn’t take over, they didn’t adopt as many of the customs.
For most Jews, was the gateway to Europe. Before the Byzantine Empire was the capital of the world and Jews went through there. It was known that Ashkenazim retained nusach Eretz Yisrael, but as long as we didn’t know what that was, we don’t know how much was retained. Now we know, so Ashkenaz still firmly in Bavel tradition. Clear that at one time they followed Eretz Yisrael, they adopted the Bavel at an early stage. 10th century – 1) Megillat Ahimatz was written by an Italian Jew and he collected stories about his ancestors in a poem form. Two stories seem to imply the transfer of Bavel traditions. 1) Story of R. Silano: a darshan came who was honored with a derasha and read form a book. R. Silano who lost his job as a darshan amended the sefer hamidrash to deal with what happened the day before. Anyhoo, they put R. Silano in herem for making fun of this darshan. Someone went to the Geonim on his behalf where he recited a version of a piyut. Community felt bound to Eretz Yisrael – the darshan and the style were both from Eretz Yisrael – early dependence on Eretz Yisrael. 2) In Bavel, the mishna was learned as part of the Talmud not by itself. Some have the Rambam. Then have Bartenura as standard until Kehati. Three manuscripts of just mishna, all from Eretz Yisrael. Have midrash on all of Esther, but all included in Bavli. In Eretz Yisrael, have greater variety of literature – piyutim and midrashim. The manuscripts written in Italy shows a dependence on Eretz Yisrael. Ahimaatz tells of Abu Aharon from Bavel who changed a lion into a domestic animal and was exiled. One of his penances was he saw an animal grinding a grain (really a person) and released him. Abu Aharon is known as a mystic and introduced this into Italy. Symbolizes the idea that Bavel became the spiritual source in Italy.
Also have 2) Book of Yosifon – Hebrew work based on Latin translation of Josephus. Written in Italy because about this time – the author doesn’t quote aggadot from the Bavli. Probably because the Bavli was unknown at this time.
Toreno – found manuscript in Toreno which has early ancient Eretz Yisrael literature
Jews went from Italy to Provence and Spain. Provence retained Eretz Yisrael minhag to ask for rain on 7 Heshvan. In America have 4th or 5th of December because of rainy season in Bavel. The halacha is 60 days after tekufa regardless of geography. The Rosh in Spain tried to change it when there was a drought and did not succeed.
The Jews who came to Spain – Christian Spain – we know that one of the rules was that the Christians were not allowed to have the Jews bless their fields. Jews went from Provence to Spain and France and created their own minhagim.
Scholars argue if Jews came straight from Italy. Some say Charles imported Jews from Italy to help build the economy. The Jews of Germany follow the traditions of Italy. Avraham Grossman claims that they came from France not Italy. But strong evidence that although they followed the Bavli in conflict, still see Eretz Yisrael traditions. According to the Italian theory, the Jews were faced with text of Talmud. How did they reconcile it? In Ashkenaz, they held that tradition takes precedence over written texts as seen in Ta-Shema. Theory by Aptowitzer that they had a Sefer Yerushalmi which was not our Talmud Yerushalmi. We found in the European (Italian) Geniza fragments. When Ashkenazim copied books they also changed them. Not so much for Talmud Bavli, but mostly midrashim. At any rate, evidence influenced by Eretz Yisrael, but still a Bavli tradition – all said 19 berachot.
Examples of Remnants of Eretz Yisrael Traditions
We always have 19 berachot. But some hatimot, like birkat hashalom – Ashkenazim retained the Eretz Yisrael tradition of “oseh hashalom” and the hatima of avoda before duchaning on 3 regalim is also Eretz Yisrael which was retained. The tefila of Yamim Noraim has its own special nusach and there is less room for a hazan to waver as people have an attachments to their own traditions. Ari would daven sepharad during the year, but Ashkenaz for Yamim Noraim. The ritual of the hagim enabled them to keep the beracha of avoda from Eretz Yisrael. We have the hatima of hashkiveinu in maariv. “Hapores…” was the hatima from Eretz Yisrael which was kept on Friday night.
There are also remnants of Eretz Yisrael in Sepharadim e.g. Hapores. We don’t know if they were influenced by Eretz Yisrael or Ashkenazim.
The minhag comes from 1) Sifrei d’bei Rashi – Mahzor Virtri, Sefer HaOreh, Siddur Rashi, etc… not complete books. Thought there were three collections, really more but only these were published. Also 2) England – Jews from France came to England from the Normans and followed the minhag of France. Have Etz Hayim written by a Baal Tosafot. Influence of Rambam on Etz Hayim. English Jewish community ceased in 1270 – still long time and place from Rambam. Nusach of France was different from Ashkenaz (ended in 1370 when exiled, many went to Germany). Many French Jews emended their siddurim to match with the Germans.
Movement of Hasidei Ashkenaz – pietists. Influenced the siddur. Part of their methodology was counting the words of the tefilah. This had a large effect on canonization. R. Saadiah Gaon was opposed to “or hadash.” Hasidei Ashkenaz, influenced by R. Saadiah Gaon, the Rokeach writes he heard that R. Saadiah Gaon was opposed to or hadash. Rokeach adds that this was impossible because you need that for the number of words. Also, the nusach of baruch sheamar. Baruch sheamar has two parts. The praise and the beracha. In the first part, there are two traditions. What we have and an expanded tradition in R. Saadiah Gaon. Hasidei Ashkenaz found exactly 87 words (paz). Sepharardim had a more poetic introduction. Eventually the Ashkenazim influence the Sepharadim which now has the Ashkenazik nusach. Some have both in parallel columns.
See page 9 Meiri in Magan Avot as a defense of minhag Provence: Claims that the custom of “el melech neeman” before shema, France, Germany, and Provence. But, he doesn’t know of the source since it didn’t originate in Catalonia, Eretz Yisrael or Bavel.
Have ideology of reform in Ramban. We can show the halacha was different so we’ll go back. “No reformer as a reactionary.” Ramban has to dig up sources how it was not originally their custom and has to fight against it. The ideology of restoring a former situation. “Tradition” is the minhag today not what happened 200 years ago. Short attempt by R. Yonah to add it, but the community of Spain felt need to adapt it and when they brought in the Rosh, he changed the minhag which was then codified in the Tur.
Back to Spain
At time of the Geirush, the Spanish Jews spread over the world. In many places, they came in conflict with the residents. The Jews from Spain look on the residents as “natives” and therefore inferior. Kahal Geirush was not one mass because there were different minhagim from Aragon, Catalonia, Andalusia, etc. Teshuva from Rashdam about changing minhagim (Page 11).
Monday July 10
Geirush Sepharad and 20th Century
We have what seems to us two conflicting approaches. 1) influences of Kabbalah and 2) trend towards the medakdekim – correct grammar.
Mysticism goes back to the heichalot literature Yeshayahu and Yehezkel to some extent saw God and what was around him. Mystics try to get into the same situation. The heichalot literature describes going from one heichal to another. Keddusha in tefilah is based on the mystical idea. Hazal in the Keddusha we have complementary visions of angels in the choir and they sing their praise in the morning. The shira according to hazal the shir (before yam suf even) and the keddusha represents our participation as we are a part of the heavenly choir. We do it as they do it or we do it together. Keddusha itself influenced by mystical ideas. Hasidei ashkenaz counting the words, also have hazal counting 18 times of mizmor l’hashem benei eilim. Israel says shem havaya after 3 words, angels say it after 4.
K’Gavna on Friday night is from Zohar. Talks about the yihud of hashem because of the yihud of Shabbat. And petach eliyahu. Brich shmei is real actual tefillah not just a part of the Zohar. Question if Brich Shmei was a prayer independent of the Zohar. According to Ta-Shema, you can’t tell from the Zohar that there is a strong influence of Ashkenaz in the Zohar. According to Faur, Ashkenazim influenced the Zohar.
The next stage is the Ari.
The Ari was an Ashkenazi (Ashkenazi R. Ritzhak from Luria family). We have a specific statement that the Ari
davened sepharad except for yamim noraim where he davened Ashkenazi. 1534-1572 – assumption he used printed
siddur, but we don’t know exactly. The
default of the siddur of the Ari – What did he say when there was no
siddur? Presumably, be didn’t say
hanotein layaef koach – unknown in sepharad.
Ari explained mystical reasons for hanotein and did so in connection
with malbish arumim. See Page
We have other hibburm which influenced the Ari’s tradition. Tolaat Yaakov, Seder Hayom…the Ari influenced the form of tefilah. AS the ari spread out, people wanted to pray according to the Ari. But the Ashkenazim could change to sepharadi. Therefore they changed the Ashkenaz but called it nusach sepharad. Same as ashkenaz, but accounted for Ari.
First Kabbalistic siddur 1560 in nusach Ashkenaz. Ashkenazim who dealth with Kabbalah davened according to Ari. Gra also davened Ari. Since too many people were davening Ari, pattern that only special great people should daven nusach ari. Leaders of hassidut davened this nusach sepharad to pray like their rebbes. Thus became the standard nusach and called it nusach Ari because really ashkenaz with some changes. Once it spread, 1st Lub Rabbi prepared first definitive edition of Ari for the Hassidim and made corrections. Or hadash doesn’t appear in nusach Habad, possibly following R. Saadiah Gaon of not being the same topic. In some areas, also like the Vilna Gaon – don’t include the pesukim before amida. Pressure among hassidim o pray like to Ari. Printers tried to print siddurim for both. Original printers were careful about which siddur was which. Difference in end of shomei tefillah. Sometimes integrated to get a universality of Hashem listening to Shomei tefillah kol peh and shomeia teffilot amcha in parenthesis. This required education among the people to know to skip the parenthesis.
General outline of influence of Kabbalah on history of prayer.
We discussed the golim from Spain who spread out and took over and influenced them to accept their brand of nusach sepharad which was different than the native minhagim. The North Africans followed the Rambam over the Tur and the Golim brought the Tur which was a result of Ashkenazo influence. We discussed the Rashdam, and the situation in yerushalaim – page 11:2 about the “natives and moors.” The Hida discusses they follow minhag sepharad, in all “legitamate synagogue” which have sifrei torah. Many Ashkenazim daven with the sepharadim except on Yamim Noraim. After the geirush, the Ashkenazi community dwindles in favor of the sepharadim. Eretz Yisrael had changed to sepharad.
There is a adisagreement as to the original minhag. First deal with siddur of Rambam. Rambam has at the end of sefer ahava as a seder tefillah. Some doubt if that was written by Rambam. The oxford manuscript which was signed by the Rambam (after death of Rambam, no more changes people asked Rambam to send copies and Rambam signed copies that the manuscript was copied accurately Rambam didn’t want people copying the mishna torah directly – too valuable a copy). People would copy with new text when Rambam made changes. Anyhoo, the signature appears just before the nusach of the tefillah. If this is not the Rambam, then we have no evidence of Rambam writing nusach tefillah. Goldshmidt argues it was the Rambam – the places where the Rambam skips is where the Rambam writes in Yad. Therefore only a mehaber would be so cognizant of what would be repeated. Kapach argues that it is from the Teimanim.
There are in Teiman many ancient manuscripts. Moshe Gavra from Bar Ilan concludes that the early Teimanim are close to R. Saadiah Gaon and only later did they follow the Rambam. (Disrupts Kapach’s theory). Inconsistencies with teshuvot, yad, and siddur.
Also clear that Teiman was not as cut off from the world as people thought. Addid was a major station on the routes to India. Through Persia, Jews reached China in 12th-13th century. Jews lived in the capital and when other forces became dominant, the capital moved and the Jews were stuck and cut off. Chineese had nusach which represents early Persian minhag. Later Persian minhag was sepharadi when they came.
Slowly, Teiman influenced by other nushaot. The exile of Musa in 17th century (See Page 11). The Jews were exiled and when they returned, their books were gone. Yihya ben shalom haKohen from Iraq imported mahzorim from Eretz Yisrael which was actually nusach sepharad printed in Europe. He attempted to change the minhag and all but 3 shuls accepted minhag shami (north or Eretz Yisrael). Yihyah Tzalach tries to turn back the clock and reinstitue the minhag of the Rambam . He admits he’s changing because they used to follow the Shulhan Aruch. Original minhag according to him was Rambam. Called Baladi or local minhag. In Teiman, they follow Baladi (Rambam) and Shami which it Eretz Yisrael. Nature of tradition is that it changes and the desire to change is a type of reform movement.
In Ashkenaz, an attempt to restire the tefillah according to the correct grammer. Shabbtai Hasogfer (16th century) wrote a sefer and got haskamot from vaad 4 artzot and tried to restore grammer as it should be. The Hebrew of the siddur (the amida) is written in both lashon mikra and middle Hebrew. Evidence that the grammar is based on middle Hebrew. Second person singular – modim anachnu lach. The medakdekim tried to restore biblical Hebrew. The distiction between the Hebrews was a disagreement found in the Talmud – Bavel thought the authentic Hebrew was that of the bible, Eretz Yisrael held of rabbinic. Differnce in terms of Naaritzach and Naaritzcha – the medakdekim changed this and they were not consitent. In Hoshanot, say lach. Disagreements among the medakdikim regarding the rules of substitutions. Morid hageshem or hagashem. Some say the first words of kaddish are supposed to be in Hebrew. The medakdekim followed different principles of the nekudot. See page 12.
Question what the Vilna Gaon used. Lived at period of intensive dikdukit endeavor. We have of the Vilna Gaon statements of what he did to nusach hatefillah. Published as an addendum to Shulhan Aruch at end of seder hayom one page of hagahot. Published more noted at end before hilchot pesach. Among the hagahot printed in the original edition are: hanotein or
Perhaps the Vilna Gaon was trying to point out that hanotein is in past tense to reflect biblical tendencies. But shease li kol torki is in past.
“Zeicher rav” has a note as to zecher from Radak. Maggid of Polotsk wrote a commentary on the siddur, asked the Vilna Gaon for a haskama but don’t have it in writing. Has “zecher” by ashrei. Significant that the “Vilna Gaon’s siddur” is based on his commentary not on his text. People took the regular tefillah and wherever the nusach was different, they corrected or typed in instructions. E.g. between hamaavir sheina, the instructions say don’t answer amen, so they crossed out “lo – don’t” to match the Vilna Gaon. Yitzhak Satanov was a maskil and a medakdek student Heideidenheim. Added kriat hatorah with Redelheim. Hatam Sofer recommended this edition.
Tuesday July 11
Shabbtai Tzvi (b. 1626) After Shabbatai Zvi converted, people denied that they ever believed in him let alone followed him. What is the influence of Shabbtai Zvi on Siddur? We know he changed fast days into holidays. Added prayer for the government but for melech hamashiach i.e. him – originally introduced on Shabbat and then spread to every day. Tabory: saying the prayer for the medina is not a prayer but a pledge of alligence. Shabbtai liked Mizmor 21 – uvishuatch = Shabbtai in gematria. Node Beyehuda writes about that minhag. Also, the kohanim duchaning – no reason shouldn’t be done every day. During the time of Shabbtai, this was introduced in Sepharadi locales. R. Yaakov Sasportas (?) argued to abolish it because this institution of the minhag was started by a kofer. When Shabbtai cancelled 9 Av, he made a kiddush to hag hanehamot hazeh. Did they introduce tefillot to have implicit Shabbtai messages? Unclear.