web analytics
September 1, 2014 / 6 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



‘Berov Am’ Versus ‘Zerizim’ (Part I)

Cohen-Rabbi-J-Simcha-NEW

Question: When performing a mitzvah, what is more important: doing it right away – “zerizim” – or doing it with a large crowd – “berov am”?

Answer: My understanding is that when there is a conflict between “berov am” and “zerizim,” priority is granted to the concept of “berov am.” This is based upon the following Talmudic ruling (Berachot 53a): “If people were sitting in the Beit HaMidrash and light was brought in [at the termination of Shabbat], Beit Shammai says that each person should recite the blessing himself [“borei m’orei ha’aish”] while Beit Hillel says that one person should recite the blessing on behalf of everyone because “berov am hadrat melech – in the multidude of people is the king’s glory” (Proverbs 14:28).

The Siftei Chachamim notes that the rationale of Beit Shammai is “zerizim” while the rationale of Beit Hillel is “berov am.” Additionally, based upon this Gemara, the Vilna Gaon rules in his glosses on Orach Chayim 8:12 that when a number of people are obligated to recite the same berachah, it is preferable for one person to recite it on behalf of everyone rather than everyone recite it for himself. Accordingly, on Friday night, one person should make Kiddush for all.

The problem is that another Gemara seems to suggest that “zerizim” is more important than “berov am.” Rosh Hashanah 32b discusses blowing shofar during Shacharit or Mussaf. The advantage of blowing shofar during Shacharit is that one is doing the mitzvah as soon as possible – “zerizim.” The advantage of blowing shofar during Mussaf is that one is doing the mitzvah with a larger public – “berov am” (since, as the Turai Even says, people come late to shul).  The Gemara concludes that one should blow shofar at Mussaf.

Interestingly, though, the Talmud rules that shofar should be blown during Mussafnot because of “berov am” – but because government spies who attended morning services once interpreted the sounds of the shofar as a call for rebellion. As a result, government military forces massacred the Jews. If not for this incident, shofar would have been blown during Shacharit. In other words, if not for this incident, “zerizim” would have trumped “berov am.”

But how can this Gemara imply that “zerizim” is more important while the other one implies the very opposite?

Perhaps we can suggest that “berov am” usually trumps “zerizim.” However, if berov am is already is present in some fashion – many people are present in shul, after all, during Shacharit – then “zerizim” is more important.

(To be continued)

About the Author: Rabbi Cohen, a Jerusalem Prize recipient, is the author of eight sefarim on Jewish law. His latest, “Jewish Prayer the Right Way” (Urim Publications), is available at Amazon.com and select Judaica stores.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “‘Berov Am’ Versus ‘Zerizim’ (Part I)”

  1. Karen Bryant says:

    Doing it because it needs to be done and preferably just between you and God .

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Economics Minister and Bayit Yehudi chairman Naftali Bennett
Bennett Praises Govt Decision on Gush Etzion in Visit to Yeshiva Mekor Chaim
Latest Judaism Stories
shofar+kotel

If you had an important court date scheduled – one that would determine your financial future, or even your very life – you’d be sure to prepare for weeks beforehand. On Rosh Hashanah, each individual is judged on the merit of his deeds. Whether he will live out the year or not. Whether he will […]

The_United_Nations_Building

It is in the nature of the Nations of the World to be hostile towards the Jewish People.

Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

First, how could a beis din of 23 judges present a guilty verdict in a capital punishment case? After all, only a majority of the 23 judges ruled in favor of his verdict.

Of paramount importance is that both the king and his people realize that while he is the leader, he is still a subject of God.

Untimely News
‘A Mourner Is Forbidden To Wear Shoes…’
(Mo’ed Katan 20b)

Question: The Gemara in Berachot states that the sages authored our prayers. Does that mean we didn’t pray beforehand?

Menachem
Via Email

When a person feels he can control the destiny of other people, he runs the risk of feeling self-important, significant, and mighty.

Needless to say, it was done and they formed a great relationship as his friend and mentor. He started attending services and volunteered his time all along putting on tefillin.

He took me to a room filled with computer equipment and said, “You pray here for as long as you want.” I couldn’t believe my ears.

On Friday afternoon, Dov called Kalman. “Please make sure to return the keys for the car on Motzaei Shabbos,” he said. “We have a bris on Sunday morning and we’re all going. We also need the roof luggage bag.”

On Chol HaMoed some work is prohibited and some is permitted. According to some opinions, the work prohibition is biblical; according to others, it’s rabbinical.

If there is a mitzvas minuy dayanim in the Diaspora, then why is there a difference between Israel and the Diaspora in the number of judges and their distribution?

Judaism is a religion of love but also a religion of justice, for without justice, love corrupts.

The time immediately preceding Mashiach’s arrival is likened to the birth pangs of a woman in labor.

More Articles from Rabbi J. Simcha Cohen
Cohen-080814-Sign

Is God apologizing for taking away my Father? Is God telling me that He is sorry?

Cohen-Rabbi-J-Simcha-NEW

Question: At Birkat Kohanim, who says the phrase, “Am k’doshecha ka’amur”?

Question: How can one determine whether someone is a true disciple of a rav, Rebbe, or rosh yeshiva?

Question: Does halacha agree with the Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade permitting women to have abortions?

Question: When someone puts on a talit to lead services, should he recite a berachah?

Question: A number of synagogues feature bar mitzvah celebrations for elderly Jews. Is this proper?

Hashem understood their complaint and therefore selected the ritual mitzvah of sukkah to test them.

Question: Why is Shavuot celebrated as a two-day Yom Tov?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/berov-am-versus-zerizim-part-i/2014/03/06/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: