Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.
It seems that this disagreement is precisely parallel to another one about the source of the daily prayers: “It has been stated: R. Yosi, son of R. Hanina, said: The prayers were instituted by the patriarchs. R. Joshua ben Levi says: The prayers were instituted to replace the daily sacrifices” (Berachot 26b).
According to R. Yosi, son of R. Hanina, Shacharit was established by Abraham, Minchah by Isaac, and Ma’ariv by Jacob. According to R. Joshua ben Levi, Shacharit corresponds to the daily morning sacrifice, Minchah to the afternoon sacrifice. On the face of it, the disagreement has no practical consequences. But in fact it does.
If the prayers were instituted by the patriarchs, then their origin is prophetic. If they were established to replace the sacrifices, then their provenance is priestly. Priests were forbidden to act spontaneously, but prophets did so as a matter of course. Someone who saw prayer as priestly would, like Rabban Gamliel, emphasize the importance of a precise text. One who saw it as prophetic would, like Rabbi Eliezer as understood by the Talmud Yerushalmi, value spontaneity and each day try to say something new.
Tradition eventually resolved the matter in a most remarkable way. We say each Amidah twice, once privately and silently in the tradition of the prophets, then a second time publicly and collectively by the shaliach tzibbur, the reader’s repetition, in the tradition of a priest offering a sacrifice at the Temple. (It is easy to understand why there is no reader’s repetition in the Ma’ariv service: there was no sacrifice at nighttime.) During the silent Amidah we are permitted to add extra words of our own. During the repetition we are not. That is because prophets acted spontaneously, but priests did not.
The tragedy of Nadav and Avihu is that they made the mistake of acting like prophets when they were, in fact, priests. But we have inherited both traditions. For without structure, Judaism would have no continuity, but without spontaneity it would have no fresh life. The challenge is to maintain the balance without ever confusing the place of each.
Adapted from “Covenant & Conversation,” a collection of Rabbi Jonathan Sacks’s parshiyot hashavua essays, to be published by Maggid Books, an imprint of Koren Publishers Jerusalem (www.korenpub.com), in conjunction with the Orthodox Union.
Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, chief rabbi of the British Commonwealth since 1991, is the author of many books of Jewish thought, most recently “The Koren Sacks Rosh HaShana Mahzor” (Koren Publishers Jerusalem).
About the Author: Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, former chief rabbi of the British Commonwealth, is the author of many books of Jewish thought, most recently “The Great Partnership: Science, Religion, and the Search for Meaning.”
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
People love their GPS; just type in the address and it tells you exactly how to get to where you want to go.
In the same way as a married woman is precluded from marrying another man without a get, so too is this widow prohibited from marrying another man without chalitzah.
The Ban Of The Communities
Question: I recently loaned money to a friend who has been able to repay only part of it. This was an interest-free loan. We exchanged a signed IOU, not a proper shtar with witnesses, since I have always trusted her integrity and only wanted a document that confirms what was loaned and what was repaid. Now that shemittah is approaching, what should I do? Should I forgive the loan? And if my friend is not able to repay it, may I deduct the unpaid money from my ma’aser requirement?
“My mother raised us to independence, all of us,” Rivka says, which certainly plays itself out in the fact that all three children have taken a different path.
“ ‘We’re almost out of stamps,’ I said. ‘I’ll be happy to run over to the post office and pick up a supply.’ ”
Bris Bein Habesarim affirmed that Hashem gave the land to Avraham’s children. It does not specify for how long. It did not guarantee the Jewish people eternal ownership of the land
According to the Raavad if one who is uncircumcised breaks something he will be exempt from paying for it since he was chayav kares at the same time as he was obligated to repay for the item he broke.
Why does Hebrew refer to mothers-in-law as “sunshine” when society often calls them the opposite?
Having herself been victimized by Pharoah, Sarah should have been more sensitive to Hagar.
Avram’s father was not impressed with the cleverness of his son. In fact, he was so unimpressed that he took him to Nimrod the king, who pronounced him an enemy of the state and attempted to execute him.
How do the stories in Lech Lecha help us understand the central tension of Abraham’s life, legacy?
Abraham did not govern society but instead was the representative of God’s kingdom on earth.
Hagar grossly miscalculated her own merits and demonstrated a serious lack of gratitude for Sarai.
The Babel story is the 2nd in a 4-act drama that’s unmistakably a connecting thread of Bereishit
Sukkot’s duality is that it’s the most universalistic and the most particularistic of all festivals
When we cry from the heart, someone listens; When we cry on Yom Kippur, God hears us.
So we work, but one day in seven we also rest and spend more time than usual with family and friends. In shul we reestablish our links with the community. Through the festivals we relive the history of our people, and cure ourselves of the narrow sense of living for the moment. On Rosh Hashanah […]
Simply, for Rambam the number 14 (2×7) was his favored organizing principle.
Torah isn’t a theological treatise or a metaphysical system but a series of stories linked over time
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/from-structure-to-continuity-to-spontaneity/2012/04/18/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: