Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.
In the beginning of this week’s parshah the Torah writes about Yaakov Avinu’s departure from his father’s house in Beersheva. The pasuk says, “Vayifga bamakom – and he met the place.” This pasuk carries many deeper levels of understanding aside from the pashut p’shat. Rashi explains that the “place” that the pasuk is referring to is Har Hamoriah. The Gemara in Chullin 91b explains that Hashem lifted the mountain and brought it to Yaakov; hence the wording, “and he met the place.” The Gemara in Berachos 26b explains that the word “vayifga” means to daven, and that it was at this point that Yaakov Avinu instituted the tefillah of Ma’ariv.
The Gemara in Berachos 27b says that although all of the tefillos are mandatory, the tefillah of Ma’ariv is rishus (voluntary). Tosafos (Berachos 26a) points out that one may not decide not to daven Ma’ariv unless there is an adequate reason, i.e. another time-sensitive mitzvah.
The scenario that the Gemara describes in Berachos 21a discusses the halacha when one is in the middle of davening Shemoneh Esrei and realizes that he had already davened this tefillah. The Gemara says that he should stop davening immediately, even if he is in the middle of a berachah. Even though one may daven a tefillas nedavah (a voluntary tefillah) whenever he desires, he must stop in the middle since he initially began davening under the impression that the tefillah was obligatory. The Tosafos Harash explains that just as there are no korbanos that are part obligatory and part voluntary, so too there cannot be a tefillah that is part obligatory and part voluntary.
Based on this, the Rambam (Hilchos Tefillah 10:6) wrote a tremendous chiddush. He wrote that the abovementioned Gemara – that discusses the halacha concerning one’s realization in the middle of Shemoneh Esrei that he has already davened that tefillah – should not apply when the tefillah that one is in the midst of reciting is Ma’ariv. The reason for this ruling is that since the tefillah of Ma’ariv is voluntary, it can connect to a tefillas nedavah. Therefore, if one was in the middle of davening Ma’ariv and realized that he had already davened Ma’ariv, he may continue davening as a nedavah if he desires. Since both tefillos are voluntary, they should be able to connect as one voluntary tefillah.
The Raavad disagreed with this p’sak and, as explained by the Kesef Mishnah, argued that for many generations Klal Yisrael have accepted upon themselves an obligation to daven Ma’ariv. Even the Rambam himself writes (Hilchos Tefillah 1:6) that all of Yisrael, wherever they are, have accepted to daven Ma’ariv involuntarily. So how can the Rambam say that the tefillah of Ma’ariv can connect with a tefillas nedavah – since they are both voluntary?
Reb Chaim Soloveitchik, zt’l, in his sefer on the Rambam, suggests the following approach to understanding the ruling of the Rambam: although Klal Yisrael have accepted upon themselves to daven Ma’ariv involuntarily, nevertheless the type of tefillah remains the same. Since the tefillah of Ma’ariv was instituted as a voluntary tefillah, it remains that type of tefillah in its essence. In other words, one can have an obligation to daven a voluntary type of tefillah. The obligation to daven a particular tefillah does not affect the type of tefillah that it is in its essence. Therefore the tefillah of Ma’ariv can connect with a tefillas nedavah since they are both voluntary tefillos in essence.
On the other hand, the Raavad believes that whether one is obligated to daven a certain tefillah will affect the type of tefillah that it is. Therefore since we have accepted upon ourselves to daven Ma’ariv involuntarily, the tefillah becomes an obligatory tefillah and can no longer connect to a tefillas nedavah.
The Rambam (HilchosTefillah 1:10) writes that there are some gaonim who were of the opinion that one may not daven a tefillas nedavah on Shabbos since we do not bring a korban nedavah on Shabbos. The implication from the Rambam is that he agrees with this view. This, however, raises the following question: how can one daven Ma’ariv on Shabbos if, according to the Rambam, it is a voluntary tefillah in essence?
I want to suggest that although Ma’ariv is a voluntary tefillah in its essence, it differs from a nedavah. The similarity that Ma’ariv shares with a tefillas nedavah is that they are both voluntary, and therefore they can be connected. However the Gemara in Berachos 26b says that all of the teffilos correspond to different korbanos – Shacharis corresponds to the tamid shel shachar, Minchah to the tamid shel bein ha’arbaim, and Ma’ariv to the aimurim of the korbanos (which even if they are not brought, the korban is effective). It is for this reason that Ma’ariv is a rishus. Therefore, even though Ma’ariv is voluntary, it corresponds to the aimurim that are brought even on Shabbos. A korban nedavah, however, is not brought on Shabbos, and therefore one cannot daven a tefillas nedavah on Shabbos.
About the Author: For questions or comments, e-mail RabbiRFuchs@gmail.com.
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
Perhaps, just perhaps, we can relate to this: whenever we feel distant from Hashem, that is the Churban.
Over the next 2 weeks covering portion Matot and Maasei, Rabbi Fohrman will bring order to confusion.
Our home is in the center of the Holy Land, surrounded by (what else?) green hills and valleys.
The Investment Of Sanctity
Question: I recently returned from a trip abroad and wanted to say HaGomel. When I mentioned this to the officers of my synagogue, however, they told me – as per the instructions of the synagogue’s rabbi – that I would have to wait until Shabbos to do so. I was not given any reason for this and did not wish to display my ignorance, so I quietly acquiesced. Can you please explain why I had to wait?
We may not recognize the adverse affect of eating forbidden foods, but they leave an indelible imprint.
There are several rules that one must adhere to when making a neder.
Important message for Jews in the Diaspora: In times of need run to Israel rather than from Israel.
The negotiation between Moses and the tribes of Reuven and Gad is a model of conflict resolution.
Once again we find ourselves alone – a little lamb among wolves.
When we return to our routines, things don’t have to go back to exactly the way they were.
The Three Weeks determines the “who we are and how we live” as Jews.
Sometimes when Chazal say that two different people are really one, they do not mean it literally, but rather figuratively.
There are several rules that one must adhere to when making a neder.
If it is not prohibited when there is a purpose for inflicting the tza’ar, why was Bilam chastised for tza’ar ba’alei chaim?
How can we be certain that any animal can be counted toward ma’asar beheimah when perhaps it is a treifah?
This separation between Kohanim, Levi’im and Yisraelim obligates us to honor kohanim.
The pasuk says that since the halacha concerning a Mechallel Shabbos was uncertain, the mekoshesh was placed in custody until the halacha was clarified.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/is-ma%e2%80%99ariv-really-optional/2011/11/30/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: