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Tractate Berachot, Chapter 6, Tosefta 28

October 9th, 2009 3 comments
Tractate Berachot, Chapter 6

Tosefta 281

[The people] do not answer Amen in the Bet Hamikdash (Temple) [after Berachot, but rather say instead Baruch Shem Kevod Malchuto Leolam Vaed (Blessed be His glorious Name for ever and ever)].2 And from where [do we know] that they do not answer Amen in the Bet Hamikdash? As it is said, “Get up, bless Hashem, your God, from the world until the world.” (Nechemiah 9:5) And it says, “And let them bless Your glorious name.” (ibid.)3 And from where [do we know that] for every single blessing and for every single praise [and not just at the conclusion of all blessings of Shmoneh Esreh,4 they say instead of Amen, Baruch Shem Kevod Malchuto Leolam Vaed]? The verse teaches us, “… and exalted beyond every blessing and praise.” (ibid.) [Meaning] for every single blessing and for every single praise [they say Baruch Shem Kevod Malchuto Leolam Vaed].5

מסכת ברכות פרק ו

תוספתא כח

אין עונין אמן במקדש. ומניין שאין עונין אמן במקדש? שנאמר (נחמיה ט:ה) קומו ברכו את ה’ אלהיכם מן העולם עד העולם. ואומר (שם) ויברכו שם כבודך. ומניין על כל ברכה וברכה ועל כל תהלה ותהלה? תלמוד לומר (שם) ומרומם על כל ברכה ותהלה, על כל ברכה וברכה ועל כל תהלה ותהלה.

Notes:

  1. The Tosefta continues the discussion of how Berachot were said in the Bet Hamikdash. It is not directly related to any Mishna.
  2. Normally when a person hears another person say a Beracha he should answer Amen. See above Tosefta Berachot 1:11, note 5. However in the Bet Hamikdash the people did not say Amen as a response to Berachot and instead said Baruch Shem Kevod Malchuto Leolam Vaed. See Talmud Yerushalmi (Berachot 9:5, Daf 67b) which quotes a Beraita similar to this Tosefta that explicitly says so.
  3. The verse in Nechemiah is talking about the prayers that were said by the Jews who returned to Jerusalem after the Babylonian exile on a fast day that took place on the day after Shemini Atzeret. The verse does not say that this prayer was said inside the Bet Hamikdash. The Tosefta takes this verse out of context in order to prove the tradition that existed in the Bet Hamikdash with regard to Berachot.
  4. Since the Tosefta mentions a group of Berachot that have been said together it must be referring to the prayers of Shemah and Shmoneh Esreh that were said in the Second Bet Hamikdash as a part of daily prayers that contained all of these deviations from the regular standard. It is not referring to individual Berachot that people may have said on food or on smell. See note 2 on the previous Tosefta. The Meiri (Berachot 63a, Amar Hameiri) points out that if a person heard a Beracha on food or before reading the Torah in the Bet Hamikdash he would respond to it by saying Amen, and not Baruch Shem Kevod Malchuto Leolam Vaed. He proves this from verses in Nechemiah (8:5-6) where it says that when Ezra read to the people from the Torah he said a Beracha and the people responded by saying Amen, and not Baruch Shem Kevod Malchuto Leolam Vaed. The way that the Meiri knew that this Torah reading took place on the Temple Mount is because it says in Nechemiah (8:1) that this reading of the Torah took place in the street of Jerusalem which was located in front of the Water Gate. The Mishna (Shekalim 6:3) mentions that one of the gates in to the Bet Hamikdash was called the Water Gate, because that is where the water for the Nisuch Hamayim (Water Libation) was brought in on the holiday of Sukkot. Further Nechemiah (12:37) describes that this gate was located on the East side past the City of David which clearly implies that this was a gate of the Bet Hamikdash and not a regular gate in the city wall outside of the Temple Mount. Since Nechemiah mentions it as a part of the procession that took place during the dedication of the newly built city wall of Jerusalem it seems to me that this gate served both as the gate of the Bet Hamikdash and the gate in the city wall, since in that area the wall around the Temple and the wall around the city merged into one.
  5. It is unclear why the Tosefta has to try to prove that the phrase Baruch Shem Kevod Malchuto Leolam Vaed was said at the end of every Beracha and not just once, at the end of Shmoneh Esreh, since it replaced Amen which is said at the end of every single Beracha.