Friday, February 23, 2007

Daf Yomi - Megillah 17 - SHABBOS IN THE DAF

Reb Ben Says: The Gemora states that the blessing of geulah, redemption, is the seventh blessing of Shemoneh Esrei, as Moshiach will arrive in the seventh year of the Shemitah cycle. We can suggest that it is for this reason that we recite in the prayer of Lecho Dodi the words hisnaari meiafar kumi livshi bigdeich sifarteich ami al yad Ben Yishai Bais HaLachmi karvah el nafshi gealah, shake off the dust-arise! Don your splendid clothes, My people, through the son of Yishai, the Bethlemite! Draw near to my soul-redeem it. Shabbos, the seventh day, is also a time of redemption, and we beseech HaShem to redeem us speedily, in our days.

Rabbi Karr adds: In explaining the Shemoneh Esrei the Gemora cites Scriptural passages explaining why one brocha follows the other one. But, surprisingly a new concept is introduced; that on numbers. Evidently the position number is significant. Not all the numbers but just a few. The first is seven. The Gemora states that the blessing of geulah, redemption, is the seventh blessing of Shemoneh Esrei, as Moshiach will arrive in the seventh year of the Shemitah cycle. When the number seven is mentioned, one immediately thinks of Shabbos. The connection between Shabbos and Moshiach is that when the Jewish people observe the Shabbos properly, the Redemption will come.

The eighth brocha is the brocha of Healing. The mitzva of circumcision is on the eighth day of a child’s life. The mitzva of Bris Milah is only for Jews. This prayer for healing is unique for Jews that have, and receive a different type of healing than non-Jews. The Gemora in Shabbos explains that the body of a Jew is different than a gentile because of the kosher food that we eat and the non-kosher food that they eat. The medicine and healing are different for Jews than non-Jews. Therefore this brocha is number eight to remind us of this fact.

I am adding: Perhaps this is the reason that the brocha concludes by saying rofei cholei amo Yisroel. Although Hashem heals everyone, there is a special type of healing that is uniquely reserved for the Jewish people.

2 comments:

Rabbi Karr said...

I was bothered by two problem first, why the change from
explaining the brochos in order based on logic to using numbers to explain their position, Second, why only numbers 7, 8 and 9?

The ninth brocha is a blessing for prosperity. Nine is important here because when you think of nine you think of the months of pregnancy. All the numbers (7, 8 and 9) come from Passover's "Who knows one" We pray to Hashem for prosperity
to be just like a mother provides all the food and needs for her baby so to should Hashem provide for us. This is specially true for Jews. Although all people are nourished for nine months, only Jews are nourished both physically and spiritually for the nine months, as we all know the Malach teaches
torah to us during these nine months.

This explains why only the numbers 7, 8 and 9 were used by the gemora, as these numbers apply specially to Jews. Only Jews celebrate Shabbos on Saturdays, as most other non- Jews celebrate on Friday or Sunday Seven is therefore special for Jews. Eight is for a Jew's bris on the eighth day.Some non Jews get a bris but not on the 8th day. The Maharil explains the eights is beyond the norm (l'fnai min hatevah) because that is how
Hashem acts with His people. The brocha for Health is a brocha for Health beyond the norm. Jews have different Health needs because as the gemora in Shabbos explains Jews eat Kosher foods while non Jews eat worms and bugs. Nine is special for the Jews as explained above.

Rabbi Karr said...

I would like to suggest why the numbers 7, 8 and 9 were significant and used to interrupt the shemonah esrei and not other numbers. Perhaps we can suggest that the Anshei Knesses HaGedolah set up the shemona esrei using svora, psukim and numbers for each of the brochos. However, they were forgotten. Shimon Hapakuli came and set them up again but he did not remember everything. He remembered all the svoras, psukim and some numbers. However, even Shimon Hapakuli forgot the reason for the numbers for the other brochos. He only remembered why 7 8 and 9 were used for those brochos.