(Permission is granted to print and redistribute this material
as long as this header and the footer at the end are included.)


brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld

Ask A Question about the Daf

Previous daf

Ta'anis 13


OPINIONS: The Gemara quotes a Beraisa which says that the only difference between the Shemoneh Esreh recited on a Ta'anis by a single individual and that recited by the Shali'ach Tzibur is that the individual's Shemoneh Esreh has 18 Berachos, while the Shali'ach Tzibur's Shemoneh Esreh has 19 (because of the additional Berachah of "Aneinu"). RASHI asks why we refer to the normal Shemoneh Esreh as having only 18 Berachos, when it actually has 19 Berachos even without the Berachah of Aneinu.
(a) RASHI answers that we call the Tefilah "Shemoneh Esreh," the 18 Berachos," because originally it included only 18 Berachos. The Berachah of "v'la'Malshinim" was added later in Yavneh (Berachos 28b).

(b) The TOSFOS RID here argues and says that the Beraisa says that the normal Shemoneh Esreh is comprised of 18 Berachos, because the Beraisa holds that there indeed are only 18 Berachos! He cites a Tosefta in Berachos (end of ch. 3) to prove this. The Tosefta says that the 18 Berachos include the Berachah of "v'la'Malshinim," which includes mention of the Minim and the Posh'im, and another Berachah includes mention of David ha'Melech and the rebuilding of Yerushalayim. That is, the Berachos of "Es Tzemach David" and "Boneh Yerushalayim" are merged into one Berachah according to the Tosefta. The Tosefta concludes that if one recites two Berachos, mentioning David ha'Melech in one and the rebuilding of Yerushalayim in the other, he is Yotzei. This implies that, according to the Tosefta, l'Chatchilah the Berachos "Es Tzemach David" and "Boneh Yerushalayim" are one, and thus the Shemoneh Esreh has only 18 Berachos, even after the addition of the Berachah of "v'la'Malshinim."

This is reflected in the Piyutim, the additional prayers that were composed for the Shali'ach Tzibur to recite during each Berachah of Shemoneh Esreh on holidays and fasts, which reflect the theme of each Berachah; there are consistently only 18 of these additional prayers, and the one that discusses Yerushalayim is the same one that discusses David ha'Melech.

This was clearly the practice of the Yerushalmi (Berachos 4:5, Rosh Hashanah 4:6), he continues. The Yerushalmi says that the Chasimah of the end of one of the Berachos of Shemoneh Esreh is "Baruch Atah... Elokei David u'Voneh Yerushalayim," including both David ha'Melech and Binyan Yerushalayim in one Berachah. That is what the Beraisa means when it says that the Shemoneh Esreh has only 18 Berachos.

The Bavli, though, clearly counts "Boneh Yerushalayim" and "Es Tzemach David" as two separate Berachos (Megilah 17b). In addition, the Gemara in Sanhedrin (107a) relates that David ha'Melech asked Hashem that mention of "Elokei David" be included in the Shemoneh Esreh, just like "Elokei Avraham." The Gemara says that Hashem did not acquiesce to David's request. Thus, the Bavli is consistent with its view that we do not say "Elokei David" in the Berachah of Boneh Yerushalayim, and instead we recite a separate Berachah of "Es Tzemach David." The Tosefta itself said that if one recites separate Berachos for David and Yerushalayim need not repeat the Shemoneh Esreh, and apprarently this was the practice adopted in Bavel.

Our practice today follows that of the Bavli. Rebbi Elazar ha'Kalir and the others who wrote the Piyutim, who lived in Eretz Yisrael, followed the practice of the Yerushalmi, and thus they wrote Piyutim for only 18 Berachos, keeping the Berachah of David ha'Melech and Binyan Yerushalayim as a single Berachah. That is why the Beraisa calls says that there are 18 Berachos in the Shemoneh Esreh.

Although it is no longer the practice to combine Es Tzemach and v'l'Yerushalayim in any communities today, as late as Seder Rav Amram Gaon we find the two Berachos recorded as a single Berachah. Even in our present Sidurim we find remnants of the original practice. In the Berachah of Boneh Yerushalayim that we recite today, we say "v'Chisei David...." This phrase is probably a remnant of the original practice of concluding the Berachah with the words, "Elokei David u'Voneh Yerushalayim," when the end of the Berachah (before the Chasimah) had to reflect the words said in the Chasimah. Rav Yehudah Landy adds that this is why the Berachah of Boneh Yerushalayim begins with a Vav - "*v*'le'Yerushalayim Ircha..." -- to denote that it had originally been a part of the previous Berachah, Es Tzemach. ("V'Lamalshinim" may begin with a "Vav" for a similar reason; it was an added Berachah, which was not originally part of the Shemoneh Esreh.)

It seems from the Tosfos Rid that the original practice, before the addition of the Berachah of "v'la'Malshinim," was that only 17 Berachos were recited in Shemoneh Esreh. This opinion maintains that when the Gemara in Berachos (28b) says that the additional Berachah of "v'la'Malshinim" was instituted in Yavneh, it is explaining why there are *18* as opposed to just *17* Berachos. (This differs from our Girsa, according to which the Gemara is explaining why the Mishnah mentions 18 and not *19* Berachos. The Girsa of 18 and not 17 actually appears in the Yerushalmi (Berachos 4:3 and Ta'anis 2:2), according to many Girsa'os.) Indeed, the Midrash (Bamidbar Rabah 18:21, and Tanchuma, end of Parshas Korach, see also Midrash Tehilim 17:4) says this explicitly. The Midrash says that the number of Berachos in the Shemoneh Esreh is equal to the Gematria of the word "Tov" (17). Even though we say 19 Berachos, originally the Shemoneh Esreh had only 17 Berachos, because "v'la'Malshinim" and "Es Tzemach David" were later additions. Es Tzemach, it states, was added even later than v'Lamalshinim.

(From the Bavli, which says that we do not say "Elokei David" in Tefilah, it appears that it had never been the practice to mention Elokei David. Apparently, before the Berachos of Es Tzemach and Boneh Yerushalayim were split the Chasimah was "*Magen* David v'Yerushalayim," and not Elokei David u'Voneh Yerushalayim. At the time the people from Bavel split the Berachah into two, the people from Eretz Yisrael instead gave the single Berachah a double ending, granting David special status by mentioning him separately in the Chasimah. The people of Bavel did not accept this practice for two reasons: 1. Because we should not mention Elokei David; 2. Because we do not include two subjects in the Chasimah of a single Berachah, as Rebbi says in Berachos 49a.)

RAV DAVID COHEN (in a special section at the end of Ohel David vol. 2) uses this to explain the words of TOSFOS in Megilah (17b, DH v'David). Tosfos implies that Rashi had a tradition to count chapters 9 and 10 of Tehilim as one chapter. [Indeed, by looking at the chapters, we see a strong connection between the two, which implies that they should be connected. In chapter 9, every other verse starts with a consecutive letter of the Hebrew alphabet, but reaches only until the letter Kaf. The first verse in chapter 10 starts with the letter Lamed, and the last alternating verses of the chapter start with the letters Kuf, Reish, Shin, and Taf!] How did it happen, then, that in our books of Tehilim these chapters appear as two separate chapters?

Rav David Cohen explains that originally they were one chapter and later the Chachamim split them into two chapters. The Gemara in Berachos (9b) says that originally, chapters 1 and 2 were one chapter. The MAHARSHA there explains that, according to the Gemara there, the first 18 Berachos of Shemoneh Esreh were made to correspond to the first 18 chapters of Tehilim, after which appears the verse, "Yiheyu l'Ratzon Imrei Fi...." When the Chachamim added a new Berachah in the Shemoneh Esreh, making a total of 19 Berachos, they wanted to add a new chapter in Tehilim so that the verse of "Yehiyu l'Ratzon" appears after 19 chapters, and therefore the split the first chapter into two.

Similarly, chapters 9 and 10 were originally one chapter. However, after the Chachamim added the Berachah of "Es Tzemach David" to Shemoneh Esreh they wanted to add a new chapter so that "Yiheyu l'Ratzon" would still appear after 19 chapters, and therefore they split another chapter of Tehilim into two chapters. (He points out that content of Mizorim 2 and 10 of Tehilim also corresponds to these two Berachos. The content of Mizmor 2 corresponds to Ez Tzemach, while that of Mizmor 10 corresponds to v'Lamalshinim.)

Next daf


For further information on
subscriptions, archives and sponsorships,
contact Kollel Iyun Hadaf,