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Tractate Berakoth, by , by A. Lukyn Williams, [1921], at

The Eighteen Prayers and their Abstract.

3. Rabban Gamaliel used to say: a man prays the Eighteen [Benedictions] every day. R. Joshua used to say the abstract 6 of the Eighteen. R. Joshua 7 used to say: If his Prayer

p. 31

is fluent 1 in his mouth he prays the Eighteen, M. and if not the abstract of the Eighteen. 2


30:6 the abstract. The word (mê‘eyn) is properly "after the appearance of," but is used here almost as an independent substantive, "a resemblance of," "a paraphrase," "an abstract" (see Levy, Neuh. u. Chald. Wörterbuch, 1883, iii. 640).

The oldest "abstract" of the Eighteen Benedictions seems to be the Habinenu (SA, p. 55 with Abraham's note), where, however, the rubric orders that the first three prayers of the Eighteen precede it. The early (Palestinian) form (c. 254 A.D.) is given in Dalman Worte, Appendix, p. 304; Staerk, p. 20.

30:7 R. Joshua. B. has R. Aqiba. But this may be due to the similarity of the sayings ascribed to the latter in T. III. 3. "R. Joshua" in the Mishna is R. Joshua ben Chananiah, a mishna teacher of the second generation, c. 90-130 A.D. "I said, I care p. 31 not if my lot be as that of Joshua ben Chananja: after the last destruction he earned his bread by making needles, but in his youth he had been a singer on the steps of the Temple, and had a memory of what was, before the glory departed" ("George Eliot," Daniel Deronda, e. XL., 1876, iii. 179).

31:1 fluent. Cf. M. v. 5. p. 41. T. iii. 3. p. 29.

31:2 the abstract of the Eighteen. If he remember the Eighteen without difficulty, let him pray them in full.

Next: M. IV. 4; T. III. 7. The Prayer not to be Mechanical: Prayer when in Danger