Vol 35.19 - Vayetze 2 Spanish French Audio Video
1. The Mishna states:
“The morning prayer (Shacharit) may be recited until noon. . the afternoon prayer (Mincha) may be recited until the evening. . The evening prayer (Arvit) (may be recited throughout the night and) is not fixed to a specific hour”.
The commentators have already noticed the reason for the change in wording.
This is more problematic to the one who maintains that the reason that it begins in the Talmud with the evening Kriat Shema is because it is like “the Creation of the world as it states. ‘It became evening and it became morning, one day’”.
(And not because it relies on the words of the verse “when you lie down and when you rise “. For if so, “then (we could say that) that verse is only particular in connection with Kriat Shema“).
For if so, even with regard to the order of prayer, it should have been learned in this order.
(Note: as Tosafot continues: “But if you say that the order of the Mishna is based on the verse of creation of the world, then one should be particular to follow this order for all matters”),
The explanation of this is:
Prayer is different from Kriat Shema. For according to the essential enactment of prayer, the order is Shacharit, Mincha and Arvit .
This is both according to the one who maintains that “prayer was instituted by the Patriarchs “:
As well as the one who maintains that that they were instituted ‘in place of the daily sacrifices/Temidim“. For according to that view, Shacharit and Mincha correspond to the two Temidim, (morning and afternoon) and Arvit corresponds to the “the burning of the limbs and fats of the offerings that were not consumed by the fire on the altar in the evening and were offered continuously throughout the entire night“.
Therefore we find that Tefilat Arvit is the final prayer of the day, just like the offering of the limbs and fats in the evening is the completion of the Korbanot that were offered that day.
Seemingly, one must examining that which is cited in the Talmud:
“If one erred and did not say the evening Tefilah, he says it twice in the morning. (If he erred) in the morning, he says it twice in the afternoon. The question was raised: If a man erred and did not say the afternoon Tefilah, should he say it twice in the evening? If you argue that if he erred in the evening he may pray twice in the morning, since it is all one day, as it is written, ‘And there was evening and there was morning, one day’. But in this case, prayer being in the place of sacrifice, since the day has passed the sacrifice lapses. Or should we rather say that since prayer is supplication for mercy, as long one needs, he may go on praying?”
It is clear from this that the order of the three prayers is Arvit, Shacharit, Mincha, like the order of the “Creation of the world” (like Kriat Shema) “one day . . ‘And there was evening and there was morning, one day’“. Therefore, one might think that it is impossible to complete the Mincha prayer in the following Arvit prayer since the day has already passed
(And even according to the Talmud’s conclusion that we do not say “since the day has passed the sacrifice lapses “, this is just because that “prayer is supplication for mercy, as long one needs, he may go on praying”).
We also find in the Talmud (31a):
“I might have thought that one could pray the entire day; (Yet,) It has already been expressly stated by the hand of Daniel, ‘And three times . .’. I might say that he may combine all three Tefillot in one? (Yet,) It has already been clearly stated by David, as is written, Evening and morning and at noonday etc.”. Thus the order of the prayers is “Evening and morning and at noonday”.
2. One could say that the explanation of this is:
There is a maxim in Halacha that:
According to this, one could say that the two orders in the three prayers namely
Is dependent on whether prayer is in the scope of “Kodashim” or in the scope of “the work of Creation”
One could say that prayer contains both aspects:
For in prayer, there is a scope of “Kodashim”, because of which the ‘night follows the day’ and the order of the prayer is Shacharit Mincha ar.
And there is also in the aspect of prayer a scope of “the work of Creation”. According to this, the ‘day follows the night’. According to this, the order of the prayers is Arvit, Shacharit and Mincha.
Indeed, in the essence of prayer we find two aspects:
On one hand prayer is “service of the heart” (Avodah Shb”leiv/ עבודה שבלב) as the Sages state that the obligation for prayer is derived from the verse “to serve Him with all your heart “ – “Which is the service of G-d that is performed in the heart? You must say that this is referring to prayer “
On the other hand, the simple meaning of “prayer/ תפלה” is from the word request/ בקשה. In other words, that which a person requests his needs from G-d.
These two aspects – ‘service of the heart’ and ‘the request of one’s needs’ are completely different from each other.
For ‘service of the heart’ means (like the simple meaning) to serve G-d. This entails accepting the yoke of the kingdom of Heaven (קבלת עול מלכות שמים) and one’s attachment to G-d. As it states in the Mishnah that:
“the early generations of pious men (חםידים הראשונים) would wait one hour, and then pray, so that they would focus their hearts toward their Father in Heaven “.
This is explained in the Tur who states that they would:
“meditate and concentrate on their prayer so much so that they reached a level of shedding of physicality (hispashtut haGashmiyut / התפשטות הגשמיות) and the overpowering of intellectual spirit so much so that they would come close to the level of prophecy“.
From this it is plainly understood that while they were in such a condition of connection to the “Master of all, blessed be He, with strong fear and love and true connection” that they were not concerned about their personal needs.
However, these are two boundaries in prayer:
(For like the aspect of the Korbanot simply, that it is the offering to G-d and in the house of G-d, so too is the aspect of prayer - where a person stands before G-d. In addition, even the essence of the Avodah is the attachment to G-d (similar to an offering to G-d).
3. Indeed, in practical Halacha we rule (as aforementioned) that the order of the prayer is Arvit, Shacharit and Mincha.
Therefore, there is not even a supposition in the Talmud that the reason that one is able to complete the Mincha prayer is because it is the conclusion of the three prayers. Furthermore, it is proven that the order of the prayer in Halacha is Arvit Shacharit and Mincha.
One could say that the reason is:
According to Halacha the obligation and law of the Mincha of prayer is the request of one’s needs (which is the aspect of “the work of Creation” of prayer, as aforementioned). This is the essential object (Cheftza) of prayer.
Whereas the ‘service of the heart’ is just the description of the condition of the person (Gavra) who is praying. For in order to ensure that the object/Cheftza of requesting one’s needs be proper, a person/Gavra must be in a condition of “service of the heart”. For without this he is lacking in the essential request. Notwithstanding this, it (service of the heart) is nevertheless not the essence of prayer.
According to this, one could explain the words of Rambam in the beginning of Hilchot Tefilah:
“It is a positive Torah commandment to pray every day, as (Exodus 23:25) states: "You shall serve G-d, your L-rd." Tradition teaches us that this service is prayer, as (Deuteronomy 11:13) states: "And serve Him with all your heart" and our Sages said: Which is the service of the heart? This is prayer.”
The commentators have already asked:
Why does Rambam cite the verse "You shall serve G-d, your L-rd“. Even without this verse one must cite the verse “And serve Him with all your heart“. For it is only through those words of the verse that we derive that it refers to prayer, as it states: “Which is the service of the heart? This is prayer “ (whereas in the verse "You shall serve G-d, your L-rd.“, where it does not state the word “heart”, there is no proof that it specifically refers to prayer). If so, he should have stated just the verse of “And serve Him with all your heart“.
One could say, based on what is written in the Kiryat Sefer (R’ Moshe di Trani - known by his acronym Mabit), that from the words of the verse, “You shall serve“ we learn that “it is a positive Biblical Mitzvah to pray every day” for “he (Rambam) relies on the end of the verse (Ex. 23:25) where it states “(And you shall serve the L-rd, your G-d), and He will bless your food and your drink”), which is a daily need. (“with which you ask your needs. Lechem Mishnah ibid.“)
לחם משנה: ועוד קשה דמנין לו מכאן דהוי בכל יום. ובעל קרית ספר כתב לתרץ משום דכתיב ועבדתם את ה' ואין עבודה אלא תפלה ובסיפא דקרא אומר וברך את לחמך ואת מימיך ולחם ומים צריך בכל יום אם כן התפלה ג"כ היא בכל יום למה שאתה שואל צרכיך בה
According to this, one could say that the difference between the two verses of "You shall serve" and “And serve Him with all your heart” is:
(Similarly, we find in prayer itself, namely that the order of prayer is, that in the beginning:
“one utters praises of the Holy One, blessed be He; then he petitions for all his needs, that he requires, with request and supplication; then he gives praise and thanks to G-d for the goodness that He has bestowed upon him;”
This means, that in order that the request of his needs be in a fitting manner, one must preface before it, the praise of the Omnipresent (and also to conclude with praise etc.).
4. The explanation of the two aforementioned orders in the three prayers in Avodat HaShem can be understood by prefacing an inner explanation in the aforementioned maxim that “Regarding Creation the day follows the night” and “Regarding Kodashim the night follows the day” which are two orders in Avodat HaShem:
(For the maxim: “Regarding Creation the day follows the night” also refers to aspects of Mitzvot and Avodat HaShem that are connected in time, for day follows the night).
The explanation of the matter is:
So too is it in the Avodah of each and every individual, specifically. For a person is comprised of the soul and the body:
This is also the reason for the difference, namely that “regarding Creation the day follows the night” whereas “regarding Kodashim the ‘night follows the day”:
In “Kodashim”,(also) the beginning is in “day and light. Since all of his endeavoring is in things where holiness within them is revealed (light and revelation). Afterward he rises from to level (מחיל אל חיל), to add and elevate in the light of holiness (like the maxim “rise in holiness (מעלין בקודש)) “. From this it is understood, not only that the (maxim of the) “night” follows the “day” (regarding Kodashim) is also an aspect of light and holiness, but more than this, namely that this “night” is above the light of the preceding day.
For, in “light” itself, there are two manners:
This is why “Regarding Kodashim the night follows the day”. For its beginning is in the aspect of the revealed light, and afterward one attains a loftier light, the hidden light, which is above the scope of created beings.
Whereas “Regarding Creation the day follows the night”. This is like the order of “the Creation of the world as it states. ‘It became evening and (afterward) it became morning”, “in the beginning darkness and afterward light”. For the purpose of this Avodah is the effect in the world. Therefore, the beginning of the Avodah is from the “night”. For in the beginning of the Avodah, the world is in a condition of “darkness”, “world/Olam” from the word “hiddenness/Helem”. At that level, holiness is not visible and revealed in it. However, through Avodat HaAdam, one comes from the “night” to “day”. For we illuminate the darkness, so much so that we transform the darkness itself into light.
5. From this, it is also understood with regard to the aspect of prayer, that it contains within it these two orders:
In the Avodah of prayer there is:
These are the two orders of the three prayers:
(We thus find that from this perspective of prayer, the Arvit prayer is higher than the Shacharit and Mincha prayer. This fits with the statement, that specifically Yaakov Avinu instituted the Arvit prayer, for Yaakov is the chosen of the Avot (בחיר שבאבות)).
However, regarding Halacha, we rule (as aforementioned) that the order of the three prayers is Arvit, Shacharit and Mincha. For the main intent of the Creation of the world and the descent of the soul below is to make for G-d an abode specifically in the lower realms, as is explained at length in Tanya. In other words, the main intent is in this physical world which is the “lowest .. for there is none lower than it with regarding to the hiding of His light and the darkness is double and redoubled”. This is accomplished by transforming the darkness of the world into light.
So too is it with regard to the aspect of prayer. For the main aspect of prayer is reciting the words of prayer. For through this, one accomplishes the refining of the body and the animalistic soul – the Avodah specifically in the place of darkness. Therefore, the order of the prayer is Arvit, Shacharit and Mincha. For the Avodah is in the place of the darkness. With this, we ascend from level to level, by drawing down the holiness into the darkness, so much so that we transform the darkness into light.
According to this order, the Arvit prayer is the beginning of the Avodah, and the conclusion and completeness of the three prayers is with the Mincha prayer. This fits with what is explained in many places that the main advantage of the Mincha prayer is in that which its time is in the middle of the day. For although at that time, a person is occupied with his livelihood etc., nevertheless he stops and stands in prayer. This is the advantage of the Avodah as it is connected specifically with the aspects of the world.
(These two orders are also alluded to in the text of the blessing of the evening Kriat Shema “Who rolls away light from before darkness and darkness from before light” (גולל אור מפני חושך וחושך מפני אור)
One could say that this is also the reason that the Mincha prayer is connected with Eliyahu HaNavi, who will announce the Geulah. As it states “A person should always be careful about the Mincha prayer, for Eliyahu was answered only in the Mincha prayer“.
This is the advantage of the days of Moshiach, for then “Then, the physicality of the body and of the world will become purified, and they will be able to receive the revelation of G‑d’s light that will shine forth over Israel”. And this will be in a manner that “the darkness of the nations will also be lit up”. For the entire world be become an Abode for G-d.
MSichas night of Vav Tishrei 5745
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