Taanit, Chapter Two, Mishnah Three

 

Introduction

There are six additional benedictions listed in our mishnah.  Our mishnah provides the scriptural verses that are recited as part of these benedictions.  In the following mishnah we will learn the additional liturgy attached to each benedictions, liturgy based on verses but composed by the rabbis.

 

Mishnah Three

A)  These are they [the six additional benedictions:

1)      Zikhronot,

2)      Shofarot,

3)      “In my distress I called to the Lord and He answered me” (Psalm 120).

4)      “I turn my eyes to the mountains” (Psalm 121).

5)      “Out of the depths I call you, O Lord” (Psalm 130).   

6)      “A prayer of lowly man when he is faint” (Psalm 102).   

B)  Rabbi Judah says: he need not recite the zikhronot and shofarot, but instead he should recite [the following]:

1)      “If there is famine in the land, if there is pestilence” (I Kings 8:37).

2)      “The word of the Lord which came to Jeremiah concerning the droughts” (Jeremiah 14).   

C)  And he ends each [of the additional six] sections with its appropriate concluding benediction.

 

Explanation

Section A:  The first two benedictions are the same as two of the three benedictions recited on Rosh Hashanah—zikhronot, remembrances and shofarot.  These are appropriate for fast days because we are asking God to remember us and deliver us rain and we blow the shofar.  Malkhuyot, kingship, the other special benediction for Rosh Hashanah would not be appropriate for a fast day.

The other four benedictions consist of Psalms.  While the mishnah only mentions the first verse, the meaning is that the entire Psalm is recited.

Section B:  Rabbi Judah disagrees with the recitation of the zikhronot and shofarot and instead offers two other appropriate biblical verses. 

Section C:  Each section is ended with an appropriate concluding benediction.  These are explicated in tomorrow’s mishnah.   

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