Tractate Berakoth, by , by A. Lukyn Williams, , at sacred-texts.com
M.I. 4 (2). At what time does one begin to recite the Shma‘ in the mornings? As soon as one can distinguish between blue and white. 1 R. Eliezer says: Between blue and leek-green, 2 and one may finish it until the sun first shines out.
R. Joshua 3 says: Until [the end of] the third hour, 4 for such is the practice of kings’ sons, 5 to arise at the third hour. He who recites from that time and later has no loss; 6 he is like a man who reads in the Law. 7
4:1 blue and white. Between the colours of the threads in the Tsitsith, the "Fringe" of the Prayer-scarf (Tallith).
4:2 blue and leek-green. i.e. rather later, because the two colours require a better light to distinguish them.
4:3 R. Joshua. R. J. ben Chananiah, c. 90-130 A.D.
4:4 the third hour. c. 9 a.m. See note, p. 28.
4:5 kings’ sons. i.e. persons who are not obliged to rise early.
4:6 has no loss. For he may still recite the Benedictions that precede and follow the Shma‘ (Bartenora).
4:7 in the Law. And he receives the same reward (Bartenora).
4:8 Others. i.e. than those mentioned in M. I. 4.
4:9 to recognize one's companion. Compare The Pilgrimage of Etheria, written in the end of the fourth century. "The arrival in Jerusalem thus takes place at the hour when one man begins to be able to recognize another, that is, close upon but a little before daylight." (English translation, 1919, p. 53; see also p. 72.)
4:10 the Ge’ullah. The one long Benediction that follows the Shma‘ in the morning (Staerk, pp. 6 sq.; SA, pp. 42-44,) and the first of the two that follow it in the evening (Staerk, pp. 8 sq.; SA, pp. 98 sq.). It is called Ge’ullah (redemption) because the latter part recalls the redemption from Egypt.
4:11 the Tephillah. i.e. the Prayer par excellence. It consists of p. 5 nineteen separate prayers, or Benedictions, the original number being Eighteen, whence the name Shemoneh Esreh. It is often (though not in the Mishna or Tosephta of Berakoth) called the Amidah, because it was said standing. It is essentially pre-Christian, and perhaps pre-Maccabean. Both the Palestinian (the earlier) and the Babylonian (the later and normal) forms are given in Dalman's Worte, Appendix, Staerk, pp. 9 sqq., see further SA, pp. lv. sqq.