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

The Closing Words of the Benedictions.

M.IX. 8b (5c). All the "seals" 9 of the Benedictions which were in the Temple were [i.e. were closed

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M.with] "from ever." 1 (But) from the time that the Heretics 2 spoiled things, and said, "There is no world save one," they ordered that [men] should say: "from ever to ever." 3

T. VII. 21. All the "seals" of the Benedictions which were said in the Temple were "to everlasting." From the time that the Heretics [minim] spoiled things, and said, There is no world save one, they ordained that men should say, "from everlasting and to everlasting," and [so] acknowledge that this world is when compared to the world to come only like the vestibule in front of the dining-hall. 4

22. They did not answer "Amen" in the Temple. And whence do we know that they did not answer "Amen" in the Temple? Because it is said: "Stand up and bless the LORD your God from ever to ever;" 5 and it says [then] "And let them bless thy glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise," above every single Blessing and above every single [ascription of] praise. 6

20. He that openeth [his Benediction] with Yôd, Hê, 7 and closeth 8 with Yôd, Hê—behold, this is a wise man, [He that openeth] with the Aleph but

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not with Daleth, 1 and closeth with Yôd, Hê—behold, this is a middling man. [He that openeth] with Yôd, Hê, and closeth with Aleph but not with Daleth—behold, this is an uneducated man. [He that openeth] with Aleph but not with Daleth, and closeth with Aleph but not with Daleth—behold, this is another Way [altogether]. 2


86:1 staff . . . shoes. Cf. Matt. 1010.

86:2 the dust on his feet. Cf. Matt. 1014.

86:3 a short cut. The word is compendiaria (via).

86:4 B. omits from "What of wearing" to "regulation." Cf. T., infra, p. 220.

86:5 in his linen cloth (bisdîno). Which he was wearing, Mark 1451.

86:6 Eccles. 51.

86:7 Esther 42.

86:8 the Law says. i.e. in Eccles. 51. For the application of the term "the Law" to the Hagiographa, cf. John 1034, referring to Ps. 826.

86:9 All the "seals." So C, kol chôtham. But this should perhaps be emended to the usual text kol chôthme, which may be read as "all the seals," or "all who sealed." See the next note.

87:1 "from ever." C reads hāyu min ha‘ôlām, literally, "were from ever" or "from the world." But B has hāyu ’omrīm ‘ad ha‘ôlām, "all they who sealed the Benedictions which were in the Temple used to say 'for ever.'" Probably, however, T. VII. 21 is right in reading only ‘ad, "to," instead of min, "from."

87:2 the Heretics (ha Minim). Here plainly not the Hebrew-Christians, for these never denied the existence of the next world. Cf. pp. 40 sq., 42.

87:3 from ever to ever. Literally, "from the world and even to the world." Yet in Neh. 95 we find said in the Second Temple, "Arise, bless the LORD your God from ever to ever." For other references see Dalman, Worte, pp. 123 sq. (E. T. p. 151).

87:4 the vestibule. Cf. Aboth, IV. 21(23).

87:5 Neh. 95.

87:6 No mention is made of "Amen."

87:7 Yôd, . The first and last letters of YHWH.

87:8 closeth. Literally, "sealeth."

88:1 not with Daleth. Laible explains that instead of beginning with Adonai (which stands for YHWH), he begins with Elohim.

88:2 He mentions Elohim twice, suggesting that there is more than one God.

Next: M. IX. 8c; T. VII. 23-25. Salutations in the Name