Sacred Texts  Judaism  Index  Previous  Next 

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

Where Workmen may Recite the Shma‘.

II. 5 (4). Workmen may recite [the Shma‘] on the top of a tree, or on the top of a scaffold, although they are not free to do so in the Prayer. 4

T. II. 8. Labourers recite the Shma‘ if they are in the top of a tree, and they say the Prayer if they are in the top of an olive—tree, and in the top of a

p. 19


fig-tree. 1 But in the case of all other trees, they come down and then say the Prayer. The owner of the house in either case comes down and says the Prayer. 2

9. Labourers recite the Shma‘, and say the Benedictions before it and after it 3 They eat their food and say Benedictions before and after. 4 They say the Eighteen Benedictions three times, 5 but we do not let them go down in front of the Ark [to say prayers for others]. 6


18:4 in the Prayer. The Shma‘ requires attention only in its first verse, but the Eighteen Benedictions throughout, for prayer is a matter of love (Bartenora).

19:1 olive-tree . . . . fig-tree. There is not much danger of falling from these trees.

19:2 His time is not so valuable.

19:3 the Benedictions before it and after it. SA, pp. 39-42.

19:4 before . . . after. Literally "before them" and "after them," i.e. the Shma‘ and the meal (vide infra, p. 23).

19:5 three times. i.e. morning, afternoon, and evening. The shel in Zuckermandel's text seems to be a printer's error.

19:6 let them go down in front of the Ark. Cf. M. V. 3: "him that passes before the Ark." Either phrase was originally used of the leader in the Tephillah, because he stepped forward in front of the Ark containing the rolls of the Law. But the term remained on when he had taken his place there long before the Tephillah. "Go down," because sometimes the Ark was lower than the body of the synagogue, perhaps in order to teach humility. See Elbogen, P. 497; SA, on p. 42 (p. lvi.). Cf. infra, p. 40.

Next: M. II. 6; T. I. 3, II. 10. A Bridegroom and the Shma‘. Gamaliel