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

On Mistakes (continued). R. Chanina's Knowledge of the Effect of His Prayers.

5. He who is praying and makes a mistake—it is a bad omen for him. And if he is the representative of the congregation 4 it is a bad omen for those that bid him represent them, because a man's representative is like himself. 5 They tell of R. Chanina b. Dosa that he used to pray over the sick and say: This one will live, and this one will die. They said to him: Whence knowest thou [this]? He said to them: If my prayer is fluent 6 in my mouth I know that he [the sick

p. 42] is accepted, and if not I know that he is rejected.


41:1 B prefixes: "He that says, Let the good say the Benediction, lo, this smacks of heresy (minûth)," as suggesting the division of members into worthy and unworthy. But it would not appear to have any connexion with Christianity.

41:2 after the priests. The blessing from Num. 624-26 was given by the priests between the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Benedictions (SA, p. 53). If the leader said "Amen" he was in danger of forgetting the last Benediction. The priests face the people, and the leader faces the priests and says the blessings word for word for them to repeat. To each of the three blessings the people say Amen. See Maimonides.

41:3 his hands. Literally "his palms," perhaps the palms of the hands were held up towards the congregation.

41:4 the representative of the congregation (shliach tsibbur). In his duties for the occasion; it was not a permanent office (Elbogen, p. 488).

41:5 like himself. Cf. Matt. 1040. See my Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, §§ 339 sq.

41:6 fluent. Cf. M. IV. 3 (p. 31).

Next: T. III. 22-25. Additional Matter