Εικόνες σελίδας
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

.but are limited to a particular period

מצות עשה שהזמן גרמה נשים

• good nitida (Berachoth, fol. 20.) Thus, for instance, females are exempt from the wearing of the fringes (nox's) and the phylacteries (as they are not worn after sunset); further from the precepts of the (asos obuoli 20 na'vo) Tabernacle and Lulab, with which the feast of Tabernacles is celebrated in the synagogue; and similar others. (It must be observed, however, that, if a female once accustoms herself to do any of the affirmative precepts, from which she is otherwise exempt, she is bound to adhere to this practice afterwards. This is the custom in almost every country where Jews are settled.)

5. Besides the practicable Mosaic precepts, there are several rabbinical ordinances (93277 118d) which we are all bound to observe, without distinction of sex. For example, the ordinance of the washing of hands, and the grace said before the use of any kind of food, drink, &c. (The returning of thanks after meals is a Mosaic institution.) The lighting of the lamps at the commencement of the sabbath and holy-days; the reading of the book of Esther on the feast of Purim; the lighting of the lamps during the eight Days of the Consecration (of the temple under the Maccabees--7201 ); the reading of various songs of thanks and praise from the Psalms of David on days of rejoicing Shan nap), and others of the like kind.

Our wise men also say, if it is in accordance with the natural emotions of gratitude, no less than the precepts of the divine law, to thank God for every enjoyment, which promotes only the strengthening of our body: it is the more necessary, to do the same at every enjoyment of the soul, i. e. the observance of those precepts, which purpose the amelioration and welfare of our soul. We have

therefore not only a formula of prayers of thanks or grace, before and after the use of earthly things;* but also before the exercise of any ceremonial law. For instance: “ Praised be thou, Eternal our God, king of the world! who hast sanctified us with thy commandments, and hast commanded us the precept of the fringes” (n°3'3).

* F. E. Before the eating of bread made of rye, wheat, &c. “ Praised be thou, O Eternal our God, king of the world, who producedst bread from the earth.” Over any kind of cake: “ Praised be thou, O Eternal—who didst create food of various kinds.” Before drinking wine: “ Praised ...... who didst create the fruit of the vine.” Over all kinds of fruit, which grow on trees: “ Praised ...... who didst create the fruit of trees.” Over all productions of the earth or the fruit of shrubs: “ Praised ...... who didst create the fruit of the earth.” Over cheese, meat, eggs, &c. and all kinds of drink except wine: “Praised ...... through whose word all came into being.” After the enjoyment of the last mentioned kinds of food and drink, say the following grace: “ Praised be thou, O Eternal our God, king of the world! who didst create many beings with wants, which make them dependent on other creatures, through which the existence of all living things is preserved; praised be thou, Everliving God!”—At smelling aromatic herbs or flowers: “ Praised ...... who createdst aromatic herbs.” Over other aromatics, which do not grow out of the earth: “ Praised ......who didst create various kinds of aromatic things.” At the sight of a rainbow : “ Praised ... ... who rememberest thy covenant, remainest true to thy word, and fulfillest thy promise.” At the sight of trees in bloom: “ Praised ...... who didst suffer nothing to be wanting in thy world, and didst create such beautiful beings and agreeable trees in the same, for the gratification of the children of man.” At the sight of lightning, &c. “ Praised ...... who always continuest to renew the works of the creation.” Over thunder and heavy storms: “ Praised ...... whose power and all-ruling strength fill the universe.” At an unfortunate occurrence, or when we hear an evil account: - Praised ...... who art a just judge!”—At the hearing of good news, or at a fortunate occurrence: “ Praised .. .. .. who art an ever kind benefactor.”—At the enjoyment of any new thing, and the commencement of festivals, and before the reading of the book of Esther on Purim, &c. “ Praised ...... who hast preserved us alive, and in health, and permitted us to live to this time.”

“ Praised be thou -- -- and commanded us to lay the phylacteries.”

“ Praised be thou - -- and commanded us to engage in the learning of the law.” And so by all laws.

And whereas our religion demands of us, (see above $112), to obey also the ordinances of our wise men, we pronounce the same formula, before the performance of any one of the seven principal

as before the obeying ,(שבע מצות דרבנן) ordinances of the Rabbies

of any of the Mosaic laws. F. E. “ Praised be thou, Eternal our God—who hast sanctified us with thy commandments, and ordered us to light the lamp of the consecration,” (1930 73). “ Praised ---- and commanded us to read the roll” (of the book of Esther, on the Purim feast). And the same at the others.

Every Israelite should nevertheless know, or endeavour to learn, at the execution of any commandment, if it be Mosaic or Rabbinical; because error and ignorance in this respect may occasion gross abuses, and have very pernicious consequences. The yet customary and practicable ceremonial laws, which are recorded in the book 717 no (mentioned above $ 109), particularly those in the

,(יורה דעה and אורח חיים) first and

second parts of the same

are of three various kinds namely: 1. NN"187 7180 Mosaic precepts;

מצות דרבנן .2

Rabbinical ordinances
.Customs מנהגים .3

The last again are very diversified; many of them are mere local usages, and practised only in a few districts or places,—and many

מדות חסידות or מנהג חסידות others are those called i . e . customs

from particular piety, or practices of certain pious men. As for instance, the custom of abstaining from all kinds of wine or meat during the thirteen last days of the month Thamuz (1100); or the practice of neither eating any new fruit, nor putting on a new garment during the first mentioned period and the nine first days of the month Ab (3x), (which time is called '1807 72); so as not to be ob

liged to pronounce the formula of grace, noticed in the note to the preceding paragraph, for the enjoyment of any new thing (13"N7W); the custom of fasting on the 29th day of every month (0"'3W) and to read certain penitential prayers, or, as it is commonly termed, to hold a small Day of Atonement (yup 197 01'); not to use on the Sabbath any other language, besides the Hebrew. To this class (nition nito) do the learned you non '377 and 27728 jan (ypro N") also reckon the custom of keeping the head covered without the synagogues. *

[ocr errors][merged small]

Our wise men recommend cleanliness, as particularly obligatory. upon every man. They say : mob. 78'da 1770 1770 g 08yan nipa “ Cleanliness of the body

7017pqo's Okyan n 991n1uing will occasion purity of mind and morals, and promote true piety” (or as they call it, sanctity).

They therefore made it a rule to wash the hands after rising from sleep, before commencing prayers and before meals. And for this very useful ordinance we thank God in the following formula: “ Praised be thou, Eternal our God, king of the world ! who hast sanctified us through thy commandments, and commanded us the washing of hands."


Our first ideas at awakening should be directed to God; our

* In mentioning this oriental custom, of keeping the head also covered in the houses of prayer, we read in Midrash:

innrun it's not been olup ob 128 Only consider-spoke God

to the Israelites how little עליכם לקרות פרועי ראש וכו'•

I desire from you any slavish service; 'I would not even give you the trouble of uncovering your heads, whilst you are reading the Shemang, and are acknowledging me as your Lord and King."

first thought every morning should be thankfulness for the benefits we receive daily and hourly from him. We have therefore a short but expressive prayer, which we are to pronounce immediately on awakening. I VINDU D'pi ingho7305 28 7710 “ I thank thee, ever-living,

gruids727 7hona novi ever-enduring King ! that thou hast again restored to me the use of my faculties, through thy great goodness and mercy.”'

10. When we put on that garment (nida yans), on which the fringes ordained by the law (n'gos) are fixed, (Numb. 15 ch. 37 y. and Deut. 22 ch. 12 v.), we pronounce likewise the following prayer of thanks: “ Praised ...... who hast sanctified us through thy commandments, and commanded us the precept of the fringes” (n°8'niso by 13131). But when we cover ourselves with the pray. er-cloak (1999), we say in place of the concluding words of the foregoing: (nory] yoynas 19181) " sanctified and commanded us to endelope ourselves with the garment of fringes.

These fringes are to be considered as marks of remembrance and tokens, by which we are always reminded of the commandments of God; as it is written, (Numb. 15 ch. 39 v.):

niyo sa nxonning O'NT nx9soos 779771 “These fringes shall "Ni dazas ons in shor8 'uyi'o serve you for the on vyi ingin qysh n'D'J DOK WURDI'I'Y purpose, that you

d'obres d'voponyai niso ba na may see them and remember all the commandments of the Eternal and do them; but not follow the bent of your heart and of your eyes, by which you are led to sin; ye will thereby remember all my precepts and obey them, that you may be holy to your God.”


As soon as a boy has reached his thirteenth year, and he has

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »