Monday, August 07, 2006

the Ohr Sameiach on nacheim and nachamu

The Rosh asks: why is it that we only recite nacheim in the shmoneh esrei of mincha on 9 Av - if it is akin to "me'ein hame'ora", a tefila based on the character of the day, we should recite it in all our tefilos just as we recite ya'aleh v'yavo in every tefila of rosh chodesh and al hanisim in every tefila of chanuka? The Ohr Sameiach (hil tefila) answers this question with a gemara in Ta'anis (30). Shmuel haKatan declared a fast, and after a full day of tefila it began to rain. The tzibur assumed this was due to their good grace, but Shmuel haKatan warned otherwise. He gave a mashal to a Master whose servant needs a certain request granted - rather than grant the favor immediatly, the Master let the servant sweat out the day in suffering and pleading and only then consented. Explains the Ohr Sameiach: if we were to say nacheim at night and again in the morning, and then follow with the leining of "ki tolid banim" and "asof asifeim", it would seem that Hashem is piling suffering on before granting our wish. By not saying nacheim until mincha at the end of the day, we go immediatly from the close of our tefila of 9 Av of "nacheim" to shabbos nachamu, where Hashem offers the response of "nachamu nachamu ami".


  1. I always thought based on the idea of the Rav tzl, developed by R'Schachter (I dont remember if it is ikvei hatzon or eretz hatzvi) that there is a difference between al ha-nisim on the one hand and the me'in hameora of yaaleh veyavo. That YV is just mein hameora so it is inserted in retzei as a bakashah almost. AL ha-nisim is not an addition and appendage but rather a natural extension of the hodaah of modim (which explains a lot of halahcos -- why you dont repeat if you forget -- I know the deoraysa derabanan chiluk but there is more to say about that based on the sugya in shabbos ve-ein kan mekomo; this also explains the nusach of ve-al ha-nisim as it is a continuation, and also answers the famous question of why no mention in al ha-michya -- because all al ha-nisim is an extension and al ha-michya is a short version anyway).

    The question is in which category does Nacheim fall. There is a machlokes quoted by the Rishonim based I believe on a yerushalmi whether to say Nacheim in retzei like YV or in Boneh Yerushalayim. I thought perhaps this taluy on the same idea -- is Nacheim a me'in he-meorah or is it more like al ha-nisim that it is an extension of the bracha = i.e. part of Boneh Yerushalayim. For our minhag based on the bavli to say it in boneh yerushalayim rather than retzei, it appears to be an extension of the bracha.

    In that case, I thought that since it is not a din of mein hameora we should not necessarily say it every tefilah but rather at mincha when the Beis hamikdash was set on fire and we feel the pain of the churban of yerushalayim most acutely. My two cents.

  2. I like your approach a lot!

  3. anon13:55 PM