Tuesday, November 17, 2020

hallel is m'akeiv tefilah?

The very first teshuvah in Shu"T Maharasham (third paragraph in) quotes a Tosefta in Menachos (ch 6) that says hallel and tefilah are m'akvin zeh es zeh -- you can't have one without the other.  A big chiddush -- if you are mafsik in between tefilah and hallel, or miss reciting hallel all together, it means you were not yotzei your mitzvah of tefilah!  

The only problem is if you look up the Tosefta, that's not exactly what it says.  The Maharasham left out one word.  Here is the text:

הלל ושבח ותפלה מעכבות זו את זו

Ohr Sameiach in the beginning of Hil Tefilah quotes from the Sifri that tefilah has to follow a specific formula of shevah, bakasha, and then hoda'ah.  Even according to shitas haRambam that the mitzvah d'oraysa of tefilah requires only saying one tefilah a day, it is not enough to recite any old bakasha (like the MG"A writes) -- you have to recite a bakasha that fits the tzurah of what tefilah is and start with shevah, then the bakasha, and then hoda'ah at the end (assuming, as the Oh"S does, that the Sifri is a din d'oraysa).  

The Ohr Sameiach writes that this is what the Tosefta is telling us -- hallel is the praise that tefilah starts with, tefilah is the bakasha in the middle, and shvach is the praise of thanks at the end.  This is the tzurah which defines what tefilah is and is therefore m'akeiv.

This Oh"S is important because many women are under the (mis)impression that they do not have to daven shmoneh esrei because the mitzvah of tefilah derabbanan is zman grama and therefore not obligatory for them and the mitzvah doraysa of tefilah requires no more than reciting any simple prayer.  According to the Sifri and Tosefta, the structure of shevach, bakasha, and hodaah is m'akeiv the mitzvah.  If you don't follow the formula, you are not yotzei anything.


  1. "hallel is the praise that tefilah starts with"

    maybe that's why pasuk 25:19 ends with 'Avraham holeed es-Yitzchak'-- to tell us the praise* with which Yitzchak opened his prayer (at :21)?

    *hal'ven mei'ah-shanah yi'valeid? 17:17; v'adoni zakin, 18:12; >ha'yi'palei mei'Hashem davar?< (18:14, the praise-- Avraham [at 100] begot Yitzchak!)

  2. The AhS (OC 106:7) discusses what women are mechuyavos in. It's not so simple they're wrong. Although his argument reads like one of his explanations that he holds must be true because שארית ישראל לא יעשו עולה. But he finds a way to understand the Rambam and the Rif as saying the non-zeman gerama asei of tefillah is deOraisa, and therefor is just daily prayer of some sort (e.g. berakhos). Whereas a specific matbeia' is a layer of derabbanan on top which is zeman gerama. And "ולפי זה בדוחק יש ליישב מה שנשים שלנו אינן זהירות בכל השלוש תפילות לשיטת רש"י ותוספות, ולהרי"ף והרמב"ם אתי שפיר."

    1. According to most Achronim the shitas haRIF and Rambam is that tefilah doraysa is once a day. That does not help you get out of the OhS's requirement that that one tefilah have a proper tzuras ha'tefilah, which is also d'oraysa.
      if you want dochak you have the MG"A and that's all you need to say, but if you want to talk about what people should do, then that is a very poor justification.


    2. The Arukh haShulchan can be a bar pelugta of the Or Sameiach. I don't know what reiterating the OS's position has to do with my pointing out the AhS.

      You can side with R Meir Simcha haKohein if you wish, but R Yechiel Michl Epstein apparently disagrees with the idea that deOraisa, tefillah needs any particular tzurah. And thus if the zemanei tefillah and the tzurah are both the same derabbanan, women wouldn't be mechuyavos in anything more than any tefillah. Admittedly he calls if "bedochaq", but even the dochaq doeasn't work with your assumptions. I had thought knowing that the other opinion existed would be of interest.