Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
  Page title
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Uninterrupted Prayer

One of the most famous disputes cited in the Talmud is between Rabbi Eliezer and Rabbi Yehoshua and relates to the halachic status of the oven of “Achnai” (Bava Metzia 49b). Rabbi Eliezer was so convinced of his position that he announced: “If I am correct, let a heavenly voice proclaim it so.” Yet even after the heavenly voice verified that Rabbi Eliezer was correct, Rabbi Yehoshua maintained his position: “The Torah is not in Heaven! The Torah writes that the halacha is decided by ruling of the majority [who disagreed with Rabbi Eliezer], and therefore Rabbi Eliezer is incorrect!”

Although Rabbi Yehoshua was correct in his argument, since Rabbi Eliezer was saddened as a result, soon afterwards the world was afflicted with many different plagues. Rabban Gamliel, who was involved in the incident with Rabbi Eliezer, was caught in a storm at sea which threatened to sink his ship. Rabban Gamliel, who understood that this was a punishment for how he treated Rabbi Eliezer, asserted to Hashem that he had acted sincerely, and the sea calmed down.

Rabbi Eliezer’s wife was Rabban Gamliel’s sister, and she realized that prayer that comes from an anguished heart can be dangerous to the person who caused the pain. Since her brother had a part in causing her husband pain, she was afraid that Rabbi Eliezer’s prayers posed a threat to Rabban Gamliel’s life. From then on she interrupted her husband’s prayers every day between Shemoneh Esrei and Tachanun, to prevent his prayers from being heard by Hashem.

One day Rabbi Eliezer’s wife did not interrupt her husband’s prayer, and her brother Rabban Gamliel died. While obviously this was a very unusual case, halachic authorities extrapolate from this incident that one should take the utmost care not to interrupt between Shemoneh Esrei and Tachanun since this can prevent one’s prayers from being answered (Shulchan Aruch, Taz, Gra 131,1). Only other prayers are permitted during this time (Mishna Berura 131,1).

During Tachanun we place our lives into Hashem’s hands, and show that without His help we cannot function.


Text Copyright © 2011 by Rabbi Daniel Travis and Torah.org


 

ARTICLES ON TERUMAH:

View Complete List

The Power of Unity
Rabbi Yosef Kalatsky - 5763

A Tabernacle in Your Heart
Shlomo Katz - 5774

There’s No Place Like Home
Rabbi Label Lam - 5769

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Terumah
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5760

The Mishkan & The Second Law of Thermodynamics
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5776

Ring-Leader!
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5766

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Doing For Oneself
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5757

Giving is Like Taking
Rabbi Label Lam - 5773

Can Anything Contain G-d?
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5757

> Taking in the Most Generous Way
Rabbi Label Lam - 5772

How Does One Perceive His Fellow Jew?
Rabbi Yosef Kalatzky - 5764

It's All About the Effort
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5763

ArtScroll

Symbolism of the Aron
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5773

The Symbolism of the Keruvim
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5771

Intention Equals Value
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5764

A Place To Grow
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5770



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information