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 REEH:

View Complete List

A Jew Is Never Alone
Rabbi Yosef Kalatzky - 5762

Of Visions and Decisions
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5767

Brothers and Teachers
Shlomo Katz - 5771

ArtScroll

Let's Stick Together
Shlomo Katz - 5766

Don't Give It Personally
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5770

Creating Holiness
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5765

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Seeing Clearly
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5772

Non Prophet Organization
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5761

To Reach The Stars
Rabbi Label Lam - 5764

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Look Out!
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5757

The King's Children
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5764

Beis Ha-Mikdash--Taking Things Personally
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5765

> See the Reality
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5766

Now What?
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5765

A Godly Minority
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5770

The Tree Hugger
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5771



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