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111. Aphorisms of cHanina ben Dosa
10 Rabbi cHanina ben Dosa said:
--"He whose fear of sin comes before his wisdom: his wisdom will stand!
But he whose wisdom comes before his fear of sin: his wisdom will not stand!"
He used to say:
--"He whose deeds outnumber his wisdom: his wisdom will stand!
But he whose wisdom outnumbers his deeds: his wisdom will not stand!"
11 He used to say:
--"He with whom the spirit of creatures is at peace: with him the spirit of the Creator is at peace.
But he with whom the spirit of creatures is not at peace: with him the spirit of the Creator is not at peace."
  --- Mishna, Aboth 3.10-11

112. Power of Prayer
5 Bringing up Rabbi cHanina ben Dosa, they said:
He used to pray over the sick and say:
--"This one will live" and "That one will die."
They said to him:
--"Where do you get this?"
He told them:
--"If my prayer flows from my mouth I know it's accepted;
if not, I know it's rejected."
  --- Mishna, Berakoth 5.5

113. cHanina cures Sons of Sages
  Our rabbis taught:
Once it happened that the son of Rabban Gamaliel (I) fell sick.
They sent two disciples of the sages to cHanina ben Dosa to pray for mercy on him. When he saw them, he went up to the upper room and prayed for mercy on him. When he came down, he told them:
-- "Go, the fever has left him!"
They said to him:
--"Are you a prophet?"
He told them:
--"I'm not a prophet or a prophet's son" (Amos 7:14)
but my tradition is thus:
-- 'If my prayer flows from my mouth, I know it's accepted; if not, I know it's rejected.'
They sat down and wrote, noting the exact hour.
And when they came to Rabban Gamaliel he told them:
--"(My) Worship! It happened neither sooner nor later, but just then.
That was precisely the hour that the fever left him and he asked us for water to drink."
  Also on Rabbi cHanina ben Dosa:
It happened that he went to study Torah with Rabbi Johanan ben Zakkai.
And when the latter's son fell sick, Rabbi Johanan ben Zakkai said to him:
--"cHanina, my son, pray for mercy on him so that he will live."
Putting his head between his knees, cHanina prayed for mercy on him.
And he lived.

Rabbi Johanan ben Zakkai said:
--"If ben Zakkai bowed his head between his knees all day long,
no one would have stooped to hear him!"
His wife said to him:
--"So, is cHanina greater than you?"
He told her:
--"No. But he is like a servant before the King,
while I am like a prince before the King."
  --- Babylonian Talmud, Berakoth 34b

114. The Saint & the Serpent
  Our rabbis taught:
It happened somewhere there was a serpent who hurt creatures.
They came and informed Rabbi cHanina ben Dosa.
He told them:
--"Point me to its hole."
They showed him its hole.
He put his heel over the hole's mouth.
The serpent came out, bit him and died.
He hung it over his shoulder and brought it to the house of study.
He told them:
--"See, my sons! It is not the serpent that kills but it is sin that kills."
With this they began to say:
--"Woe to the man who is met by a serpent,
but woe to the serpent who is met by R. cHanina ben Dosa."
  --- Babylonian Talmud, Berakoth 33a

115. cHanina stills a Storm
  Rabbi cHanina ben Dosa was going on his way
when it began to rain.
He said before (God):
--"Lord of the world! The whole world is at rest, but cHanina is in trouble!"
The rain stopped.
Likewise, when he reached his home, he said before him:
--"Lord of the world! The whole world is in trouble, but cHanina is at rest!"
Rain began to fall:
Rab Joseph (bar cHiyya) said:
--"What then is the prayer of the high priest when compared with that of Rabbi cHanina ben Dosa?"
  --- Babylonian Talmud, Ta'anith 24b

116. cHoni the Circle-drawer
8 It happened that they said to cHoni the Circle-drawer:
--"Pray for the rains to come!"...
He prayed, but the rains did not come. What did he do?
He drew a circle, stood in it and said before (God):
-- "Lord of the world, your sons have turned their faces to me,
for I am like a son of the house before you.
I swear by your great NAME: I will not move from here,
until you have compassion on your sons!"
It began to drizzle.
He said:
--"I didn't ask for rain like this, but for rain to fill cisterns,
wells and caverns!"
A downpour threatened.
He said:
-- "I didn't ask for rain like this,
but for rain of good-will, blessing and grace."
It rained as it was supposed to, until, on account of the rain,
Israel had to go from Jerusalem to the temple mount...

Simeon ben Shetach [the leader of the Pharisees] sent to him
and said:
--"If you were not cHoni, I would have you excommunicated.
But what can I do to you?
You are presumptuous before the Creator
and yet he does as you wish,
like a son presumes on his father and he does whatever he wishes."
  --- Mishna, Ta'anith 3.8

117. Midrash on cHoni's Prayer
  What did the sons of the Hall of Hewn Stones [= the Sanhedrin] 
send to cHoni the Circle-drawer?
[It was this midrash on Job 22:28-30]:
"And you will utter a decree and it will be established for you..."
--You have decreed from below,
and the Holy One, blessed be He!, established what you say
from above;
"And light will shine on your ways."
--By your prayer you have enlightened a generation that was in darkness;
"When they cast you down,
you shall say: there is a lifting up!
--By your prayer you have raised a generation that was low;
"For he saves the lowly"
--By your prayer you have saved a generation bent over by sin;
"He delivers the unclean"
--By your prayer you have delivered a generation that was unclean;
"Yes, he will deliver you by your clear hands."
--By the work of your clear hands you have delivered it.
  --- Babylonian Talmud, Ta'anith 23a

118. cHilkiah & the Rabbis
  Abba cHilkiah was the son of the son of cHoni the Circle-drawer.
And whenever the world was in need of rain,
our teachers used to send to ask him for mercy.
He prayed and the rain came.
One time when the world was in need of rain,
our teachers sent two rabbis to ask him to pray for mercy so that rain would come.
They came to his house but did not find him there...
When he reached his house, his wife went in first.
Then he went in and our teachers went in.
He sat down and prepared the bread, but he did not tell our teachers:
--"Come! Prepare!"
He shared the bread with his children,
one piece with the elder and two with the younger.
Then he said to his wife:
--"I know that the rabbis want rain.
Come, let us go up to the roof and pray for mercy.
Maybe the Holy One, blessed be He!, will be pleased
and rain will fall without a good deed being credited to us."
When they went up to the roof,
he stood in one corner and she stood in another.
The clouds arose over the corner where his wife was standing.
When he came down, he said to them:
--"Why did you come?"
The rabbis said to him:
--"Our teachers sent us to you, lord (mar), to plead for rain!"
At this, he said to them:
--"Blessed be the Sustainer! He did not let you need Abba cHilkiah!"
They said to him:
--"Lord, we know that the rain came on your account!.."
  --- Babylonian Talmud, Ta'anith 23ab

119. cHanan ha Nechba & the Schoolboys
  cHanan ha Nechba was the son of the daughter of cHoni the Circle-drawer,
who, like him, when the world was in need of rain,
our teachers used to send school children to him.
They would grab the hem of his garment and say to him:
--"Abba, Abba, give us rain!"
But he said before the Holy One, blessed be he!:
--"Lord of the world, do it!
Because they don't distinguish between the Father (Abba) who gives rain
and the father (Abba) who doesn't give rain"
  --- Babylonian Talmud, Ta'anith 23b

120. The Qaddish
  Heightened and hallowed be his great name
in the world he created according to his will.
And may he establish his kingdom in your life and in your days
and in the life of all the house of Israel,
very soon and in the coming season.
--And you say: Amen!
Blessed, praised and glorified, raised, lifted up and revered, exalted and lauded be the name of him who is Holy, blessed be He!
Although he is high above all blessings, hymns, praise and solace
uttered in (this) world.
--And you say: Amen!
May our prayers and the supplications of all Israel
be accepted by their Father, who is in heaven (abuhon di bishemmaya).
--And you say: Amen!
May there be abundant peace from Heaven
and life for us and all Israel.
--And you say: Amen!
May he who makes peace in the heights make peace for us and all Israel!
--And you say: Amen!
  --- Prayerbook of Saadia Gaon
  [NOTE: The Qaddish is one of the oldest and most used prayers in Jewish piety. Its popularity in pre-Christian Palestine is attested by numerous echoes in late biblical, apocryphal and early rabbinic sources. But the date of origin of its particular phrases cannot be established with certainty, since it is not directly quoted in written works before the end of the Talmudic period. It is regularly used with slight variations several times during morning and evening worship services. The most popular form is that intended as a prayer of intercession for those who mourn. The fuller litany, presented here, regularly precedes the rehearsal of Israel's covenant responsibilities (Oleynu) at the conclusion of each synagogue service.]

121. The Kingdom of Heaven
  Rabbi Judah (bar Ezekiel) said in the name of Rab (Abba Arika):
-- "If one is saying the Shema when he is walking,
he should stop to receive the kingdom of Heaven while standing."
And what portion is called "the Kingdom of Heaven"?
"The LORD our God, the LORD is One!" (Deut 6:4b).
  --- Midrash, Siphre 'al Debarim 29

122.   Eighteen Benedictions
1. Aboth
(before 165 BCE)
Blessed are you LORD God of our fathers:
God of Abraham, God of Isaac and God of Jacob;
a God great, mighty and revered;
the God most high, Lord of heaven and earth.
--Blessed are you LORD, the shield of Abraham!
2. Geburoth
(1st c. BCE)
Mighty are you who sustain the living and revive the dead.
--Blessed are you LORD, who revive the dead!
3. Qedusha
(10-40 CE)
Holy are you and revered is your Name
and there is no God beside you.
--Blessed are you LORD, holy God!
4. Da'ath
(10-40 CE)
Our Father [Abinu], grant us knowledge and understanding
and awareness of you.
--Blessed are you LORD, who grant knowledge!
5. Teshuvah
(10-40 CE)
Our Father [Abinu], bring us back to your Torah
and return us in perfect repentance to your Presence.
--Blessed are you LORD, who delight in repentance!
6. Selicha
(20 BCE-10 CE)
Forgive us, Our Father [Abinu], for we have sinned.
--Blessed are you LORD frequent to forgive!
7. Ge'ulla
(40-70 CE)
Behold our plight and plead our case
and redeem us, for your Name's sake.
--Blessed are you LORD, the redeemer of Israel!
8. Rephu'a
(1st. c. BCE)
LORD, our God, heal us from our affliction
and raise up healing for our wounds.
--Blessed are you LORD, who heal the sick!
9. Shanim
(150-30 BCE)
LORD, our God, bless this year to us
for good in all kinds of produce.
--Blessed are you LORD, who bless the years!
10. Qibbutz
(40-70 CE)
Blow on the great trumpet for our freedom,
raise the standard for our gathering.
--Blessed are you LORD, who gather the exiles of Israel!
11. Mishpat
(40-70 CE)
Restore our judges as at first
and our counselors as in the beginning
and you yourself reign over us.
--Blessed are you LORD, who love justice!
12. Zedim
(1st c. BCE)
(80-100 CE)
Let there be no hope for the apostates
and quickly root up the kingdom of arrogance.
Let the Nazarenes and sectarians [minim] vanish in a moment.
Blot them out of the book of life
and do not record them among the righteous.

--Blessed are you LORD, who humble the arrogant!
13. Zaddiqim
(90-100 CE)
Show forth your mercy to true proselytes
and grant us a good reward for doing your will.
--Blessed are you LORD, who assure the righteous!
(40-60 CE)
LORD, our God, have mercy on your people Israel
and on your city Jerusalem
and on Zion, the dwelling you hold dear;
and on the kingdom of the house of David,
your true Anointed (Messiah)
--Blessed are you LORD, who build Jerusalem!
15. Tephilla
(before 165 BCE)
LORD, our God,hear our voice
and have mercy on us.
--Blessed are you LORD, who hear our prayer!
16. Abodah
(1st or 2nd c. BCE)
LORD, our God, agree to dwell in Zion
and prepare your services in Jerusalem.
--Blessed are you LORD, who enjoy being worshipped and served!
17. Hoda'a
(1st or 2nd c. BCE)
We give thanks to you who are the LORD,
our God and the God of our fathers,
for your signs and mercies
and for everything you have blessed and offered.
--Blessed are you LORD, who are good! Thanks be to you!
18. Shalom
(40-70 CE)
Grant your peace to your people Israel
and to your city and to your inheritance
and bless us all as one
--Blessed are you LORD, who make peace!
  --- Prayerbook of Saadia Gaon
[NOTE: This litany, along with the Shema (Deut 6:4) has formed the core of the rabbinic liturgy since pre-Christian times. It is variously referred to as the Shemoneth Esre (because of its 18 benedictions), the Amidah (because it must be said standing), or simply the Tephilla ("The Prayer"). Although the formulae used today derive from the 2nd temple period, they have undergone later emendations and expansions that reflect the circumstances and concerns of Jews dispersed in various locales. The translation above is based on L. Finkelstein's reconstruction of the original Palestinian formulae (JQR n.s. 16, 1925-1926), except in four instances where a longer version of a benediction is more relevant to NT material. Benedictions 12, 14 & 16 represent the wording of a fragment of the early Palestinian liturgy found by S. Schechter in the genizah of the old Cairo synagogue (JQR o.s. 10, 1898). The version of benediction 17 suggested here is derived from the wording preserved in the Prayer book of R. Saadia Gaon, since the terminology used in the Genizah fragment is less specific in designating the rationale for thanksgiving. The date suggested for the origin of each benediction is based on Finkelstein's comparison of the formulae with other datable rabbinic material. Rabbinic texts trace the codifying of the 18 Benediction litany to R. Simeon ha Paqoli and the expansion of the 12th benediction to R. Samuel the Small at Jabneh in the late 1st century CE when tensions were high between the rabbis and Jews who claimed Jesus was the Messiah. This added wording was apparently used only to prevent Judean Christians (= "Nazarenes") from participating in (and disrupting) synagogue services. It has not been used by Jews at worship since the definitive separation of church & synagogue (2nd c. CE)].

123. Reciting the 18 Benedictions
1 Let no one stand for the Prayer (Tephilla) without bowing his head.
The first chasidim used to wait for one hour and then pray,
so they could direct their hearts to the Place (Maqom).
Even if the king greets you with his "peace" (Shalom), do not answer him.
And even if a snake is coiled at your heel, do not break it off.
  --- Mishna, Berakoth 5.1

124. The Praying cHasid & the Prince
  Our rabbis taught:
It happened that a pious man [chasid] was praying beside the road.
A prince came and greeted him:
--"Peace [Shalom]!"
But he did not respond to him: "Peace!"
The prince waited for him to finish his Prayer.
When he had finished his Prayer, (the prince) said to him:
--"Fool! Is it not written in your Torah:
'Only watch out for yourself and for your soul!' (Deut 4:9)?...
When I greeted you 'Peace!', why did you not respond 'Peace'?
If I had cut off your head with a sword,
who was there to reclaim your blood at my hand?"
(The chasid) said to him:
--"Wait! my words will persuade you!"
(Then) he said to him:
--"If you were standing before a king of flesh and blood
and your colleague came and greeted you: "Peace!,"
would you have responded to him?"
(The prince) said to him:
--"And if you had responded to him, what would have been done to you?"
(The prince) said to him:
--"My head would have been cut off with a sword!"
(The chasid) said to him:
--"And is this not a matter of the light and the heavy (qal wachomer)?
It would be thus if you were standing before a king of flesh and blood,
who is here today and in the grave tomorrow.
Like you I was standing before a king---
the King of kings, the Holy One, blessed be He!,
who lives and endures for ever and ever.
If (it would have been) thus with you, how much more with me?"
At once the prince was persuaded
and the chasid went to his house in peace.
  --- Babylonian Talmud, Berakoth 32b-33a

125. A Quick Prayer
  Our rabbis taught:
One who walks where there are bands of animals or robbers (lestim) prays the short prayer. What is this short prayer?
Rabbi Eliezer (ben Hyrcanus) said:
--"Do your will in the heavens above
and give a calm spirit to one who worships you below!
Do what is good in your eyes.
Blessed are you, LORD, who hear our prayer!"
  --- Babylonian Talmud, Berakoth 29b
[NOTE: This is one of many brief prayers developed by rabbis for situations that did not permit the reciting of the whole Tephilla with its 18 benedictions. This one reflects conditions faced by travelers in 1st c. Palestine].

126. Prayer Surpasses Deeds
  "Do not speak to me! Ascend to the top of Pisgah!" (Deut 3:26c-27a).
From this you have the saying of Rabbi Eliezer ben Jacob:
-- "One prayer is more pleasing (to God) than a thousand good deeds."
For with all the deeds of Moses, he was not told: "Ascend!"
But with this word (of prayer) he was told: "Ascend!"
  --- Midrash, Siphre 'al Debarim 29

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