R. Abbahu said: At first I used to recite them; but when I saw that R. Abba of Acco did not recite them I also did not. R. Abbahu also said: At first I used to think that I was humble; but when I saw R. Abba of Acco offer one explanation and his Amora5 offer another without his taking exception. I considered that I was not humble. How did R. Abbahu display humility? — The wife of R. Abbahu's Amora said to R. Abbahu's wife, 'My husband has no need of [instruction from] your husband; and when he bends down6 and straightens himself, he merely pays him respect'.7 R. Abbahu's wife went and reported this to him, and he said to her, 'Why worry about it? Through me and him the All-Highest is praised'. Further, the Rabbis decided to appoint R. Abbahu as principal [of the Academy]; but when he saw that R. Abba of Acco had numerous creditors [pressing for payment], he said to the Rabbis, 'There is a greater [scholar than I for the office]'.
R. Abbahu and R. Hiyya b. Abba once came to a place; R. Abbahu expounded Aggada8 and R. Hiyya b. Abba expounded legal lore. All the people left R. Hiyya b. Abba and went to hear R. Abbahu, so that the former was upset. [R. Abbahu] said to him: 'I will give you a parable. To what is the matter like? To two men, one of whom was selling precious stones and the other various kinds of small ware. To whom will the people hurry? Is it not to the seller of various kinds of small ware?' Everyday R. Hiyya b. Abba used to accompany R. Abbahu to his lodging-place because he was esteemed by the Government; but on that day R. Abbahu accompanied R. Hiyya b. Abba to his lodging-place, and still his mind was not set at rest.
While the Precentor recites the paragraph 'We give thanks'9 what does the congregation say? — Rab declared: 'We give thanks unto Thee, O Lord our God, because we are able to give Thee thanks'. Samuel declared: 'God of all flesh, seeing that we give Thee thanks'. R. Simai declared: 'Our Creator and Creator of all things in the beginning, seeing that we give Thee thanks.' The men of Nehardea10 declared in the name of R. Simai: 'Blessings and thanksgiving to Thy great Name because Thou hast kept us alive and preserved us, seeing that we give Thee thanks'. R. Aha b. Jacob used to conclude thus: 'So mayest Thou continue to keep us alive and be gracious to us; and gather us together and assemble our exiles to Thy holy courts to observe Thy statutes and to do Thy will with a perfect heart, seeing that we give Thee thanks'. R. Papa said: Consequently let us recite them all.11
R. Isaac said: Let respect for the congregation be always upon thee; for behold, the kohanim had their faces towards the people and their backs towards the Shechinah.12 R. Nahman said: It is derived from this text: Then David the king stood up upon his feet and said: Hear me, my brethren and my people.13 If [he called them] 'my brethren' why 'my people', and vice versa? — R. Eleazar said: David told the Israelites, If you listen to me, you are my brethren; if not, you are my people and I will rule you with a rod. The Rabbis said: It is derived from the regulation that the kohanim are not permitted to ascend the platform wearing their shoes. This is one of the ten ordinances which R. Johanan b. Zakkai instituted. What was the reason? Was it not out of respect for the congregation? — R. Ashi said: No; [the reason] there was lest the shoe-lace become untied and he proceeds to retie it, and people will say: 'He is the son of a divorcee or a Haluzah'.14
BUT IN THE TEMPLE AS ONE BLESSING etc.
Sotah 40bFor what reason is this? — Because the response of Amen was not made in the Temple.
Our Rabbis taught: Whence is it that the response of Amen was not made in the Temple? As it is said: Stand up and bless the Lord your God from everlasting to everlasting.1 And whence is it that every benediction must be followed by an expression of praise? As it is said: And blessed be Thy glorious name which is exalted above all blessing and praise2 — i.e., upon every benediction ascribe praise to Him.
MISHNAH. WHAT WAS THE PROCEDURE WITH THE BENEDICTIONS OF THE HIGH PRIEST?3 THE SYNAGOGUE ATTENDANT TAKES A TORAH-SCROLL AND HANDS IT TO THE SYNAGOGUE-PRESIDENT. THE SYNAGOGUE-PRESIDENT HANDS IT TO THE DEPUTY4 AND HE HANDS IT TO THE HIGH PRIEST. THE HIGH PRIEST STANDS, RECEIVES [THE SCROLL] AND READS [THEREIN] AFTER THE DEATH5 AND HOWBEIT ON THE TENTH DAY.6 THEN HE ROLLS THE TORAH-SCROLL TOGETHER, PLACES IT IN HIS BOSOM AND EXCLAIMS, 'MORE THAN I HAVE READ BEFORE YOU IS WRITTEN HERE!' THE PASSAGE 'ON THE TENTH DAY', WHICH IS IN THE BOOK OF NUMBERS, HE READS BY HEART,7 AND HE RECITES EIGHT BENEDICTIONS IN CONNECTION THEREWITH, VIZ., OVER THE TORAH, FOR THE TEMPLE-SERVICE, FOR THE THANKSGIVING, FOR THE PARDON OF SIN, OVER THE TEMPLE, OVER ISRAEL, OVER THE PRIESTS, OVER JERUSALEM, AND THE REST OF THE PRAYER.8
GEMARA. Is it to be deduced from this9 that honour may be paid to a disciple in the presence of his master? — Abaye said: [No]; all this was done for the purpose of honouring the High Priest.
THE HIGH PRIEST STANDS, RECEIVES [THE SCROLL] AND READS etc. [Since it is stated that] he stands, it follows that he had been sitting; but a Master has said: In the Temple-court the kings of the house of David alone were allowed to sit, as it is said: Then David the king went in, and sat before the Lord, and he said: Who am I? etc!'10 — It is as R. Hisda declared, [This occurred] in the Court of Women;11 and here also [with the reading of the High Priest] it was in the Court of Women. An objection was raised: Where did the lection take place? In the Temple-court; R. Eliezer b. Jacob declares it was on the Temple Mount, as it is said,
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