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* Whose chief he is supposed to have been.
** There is here a play on the words.
Fol. 16 b. Rabbi Elazar said: "What is it that is written (Psa 63:4), 'Thus will I bless Thee while I live; I will lift up my hands in Thy Name?' 'I will bless Thee while I live': that is saying the 'Shema.' 'I will lift my hands in Thy Name': that is prayer;--and if he does so, of him does the Scripture say, 'My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness.' And not only this, but he inherits two worlds--this world and the world to come, as it is written, 'And my mouth shall praise Thee with lips of joys.'" *
* The plural indicating the two worlds.
Rabbi Elazar, after he had finished his prayer, said thus: "May it please Thee, O Lord our God, that Thou wouldest cause to dwell in our lot love and brotherhood, peace and friendship, and increase our possession with disciples, and gladden our end with a happy end, and with hope, and place our portion in Paradise. Order us in good fellowship, and with the inclination for good in this world, that we may rise and find our hearts in the fear of Thy Name, and that the desire of our souls may come before Thee for good." *
* This and the following are prayers at night.
Rabbi Jochanan, after he had finished his prayer, said thus: "May it please Thee, O Lord our God, that Thou mayest look upon our shame and see our sorrows, and that Thou clothe thyself with mercy, and that Thou cover Thyself with Thy might, and that Thou robe Thyself with Thy grace, and that Thou gird Thyself with favor, that there come before Thee the measurement of Thy goodness and of Thy condescension."
Rabbi Seira, after he had finished his prayers, said thus: "May it please Thee, O Lord our God, that we may not sin, and not be put to shame, and not be confounded before our fathers." Rabbi Chija, after he had finished his prayers, said thus: "May it please Thee, O Lord our God, that Thy Thorah be our labor, and that our hearts be not faint, and that our eyes be not darkened."
Rab, after he had finished his prayers, said thus: "May it please Thee, O Lord our God, to give us prolonged life, a life of peace, a life of good, a life of blessing, a life of nourishment, a life of vigorous strength, a life in which there shall be the fear of sin, a life in which there shall be neither shame nor confusion, a life of riches and honor, a life in which there shall be among us love of the Thorah and the fear of heaven, a life in which Thou fulfil in us all the desires of our hearts for good."
Rabbi, after he had finished his prayers, said thus: "May it please Thee, O Lord our God, and the God of our fathers, to preserve us from the daring sinner and from daring sin, from an evil man and an evil accident, from the evil impulse, from an evil companion, from an evil neighbor, from Satan the destroyer, from a severe judgment, and from a severe opponent, whether he be a son of the covenant or not." And this, although the officers stood around Rabbi. *
* He was not deterred by their presence from so praying.
Rabbi Saphra, after he had finished his prayers, said thus: "May it please Thee, O Lord our God, that Thou wilt put peace among the family above (the angels) and in the family below, and between the students who busy themselves with Thy Thorah, whether they busy themselves with it for its own sake or not for its own sake; and with reference to all who busy themselves with it not for its own sake, may it please Thee, that they may busy themselves with it for its own sake."
Rabbi Alexander, after he had finished his prayer, said thus: "May it please Thee, O Lord our God, to place us in a corner of light, and not in a corner of darkness, and let not out heart become faint, nor our eyes become darkened." But some say, it was Rab who prayed this prayer, and that Rabbi Alexander, after he had prayed, said thus: "Lord of the worlds, it is manifest and known before Thee that our pleasure is to do Thy pleasure, and who hinders it? The leaven in the bake-meat and the service of foreign domination. May it please Thee to deliver us from their hands, that we may return to do the laws of Thy good pleasure with a perfect heart."
Raba, when he had finished his prayer, said thus: "Lord, until I was created I was nothing, and now that I am created, I am as if I were not created. Dust I am in life, and how much more when I am dead? Behold I am before Thee like a vessel filled with shame and confusion. May it please Thee, O Lord our God, that I may no more sin, and what I have sinned before Thee, blot out in Thy great mercy, but not through chastisements and evil diseases." And the same was the confession of Rab Hamnuna the Less on the Day of Atonement.
Mar, the son of Rabina, when he had ended his prayer, said as follows: "Lord, keep our tongue from evil, and our lips from speaking guile. And towards those who curse my soul, let me be silent, and let my soul be like the dust towards all. Open my heart in Thy law, and let my soul follow after Thy commandments, and deliver me from an evil accident, from the evil disposition, and from an evil woman, and from all evil which lifts itself up to come into the world. And all who think evil against me, speedily destroy their counsel, and render vain their thoughts. May it please Thee, that the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable before Thee, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer."
Rabbi Sheisheth, when he had fasted, said, after he had finished his prayer: "Lord of the world, it is evident before Thee, that at the time that the Sanctuary stood, a man sinned, and he brought an offering, nor did they offer of it anything but its fat and its blood, and he was forgiven. And now I have remained in fasting, and my fat and my blood have been diminished, may it please Thee, that my fat and my blood which have been diminished be as if I had offered them upon the altar, and be merciful to me."
Rabbi Jochanan, when he had finished the book of Job, said thus: "The end of a man is to die, and the end of an animal is to be slaughtered, and all are appointed to death. Blessed is he who has grown up in the Thorah, and busied himself with the Thorah, and labors to have a quiet spirit towards his Creator, and who has grown big with a good name, and who has departed from this world with a good name. And of him, says Solomon (Eccl 7:1): 'A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one's birth.'"
It was customary in the mouth of Rabbi Meir: "Learn with all thy heart and with all thy soul, in order to know My ways, and to grow up by the gates of My Thorah. Keep My Thorah in thy heart, and let My fear be before thine eyes. Keep thy mouth from all sin, and cleanse and sanctify thyself from all transgression and sin, and I shall be with thee in every place."
Fol. 55 a. Rabbi Chisda said: "Every dream is without a meaning, but not if one has fasted (on account of it)." Also Rabbi Chisda said: "A dream which is not interpreted is like a letter which is not read." Also Rabbi Chisda said: "Neither is there a good dream in which everything comes to pass, nor yet a bad dream in which everything comes to pass." Also Rabbi Chisda said: "An evil dream is better than a good dream." Also Rabbi Chisda said: "An evil dream, its sorrow is sufficient; a good dream, its pleasure is sufficient." Rabbi Joseph said: "A good dream even the joy with me annuls it." * Rabbi Chisda also said: "An evil dream is heavier than a chastisement, for it is written (Eccl 3:14), 'And God doeth it, that men should fear before Him.'" And Rabbah, the grandson of Chanah, said, Rabbi Jochanan said: "This refers to an evil dream. (Jer 23:28), 'The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath My Word, let him speak My Word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the Lord.' But what have the wheat and the chaff to do with a dream?" But, says Rabbi Jochanan, in name of Rabbi Simeon, the son of Joche, "As wheat alone is not possible without straw, so also is a dream not possible without false things." Rabbi Berachiah said: "A dream, even if a part of it is fulfilled, the whole of it is not fulfilled. Whence have we this? From Joseph, for it is written (Gen 37:9), 'And behold the sun and the moon,' etc. And at that time his mother was no more." Rabbi Levi said: "Let a man always look forward in regard to a good dream, even as long as twenty-two years. Whence have we that? From Joseph, for it is written (Gen 37:2), 'These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph was seventeen years old,' and so on. And it is written (Gen 41:46), 'And Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh,' and so on. From seventeen to thirty, how much is it? Thirteen. And seven of plenty, and two of famine, that makes twenty-two."
Rabbi Huna said: "To a good man a good dream is not shown, and to an evil man an evil dream is not shown. We have this doctrine: All the years of David he did not see a good dream, and all the years of Ahithophel he did not see an evil dream. But yet it is written (Psa 91:10), 'There shall no evil befall thee.'"...
Rabbi Huna, the son of Ami, said, Rabbi Pedath said, Rabbi Jochanan said: "He that seeth a dream, and his soul is distressed, let him go and interpret it before three." Let him interpret it? But Rabbi Chisda said: "A dream which is not interpreted is like a letter which is not read." But certainly (I mean), that he give a good interpretation before three. He summons three, and he says to them, "I have had a good dream." And they say to him, "Behold, it is good, and it will be good. The Merciful One turn it to good. Seven times let it be decreed upon thee from heaven that it be good, and it will be good." Then they say three turnings, and three deliverances, and three times "Peace." Three turnings (Psa 30:11), "Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: Thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness." Again (Jer 31:13), "Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, both young men and old together: for I will turn their mourning into joy," and so on. Again (Deu 23:5), "Nevertheless the Lord thy God would not hearken unto Balaam; but He turned," and so on. "Three deliverances," as it is written (Psa 55:18), "He hath delivered my soul in peace from the battle that was against me," and so on; (Isa 35:10), "And the ransomed of the Lord shall return," and so on; (1 Sam 14:45), "And the people said unto Saul, Shall Jonathan die, who hath wrought this salvation in Israel?" "Three times peace," as it is written (Isa 57:19), "I create the fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the Lord," etc.; (1 Chron 12:18), "Then the spirit clothed Amasai," and so on; (1 Sam 25:6), "Thus shall ye say to him that liveth, Peace be both to thee, and peace be to thine house," and so on.