Question:

dear rabbi,

It is said “Torah study is of more value than the offering of the daily sacrifice” [Babylonian Talmud, Eruvin 63b]. Reciting the Shma, however is obligatory (at least for me, as chareidi)

So the daily sacrifice is constituted by the Amida ?

A good week,

JJM

Answer:

You are right, since the time of the destruction of the Bais Hamikdash, since we can not bring the daily sacrifices, called “Korban Tamid” (which were brought in the morning and afternoon) we have the amida. Therefore it is obligatory for us to daven the amida twice a day, instead of these sacrifices. It is the custom to also daven maariv, at night also because the leftovers of the korbanos were burned at night. Therefore we have three amidas a day. Whereas shma is obligatory for all Jewish men (not only for chariedi) on a biblical level, the amida (of shacharis and mincha) are obligatory on a rabbinical level, nevertheless both of them are obligatory.

When the Talmud says that Torah study is of more value than the daily sacrifice, it is not meant to say that the daily sacrifices are not obligatory, it only means to bring out the point that torah study is of paramount importance.  The halacha is that one has to stop studying torah in order to pray, even though the torah study is of more value. This is because H-shem wants us to perform all the mitzvos, at their proper time, regardless of which one is more or less prominent. In fact it is also written that talmud study is of more importance than saving another persons life! Does this mean that if someone is in middle of studying torah and he hears of someone dying that he should ignore it? Definitely not. He has to quickly go and save the person’s life. The two ideas are not a contradiction. One is referring the absolute value of the mitzva, regarding it’s reward in the world to come, and the good that in causes in this world. However the other verse is talking on a practical level of how a person should act.

 

Tags: prayer tefila

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