Sunday, November 16, 2008

Parshas VaYeira:Tefillas Nedava

The gemara says that the Avos established tefillah. Now that we are in the parsha of the Avos, it is a good time to discuss aspects of tefillah. This week’s chabura discussed the idea of davening a tefilas nedava. The sugyah is found in Berachos 21a. One can have the following chakirah in tefillas nedava. How does one view a tefillas nedava. Is it really the same cheftzah of tefilla as a tefilla of chova and the only difference between a nedava and chova is in your kavanah. L’mashel, one can bring a korbon as a chova or nedava. Both korbonos consist of the same animal and the only difference is your kavana in bringing it. The other tzad is to say that a tefillas chova and nedava are different cheftza’s of tefillas and they are fundamentally different. We can explain a few machlokes rishonim with this chakira.

Chiddush in Tefillas Nedava

There is a machlokes between Rashi and Tosafos whether tefillas nedava requires a chiddush. This machlokes is also found between the Rambam and Ra’avad in Hilchos Tefillah (perek 1). L;chorah one can explain the machlokes based on our chakira. If you hold that a nedava and chova are the same cheftzah of tefilla then one would not need a chiddush to distinguish between the two. However, if you hold they are fundamentally different then you need to add something to your nedava to make it different then a chova, This is why you need a chiddush. In fact the loshon of the Rambam is that you need a chiddush to show it is a tefillas nedava.

Combining Nedava and Chova

There is a machlokes Rishonim what happens if one is in the middle of davening and remembers that he already davened. Can one finish the rest of davening b’toras chova. R’Chaim understands that it is a machlokes between the Rambam and Ra’avad. The Rambam paskens you must stop and you can not continue b’toras nedava. The reason is that you can’t combine a tefillas chova and nedava. The Ra’avad (according to R’ Chaim’s understanding) holds you can finish b’toras nedava. R’ Chaim adds that this machlokes is l’shitasam to the machlokes above about whether one needs a chiddush. R’ Chaim doesn’t explain himself but l’chorah according to our chakira it works out. If you hold that a nedava and chova are the same cheftzah of tefilla then one could combine them –like the Ra’avad holds. But if you hold they are fundamentally different then you would not be able to combine them, like the Ramabm holds.

Halacha L’Ma’aseh

What happens if you are in the middle of shemoneh esrei and you forget what beracha you are in. The Chayei Adam says you can not repeat the beracha you are mesupak about b’toras nedava because you can’t combine a nedava with chova and the rest of shemoneh esrei would be a tefillas chova. Rather, you skip to the beracha that you know for sure you didn’t say. Both the Steipler (Kehillas Ya’akov in Berachos) and Rav Ovadiah Yosef (Yabeia Omer Chelek 9 Siman 8) ask how can you skip a beracha. If it turns out that you never said the beracha you are mesupak in then it turnsw out you missed a beracha and you were never yotzei shemone esrei. Furthermore, all the rest of the berachos would be a bracha l’vatalah. Therefore they pasken you should repeat the beracha you are mesupak about.

Both the sefer Ishei Yisroel and Tefillah K’Hilchasa bring the Chayei Adam l’halacha and mention the Kehillas Ya’akov and Yabeia Omeir in the footnotes. When I asked a posek what to do I was told to follow the Kehillas Yaakov and repeat the beracha you are mesupak in, against the Chayei Adam.

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