More Discussions for this daf
1. Making oneself humble 2. Question on Insights 3. Being Shali'ach Tzibur
4. The First Written Siddur 5. Speed Of Davening 6. P'shat in Reb Chaim
7. A personal prayer 8. Kavanah Required For Tefilah 9. Hesitating to Daven for the Amud
10. Final 3 Berachos of the Shemoneh Esreh 11. R' Chanina ben Dosa 12. "Ahaye"
13. Three things bad in excess but fine in moderation

mendy asked:

on 34b the gemara asks - ahaye - rashi -on which bracha of the shemoneh

esreh is it that if you make a mistake its a siman rah - why does the gemara

start off WTH THE ASSUMPTION that the mishna can not mean any of the

brachjot - when i read the mishna stam, i though if one makes ANY mistake

anywhere - because as we say, Hash-m is not our 'chavruta' -so why limit it? why that assumption ?

mendy, ny,usa

The Kollel replies:

There needs to be a logical reason why a Ta'us, a mistake, is a sign of something bad. A mistake comes from a lack of concentration, and to avoid making a mistake in all of Shemoneh Esreh requires a huge amount of constant concentration, which the Chachamim did not require of us (i.e. they allowed for the possibility of making a mistake). However, we can be expected to concentrate hard for a limited amount, such as for a single Berachah. If, during that period, one still makes a mistake, then it is a Siman Ra.

To say that making a mistake in any of the Berachos of Shemoneh Esreh is a Siman Ra would need logical support, for we would think that making a mistake, although it is not good to do, is not a sign of maleficence. (Even if you might argue that making a mistake anywhere in Shemoneh Esreh while one is standing before Hash-m is so serious as to be called a Siman Ra, but since you can argue either way, the Gemara's question is justified.) Hence, the Gemara asks where in the Shemoneh Esreh does a mistake constitute a Siman Ra, and it answers that in the Berachah of Avos it is a Siman Ra, because of the logical reasons that Rashi and others (such as Maharsha) give.

Y. Shaw