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

Max Munk asked:

Question: Berachos Daf 35: In Insight into Daily Daf you refer to Rav Chaim Solovechik to explain why the RAMBAM in Hil. Tefilah 4:1 rules that during "any" of the blessings of Shemoneh Esreh one must have Kavanah which seems to contradict our Gemara and Rambam 10:1 The second reason given is because "Mitzvos Tzerichos Kavanah".

"Miztvos Tzerichos Kavanah" only applies to Mitzvos De-Oryasa, and since Min Hatora a single Bracha/bakosha is sufficient to fulfill the miztva of Teffilah ( according to RAMBAM who holds that Tefilah is Min HaTora) then, if one had Kavana in any of the middle brachos ( meaning, those of Bakoshos) he would have fulfilled his obligation. Why must he have that Kavana for all the brachos ?

Gut Shabos and again a big Yasher Koach for the dafyomi be-iyun on electronic mail.

Similarly Jeff Ram asked:

Dear Rabbi Kornfeld:

Regarding the explanation of Rav Chaim Solovechik on the Rambam's explaination of Kavanah, you write that Rav Chaim concludes that

the Rambam is talking about someone without Kavanah, and therefore he does not fulfill his obligation. Did the Rambam hold that the mitzva of tefila required Kavana? Don't we paskin l'halacha that ain mitzvos tzrichos kavanah? Also, in #2, you write "Mitzvos Tzerichos Kavanah", one must have kavanah tht one is fulfilling..." etc. Don't we paskin the other way l'halacha?


Jeff Ram

The Kollel replies:

When the Gemara discusses the Machlokes whether "Mitzvos Tzerichos Kavanah" (see Rosh Hashanah 28-29), it does not come to a definite conclusion, and thus there are different opinions in the Rishonim how to rule l'Halachah. As a result of the doubt, we go l'Chumra for Mitzvos that are d'Oraisa, and l'Kula for Mitzvos that are d'Rabanan (in following the general rule of "Safek d'Oraisa l'Chumra" and "Safek d'Rabanan l'Kula"). Since blessings (except for Birkas ha'Mazon) and Shemoneh Esreh are d'Rabanan, it follows that we rule that those Mitzvos do not require Kavanah (b'Di'eved, of course). This is the way the Magen Avraham in OC 60 explains.

However, there are other opinions in the Achronim (see Vilna Ga'on OC 489, as well as the Mishnah Berurah OC 60:10 who educes this from the words of the Shulchan Aruch in several places) that do not differentiate between the different types of Mitzvos and rule that all Mitzvos, blessings and Shemoneh Esreh included, require Kavanah, even b'Di'eved (that is, one must recite the blessing over again if he did not have Kavanah).

Furthermore, the opinion of the Rambam could be that Mitzvos Tzerichos Kavanah (without any doubt), and therefore even Mitzvos d'Rabanan must have Kavanah. This indeed is the way Rav Chaim learns, as is clear from his words. (The Lechem Mishnah, too, in Hilchos Shofar 2:4 concludes that the Rambam holds that Mitzvos Tzerichos Kavanah, although it is not so clear, as the Tur himself in OC 475 writes that he is in doubt as to what the Rambam holds.)