More Discussions for this daf
1. The rain in Chutz la'Aretz 2. Fasting 3. Yisurim
4. Praying for more than one thing 5. Can grain in a silo increase in quantity even if it is Samuy min Ha'Ayin? 6. Praying for more than one thing
7. Same'ach in Yisurim 8. Wealth 9. Is Pegiah really Tefillah?
10. Can there ever be a plague even if there is no famine? 11. Praying for more than one thing 12. Praying in vain
13. Praying for more than one thing

Ruben Weiser asked:

hi again.

in taanit page 8b in the end of page it is says that if one first measured the production and then recited the blessing ,it is a prayer in vain.

my question is way it is not also a payer in vain before it has been measured as the cuantity (even if not known to us) is established already?. and like it is says in berachot page 54 if somebody prays for something that had past already it is a prayer in vain.

thanks again

ruben weiser, buenos aires, argentina

The Kollel replies:

Here is what we wrote regarding this issue in a previous post on our forum.

Best wishes,

Kollel Iyun Hadaf


alex lebovits asked-

The Gemara says that "Ein Berachah Metzuyah Ela b'Davar ha'Samuy Min ha'Ayin" -- "blessing is found only in an item which is hidden from the eye" (i.e. it has not been counted,). And even more than that; the Rabanan were actually mesaken a Tefillah for somebody who is going into his silo to count how much grain he had gathered there. I would like to ask you from a Gem. in Berochos 54a where if a man's wife was expecting a child and the husband is mispallel that the child should be a boy, the Gem calls this a Tefillas Shav! Even though this is also a "davar hasamuy min ha'ayin"! Why then in our Gem. is this "yehi rotzon' not considered a Tefilas Shav?! I would like to discount an answer that might be given, that in our Gem. the 'Yehi Rotzon' is not a bakasha for an increase in quantity but rather that the tevuah should not spoil; by pointing out that rashi says that the quantity was not known; indicating that the quantity is what the bracha will affect and not the quality.

The Kollel replied-

The Gemara in Berachos (60a) says that after forty days, Davening for a boy is a Tefilas Shav, because that would require a change in the type of gender, not just a change in quantity. I'm sure that if someone has a pile of grain and Davens that he should have a pile of steak, it would also be considered a Tefilas Shav (unless he was a Tzadik of outstanding proportions).

alex lebovits responded-

Reb Yaakov thank you for answering.

Your 'grain to steak' example is not entirely comparable. We know that he gathered grain into the silo and therefore as far changing it to steak, this is not a case of 'samuy min ha'ayin'.


1) If someone inherited a bag of unseen coins; say 122 pieces; isn't it just as big a nes to change the coins to 200 as it would be to change the coins from silver to gold?

2) If changing the quantity is not a problem; then in the case of davening for a boy; couldn't his tefillah be answered by his wife having twins?!

Thank you for your patience. Alex Lebovits

The Kollel replies-

I understand that the gathered grain to steak Mashal is not entirely comparable, but the main point is still valid. Our Gemara, one must admit, is quite a Chidush as it is. We have no basis to presume from our Gemara that one can enact a change in type as well as a change in quantity.

1) Additionally, our Gemara's case is specifically when the grain is apparent and the amount is not. Grain in a silo (I'm almost certain) is something whose size is easily affected by the elements, and a logical reason can probably be produced for grain becoming bigger and smaller due to the elements. This is a very small Nes compared to changing a type entirely, as there is already a process within Teva where this would normally occur without a Nes (unlike changing a type).

2) That would be changing the type as well as the quantity. If you mean that she should become pregnant again, I don't think that it is possible (see Nidah 27a) nor desirable (see Rashi in Berachos 60a, DH "Shelo Yehei") for his wife to have a boy from a second simultaneous pregnancy.

All the best,

Yaakov Montrose