These and Those

Musings from Students of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem

Mishna Brachot in Poetry

Posted on April 23, 2013 by Melissa Scholten-Gutierrez

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Presented at Night Seder on April 22:
Dustin and Melissa Gutierrez

Dustin and Melissa Gutierrez studying at Pardes Night Seder

We decided it would be an interesting experience and test of our marriage to learn together, so for the past few months we’ve been having what we fondly call “Mishna Mondays” here at Pardes night seder. We started at the beginning with Brachot, which as you can imagine covers all sort of blessings – beginning with the shema, ending with blessings over food, and covering everything else in between. We finished about a month ago, just after the start of Adar, so it only made sense to have a bit of fun with our brief siyyum. Here are a few of the things we found fun and interesting in Mishna Brachot, and a bit of our own interpretation for good measure…

What is tefillah you wonder and say? To put it quite simply it’s the shmonei esrei.
Made up of brachot that we daven each day, it is very important to know how to pray

Every person must say the prayers, Even women and those dressed in layers
You must turn your heart to the east, let your soul rise like challah with yeast.

You may not say it up so high, you feel like you can touch the sky.
You cannot pray while carrying a coffin, nor can you can you pray while eating a muffin.

Its important to say prayers of gratitude, no matter what your longitude or latitude.
Now that we’ve covered the basics of tefillah, What if you are only saying the shema?

You may recite shema in any position you like, you can even say it on a bike
Be mindful of greetings out of respect or of fear, you cannot simply say hello to a peer.

What if your wife is in the room, surely you feel her presence loom?
As long as there’s no ervah bare, you can say it with her there.

There are specific blessings to say before and after, just be sure not to interrupt them with laughter
In the morning you must recite after day light, but you are exempt from saying it on your wedding night.

Whether you live here or there, and as adventures take you everywhere
We pray you remember the Parades Beit Midrash, and why yes, but of course, we will blog this drash