June 3, 2020

Brachot 34

Today’s daf (Brachot 34a-b) includes a discussion about the spiritual significance of errors in prayers by those leading prayers and also a reference to the spiritual greatness of Ba’alei Teshuva. Of course, it is important for a prayer-leader to be fluent in the prayers they are leading. Nevertheless, it can occur – especially when a prayer leader may not have always been religious – that they stumble on a word or two. When this happens some in the community can respond with a generosity of spirit. However, there are often others who are critical. Yet those who are critical forget, as explained in our daf, that some prayer errors can be spiritually significant, and in the case of a Ba’al Teshuva any error that they may make is demonstrative of the significant religious journey they have taken. Ultimately, some errors speak volumes, and if and when they occur, our duty is to be inspired by what those errors represent, rather than criticise those who are making them.

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