R. Nechunya's Prayer and the Dangers of the Study Hall
Yeshivat Har Etzion
Shiur #24: R. Nechunya's Prayer and the Dangers of the Study Hall
By Rav Yitzchak Blau
R. Nechunya ben Hakaneh would pray a short prayer upon entering and leaving the beit midrash. They said to him: "What is the nature of this prayer?" He said to them: "When I enter, I pray that no mishap should occur because of me, and when I depart, I give thanks for my lot."
The Rabbis taught: What does he say when he enters? "It should be your will, the Lord my God, that no mishap should occur because of me, and I should not err in a halakhic matter and my colleagues will rejoice over me, and I should not declare the impure pure or the pure impure, and my colleagues should not err in a halakhic matter and I will rejoice over them."
What does he say when he leaves? "I am thankful to You, the Lord my God, that You have placed my lot among those who dwell in the beit midrash and not with those who hang around street corners. They arise early, and I arise early. I arise early for words of Torah, and they arise early for idle matters. I toil, and they toil. I toil and receive reward, and they toil and do not receive reward. I run, and they run. I run to the life of the world to come, and they run to the pit of destruction." (Berakhot 28b)