Page:Annotated Edition of the Authorised Daily Prayer Book.djvu/39

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concerning the washing of the hands (P.B. page 4, עַל נְטִילַת יָדָים) ; when he washes his face, he shall say, Blessed... who removest sleep from mine eyes and slumber from mine eyelids (הַמַּעֲבִיר שֵׁנָה מֵעֵינָי וּתְנוּמָה מֵעַפְעַפָּי)."

It will be seen that the order of benedictions is not quite identical with that in the P.B., but such variations are frequent in the various rites. One benediction in our P.B. is missing from the Talmud, namely, the last but one on page 6, who givest strength to the weary (הַנּוֹתֵן לַיָּעֵף כֹּחַ), it is, however, found as early as the Maḥzor Vitry p. 57.


Page 7. And may it be thy make us familiar with [lit. to make us walk in] thy Law (וִיהִי רָצוֹן). This ancient paragraph is derived from the Talmud (Berachoth 60b) with some variations, such as the substitution of the plural ("to make us familiar") for the singular reading of the Talmud ("to make me familiar"). Ancient formulae, written for individual prayer, were often adapted to public worship by obvious changes of this character. The good and the evil inclinations, referred to in this paragraph, represent in the Rabbinic theology the antagonistic impulses to good and evil, the conflict between soul and body, spiritual ideals and material passions, of which every man is conscious. The incessant struggle between them for mastery constitutes a large element in the moral discipline of human nature. The conquest of evil by good is difficult but possible when to man's own endeavour is added the supporting grace of God. The lower impulses, which are not in themselves impure, must not be allowed to degrade humanity, but must be forced into the service of goodness and of God. Subdue our inclination that it may submit itself to thee expresses this profound thought in one of the sublimest phrases of the Jewish Prayer Book. The highest conception of the relation between man and God is given in this idea of self-submission, and, to use another Rabbinic phrase, the Israelite prays that the leaven of the evil