Page:Annotated Edition of the Authorised Daily Prayer Book.djvu/49

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at which the tallith and tephillin are put on. Our P. B. arrangement has this in its favour, that the public service proper only begins with the paragraph (בָּרוךְ שֶׁאָמַר) that follows.

Passages of "Song."

Blessed be he who spake (בָּרוךְ שֶׁאָמַר). In the Prayer Book of the Gaon Amram there is at this point the note: "When Israel enters the Synagogue to pray, the Ḥazzan of the congregation rises and begins: Blessed be he who spake etc. This implies that public worship began with this passage. According to Maimonides (Hilchoth tephillah ix. I) : "The Order of Congregational Prayers is in the morning as follows: All the people sit and the deputy of the congregation descends before the Ark and stands in the midst of the people, and begins and says the Kaddish and all the people answer Amen, etc. Thus the public prayers open, in this view, with page 37 of the "Authorised Daily Prayer Book." But Maimonides has also given us a full text of the service, and this includes much of what is contained in pages 1-36. It is, however, obvious that these earlier pages are rather of the nature of private devotion than of public worship. We know that it was habitual with the pious to reach the Synagogue an hour before public worship began (Berachoth 31b) and to use this time in preliminary devotions, and in reciting Psalms (often called פְּסוּקֵי דְזִמְרָא Passages of Song; the phrase, applied particularly to the last chapters of the Psalter, occurs in the Talmud, Sabbath 118b). It is thus not easy to separate the private from the public prayers, seeing that many of the former were said in the Synagogue itself.

The paragraph beginning Blessed be he who spake, though in the Sephardic liturgy it follows some Psalms, is in the Ashcenazic rite correctly placed, as it is a benediction before the reading of selected Psalms, just as the paragraph beginning Praised be thy name (p. 36) is a benediction after the reading of the Psalms. In some of the Egyptian liturgies from Cairo the first part of the