The members of the anshei knesses hagedolah are said to have compiled the blessings of the Amida prayer (Megilah 17b). Why did they include the blessings that pertain to the redemption (rebuilding Yerushalayim, ingathering of the exiles, redeeming Israel, and others), if at the time they composed them the Second Temple was already built or being built?

Was the 'ingathering of the exiles' blessing a prayer for all the Babylonian Jews to return from exile, or was it a prophetically inspired prayer for the times of the Roman exile?

Also (and related to this question), why would the people who lived during the time of Second Temple need to say those blessings?

  • Possible duplicate judaism.stackexchange.com/q/31673/759
    – Double AA
    Mar 28, 2019 at 20:43
  • 2
  • @DonielF That q is about what was said, this question is about what it was supposed to mean, assuming what was said. Apr 3, 2019 at 5:00
  • @Yez Where does this question assume what was said? Both questions presuppose, based on the cited Gemara, that there were blessings related to rebuilding Yerushalayim etc., but neither one presupposes its contents. "Ingathering of the exiles" is the name of the tenth blessing, the one used in the Gemara as well.
    – DonielF
    Apr 3, 2019 at 13:38
  • @DonielF that question asks "Is there any source that describes the wording of this Bracha" and this question has nothing to do with what the wording was, but rather what was meant by the wording. I.e. this question makes the assumption that the wording was exactly the same before and after, while that question is asking if it was the same. Apr 3, 2019 at 13:48

1 Answer 1


According to this article from the OU about the Anshei Knesses Hagedolah, it seems like there was a feeling by the Sages of the time that the Second Temple was not going to remain permanently, and one of the focuses of the Anshei Knesses Hagedolah was to prepare the Jewish people for a long exile after the Temple would be destroyed. It therefore seems to follow that the blessings in the Amidah for the rebuilding of Jerusalem were written with a post-Temple Judaism in mind.

Relevant paragraph from the article:

There was a sense among Chaza”l that the “Beit HaMikdash HaSheni,” the Second Holy Temple, would not last, because the Divine Presence was not as concentrated as it had been in the First Temple, and it would be necessary to prepare the People for a long, uncharted journey in theDiaspora, with only the guiding but unseen “Hand of HaShem,” and His “Eyes,” watching from behind the curtain.

See also this related question which addresses your last line regarding how wording of prayers that speak about the return from exile were handled in the pre destruction of the Second Temple era.

  • What is OU's source? I can think of Yoma 39b but that only mentions 40 years before it was destroyed, while the Rambam (who is apparently the source for the prayers having been composed in the Second Temple period) attributes the prayers to Ezra's time
    – b a
    Mar 29, 2019 at 10:11

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