Rashi on Braishis 2(8) refers to the 32 midos of Rabbi Eliezer the son of Rabbi Yosi haGelili by which the Torah is expounded. These are less familiar than the 13 of Rabbi Yishmoel that we say every day.

(1) What is the status of the two systems? (2) Why is Rabbi Yishmoel’s chosen for inclusion in the siddur?


The introductory note (in your second link), from Sefer Kerisus by R. Shimshon of Chinon (a prominent Tosafist), explains that the 32 middos are indeed an amplification of the 13, but that (a) not all of the former are universally accepted, (b) some of them aren't really middos (exegetical methods) at all, but amount to a different kind of peshat ("as if it were written openly"); and (c) some of them are used only to understand the meaning of the verses, whereas R. Yishmael's 13 middos are all used specifically to derive halachos.

It's important to study a bit of Gemara every day, and learning R. Yishmael's beraisa fulfills that, "for Midrash is like Gemara" (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 50:1). Tur adds that this one was chosen because it is the introduction to Toras Kohanim (the major halachic midrash on Vayikra, also known as Sifra), which presents most of the laws of korbanos - indeed, many of these middos are used to deduce details of those laws. So it fits well following the daily recitation of the offerings in the Beis Hamikdash.

  • Per your second paragraph, why not recite it prior to reciting the Korbanoth section, specifically during the section immediately following Birchoth HaTorah?
    – Seth J
    Oct 25 '11 at 19:23
  • 3
    @Seth: because in both places we're following a Mikra-Mishnah-Gemara order. So when it comes to the section of korbanos, we start with the biblical verses, then continue with Eizehu Mekoman (a chapter of Mishnah), and conclude with R. Yishmael's beraisa.
    – Alex
    Oct 25 '11 at 19:54
  • 2
    Thank you, Alex. The speed with which you answered is impressive and a great achievement for judaism.stackexchange.com. Oct 25 '11 at 20:10

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