The Mishnah at the top of Ber. 28b says that ר' נחוניה בן הקנה used to say a short prayer before learning that he not cause harm in his learning, and afterwards to give thanks for the opportunity to learn. R' Dovid Grossman explains that according to Rambam this is required, and according to others it's not.

Today, who follows the Rambam and says these prayers as a matter of Halachah, or at least principle (ie., not just occasionally, but before and after they learn every day)?

I'm looking for documented rulings affirming the Rambam, as well as observed accounts.

This question is part of the Daf Yomi Challenge.

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    Are you looking for modern rabbis, or say an account of the Ari having said it, or just assorted achronim who paskin that way? – Double AA Aug 31 '12 at 22:12
  • Who did R' David Grossman say are the "others" who say it's not required? I haven't seen any (even after looking for some). (By the way, I say it.) – b a Aug 31 '12 at 23:15
  • @double aa, any or all of the above. – Seth J Sep 2 '12 at 2:56
  • @BA, he quoted Tos. Rosh and sort of implied Tos generally held that way (although he rather mumbled it). Do you say it because you were taught it was the Halachah, or as a personally adopted Midath Hasiduth? – Seth J Sep 2 '12 at 2:58
  • And @BA, did/does your Rav? – Seth J Sep 2 '12 at 3:06

The Shulchan Aruch records this Halacha unopposed in OC 110:8. The Mishna Berura there notes that the Ari would say this prayer every morning. He also notes the Rambam's opinion (commentary to Mishna Brachot 4:2) that these prayers are obligatory and says the the Elya Rabba and others all seem to rule like the Rambam.

The Aruch HaShulchan (OC 110:16) notes that many are not careful to recite these prayers and suggests that this developed because many more regular learners are not Poskim than in days past, and as such they don't need to say the prayer upon entry to the Beit Midrash which primarily focuses on issuing proper rulings. He notes in the next paragraph that this explanation does not account for the general laxity regarding the prayer upon leaving the Beit Midrash.

  • Do you know anyone who specifically does say it as part of their daily learning before and after (ie., someone whose career is in Talmud Torah - learning, teaching, paskening, etc.)? – Seth J Sep 7 '12 at 13:27
  • @SethJ No, but I can't say with certainty about any that they don't either. – Double AA Sep 9 '12 at 21:52

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