In a standard shmoneh esrei, we have a middle section of bakashot. Because we do not make bakashot on Shabbat (as evidenced in this question), the middle 13 brachot are omitted. However, the final section of 3 brachot (avodah, hoda'ah and shalom) remains. This leads to two questions (sorry if they should be split but I think they might be related):

  1. Isn't the Avodah bracha a bakasha? If I recall correctly, the gemara in the 2nd perek of Megilla (18a, 5th line) shows the logical conection between the brachot and explains that only after hashem receives our prayers will we have the avodah, so if we don't say the bracha of shma koleinu, how does a request for the avodah make sense?
  2. Why is it written in 3rd person, referring to the Ishei Yisrael and tefillatam, instead of, for example, tefillateinu.
  • 1
    re 1: I think your stronger question comes from Shalom.
    – Double AA
    Apr 14, 2013 at 2:19
  • this site hakhel.info/TefillahArchives/ShemaKoleinu.html indicates that shma koleinu is the summary and ending of the bakasha section but this flies in the face of the gemara's list of brachot as connected bakashot, each no more summative than any other.
    – rosends
    Apr 17, 2015 at 14:00
  • I once asked Rabbi Zev Leff how we are able to make certain Bakashot in Shemoneh Esrei on Shabbat. He said that the only issue is when you pray for yourself. But there isn't an issue when you're praying on behalf of your community or for the Jews as a whole, which is what we're doing in these Brachot. So I'm not even so sure the reason why we omit the Brachot on Shabbat has to do with the fact that they are Bakashot, considering they're all for the community/Klal Yisroel.
    – user6618
    Apr 8, 2016 at 15:36
  • The reason why it would only be an issue when praying for yourself is because the general reason why Bakashot are not allowed on Shabbat, is because it detracts from Oneg Shabbat. But apparently there is less of a concern for that if you're praying for everyone.
    – user6618
    Apr 8, 2016 at 15:39
  • Sim Shalom / Shalom Rav could also be considered bakasha. for that matter, the beginning of Birkat Cohanim seems like bakasha. So is the closing paragraph of the middle section, Retzei bimenchuteinu, etc." It seems that other than the 1st 3, everything else could be considered bakasha, no?
    – DanF
    Mar 13, 2018 at 20:16

1 Answer 1


I had the same exact question for a while:

a- For Ratzei I saw an answer in "Nativ Ha-Bina". Originally Ratzei was a 'thank you' Bracha. We said thank you that Ha'shem is willing to except our sacrifices but since our temple was destroyed we changed the bracha to a request.

b- I also had a question on Ose Shalom, I mean also that should be a thank you and not a request bracha (3 last brachos are thank you brachos)!? I got an answer (from a Rabbi) that asking for help by its self is giving grace to our father. So when we finish the prayer the best type of thank you is to ask for help and in this way to remember our position as the "Mekabel"

  • @DoubleAA of note, relevant to recent question about prayer for beit hamikdash to prayer of prophecy?
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Jan 7 at 22:59

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .