In both the siddur of Rav Saadia Gaon and the seder of Rav Amram Gaon, there is a blessing in the morning, magbiah shefalim, for sitting up in bed.

Yet, it is conspicuously absent from the Rambam (Hilkhoth Tefillah 8-9), and commentators and rabbinic authorities claim that both Rav Amram and Rav Saadia later omitted it.

How can this be? Why would they do this? What happened to this blessing that seemingly was said by religious Jews for centuries?

  • I've wondered about it too. I've thrown in what I know as an answer – Noach MiFrankfurt Jan 30 '15 at 16:27
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    There are plenty of Brachot found in Geonim which are rarely heard today if at all if they aren't in the Talmud. This seems to fit right in. – Double AA Jan 30 '15 at 18:42
  • @DoubleAA - Yes, this is certainly true. However, the fact that it appears in both siddurim gives me pause as this occurs only rarely - for the same reason as you mentioned, i.e. that there were plenty of non-Gemara berakhoth during the times of the Geonim. The fact that it appears in both of them - Sidur Rasag which largely influenced the Ashkenazi nusHa'oth and Seder RA'ag which largely influenced the Sefaradi and Edoth HaMizraH - is compelling. Kol tuv. – user3342 Jan 30 '15 at 18:50
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    Maimonist, I think you should read R Farber's piece in Keren vol. 2. Ignoring his Lema'aseh applications towards the end, the first part should give you a sense of the background of this blessing. Then if you want to go read exactly who was on which side, you can see the answers below. – Double AA Dec 20 '16 at 21:57

Shaar Naftali - page 68 - note 36 says in the name of the Bais Yosef that this Bracha is not mentioned in the Gemara. He brings the Shibolei Haleket that quotes Rabbi Amram Gaon deleted this Bracha. He also mentions that in the Shaalos U'Tshuvos Maharshal 64 he says not to say this Bracha as it is not mentioned in the Gemara, nor in the Gaonim.

However he says that the Bach disagrees, and mentions that the Aguda, Rokeach, and Itur all mention this Bracha.

He concludes on the next page that the Pri Megadim says that we scream at one that says the Bracha of Magbia Shefalim. Pri Chadash says we scream and come close to hitting one who says this Bracha. As you can see this Bracha was a matter of dispute for a while and perhaps as there was strong opposition to it, that is why most people do not say this Bracha in today's day and age.

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  • Why all the controversy? The words in the beracha sound pretty uncontroversial. – Isaac Moses Jan 30 '15 at 17:03
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    @IsaacMoses I can think of lots of words to potential brachot that would be uncontroversial – Double AA Jan 30 '15 at 18:14
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    @IsaacMoses So what? They all would be if they had anyone to scream at about it. – Double AA Jan 30 '15 at 18:29
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    @IsaacMoses And I answer you: we don't make up brachot not in the talmud/[early-source] even if they sound uncontroversial. You seemed confused by my answer. – Double AA Jan 30 '15 at 18:41
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    @DoubleAA Thanks for saying it explicitly. So, do the Bach, et al. hold that this basic rule is not true - that we can make up brachot? – Isaac Moses Jan 30 '15 at 18:44

In this edition of the Rödelheim siddur, the bracha of "magbiah shefalim" is included for those who follow the minhag of Metz. While I have not consulted Seder Avodat Yisrael, I suspect that this may have something to do with minhag Alsace (or Elsaß), which is similar to the minhag of Frankfurt (although the latter does not say it [see the siddur Tefillah Vetachanunim, published by Goldschmidt from rödelheim stereotypes] for minhag FFaM).

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In his Siddur Sefas Yisroel, Rabbi Binyomin Shlomo Hamburger Shlita writes the following (page 60):

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  • R Hamburg isn't the author of that Siddur. – Double AA Dec 20 '16 at 20:18
  • @DoubleAA R Hamburger is a great specialist of minhag Ashkenaz and wrote a lot of books about minhag Ashkenaz – kouty Dec 20 '16 at 21:17
  • @kou Oh yes, I have much respect for him! This is just not his Siddur. He may have been consulted about it, but it's not his – Double AA Dec 20 '16 at 21:17
  • @DoubleAA moreshesashkenaz.org/he – kouty Dec 20 '16 at 21:21

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