(a) RASHI answers that we call the Tefilah "Shemoneh Esreh," the 18
Berachos," because originally it included only 18 Berachos. The Berachah of
"v'la'Malshinim" was added later in Yavneh (Berachos 28b).
(b) The TOSFOS RID here argues and says that the Beraisa says that the normal
Shemoneh Esreh is comprised of 18 Berachos, because the Beraisa holds that
there indeed are only 18 Berachos! He cites a Tosefta in Berachos (end of ch.
3) to prove this. The Tosefta says that the 18 Berachos include the Berachah
of "v'la'Malshinim," which includes mention of the Minim and the Posh'im, and
another Berachah includes mention of David ha'Melech and the rebuilding of
Yerushalayim. That is, the Berachos of "Es Tzemach David" and "Boneh
Yerushalayim" are merged into one Berachah according to the Tosefta. The
Tosefta concludes that if one recites two Berachos, mentioning David
ha'Melech in one and the rebuilding of Yerushalayim in the other, he is
Yotzei. This implies that, according to the Tosefta, l'Chatchilah the
Berachos "Es Tzemach David" and "Boneh Yerushalayim" are one, and thus the
Shemoneh Esreh has only 18 Berachos, even after the addition of the Berachah
This is reflected in the Piyutim, the additional prayers that were composed
for the Shali'ach Tzibur to recite during each Berachah of Shemoneh Esreh on
holidays and fasts, which reflect the theme of each Berachah; there are
consistently only 18 of these additional prayers, and the one that discusses
Yerushalayim is the same one that discusses David ha'Melech.
This was clearly the practice of the Yerushalmi (Berachos 4:5, Rosh Hashanah
4:6), he continues. The Yerushalmi says that the Chasimah of the end of one
of the Berachos of Shemoneh Esreh is "Baruch Atah... Elokei David u'Voneh
Yerushalayim," including both David ha'Melech and Binyan Yerushalayim in one
Berachah. That is what the Beraisa means when it says that the Shemoneh Esreh
has only 18 Berachos.
The Bavli, though, clearly counts "Boneh Yerushalayim" and "Es Tzemach David"
as two separate Berachos (Megilah 17b). In addition, the Gemara in Sanhedrin
(107a) relates that David ha'Melech asked Hashem that mention of "Elokei
David" be included in the Shemoneh Esreh, just like "Elokei Avraham." The
Gemara says that Hashem did not acquiesce to David's request. Thus, the Bavli
is consistent with its view that we do not say "Elokei David" in the Berachah
of Boneh Yerushalayim, and instead we recite a separate Berachah of "Es
Tzemach David." The Tosefta itself said that if one recites separate Berachos
for David and Yerushalayim need not repeat the Shemoneh Esreh, and
apprarently this was the practice adopted in Bavel.
Our practice today follows that of the Bavli. Rebbi Elazar ha'Kalir and the
others who wrote the Piyutim, who lived in Eretz Yisrael, followed the
practice of the Yerushalmi, and thus they wrote Piyutim for only 18 Berachos,
keeping the Berachah of David ha'Melech and Binyan Yerushalayim as a single
Berachah. That is why the Beraisa calls says that there are 18 Berachos in
the Shemoneh Esreh.
Although it is no longer the practice to combine Es Tzemach and
v'l'Yerushalayim in any communities today, as late as Seder Rav Amram Gaon we
find the two Berachos recorded as a single Berachah. Even in our present
Sidurim we find remnants of the original practice. In the Berachah of Boneh
Yerushalayim that we recite today, we say "v'Chisei David...." This phrase is
probably a remnant of the original practice of concluding the Berachah with
the words, "Elokei David u'Voneh Yerushalayim," when the end of the Berachah
(before the Chasimah) had to reflect the words said in the Chasimah. Rav
Yehudah Landy adds that this is why the Berachah of Boneh Yerushalayim begins
with a Vav - "*v*'le'Yerushalayim Ircha..." -- to denote that it had
originally been a part of the previous Berachah, Es Tzemach. ("V'Lamalshinim"
may begin with a "Vav" for a similar reason; it was an added Berachah, which
was not originally part of the Shemoneh Esreh.)
It seems from the Tosfos Rid that the original practice, before the addition
of the Berachah of "v'la'Malshinim," was that only 17 Berachos were recited
in Shemoneh Esreh. This opinion maintains that when the Gemara in Berachos
(28b) says that the additional Berachah of "v'la'Malshinim" was instituted in
Yavneh, it is explaining why there are *18* as opposed to just *17* Berachos.
(This differs from our Girsa, according to which the Gemara is explaining why
the Mishnah mentions 18 and not *19* Berachos. The Girsa of 18 and not 17
actually appears in the Yerushalmi (Berachos 4:3 and Ta'anis 2:2), according
to many Girsa'os.) Indeed, the Midrash (Bamidbar Rabah 18:21, and Tanchuma,
end of Parshas Korach, see also Midrash Tehilim 17:4) says this explicitly.
The Midrash says that the number of Berachos in the Shemoneh Esreh is equal
to the Gematria of the word "Tov" (17). Even though we say 19 Berachos,
originally the Shemoneh Esreh had only 17 Berachos, because "v'la'Malshinim"
and "Es Tzemach David" were later additions. Es Tzemach, it states, was
added even later than v'Lamalshinim.
(From the Bavli, which says that we do not say "Elokei David" in Tefilah, it
appears that it had never been the practice to mention Elokei David.
Apparently, before the Berachos of Es Tzemach and Boneh Yerushalayim were
split the Chasimah was "*Magen* David v'Yerushalayim," and not Elokei David
u'Voneh Yerushalayim. At the time the people from Bavel split the Berachah
into two, the people from Eretz Yisrael instead gave the single Berachah a
double ending, granting David special status by mentioning him separately in
the Chasimah. The people of Bavel did not accept this practice for two
reasons: 1. Because we should not mention Elokei David; 2. Because we do not
include two subjects in the Chasimah of a single Berachah, as Rebbi says in
RAV DAVID COHEN (in a special section at the end of Ohel David vol. 2) uses
this to explain the words of TOSFOS in Megilah (17b, DH v'David). Tosfos
implies that Rashi had a tradition to count chapters 9 and 10 of Tehilim as
one chapter. [Indeed, by looking at the chapters, we see a strong connection
between the two, which implies that they should be connected. In chapter 9,
every other verse starts with a consecutive letter of the Hebrew alphabet,
but reaches only until the letter Kaf. The first verse in chapter 10 starts
with the letter Lamed, and the last alternating verses of the chapter start
with the letters Kuf, Reish, Shin, and Taf!] How did it happen, then, that in
our books of Tehilim these chapters appear as two separate chapters?
Rav David Cohen explains that originally they were one chapter and later the
Chachamim split them into two chapters. The Gemara in Berachos (9b) says that
originally, chapters 1 and 2 were one chapter. The MAHARSHA there explains
that, according to the Gemara there, the first 18 Berachos of Shemoneh Esreh
were made to correspond to the first 18 chapters of Tehilim, after which
appears the verse, "Yiheyu l'Ratzon Imrei Fi...." When the Chachamim added a
new Berachah in the Shemoneh Esreh, making a total of 19 Berachos, they
wanted to add a new chapter in Tehilim so that the verse of "Yehiyu l'Ratzon"
appears after 19 chapters, and therefore the split the first chapter into
Similarly, chapters 9 and 10 were originally one chapter. However, after the
Chachamim added the Berachah of "Es Tzemach David" to Shemoneh Esreh they
wanted to add a new chapter so that "Yiheyu l'Ratzon" would still appear
after 19 chapters, and therefore they split another chapter of Tehilim into
two chapters. (He points out that content of Mizorim 2 and 10 of Tehilim also
corresponds to these two Berachos. The content of Mizmor 2 corresponds to Ez
Tzemach, while that of Mizmor 10 corresponds to v'Lamalshinim.)