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Prayer Skills: Mabit: Praying Each Day

The 23rd of Nisan is the Yahrtzeit of Rav Moshe (ben Yosef) MiTrani, the Mabit (1505-1585). Son of Rav Yosef MiTrani (Mahait), Rav Moshe was born in Salonika, Greece. He was sent to Adrianople (Turkey) as a boy to pursue his studies under the supervision of his uncle Aaron. At the age of 16 he went to Safed and completed his studies under Yaakov Beirav. He was one of  four people to receive the special semicha from him in 1538, in Safed, along with Rav Yosef Karo, Rav Moshe Cordovero, and Rav Yosef Sagis. In 1525 he was appointed rabbi at Safed; he held this office until 1535, when he moved to Jerusalem, where he lived until 1585. His main work was Kiryat Sefer, a commentary on Rambam’s Yad Chazakah. Hamabit, was an halachic responsa with 841 answers. He also wrote Beit Elo-him – a thematic discussion of the elements of prayer.


The question remains, how do we know that one must pray every day? The reason is that the commandment to pray is derived from the verse, “You shall serve God, your Lord, and He will bless your bread and your water (Exodus 23:25).” Just as bread and water are daily necessities, so is prayer a daily obligation, for it is through prayer that we ask for what we need. (Rabbi Moshe of Trani: Kiryat Sefer)

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