Brachot 9 - Evening Shema - Till Midnight or Till Morning?
Earlier we saw that Rabban Gamliel allows the Shema to be said till morning, while the Sages limit it at midnight. It once happened that the sons of Rabban Gamliel returned from a feast past midnight, and they have not yet said the Shema. They asked their father: "Can we still say the prayer?" He told them, "Yes. The Sages agree to me in principle, only they wanted to distance a man from a mistake. Also, for example, offerings that are eaten for one day can be eaten all night, but the Sages limited it till midnight."
He did not mention the Passover offering as such an example! This must mean that Rabban Gamliel takes sides in another disagreement, about a Passover offering. Here it is: Rabbi Elazar ben Azaria says that the Passover offering can be eaten only until midnight, but Rabbi Akiva says that it can be eaten till morning. What are their proofs? Rabbi Elazar bases his on the phrase " They will eat the meat on this night ," and since when God passed through Egypt, it was also "this night," and meant midnight, then here too, the eating is only until midnight. And Rabbi Akiva? He says, "It means, this night, but not the next night. For otherwise you might have though that the Passover offering is eaten for a night, a day, and a following night, and 'This night' excludes this possibility."
But what is the root cause of their disagreement? They argue about the word, "in haste," to whom it applies. If to Jews, then their haste was in the morning, and if to Egyptians, to send the Jews out, then this haste occurred at midnight.
Art: Hieronymous Bosch - Marriage Feast at Cana