Tefillah Tips: Ashrei V

March 19, 2014

“בכל יום אברכך, ואהללה שמך לעולם ועד – Every day I will acknowledge Your blessings; and I will praise Your name forever.” This is the second verse in the acrostic Psalm 145; it begins with the letter ב. The Radak on Tehillim points out that similar to our last verse, the two phrases relate to the two worlds of existence i.e. This World and the World to Come. Therefore, the verse means that- every day I will bless you – in This World- and I will praise You forever – in the World To Come. The Vilna Gaon explains this sentence as referring to the divine renewal of the world every day and every part of every- day as is recited later in Shacharit – “המחדש בכל יום תמיד מעשה בראשית – G-d renews the Creation of the world every day”. Therefore we not only acknowledge and thank G-d for benefits He has bestowed upon us in the past, we also recognize the daily, hourly etc. sustenance and strength that occurs in front of our eyes every moment of the day. Finally the Ibn Ezra explains that ascending spiritual levels are referenced in this verse. He states that there are Mevarchim – those that acknowledge the blessings of G-d, and Mehallelim – those that praise G-d. Mehallelim are considered to be on a higher spiritual plane than Mevarchim. Our aim in life is to always be  growing, and advancing ourselves in Torah knowledge and performance of Mitzvot during the years G-d blesses us with life. The verse therefore expresses our desire to grow in prayer during our lifetimes and reach the level of the Mehallelim: בכל יום אברכך – Currently every day I will acknowledge Your blessings; ואהללה שמך לעולם ועד but as I advance in my davening skills I will praise Your name forever Take Home Tip: In so many parts of life we want to improve, get better and advance. For example: competitive athletes always want to get better at sports; and family heads often want to earn more money. Why should Tefillah be any different? Shouldn’t we truly want to get better at davening, to understand our prayers better and offer them as heartfelt as possible? This verse reminds us that indeed one of the pursuits in which we must aim to improve is Tefillah: as King David stated: בכל יום אברכך, ואהללה שמך לעולם ועד.