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Shemoneh Esrei 33: The Nineteenth Brachah
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There are important differences in wording and meaning between Nusach Ashkenaz and Nusach Sefard in this brachah, as well as differences in opinion as to the meaning of the brachah in general. This brachah was composed roughly 500 years after the original composition of the 18 brachos of Shemoneh Esrei.  Rabban Gamliel, the Nasi at […]
Shemoneh Esrei 32: Enjoying Peace – Internally & Externally
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השיבה שופטינו כבראשונה, ויועצינו כבתחלה, והסר ממנו יגון ואנחה, ומלוך עלינו אתה ה’ לבדך בחסד וברחמים, וצדקנו במשפט Restore our judges as in earliest times, and our counselors as at first; remove from us sorrow and groan; and reign over us – You, Hashem, alone – with kindness and compassion, and justify us through judgment. […]
Shemoneh Esrei 31: Achdus – Always
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תקע בשופר גדול לחרותנו, ושא נס לקבץ גלויותנו, וקבצנו יחד מארבע כנפות הארץ Sound the great shofar for our freedom, raise the banner to gather our exiles and gather us together from the four corners of the earth. In this brachah, we ask Hashem to blow the “shofar gadol” (the larger horn of the ram […]
Shemoneh Esrei 30: And As For Me, Closeness with Hashem is Good
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ברך עלינו ה’ אלקינו את השנה הזאת ואת כל מיני תבואתה לטובה, ותן ברכה (ותן טל ומטר לברכה) על פני האדמה, ושבענו מטובך, וברך שנתנו כשנים הטובות Bless on our behalf – O Hashem, our G-d – this year and all its kind of crops for the best, and give (dew and rain for) a […]
Shemoneh Esrei 29: Does it Hurt?
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As we have mentioned previously, all of the middle brachos of request were composed in the plural.  This is because when we daven, we daven not only for ourselves but also for klal Yisrael as a whole, for the tzibur, for our families, and for other specific individuals.  Perhaps this is most evident in our […]
Shemoneh Esrei 28: Daily Gifts
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 רפאנו ה’ ונרפא…כי א-ל מלך רופא נאמן ורחמן אתה Heal us, Hashem – then we will be healed…for You are G-d, King, the faithful and compassionate Healer The following story (not an exact quote) appeared last week in Emunah Daily, a most inspiring daily e-mail, written and orated by HaRav David Ashear. Rabbi Yaakov Yisrael […]
Shemoneh Esrei 27: Brilliant Doctors and Wonder Drugs
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רפאנו ה’ ונרפא, הושיענו ונושעה, כי תהלתנו אתה… Heal us, Hashem – then we will be healed; save us – then we will be saved, for You are our praise… The words “כי תהלתנו אתה–ki s’hilaseinu Atah (for You are our praise)” are perhaps the most crucial and least understood words in this otherwise universally […]
Shemoneh Esrei 26: Communal and Personal G’ulah
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ראה בענינו, וריבה ריבנו, וגאלנו מהרה למען שמך, כי גואל חזק אתה Behold our affliction, take up our grievance, and redeem us speedily for Your Name’s sake, for You are a powerful Redeemer After having requested that Hashem assist us in t’shuvah and forgive our sins, to the point of restoring our father-son relationship, we […]
Shemoneh Esrei 25: The Opportunity of Ameilus
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Before proceeding forward with the brachos of our requests, let us step back and contemplate the opportunity presented to us within these brachos.  One obvious opportunity is being able to stand before our Master, Who controls every aspect of our lives, and ask for our needs.  A second opportunity is to strengthen our emunah and […]
Shemoneh Esrei 24: Again, My Son?
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סלח לנו אבינו כי חטאנו, מחל לנו מלכנו כי פשענו, כי מוחל וסולח אתה Forgive us, our Father, for we have erred; pardon us, our King, for we have willfully sinned; for You pardon and forgive The following anecdote illustrates the difference between a father-son relationship and a master-servant relationship: Generally, if a master asks […]