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Shemoneh Esrei 50 – Four Principles of Life
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מודים אנחנו לך We gratefully thank You As related last week in SE 49, if we could only remember at all times that all that happens to us on a minute-by-minute basis is from our loving Father and King, we would live happier lives and have greater m’nuchas ha’nefesh.  That, in turn, would certainly have […]
Shemoneh Esrei 49 – Only You
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מודים אנחנו לך We gratefully thank You In a shiur I once heard, it was suggested that each time we recite Modim, we think about some specifics to thank Hashem for, in order to personalize our thanks.  While it is generally a beautiful suggestion, and clearly it is necessary to be specific in our thanks […]
Shemoneh Esrei 48 – We Gratefully Thank You
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מודים אנחנו לך We gratefully thank You It is commonly known, there is an obligation to recite 100 brachos daily.  The g’matria of the word “מודים” equals 100.  This teaches us that one who says Modim properly is considered as if he fulfilled the requirement of saying 100 brachos that day.  [Daas Z’keinim MiBaalei HaTosafos, […]
Shemoneh Esrei 47 – Modim Anachnu Lach
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מודים אנחנו לך We gratefully thank You The word “הודאה” has two distinct meanings.  One meaning is to thank.  The other meaning is to admit.  Rav Hutner zt”l states that in reality these two meanings are very closely connected.  The path to thanking and praising Hashem for of all the goodness and miracles that He […]
Shemoneh Esrei 46: From Beis HaK’neses To Beis Hamikdash
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רצה ה’ א-לקינו בעמך ישראל ובתפלתם Be favorable, Hashem our G-d, toward Your people Israel and their prayer There are various approaches to understanding this brachah, which affect the way the words are grouped and result in different meanings as well.  We continue with our understanding of the brachah of R’tzei based upon HaRav Avigdor […]
Shemoneh Esrei 45: A Servant’s Plea
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רצה ה’ א-לקינו בעמך ישראל ובתפלתם Be favorable, Hashem our G-d, toward Your people Israel and their prayer We now address the last group of brachos in Shemoneh Esrei.  In the Gemara in B’rachos (34a), Rav Yehudah says that one should not make requests in the first three brachos or in the last three brachos […]
Shemoneh Esrei 44: G-d Who Hears Prayers
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כי א-ל שומע תפלות ותחנונים אתה For G-d Who hears prayers and supplications are You Tefilah – especially the Shemoneh Esrei – and Shabbos have much in common.  We prepare for both through various means, including (but not limited to) washing (hands for tefilah, body for Shabbos), sitting before we begin with koved rosh (contemplating […]
Shemoneh Esrei 43: Rachamim V’Ratzon
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שמע קולנו ה’ אלקינו, חוס ורחם עלינו, וקבל ברחמים וברצון את תפלתנו Hear our voice, Hashem our G-d, pity and be compassionate to us, and accept – with compassion and favor – our prayer We are generally aroused to “רחמים–rachamim” (compassion and mercy) through one of three paths: 1.  We hear the sounds of individuals […]
Shemoneh Esrei 42: Shema Koleinu
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שמע קולנו Due to the importance and tremendous opportunity of adding personal tefilos within (and outside the context of) our Shemoneh Esrei, we will very briefly discuss the halachos of when and where one may add these tefilos.  We once again make clear that one should not rely on our writing to determine actual halachah, […]
Shemoneh Esrei 41: Making It Personal
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שמע קולנו Last week, we focused on the opportunity and importance of turning to Hashem even, and especially, for the “small stuff.”  One of the appropriate places to do this is in our brachah of Shema Koleinu.  Additions should be said before the words “כי אתה–ki atah” at the end of the brachah. In many […]