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Birchos HaShachar: Who Removes Sleep From My Eyes (part 2)
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המעביר שנה מעיני ותנומה מעפעפי.  ויהי רצון… …Who removes sleep from my eyes and slumber from my eyelids.  And may it be Your will… ***** At first glance, it seems strange that this brachah, which addresses waking from our sleep, is the last brachah in our Birchos HaShachar.  It should have been the very first, […]
Birchos HaShachar: Who Removes Sleep From My Eyes
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המעביר שנה מעיני ותנומה מעפעפי.  ויהי רצון… …Who removes sleep from my eyes and slumber from my eyelids.  And may it be Your will… ***** The Vilna Gaon explains that “שנה–sheinah (sleep)” refers to our initially waking from a state where our conscious thoughts were removed to a state of “תנומה–t’numah (slumber)” where we are groggy but […]
Birchos HaShachar: Who Gives Strength to the Weary
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הנותן ליעף כח …Who gives strength to the weary.  ***** This brachah is recited by Ashkenazim but not by Sefardim.  The Beis Yosef, based on the Rambam and others, held that this brachah was added after the time of the Gemara, and we don’t have the right to compose our own brachos after that time.  The Bach, based on other Rishonim, held that we do recite it and that […]
Birchos HaShachar: Who Crowns Israel With Splendor
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עוטר ישראל בתפארה …Who crowns Israel with splendor. ***** This brachah was originally recited when one donned his head covering.  Whereas all the other Birchos HaShachar (except the one immediately preceding this one) do not mention the word “Yisrael” and speak in general terms about all people, the Eitz Yosef points out that this brachah […]
Birchos HaShachar: Who Girds Yisrael With Strength
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עוזר ישראל בגבורה …Who girds Yisrael with strength.  ***** גבורה–G’vurah – strength or power – is a midah that, at first thought, we may not embrace as a crucial necessity in our lives.  Let us examine, based on HaRav Avigdor Miller zt”l, why we absolutely must work on this midah and how it is used […]
Birchos HaShachar: Who Has Provided Me My Every Need
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שעשה לי כל צרכי …Who has provided me my every need. ***** The Gemara in B’rachos (60b) relates this brachah to shoes. HaRav Moshe Goldberger (in his sefer One Hundred Brachos), based on the sefer Alei Shur (of Rav Shlomo Wolbe), explains that just as a shoe size fits each individual precisely, so, too, everything […]
Birchos HaShachar: Who Firms Man’s Footsteps
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המכין מצעדי גבר …Who firms man’s footsteps. ***** Some people unfortunately cannot walk or take steps.  If we can walk and even walk briskly without aids of any sort, we are very fortunate.  This is the brachah to gain greater awareness and appreciation of our good fortune and to express our gratitude to Hashem. This […]
Birchos HaShachar: Who Releases the Bound
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מתיר אסורים …Who releases the bound. ***** Our mobility and our ability to move the various parts of our bodies is one of those great gifts in life that too often go unappreciated.  Whether we have full mobility or are limited, this brachah is our opportunity to be thankful for the mobility we do have. […]
Birchos HaShachar: Who Clothes the Naked
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מלביש ערומים …Who clothes the naked. ***** I once attended an aufruf where the chasan spoke.  Although he is a true talmid chacham and had plenty of Torah that he could have related (and perhaps did), what I recall is his uniquely (this occurred many years ago and I can’t recall another such occurrence) detailed […]
Birchos HaShachar: Who Gives Sight to the Blind
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פוקח עורים …Who gives sight to the blind. ***** “Most of us have two eyes that work quite miraculously!  We thank Hashem daily for the blessing of sight, by means of a pair of the most perfect cameras in existence. “Not long ago there lived a man in France whose entire body was paralyzed. Only […]