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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 […]
Birchos HaShachar: Who Gave the Heart Understanding
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אשר נתן לשכוי בינה להבחין בין יום ובין לילה …Who gave the heart understanding to distinguish between day and night ***** The word “שכוי–sechvi” in this brachah has two meanings: rooster and “leiv” (which can mean heart or mind).  We begin the series of brachos called “Birchos HaShachar” with thanking Hashem for giving the rooster […]
Yizkor: The Memorial Prayer Service
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Yizkor is the memorial service recited for deceased parents and other relatives at several points throughout the year. The name of the prayer means “May He remember” (“He” being God and “Yizkor” being the first word of the prayer). Not only do many who recite the prayer find it to be a moving, emotional experience, […]
An Introduction to Birchos HaShachar II
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An Introduction to Birchos HaShachar II B’ezras Hashem, the next series of segments will cover the 15 Birchos HaShachar that we recite each morning.  As an introduction, we are reviewing Shemoneh Esrei segments 47 and 48, which were an introduction to the brachah of Modim, and serve, as well, as an introduction to these Birchos HaShachar.  Shemoneh Esrei 47 appeared last week. Shemoneh Esrei 48 The 100 […]
Introduction to Birchos HaShachar – Part I
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B’ezras Hashem, the next series of segments will cover some of the Birchos HaShachar that we recite each morning.  As an introduction, we will review Shemoneh Esrei segments 47 and 48, which were an introduction to the brachah of Modim, and serve, as well, as an introduction to these Birchos HaShachar. Shemoneh Esrei 47 Appreciation: An Exercise in Growth  מודים אנחנו לך […]