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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 […]
Ezras Avoseinu #11: Davening as Our Avos Davened
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ועונה לעמו בעת שועם אליו He answers His people when they call Him for help. The following is quoted* from Rav Schwab on Prayer (pages 394-395): The word “שועם–shav’am,” from which we get the word ישועה, is used in the sense of “calling for help.” There is a statement in the Zohar HaKadosh (BaMidbar – […]
Ezras Avoseinu #10: In the Blink of an Eye
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משפיל גאים, ומגביה שפלים Who humbles the haughty and lifts the lowly   *****   Within these four words, HaRav Avigdor Miller zt”l (Tefilas Avigdor) sees a major lesson in emunah and bitachon.   It is difficult to imagine a more downtrodden and lowly people than B’nei Yisrael were in Mitzrayim.  We had been slaves […]
Ezras Avoseinu #9: Hashem Loves Us More and More
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על זאת שבחו אהובים ורוממו א-ל, ונתנו ידידים זמרות שירות ותשבחות, ברכות והודאות For this, the beloved praised and exalted Hashem, the dear ones offered hymns, songs, praises, blessings, and thanksgivings… What specifically are we praising Hashem for, and what connection is there between our being called “ahuvim–beloved” and the ensuing praise and thanks we […]
Ezras Avoseinu #8: Trust and Triumph
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וים סוף בקעת, וזדים טבעת, וידידים העברת Yam Suf You split, the wanton sinners You drowned, the dear ones You brought across… Why are we first mentioning the drowning of the Mitzriyim before the successful crossing of B’nei Yisrael? It seems out of chronological order. Rinas Chaim, quoting Siach Yitzchak, tells us that the first wave of Mitzriyim actually made it all […]