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Shemoneh Esrei 35: Davening For The Majority Part II
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על הצדיקים… ועלינו, יהמו רחמיך ה’ אלקינו, ותן שכר טוב לכל הבוטחים בשמך באמת, ושים חלקנו עמהם לעולם, ולא נבוש כי בך בטחנו. ברוך אתה ה’, משען ומבטח לצדיקים On the righteous,… and on us – May Your compassion be aroused, Hashem, our G-d, and give goodly reward to all who sincerely believe in Your […]
Bracha #15 – Malchus Beis David (The David Dynasty)
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Following right on the heels of the prayer to rebuild Jerusalem, we have a blessing asking God that the kings of the Davidic dynasty be restored to their rule. The Moshiach (Messiah) will be a descendant of the Davidic dynasty and he is referred to as “tzemach Dovid,” “the shoot of David.” (“Shoot” in this […]
Shemoneh Esrei 34: Davening For The Majority Part I
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על הצדיקים ועל החסידים, ועל זקני עמך בית ישראל, ועל פליטת סופריהם, ועל גרי הצדק ועלינו… On the righteous, on the devout, on the elders of Your people the Family of Israel, on the remnant of their scholars, on the righteous converts and on ourselves… Why do we follow the brachah of ולמלשינים  (V’la’malshinim) with […]
Bracha #14 – Binyan Yerushalayim (The Rebuilding of Jerusalem)
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Only two blessings of Shemoneh Esrei start with the conjunction vav, meaning “and” – the blessing against heretics and this one. The blessing against heretics is already an exception but why should the prayer for rebuilding Jerusalem start with “and?” In truth, it is connected to the blessing for the righteous, which precedes it. The […]
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 […]
Bracha #13 – Tzaddikim (The Righteous)
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Following the blessing requesting the removal of the heretics, we next pray for the welfare of the righteous. The Talmud in Megillah (17b), describing the order of the blessings, says that this is because when the wicked are removed, then the righteous will be elevated. The prayer identifies six categories of deserving individuals: (1) Tzaddikim […]
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. […]
Bracha #12 – Birkas HaMinim (Heretics)
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The twelfth bracha, against heretics, is the one that was later inserted, with the result that there are nineteen blessings in the “Eighteen Benedictions.” According to the Talmud in Brachos (28b), this blessing was added in the days of Rabban Gamliel in response to an increase in heretics. According to Rashi there, “minim” (heretics) refers […]
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 […]