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Shabbat Morning Class - Parasha Ekev

Rabbi Mansour 2011
Shabbat Morning Class
???? ???


"???? ?? ?' ????? ??? ???? ?? ?? ????? ??? ?????..."
"And now Israel, what does Hashem your G-d ask from you but to revere
Hashem your G-d…"
Our Rabbis learn from this Pasuk that we are obligated to recite a
minimum of 100 Berachot every day. The Gemarah says in the name of
Rebbi Meir: "???? ??? ???? ??? ????? ??? ??? ????? ???? ????? ?? ?' ?????
???? ????" . A person is obligated to say 100 Berachot every day as it is
written; "what does Hashem ask from you". Rashi explains that we should
read it " ??? " (one hundred) - instead of " ?? " (what). So the Pasuk now
reads: " ??? ?' ????? ???? ???? "- "it is one hundred (daily blessings) that
Hashem asks from you.
The Midrash writes that in the times of David Hamelech, there was a
plague in which 100 jews were dying every day. David Hamelech in his
divine spirit instituted the recitation of 100 Berachot every day, in order to
stop the deaths of 100 Jews. Our Rabbis have continued this practice by
inserting 100 Berachot into our daily schedule (praying, eating, etc.).
The question is asked; what was done before David Hamelech
instituted the 100 Berachot? Could it be that the Jews in his time were not
making Berachot?! This does not seem likely! What exactly did David
Hamelech change when he instituted the 100 Berachot?
The explanation is that the Jews had been making the Berachot
without the proper concentration. It is written that a Berachah without
concentration is like a ??? (body) without a ???? (soul). In essence, a
Beracha recited without proper intent is like a lifeless body! David
Hamelech realized that the 100 dead bodies were on account of the 100
"lifeless" Berachot that the Jews were reciting on a daily basis!
David Hamelech turned ?? into ??? . The word ?? is used to imply
"nothingness" (as Moshe Rabeinu said to the Jews " ????? ?? "-"what are we"
or as the common phrase " ?? ??? " is used to imply something of no
importance). David Hamelech injected life into these " ?? " (empty)
Berachot, by reading it " ??? "- he added an ' ? to " ?? ". An Aleph is the letter
that stands for Hashem. Aleph is one. One is Hashem. In addition, the
letter Aleph is made up of a Vav in the center with a Yud above, and a Yud
below it. These letters total 26 (26 is the numerical value of the name of
Hashem of Havayah). Hashem "built in" the value of this name into the
letter that represents him. When we add the ' ? to ?? we add G-dliness and
holiness into a "dead" Berachah.
How do we add the ' ? to ?? ? By, reciting the Berachot with the proper
concentration and intentions. When we do so we add g-dliness and
holiness into the Beracha. We should not underestimate the awesome
power of pronouncing a Berachah slowly and carefully! It can literally inject
life into lifelessness, and can actually save people from death !!?''?
There is a Pasuk in Shemuel that describes David Hamelech as:
???? ??? ?? ??? ???? ???? ??? ??" "- "the man (king David) who was raised up
on high". The word ?? is numerically 100, and this alludes to the daily 100
Berachot that David Hamelech instituted.
Perek 34 in Tehilim begins: "???? ?????? ?? ???? ???? ?????? ???????
????" - "to David, when Hashem changed his reasoning before Avimelech
and he was chased away and he left". The story behind this Pasuk is that
one time David Hamelech had asked Hashem; why did you created the
mentally insane?? Hashem answered; "one day you will see why". After
David Hamelech killed Goliath he was running from Shaul Hamelech, and
he found himself in a Philistine town. When the townspeople realized that it
was King David that was amongst them, they informed their king Avimelech
that the most wanted Jew was in their midst! When Avimelech came to see
David for himself he was shocked to find David acting like a crazy
deranged person! Hashem had taken away David’s mind, and he was
acting insane. Avimelech declared that this could not be King David, and he
chased him away. Hashem had saved the life of King David by making him
temporarily crazy, thereby showing him a need for the mentally unstable.
In praising Hashem for this miracle David writes in the next Pasuk
????? ?? ?' ??? ?? ???? ????? ???" "- "I bless Hashem constantly, his praise
is always in my mouth". David Hamelech blesses Hashem constantly, even
for moments of insanity!
Another understanding of the Pasuk is that David Hamelech was
commenting; I was temporarily crazy, but I see that in reality we all appear
crazy throughout the day! What do we do that makes us appear crazy? It is
when we make a blessing with no concentration that we appear like a crazy
person mumbling to his food! We just mumble and have no concept of what
we are saying, and this is like a crazy man babbling in front of his food!
This is what is alluded to in the Pasuk:
?????? ?? ???? ???? ??????" "-"when David became crazy in front of
Avimelech". He laments about another type of insanity.
????? ?? ?' ??? ??" "-"I am blessing Hashem all day long".
However, " ???? ????? ??? "-"the praise is only in my mouth"! They are not
said with the focus of the heart!
David Hamelech arose, and insured that we recite the 100 Berachot with
the proper concentration.
In the letters ?-?-? that comprise the word " ??? ", there is an allusion
to some of the biggest stumbling blocks that we encounter when we try and
make a Berachah in a "rushed" manner. Unfortunately when most of us
recite a Berachah, we say the words ' ???? ??? ? ", pronouncing the ????
??? as a continuous word ("baruchata") without pausing after the word ????
in order to clearly pronounce the ' ? of ??? . We instead "swallow" the Aleph
by saying Baruchata together.
We also "swallow" the ' ? of ????? when we say ??? ????? . Instead of
pausing after ??? , we read them together as "melechaolam", when we do
so we fail to pronounce the ' ? of ????? (we instead say "chaolam" with the
"ch" being part of the next word Haolam)
Another letter that we "swallow" is the ? of ??? ?? (from the Berachah
of Hamosi Lechem Min Haares) if we do not pause after the word ??? , we
will read it as "lechemin" as one long word, and lose the ? of !??
It comes out that the three letters most susceptible not to be
pronounced in a blessing are the ?-?-? , and these letters comprise the
word -100 ??? . In the word ??? itself we find this allusion that the 100
blessings must be made slowly and clearly, without missing these three
commonly skipped letters!
These 100 Berachot that we are instructed to recite with clarity and
concentration serves to offset the curses in Parashat Ki Tavoh.
There are 98 curses written in Ki Tavoh, and after the last curse it says "??
?? ??? ??? ????" -(in addition, all of the sickness and illness that is not
written Hashem will bring ?''? ). The 98 curses plus the 2 words ???-????
equal 100. The 100 blessings offset and prevent the 100 curses from
befalling us.
The Pasuk in this week’s Parasha says " ????? ?' ??? ?? ??? "-"Hashem
will remove from you all sickness". The words ?? ??? numerically equal 98.
These correspond to the 98 curses (without the final two words (???-????
that are written in Ki Tavoh. How will we be spared from the 98 curses? It is
hinted in the preceding word ??? . The word ??? numerically equals 100. It
is in the merit of the 100 Berachot ( ??? ) that we are spared from ?? ??? , all
the sickness and the curses they represent.
The Tosafot add that if you count the letters in this Pasuk of "????
????? ?? ?' ?????..." they total 99. When we add the ? to ?? (to create (???
we add another letter to the Pasuk, and complete the count to make it 100
letters to allude to the 100 Berachot. Tosafot also says that the letters ?-?
themselves hint to the 100 Berachot. The letters ? -? using the ?'? ?'?
system are ?-? which total 100 (90+10)! (The ?'? ?'? system is when we
take the first letter of the Aleph Beit, the ?' - and pair it with the last letter,
the ' ?. The second letter, the ' ?,- with the second to last letter, the ?. The
third letter, the ' ? - with the third to last letter the ' ?, and so on, throughout
the Aleph Beit using this system. The corresponding letter at the other end
of the Aleph Beit takes the place of the letter we are dealing with).
Another allusion to the requirement to recite 100 Berachot is found in
Tehilim chapter 128. The Pasuk says: " ??? ?? ?? ???? ??? " "behold, thus
shall the man be blessed". The words " ?? ?? " numerically equal 100, and the
next word is " ???? " which can also be understood as "shall bless", showing
us that there are 100 Berachot we must make every day.
With this we can understand a deeper understanding behind two
words that we say during Shaharit of Shabbat. We say: ?? ?? ????? ?????
??? ???? ????? ????? ?????? ????? ?? ??? ????? ?? ?? ???? ?????? ??????
?????? .(with the limbs and spirit and tongue you gave us, they will praise you
etc.). Why is it necessary to say ?? ?? - two words that have essentially the
same meaning (both meaning "they")? Just say ?? or ????
The deeper meaning behind these words is that they are referring to
the Holy letters of Hashem’s name of .?-?-? -?
How does ?? ?? hint to ?-?-?-? ? If we analyze the letters ?-? (which
equals 15) we find that the letters ?-? only have two other 2 letter
configurations that equal 15. They are : ?-? (nine and six) and ? -? (eight and
seven) . There are no other two letters that combine to equal 15. So in total
we have 3 times 15 (for the 3- two letter combinations that make 15:
? -? /? -? /? -?) ) which together equals 45.
The ?-? (which equals 11) has only four other 2 letter configuration
that total 11. They are: ?- ? ( seven and four), ? -? (eight and three), ?-?
(nine and two), and ?-? (ten and one).
In total there are 5 two letter combinations that equal 11 (the 4 mentioned
plus the ? -? itself) these total 55 (5x11=55).
Now we can understand, that since ?? is numerically 55 and ?? is 45- it is
really referring to the ?-? and the 45 ) .?-? stands for ?-? and 55 stands for
? -? ). In addition, if we add 55 and 45 it equals 100. The two words " "?? ??
stand for the letters of the name of Hashem and together they equal 100.
These correspond to the 100 Berachot. We are praising Hashem that with
one hundred berachot we are " ???? ?????? ?????? " "we thank and bless". This
allusion to the 100 berachot shows us that they are also imbued with 55
and 45 - which signify the name of Hashem!
The 100 Berachot that we make with concentration also shields us
from the forces of the Satan. The Satan is known as the ?-? . The letters - ?
? equal 100, our 100 Berachot counteract the 100 of the .? -?
This is hinted in the episode when Yaakov Avinu wrestled with the
angel of Eisav. This angel was none other than the ? -? himself! When the
angels realized he could not beat Yaakov, he hit him in the ?? ???? (thigh
area). The word ?? equals 100. The angel was telling Yaakov; "I may not
have beaten you now, but there will come a time that I will slaughter 100 of
your descendents every day"! When was this? It was in the time of David
Hamelech, when 100 people were dying every day.
When the time came for Yaakov to send the angel back up to heaven
he demanded that the angel give him the remedy to stop these 100 deaths.
The Pasuk says that Yaakov asked the angel " ????? ?? ??? "("tell me your
name") tell me the secret how to stop the 100 deaths alluded to in your
name 100 ) ?-? )?? The Pasuk writes in the angels response: " "????? ???? ??
("he blessed him there"). These words were hinting to Yaakov, that it is the
Berachot ( ????? ) that when recited properly will put an end to the 100
deaths and stop the forces of the !?-?
The Tosafot adds that today, when it proves very difficult for many of
us to have the proper focus on all 100 Berachot, there is one part of the
prayers that when focused upon, has the power to correspond to all 100
Berachot! This is the Berachah of "Modim" in the Amidah. When we recite
the Modim with the proper intent, we are credited as if we recited all 100
Berachot with Kavanah! Indeed, the numerical value of ????? is 100, thus
alluding its power!
This fits well with the Gemarah’s statement regarding one who does
not bow for the Berachah of Modim. The Gemarah says that 7 years after
this person dies his spine turns into a snake! The spine that failed to bow
and show gratitude to Hashem ends up turning into a snake. The snake of
course, represents the Satan that originally seduced Adam and Chava to
sin.
When a person does not utilize the beautiful blessing of Modim to
thank Hashem, and show gratitude to him, and fails to use the power of
Modim - which corresponds to the 100 Berachot that protects us form the
?-? -, his punishment is that he ends up turning into the creature that
symbolizes the ?-? the snake!
It is written " ?? ????? ???? ?-? ?????? " and our sages explain that we
must thank Hashem ?? ?? ????? ?????? - for every breath! Obviously it is
impractical to thank Hashem, and recite Hallel after every breath we take,
the Rabbis therefore instituted the blessing of Modim in which we say: "???
???????? ??????? ??" , which can be understood "our breaths that are with
you". The Modim of Shaharit covers us in thanking Hashem for all our
breaths from the morning until we pray Minha. The Modim of Minha covers
us until Arbit. The Modim of Arbit covers us until Shaharit the next morning.
We see from there how all encompassing the Berachah of Modim is in that
it thanks Hashem for our entire existence! Showing appreciation to Hashem
is of critical importance. We must appreciate this wonderful Berachah of
Modim and take extra care to recite it with the proper feelings of gratitude
and thanks to Hashem for all he does for us, and this equals the power of
all 100 Berachot!


Sefer/Parasha:
Parashat Haazinu- Let’s Come Together
Shabbat Shuba- The Most Urgent Teshuba That We Need Today
Understanding the Shofar’s Call
The Elul Immersion
Parashat Ki Teseh- The Message of Yibum
Parashat Shofetim- Our Connection to Hashem
Parashat Re'eh- Judaism is Not a Supermarket
Parashat Ekeb- Defending Am Yisrael
Parashat VaEtchanan- We are Always G-d’s Special Nation
Earning Redemption Through Self-Sacrifice
Parashat Matot-Mase: The Repentance of Reuben and Gad
Parashat Pinhas: Serving G-d Under All Conditions
Parashat Balak- Harnessing the Power of Idealism
Parashat Hukat- Unconditional Commitment
Parashat Korah- Korah’s Mistake
Page of 55
814 Parashot found