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First Blessing: Actions Speak Louder Than Words

    “Blessed are You Hashem, our G-d and the G-d of our forefathers, G-d of Abraham, G-d of Isaac and G-d of Jacob; the great, mighty and awesome G-d, the supreme G-d, Who bestows beneficial kindnesses and owns everything, Who remembers the kindnesses of the Patriarchs, and brings a redeemer to their children's children, for His Name's sake with love. O King, Helper, Redeemer and Shield. Blessed are You Hashem, Shield of Abraham.”

In truth, Hashem does not need our recognition. We praise Hashem for ourselves, in order to place ourselves in the right frame of mind to converse with Him. Praise helps raise our awareness of Hashem’s greatness before we approach Him with our requests.

We are not allowed to overdo Hashem's praises in Shemoneh Esrei. Yet three full blessings are dedicated towards the goal of praise. If we are forbidden to exceed the three words used by Moshe Rabbeinu, how can we dedicate three full blessings to praise?

As mentioned previously, we are permitted to describe Hashem as “great, powerful and awesome,” since these praises were said by Moshe Rabbeinu. The first three blessings serve as proof of these three attributes. Since we are just citing examples of the three permissible praises, recitation of the blessings is appropriate.


Text Copyright © 2009 by Rabbi Daniel Travis and Torah.org


 


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