Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
  Page title
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Understanding the Morning Blessings

Not To Be

Almost all of the morning blessings are in the positive, except for three: “who did not create me as a member the other nations of the world” "who did not make me a slave" and (for men) "who did not make me a woman." Why are these blessing phrased negatively?

Our Sages saw fit to establish these three separate blessings in order to give us the opportunity to express our appreciation for every facet of Hashem's kindness. If I would simply thank the One "who made me a Jew," thanking Hashem for not making me a slave or a woman as well would seem superfluous. Additionally we should not say the blessings in reverse order, for the last blessing implies the praise of the first two. Saying these blessings in the negative allows us to recite all three blessings, thus increasing our praise of our Creator (Mishna Berura 46,15).

The Zohar adds deeper meaning to the wording of these blessings. Every night our souls ascend to heaven to be recharged and cleansed for the upcoming day. We thank Hashem that when He returns our neshama to our body that he did not send with it the soul of a non-Jew, slave, or someone of the opposite gender (Magen Avraham 46,9). [See end of essay regarding a woman's blessing.]

Some siddurim cite this blessing with alternative wording: "who did not make me an idol worshiper." Although we are certainly thankful for not practicing idolatry, our gratitude goes beyond this base level. We say "create me as a member the other nations of the world "in order to express that we are happy that we were given the Torah and elevated above all of the nations (Responsa Teshuvos V'hanhagos 1,6).


Text Copyright © 2008 by Rabbi Daniel Travis and Torah.org


 

ARTICLES ON KI SAVO AND ELUL / ROSH HASHANAH:

View Complete List

The Act of Investing
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5762

Parashat Haazinu
Shlomo Katz - 5764

Repentance and Changing History
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5759

> Setting Realistic Goals
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5770

A Person Must Find Pleasure In Mitzvos
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5764

Giving in to the Dictates of One's Heart
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5759

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Hanging onto Holiness by a Thread
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5760

Communication, Communication, Communication!!!
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5774

The Art of Jewish Prayer
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5766

ArtScroll

Is Teshuva Really Necessary this Year?
Shlomo Katz - 5759

Becoming and Adam Shalaim
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5773

To Begin--to Cook from Within
Rabbi Label Lam - 5766

Looking for a Chavrusah?

The Sounds of the Shofar
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5757

The Kohain Connection
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5771

Effects of Our Enemies
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5755

Rabbi Frand on Rosh HaShana
- 5769



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information