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 VAYEITZEI AND CHANUKAH:

View Complete List

Welcome To The Middle East
Rabbi Label Lam - 5762

The Triumph of Quality Over Quantity
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5756

Just Doing My Job!
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5759

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Those Small Jars
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5758

Smokescreen
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5758

Shared Responsibility
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5774

Looking for a Chavrusah?

The Strong and the Weak
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5767

Tower of Strength
Shlomo Katz - 5769

Respect of the Sanctuary: On Sacred Ground
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5766

> Whats Holy?!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5774

Left to Chance - Yields Chaos
Rabbi Label Lam - 5766

Chanukah: Lights, Camera, Action!
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5768

ArtScroll

"More Than I Deserve"
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5763

Chanukah, Chutzpah, and Coming Close to G-d
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5757

The Twelve Stones Become One: Inverted Symbolism?
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5772

The House of Yaakov
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5756



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