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



View Complete List

Maintaining Balance
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5765

Money is Time
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5764

Of Fire and Money
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5757


Your Mission -- If You Should Accept
PLUS The Laws of Chanuka

Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5764

Darkness and Light
Shlomo Katz - 5773

Rabbi Frand on Parshas VaYishlach
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5770

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Human Effort and Supernatural Help
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5770

A Huge Goal!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5772

To Fergin Or Forget
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5771

> On A Wing and A Prayer
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5774

Creating Holiness
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5767

Horns and Hedonism
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5763

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Don't Bother Asking For Its Name
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5772

Aroma of Calm
Rabbi Label Lam - 5763

Stripping Life Down to its ‘Bear’ Minimum
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5766

The Light of Torah
Rabbi Yosef Kalatzky - 5763

Project Genesis Home

Torah Portion

Jewish Law



Learn the Basics




Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base


About Us

Contact Us

Free Book on Geulah! Home Copyright Information