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

Email this article to a friend

Sheva Brachos

In this chapter we have examined how the first blessing of the Shema serves to repudiate some beliefs which are foreign to the Jewish religion. However, there is another goal that all the blessings of Shema share.

“Seven times a day I praise You because of Your righteous statutes” (Tehillim 119,164). Based on this verse, the Great Assembly determined that seven blessings should be recited before and after the morning and evening Krias Shema (Brachos 11a). But why did they understand this verse to refer to blessings surrounding the Shema?

Throughout history, many Jews have been put to death for being Jewish. As is well-known, these martyrs always uttered the words of the Shema with their last breath. The Shema proclaims the fundamental Jewish tenets: that G-d’s Oneness is indisputable, that everything He does is absolutely good, and that all of His statutes are righteous. While at times this may be difficult for us to understand, due to our limited perception of reality, the absolute truth of this statement is deeply embedded in the heart of every Jew.

When faced with enemies who will stop at nothing to destroy the Jewish people, Jews have always found the strength to face their fate al kiddush Hashem – to die proclaiming Hashem’s Oneness. However, the Great Assembly understood that the willingness to die by the Shema is not enough. We have to live by the Shema; we need to face each day with an awareness of Hashem’s Oneness. They instituted the requirement that we praise and thank Hashem for the privilege of saying Shema when our lives are not at stake.

These seven blessings before and after the Shema give us a daily opportunity to express our joy in proclaiming the Oneness of Hashem.

A bride and groom express the joy of their union with seven blessings under the wedding canopy. So, too, we express our joy in acknowledging Hashem’s Oneness through the Shema by saying seven blessings before and after its recitation each day.


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


 


ARTICLES ON MIKETZ AND CHANUKAH:

View Complete List

Rabbi Frand on Parshas Miketz
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5770

Days of Eight
Rabbi Label Lam - 5763

Light Up Right
Rabbi Label Lam - 5770

ArtScroll

In Your Dreams
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5765

“So you Think You’re The Man, Alexander?” (Insights for Chanukah)
Jon Erlbaum - 0

Conversations
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5760

> A Double Loss!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5767

To Fergin or Forget
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5774

Why Eight Days?
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5755

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Light Over Darkness
Rabbi Naphtali Hoff - 5768

We Should Not Assume What Happens Is Necessarily 'Bad'
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5766

Shehechiyanu in Bergen Belsen
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5756

Looking for a Chavrusah?

The Whole and The Part - Part II
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5766

Chanukah: A Postscript
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5756

A Glaring Omission
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5766

The Light of Devotion
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5757



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