Last class, we introduced the second bracha of the Shemoneh Esrai and outlined some of the points we hope to cover as we explore this next bracha in-depth. Today, we will begin closely examining each phrase, starting at the beginning. As a reminder, the second bracha states:
“You are eternally mighty, my Lord, the Resuscitator of the dead are You; abundantly able to save. [He makes the wind blow and He makes the rains descend]. He sustains the living with kindness, resuscitates the dead with abundant mercy, supports the fallen, heals the sick, releases the confined, and maintains His faith to those asleep in the dust. Who is like You, O Master of mighty deeds, and who is comparable to You, O King Who causes death and restores life and makes salvation sprout! And You are faithful to resuscitate the dead. Blessed are You, Ha-Shem, Who resuscitates the dead.”
Today we will be focusing on the bolded text – “You are eternally mighty, my Lord.”
Like the first blessing, this second one continues in its praise of G-d and we start by focusing on His might and specifically noting that it is eternal. Unlike humans, who lose the battle against time no matter how in shape they may be, G-d’s might is everlasting.
In looking at the previous blessing, we often spoke of how the words offered a message to the reader to keep a strong belief in G-d’s plan, even if the clarity of that plan is not always evident. The Brisker Rav gleans the same message from the emphasis on “eternally.” He notes that we describe G-d’s might as eternal because there are times when that might is hidden. There are times when we look at the world around us and may wonder where G-d’s might is. We must never forget, the Brisker Rav teaches us, that His might is eternal. We may not have the full picture at all times but must always remember that He knows best.