For a certain period during the reign of King David, one hundred Jews died premature deaths every day. King David made every effort to discover the source this epidemic and, through Divine inspiration, he came to understand that the solution was prayer. Therefore, he instituted a requirement that every Jew recite at least one hundred blessings each day. The deaths stopped immediately (as cited in Tur 46 in the name of Rav Notranai Gaon).
In our own time, people suffering from sorrows and tribulations would visit Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach every day, imploring him to guide them on the road to salvation. Often, after consoling them, he would remind them of this special mitzvah. With a sense of awe, he would add that according to many halachic authorities, the decree of one hundred deaths every day was never annulled, and that reciting one hundred blessings is merely a “temporary cure.” Neglecting to recite these blessings could, G- d forbid, cause the resumption of this plague (Halichos Shlomo 22 ; Bach 46).
Text Copyright © 2008 by Rabbi Daniel Travis and Torah.org