Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Hundred Blessings

The Imrei Emes, zt”l, would work hard to draw young students closer to Hashem, dedicating a lot of his precious time and many efforts for this cause. These young men would seek the rebbe’s guidance in many areas, talking to him in learning and asking whatever questions they had. Once, when a yeshiva student asked the rebbe how to attain fear of heaven, he received a simple yet profound reply. “You become G-dfearing by being careful how you say the hundred blessings that we say daily. This is clear from the words of the sages in Menachos 43. There we find that regarding the verse, 'מה ה' אלוקיך שואל מעמך כי אם ליראה'—‘What does Hashem, your G-d, ask of you but to fear Him?’ our sages tell us to read מאה instead of מה. They explain that this refers to the one hundred blessings that we say every day. We see that being careful to focus when reciting them is the way to acquire fear of heaven.” Rav Eliyahu Roth, zt”l, would plead with everyone he knew to say the hundred daily blessings aloud with intense focus. Once when he was giving a derashah during the yahrzeit of Rav Shlom’ke of Zvhil, zt”l, he explained the vast importance of this practice. “We must know that when every Jewish soul is required to go down to the material world it resists. Who would want to leave the Source for life as we know it? The only way to convince the neshamah to acquiesce to descend to this physical word is by explaining that it will have one hundred daily opportunities to declare Hashem’s kingship in this world. “These blessings are a way to remind ourselves of the Creator one hundred times a day. From Menachos 43 we can understand that Hashem actually asks us to focus on them since this is the way to attain fear of heaven. We are reminded one hundred times a day that there is a Creator who created everything, and there is nothing but Him.”

No comments: