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Understanding the Mitzva of Saying 100 Blessings Each Day

Deep Breaths

Although we cannot eat or drink on Yom Kippur, smelling pleasant fragrances is still permitted. While some opinions prohibit this pleasure as well, the consensus of the halachic authorities is that inhaling fragrances is permitted, and that it is praiseworthy to do so to get to one hundred blessings (Mishnah Berurah 612:18).

Since it is unclear when one act of smelling ends and a new one begins, halachic authorities warn against making this blessing a number of times in close succession. In order to avoid all complications, the best option is to obtain different types of scents, each one requiring a different blessing.

Ideally, one should eat extra foods or smell fragrances to achieve the goal of one hundred blessings a day (Magen Avraham 46:8 as inferred from Menachos 43b), but the halachah provides other means as well. One may listen to the blessings of the person reading from the Torah and Haftarah with intention to be included in his blessings (Shulchan Aruch 284:3). If all else fails, one may be able to count the blessings of the chazanís repetition of Shemona Esrei (Mishnah Berurah 46:14; see also Maíadanei Yom Tov on Rosh, Blessings 9:24).

Some halachic authorities suggest that the prayer Ein Kelokeinu, was established as a substitute for the blessings missed by the shortened Shemoneh Esrei on Shabbos. Even though it does not contain even one blessing, since it makes reference to Hashem sixteen times, our Sages considered it as if one recited sixteen additional blessings.

Ein Kelokeinu is omitted from the prayers of Yom Kippur. It is replaced by Ahalelecha bekol ram, a prayer patterned on the format of the weekday Shemonei Esrei and inserted toward the end of the chazanís repetition of the morning Shemona Esrei (Magen Avraham 622:1). Although a number of the additional prayers are omitted nowadays, Rav Shlomo Zalman was adamant that to recite this prayer, since it was established to make up the large number of missing blessings on Yom Kippur (Halichos Shlomo 22 [92].)

Text Copyright © 2008 by Rabbi Daniel Travis and



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