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

Email this article to a friend

Understanding the Morning Blessings

Not To Be

Almost all of the morning blessings are in the positive, except for three: “who did not create me as a member the other nations of the world” "who did not make me a slave" and (for men) "who did not make me a woman." Why are these blessing phrased negatively?

Our Sages saw fit to establish these three separate blessings in order to give us the opportunity to express our appreciation for every facet of Hashem's kindness. If I would simply thank the One "who made me a Jew," thanking Hashem for not making me a slave or a woman as well would seem superfluous. Additionally we should not say the blessings in reverse order, for the last blessing implies the praise of the first two. Saying these blessings in the negative allows us to recite all three blessings, thus increasing our praise of our Creator (Mishna Berura 46,15).

The Zohar adds deeper meaning to the wording of these blessings. Every night our souls ascend to heaven to be recharged and cleansed for the upcoming day. We thank Hashem that when He returns our neshama to our body that he did not send with it the soul of a non-Jew, slave, or someone of the opposite gender (Magen Avraham 46,9). [See end of essay regarding a woman's blessing.]

Some siddurim cite this blessing with alternative wording: "who did not make me an idol worshiper." Although we are certainly thankful for not practicing idolatry, our gratitude goes beyond this base level. We say "create me as a member the other nations of the world "in order to express that we are happy that we were given the Torah and elevated above all of the nations (Responsa Teshuvos V'hanhagos 1,6).


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


 

ARTICLES ON VAESCHANAN AND TU BEAV:

View Complete List

It’s free!
Shlomo Katz - 5773

Comfort-Able?
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5759

For Your Sake
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5756

> For You Not Me
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5763

You Can't Plead Everyone
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5763

Simply- a Symptom of Love
Rabbi Label Lam - 5765

ArtScroll

Basic Tenet of Jewish Life
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5763

The Easy Commandment
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5762

Mi Casa Es Su Casa
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5770

Looking for a Chavrusah?

They Go Together
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5766

Beyond the Letter of the Law
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5758

Good Things Come - To Those Who Stipulate
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5764

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Mi Casa Es Su Casa
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5773

Killer Torah
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5757

Judaism 101
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5757

Humble, Yet Proud
Shlomo Katz - 5761



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