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 NOACH:

View Complete List

Unity With Caution
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5766

The Miracle of Free Will
Rabbi Elly Broch - 5765

Priorities Define A Person
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5766

ArtScroll

Making It Perfect
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5763

Delight Amidst Devastation
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5762

Compliments -- In The Presence And Outside The Presence Of A Person
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5774

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Perceptions - Noach
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5769

People In Stone Houses Should not Cast Bricks
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5774

Constant Taking is Self Destructing
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5759

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Immorality Around Us
Shlomo Katz - 5759

Beyond Youth
Rabbi Label Lam - 5764

When the Illegitimate Becomes Legitimate
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5758

> The Choosing People
Rabbi Label Lam - 5761

Three Philosophies at Bavel
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5761

Great Is Peace
- 5769

New Stage, Old Actors
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5762



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