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


 
Sell Chometz Online







ARTICLES ON PESACH AND THE OMER:

View Complete List

Ha Lachma Anya
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5771

Pesach In Command
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5761

Father-on-Loan
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5758

> Why Four Cups?
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5757

Pesach Questions
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5757

Symbolism Over Substance
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5757

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Sea the Miracle
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5764

How Do We Approach This Child?
Rabbi Label Lam - 5764

Lag B'Omer
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5755

ArtScroll

Pesach Answers - Chad Gadya
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5766

“4 Seder Cups & 1 Yiddishe Cup” (Insights for the Passover Seder)
Jon Erlbaum - 5770

Searching for the Chametz Within
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5756

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

We Were Slaves...
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5755

Why On This Night Do We Dip Twice?
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5765

The Meaning of Freedom
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5760

What's an Omer?
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5755



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