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prayer pings #8

In the famous "speech from the whirlwind" , God addresses Job's confusion over why the world works the way it does by reminding Job of the breathtaking scope and complexity of the universe. "Only I who actually created it", God appears be saying, "can possibly understand why it functions as it does." One of the many rhetorical questions that God poses to Job in this famous speech is,

"?מִי-שָׁת,...Read more...

prayer pings #7

In our final look at ברכות התורה, I want to examine the concluding text that comes from Masechet Shabbat 127a. We already know that the rabbis chose to follow the blessings for Torah study with texts from the Torah, Mishnah, and Gemara. But what is fascinating is that the version of the Gemara text we have is NOT the original version. Instead, it is a version that was carefully constructed for our...Read more...

prayer pings #6

Commenting on the Talmud's discussion about ברכות התורה (the daily Torah blessings), Tosafot asks why these blessings are different from all other blessings that are recited prior to the performance of a mitzvah. In all other cases, if a person recites the bracha and performs the mitzvah, and then at some time later in the day desires to perform that mitzvah again, she recites the bracha again as well....Read more...

prayer pings #5

Chazal tell us that when we say the ברכות התורה, the morning blessings we recite over Torah study, we must recite them with שמחה גדולה, great joy. Prescribed joy can be a hard thing to fulfill, so how exactly do we ensure that we feel joy every morning?

 

The answer can be found in the language of the blessing...Read more...

Prayer pings #4

We'll take the next several Pings to explore the meaning and some of the halachot of the ברכות התורה, the brachot we recite each morning, concerning Torah study. (Artscroll, p.16)

It's surprising to discover that the general consensus among rabbinic scholars is that there is a Biblical mitzvah to recite brachot over Torah study. It's surprising because the entire...Read more...

prayer pings #3

Our hearts are not so pure. We kinda know that. Daily thoughts and experiences reinforce this fact. We ask God to purify our hearts, but the very frequency with which we make this request (three times each Shabbat) reflects the uphill nature of that battle. When King David (in the Psalm in which he acknowledges having sinned with Bat Sheva) asks that God create a pure heart for him, the unquestionable sincerity...Read more...

prayer pings #2

What do a flask full of air and resurrection have to do with getting up in the morning? The answer is: Everything.

 

Chazal teach us that the world is recreated everyday, מחדש בכל יום, which means that we are also recreated. We are made of a body and a soul, each sustained by God. Because we cannot exist with just a body or...Read more...

Prayer Pings #1

We'll begin way at the beginning this year, with the brachot that we recite first thing in the morning.

 

Wash our hands first thing in the morning? Sure! Why? How? Well, about this we're not really so sure.

 

The debate over the purpose of this...Read more...

Mon, August 19 2019 18 Av 5779