The awesome bracha of Asher Yatzar, (literally “who formed”), which refers to the complexity of the human body, thanks Hashem for creating our body and for the continuous daily miracle of its proper functioning. It is recited every morning as part of the Birchat HaShachar, (Morning Blessings) and again, every time after using the bathroom.
“Blessed are You, Hashem, our G-d, King of the universe, Who formed man with wisdom and created within him many openings and many hollows (cavities). It is obvious and known before Your Throne of Glory that if but one of them were to be ruptured or if one of them were to be blocked it would be impossible to survive and to stand before You (even for a short period of time). Blessed are You, Hashem, Who heals all flesh and acts wondrously.”
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם אֲשֶׁר יָצַר אֶת
.הָאָדָם בְּחָכְמָה וּבָרָא בוֹ נְקָבִים נְקָבִים חֲלוּלִים חֲלוּלִים
גָּלוּי וְיָדוּעַ לִפְנֵי כִסֵּא כְבוֹדֶךָ שֶׁאִם יִפָּתֵחַ אֶחָד מֵהֶם
אוֹ יִסָּתֵם אֶחָד מֵהֶם אִי אֶפְשַׁר לְהִתְקַיֵּם וְלַעֲמוֹד לְפָנֶיךָ
.אֲפִילוּ שָׁעָה אֶחָת
.בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְהֹוָה רוֹפֵא כָל בָּשָׂר וּמַפְלִיא לַעֲשֹוֹת
Yes, every time after using the bathroom, we wash our hands, (Once is enough, while some wash three times. There is no need to use a vessel, though some have the custom to use a vessel), and thank Hashem for maintaining our health and well being by reciting the bracha – Asher Yatzar. (One should wait until they have left the bathroom before reciting this bracha, as it is inappropriate to pray in the bathroom).
We shouldn’t wait until we get sick to appreciate our health.
Asher Yatzar is mentioned in the Talmud (Berachot 60b) as one of the brachot compiled by the Anshei Knesset HaGedolah (Men [Sages] of the Great Assembly) (circa 410-310 BCE).
The Chafetz Chaim and other Great Sages write that the reciting of Asher Yatzar with the proper Kavanah (sincerity, devotion, intent) and from the written text, has the power to help one have a healthy body all of their life. There are many people who were saved from a severe illness by saying this Bracha from the written text with the proper kavanah. This is an easy way to keep down all those doctor fees!!
A sad and worried Jew once came to visit the Chazon Ish (Rav Yeshaya Karelitz) in Bnei Brak. When the man entered, the Chazon Ish was saying the Asher Yatzar Bracha. He pronounced each word slowly and clearly.
The man couldn’t contain himself any longer and blurted out, “My child has polio and the doctors say there’s no hope.”
The Chazon Ish emphasized the last words of the bracha, “Who heals all flesh and acts wonderously.”
The Chazon Ish then turned to the man and said, “So, you hear that Hashem does wonders.”
This is all the Chazon Ish said to the man.
The child had a completely recovery.
Dr. Kenneth M. Prager, M.D., states; “(While).. in medical school .. I first began to understand the appropriateness of this short prayer…. After seeing patients whose lives revolved around their dialysis machines, and while caring for patients with colostomies and urinary catheters, I realized how wise the Rabbis had been [to institute this prayer].”
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