RAV BRAZIL PARSHAS BECHUKOSAI תשע”ח
ONE HUNDRED BERACHOS TO FEED YOUR NESHAMAH
The berachos and curses of the Tochacha are listed in ascending order. Therefore one may ask why is the berachaof ואולך אתכם קוממיות which Rashi translates as I will lead you erectly, second to the last? If it only describes that we will walk proudly as a nation instead of being bent over with our faces towards the ground in shame, it surely doesn’t rate to be at the top of the list even above Hashem’s beracha of dwelling within Klal Yisrael? However, the gemarah in Baba Basra 75 says that Rabbe Meir interprets the passuk to mean that Hashem will return us to the dimensions of Adam Harishon before the sin which was a stature of two hundred amos. The word קוממיות describes the Two Story Man worthy of two hundred amos. After the chait Hashem diminished Adam to one hundred cubits. This is hinted in the passuk ותשת עלי כפכה that Hashem placed His palm on Adam. The word כף which is palm is gematriah 100 alluding to the 100 cubits that were taken away after the sin.
Adam prior to his eating from the Aitz Hadaas possessed incredible spiritual dimensions to the point that when the malachim saw him they thought he was Hashem and desired to sing before him. Man was able to see from one end of the world to the other. He penetrated every physical object with his eyes and saw their spiritual make up. All this was lost when Hashem placed His palm on him. The Meshech Chachma says that Man can try to recover those lost madraigos of one hundred amos through the saying of the 100 berachos that one is required to fulfill every day. An alluding to his interpretation can be found in the gematriah of ואולך קוממיות including its twelve letters which equals 677 the same asמאה ברכות including the two words and kollel. This tells us that the fulfillment of the קוממיות is through the hundred berachos just as the Meshech Chachma suggested.
Our Chachamim derive the recital of 100 daily berachos from the passuk מה ה’ אלקיך שואל מעמך כי אם ליראה What does Hashem want from you other than to fear Him. The Chazaltake the word מה and read it with an aleph in the middle מאה which means a hundred. A hundred (berachos) Hashem requires from each Yid daily. These one hundred berachos are associated with the mitzvah ofיראה the fearing of Hashem as the passuk says כי אם ליראה to fear Him. Fearing Hashem starts with the realization that Hashem is the King of the World. ברוך אתה ה’ אלקינו מלך העולם every beracha must contain the mentioning of Hashem and the mentioning that He is the king of the world. When one is cognizant of the King of the world who is also its creator, one becomes fearful of that king knowing that it is within His capacity to command and be expected to be listened to or else he has the power to punish the transgressor. Therefore berachos bring a person to יראת שמים .
How many times a day does the average person think about the King of his country? If he doesn’t live within a five mile radius of the palace or he doesn’t read the news, the answer is not even once. The same scenario doesn’t change weeks or months later. A Yid in contrast not only thinks about the King of the Universe every day which he can never physically see, but he even mentions His title “King of the world” at least one hundred times a day. By making berachos one is declaring there are accountability and a day of reckoning for one’s deeds and omissions. There are no free lunches.
The reward for fulfilling Hashem’s mitzvos is קוממיות the reconstruction of the Two Story Man containing two hundred amos. That truly belongs at the top of the list of rewards in this world. This is what Rashi and the Chazal mean when they say Man will be erected. As long as Man does not attain his original dimensions, he is considered bent כפוף and compromised, from the same lashon of כף the palm which did the dwarfing of Man and the removal of those two hundred amos that gave him his spectacular stature.
There are four categories of berachos נהנין שבח מצוות הודאהwhose acronym is נשמה. This tells us that by saying 100 berachos daily we bring out the power of the neshama to harness the physical body that craves unlimited pleasures all the time. These berachos, aid in the retrieving the loss of neshama within every Yid caused by the chait of AdamHarishon. In other words it helps bring about the beracha of ואולך אתכם קוממיות.
How does a Yid remain in galus as a victim being daily bombarded with a tsunami of sheker, alluring pleasures, licentiousness, hefkairus, immodesty etc, and nevertheless successfully still cleave to Hashem and His Torah? What can stop him from being swept away with the masses into a swirling sea of temptation that has endless waters? The passuk talks about Am Yisrael going down to their first galuswith the description of ואלה שמות בני ישראל הבאים מצרימהThese are the names of the children of Yisrael who are coming down to Mitzrayim. The wordהבאים is grammatically incorrect for it is in the present tense when the more correct version should be שבאו “that came” in the past tense. However, the Torah is revealing in this word the answer to our inquiry. The meforshim explain that the Torah intentionally used the present tense in order to describe that the Seventy Souls that descended to Mitzrayim in the times of Yosef always forever felt during their stay as if they “just came down”. They never allowed themselves the luxury to adapt and be in rhythm with the Modern Land of Mitzrayim. They always felt like uncomfortable strangers with the host alien culture. It was repulsive for them to even try to assimilate with the local residents or copy their customs. Because of this standoffish attitude, they remained with which the Torah describes as את יעקב together with Yaakov, deeply and unflinchingly rooted in the mesorah of their holy father and Zaidy.
How does one attain this madraigah of הבאים? The answer is found in the letters themselves. They spell the acronym of ברוך אתה יהו’ אלקינו מלך העולם the template beginning of every berachah. For by focusing and declaring out loud that Hashem is the King of the Universe, one dedicates and commits himself to serve the King and fulfill His desires. In short, by saying the berachos with the right kavanah one fills himself with יראת שמים and the ability to break himself and his nature in order to fulfill the wishes of the universe’s king.
That is the reason why the Torah relates at the very beginning the story of Yocheved and Miriam the head midwives who “feared” Hashem and did not commit the genocide that Pharaoh commanded them to do. Yocheved was one of the Seventy Souls that the Torah describes as הבאים . They could have both been put to death for the overriding the order of the king. But like mother like daughter, they were inculcated and instilled with the berachosthat declared every day that Hashem is the King of Kings unlike mortal kings who are there today and gone tomorrow. For Hashem our King, we are prepared to sacrifice our lives if need be. The passuk says ותיראן the midwives feared Hashem. If one takes its gematriah it remarkably equals ואולך קוממיות including the two words. These midwives continued in the process of the return of the Two Story Man. It is our job through 100 daily berachos to bring him to his final destination.