By reciting blessings, you’ll bring blessings into your own life. Kind David proved it!
By Rabbi Ari Enkin, Rabbinic Director, United with Israel
This week’s Torah portion is “Eikev” (Deuteronomy 7:12 – 11:25), and in it we read more about Moses’ final sermon before he passes away. Moses reminds the Jewish people of some of their misdeeds, including the sin of the Golden Calf, which led to the destruction of the first set of the Ten Commandments and, eventually, to the receiving of the second set.
This Torah portion is also one of the main sources for our belief in reward and punishment. As it says, “If you pay attention to these laws and are careful to follow them, then God will love you and bless you and increase your numbers. He will bless the fruit of your womb, the crops of your land…You will be blessed more than any other people…God will keep you free from every disease.”
There is a very special verse in this week’s reading. The verse asks, “v’ata, Yisroel, mah Hashem Elokecha sho’el mei’imach?” which means, “Now, Israel, what does God want from you?”
The answer: “That you fear God and follow in all His paths and love Him…serving God with all your heart and with all your soul.” (Deuteronomy 10:12)
While there is a lot to talk about in this verse, I want to focus on the first part, “v’ata, Yisroel, mah Hashem Elokecha shoel mei’imach?” – “Now, Israel, what does God want from you?”
The Talmud tells us that this verse is the source for the mitzvah (Torah commandment) to recite 100 blessings each day. How so? It is explained that instead of looking at the word “mah” and translating it as “what,” we should use some poetic license and read the word as “me’ah” – meaning “one hundred!” Hence, the verse can be read as “God desires 100 [blessings] from you.”
Another interpretation of how this verse is the source for that mitzvah
King David is also very connected to the mitzvah of reciting 100 blessings each day. At one point during King David’s reign there was a plague that was killing 100 people every day. It was determined that the cause of the plague was the nation’s lack of gratitude to God. As such, in order to ward off the plague, King David and the sages ordered that everyone recite 100 blessings each day. They were right. The plague ceased.
The idea of reciting 100 blessings each day is relevant to everyone: men and women, Jews and non-Jews. No matter what your religion, if you’re reading this, you probably believe in the God of Israel, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The question “What does God want from you?” applies to every human being. As we’ve seen, the answer is that God wants a relationship with you! He wants you to appreciate the kindness he does for you.
So whether it is before or after meals, in appreciation for something good happening to you, or anything else, make sure you speak to God in some way 100 times every day! By reciting blessings, you’ll bring blessing into your own life. Kind David proved it!
For more insights by Rabbi Enkin on this week’s Torah portion, click on the links below:
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