Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Morning Blessings: Blessing #5: For Men

Every morning, a set of 15 blessings are recited to express our thanks to God for all the things that we, as healthy human beings, are capable of doing.

Ba’ruch Ah’tah Ah’doh’nai Eh’lo’hay’nu Melech ha’o’lam sheh lo asani eesha.

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who has not made me a woman.

Obviously this blessing is for men only. If you are shocked, please read on.

The previous two blessings stated: "Who did not make me a non-Jew" and "Who did not make me a slave." Neither a non-Jew nor a slave have the same level of Torah obligation as a freeborn Jew does. A non-Jew has 7 mitzvot, a slave is exempt from time-bound mitzvot and also does not have the freedom to study and worship God as he desires. A woman is exempt from time-bound positive mitzvotA free Jewish man, however, has the largest number of possible mitzvot. This blessing is a way of expressing gratitude every day for all the wonderful opportunity to fulfill mitzvot that many other people do not have!

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