Respond to the “coronavirus plague” and work on Yirat Shamayim (fear of Heaven) by making sure to say at least 100 brachot every single day by clicking on this chart.
The Significance of 100 Brachot (Blessings) Every Single Day
In the days of David HaMelech, there was a terrible plague afflicting the Jewish nation, in which 100 people were dying each day. He decreed that the proper response should be to say at least 100 brachot every day. How appropriate it would be for us who are facing this new “coronavirus plague” today to respond by making sure to say at least 100 brachot every single day. G-d willing, this should help us to more deeply connect to G-d, which may be exactly the point of this crazy new virus.
In Devarim 10:12-13, Moshe tells the Jewish people – “And now Yisrael, what does G-d ask of you? Only that you should fear G-d, your L-rd, to walk in all His ways, to love Him, and to serve G-d, your L-rd, with all your heart and all your soul, to guard the mitzvot of G-d and His laws which I am commanding you today, for your good.” The Gemara Brachot 33b raises an obvious difficulty with this verse – “Is Yirat Shamayim (fear of Heaven) really such a small thing?” as Moshe’s declaration to the Jewish people seems to imply? And the Gemara answers that for Moshe, Yirat Shamayim is indeed a small thing.
But what about the rest of the Jewish people for whom Yirat Shamayim, as well as these other exalted tasks in the verse, are clearly no “small thing?” How will they be able to fulfill them all? The Gemara Menachot 43b tells us that this verse is also the basis for a special halacha which provides perhaps the most tangible tool we have for working on Yirat Shamayim on a daily basis, the requirement to say at least 100 brachot every day. In fact, the Tzror HaMor (one of the early Acharonim) in his commentary on the Torah makes this point explicitly –
“One who is careful to say at least 100 brachot every single day, it is considered as if he fulfilled – “You should fear G-d, your L-rd, to walk in all His ways, to love Him, and to serve G-d, your L-rd, and to guard His mitzvot.” He will thereby have fulfilled the entire Torah.” And since it isn’t so difficult for a person to say 100 brachot every single day, this explains how Moshe can so simply ask the entire Jewish people to do all of these exalted tasks.
This chart has been put together in order to help people to fulfill this quite significant, but unfortunately neglected area of halacha. It is being distributed as a zechut (merit) for the illuy neshama (spiritual elevation) of Ruchama Rivka aleha hashalom (bat Asher Zevulun). May our fulfillment of this particularly significant halacha be a tremendous zechut for her, for us, and for all of the Jewish people.
Rabbi Asher Resnick serves as a senior lecturer at Aish HaTorah’s Executive Learning Center, and is a senior training lecturer for Aish’s Rabbinical Ordination program. As a close student of Rav Noach Weinberg, zt”l, he developed a special expertise in addressing fundamental issues in Judaism, as well as in bringing classical texts to life. As a bereaved parent, Rabbi Resnick’s extensive writings on loss, suffering and trauma provide a sensitive Jewish perspective on coping with these fundamental life cycle issues. Olami & NLEResources.com is happy to highlight several essays over the coming months featured on his website JewishClarity.com.