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    100 times a day – Ekev

    Every ba’al k’ri’ah knows of people who were called the Torah and said the b’rachah, hamotzi lechem min ha’aretz. In my own case I recall a respected communal leader who said asher kidd’shanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivvanu al achilat maror!

    Such people should never be criticised. One should thank God for them, not because they made mistakes or because their discomfiture gives us any pleasure, but because making a b’rachah is second nature for them. One would prefer a person to say the right b’rachah but at least they do make a b’rachah without breaking their teeth or needing to repeat it parrot-fashion after the chazan.

    What this thought has to do with this particular Shabbat is that the sidra says, “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to revere the Lord your God and walk in His ways” (Deut. 10:12). “What” is mah, which the sages read by a play on words as me’ah, a hundred. Hence there is a rule that one should say me’ah b’rachot, 100 blessings, every day.

    It is not as difficult as it sounds, since there are 15 early morning blessings, 19 blessings in each of the three daily Amidot, blessings before and after food, and blessings said at various other stages of the day.

    On a more poetical level the sages are also saying that the whole day should be an act of worship consciously lived in the recognition of the presence of God. “Know Him in all your ways”, says King Solomon (Prov. 3:6). This indicates making every act a means of serving God. It also requires us to keep away from anything and everything of which the Almighty would not approve.

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