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    100 blessings a day – Ekev

    100The sidra asks, “What (mah) does the Lord your God require of you but to revere the Lord your God and walk in his ways” (Deut. 10:12).

    Rabbi Meir (Talmud M’nachot 43b) applied a play on words to this verse, reading mah as me’ah – “a hundred”.

    According to Rabbi Meir, what does God require of us? To say a hundred b’rachot every day.

    Calculate the number of times we say Baruch Attah HaShem every day and you find that you get to a respectable total, close to if not actually one hundred though it is more likely that we will end up exceeding the hundred.

    Shabbat is harder because on that day the Amidah – recited three times on weekdays and four times on Shabbat – has only seven blessings and not the regular 19, so we need to build up the total when we eat.

    To make this possible some communities have a custom of eating a succession of small entrees before making Motzi and eating the main course, in order to allow the opportunity of adding to our tally of b’rachot.

    In a spiritual sense, however, Rabbi Meir is telling us something more: that every moment of every day – even those that seem unpleasant and trying – adds to our faith experiences. In every achievement we see the hand of God; in every trial and failure we see a challenge to overcome, a goal to re-affirm, an aspiration to reinforce.

    We can add an additional thought – that every day a person should say, “Today I am going to try and make myself into more of a blessing to other people than I was yesterday”.

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