Thursday, August 18, 2011

[KollelH blog] Eikev -

The Gemarah in Minachos 43b cites a Braisah that says: Reb Meir says one is obligated to make 100 brachos daily as it says in this week's parsha (10:12) Ma Hashem Elokecha shoel ma'imcha. Rashi on the Gemarah explains that we read the word "ma" as "meah" which means 100; so that the passuk reads as follows: "One hundred (daily brachos) is all that Hashem asks of you". Tosafos explains that we derive this obligation from the fact that there are 100 letters in this passuk when you read the word "ma" as "meah" (with the additional aleph). The BaHaG goes so far as to count this obligation amongst his count of 613 mitzvos!
Generally we assume that this obligation is upon each person to recite 100 brachos throughout his day. However it appears that some Rishonim understand that this is not merely an obligation on the individual, rather the mitzvah was intended for the Rabanan to establish a seder hayom (daily order) in which the avodas hayom constitutes 100 brachos.

We find this concept in the Kol Bo siman 8. The Rambam says that maariv is a rishus (optional). The Kol Bo asks how can it be optional when the 24 brachos contained in maariv (5 of shima and 19 of shimoneh esray) are part of the count of the 100 brachos? The Kol Bo argues that maariv is not optional rather the meaning of "r'shus" is that one has the option to recite shimoneh esray before shkiya (sunset).

The Kol Bo's question on the Rambam can only be understood if we explain that his view of the meah brachos was meant for the Rabanan to establish a seder hayom of brachos. Then he can ask how could maariv be optional leaving a deficit in the seder of 100 brachos.

With this explanation we can understand why the Gemarah in Minachos felt the need to calculate where one should make up the missing brachos on Shabbos and Yom Tov, when the shimoneh essray is shorter. The gemarah instructs that one should smell good spices and eat sweets and recite their brachos. Why does the Gemarah need to find solutions for us? Couldn't we have figured out how to total 100 brachos on our own?

However, according to our understanding of the Kol Bo, we can assume that the Gemarah is establishing the brachos of smelling spices and tasting treats as the seder hayom for Shabbos and Yom Tov!

With this we can also understand the p'sak of the Sh'lah (maseches Yoma) that on Yom Kippor there is no obligation to recite 100 brachos. If the obligation to recite 100 brachos was on the individual, then why should his individual duty be different on Yom Kippor? Even if one cannot eat or drink, he should find other ways to ensure that he recites 100 brachos! However if the halacha was for the Rabanan to establish an avodas hayom of 100 brachos, then we can understand that  Yom Kippor may have different seder hayom.

Taking this a step further, perhaps we can say that according to the Kol Bo and Sh'lah, women may be exempt from this obligation. Since women are not obligated in various different brachos of the general seder hayom (such as tallis, tiffilin, maariv, and krias shima) the avodas hayom of meah brachos may not pertain to them.

With this we can answer a question that is asked regarding the origin of the halacha to recite 100 brachos. The Medrash in Bamidbar Raba (18 :21)and the Tur Orach Chaim (siman 46) say that in Dovid Hamelech's time every day 100 people would die and no one knew why. As a result Dovid Hamelech instituted that everyone must recite 100 brachos daily. There seems to be in contradictionwith the Gemarah in Minachos says that Reb Meir derived this mitzvah from a passuk without any mention of Dovid Hamelech.
With approach above, I want to suggest that Dovid Hamelech made an obligation on the individual to recite 100 brachos every day. One could choose to make whichever brachos he would please. The halacha mentioned in the Gemarah in the name of Reb Meir is the obligation on the Rabanan to establish a seder hayom by which one should follow and recite the specific 100 brachos.

Enjoy the seder hayom of Shabbos! {R.F.}

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Posted By KH to KollelH blog at 8/18/2011 11:53:00 PM

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