The Wisdom Of The Talmud – Blessings of Torah

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It is customary to recite three blessings before we engage in the study of the holy Torah. The phraseology of the last blessing is:

 “Blessed are You, HaShem, our G-d, King of the Universe,
Who selected us from all the peoples and gave us His Torah,
Blessed are You, HaShem, Who gives the Torah.”

There is an incongruence regarding the tenses of the blessing. The first part of the blessing takes the past tense, “Who selected us from all the peoples and gave us the Torah.” While the closing of the blessing is in the present tense, “Blessed are You, HaShem, Who gives the Torah.”

In truth, there is no inconsistency in this blessing. The first part of the blessing alludes to the event of Mount Sinai, when HaShem gave us the Torah, over two thousand years ago. Accordingly, we recite the beginning of the blessing in the past tense, thanking HaShem for giving us the Torah in ancient days.

Whereas, the concluding blessing refers to the continuous love that we have for the Torah, in each successive generation. We have such a strong desire and yearning for the Torah, that we are as excited about the Torah today, as we were on the day it was given on Mount Sinai. Therefore, the concluding phrase refers to the sweet and pleasant Torah that HaShem reveals to us Today!

In addition, HaShem creates the Sinai experience every second of existence! Through our enthusiasm with Torah, we tap into that holy event, drawing closer and closer to HaShem.

May HaShem bless us with a deep love and a strong desire for Torah. Then each time we study, the Torah will be as joyous to us as it was on the very day HaShem gave it to us on Mount Sinai (based on the teachings of Rabbi Moshe Shapiro).

Today: Imagine yourself receiving the Torah on Mount Sinai – and let the joy of sinai fill your heart! 

Copyright © 2010 by Rabbi Zvi Miller and the Salant Foundation

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