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"You don't have to be a macher,
To know that Birchot HaShachar,
Are the Brachot that we say each day..."

Our Sages teach us that a Jew should try to say at least 100 Brachot (blessings) a day.

Just to get us started with a bang, the Talmud, (Tractate Brachot 60b), lists a series of fifteen Brachot, most of which are Brachot of Thanksgiving. Tractate Menachot 43b, adds three more to the list. As a person experiences the phenomena of the new day, he (she) should thank Hashem for providing them. Nowadays, the Brachot are said together, typically in the synagogue.

(Many Siddurim present these Brachot in an order very different from that of the Talmud. There are also variations in the text. Each version has its own tradition.)

As you follow along, you'll notice that these Brachot pretty much have a logical order. The only problem is, you have to understand what each Bracha really means.

So, to do that, we've asked The Torah Tots to lend us some lyrics for each Bracha. For those who have no rhythm, there's an accompanying commentary:

heart Boruch .....Asher Nosan Lasechvi Vina ….Lehavchin Bayn Yom U'Vayn Loylaw.

"Blessed are You…..Who gave the heart understanding to distinguish between day and night."

"Like when the cock-a-doodle-doo,
Or your alarm clock wakens you,
Bayn Yom U'Vain Loylaw is what we say!!!"

Sleeping and awakening is like the difference between day an night -- literally! The Talmud teaches us that sleep is an experience like death. When we awaken in the morning, Hashem has brought us back to life. In Hebrew, the word "Sechvee" means both "rooster" and "heart". When the rooster "cock-a-doodles" like an alarm clock, it is the heart that understands that it is time to wake up and serve the Creator. Therefore we thank Hashem, who gave our hearts (and the rooster too!) the understanding to distinguish between day and night.

Proud to be a Jew Boruch .....Sheh-lo Ah-sah-ni Goy.

"Blessed are You…..for making me proud to fulfill my obligations as a Jew."

"Chinese ribs I would not spare,
Italian clothes I'd surely wear,
But Torah is my greatest joy,

A Jew has been given a special mission in this world. With the Torah to guide him (and her), a Jew is guided by the 613 Mitzvot.  Hashem loves ALL mankind and a Jew must respect ALL of Hashem's creations. This Bracha helps us understand that in this world Hashem has chosen the Jewish people to guard the laws of His Torah.  

slave Boruch.....Sheh-lo Ah-sah-ni Aw-ved.

"Blessed are You…..for not having made me a slave."

"I'll shlep your bags,
I'll do your dishes,
I'll shine your shoes,
If that your wish is,
But to serve Hashem, I really love it,

First we were real slaves in Egypt, then Hashem made us free... then He made us servants again, only this time we became servants to Hashem! What's the lesson? There's a big difference between spending your day making bricks in the mud pits and spending the day fulfilling Hashem's commandments. This Bracha reminds us that it is an honor to fulfill Hashem's commandments!


Males say:

Boruch..... Sheh-lo Ah-sah-ni Isha.

"Blessed are You…..for not having made me a woman."

"Wearing Talit and Tefillin,
Hashem commands a man's fulfillin',
So many Mitzvot the Torah features,

Let's not take the translation for this one literally. There are many commandments in the Torah that are the responsibility of a man, like Talit and Tefillin. Laws like these keep the guys in line.  Just goes to show you that women don't need all these extra Mitzvot to achieve perfection like men do!


Females say:

Boruch..... Sheh-aw-sani Kir-tzono.

"Blessed are You.....for having made me according to His will."

"This Bracha is one just for girls,
Who treat their Mitzvot just like pearls,
Just watch the Shabbat candles glow,

Three cheers for women... protectors of tradition... molders of character... guardians of the family.  By nature, women are the more perfect of the species. This Bracha is a tribute to the wise woman who understands that we must strive to be what Hashem wants us to be... satisfied with serving Hashem according to His will!

blind Boruch.....Po-kay-ach Iv-rim.

"Blessed are You… Who gives sight to the blind."

"In the morning when I rise,
A world of colors fills my eyes,
For pink, red, yellow, purple and green,

Now the Brachot follow the order of what we generally do to get ready for our day... First we open our eyes  (blink a couple of times) and look around, happy to have another day of life!

clothes Boruch.....Mal-bish Ah-ru-mim.

"Blessed are You… Who clothes the naked."

"For winter boots and furry hats,
And when it snows my glove and cap,
Protection from the cold it seems,

Gotta get dressed.  Here's thanks for all the cool clothes (including coat, hat and even "Fruit Of The Looms!").

bound Boruch.....Ma-tir Ah-su-rim.

"Blessed are You… Who releases the bound."

"When my sleep is finished then,
I stretch my arms and thank Hashem,
For waking me up from my dreams,

Who doesn't enjoy a good stretch and yawn in the morning? It gets you pumped up for a great day!

upright Boruch… Zokaif Kefufim.

"Blessed are You… Who straightens the bent."

"Each morning when I leave my bed,
I stand up and I stretch my legs,
I exercise them 1-2-3,

Everybody up, up, up... pop out of bed and stretch those legs... a few jumping jacks won't hurt either.

waters Boruch… Rokah Ha-aretz Al Hamayim.

"Blessed are You… Who spreads out the earth upon the waters."

"Baruch Hashem, dear fellows,
The ground's not made of jello,

You've got two dominating surfaces in this world, water and earth. Water will spread out over the earth, if you let it. Earth has no problem sinking below the water if that's what water wants it to do. Of course, we wouldn't want to walk around wearing flippers all day! So the next time you take a solid step on the ground, thank Hashem for solid land!

footsteps Boruch… Hamaichin Mitzadei Gaver.

"Blessed are You… Who firms man’s footsteps."

"My feet take me across the street,
To school, to Shul and in between,
My feet will always take me farther,

Time to take a couple of steps across the room. What a perfect time to thank Hashem for the ability to put one foot in front of the other!

needs Boruch… Sheh-ahsa Li Kol Tzorki.

"Blessed are You… Who has provided me my every need."

"Just imagine, skippers,
If you walked around in flippers,

Speaking of flippers, this Bracha is a tapper! Remember it the next time you forget where your shoes are. There are people in poor countries who walk around barefoot all day while we complain that mom won't buy us a cool pair of sneakers. Baruch Hashem our feet are covered.

girds Boruch… Oizer Yisroel Bigevura.

"Blessed are You… Who girds Israel with might."

"Buttons, snaps, zipper, buckles,
Help to keep me warm and snuggled,
Hashem will guard me from all trouble,

"Gird" what's a gird? It's really a play on words. "Gird" means belt. It also means to protect. Just like a belt holds up your pants, Hashem is the protector and supporter of Israel's strength.

crowns Boruch… Oiter Yisroel B’tif-ara.

"Blessed are You… Who crowns Israel with splendor."

"With a Kipah on my head,
I'm ready now to serve Hashem,
Like a crown so bright with splendor,

Wearing a hat goes in and out of style for the rest of the world (an Indiana Jones movie will always boost the industry!), but for a Jew, wearing a Yarmulka is a sign of respect towards Hashem. A Jewish male mustn't walk "Dalet Amot" (about three feet) or make a Bracha without a Yarmulka on his head.

On the heels of the Birchot Hashachar mentioned in the Talmud, our Sages have added in a few more over the years to get you off to a strong start. And speaking of "strong"...

weary Boruch...Hanosayn La-yaw-ayf Co-ach.

"Who grants strength to the weary."

"Hashem has given me the strength,
To live my life a Torah mentsch,
To learn in school with my moach, (brain)

Hashem gives you the strength to start off the day. That includes the will to get through the day. Now, will you use that free will to make good or bad choices? Will you make this world a better place? Will you waste your day? Will you study Torah and do Mitzvot and be kind to others? Only you can make those important choices. So, use your power of choice wisely!!

sleep Boruch… Hamavir Shayna May-aynoi Ooh-snuma May-ahf-ah-poi.

"Blessed are You… Who removes sleep from my eyes and slumber from my eyelids."

As we take care of our most basic needs each morning, it is important to remember that we are created in Hashem's image. Each and every one of us has a very special gift, a Neshoma, a soul. The soul is wrapped carefully in a beautiful wrapping, made specially for us. It is our body! We show respect for this precious soul by keeping our bodies clean. The Talmud (Tractate Shabbos 50b) teaches that a person should wash his face, hands and feet every day in honor of his Creator in Whose likeness he was formed.

accustom .......Sheh-targi-laynu B'torah-techa V'dahb-kaynu B'mitzvo-techa............

"And may it be your will, Hashem, my G-d, that You accustom me to (study) your Torah and attach me to your Mitzvot …….

We ask Hashem to send us off with a good start! Everyone knows that when you get a good start, chances are you'll keep up the momentum. Therefore, we pray that Hashem will give us the extra push to do Mitzvot and study Torah. Of course, a little extra dose of common sense will help us avoid mistakes, bad judgement and arguments during the day. So we ask Hashem to steer us away from confrontation and bad influences.

This prayer, and the words that follow, are connected to the Bracha "...Who removes sleep from my eyes...." They form one long Bracha, ending with the following Bracha:

Boruch… Gomail Chasadim Tovim L'ahmo Yisroel.

" ………….Blessed are You….. Who bestows benificent kindness upon His people Israel."

Our Sages teach us that Hashem is constantly performing acts of kindness for the people of Israel. As we go about our daily lives, behind the scenes, Hashem is protecting us from our enemies, fighting off diseases, arranging for money to arrive just in the nick of time, steering rain clouds in another direction, making sure that a drunk driver takes a different street, keeping Sadaam Hussein and other wicked people occupied so they can't gang up on Israel, and making a bird fly past your house so the mosquito with a big appetite doesn't sting you.

We must take the time to think about all the wonderful kind acts that Hashem bestows upon us. Big or small, the Creator of the Universe knows our every move and watches over each and every one of us.

Heart | Gentile | Slave | Woman | His Will | Blind
Clothes | Bound | Upright | Waters | Footsteps | Needs
Strength | Crowns | Weary | Sleep | Accustom | Kindness

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