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    100 times blessed – Ekev

    It is this sidra which teaches us to bensch.

    It says, “You shall eat and be satisfied and bless the Lord your God” (Deut. 8:10).

    From this sidra the Talmud also derives the rule that one should say one hundred blessings a day.

    “Now, O Israel,” asks the sidra, “what does the Lord your God ask of you?” (Deut. 10:12). “What” is mah, and Rabbi Meir (Menachot 43b) reads it as me’ah – a hundred.

    A hundred blessings a day: does this mean a little notebook in which every b’rachah is religiously recorded?

    Not in that sense, and indeed it would be very difficult on Shabbat when one should not write.

    But living a Jewish life and conscientiously bensching and saying the daily prayers in itself provides the set number or even more: 15 early morning blessings, 19 blessings three times a day in the Amidah, blessings before and after food, and other blessings that respond to the day’s experiences.

    A hundred blessings suggests on another level that we should make every day a day-long act of worship filled with the recognition of the presence and beneficence of the Almighty.

    This is the recommendation of the Book of Proverbs when it says (3:6), “Know Him in all your ways”.

    It is the experience of the Psalmist, who says,”I have set the Lord always before me” (Psalm 16:8). Every moment is an opportunity to sense God in the world.

    There is an ethical connotation to a hundred blessings a day too. Every honourable deed is a b’rachah, a blessing in action. Every act of love, compassion or justice is a b’rachah.

    The Torah says, Heyeh b’rachah – “be a blessing” (Gen. 12:2).

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