Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Two Brochos

What two brochos am I thinking about?

On two separate occasions I witnessed someone make a brocha with such intensity and concentration that I was literally in awe.

Returning from the kitchen in his mother's apartment with two cans of Coca-Cola and disposable plastic cups, Rabbi Lazer Brody filled up my cup and then filled his own. He then took his plastic cup in his hand, closed his eyes tightly, and very slowly and intently said Shehakol. Before this first meeting in January 2005, I had never in my life witnessed a person make such a brocha.

I witnessed the second brocha last year during my trip to Boro Park. Exiting the small basement bathroom, the Sudilkover Rebbe went over to the sink and washed his hands with a washing cup. He then put one hand on the back of a chair, bowed his head, closed his eyes tightly, and paused for a few seconds. He then said the words of Asher Yatzar with a kavana that I could only dream to have once in my lifetime.

In both of these cases, I think the thing that made these two brochos so memorable to me was the fact that the people saying them stopped and invested so much of themselves in connecting themselves to the source of the blessing. One might expect that a person could make such a brocha if he was rescued from imminent danger or after witnessing something miraculous.

These brochas, however, were made on a simple disposable plastic cup of Coke and after using the bathroom.


At March 4, 2008 at 7:57:00 AM EST, Blogger yitz said...

once again, you are tapping into the collective consciousness..

i was just about to post about berachot today, hopefully i will shortly.

At March 4, 2008 at 10:50:00 AM EST, Blogger vanil YOGOurt said...

after reading this post i had two reactions. the first, "wow, how beautiful! wish i was there."

the second- "how do you know what a person is thinking?"- couldnt it all be a show? sometimes i will look around shul and see people with their eyes closed so tightly, shuckling so hard, than a second later just looking around, looking bored. on the other hand i have seen people so absorbed in their prayers that they eyes wonder around the room, but you know their mind is in a much higher place.

now- bc the post talks about two chashuve yidden, i know my first reaction was proper. BUT i think my second reaction is valid as well.

FYI- i have been reading this blog, delving into the archives, it has been a real source of chizuk, so please excuse my rant.

At March 4, 2008 at 1:00:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, but they had witnessed something miraculous! May we all be so grateful to H' for the wonders he continuously does for us!

At March 4, 2008 at 2:27:00 PM EST, Blogger Long Beach Chasid said...

Im with you on that one Yitz, as I was going to do the same thing.

General Mills - Nature Valley Granola Bars
Last Updated on: 02/26/2008

According to the Orthodox Union (OU) in the name of Rav Belsky Shlita:

The Brocho () you should say before eating this is: Borei Pri Ha'adama

(this may in reality be a Machlokes, but this is Rav Belsky's psak)

The Brocho () you should say after eating this is: Borei Nefashos

I have been saying Mezonos on this for G-d knows how long. :(

I also worry that people will think Im putting on a show when im trying so hard to concentrate to pierce the levels of heaven to get to Hashem.

At March 4, 2008 at 2:35:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are right that you often see people totally absorbed in teffilah for a few seconds then they are looking around.. but gevalt, those few seconds when they are connecting are so dear to the aibeshter.
and long beach chossid,
who cares what others think brother? Just do your avodah and get close.

At March 4, 2008 at 4:17:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

yah, saying brochos is so key that it could make or break the Beis Hamikdash (See Bava Metzia 95b)!


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