Thursday, November 4, 2010

Give a Bracha

Here is a story with a great lesson to learn from this week's parsha - when Yitzchok asked his son Yaakov to bring him something to eat before giving him a bracha.

HaRav Yaakov Neiman, Z’tl (Rosh Yeshiva in Petach Tikvah), was once raising funds in America. He did not know any English, and after having knocked several times on a well-to-do individual’s door without response, he was approached by the person’s neighbor who knew a little bit of Yiddish. HaRav Neiman explained to him as best he could that he had been attempting to contact the person on whose door he had knocked to raise much-needed funds for his Yeshiva. The neighbor welcomed him into his home as a guest, and invited him to stay until he could actually make contact. That evening, he finally contacted by phone the well-to-do individual he had been seeking, and made an appointment with him. HaRav Neiman, when taking leave of his short-term host, asked him “What can I do for you?” The host responded that he would really like to have a child. HaRav Neiman gave him a bracha that within the year, he would have one - and, in fact, he was blessed with a son within the year.

HaRav Chaim Kanievsky, Shlita, upon hearing the story commented that HaRav Neiman’s bracha was fulfilled not only because it was the bracha of a Talmid Chochom, but also because it was a bracha that flowed from a sincere feeling of HaKaras HaTov, sincere gratitude, for what this caring person had done for him. It is for this reason, HaRav Kanievsky continues, that Yitzchak Avinu had requested his son to bring him good food prior to giving him a blessing, so that the blessing would be all the more powerful.

We are all faced with situations every day - in the home, at work, in the store, and even in Shul - where we are either the giver, or the recipient of good bestowed upon us by another. While it may be bolder for someone who has done a favor or helped someone out to ask his recipient for a heartfelt bracha, it most certainly would be in order for the recipient to initiate the blessing, and give a bracha to the giver for something that he knows is needed.

We all know that negative words have reverberating affects in celestial spheres (See Introduction to Sefer Chofetz Chaim). Since Hashem’s “Middah Tova” (attribute of reward) is much greater than His Midas Puraniyos (attribute of punishment), we can very readily assume that a bracha of one person to another in this world has even more powerful effects in the Heavens than the words of lashon hara or negative speech.

Undoubtedly, the brachos and the compliments one person gives to another pleases HaKadosh Baruch Hu greatly. Making the effort to unite, to make another feel good, simply to wish another to be successful and well, is a simple, but essential, step in the bringing of the geulah, our final redemption. It is important to note, however, that Shlomo HaMelech, the wisest of all men, takes us a step further, as he teaches, “Simcha L’Ish B’Maaneh Feev…-A man has joy with the response of his mouth” (Mishlei 15:23). When one speaks in a loving and appreciative tone, blessing others in a way that he himself would like to be blessed, it is the speaker himself, who will feel the joy and contentment in his very own words…it is the giver who feels a sense of accomplishment and of G-dliness, as he emulates Hashem’s ways!

(Taken from yesterday's Hakhel post.)


  1. WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! this is so so so so so AMAZING! thank you so much for putting this up! it so happens to be that we had to write an essay of thoughts-meaning anything that we have an oppinion on for ex. why to non-jews hate jews etc.. i happen to have written about TEENAGERS!(LOL!) i said that just like any other person a teenager focuses on words more than people who are older/younger- because they take in an insult or a commplament in much more-the majority, and just like adults like to be respected; a teenager does as well for ex. if a mother etc... shouts at their teenager, the teenager wouldn't be as willing to do whatever it is than when asked with a please and then thanked...(i'm actualy writting a whole book on a teenagers life right now c'z apparently there are some people who have an apptitude to working/talking with some teenagers and some who really have no clue what to do in what this is basicaly one of the points i'm bringing out from my little "book"...)

  2. Liat - that is so true. Words are very powerful, especially to teenagers who are still figuring themselves out and can be insecure at times. It's so important to say things that will boost their self-esteem and make them feel good about themselves! And it's not only teenagers, everyone can use a compliment!
    Are you writing a book so it can be published one day? Good luck with it!


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