Monday, July 30, 2012

For the VERY First Time

I posted this last year and am posting it again. I had similar thoughts when I broke my fast last night...

Remember the first bracha you made last night when you broke your fast?

Mine was a shehakol on a cup of water. I said the bracha slowly and carefully and thought about the words I was saying.

Why was this bracha different than the others that I say on a regular day?

It was the anticipation. I waited a long time to be able to take that drink of water so the few seconds before I took that first sip, I really thought about what I was saying. I was so thankful for that drink and savored the feeling of the cool water going down my throat and through my veins.

R’ Shimshon Pincus zt”l talks about how anticipation for a mitzvah makes all the difference in how a mitzvah will be performed.

Imagine a man who is on a road trip with his family when he suddenly realizes that it’s almost shkiya and he needs to daven mincha. He finds out where the closest shul is-luckily he is able to find one and he runs in and quickly davens mincha with a minyan. He davened but…what was that mincha like?

Now, imagine a man who is a chassid and is planning to daven with his Rebbe on Rosh Hashana. He plans to take a flight to his Rebbe’s city so he could be with his and he knows he is going to be so uplifted. It’s going to be such a special yom tov for him. He knows it. He feels it. He gets to the airport and…his flight is delayed. He keeps checking his watch and hoping he will make it in time. Finally, the plane takes off and he makes it to the city in record time. He rushes off the plane, gets into a taxi, drops off his suitcase and runs to shul so he could daven mincha on erev Rosh Hashana with his Rebbe. He catches his breath as he lands in his seat but...he made it in time!

What was his mincha like? It must have been incredible, full of kavanna and dveikus to Hashem!

How did he do it?

Didn’t he rush just like the other guy?
What was the difference between these two people?

It was the anticipation. The preparation. The excitement. The entire time he was in the airport, waiting for his flight to take off… waiting for the airplane to land, he was thinking that very soon he would get to his Rebbe’s city, get to his Rebbe’s shul and then…he would daven with his holy Rebbe! He waited so long for that moment and was so excited so it didn’t matter that he rushed into it because he prepared for it mentally all that time! When a person anticipates and prepares for something, it makes all the difference in the outcome.

And that is what made the first bracha after the fast so special.

Can you try to hold on to that moment?

Can you try to be more careful with your brachos, articulating them and thinking about the words you are saying while you say them?

Do you begin to realize what a gift it is to have so many choices of foods and drinks to eat and drink and enjoy?

Thank Hashem for it!

Hashem blesses us with so much good-green apples, bright orange oranges, red tomatoes, 4 different colored peppers, green cucumbers (can you tell I love fruits and veggies?!) – and that’s just naming a few!

Before you take your next bite, take a few seconds to think about and appreciate the pleasure and enjoyment you will have from the food you are about to eat.

Try to make the feeling you had last night before your first bracha last…for as long as you possibly can.
I’m trying…one bracha at a time.

So can you!


  1. I remember reading this last year after Tisha Bav and wishing I had read it before the fast was over. This year as I was breaking my fast I suddenly remembered this post! Thank you! :)

  2. Anon-thank you for the feedback :)


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