This series has focused on the connection between the morning
blessings and the individual's daily renewal of spiritual energy and purpose.
This installment discusses the ninth blessing.
ata …hanotain l'ya'ef ko'ach."
Blessed are You, L-rd our
G-d, King of the universe,
who gives strength to the weary
the blessing, "He that gives strength to the weary," said in the morning
after a night's rest? Wouldn't it be more appropriate to say it later in the day
when we are indeed tired?
Besides referring to physical strength and energy,
this blessing is a statement of our recognition that even with clear and good
purpose, we still need confidence and strength to persevere on in the maze of
reality, more even than we can garner through our own basic resources. It constitutes
our acknowledgement that we need G-d's help also for the transition from potential
to actual realization.
This blessing is, in effect, the opening of a tiny
conduit to that higher dimension from which we draw our strength and also the
extra measure of discipline and courage that enables us to overcome our daily
difficulties. An everyday example is the "second wind" extra burst of
strength of the conditioned athlete, or the last-moment push at a time of pressure
from the voice in our minds, which helps to overcome our inner quirks and fears.
To have a successful day spiritually and physically, we need to be able to draw
upon the ultimate source of all strength.
Rabbi Shaul Leiter is
the executive director
This series is translated and adapted from Meah Shearim
and other sources