Prayer Insights

Morning Blessings # 9: "Source of Strength"

Rabbi Shaul J. Leiter

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.

"Baruch 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

Why is 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 of Ascent-of-Safed.

This series is translated and adapted from Meah Shearim and other sources

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