Saying “Modim” which is gematriya 100 with great Kavone
Is Considered as if we said the daily 100 beroches
which saves us from all tragedies!
In this week’s parsha, Eikev, we learn that we have an obligation to make 100 broches a day. As it says in the gemoreh Menoches on the possuk: “Mah Hashem elokecho shoel meimcho ki im leyiroh” – “What does Hashem want from you? Just to fear him.” The gemoreh teaches: Don’t read “mah”, read it as “mayoh”, which is 100 broches.
The Bal Haturim brings a Medresh, that Dovid Hamelech established saying 100 brochos every day because every day 100 people died and no one knew why, until it was revealed to Dovid by ruach hakodesh, that we need to make 100 brochos a day with great kavoneh.
How alarming and fearful are the words of the heiliger Rabbi Moshe Leib of Sasov zt”l, who wrote in a letter about himself: “What kind of person am I? And if I sinned against Hashem only by saying 100 brochos a day without fear and awe, angering Hashem 100 times a day, woe is to me that I do this every single day”.
If such a holy person can say this about himself with his great humility, what can we say? Who among us has the audacity to say that we have proper thoughts and concentration as we say 100 brochos a day? This and more, Dovid Hamelech established saying 100 brochos a day as to save 100 people a day from dying. When we see so much suffering around us, we must consider that the reason is possibly that we are not concentrating properly when we say the broches.
Perhaps, we can take solace from the Daas Zekanim from the Balei Tosfos (this week’s parsha), who say that the Chachomim established saying Modim three times a day, to correspond with the 100 brochos, and by saying Modim, which has the numerical value of 100, with proper concentration, it is considered as if we said all 100 brochos with proper concentration.
We take this opportunity to elaborate on the significance of Modim and our obligation to bow as we say it. The implications of not doing so are severe. The gemoreh says that after death, a person’s spine turns into a snake, if he didn’t bow when saying Modim. Tosfos say that such a person will not get up at Techiyas Hamaysim. Why is the punishment so great that his spine turns into a snake?
Davening and expressing gratitude
connects a person to Hashem
To explain this, let us explore a wonderful concept about the importance of Tefillo, from the great Rabbi Reb Bunim of Peshischa. He points out the difference between how Hashem punished Adam, Chava and the snake. Adam was punished that men would have to work to eat: “Bezias apecho tochal lechem”, Chava was punished that women would suffer great pain during child birth: “Beetzev teildi bonim”, and the snake that sinned and caused others to sin was punished that snakes would live on dirt: “Veofor tochal kol yemei chayecho”.
The Gemereh explains that the snake was cursed that wherever he goes his food supply is with him, since he can always easily find dirt. What is so terrible about the snake’s having its food supply available wherever it goes? On the contrary, it seems like a bracha to never have to be bothered to even have to look for food?
He explained: The greatest reward for any creature is the ability to have a connection to Hashem, by having to ask for things. As it says in Tehilim: “Einei chol eilecho yesabeiru veato nosein lohem es ochlom beito” – “The eyes of all look to You with hope and You give them their food in its proper time”. And as it also says: “Hakfirim shoagim lateref ulevakesh meikeil ochlom” – “The young lions roar after their prey, and to seek their food from G-d.”
That is what Hashem told Adam after he sinned: “you will eat with the sweat of your brow”. The fact that you will have to work to eat is a punishment that is really good for you, since it will cause you to look to Hashem and daven to Him to give you parnosseh. This will cause man to constantly be connected to Hashem. Similarly, a woman in excruciating pain during child birth will turn to Hashem to daven and beg for mercy, causing her to be connected to Hashem.
But the snake that pushed us from the source of Hashem’s kedushe, so angered Hashem that He does not even want to ever hear his voice. So Hashem cursed him saying, your food will be readily available, you will have no reason to turn to me, which is fine because I do not want to ever hear your contaminated voice!
This my friends, is what we must have in mind when we bow 3 times a day to Hashem & say Modim. We must express our gratitude that we have a connection to Hashem; that he responds to our requests and does not push us away as he did the snake, whose prayers and voice he does not wish to hear.
On the contrary, Hashem wants to hear from us; he wants the connection, so he set us up so that we should come to Him to ask Him to fulfill our needs, and then we express our gratitude for all the wonderful things that He constantly does for us. As it says in Yeshaya: “Am zu yatzarti li thilosi yesapeiru” – “I created these people, so that they should recite my praise”. This is all only for our benefit so we have a connection to Hashem and not because Hashem kavayachol needs our praise.
These are just highlights of the Maamer, please take the time to go through it to get a full appreciation of how grateful we need to be to Hashem.
Let us all have a sweet and uplifted Shabbos,
From Yerushalayim iar hakodesh
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