100 Days, 100 Blessings

As we celebrated the 100th day of school, we decided to get tefillah in on the themed activities, and we studied a relevant text from Talmud.

Menachot 43b:48-50

It was taught, “Rabbi Meir used to say, ‘A person must make one hundred blessings each day, as it is stated (Deuteronomy 10:12), “And now Israel, what does the Eternal, your God, ask of you.”

מנחות מ״ג ב:מ״ח-נ׳

תניא היה, “רָבִּי מֵאִיר אוֹמֵר, ‘חָיַיב אָדַם לְבַרֵך מֵאָה בְּרָכוֹת בּכֹל יוֹם, שנאמר (דברים י, יב), “וְעַתָה יִשְֹרָאֵל מָה ה’ אֱלֹהֶיךָ שׁוֹאֵל מֵעִמָךְ.”

In just 20 minutes, we read the text, talked about the “logic” of the Talmud and how Rabbi Meir got from the Deuteronomy verse to the 100 blessing mandate (hint: it’s in the Hebrew, and it’s related to the theme of “hundred”), and then we started listing.  Students were challenged to come up with 100 blessings they might say in the course of a typical day.

Some students got out a siddur and started going through a morning service; some thought about outside-the-Beit-Midrash times they might say blessings. They wondered about what “counts” as a blessing.  They considered whether complimenting another person counted, because after all, people are made in God’s image, and therefore kind words to another person are, kind of, like a blessing of God.  They debated whether Hatikvah is a blessing.

With the hint that the Amidah gets you to 19 and Birkot HaShachar get you another bunch (depending on your siddur), can you get to 100 blessings?

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