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Birchos Hashachar - morning brachos (part VI)
MBY 46:3 Have you ever considered how many brachos one makes altogether during the course of a day?
This is not merely fun trivia. The Shulchan Aruch writes that a Jew is obligated to make one hundred brachos a day! This practice originated as a “rabbinic” enactment, presided over by the Grand Rabbi ‘David Hamelech’! During his reign, there was a series of misfortunes, where as many as 100 Jews died daily for an extended period of time. The response of our ‘tzaddik’ (righteous leader) was to institute the reciting of one hundred brachos per day, in order to win Divine Mercy and end the plague. (Ed: I wonder how they accomplished this, since the Shemoneh Esrei and other brachos were not yet formally composed until the days of the Great Assembly and the Second Temple. Any suggestions?)

The Mishneh Berura assures us that accomplishing the feat of ‘me’ah (100) brachos’ is not difficult at all, if one simply follows the daily protocol of brachos and tefilos, as follows:

Beginning at night:
1 ‘Hampil’ (“Who casts…” - see p. 288)

In the morning:
1 ‘Al netilas yadayim’ (p. 14)
1 ‘Asher yatzar’ (p. 14)
1 ‘Elokai, neshama’ (p. 18)
3 Birchos HaTorah (p. 16)
15 Birchos Hashachar (pp. 18-20)
22 so far

1 ‘Al mitzvas/l’his’ateif b- Tzitzis’ (pp. 2-4)
2 on Tefillin (p. 6)
25 so far

1 ‘Baruch She’Amar’ (pp. 58-60)
1 ‘Yishtabach’ (p. 82)
8 ‘Birchos Krias Shema’ (= 3 for Shacharis – pp. 84-90, 94-96, = 5 for Maariv – pp. 256-8, 260-6)35 so far

Shemoneh Esrei
19 x 3 = 57 Shemoneh Esrei (Shacharis, Mincha and Maariv) 92 so far

7-8 per meal [i.e. ‘al netilas yadayim’, ‘hamotzi’, ‘birkas hamazon’, (‘borei pri hagafen’)]
X 2 meals = 14-16
106-108 so far (see – we even have a few to spare!)

[Note: This calculation does not even count the numerous snack, smell and ‘asher yatzar’ brachos one typically makes throughout the day. In addition, there are a number of “fall-back” brachos that one can count in a pinch, such as listening to another person reciting the Torah brachos for an ‘aliyah’, the repetition of the Shemoneh Esrei by the chazzan, etc.]

Oh, and I thought you might be interested in reading this excerpt from our favorite MBY-Archives 290, which discusses the “challenges” of ‘me’ah brachos’ on Shabbos:
We know that on Shabbos, we are obligated to have three meals. In addition, it emerges that we should probably do a bit more snacking throughout the evening and daytime, because of the daily requirement to make one hundred brachos in total, as taught in the Oral Law. (Note: See siman 46, the main address for this mitzvah.) On a normal weekday, amassing 100 brachos is not that difficult, because with three Shemoneh Esrei’s at 19-a-pop, we are off and running with 57 before even eating a morsel! On Shabbos, however, each Shemoneh Esrei consists of only 7 brachos. Even with the added tefila of Musaf, we are still only up to 28. One of the suggested ways for us to make up the missing brachos on Shabbos is to snack on foods from different bracha-groups, which creates opportunities for making brachos before and after eating them! (One must be careful, however, not to make brachos that are unnecessary.) (Ed: I hope you don’t consider this halacha to be too strict!)

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