Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The 10th Berakha: Gueula, redemption.

Today is the 14th day of Tebet, 5771

The Amida is divided into three sections, according to three different subjects. The first, which includes three blessings, consists of praising God. The third section (3 blessings) is about gratitude to God. And the middle part, (13 blessings) deals with our requests to God and it is subdivided into two major subjects: Personal requests and national requests.

As individuals we request God to grant us: intelligence, inspiration, forgiveness, protection, good health and a decent livelihood.

The tenth berakha of the Amida, -teka beshofar gadol- initiates the series of 6 blessings where we, not as individuals but as members of the Jewish people, convey our national aspirations. Every day, three times a day, we remind ourselves that we are not a religion but a nation. As such, we acknowledge that we are living in exile and we beg God to bring us back to our original homeland, Israel. We ask God Almighty to 'Gather our exiles from all the corners of the world' and to show as the signs of redemption: the sign of the Shofar's blow (hinting to the messianic
era) and the flag (=nes. Leadership?) pointing out at Zion as our final destination.

In this category of national berakhot we will find a key word, sometimes more than once in the same blessing: the word is 'mehera', which means: fast, now, 'make it happen in our own days', expressing our deep desires to be once again in our land, as the Nation of God.

Rabbi Yosef Bitton. YMJC | 130 Steamboat Rd. | Great Neck | NY | 11024