There is a short but very powerful pasuk we say each morning in Shacharis. Rav Efrem Goldberg, Senior Rabbi of the Boca Raton Synagogue, quoted a Kaf HaChayim, which said that if one says this pasuk 45 times, it is as if he said Amen 90 times. Some strive to respond Amen to 90 brachos daily. The Kaf HaChayim wrote that he personally recites this pasuk 45 times each morning in order to make sure he has fulfilled his 90-Amen goal. At the current time, since we are not able to go to shul, which is where the overwhelming majority of the 90 Amens would normally come from, reciting this pasuk 45 times would seem to provide a great opportunity for those who are careful to get their 90 Amens.

Hashem Echad U’Sh’mo Echad

V’hayah Hashem l’melech al kol ha’aretz; ba’yom ha’hu yihyeh Hashem echad u’shmo echad.

Then Hashem will be King over all the world; on that day Hashem will be One and His Name will be One.

When the Jews were being pursued by the Mitzriyim and they were finally pinned between the Yam Suf and their pursuers, they cried out to Hashem powerfully. Hashem’s response to Moshe was: “Why are they crying out to Me? Tell them to advance into the Yam Suf.” This is puzzling: What else could Hashem expect them to do other than to cry out to Him? The Or HaChaim HaKadosh explains that, in this case, even tefilah could not save them. Now, only bitachon would merit their salvation. “Go into the water and show that you trust Me.” Rabbeinu Yonah (B’rachos 4b) similarly explains that they were saved because of their bitachon.

 This segment is being written during a particularly challenging time for klal Yisrael. Because of the outbreak of the coronavirus, our lives have been affected in almost every area – spiritually, socially, financially, and emotionally, to name just a few. One of the most disconcerting impacts has been that almost all of us at this point are not able to daven with a minyan. Instead, we have been forced to daven at home individually. This is something that I don’t think any man who has been davening all his life in shul with a minyan ever dreamed could happen.

Question: May one make a shalom zachar in a shul, or must it be in the house with the baby?

 Short Answer: Ideally, a shalom zachar should only take place in the house of the newborn and with the baby present. However, if that is difficult, there is certainly room to be lenient and hold the shalom zachar in a shul or another location. Accordingly, if the parents of the newborn and the newborn are still in the hospital, some have the custom to still make a shalom zachar without them.