Asher bachar banu mi’kol ha’amim, v’nasan lanu es Toraso…
…Who chose us from all the nations (by bringing us close at Har Sinai), and gave us His Torah (His most precious thing) through fire. You are the Source of Blessing, Master of all, Giver of the Torah.
The final brachah of Birchos HaTorah highlights the unique relationship we have with Hashem and His Torah.
First, we thank and praise Hashem for choosing us as His nation. HaRav Avigdor Miller zt”l would say that, no less than 165 times in Tanach, Hashem identifies Himself as “Elokei Yisrael.” Additionally, every day before Sh’ma, in the morning and in the evening, we express Hashem’s great and eternal love for His nation Yisrael.
This is something we may not contemplate and appreciate as often as we should. If we were born into a family that is healthy, loving, nurturing, skilled at parenting, and generous in every way, we would likely be extremely grateful to Hashem for such a precious gift. However, the first level of gratitude we should have is that we were born into Hashem’s chosen nation, which He loves in a unique way and to which He has bestowed special treasures like His Torah, His Shabbos, and His Land, Eretz Yisrael.
These priceless gifts are unique to us. No other nation is permitted to learn Torah, observe Shabbos, and own land in Eretz Yisrael. This gift of belonging to Hashem’s people provides us with potential for a meaningful, purposeful, and enjoyable life in this world (if we live our lives with trust and reliance on Hashem as He intended), and certainly in the next world for eternity. What could possibly be a greater gift and opportunity?
According to the Ramban, this brachah is also our opportunity daily to fulfill the mitzvah of remembering the Giving of the Torah, the awesome miracles that occurred during Matan Torah, and the purpose of those miracles and awesome display: yir’as Hashem – fear and awareness of Hashem.
We are truly so privileged that we should be dancing with joy when we recite this brachah. The Creator, Sustainer, and Master of the Universe has chosen us and has gifted to us His most precious treasure, which is the source of life both in this world and in the next, eternal, world.
Let us work on focusing our minds and arousing our emotions to contemplate, appreciate, and sincerely express our gratitude, when we recite this brachah each morning, and, similarly, when we recite the brachos that immediately precede the Sh’ma, morning and evening. Let us show Hashem how much we truly appreciate the privilege of being His nation and how much we treasure the gifts of His love and His Torah.
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please visit OU Torah’s Search portal, select the Topic of “Tefillah,”
and then select “Weekly Tefilah Focus” from the Series list.
For Rabbi Mordechai Finkelman’s video and audio shiurim, which are based on our Tefilah Focus segments but also include his insightful and inspiring additions, please visit www.TorahAnytime.com or simply search for “TorahAnytime Rabbi Finkelman.”
You can direct any questions or comments to Eliezer Szrolovits at 917-551-0150.