Brochos as Part of the Natural World

In Maseches Brochos 40b, R’ Yosi has a problem with saying an informal brocho on bread due to the fact that it was not decreed by the chachomim. He uses the phrase “Kol hameshaneh m’matbea sh’tov’u Chachomim b’brochos lo yotzo,” everyone who changes from the way it was established by the Sages in blessings does not fulfill their obligation. The loshon should rather be “m’masakein shtikein,” rather than “matbea.” Matbea is using the same letters as “teva.” Teva means nature, whereas tikein is meaning to establish, or fix. The Chachumim established the brochos, but that doesn’t mean they created them in the same way as the word “tiken” can mean. The shoresh of teva shows to me a very explicit explanation as to the true nature of brochos: they are not a foreign concept that Chazal created simply for the sake of thanking Hashem for wonderful things. Rather a brochoh is an integral part of the natural reality Hashem created, this can even be seen in the exactitude of nusach that must be used. No matter what language a brochoh is said in, it must include Shem u’Malchus, (Hashem, Melech HaOlam) and identify the object as described in the gemoro. The fact a brocho can be said in any language also speaks to the universal nature of this particular inyan. The way in which Chazal was m’saken the brochos, from the very idea to exact nusach of “Boruch atoh Hashem Elokeinu Melech HaOlam,” reveals that the process of making a brocho is far more than a rabbinical enactment. This was a result of extreme ruach hakodesh that Chazal had, that they revealed the nature of reality to us in such a way that we can participate in the tikun olam as we must in our mission as Yidden.

Hashem should help us that we can make brochos with full kavonno, and through this elevate the holy sparks in gashmiyus, thereby bringing us the geulah shleimah!

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