The recital of 100 daily blessings

The Mitzvah to recite 100 blessings per day:[1]

Every Jew is obligated to recite one hundred blessings each day. The blessings of Birchas Hashachar were thus instituted by the Sages[2] in order to accumulate these 100 daily blessings.

The History of the institution: Dovid Hamelech instituted that one must say 100 blessings every day as a result of the sudden death of 100 Jews each day during his reign. At first Dovid did not know the reason for the sudden deaths until he saw with Ruach Hakodesh and instituted the one hundred blessings. This institution of reciting 100 blessings daily has Biblical support from the verse “What does Hashem ask of you but to fear Him.” The term “what” in Hebrew is “Mah” which can also be read as “Maeh” which means 100. Thus, the verse is saying “100 [blessings] G-d is asking from you.”

The purpose of the institution: The purpose of the blessings is to remind oneself of Hashem, and ones love and fear of Him.[3]

Definition of day: The day in this regard starts from one night until the next night.

Kabalistic reason:

The Ben Ish Chaiy[4] explains that the 100 blessings instituted by king David nullified the 400 evil Kelipos which caused the people to die in his time. The Rokeiach explains that the 100 blessings recited nullify the 100 curses mentioned in Deuteronomy.[5]

 

Reason of Chassidus:[6]

The commands of G-d draw G-d’s radiance below in a concealed manner, in a way that it is not felt by the person. In order to internalize the radiance, one is required to say a blessing prior to the command. It is for this reason that 100 blessings are required. As the number 100 in Kabala represents a level of G-dliness which is completely above the worlds, and it is this level which we want to reveal in our soul and thus unite with him.

B. Being Yotzei 100 blessings with listening to the blessings of the Torah and Haftorah:[7]

Every Jew is obligated to recite one hundred blessings each day. On Shabbos, due to the loss of several blessings from Shemoneh Esrei, one needs to accumulate these blessings from other sources, such as by eating fruits and smelling spices. If one does not have enough fruits and spices to accumulate for the missing blessings, then one is to concentrate on the blessings of the Aliyos to the Torah by both Shacharis and Mincha, and the Haftorah, and answer Amen after them, and doing so counts towards accumulating one’s 100 blessing. [By doing so, one can accumulate 27 blessings, and easily reach a total of 100 blessings.[8]] Nevertheless, one does not fulfill his obligation of Meiah Brachos with such a blessing unless he heard the blessing from the person saying it.[9] [Thus, one is to place close attention, and try to be nearby the Olah when he says the blessings.] Furthermore, one can only fulfill his obligation of the 100 blessings with hearing the blessings of the Torah if he does not have enough fruits or spices to make blessings on.[10]

 

C. How does one accumulate 100 blessings on Yom Kippur?[11]

On Yom Kippur, due to the loss of several blessings from Shemoneh Esrei, and from lack of food and drink, one needs to accumulate these blessings from other sources. Aside for smelling spices, one is to concentrate on the blessings of the Aliyos to the Torah by both Shacharis and Mincha, and the Haftorah and answer Amen. [By doing so, one fulfills 28 blessings, and can easily reach a total of 100 blessings.] Nevertheless, one does not fulfill his obligation of Meiah Brachos with such a blessing unless he heard the blessing from the person saying it.[12]

 

Are women obligated to recite 100 blessings a day?[13]

Some Poskim[14] rule that women are not obligated in the recital of the 100 blessings.[15] Other Poskim[16] rule that women are obligated in the 100 blessings, just like men.[17] Practically, women are to endeavor to recite 100 blessings a day, just like a man, and so is the custom.[18] The custom is to educate even children, boys and girls, in reciting the 100 blessings per day.[19] [Those women who do not Daven three times a day are to try to fulfill the 100 blessings through eating, drinking and smelling spices.[20]]

May one answer Baruch Hu Uvaruch Shemo for a blessing which one is hearing for the sake of fulfilling his 100 blessings?[21]

Yes.

If one did not hear the entire blessing, may he answer Amen if it is a blessing that he is hearing in order to be Yotzei Meiah Brachos, such as the blessings of Maftir?[22]

Yes. One may thus answer Amen so long as he knows which blessing was said, even though he did not hear the blessing.[23] Nevertheless, one does not fulfill his obligation of Meiah Brachos with such a blessing unless he heard the blessing from the person saying it.

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[1] Admur 46:1

[2] The Shivleiy Haleket writes that the original one hundred blessings that King David instituted to be said were forgotten, until the times of the Talmud in which the sages came and established [new] blessings, in place of the blessings that were forgotten. [Shaar Hakolel 1:6; This answers an apparent contradiction in Admur if it was David that instituted the blessings or if it was the sages.]

[3] Thus through reciting the 100 blessings one comes to fulfill the simple meaning of the verse, which is to fear G-d.

[4] Parshas Balak

[5] Kesher Gudal in name of Rokeaich brought in Ketzos Hashulchan 5 footnote 1

[6] Based on Sefer Hamamarim 5672 “Ayin Beis” volume 1 page 93

[7] Admur 46:1; 215:5; 284:7; 290:1; Michaber 284:3; M”A 46:8; Peri Chadash 46:3; Rosh Brachos 9:24; Shibulei Haleket 1; Yireim 255

[8] See Admur 46:1 that one is only lacking 13 blessings on Shabbos

[9] Admur 46:1; M”A 46:8; Peri Chadash 46:3

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that one fulfills his obligation of Meiah Brachos with answering Amen over the blessing even if he did not hear the blessing, so long as he knows which blessing it was. [Beis Yosef 46; P”M 124 M”Z 4]

[10] Admur 46:1; 290:1; See Admur 215:4; 284:7; Michaber 290:1; Rif and Rosh Brachos 9:24

[11] Admur 46:1; M”A 46:8; Peri Chadash 46:3

[12] Admur 46:1; M”A 46:8; Peri Chadash 46:3

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that one fulfills his obligation of Meiah Brachos with answering Amen over the blessing even if he did not hear the blessing, so long as he knows which blessing it was. [Beis Yosef 46; P”M 124 M”Z 4]

[13] See Halichos Olam Vayeishev Os Pei; Halichos Beisa 13 footnote 2; Hiskashrus 478:14;

[14] Shevet Halevi 5:23; Halichos Shlomo 22:25; Shevet Hakehasi 1:63; Teshuvos Vehanhagos 2:129; Rivivos Efraim 3:47; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 46:9 footnote 106; Vetzaruch Iyun if according to this approach the special leniencies given in Admur 215:5 and 249:11 due to Meiah Brachos would not apply to women

[15] The reason: As the Poskim write a list of the 100 blessings, and that list contains blessings not pertinent to women, such as Tallis and Tefillin, and all three prayers of Shemoneh Esrei. [Poskim ibid]

[16] Ruling of Rav Elyashiv, brought in Sefer Yashiv Moshe; Rav Ovadia Yosef in Halichos Olam Vayeishev Os Pei; See edited Sicha of Rebbe in Toras Menachem 5751 1:315 [Edited], printed in Shulchan Menachem 1:22, that it is a very easy thing for even women to recite 100 blessings and the custom is to educate even girls below Bas Mitzvah to do so [However, no proof can be brought from here that the Rebbe learns it is an obligation, as perhaps it is a mere matter of custom and endeavor, and not obligation-See Hiskashrus 478:14]; See wording of Admur 46:1 “The 100 blessings that every person is obligated to recite each day.” Likewise, the Tur 46:3 writes “Certainly it is an obligation on each and every individual… and every person must be careful in them” [Vetzaruch Iyun if this wording is coming to include women, or simply to emphasize that it is an individual obligation rather than a communal obligation; From the Tur ibid, it is possible to learn that it is coming to teach us the latter, and not necessarily to be inclusive of women; See also Admur 489:1 who writes regarding Sefiras Haomer “It is a positive command for every Jew..” and then writes in 489:2 “Women are exempt”] In addition to the above, the term Adam used in the Talmud and all Poskim can be understood to also include women, as in general we rule that the term Adam includes men and women. [See Sdei Chemed Alef 73 and Peas Hasadeh Alef 132; Hiskashrus ibid] See M”B 70:2 who discusses whether women are obligated in Birchas Hashachar, and depends it on whether it has a time limit until when it may be said. This implies that they obligated in the 100 blessings, as if they were exempt, then certainly they would be exempt from Birchas Hashachar which was instituted for the sake of accumulating 100 blessings. Vetzarcuh Iyun; See Halichos Beisa 13 footnote 2

[17] The reason: As the Poskim do not explicitly exempt women from it, hence implying that they are equally obligated. Likewise, the Gemara and earlier Rishonim do not make any list of Mitzvos at all from which we can derive that women are excluded. Furthermore, women are also in neeed to love and fear G-d, and also need the protection offered by the 100 blessings due to the 100 souls that died in the times of Dovid. Furthermore, from the fact women are obligated in Birchas Hashachar, which itself said due to the 100 blesisngs, we see that they are obligated in the 100 blessings. [See Halichos Beisa ibid; Hiskashrus ]

[18] This matter is inconclusive, and hence women are to endeavor to recite the blessings. See Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid who concludes that they are certainly encouraged to do so as a Mitzvah, even if they are not obligated. See edited Sicha of Rebbe, brought in next footnote, that the recital of 100 blessings a day is a matter that is easy to do for men, women and children, and that so is the custom!

[19] Toras Menachem 5751 1:315 [Edited], printed in Shulchan Menachem 1:22, “Even before Bar and Bas Mitzvah they are educated to recite the 100 blessings every day.”

[20] See Admur ibid; Beis Yosef ibid; Hiskashrus ibid in length

[21] Alef Hamagen 622:3;  Piskeiy Teshuvos

[22] Admur 46:1; M”A 46:8; Peri Chadash 46/3

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that one fulfills his obligation of Meiah Brachos with answering Amen over the blessing even if he did not hear the blessing, so long as he knows which blessing was. [Beis Yosef 46; P”M 124 M”Z 4]

[23] The reason: The reason for this is because the obligation of Meiah Brachos is different than the obligation of other blessings, and thus is permitted to answer Amen even if one did not hear the blessing, even according to the first opinion in 124/11. [P”M ibid]

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