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Thought for the Day: Three Daily Approbations -- Existence/Spirituality/Eternity

In case you are not tired of hearing about (here and here, remember?) why we say שלא עשני גוי each morning, keep reading.  You have been warned.

Here's yater (yet another truly excellent reason) not to say simply, שעשני ישראל, then you would no longer be able to say שלא עשני עבד  nor שלא עשני אשה, as they have already been included.  This is not a case of making unnecessary extra brachos; there are really three approbations a Jew needs to make upon starting a new day.  I would like to suggest that these correspond to the three brachos that immediately precede them: אל-קי נשמה ,אשר יצר, and הנותן לשכוי בינה להבחין בין יום ובין לילה.  (Yes, I know that some many siddurim don't put them together like that; that's their problem.)

The first approbation comes from realizing the incredible wisdom revealed in even the most mundane of physical activities.  It is certainly true that given enough monkeys banging on enough typewriters for long enough, the complete works of William Shakespeare would eventually be reproduced.  Yet, upon reading Hamlet, any reasonable person is going to appreciate the genius of the Bard, not picture a battalion of monkeys banging away for centuries.  The response to that realization is: שלא עשני גוי.

On the heels of that realization, one ought to notice the incredible interdependence of all parts of the Creation.  Our sun -- 93 million miles distant -- is running the weather cycle.  Tiny organisms in our gut are extracting the nourishment we need.  Farmers in Brazil are harvesting my coffee (that's really important!).  There is obviously an underlying plan... that is, the physical world is tailor made (Tailor Made) to accomplish some grand purpose; there must be a transcendental/spiritual dimension to our existence: אל-קי נשמה

Having realized all that, don't I need to formulate and execute a plan?  Now that I understand there is a Creator who has created me to accomplish something.  This following is a big step, I know, but it's the logical conclusion: my purpose is to to all I can to reveal the existence and glory of the Creator.  How do I do that?  There are two paths to demonstrate that total trust and faith in the Creator, as detailed by R' Dessler.  One is relatively passive, but rejoicing in all that happens and with perfect faith that my Loving Creator is running the world.  The other is relatively active, but rejoicing in the demonstration that all my histadlus didn't actually deviate from the plans and management of the Creator by one iota.  Each approach has a name in the Kabbalistic literature: the first is known as נוקבא/feminine, the other is דכר/masculine.  Which is why a man says שלא עשני אשה, and a woman says שעשני כרצונו.

Having put your life in context, you are now prepared to daven, go to work, and live!


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