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What is the Reason? 12/04/08 Print E-mail
Written by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg   

Why do we stand for some brachos (eg, morning brachos), but sit for many others?
Why do we wash three times in the morning?
If the blessing over wheat takes priority over grapes, why do we make kiddush before motzi on shabbos and yom tov?

 

 

I am not aware of a general principle that determines when we should stand when reciting a blessing. I will take the liberty of responding to your specific example; the morning blessings.

We originally recited each blessing in the course of getting out of bed and dressing. We would recite one blessing when sitting up, another when standing, another when walking and yet another when dressing. It is difficult for people to remember to recite so many blessings, so they were grouped together so we could recite them all together. However, we still have to remember the specific reason for each blessing. We must recite them with special awareness as they are disconnected from their specific action. We stand when reciting these blessings in order to remind ourselves to be conscious of the specific reason for each blessing.

There are a number of blessings that acknowledge the gift of God’s directions; the Mitzvot. We rise in respect of the opportunities offered by God’s Mitzvot.

Wash Hands in the Morning

Our Higher Souls have five parts, in ascending order they are; 1) Nefesh (Life Force), 2) Ruach (Living Spirit) 3) Neshama (Soul), 4) Chaya (Living) and 5) Yechida (Unified with its source). The Highest two levels cannot be contained in a physical body. Most of the Neshama is not contained in the body. These three sections connect to their source in heaven each night as we sleep. We lose part of our spiritual essence when those parts of our soul disconnect from us and go to heaven. They are restored when we wake and we wash our hands one time for each part of the returning soul.

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