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Fourth Blessing 1-Awareness

A person should take an accounting of his soul and reflect God’s great goodness to him and having bestowed upon him the advantages of intellect, the power of perception, and many other good, desired, and honored faculties. These give him superiority over irrational animals as it is written; ‘it teaches us more than the beasts of the field and makes us wiser than the birds of the sky.’ He should consider that if he were devoid of understanding and perception, and another man like himself supplied him with these, and he realized the superiority of his present condition over his former state. Would the whole of his life and the full measure of his days is sufficient for the continuous thanks and praise due to the benefactor for what he had done? How much greater the duty of gratitude to the Blessed Creator whose benefits bestowed upon us are endless and His kindness are unlimited as it is written, ‘many are thy wonderful works which You have done.’


This refers to the fourth blessing of the Shemoneh Esreh, “You graciously endow man with wisdom.” The word da’at, or wisdom, also means personal characteristics. Rambam lists personal characteristics in his Laws of Awareness, or Hilchot Dei’ot.



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