middot silence mesorah from the rising of the sun until its setting

from the rising of the sun until its setting

Written by  rebbetzin malkah

art-treesunriseOn going to bed one says from ’Hear, oh Israel’ to ‘And it shall come to pass if you hearken diligently.’ Then he says: ‘’Blessed is He who causes the bands of sleep to fall upon my eyes and slumber on my eyelids, and gives light to the apple of the eye. May it be Your will, O L-rd, my G-d, to make me lie down in peace, and set my portion in Your law and accustom me to the performance of religious duties, but do not accustom me to transgression…’

When he wakes he says: ‘'My G-d, the soul which You have placed in me is pure. You have fashioned it in me, You did breathe it into me, and You preserve it within me and You will one day take it from me and restore it to me in the time to come. So long as the soul is within me I give thanks unto You, O L-rd, my G-d, and the G-d of my fathers, Sovereign of all worlds, L-rd of all souls. Blessed are You, O L-rd, who restores souls to dead corpses.' When he hears the cock crowing he should say: ‘'Blessed is He who has given to the cock understanding to distinguish between day and night.' When he opens his eyes he should say: '‘Blessed is He who opens the eyes of the blind. When he stretches himself and sits up he should say: ‘Blessed is He who looses the bound.' When he dresses he should say: '‘Blessed is He who clothes the naked.' When he draws himself up he should say: '‘Blessed is He who raises the bowed.' When he steps on to the ground he should say: '‘Blessed is He who spread the earth on the waters.' When he commences to walk he should say: 'Blessed is He who makes firm the steps of man.' When he ties his shoes he should say: '‘Blessed is He who has supplied all my wants.' When he fastens his girdle, he should say: ‘'Blessed is He who girds Israel with might.' When he spreads a kerchief over his head he should say: ‘'Blessed is He who crowns Israel with glory.' -- Talmud, Berachot 60b


Psalm 113:3 says, "From the rising of the sun until its setting, the name of Hashem will be praised."  Truly, as the sun goes about its rising and setting, we see from the Talmudic passage above that there is a set order given to prayer.  Our very existence is woven around these moments in time, where we honor the Creator and give thanks.

Why such order?  Can't we just pray sporadically, whenever the urge overtakes us?  The Sages were quick to understand that if there was not a set order of prayer, our human nature would make excuses and not take the time to show gratitude.  These set times, patterns of living through blessing, challenge us to organize our daily activities, which we deem as vitally important, around something else which is even more important:  soul updates. 

In the absence of continuous connection to Hashem, we lose our pivot point and the proper motivation for why we exist in the first place.  By stopping and infusing blessing into various points in our day, we keep ever present in our minds the greater reason for our existence and keep the pilot light of our souls lit.

Try this week to infuse a new order into your day.  Insert a new prayer, a new blessing, or moment of davening into your daily routine.  Try and keep this order consistently for a week.  See the fruits that this newly found routine brings you, and if possible, continue to build on this order.  Chances are that over time, you will find this new connection time necessary if not indispensable.

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