Part 4: 100 Brachos on Shabbos and Yom Tov

A large number of the 100 daily brachos are accounted for by the three daily Shemoneh Esreis of 19 brachos each. (3x19=57 – more than half one’s minimum daily allowance of brachos!) On Shabbos, the Amidah is only seven brachos, so that removes a huge number of brachos from one’s daily tally. Actually, one isn’t missing as many brachos on Shabbos as one might expect.

First of all, because of the additional Musaf service, there are four Amidah prayers on Shabbos, rather than three. One makes Kiddush twice on Shabbos, which one doesn’t do on weekdays. (That’s actually three brachos – Mekadesh HaShabbos once and Borei pri hagafen twice.) And, because of the three Shabbos meals, one is more likely to bentch three times rather than the twice assumed for weekdays. (If one bentches over a cup of wine, that would be five brachos each time.) Mishnah Brurah 46:14 calculates that one recites 87 brachos on Shabbos, only 13 short of the daily goal.

The Gemara in Menachos (43b), where we first learn of the 100 daily brachos, cites the example of Rav Chiya the son of Rav Avya, who would make up the missing brachos on Shabbos and yom tov by enjoying pleasant fragrances and various delicacies in honor of the day. The Shulchan Aruch (OC 290:1) codifies this practice. If this is not possible, one can rely upon hearing the brachos for the Torah and haftarah readings, and replying amen to them (Mishnah Brurah 46:14, et al).

Yom Kippur, on which we don’t eat (and therefore we also don’t recite Kiddush, wash or bentch) is the most challenging day to complete 100 brachos. On this day, one will certainly need to rely on answering amen to the Torah brachos but even then one will find himself three brachos short. In order to reach 100, the Mishnah Brurah (ibid.) advises reciting the bracha on fragrant spices several times throughout the day. One must make sure that he has a gap in his attention to the spices before repeating the blessing in order to avoid reciting an unnecessary bracha. If one falls short, he can rely on asher yatzar (recited after using the restroom) or, in a pinch, listening to and answering amen to the reader’s repetition of the Amidah.

It has been suggested that Ein Kelokeinu, recited on Shabbos and holidays, makes up for the 12 brachos missing since the Amidah is seven brachos rather than 19. There are twelve lines in Ein Kelokeinu – four start with the letter Alef, four with the letter Mem, and four with the letter Nun. This is like saying “amen” twelve times. (Amen is spelled Alef-Mem-Nun.) The lines in the last two verses begin with the words “Baruch” and “Atah,” so it’s as if one recited “Baruch Atah, amen” twelve times.

There are other substitutions that have been suggested, such as the Daas Z’keinim MiBaalei Tosafos on parshas Eikev (Deut. 10:12), who posits that reciting Modim (the numerical value of which is 100) with full intention is tantamount to reciting one’s 100 daily brachos. Optimally, one should not rely on such approaches.

Next: Are Women Obligated in 100 Brachos a Day?