Birchos HaShachar: Who Gives Strength to the Weary

הנותן ליעף כח …Who gives strength to the weary.


This brachah is recited by Ashkenazim but not by Sefardim.  The Beis Yosef, based on the Rambam and others, held that this brachah was added after the time of the Gemara, and we don’t have the right to compose our own brachos after that time.  The Bach, based on other Rishonim, held that we do recite it and that it must have been composed earlier.

We generally go to sleep weary and tired.  This is often true on a physical, emotional, and mental basis.  The next morning, Hashem wakes us up with renewed and refreshed energy in each of these crucial areas.

We all require energy to make our day productive in every sense.  We need to have physical, emotional, and mental strength for mindful and heartfelt tefilos, for learning and living Torah, for nurturing family and other relationships, and for financial matters including work.  All of these areas, and more, often present us with struggles and challenges that require us to invest physical, emotional, and mental strength and energy to overcome those challenges and to succeed.

When we are tired, our tefilos are tired, too.  When we are weary, our Torah is weary, too.  When we are physically fatigued, emotionally drained, mentally preoccupied, our reactions to situations are not what we want them to be.  We are more prone to be impatient, intolerant, and say things we wish we hadn’t.

This is true for each of the three components.  We can be physically awake and alert and have strength; but if we are down emotionally, it will have a negative impact on every area of our lives.  The same is true when we are strained mentally and dealing with an all-encompassing issue.

We are totally dependent on Hashem for the strength and ability to do everything we do.  What a blessing and gift it is when we are able to wake up in the morning with energy in all three components that have such an impact on all that we do throughout the day.  This brachah is our opportunity to contemplate this tremendous gift and to express our appreciation to Hashem. appreciation to Hashem.