Postville Mashpia Releases ‘Bracha of Protection’ Booklet

Following previous publications on davening, Rabbi Avraham Katz, mashpia at Yeshivas Beis Sholom Postville, published a booklet on the first bracha of Shemoneh Esrei, which has special relevance to our current situation.

By Rabbi Avraham Katz – Mashpia at Yeshivas Beis Sholom Postville

In honor of Yud Alef Nissan, I was planning to distribute a new publication providing an English commentary on the first bracha of Shemoneh Esrei. By Hashgacha Pratis, the content therein has a clear connection to current events that concern every Jew.

You see, right now the Jewish people need special protection from Hashem, on a supernatural level. The first bracha of Shemoneh Esrei discusses exactly our current situation. We are descendants of Avraham Avinu. More specifically, we are his continuation; his people; his power; his mission.

Avraham Avinu was on a mission to bring the light of Hashem into this dark world. The forces of unholiness, in the shape of mighty kings, tried to stop Avraham and tried to kill him. Nimrod captured Avraham and put him in jail for 10 years for refusing to bow to him and his idols. After Avraham left jail, and still refused to bow to Nimrod, he was thrown into a fiery furnace. Nothing happened to Avraham; he wasn’t burnt at all, not even one hair. Later, he was in battle against four mighty kings and their large armies who wanted to kill him. Hashem gave him supernatural victory and he came out unharmed. Pharoh and Avimelech kidnapped his wife, but each time they were forced, in a supernatural way, to return her.

Avraham’s entire life operated on the supernatural level, since his connection to the Infinite Hashem (Who is beyond the limits of nature) was always fully revealed. We are his continuation, and we operate in the same way. We have a mission to bring Hashem’s Light into the darkness of the world. The nations of the world hold on to darkness and try to destroy us before we banish the darkness from the world. But Hashem saves us in supernatural ways.

All these ideas are contained in the first bracha of Shemoneh Esrei, the bracha of Magein Avraham. This bracha is so fundamental that the fulfillment of the mitzvah of saying Shemoneh Esrei depends on having kavanah for the meaning of the words in this bracha. Besides Kerias Shema,  the main tefilla we recite is the Shemoneh Esrei. Therefore, this one bracha is the most important part of Davening to have kavanah in (besides for the pasuk of Shema and Baruch Sheim).

To have kavanah for this bracha, it is very helpful to know the meaning of the bracha, and how all of the parts of the bracha fit together cohesively in a logical order. With Hashem’s help, I compiled an explanation on the basic meaning of this bracha from the commentaries on the Siddur, based mainly on the Abudraham, and on a deeper level according to the Midrashim and Chassidus.

If someone would ask: Is there a special bracha about Hashem protecting the Jewish people? The answer would be: Yes, that is the first bracha of Shemoneh Esrei, which is about Hashem’s special connection to the Jewish people, and that He is the Shield of Avraham and of his true descendants, us.

In the merit of having kavanah in this bracha, may Hashem show his special love for the Jewish people, and protect us from all harm, and grant us supernatural victory, just as He did for Avraham Avinu!

Click here to download the booklet.

This PDF prints in booklet form using 15 sheets of regular paper, and prints best with a color printer.

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  1. BH

    Yasher koach Reb Avrohom Katz for this wonderful project on the first bracho of shemone esrei. May Hashem give you the strength and wisdom to write many more books on Tefilah. We certainly can use the protection of Hashem now more than ever.
    Keep up your good work. May we be zoche to moshiach now.

    1. B”H
      Amein @Mendel, thank you, may Hashem grant us all the strength connect to Him in Davening and bring Moshiach!

  2. In a sicha from אחרון של פסח, ה’תשכ”ב (about עוד היום בנוב), the Rebbe connects the war of the four kings against the 5 (which happened on Pesach night of leil Chamisha asar) to Moshiach’s coming.

  3. Wow! I will, bl”n, use this to transform my Shemoneh Esrei. Can it be expanded into a book on the rest of davening?

    (Also, what a credit to the Postville Mesivta! Truly one of the jewels in Lubavitch.)

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