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Brachos of Tzadikim

Written by Rabbi Yehoshua Alt, 21/7/2019

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Brachos Of Tzadikim

                A Chassid who was childless came to the Avnei Nezer for a Bracha to have children. He refused to give a Bracha saying that the child may grow up to become a priest. Although this Chassid didn’t receive a Bracha for children from the Avnei Nazer, he did receive it from his son- the famed Shem Mishmuel (1855-1926). What was the outcome? This Chassid had five children. Four were killed in the Holocaust and one survived through disguising himself as a priest!


When the Rambam (1135-1204) was a little child, his father brought him to the Ri Migash[1] (1077-1141)- who was on the verge of death- to receive a Bracha. Later in life, the Rambam remarked that his Chochma came from that Bracha.     


For many years, the parents of the Ben Ish Chai had no children. In the year 1832, his mother traveled to Morocco to receive a Bracha from R’ Yaakov Abuchatzera. He told her, “You will have a son that will light up the eyes of the Jewish people in righteousness.” The following year the Ben Ish Chai was born.[2]


Where do Tzadikim get this power[3] from- that their Brachos come to fruition?[4] To understand this let us give the following analogy. Although one may be a top surgeon, a surgery will not be successful unless he has clean utensils. The same applies here as if one has a clean mouth then his words can be effective. Because that a Tzadik has a pure mouth, his Brachos can have special power.[5]  


In this way we can explain לא יחל דברו ככל היצא מפיו יעשה[6]; he shall not desecrate his words, according to whatever comes from his mouth he shall do. Another interpretation is: when one doesn’t profane his words (לא יחל דברו), then whatever comes from his mouth comes true (ככל היצא מפיו יעשה). Accordingly, the Brachos of Tzadikim are effective.[7]

R’ Alt merited to learn under the tutelage of R’ Mordechai Friedlander Ztz”l for close to five years. He received Semicha from R’ Zalman Nechemia Goldberg. R’ Alt has written on numerous topics for various websites and publications. He lives with his wife and family in a suburb of Yerushalayim where he studies, writes and teaches. The author is passionate about teaching Jews of all levels of observance.

[1] At the age of 12, he went to study under the renowned Rif for fourteen years. Shortly before his death, the Rif ordained the Ri Migash as his successor as Rosh Hayeshiva- passing over his own son- then 26. He held this position for 38 years. The Rambam writes about the Ri Migash: "The Talmudic learning of this man amazes everyone who understands his words and the depth of his speculative spirit so that it might almost be said of him that his equal has never existed." The Ri Migash wrote a commentary on Gemara. Most of the manuscripts were lost during the centuries of turmoil and per­secution in Spain.

[2] Incidentally, the Gemara (Moed Katan 16b) says that a Tzadik can cancel Hashem’s decrees.

[3] The Magid of Mezerich interpreted אדון עולם אשר מלך בטרם כל יציר נברא; Master of the universe Who reigned before any form was created as referring to only in the past. That is to say, Hashem ruled before anything was created because once the world was created a Tzadik decrees and Hashem fulfills it.

[4] When a Tzadik davens for someone, one reason that it helps is because through the Tzadik being pained in the troubles of others, Hashem has mercy (שו"ת מהר"ם שיק, Orach Chaim 293).

[5] The Gemara (Brachos 7a) states שלא תהא ברכת הדיוט קלה בעיניך; the Bracha given by an ordinary person should never be unimportant in your eyes. Another interpretation offered: even if the Bracha is given in a הדיוט; ordinary type of way, it shouldn’t be light in your eyes (see Likutai Harim, Brachos 7a, s.v. שלא). The Netziv (מרומי שדה, Megila 15a, s.v. לעולם) writes that ‘the Bracha given by an ordinary person should never be unimportant in your eyes,’ refers to the Bracha of a non-Jew. However, the Bracha of a Jew is not called a ברכת הדיוט.  Even the nations of the world know that the Bracha of a Jew is a Bracha as the Gemara (Yoma 54b) relates ...ישראל הללו שברכתן ברכה

[6] Bamidbar 30:3

[7] One should still be careful with his speech since what one says may come true as it states ככל היוצא מפיו יעשה (See Sefer Hachinuch, 231 and Moed Katan 18a).

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