A Lesson in Sharing from Brachos in Brachos

The Shikker Dovid would like to give a shout out to Rabbi Zachy Prensky who delivered an inspiring daf yomi yesterday. Erudite and funny. The great lesson from Brachot 59B is in the distinction in brachot you make on good things. There are two blessings discussed. The first is “hatov u matev” and the second is the famous “shehechanyu” blessing. The Talmud asks what is the difference.

The answer given is that one makes a “hatov u matev” on good things which happen to someone in partnership with another. The talmud uses the word “shotufus”-partnership. The “shehechanu” is made when a good thing happens to one individually.

The Shikker Dovid would like to point out the obvious. Good things, on an existential level, only happen in connection with others. “Good things” must be shared or a result of interactive behavior. It is the inherent in what make something “good.” This is the paradox of our religion. We have an intensely personal relationship with Hashem. But we are commanded to act communally or think beyond ourselves.

In essence the good is derived from our personal relationship with Hashem, but is manifested only when it is a shared experience.

A shehechanyanu is personal. Hatov u matev is communal. May we this Succot experience an intensely personal closeness to hashem (shechyanu) and also reach out to others to bring goodness to each other.

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One Response to A Lesson in Sharing from Brachos in Brachos

  1. Doctor J says:

    As someone can who goes out of his way for others, the Shikker Dovid is a shining example of what this is all about

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