One Hundred Blessings!
Yael Eckstein | January 3, 2023
I will extol the LORD at all times;
his praise will always be on my lips. – Psalm 34:1
One of the founding principles of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews is God’s eternal promise He made to Abraham in Genesis 12:3, “I will bless those who bless you.” This is one of 12 devotions exploring the concept of blessing, barak, which is so important to both Christians and Jews.
I want to tell you about a Jewish practice that you may not have heard of. According to Jewish law, everyone is required to recite at least 100 blessings to God every day. Now this may sound like a lot, but it’s easier than you might think, because we Jews bless God for just about everything!
For example, our morning prayer liturgy begins with a series of blessings, thanking God for all the things in life that we take for granted. There’s a blessing for the fact that we can stand up, one thanking Him that we can see, one more thanking Him that we are able to walk, and on and on.
Perhaps the most unique blessing we say each day is the one we say every time we go to the bathroom. Yes, we praise God each time we finish taking care of our basic bodily needs! In this blessing, we thank God for keeping our bodies working properly. After all, we know that any small problem in any of our organs can cause great pain and danger.
One Hundred Blessings!
So where did this practice come from?
It probably comes as no surprise that the practice originated with King David — the author of an entire book of the Bible dedicated to praising God! It was King David who wrote, “I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.”
The Hebrew for “I will extol” is actually avarecha — literally, “I will bless.” David wrote this to remind us not to take anything for granted, and not to forget about God, even with — especially with — the small things in life.
The Jewish sages teach that during a certain period in David’s reign, one hundred people died prematurely each day from an unknown plague. The spiritual reason was eventually found. The nation was not paying enough attention to God. Since then, it was decided that every person would commit to saying one hundred blessings a day — or one hundred expressions of gratitude — and the plague stopped immediately.
Ever since then, it has been Jewish tradition to recite at least one hundred blessings a day. We are careful to maintain a state of gratitude, lest we find ourselves cut off from our blessings.
Can you find one hundred reasons a day to thank and praise God? Try it and see how it transforms your life.