How דוד המלך Stopped a Deadly Plague

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  • #1839745
    Zugger613
    Participant

    Parshas Ki Sisa opens with an eerily timely warning: if you count Bnei Yisroel, there will be a plague. And indeed the Gemora tells us that in the times of דוד המלך Bnei Yisroel were counted, and a deadly plague began to spread. Interestingly, the plague killed exactly 100 people a day. So to stop the plague, דוד decreed that everybody should make 100 brachos every day. But how does counting brachos counteract counting people?

    Why would a king want to count his people? Simple: he wants to assess the might of his kingdom. But that is based on a false worldview. The security and prosperity of a nation is not determined by its population, but rather by Hashem. Counting the people shows a false sense of security, as if we determine our destiny and not the Almighty.

    Brachos are the exact opposite. A bracha is an affirmation that this is Hashem’s world, and He controls everything. We acknowledge that all that we have comes only from Hashem.

    לעילוי נשמת ר׳ חיים דוב בן ר׳ בןציון שלום
    לרפואה שלמה דוד חיים בן עטל

    #1839938
    Joseph
    Participant

    Yasher Koach!

    #1840015
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant
    #1840039
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    The brochos remind us כל מה דעבד רחמנא לטב עבד – גם זו לטובה, everything is for the best,. The word קללה can be turned around to ‘הלל ק The Chasam Sofer explains the implication וראית את אחורי ופני לא יראו where we see things only from hindsight. See SA O’CH 46,3

    #1840301
    Zugger613
    Participant

    Pertinent to the above discussion, I absolutely must quote what the ב״ח writes in או״ח סי׳ מ״ו אות ט׳:

    שהשיב רב נטרונאי וכו’ להורות שיהיו נזהרין לברך אותם ולא יסמכו על עניית אמן כי איכא סכנת מיתת ק’ ישראל בכל יום כמו שהיה קודם שתקן דוד ק’ ברכות אלו דלא מהני עניית אמן אלא לע”ה

    Translation: “Rav Natrunai (one of the Geonim) wrote in a Teshuva that one should not rely on answering Amen for the count of 100 brachos, because the same danger of 100 Jews dying each day still exists just like it did when David HaMelech instituted that each person should say 100 brachos and answering Amen only words for people who do not know how to read.”

    #1840334
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    Zugger613 The above needs some explanation as the tragedy did not happen by itself but by counting without shekolim. Maybe once he established the 100 brochos, it became a chiyuv as in SA O’CH 46.3. Our costume is to count with a pasuk. See Rabbenu Bechaye on ותא יהי-ה בהם נגף בפקוד אותם don’t separate the bad from the good of the group by counting.

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