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She’oso Le Kol Sorkie


Rabbi David Sperling

Cheshvan 10, 5772
Dear Rabbi I would like to ask the following question, based on a beautiful P’shat that I heard recently. Every morning when we get up we say the Brocha of She’oso Le Kol Sorkie. Even if somebody has just lost his job and is suffering from debilitating illness, he still goes ahead and makes this Brocha. This teaches us that once one has done the required amount of Hishtadlus, then the rest is up to Hashem. As a result, even if he finds himself in a very difficult situation, he can still confidently make the Brocha of She’oso Le Kol Sorkie, knowing full well that his present situation is what is ultimately the best for him. I find this D’var Torah very encouraging and uplifting. However, my question on this idea is as follows. In Shulchan Oruch [Siman 554], the Be’er Hai’tev [Se’if Koton 10], brings that the Ari Zal holds that one does not make this Brocho on either Tisha B’Av or Yom Kippur. I have heard that the only reason why others hold that it may be said on these days is because they hold that since even on these days, one may wear shoes made from other materials, the Brocha is still applicable. How can it be that simply because one cannot wear leather shoes, one is no longer expected to able to say the above Brocha, yet when a person is going though a really rough time, he is still expected to be able to make the Brocha and mean it sincerely? Many thanks Ari
Shalom, First of all, thank you for sharing such a lovely d'var Torah with us. It really is an inspiring idea that can strengthen us in times of need. However, like most "drashot" it was never meant to be used to define halacha. The halachic rules of when to say this blessing exist independent of any lessons we can (and should) learn from them. The lesson is true because this blessing is recited even when someone is "down and out", nonetheless we believe that Hashem is still taking care of all their needs. On the other hand, there are Rabbis who say this blessing is dependent on wearing shoes (though this is not the major halachic opinion). This is because they believe the blessing was instituted around the physical act of wearing shoes (perhaps a symbolic, basic need). This can be compared to the blessings on eating food - certainly grace after meals is recited because one is satiated. We can learn many lessons about eating and thanking Hashem from this. However, even if one eats their fill of everything under the sun - but not bread, they do not say the birkat ha'mazon! What happened to all the wonderful ideas about remembering Hashem on a full stomach?! The ideas are still true - but the technical application of the blessing has its practical limits that sometimes appear "out of sync" with the drashot we have learnt. The drasha is still true - as is the halacha. May we be blessed to have Hashem fulfill the needs of all of us - including shoes! Blessings, D,Sperling
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