Brachot 7

In today’s daf (Brachot 7), reference is made to the impact that our blessings can have on others, as well as the importance of acknowleging the emotions of others which may make it hard for them to heard words of appeasement. Significantly, both these messages came into play last night when I was invited to give religious counsel to a family experiencing both halachic and theological challenges. The session began with me listening to the family and understanding their situation. It continued by exploring and acknowledging the emotions of all those present. It continued with practical and halachic guidance. And it ended with blessings. According to Rav Dessler, the statement found in our daf that, ‘let the blessing of an ordinary person not be light in your eyes’ (Brachot 7a) teaches us about the interdependence of people and how ‘their relations to each other and the things they do and say to each other have an effect in the spiritual world’ (Strive For Truth Vol. 2 p. 158). And this is why, when we hear about the challenges of others, we should do all we can to help them and we should certainly pray for them, ‘not because we are necessarily a great tzaddik, but because our concern for our neighbour and our sincere prayers for them create new merit and new revelation of God’s glory in the world’ (ibid. p. 157), which – as Rav Dessler points out – ‘is no small achievement’.