The morning blessings represent our first statements of intent as we face the new day. Yet like any tefila (prayer) recited on a daily basis, they risk becoming mundane if they are not occasionally re-envisioned through a fresh lens. Ohr HaShachar challenges us to look deeper into the words of the morning blessings -- from Modeh Ani through the fifteen blessings of Birchot HaShachar -- to discover new meaning and relevance, and to re-examine a host of fundamental concepts in Torah and Kabbalah along the way.
The theme of renewed life and consciousness expressed in the morning blessings is both timeless and universal. Yet inside the words of Modeh Ani, Netilat Yadayim, Asher Yatzar, Elokai Neshama, Birchot HaTorah, and the 15 blessings of Birchot HaShachar are concepts whose full richness and subtlety are not captured by conventional English translations and require elucidation in order to be adequately understood. Ohr HaShachar takes us on a journey through the morning blessings in search of greater clarity and depth, opening up the worlds that lie within the words.
What do we mean by the word modeh? What does the term baruch really imply? What is the elusive kedusha to which the phrase asher kideshanu refers? Along the way, ideas such as tzadik víra lo and the story of Iyov, the Creation and Garden of Eden narratives, and many more central themes within Torah and Kabbalah are examined. The result is that the words recited each morning are infused with new meaning and contemporary relevance. Ohr HaShachar offers fresh insights along with traditional commentary, analysis of larger concepts as well as linguistic nuances within the text, plus dozens of visual diagrams and hundreds of notes.