Shlomo Ezagui

Prayer & Blessings. The difference

Jewish worshippers pray in front of the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest prayer site, in Jerusalem's Old City, during the Cohen Benediction priestly blessing at the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. September 22, 2021. Photo by Olivier Fitoussil/Flash90
The Times of Israel, Creator: Olivier Fitoussi | Credit: Flash90 Copyright: copyright (c) Flash90 2021

The Bible tells us that Jacob before he passed away, blessed his children, “Each one, according to THEIR blessing!” Now, what does that mean?

On one level, we know that each child is different from the next, and everyone has their unique and exclusive mission in this world. As a Godly person reading the characteristics of their souls, Jacob gave each one blessing according to the individual personality (they already were born with).

One commentary explains that “Jacob, with his power of prophecy, was able to see the future and gave each one a blessing in line with what was coming their way, anyway.”

This suggests that a blessing does NOT create anything. When a person receives a blessing and has a good thing coming their way, that is because they generated positive energy due to smart choices (in serving God) or other reasons (i.e., righteous parents, etc.) and a blessing merely adds strength, muscle, and force to draw down and thrust forward this energy.

This is actually what the word “blessing,” Bracha, means in Hebrew; literally, “to draw down,” the way one would pull down an existing vine from a tree, to plant it anew in the earth.

While a person’s blessing only has the power to push forward what already exists, when God gives a blessing this “creates” from the source goodness that did not exist before His blessing.

A person, can generate this power to create a new blessing from the source through prayer. Prayer has that power. That is why in our prayers, we say, “God, may it be your will…” We are praying that He create the will for whatever we are praying for.

A person is created in the form and image of God. Like God, who can initiate new energies, a person can create a new will in God through his power and merit in the mitzvah of prayer for things that perhaps were not in the pike before the person prayed.

A person in prayer must come before God in humility, “and my soul let it be like dust before everyone,” and realize it is a partnership and no one can go it alone. This surrender to God connects us to the source of possible blessings in the world, and then with His help, we can create and initiate new, good things that, until then, were not deserved and/or possible.

There is another way a person can initiate and generate a new source for blessings in one’s life, and that is when he blesses another person. The Bible says, “I (God) will bless all those who bless you.”

When a person blesses another soul from his heart and truly means well for that soul (person), this engenders God’s blessings which initiate, from an infinite source, brand new tides of goodness for the person who gave the blessing to the other.

Chapter 34

About the Author
Rabbi Shlomo Ezagui is an author and lecturer. "A Spiritual Soul Book" ( & "Maimonides Advice for the 21st Century" ( In 1987, Rabbi Ezagui opened the first Chabad Center in Palm Beach County, Florida, and the first Orthodox Synagogue on the island of Palm Beach, Florida.
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