Birchat Asher Yatzar

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Understanding Asher Yatzar

  1. Asher Yatzar is an interesting beracha because it never directly addresses the topic that it is about. [1] One reason for this type of formulation is because it isn't respectful to talk about relieving oneself overtly [2]
  2. There is a lot of meaning contained within Asher Yatzar, for example, there are 45 words corresponding to the numerical value of the word "ADAM" [3]
  3. Numerous explanations are given for the word beChachma. Rashi explains that it is referring to the fact that HKBH can keep air inside a person even though he has so many holes in his body. Tosafot explains that it refers to the fact that G-d created man's sustenance before he created him. The Maharsha explains that it is referring to man, and that he was created as an intelligent being. The Lavush explains that it refers to the many different processes that are involved in man's digestion and excretion; including taking in the food, holding the food, absorbing the nutrients, and excreting the waste [4]
  4. Nekavim mainly references the mouth and the organ used for excretion but is written twice to include every orifice [5]
    1. Aruch HaShulchan 6:1
    2. Aruch HaShulchan 6:1
    3. Ben Ish Chai as quoted in Rav Simcha Bunim Cohen, Laws of everyday living. This gematria is only accurate for Sfardim who have 45 words in their version of Asher Yatzar
    4. Aruch HaShulchan 6:2 brings all of these explanations
    5. Aruch HaShulchan