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About Masechet Brachot

‘We knew from before that the foundation of prayer is gratitude towards God. I said: “What gratitude? People are sitting here without parents, without children.” That’s when I reached the conclusion, which I wrote about later, that one cannot base the worship of God on gratitude, that there is something beyond it. “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him” (Job 12:15) – that is a higher level. That understanding was strongly impressed upon me then.’

Why the willow need not grow near water

The Four Species taken on Sukkos represent four types of Jews, from the citron which has both flavor and fragrance, and represents the Jew who studies Torah and fulfills its commandments, to the willow which is neither tasty nor fragrant, represents the simplest of Jews, who lacks both Torah and good deeds.