If I try to bless all of the frum Jews in the world – like if I say, “All the frum Jews should be healthy and well,” — do I get one mitzvah for that, or is it many mitzvos because I blessed so many Jews?
It depends how much you do it and how much thought you put into it. If you do it one time, so you get a big mitzvah that takes into account the number of people you had in mind. But if you does it again and again you get more mitzvos. But if you keep on saying brachos on this Jew and on this Jew and on this Jew – each one individually – so of course there’s more reward.
When a person trains himself to always be busy thinking of the Am Yisroel and blessing them, so he’s going to get a very big blessing from Hakodosh Boruch Hu because he’s saying it many times for everybody. That’s why it’s so important to utilize shemonah esrei. You say שים שלום or שלום רב על ישראל עמך! You know what that means? You have to train yourself to think about what you’re saying. You want all the Am Yisroel to have shalom. Some are being persecuted by the government; by the IRS they’re being persecuted. Some Jews are being persecuted by goyim. Many Jews have troubles. We want all Jews to have shalom. And if you add that thought – what a big reward there is for that.
שלום רב על ישראל עמך תשים לעולם! All those people who don’t have children should have children. All those who don’t find shidduchim should get good shidduchim quickly. All those who don’t have parnasa should have parnasa. Some people who are not well, they should all become well. That’s what you’re saying. And we say “Shalom rav,” not just plain shalom. Shalom rav means that we want great shalom for Yisroel. Because they’re your people, they’re the holy nation. And it should be not only a temporary shalom but לעולם – forever and ever. And if you train yourself to think that way you’re going to get a very great reward. That’s why I mentioned before that shemoneh esrei is a gold mine.
And therefore whenever you say something in shemoneh esrei, it should be with thought. When you say רופא חולי עמו ישראל, you shouldn’t be thinking only about yourself. You have a right to mention your own name too; you can pray for yourself. You can pray for your wife or your family too, but you’re also thinking of רופא חולי עמו ישראל – all of the sick of the Am Yisroel. All of the hospitals full of Jews, frum Jews – they should all get well. Think of all the hospitals in New York City alone. They’re full of people – all kinds of operations and illnesses. And all the doctors’ offices are crowded with patients. And you’re thinking about all of them: רופא חולי עמו ישראל – “Hashem please heal all of the frum Jews.”
Oh yes, there’ll be a great reward if you’ll train yourself to think that way! It needs a little work, that’s all. That’s why I say shemonah esrei is a gold mine; because it’s full of opportunities for greatness. And the more you bless the Am Yisroel, the greater will be your reward.
TAPE # E-116