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Pesachim 118


QUESTION: The verse says, "All of the nations shall praise Hashem... for he has shown His abundant kindness to us" (Tehilim 117). The Gemara asks why should the nations thank Hashem if He showed His kindness to *us*? The Gemara answers that the verse means that the nations should thank Hashem for the wonders that He did with *them*, and certainly we must thank Hashem for the wonders that He did for us, for He has been extra kind to us.

What does the Gemara mean? What kindness did Hashem do for the nations that obligated them to praise Him?


(a) The RASHBAM (DH a'Gevuros) explains that Hashem constantly does wonders to the world at large. All people throughout the world benefit from Hashem's kindness. He keeps the world going, He provides them with sustenance, and so on. Since they benefit, they should also thank Hashem. How much more so must *we* thank Hashem, for His kindnesses to us are abundant.

(b) RASHI, though, says that the nations should thank Hashem because they saw that Hashem did great wonders for *us*. The MAHARSHA expands on this and says that the wonders which Hashem did for us were done in order to save us from the plotting of the nations. But if that is true, why should the nations thank Hashem for those wonders?

The BRISKER RAV (Chidushei ha'Griz Al ha'Torah, Tehilim 117) explains that there are two different types of Berachos that can be recited on a miracle. (1) The beneficiary of the miracle thanks Hashem for what he has been given. This is a "Birkas Hoda'ah," a blessing of thanksgiving. (2) Even if a person did not benefit from the miracle, when he sees something awe-inspiring, he praises Hashem and says a "Birkas ha'Shevach," a blessing of praise, such as when he sees lightning or an awe-inspiring terrain.

The Berachah which the nations make is the second type of Berachah, a blessing of praise recited when a person sees something awe-inspiring. That is what the verse means when it says, "Halelu Es Hashem Kol Goyim." The Gemara says that how much more so must *we* bless Hashem, because besides saying a blessing of praise at the awe-inspiring miracle, we are also obligation to recite the other type of Berachah, a Birkas Hoda'ah, since we are the beneficiaries of that miracle!

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