We have previously published two articles concerning this
seemingly routine blessing - in the hope that our readership put new
appreciation into their reciting of it. In our opinion, it is the
most important blessing said each day, for if anything were to go
wrong with one of the valves, openings, miles of pathways in our system,
we would be unable to exist for another moment...
Shimshon Halperin maintains that for two minutes a day, that is
twenty seconds per each recitation, a person can acquire a heightened
sense of gratitude towards Hashem - and a far better level of personal
In an attractive Las Vegas office, a business deal was made between
Shimshon Halperin and several real estate brokers. As the meeting
ended, Mr. Halperin decided to highlight the event by giving the other
Jews attending the meeting a gift that was close to his heart. He
gave them a colorful, laminated card on which the blessing Asher
Yotzar was printed in large, clear letters. He explained what the
About two years ago, Shimon Halperin began to give much serious
throught to the verse in Iyov 19:26, "From my flesh I can
see my G-d." He marveled at how our blood flows through our veins,
how our kidneys filter out wastes and poisons, how our arteries pump
blood to our hearts and the rest of our bodies, and how our lungs
purify the blood with fresh oxygen. He thought about how the liver
helps in digestion and how our intestines process food through yards
of tubing. Anyone who takes the time to think about the wonders of
our functioning bodies can see the hand of Hashem in creation.
When we say Asher Yotzar after relieving ourselves of bodily wastes,
we are thanking Hashem for giving us bodies that function properly,
even without our conscious effort, most of the time, and keep us healthy.
If we ever visit a hsopital or take care of a very sick person, we
know what a miracle that is.
Halperin decided to embark on a grand project to encourage fellow
Jews to say the blessing of Asher Yotzar properly. He had this
blessing printed on shiny, graphically designed and illustrated posters
of various sizes, including a handy pocketsize. To date, far over
a quarter of a million of these posters have been distributed in schools,
business, camps, bungalow colonies, book stores and shuls. They are
given out at luncheons, yarzeit gatherings and synagogue functions.
The posters can be found hanging in doctor's offices and yeshiva
dorms and, of course, in countless homes. They have been printed in
English, Hebrew, Russian, Spanish, French, and Farsi (the language
They have been shipped to Canada and across the seas to Europe
and Australia. A world-wide distribution of over one million posters
is expected in the near future. On each poster, vivid illustrations
help us focus on the wonders of the different systems of our healthy
In Shimshon's own home, he has purchased battery-operated stop
watches and mounted them outside each bathroom. He encourages the
members of his family to time themselves each time they recite Asher
The response to the Asher Yotzar project has been exciting.
Many people note that once they began to say this blessing properly
and with concentration, their attitude toward others parts of the
prayers improved as well.
Hanoch Teller, well-known author and lecturer, recalls a flight
on which he was traveling home to Israel. Many religious people were
flying and an irreligious couple seated next to him was mocking the
way they gathered to pray. Just then, they saw a man emerge from the
lavatory, stop and recite a blessing. They thought this was particularly
amusing and began to laugh. Teller patiently explained to them the
meaning of the blessing. He captured and held their interest and eventually,
this couple found their way back to Yiddishkeit as baalei tshuva.
A successful businessman, Shimshon Helperin decided to stop in
his tracks and take stock of his life. Did he want to focus only on
his career and the benefits of finanacial aggrandizement? No, he had
greater visions for his future. With energy and determination, he
decided to set aside his precious mornings to study Torah with a study
partner and go to his Manhatten office in the afternoons. He began
giving shiurim in Daf Yomi and has dedicated himself
to making the Asher Yotzar Project an international venture.
You can order free posters or wallet-size cards for personal use
or distribution at 03-5704633, or through the American number: 914-426-6188.
Here's to your health!