Engagement prayers and blessings

Prayer is the glue that holds a marriage and a family together. Prayer comes in many forms, including: recited prayers, such as the Hail Mary; spontaneous prayer, as a husband and wife might say before bedtime; praying with Scripture; and that perfect prayer–the Mass.

The book, Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers, is an excellent resource for your marriage as you explore the Catholic tradition of prayer. Here are some excerpts:

Blessing of an Engaged Couple

The betrothal of a Christian couple is a special occasion for their families, who should celebrate it together with prayer and a special rite. In this way, they ask God’s blessing that the happiness promised by the engagement will be brought to fulfillment. When the engagement is celebrated within the circle of the two families, one of the parents should preside.

When the families have gathered, all make the sign of the cross.

The leader greets those present in the following words:

Brothers and sisters, let us praise our Lord Jesus Christ, who loved us and gave himself for us. Let us bless him now and forever.

R/. Blessed be God forever.

In the following or similar words, the leader prepares those present for the blessing.

We know that all of us need God’s blessing at all times; but at the time of their engagement to be married, Christians are in particular need of grace as they prepare themselves to form a new family.

Let us pray, then, for God’s blessing to come upon this couple: that as they await the day of their wedding, they will grow in mutual respect and in their love for one another; that through their companionship and prayer together they will prepare themselves rightly and chastely for marriage.

One of those present or the leader reads a text of sacred Scripture.

Listen to the words of the first Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians: 13:4-13

Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, love is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails. If there are prophecies, they will be brought to nothing; if tongues, they will cease; if knowledge, it will be brought to nothing. For we know partially and we prophesy partially, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I used to talk as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I put aside childish things. At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. At present I know partially; then I shall know fully, as I am fully known. So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Or John 15:9-12: This is my commandment: love one another as I have loved you.

Reader: The Word of the Lord.

R/. Thanks be to God.

The intercessions are then said.

Leader: God our Father has so loved us that in Christ he makes us his children and the witnesses of his love before the entire world. Let us, therefore, call upon him in all confidence, saying:

R/. Lord, help us to remain always in your love.

God our Father, you willed that your true children, brothers and sisters in Christ, should be known by their love for one another. R/.

You place upon us the sweet demands of love so that we may find happiness by responding to them. R/.

You call N. and N. to the communion of life and love that binds the Christian family together, mind and heart. R/.

The engaged couple may exchange rings or some other gift that signifies their pledge to each other.

One of the parents may bless these gifts:

N. and N., in due course may you honor the sacred pledge symbolized by these gifts which you now exchange.

R/. Amen.

The leader says the prayer of blessing with hands joined.

We praise you, Lord, for your gentle plan draws together your children, N. and N., in love for one another. Strengthen their hearts, so that they will keep faith with each other, please you in all things, and so come to the happiness of celebrating the sacrament of their marriage. We ask this through Christ our Lord.

R/. Amen.

The leader concludes the rite by signing himself or herself with the sign of the cross and saying:

May the God of love and peace abide in you, guide your steps, and confirm your hearts in his love, now and forever.

R/. Amen.

The blessing may conclude with a suitable song.

Prayer of a Future Husband

Adapted from Tobit 8:5-7

Blessed are you, O God of our ancestors, and blessed too is your name forever. Let the heavens bless you for evermore and all the things you have made. It was you who created Adam, you who created Eve his wife to be his help and support; and from these two the human race was born. It was you who said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; let us make him a partner like himself.”

I take N. in sincerity of heart. Have mercy on her and on me and allow us to live together to a happy old age.

Prayer of a Future Wife

Adapted from Psalm 16

Keep me, O God, for in you I take refuge; I say to the Lord, “My God are you. Apart from you I have no good.” I bless the Lord who counsels me; even in the night my heart exhorts me. I set the Lord ever before me; with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed. Therefore my heart is glad and my soul rejoices, my body abides in confidence.

You, O Lord, will show me the path to life, fullness of joys in your presence, the delights at your right hand forever.

Blessing of a Son or Daughter Before Marriage

In the days immediately before the wedding, the family may gather around its member who is to be married, perhaps at a special meal in the family’s home.

All make the sign of the cross. A parent begins:

Let us bless the Lord, by whose goodness we live and by whose grace we love one another. Blessed be God forever.

R/. Blessed be God forever.

Then the Scripture is read:

Listen to the words of the Book of Deuteronomy: 6:4-7

Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone! Therefore, you shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength. Take to heart these words which I enjoin on you today. Drill them into your children. Speak of them at home and abroad, whether you are busy or at rest.

Reader: The Word of the Lord.

R/. Thanks be to God.

The parents may give a Bible or crucifix to the one who is to be married. Then all join in prayers of intercession for the couple to be married and for the world. After the Lord’s Prayer, the parents and other family members place their hands on the head of their son or daughter as one or both parents speak the blessing.

May the Lord, who gave you into our care and made you a joy to our home, bless you and keep you.

R/. Amen.

May the Lord, who turns the hearts of parents to their children and the hearts of children to their parents, smile on you and be kind to you.

R/. Amen.

May the Lord, who delights in our love for one another, turn toward you and give you peace.

R/. Amen.

All make the sign of the cross as the leader concludes:

May the God of love and peace abide in you, guide your steps, and confirm your heart in his love, now and forever.

R/. Amen.

Table Blessing for Weddings

This blessing may be used before the meal at a wedding reception. A member of the wedding party or one of the parents of the newly married couple may serve as the leader.

When everyone has gathered at table and the meal is ready to be served, all make the sign of the cross.

Leader: Blessed be God who has brought us together in joy.

R/. Blessed be God forever.

The leader introduces the blessing in these or similar words:

We have gathered here to celebrate the love of N. and N. God has brought them together, and we pray that God will hold them in his love always. As the food we share will strengthen our bodies, may our time together strengthen the love that binds us.

After a time of silence, the leader prays:

Let us pray. Lord God, you sustain all creatures and never cease to give your children the food they need. We bless you for bringing us together in the love that unites us around this table where the food we take strengthens our bodies. We pray that, nourished by your Word, we may grow ever stronger in faith as we strive for the coming of your Kingdom. We ask this through Christ our Lord.

R/. Amen.

Blessing on Anniversaries #1

When the household and friends have gathered, all make the sign of the cross.

The leader greets those present in the following words:

Blessed be the God of all consolation, who has shown us his great mercy. Blessed be God now and forever.

R/. Blessed be God forever.

In the following or similar words, the leader prepares those present for the blessing.

We have come together to celebrate the anniversary of the marriage of our brother and sister. As we join them in their joy, we join them also in their gratitude. God has set them among us as a sign of his love and through the years they have remained faithful (and have fulfilled their responsibilities as parents). Let us give thanks for all the favors N. and N. have received during their married life. May God keep them in their love for each other, so that they may be more and more of one mind and one heart.

One of those present or the leader reads a text of sacred Scripture.

Listen to the words of the first Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians 1:4-9

I give thanks to my God always on your account for the grace of God bestowed on you in Christ Jesus, that in him you were enriched in every way, with all discourse and all knowledge, as the testimony to Christ was confirmed among you, so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ. He will keep you firm to the end, irreproachable on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, and by him you were called to fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Reader: The Word of the Lord.

R/. Thanks be to God.

The intercessions are then said.

Leader: In the tender plan of his providence, God our almighty Father has given married love, its faithfulness, (and its fruitfulness,) a special significance in the history of salvation. Let us therefore call upon him, saying:

R/. Lord, hear our prayer.

Father all-holy, you have made marriage the great symbol of Christ’s love for his Church; bestow on these your servants the fullness of your own love. For this we pray: R/.

Father all-holy, the faithful one, you ask for and respond to fidelity to your covenant; fill with your blessings your servants who are celebrating their wedding anniversary. For this we pray: R/.

It is your will that all married life should be a lesson in Christian living; grant that all husbands and wives may be witnesses to the wonders of your Son’s love. For this we pray: R/.

The leader says the prayer of blessing with hands joined.

Lord God and Creator, we bless and praise your name. In the beginning you made man and woman, so that they might enter a communion of life and love. You likewise blessed the union of N. and N., so that they might reflect the union of Christ with his Church: look with kindness on them today. Amid the joys and struggles of their life you have preserved the union between them; renew their marriage covenant, increase your love in them, and strengthen their bond of peace, so that (surrounded by their children) they may always rejoice in the gift of your blessing. We ask this through Christ our Lord.

R/. Amen.

Blessing on Anniversaries #2

Almighty and eternal God, you have so exalted the unbreakable bond of marriage that it has become the sacramental sign of your Son’s union with the Church as his spouse. Look with favor on N. and N., whom you have united in marriage, as they ask for your help and the protection of the Virgin Mary. They pray that in good times and in bad they will grow in love for each other; that they will resolve to be of one heart in the bond of peace.

Lord, in their struggles let them rejoice that you are near to help them; in their needs let them know that you are there to rescue them; in their joys let them see that you are the source and completion of every happiness. We ask this through Christ our Lord.

R/. Amen.

The leader concludes the rite by signing himself or herself with the sign of the cross and saying:

May the God of hope fill us with every joy in believing. May the peace of Christ abound in our hearts. May the Holy Spirit enrich us with his gifts, Now and forever.

R/. Amen.

Exerpts from Blessings and Prayers for Home and Family (c) Concacan, Inc, 2004. Used and adapted by permission of the Canadian Conferene of Catholic Bishops.

Excerpts from the English translations of Book of Blessings (c) 1988, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. (ICEL). All rights reserved.

Bring prayer into your marriage! Use Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers to:

  • Learn the “by-hearts”-the prayers that every Catholic needs to know by memory
  • Practice the simple form of the Liturgy of the Hours as a family
  • Celebrate the feasts and seasons of the Church year in ritual and prayer
  • Bless the Advent wreath, Christmas crèche, and Easter foods
  • Lead grace before and after meals
  • Pray for family members
  • Bless the home before a move and in times of trouble

Additional Resources:

  • The Couple Prayer Series
  • Rite for the Blessing of a Child in the Womb (USCCB)

www.foryourmarriage.org

Listed below are some Hebrew prayers and blessings that are part of Judaism that are recited by many Jews. Most prayers and blessings can be found in the Siddur, or prayer book, this article addresses Jewish liturgical blessings, which generally begin with the formula:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ, מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם…‬

Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, melekh ha`olam…

Translation: “Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe…”

NOTE: ‘ is used in transliterations to refer to the sh’vah, which is similar/equivalent to ə; a mid-word aleph, a glottal stop; and a mid-word ayin, a voiced pharyngeal fricative ʕ similar/equivalent to Arabic ع. Whenever ` is used, it refers to ayin whether word-initial, medial, or final. ‘H/h’ are used to represent both he, an English h sound as in “hat”; and ḥes, a voiceless pharyngeal fricative ħ equivalent to Arabic ح. Whenever ‘ḥ’ is used, it refers to ḥet. Resh is represented by an ‘r,’ though it’s equivalent to Spanish ‘r,’ Spanish ‘rr,’ or French ‘r,’ depending on one’s dialect; in all other regards, transliterations are according to the Sephardi tradition, with modern Hebrew pronunciation.

Prayer

Amidah עמידה The “standing “, also known as the Shemoneh Esreh (“The Eighteen”), consisting of 19 strophes on weekdays and seven on Sabbath days. It is the essential component of Jewish services, and is the only service that the Talmud calls prayer, it is said three times a day (four times on Sabbaths and holidays, and five times on Yom Kippur). Blessings and liturgical poetry —like piyyutim, psalms, citations from Tanach— frame this service, an analogy being the ascent to the Jerusalem temple, the actual service there, and the following descent to Jerusalem by a different path.

Blessings and liturgical poetry

Mizmor Shir מזמור שיר‬ Psalm 30. Recited at the beginning of Pesukei Dezimra.
Baruch Sheamar ברוך שאמר‬ The first blessing of Pesukei Dezimra
Songs of thanksgiving A series of paragraphs in Pesukei Dezimra. Includes Psalm 100
Yehi kevod יהי כבוד‬ A series of verses recited during Pesukei Dezimra
Ashrei אשרי‬ Recited three times daily: during Pesukei Dezimra, following Uva Letzion, and at the beginning of Mincha (Ne’ila on Yom Kippur)
Hallel (pesukei dezimra) הלל‬ Includes Ashrei and Psalms 146, 147, 148, 149, and 150
Baruch Hashem L’Olam (Shacharit) ברוך ה לעולם‬ Recited as a blessing after concluding Hallel
Vayivarech David ויברך דוד‬ From Chronicles Book I, Chapter 29, verses 10–13
Ata Hu Hashem L’Vadecha אתה-הוא יהוה לבדך‬ From Book of Nehemiah, Chapter 9, verses 6–11
Az Yashir אז ישיר‬ From Book of Exodus 15:1–18
Yishtabach ישתבח‬ Concluding blessing of Pesukei Dezimra
Yotzer ohr יוצר אור‬ The first blessing recited during Shacharit
Maariv Aravim מעריב ערבים‬ The first blessing recited during Maariv
Ahava Rabbah אהבה רבה‬ The second blessing recited during Shacharit
Ahavat Olam אהבת עולם‬ The second blessing recited during Maariv
Shema Yisrael שמע ישראל‬ A centerpiece of Jewish prayer services which affirms belief and trust in the One God, the Shema is composed of three sections taken from the Torah.
Kaddish קדיש‬ An Aramaic prayer which focuses on the idea of magnification and sanctification of God’s name. This prayer is normally recited at the conclusion of a period of study or a section of a prayer service, because mourners are required to say one version of the Kaddish (the Mourner’s Kaddish), it is sometimes viewed as a prayer for the dead, but it does not actually mention death at all.
Birkat Kohanim ברכת כהנים‬ The “Priestly Blessing,” recited by the Kohanim on Jewish holidays (every day in Israel).
Ein Keloheinu אין כאלהינו‬ A lyrical prayer recited at the end of services on Shabbat and holidays, praising God’s uniqueness.
Aleinu עלינו‬ The Aleinu praises God for allowing the Jewish people to serve him, and expresses their hope that the whole world will recognize God and abandon idolatry.
An’im Zemirot אנעים זמירות‬ More formally known as “The Song of Glory,” this song is sung at the end of morning prayers on Shabbat.
Hallel הלל‬ Psalms 113–118, recited as a prayer of praise and thanksgiving on Jewish holidays. Hallel is said in one of two forms: Full Hallel and Partial Hallel.
Kol Nidre כל‑נדרי‬ A prayer recited in the synagogue at the beginning of the evening service on Yom Kippur (יום כיפור‬), the Day of Atonement. It is a declaration of absolution from vows taken, to free the congregants from guilt due to unfulfilled vows during the previous (and coming) year.
Shehecheyanu שהחיינו‬ The blessing for special (once a year) occasions, recited on holidays and other special occasions.
Birkat HaMazon ברכת המזון‬ The blessing after meals, thanking God for the food and His support in general.
Tefilat HaDerech תפלת הדרך‬ The traveler’s prayer for a safe journey.
Birkat HaBayit ברכת הבית‬ A blessing for the home often found inside on wall plaques or hamsas.
Ma Tovu מה טובו‬ A prayer of reverence for the synagogue, recited in the morning upon entering.

Everyday prayers and blessings

Upon waking up

מוֹדֶה אֲנִי לְפָנֶיךָ מֶלֶךְ חַי וְקַיָּם שֶׁהֶחֱזַרְתָּ בִּי נִשְׁמָתִי בְּחֶמְלָה, רַבָּה אֱמוּנָתֶךָ.‬

Transliteration: Modeh ani lifanekha melekh ḥai v’kayam sheheḥezarta bi nishmahti b’ḥemla, raba emunatekha.

Translation: “I give thanks before You, Living and Eternal King, that You have returned within me my soul with compassion; abundant is Your faithfulness!”

Morning

Elohai Neshamah

אֱ-לֹהַי, נְשָׁמָה שֶׁנָּתַתָּ בִּי טְהוֹרָה הִיא. אַתָּה בְרָאתָהּ, אַתָּה יְצַרְתָּהּ, אַתָּה נְפַחְתָּהּ בִּי, ‬

Transliteration: “Elohai neshama shenatata bi t’horah hi. Ata b’ratah, ata y’tzartah, ata n’fachtah bi .”

Translation: “My God, the soul You have given me is pure. You created it, You formed it, and You breathed it into me. .”

Po’ke’ah Ivrim

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ, מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם. פּוֹקֵחַ עִוְרִים.‬

Transliteration: Baruch ata Adonai Eloheinu, melekh ha’olam po’ke’ah ivrim.

Translation: Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the universe, who restores the eyes of the blind.

For putting on tzitzit

The tzitzit are first inspected to make sure they are properly intact before wearing the tallit katan. While holding the tallit katan, in readiness to put it on, the following blessing is recited.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ, מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם. אֲשֶר קִדְּשָנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וִצִוָּנוּ לְהִתְעַטֵף בַּצִיצִת.‬

Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, melekh ha`olam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav, v’tzivanu l’hitateif batzitzit.

Translation: “Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, Who has sanctified us with His commandments, and commanded us regarding the commandment of fringes.”

After donning the tallit katan, many kiss the tzitzit; some additionally say the following:

יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְּפָנֶיךָ ה׳ אֱ-לֹהי וֵא-לֹהֵי אֲבוֹתַי, שֶׁתְּהֵא חֲשׁוּבָה מִצְוַת צִיצִית לְפָנֶיךָ כְּאִלּוּ קִיַּמְתִּיהָ בְּכָל פְּרָטֶיהָ וְדִקְדּוּקֶיהָ וְכַוָּנוֹתֶיהָ, וְתַרְיַ”ג מִצְוֹת הַתְּלוּיִם בָּהּ, אָמֵן סֶלָה.‬

Transliteration: Y’hi ratzon mil’fanekha, Adonai Elohai velohei avotai, she’t’hei hashuva mitzvat tzitzit l’fanekha, k’ilu kiyamtiha b’khol p’rateha v’dikdukeha v’khavanoteha, v’taryag mitzvot ha’t’luyim bah. Amen, Selah.

Translation: “May there be the desire before You, LORD my God and the God of my forefathers, that the commandment of fringes should be considered before You as if I had fulfilled it in all its aspects, its details and its intentions, as well as the 613 commandments that are dependent on it. Amen, Selah.”

For putting on a tallit gadol (prayer shawl)

On inspection of the tzitzit

Psalms 104:1–2 is traditionally read:

בָּרְכִי נַפְשִׁי אֶת ה’, ה’ אֱ-לֹהַי גָּדַלְתָּ מְּאֹד הוֹד וְהָדָר לָבָשְׁתָּ: עֹטֶה אוֹר כַּשַּׂלְמָה נוֹטֶה שָׁמַיִם כַּיְרִיעָה‬

Transliteration: Barkhi nafshi et Adonai. Adonai Elohai, gadalta m’od; hod v’hadar lavashta – O’te or ka’salma, no’te shamayim ka’y’ri’a.

Translation: “Bless, (O) my soul, the LORD. LORD my God, You are very great; glory and majesty have You worn – Who dons light as a garment, Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain.”

Before putting on the tallit

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ לְהִתְעַטֵּף בַּצִיצִית‬

Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, melekh ha’olam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu l’hit’atef ba’tzitzit.

Translation: “Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, Who has sanctified us with His commandments and has commanded us to wrap ourselves with fringes.”

After wrapping the tallit around the body

Psalms 36:8–11 is traditionally recited:

מַה יָּקָר חַסְדְּךָ אֱ-לֹהִים. וּבְנֵי אָדָם בְּצֵל כְּנָפֶיךָ יֶחֱסָיוּן: יִרְוְיֻן מִדֶּשֶׁן בֵּיתֶךָ וְנַחַל עֲדָנֶיךָ תַשְׁקֵם: כִּי עִמְּךָ מְקוֹר חַיִּים. בְּאוֹרְךָ נִרְאֶה אוֹר: מְשׁוֹךְ חַסְדְּךָ לְיֹדְעֶיךָ וְצִדְקָתְךָ לְיִשְׁרֵי לֵב.‬

Transliteration: Ma yakar hasd’kha Elohim, uvnei adam b’tzel k’nafekha yehesayun. Yirv’yun mideshen beitekha, v’nahal adanekha tashkem. Ki im’kha m’kor hayim, b’or’kha nir’e or. M’shokh hasd’kha l’yod’ekha, v’tzidkat’kha l’yish’rei lev

Translation: “How precious is your kindness, God! People take refuge in the shadow of Your wings. They are sated from the abundance of Your house, and from the stream of Your delights You give them to drink, for with You is the source of life; by Your light shall we see light. Extend Your kindness to those who know You, and Your righteousness to the upright of heart.”

For putting on tefillin

On placement of the arm-tefillin

Before the strap of the arm-tefillin is fastened, the following blessing is said:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ לְהָנִיחַ תְּפִלִּין.‬

Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, melekh ha`olam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu l’hani’aḥ t’filin. (The “l” in t’filin is geminated.)

Translation: “Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, Who has sanctified us with His commandments and has commanded us to put on tefillin.”

On placement of the head-tefillin

Sephardic and Hasidic authorities are of the opinion that the blessing on laying the head-tefillin is not necessary and the one blessing on laying the arm-tefillin is sufficient. Ashkenazim, however, do recite a second blessing on the head-tefillin, before tightening it around the head:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ עַל מִצְוַת תְּפִלִּין.‬

Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, melekh ha’olam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu al mitzvat t’filin.

Translation: “Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, Who has sanctified us with His commandments and has commanded us regarding the commandment of tefillin.”

Because of the doubt as to the necessity of this blessing, it is followed by a statement of praise, so as not to have uttered God’s name in vain:

בָּרוּךְ שֵׁם כְּבוֹד מַלְכוּתוֹ לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד.‬

Transliteration: Barukh shem k’vod malkhuto l’olam va’ed.

Translation: “Blessed is the Name of His glorious kingdom for ever and ever.”

On coiling the straps around the middle finger

The remainder of the arm-tefillin straps are then wound three times around the middle finger and around the hand, this is traditionally accompanied by the recitation of Hosea 2:21–22:

Arm-tefillin with ש (shin) pattern, according to one of the

Ashkenazi

opinions

וְאֵרַשְׂתִּיךְ לִי לְעוֹלָם: וְאֵרַשְׂתִּיךְ לִי בְּצֶדֶק וּבְמִשְׁפָּט וּבְחֶסֶד וּבְרַחֲמִים: וְאֵרַשְׂתִּיךְ לִי בֶּאֱמוּנָה. וְיָדַעְתְּ אֶת ה’.‬

Transliteration: V’erastikh li l’olam, v’erastikh li b’tzedek u’v’mishpat u’v’hesed u’v’rachamim. V’erastikh li b’emuna v’yadat et Adonai.

Translation: “And I will betroth you to Myself for ever; I will betroth you to Myself in righteousness, and in justice, and in lovingkindness, and in compassion. And I will betroth you to Myself in faithfulness; and you shall know the LORD.”

Blessings during a meal

N’tilat Yadayim (Ritual washing of hands)

The hands are ritually washed before partaking of certain staples of life.

In the Ashkenazic tradition and some Sephardic and other communities, it is done before eating bread; in some Sephardic rites and in the German community originating in Frankfurt it is done before drinking wine and or eating bread, alone or with the wine (such as would be done before a Sabbath or festive meal) at which time this blessing is said:

After washing but before drying the hands, the blessing below is said.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’, אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בּמִצְוֹתָיו, וצִוָּנוּ עַל נְטִילַת יָדָיִם.‬

Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Elohenu, melekh ha`olam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu `al netilat yadayim.

Translation: “Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us concerning the taking (drying) of hands.”

Blessing over the bread

This blessing is made only for bread made from one or all of wheat, barley, rye, oats, spelt.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’, אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, הַמּוֹצִיא לֶחֶם מִן הָאָרֶץ.‬

Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, melekh ha’olam, hamotzi lehem min ha’aretz.

Translation: “Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, Who brings forth bread from the earth.”

After the meal

The combined blessing of Birkat Hamazon is made only after eating a meal containing bread (including matza) made from one or all of wheat, barley, rye, oats, spelt.

After Birkat Hamazon, many Sephardic Jews of the Spanish and Portuguese rite recite Ya Comimos or sing Bendigamos. These prayers are similar in content to Birkat Hamazon.

Blessings over food

Additionally, appropriate blessings are said on food when not having a full (i.e. bread-based) meal.

There are five halakhic “food groups:”

Before eating grain products – M’zonot

Before eating non-bread (e.g. cake) products of wheat, barley, rye, oats, or spelt (and rice, according to many opinions):

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’, אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא מִינֵי מְזוֹנוֹת.‬

Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, Melekh ha’olam, bo’re minei m’zonot.

Translation: “Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, Who creates varieties of nourishment.”

Before drinking wine – HaGefen

This blessing is made for wine made from grapes, but not any other fermented drink. Wine made from other fruits, and other alcohols, require the Shehakol blessing (see below). Also, hands might be ritually washed first depending on the minhag of the person saying the blessing on the grape wine (see above).

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’, אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגֶּפֶן.‬

Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, Melekh ha’olam, bo’re p’ri hagefen.

Translation: “Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, Who creates the fruit of the vine.”

Before eating fruit – HaEtz

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’, אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הָעֵץ.‬

Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, Melekh ha’olam, bo’re p’ri ha’etz.

Translation: “Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, Who creates the fruit of the tree.”

Before eating non-fruit produce – HaAdama

Before eating produce that grew directly from the earth:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הָאֲדָמָה.‬

Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, Melekh ha`olam, bo’re p’ri ha’adama. Translation: “Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, Who creates the fruit of the ground.”

Before eating other foods – SheHakol

Before eating or drinking any foods not in the first four categories:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם שֶׁהַכֹּל נִהְיָה בִּדְבָרוֹ.‬

Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, Melekh ha’olam, shehakol nih’ye bidvaro.

Translation: “Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, through Whose word everything comes into being.”

Holiday prayers and blessings

Shabbat

Shabbat (Hebrew), (Sabbath in English)

Candle lighting blessings before Shabbat

Note: The Shabbat candles are lit at least eighteen minutes before sunset on Friday.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’, אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו, וְצִוָּנוּ לְהַדְלִיק נֵר שֶׁל שַׁבָּת.‬

Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, Melekh ha’olam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu l’hadlik ner shel Shabbat.

Translation: “Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to light the Shabbat candle.”

The Chabad version of the blessing adds the word קודש at the end of the blessing, making “… the candle of the holy Shabbat,” transliterated, “… ner shel Shabbat kodesh.”

Havdalah (“Separation” ceremony)

(Havdalah is recited Saturday night, usually about an hour after sunset, measured as the time when three stars appear in the sky, at which time Shabbat is over.)

Havdalah is a ceremony consisting of four blessings.

First, since havdalah is recited over a cup of wine, the blessing on wine is said:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’, אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגֶּפֶן.‬

Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, Melekh ha’olam, bo’re p’ri hagefen.

Translation: “Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, Who creates the fruit of the vine.”

Then, spices are smelled, preceded by the blessing on smelling spices:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’, אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא מִינֵי בְשָׂמִים.‬

Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, melekh ha’olam, bo’re minei b’samim. Translation: “Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, Who creates varieties of spices.”

The spices are then passed around and smelled by those present.

Next, a multi‑wicked candle, which has already been lit, is viewed, preceded by the blessing:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם. בּוֹרֵא מְאוֹרֵי הָאֵשׁ.‬

Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, melekh ha’olam, bo’re m’orei ha’esh. Translation: “Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, Who creates the lights of the fire.”

The candle is held up in the air and those present look at the reflection of the light on their fingernails.

Last is a blessing of praise for God’s separating the holy from the every‑day:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם.‬

הַמַּבְדִּיל בֵּין קֹדֶשׁ לְחוֹל.‬

בֵּין אוֹר לְחשֶׁךְ. בֵּין יִשְׂרָאֵל לָעַמִּים.‬

בֵּין יוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי לְשֵׁשֶׁת יְמֵי הַמַּעֲשֶׂה: ‬

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’, הַמַבְדִּיל בֵּין קֹדֶשׁ לְחוֹל: ‬

.‬

Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, melekh ha’olam, ha’mavdil bein kodesh l’hol, bein or l’hoshekh, bein yisra’el la’amim, bein yom ha’sh’vi’i l’sheshet y’mei ha’ma’a’se. Barukh ata Adonai, ha’mavdil bein kodesh l’hol. Translation: “Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, Who distinguishes between the sacred and the secular, between light and dark, between Israel and the nations, between the seventh day and the six days of labor. Blessed are You, LORD, Who distinguishes between the sacred and the secular.”

Hanukkah

Two blessings are recited as the Hanukkah candles are lit, on the first night, the shehecheyanu blessing is said as well (see below).

Blessing for lighting the candles

Hanukkah Prayer/O Hanukkah/Maoz Tzur

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’, אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו, וְצִוָּנוּ לְהַדְלִיק נֵר חֲנֻכָּה.‬

Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, melekh ha’olam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu l’hadlik ner shel Hanukkah.

Translation: “Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to kindle the Hanukkah light.”

Blessing for the miracles of Hanukkah

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, שֶׁעָשָׂה נִסִּים לַאֲבוֹתֵֽינוּ בַּיָּמִים הָהֵם בַּזְּמַן הַזֶּה.‬

Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, melekh ha’olam, she’asa nisim la’avoteinu ba’yamim ha’heim ba’z’man ha’ze.

Translation: “Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, Who performed miracles for our ancestors in those days at this time…”

Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur (The High Holy Days)

Candle lighting

On yom tov (when it falls on a weekday), it is permissible to transfer a flame (but not to create a new flame).

The festival candles should preferably be lit before sunset on erev yom tov (the afternoon before the holiday), but if they were not lit before sunset, they may (and should) be lit after sunset from a pre-existing flame.

Over apples and honey on Rosh Hashanah

On Rosh Hashanah eve, at the start of the festive meal, it is customary to dip some cut raw apples into some honey as symbolic of asking God to grant a sweet new year.

The blessings for the apples and honey:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’, אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הָעֵץ.‬

Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, melekh ha’olam, bo’re p’ri ha’etz.

Translation: “Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, Who creates the fruit of the tree.”

A bite of apple dipped in honey is eaten, which is followed by:

יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְפָנֶיךָ, ה׳ אֱ‑לֹהֵינוּ וא‑לֹהַי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ, שֶׁתְּחַדֵשׁ עָלֵינוּ שָׁנָה טוֹבָה וּמְתוּקָה‬

Transliteration: Y’hi ratzon mil’fanekha, Adonai Eloheinu velohei avoteinu, shet’hadesh aleinu shana tova um’tuka.

Translation: “May it be Your will, LORD our God and God of our ancestors, that you renew for us a good and sweet year.”

Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles)

Main articles: Sukkot and Sukkah: Traditional blessings upon entering a Sukkah

ברוך אתה ה’ א‑לוהינו, מלך העולם, אשר קדשנו במצותיו וצונו לישב בסכה.‬

Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, melekh ha’olam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu leishev ba’sukah.

Translation: “Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to dwell in the sukkah.”

Blessings on special occasions

Mezuzah

The following blessing is said when attaching a mezuzah to the doorpost:

ברוך אתה ה’ א‑לוהינו, מלך העולם, אשר קדשנו במצותיו וצונו לקבוע מזוזה.‬

Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, melekh ha’olam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu likvo’a m’zuza.

Translation: “Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to affix the mezuzah.”

Sheheḥeyanu (“Who has kept us alive”)

This blessing is said whenever something pleasant that has not happened for a while is encountered, this includes all holidays except Shabbat. It is said on the first night of Hanukkah, but not for the other nights of that holiday, the blessing is also recited upon such occasions as affixing a mezuzah (particularly on a new home), buying new dress clothes, or eating a rare fruit.

ברוך אתה ה’ א‑לוהינו, מלך העולם, שהחינו וקימנו והגענו לזמן הזה.‬

Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, melekh ha’olam, she’heheyanu v’kiy’manu v’higi’anu la’z’man ha’ze.

Translation: “Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, Who has kept us alive, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this season.”

On immersion in a Mikvah

This blessing is made on immersion in a mikvah (ritual bath), e.g. by a woman following menstruation. When immersing utensils in a mikvah, the final words are modified to “al tevliat keilim,” or “concerning immersion of utensils.”

Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, melekh ha’olam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu al ha’t’vila.

Translation: “Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us concerning immersion.”

Blessing for surviving illness or danger

The Birkhat HaGomel blessing is said after surviving illness, childbirth, or danger (including a hazardous journey or captivity).

Transliteration:

Blessing: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, melekh ha’olam, hagomel lahayavim tovot, sheg’molani kol tov. Congregational Response: Amen. Mi sheg’molkha (for a woman: sheg’molayikh) kol tov, hu yigmolkha (yigmolayikh) kol tov. Selah.

Translation:

Blessing: “Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the Universe, Who bestows good things upon the unworthy, and has bestowed upon me every goodness.” Congregational Response: “Amen. He Who has bestowed upon you every goodness, may He bestow upon you every goodness. Selah.”

Note: Mizrahi (Syrian) Jews precede this blessing with reciting Psalm 111:1. ….:

Transliteration:

O’de Adonai b’khol levav b’sod y’sharim v’eda.

Translation:

I shall give thanks to the LORD wholeheartedly in the assembly of the upright and the congregation.

… and (among Mizrahi) the Congregational Response at the end begins:

Transliteration:

Amen. Ha’el sheg’molkha kol tov, ….

Translation:

Amen. God who has bestowed upon you every goodness, ….

This prayer has its origins in the Talmud (T.B., Berakhot 54b): “Rav Judah said, in the name of Rav, There are four person who have to offer thanksgiving: (1) One who has crossed the sea, (2) one who has crossed the wilderness, (3) one who has recovered from illness, and (4) one who has been freed from captivity.” This was deduced from Psalm 107, where these four situations are mentioned. In the days of the Temple, such a person would bring a thanksgiving sacrifice, but as this is no longer possible, such a person stands and recites the blessing.

The word גמל (gomel) means a recompense, a reward, and frequently a generous benefit (e.g. Psalms 13:6, 103:2 & 10, 116:7). Joseph H. Hertz (1872–1946), chief rabbi of the British Empire, in his commentary to the prayerbook says: “The Benediction is not limited to the above-mentioned four classes , but is recited after any signal escape from danger. This Benediction is followed with deepfelt sympathy by the fellow-worshippers.” Hertz mentions an instance in Britain in 1940 when was recited by an entire congregation because they were the survivors of a Blitz bombing of the previous night.

Most halakhic authorities hold that the HaGomel blessing must be said publicly, in front of a minyan of 10. It is customary for men to say it after being called to the Torah. All Conservative and many Orthodox authorities hold that women are also obligated to say the Birkhat HaGomel blessing. The blessing is not time‑dependent (preferably it should be recited as soon after the deliverance from danger as the opportunity presents itself), and it substitutes in part for the toda (Thanksgiving) offering, one of the classes of korbanot (sacrifices) which women were obligated to offer (e.g. after childbirth) in the days of the Temple in Jerusalem. Accordingly, these authorities say that women are eligible to be counted in the minyan of 10 equally with men for the special purpose of the mitzvah of saying the HaGomel blessing and its congregational response publicly.

See also

  • Berakhah
  • Birkat Hachama
  • Shuckling
  • Siddur

References

  1. ^ Orot Sephardic Weekday Siddur (1994, Lakewood, NJ) page 229; Koren Mizrahi Siddur (1988, Jerusalem) page 64; Nulman, Macy, Encyclopedia of Jewish Prayer (1993, NJ, Jason Aronson) page 100.
  2. ^ Nulman, Macy, Encyclopedia of Jewish Prayer (1993, NJ, Jason Aronson) page 100;Orot Sephardic Weekday Siddur (1994, Lakewood, NJ) page 229 adds the rabbinic specifications that the illness must have kept the person bedridden at least three days, and that the journey on land must have been hazardous or at least lasted 72 minutes outside the city.
  3. ^ Abrahams, Israel, A Companion to the Authorised Daily Prayerbook (2nd ed. 1922, London, Eyre & Spottiswoode) page LXXIX, (revised reprint 1966, NY, Hermon Press) page 79; Hertz, Joseph H., The Authorized Daily Prayer Book with commentary, introduction and notes (rev. American ed, 1948, NY, Bloch Publ’g) pages 487–488 (but the date of the Blitz attack may be in error).

External links

  • Berachot.org – Your Complete Guide to Brochos
  • Judaism 101–Common Prayers and Blessings
  • Siddur Audio, – Website with text and audio of selections from the Siddur
  • Jewish Prayers—in English and Hebrew
  • Brochos.com – A comprehensive guide to blessings
  • Akhlah – Common Blessings with Nikud

wikivisually.com

Listed below are some Hebrew prayers and blessings that are part of Judaism that are recited by many Jews. Most prayers and blessings can be found in the Siddur, or prayer book. This article addresses Jewish liturgical blessings, which generally begin with the formula:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ, מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם…‬

Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, melekh ha`olam…

Translation: “Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe…”

NOTE: ‘ is used in transliterations to refer to the sh’vah, which is similar/equivalent to ə; a mid-word aleph, a glottal stop; and a mid-word ayin, a voiced pharyngeal fricative ʕ similar/equivalent to Arabic ع. Whenever ` is used, it refers to ayin whether word-initial, medial, or final. ‘H/h’ are used to represent both he, an English h sound as in “hat”; and ḥes, a voiceless pharyngeal fricative ħ equivalent to Arabic ح. Whenever ‘ḥ’ is used, it refers to ḥet. Resh is represented by an ‘r,’ though it’s equivalent to Spanish ‘r,’ Spanish ‘rr,’ or French ‘r,’ depending on one’s dialect. In all other regards, transliterations are according to the Sephardi tradition, with modern Hebrew pronunciation.

Prayer

Amidah עמידה The “standing “, also known as the Shemoneh Esreh (“The Eighteen”), consisting of 19 strophes on weekdays and seven on Sabbath days. It is the essential component of Jewish services, and is the only service that the Talmud calls prayer. It is said three times a day (four times on Sabbaths and holidays, and five times on Yom Kippur). Blessings and liturgical poetry —like piyyutim, psalms, citations from Tanach— frame this service, an analogy being the ascent to the Jerusalem temple, the actual service there, and the following descent to Jerusalem by a different path.

Blessings and liturgical poetry

Mizmor Shir מזמור שיר‬ Psalm 30. Recited at the beginning of Pesukei Dezimra.
Baruch Sheamar ברוך שאמר‬ The first blessing of Pesukei Dezimra
Songs of thanksgiving A series of paragraphs in Pesukei Dezimra. Includes Psalm 100
Yehi kevod יהי כבוד‬ A series of verses recited during Pesukei Dezimra
Ashrei אשרי‬ Recited three times daily: during Pesukei Dezimra, following Uva Letzion, and at the beginning of Mincha (Ne’ila on Yom Kippur)
Hallel (pesukei dezimra) הלל‬ Includes Ashrei and Psalms 146, 147, 148, 149, and 150
Baruch Hashem L’Olam (Shacharit) ברוך ה לעולם‬ Recited as a blessing after concluding Hallel
Vayivarech David ויברך דוד‬ From Chronicles Book I, Chapter 29, verses 10–13
Ata Hu Hashem L’Vadecha אתה-הוא יהוה לבדך‬ From Book of Nehemiah, Chapter 9, verses 6–11
Az Yashir אז ישיר‬ From Book of Exodus 15:1–18
Yishtabach ישתבח‬ Concluding blessing of Pesukei Dezimra
Yotzer ohr יוצר אור‬ The first blessing recited during Shacharit
Maariv Aravim מעריב ערבים‬ The first blessing recited during Maariv
Ahava Rabbah אהבה רבה‬ The second blessing recited during Shacharit
Ahavat Olam אהבת עולם‬ The second blessing recited during Maariv
Shema Yisrael שמע ישראל‬ A centerpiece of Jewish prayer services which affirms belief and trust in the One God, the Shema is composed of three sections taken from the Torah.
Kaddish קדיש‬ An Aramaic prayer which focuses on the idea of magnification and sanctification of God’s name. This prayer is normally recited at the conclusion of a period of study or a section of a prayer service. Because mourners are required to say one version of the Kaddish (the Mourner’s Kaddish), it is sometimes viewed as a prayer for the dead, but it does not actually mention death at all.
Birkat Kohanim ברכת כהנים‬ The “Priestly Blessing,” recited by the Kohanim on Jewish holidays (every day in Israel).
Ein Keloheinu אין כאלהינו‬ A lyrical prayer recited at the end of services on Shabbat and holidays, praising God’s uniqueness.
Aleinu עלינו‬ The Aleinu praises God for allowing the Jewish people to serve him, and expresses their hope that the whole world will recognize God and abandon idolatry.
An’im Zemirot אנעים זמירות‬ More formally known as “The Song of Glory,” this song is sung at the end of morning prayers on Shabbat.
Hallel הלל‬ Psalms 113–118, recited as a prayer of praise and thanksgiving on Jewish holidays. Hallel is said in one of two forms: Full Hallel and Partial Hallel.
Kol Nidre כל‑נדרי‬ A prayer recited in the synagogue at the beginning of the evening service on Yom Kippur (יום כיפור‬), the Day of Atonement. It is a declaration of absolution from vows taken, to free the congregants from guilt due to unfulfilled vows during the previous (and coming) year.
Shehecheyanu שהחיינו‬ The blessing for special (once a year) occasions, recited on holidays and other special occasions.
Birkat HaMazon ברכת המזון‬ The blessing after meals, thanking God for the food and His support in general.
Tefilat HaDerech תפלת הדרך‬ The traveler’s prayer for a safe journey.
Birkat HaBayit ברכת הבית‬ A blessing for the home often found inside on wall plaques or hamsas.
Ma Tovu מה טובו‬ A prayer of reverence for the synagogue, recited in the morning upon entering.

Everyday prayers and blessings

Upon waking up

מוֹדֶה אֲנִי לְפָנֶיךָ מֶלֶךְ חַי וְקַיָּם שֶׁהֶחֱזַרְתָּ בִּי נִשְׁמָתִי בְּחֶמְלָה, רַבָּה אֱמוּנָתֶךָ.‬

Transliteration: Modeh ani lifanekha melekh ḥai v’kayam sheheḥezarta bi nishmahti b’ḥemla, raba emunatekha.

Translation: “I give thanks before You, Living and Eternal King, that You have returned within me my soul with compassion; abundant is Your faithfulness!”

Morning

Elohai Neshamah

אֱ-לֹהַי, נְשָׁמָה שֶׁנָּתַתָּ בִּי טְהוֹרָה הִיא. אַתָּה בְרָאתָהּ, אַתָּה יְצַרְתָּהּ, אַתָּה נְפַחְתָּהּ בִּי, ‬

Transliteration: “Elohai neshama shenatata bi t’horah hi. Ata b’ratah, ata y’tzartah, ata n’fachtah bi .”

Translation: “My God, the soul You have given me is pure. You created it, You formed it, and You breathed it into me. .”

Po’ke’ah Ivrim

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ, מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם. פּוֹקֵחַ עִוְרִים.‬

Transliteration: Baruch ata Adonai Eloheinu, melekh ha’olam po’ke’ah ivrim.

Translation: Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the universe, who restores the eyes of the blind.

For putting on tzitzit

The tzitzit are first inspected to make sure they are properly intact before wearing the tallit katan. While holding the tallit katan, in readiness to put it on, the following blessing is recited.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ, מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם. אֲשֶר קִדְּשָנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וִצִוָּנוּ לְהִתְעַטֵף בַּצִיצִת.‬

Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, melekh ha`olam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav, v’tzivanu l’hitateif batzitzit.

Translation: “Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, Who has sanctified us with His commandments, and commanded us regarding the commandment of fringes.”

After donning the tallit katan, many kiss the tzitzit; some additionally say the following:

יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְּפָנֶיךָ ה׳ אֱ-לֹהי וֵא-לֹהֵי אֲבוֹתַי, שֶׁתְּהֵא חֲשׁוּבָה מִצְוַת צִיצִית לְפָנֶיךָ כְּאִלּוּ קִיַּמְתִּיהָ בְּכָל פְּרָטֶיהָ וְדִקְדּוּקֶיהָ וְכַוָּנוֹתֶיהָ, וְתַרְיַ”ג מִצְוֹת הַתְּלוּיִם בָּהּ, אָמֵן סֶלָה.‬

Transliteration: Y’hi ratzon mil’fanekha, Adonai Elohai velohei avotai, she’t’hei hashuva mitzvat tzitzit l’fanekha, k’ilu kiyamtiha b’khol p’rateha v’dikdukeha v’khavanoteha, v’taryag mitzvot ha’t’luyim bah. Amen, Selah.

Translation: “May there be the desire before You, LORD my God and the God of my forefathers, that the commandment of fringes should be considered before You as if I had fulfilled it in all its aspects, its details and its intentions, as well as the 613 commandments that are dependent on it. Amen, Selah.”

For putting on a tallit gadol (prayer shawl)

On inspection of the tzitzit

Psalms 104:1–2 is traditionally read:

בָּרְכִי נַפְשִׁי אֶת ה’, ה’ אֱ-לֹהַי גָּדַלְתָּ מְּאֹד הוֹד וְהָדָר לָבָשְׁתָּ: עֹטֶה אוֹר כַּשַּׂלְמָה נוֹטֶה שָׁמַיִם כַּיְרִיעָה‬

Transliteration: Barkhi nafshi et Adonai. Adonai Elohai, gadalta m’od; hod v’hadar lavashta – O’te or ka’salma, no’te shamayim ka’y’ri’a.

Translation: “Bless, (O) my soul, the LORD. LORD my God, You are very great; glory and majesty have You worn – Who dons light as a garment, Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain.”

Before putting on the tallit

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ לְהִתְעַטֵּף בַּצִיצִית‬

Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, melekh ha’olam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu l’hit’atef ba’tzitzit.

Translation: “Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, Who has sanctified us with His commandments and has commanded us to wrap ourselves with fringes.”

After wrapping the tallit around the body

Psalms 36:8–11 is traditionally recited:

מַה יָּקָר חַסְדְּךָ אֱ-לֹהִים. וּבְנֵי אָדָם בְּצֵל כְּנָפֶיךָ יֶחֱסָיוּן: יִרְוְיֻן מִדֶּשֶׁן בֵּיתֶךָ וְנַחַל עֲדָנֶיךָ תַשְׁקֵם: כִּי עִמְּךָ מְקוֹר חַיִּים. בְּאוֹרְךָ נִרְאֶה אוֹר: מְשׁוֹךְ חַסְדְּךָ לְיֹדְעֶיךָ וְצִדְקָתְךָ לְיִשְׁרֵי לֵב.‬

Transliteration: Ma yakar hasd’kha Elohim, uvnei adam b’tzel k’nafekha yehesayun. Yirv’yun mideshen beitekha, v’nahal adanekha tashkem. Ki im’kha m’kor hayim, b’or’kha nir’e or. M’shokh hasd’kha l’yod’ekha, v’tzidkat’kha l’yish’rei lev

Translation: “How precious is your kindness, God! People take refuge in the shadow of Your wings. They are sated from the abundance of Your house, and from the stream of Your delights You give them to drink. For with You is the source of life; by Your light shall we see light. Extend Your kindness to those who know You, and Your righteousness to the upright of heart.”

For putting on tefillin

On placement of the arm-tefillin

Before the strap of the arm-tefillin is fastened, the following blessing is said:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ לְהָנִיחַ תְּפִלִּין.‬

Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, melekh ha`olam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu l’hani’aḥ t’filin. (The “l” in t’filin is geminated.)

Translation: “Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, Who has sanctified us with His commandments and has commanded us to put on tefillin.”

On placement of the head-tefillin

Sephardic and Hasidic authorities are of the opinion that the blessing on laying the head-tefillin is not necessary and the one blessing on laying the arm-tefillin is sufficient. Ashkenazim, however, do recite a second blessing on the head-tefillin, before tightening it around the head:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ עַל מִצְוַת תְּפִלִּין.‬

Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, melekh ha’olam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu al mitzvat t’filin.

Translation: “Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, Who has sanctified us with His commandments and has commanded us regarding the commandment of tefillin.”

Because of the doubt as to the necessity of this blessing, it is followed by a statement of praise, so as not to have uttered God’s name in vain:

בָּרוּךְ שֵׁם כְּבוֹד מַלְכוּתוֹ לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד.‬

Transliteration: Barukh shem k’vod malkhuto l’olam va’ed.

Translation: “Blessed is the Name of His glorious kingdom for ever and ever.”

On coiling the straps around the middle finger

The remainder of the arm-tefillin straps are then wound three times around the middle finger and around the hand. This is traditionally accompanied by the recitation of Hosea 2:21–22:

Arm-tefillin with ש (shin) pattern, according to one of the

Ashkenazi

opinions

וְאֵרַשְׂתִּיךְ לִי לְעוֹלָם: וְאֵרַשְׂתִּיךְ לִי בְּצֶדֶק וּבְמִשְׁפָּט וּבְחֶסֶד וּבְרַחֲמִים: וְאֵרַשְׂתִּיךְ לִי בֶּאֱמוּנָה. וְיָדַעְתְּ אֶת ה’.‬

Transliteration: V’erastikh li l’olam, v’erastikh li b’tzedek u’v’mishpat u’v’hesed u’v’rachamim. V’erastikh li b’emuna v’yadat et Adonai.

Translation: “And I will betroth you to Myself for ever; I will betroth you to Myself in righteousness, and in justice, and in lovingkindness, and in compassion. And I will betroth you to Myself in faithfulness; and you shall know the LORD.”

Blessings during a meal

N’tilat Yadayim (Ritual washing of hands)

The hands are ritually washed before partaking of certain staples of life.

In the Ashkenazic tradition and some Sephardic and other communities, it is done before eating bread. In some Sephardic rites and in the German community originating in Frankfurt it is done before drinking wine and or eating bread, alone or with the wine (such as would be done before a Sabbath or festive meal) at which time this blessing is said:

After washing but before drying the hands, the blessing below is said.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’, אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בּמִצְוֹתָיו, וצִוָּנוּ עַל נְטִילַת יָדָיִם.‬

Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Elohenu, melekh ha`olam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu `al netilat yadayim.

Translation: “Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us concerning the taking (drying) of hands.”

Blessing over the bread

This blessing is made only for bread made from one or all of wheat, barley, rye, oats, spelt.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’, אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, הַמּוֹצִיא לֶחֶם מִן הָאָרֶץ.‬

Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, melekh ha’olam, hamotzi lehem min ha’aretz.

Translation: “Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, Who brings forth bread from the earth.”

After the meal

The combined blessing of Birkat Hamazon is made only after eating a meal containing bread (including matza) made from one or all of wheat, barley, rye, oats, spelt.

After Birkat Hamazon, many Sephardic Jews of the Spanish and Portuguese rite recite Ya Comimos or sing Bendigamos. These prayers are similar in content to Birkat Hamazon.

Blessings over food

Additionally, appropriate blessings are said on food when not having a full (i.e. bread-based) meal.

There are five halakhic “food groups:”

Before eating grain products – M’zonot

Before eating non-bread (e.g. cake) products of wheat, barley, rye, oats, or spelt (and rice, according to many opinions):

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’, אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא מִינֵי מְזוֹנוֹת.‬

Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, Melekh ha’olam, bo’re minei m’zonot.

Translation: “Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, Who creates varieties of nourishment.”

Before drinking wine – HaGefen

This blessing is made for wine made from grapes, but not any other fermented drink. Wine made from other fruits, and other alcohols, require the Shehakol blessing (see below). Also, hands might be ritually washed first depending on the minhag of the person saying the blessing on the grape wine (see above).

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’, אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגֶּפֶן.‬

Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, Melekh ha’olam, bo’re p’ri hagefen.

Translation: “Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, Who creates the fruit of the vine.”

Before eating fruit – HaEtz

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’, אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הָעֵץ.‬

Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, Melekh ha’olam, bo’re p’ri ha’etz.

Translation: “Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, Who creates the fruit of the tree.”

Before eating non-fruit produce – HaAdama

Before eating produce that grew directly from the earth:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הָאֲדָמָה.‬

Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, Melekh ha`olam, bo’re p’ri ha’adama. Translation: “Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, Who creates the fruit of the ground.”

Before eating other foods – SheHakol

Before eating or drinking any foods not in the first four categories:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם שֶׁהַכֹּל נִהְיָה בִּדְבָרוֹ.‬

Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, Melekh ha’olam, shehakol nih’ye bidvaro.

Translation: “Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, through Whose word everything comes into being.”

Holiday prayers and blessings

Shabbat

Shabbat (Hebrew), (Sabbath in English)

Candle lighting blessings before Shabbat

Note: The Shabbat candles are lit at least eighteen minutes before sunset on Friday.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’, אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו, וְצִוָּנוּ לְהַדְלִיק נֵר שֶׁל שַׁבָּת.‬

Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, Melekh ha’olam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu l’hadlik ner shel Shabbat.

Translation: “Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to light the Shabbat candle.”

The Chabad version of the blessing adds the word קודש at the end of the blessing, making “… the candle of the holy Shabbat,” transliterated, “… ner shel Shabbat kodesh.”

Havdalah (“Separation” ceremony)

(Havdalah is recited Saturday night, usually about an hour after sunset, measured as the time when three stars appear in the sky, at which time Shabbat is over.)

Havdalah is a ceremony consisting of four blessings.

First, since havdalah is recited over a cup of wine, the blessing on wine is said:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’, אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגֶּפֶן.‬

Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, Melekh ha’olam, bo’re p’ri hagefen.

Translation: “Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, Who creates the fruit of the vine.”

Then, spices are smelled, preceded by the blessing on smelling spices:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’, אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא מִינֵי בְשָׂמִים.‬

Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, melekh ha’olam, bo’re minei b’samim. Translation: “Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, Who creates varieties of spices.”

The spices are then passed around and smelled by those present.

Next, a multi‑wicked candle, which has already been lit, is viewed, preceded by the blessing:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם. בּוֹרֵא מְאוֹרֵי הָאֵשׁ.‬

Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, melekh ha’olam, bo’re m’orei ha’esh. Translation: “Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, Who creates the lights of the fire.”

The candle is held up in the air and those present look at the reflection of the light on their fingernails.

Last is a blessing of praise for God’s separating the holy from the every‑day:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם.‬

הַמַּבְדִּיל בֵּין קֹדֶשׁ לְחוֹל.‬

בֵּין אוֹר לְחשֶׁךְ. בֵּין יִשְׂרָאֵל לָעַמִּים.‬

בֵּין יוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי לְשֵׁשֶׁת יְמֵי הַמַּעֲשֶׂה: ‬

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’, הַמַבְדִּיל בֵּין קֹדֶשׁ לְחוֹל: ‬

.‬

Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, melekh ha’olam, ha’mavdil bein kodesh l’hol, bein or l’hoshekh, bein yisra’el la’amim, bein yom ha’sh’vi’i l’sheshet y’mei ha’ma’a’se. Barukh ata Adonai, ha’mavdil bein kodesh l’hol. Translation: “Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, Who distinguishes between the sacred and the secular, between light and dark, between Israel and the nations, between the seventh day and the six days of labor. Blessed are You, LORD, Who distinguishes between the sacred and the secular.”

Hanukkah

Two blessings are recited as the Hanukkah candles are lit. On the first night, the shehecheyanu blessing is said as well (see below).

Blessing for lighting the candles

Hanukkah Prayer/O Hanukkah/Maoz Tzur

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’, אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו, וְצִוָּנוּ לְהַדְלִיק נֵר חֲנֻכָּה.‬

Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, melekh ha’olam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu l’hadlik ner shel Hanukkah.

Translation: “Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to kindle the Hanukkah light.”

Blessing for the miracles of Hanukkah

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, שֶׁעָשָׂה נִסִּים לַאֲבוֹתֵֽינוּ בַּיָּמִים הָהֵם בַּזְּמַן הַזֶּה.‬

Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, melekh ha’olam, she’asa nisim la’avoteinu ba’yamim ha’heim ba’z’man ha’ze.

Translation: “Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, Who performed miracles for our ancestors in those days at this time…”

Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur (The High Holy Days)

Candle lighting

On yom tov (when it falls on a weekday), it is permissible to transfer a flame (but not to create a new flame).

The festival candles should preferably be lit before sunset on erev yom tov (the afternoon before the holiday), but if they were not lit before sunset, they may (and should) be lit after sunset from a pre-existing flame.

Over apples and honey on Rosh Hashanah

On Rosh Hashanah eve, at the start of the festive meal, it is customary to dip some cut raw apples into some honey as symbolic of asking God to grant a sweet new year.

The blessings for the apples and honey:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’, אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הָעֵץ.‬

Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, melekh ha’olam, bo’re p’ri ha’etz.

Translation: “Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, Who creates the fruit of the tree.”

A bite of apple dipped in honey is eaten, which is followed by:

יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְפָנֶיךָ, ה׳ אֱ‑לֹהֵינוּ וא‑לֹהַי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ, שֶׁתְּחַדֵשׁ עָלֵינוּ שָׁנָה טוֹבָה וּמְתוּקָה‬

Transliteration: Y’hi ratzon mil’fanekha, Adonai Eloheinu velohei avoteinu, shet’hadesh aleinu shana tova um’tuka.

Translation: “May it be Your will, LORD our God and God of our ancestors, that you renew for us a good and sweet year.”

Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles)

Main articles: Sukkot and Sukkah: Traditional blessings upon entering a Sukkah

ברוך אתה ה’ א‑לוהינו, מלך העולם, אשר קדשנו במצותיו וצונו לישב בסכה.‬

Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, melekh ha’olam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu leishev ba’sukah.

Translation: “Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to dwell in the sukkah.”

Blessings on special occasions

Mezuzah

The following blessing is said when attaching a mezuzah to the doorpost:

ברוך אתה ה’ א‑לוהינו, מלך העולם, אשר קדשנו במצותיו וצונו לקבוע מזוזה.‬

Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, melekh ha’olam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu likvo’a m’zuza.

Translation: “Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to affix the mezuzah.”

Sheheḥeyanu (“Who has kept us alive”)

This blessing is said whenever something pleasant that has not happened for a while is encountered. This includes all holidays except Shabbat. It is said on the first night of Hanukkah, but not for the other nights of that holiday. The blessing is also recited upon such occasions as affixing a mezuzah (particularly on a new home), buying new dress clothes, or eating a rare fruit.

ברוך אתה ה’ א‑לוהינו, מלך העולם, שהחינו וקימנו והגענו לזמן הזה.‬

Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, melekh ha’olam, she’heheyanu v’kiy’manu v’higi’anu la’z’man ha’ze.

Translation: “Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, Who has kept us alive, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this season.”

On immersion in a Mikvah

This blessing is made on immersion in a mikvah (ritual bath), e.g. by a woman following menstruation. When immersing utensils in a mikvah, the final words are modified to “al tevliat keilim,” or “concerning immersion of utensils.”

Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, melekh ha’olam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu al ha’t’vila.

Translation: “Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us concerning immersion.”

Blessing for surviving illness or danger

The Birkhat HaGomel blessing is said after surviving illness, childbirth, or danger (including a hazardous journey or captivity).

Transliteration:

Blessing: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, melekh ha’olam, hagomel lahayavim tovot, sheg’molani kol tov. Congregational Response: Amen. Mi sheg’molkha (for a woman: sheg’molayikh) kol tov, hu yigmolkha (yigmolayikh) kol tov. Selah.

Translation:

Blessing: “Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the Universe, Who bestows good things upon the unworthy, and has bestowed upon me every goodness.” Congregational Response: “Amen. He Who has bestowed upon you every goodness, may He bestow upon you every goodness. Selah.”

Note: Mizrahi (Syrian) Jews precede this blessing with reciting Psalm 111:1. ….:

Transliteration:

O’de Adonai b’khol levav b’sod y’sharim v’eda.

Translation:

I shall give thanks to the LORD wholeheartedly in the assembly of the upright and the congregation.

… and (among Mizrahi) the Congregational Response at the end begins:

Transliteration:

Amen. Ha’el sheg’molkha kol tov, ….

Translation:

Amen. God who has bestowed upon you every goodness, ….

This prayer has its origins in the Talmud (T.B., Berakhot 54b): “Rav Judah said, in the name of Rav, There are four person who have to offer thanksgiving: (1) One who has crossed the sea, (2) one who has crossed the wilderness, (3) one who has recovered from illness, and (4) one who has been freed from captivity.” This was deduced from Psalm 107, where these four situations are mentioned. In the days of the Temple, such a person would bring a thanksgiving sacrifice, but as this is no longer possible, such a person stands and recites the blessing.

The word גמל (gomel) means a recompense, a reward, and frequently a generous benefit (e.g. Psalms 13:6, 103:2 & 10, 116:7). Joseph H. Hertz (1872–1946), chief rabbi of the British Empire, in his commentary to the prayerbook says: “The Benediction is not limited to the above-mentioned four classes , but is recited after any signal escape from danger. This Benediction is followed with deepfelt sympathy by the fellow-worshippers.” Hertz mentions an instance in Britain in 1940 when was recited by an entire congregation because they were the survivors of a Blitz bombing of the previous night.

Most halakhic authorities hold that the HaGomel blessing must be said publicly, in front of a minyan of 10. It is customary for men to say it after being called to the Torah. All Conservative and many Orthodox authorities hold that women are also obligated to say the Birkhat HaGomel blessing. The blessing is not time‑dependent (preferably it should be recited as soon after the deliverance from danger as the opportunity presents itself), and it substitutes in part for the toda (Thanksgiving) offering, one of the classes of korbanot (sacrifices) which women were obligated to offer (e.g. after childbirth) in the days of the Temple in Jerusalem. Accordingly, these authorities say that women are eligible to be counted in the minyan of 10 equally with men for the special purpose of the mitzvah of saying the HaGomel blessing and its congregational response publicly.

See also

  • Berakhah
  • Birkat Hachama
  • Shuckling
  • Siddur

References

  1. ^ Orot Sephardic Weekday Siddur (1994, Lakewood, NJ) page 229; Koren Mizrahi Siddur (1988, Jerusalem) page 64; Nulman, Macy, Encyclopedia of Jewish Prayer (1993, NJ, Jason Aronson) page 100.
  2. ^ Nulman, Macy, Encyclopedia of Jewish Prayer (1993, NJ, Jason Aronson) page 100;Orot Sephardic Weekday Siddur (1994, Lakewood, NJ) page 229 adds the rabbinic specifications that the illness must have kept the person bedridden at least three days, and that the journey on land must have been hazardous or at least lasted 72 minutes outside the city.
  3. ^ Abrahams, Israel, A Companion to the Authorised Daily Prayerbook (2nd ed. 1922, London, Eyre & Spottiswoode) page LXXIX, (revised reprint 1966, NY, Hermon Press) page 79; Hertz, Joseph H., The Authorized Daily Prayer Book with commentary, introduction and notes (rev. American ed, 1948, NY, Bloch Publ’g) pages 487–488 (but the date of the Blitz attack may be in error).

External links

  • Berachot.org – Your Complete Guide to Brochos
  • Judaism 101–Common Prayers and Blessings
  • Siddur Audio, – Website with text and audio of selections from the Siddur
  • Jewish Prayers—in English and Hebrew
  • Brochos.com – A comprehensive guide to blessings
  • Akhlah – Common Blessings with Nikud

This page was last edited on 14 April 2018, at 18:23.

wiki2.org

This engagement prayer can be used at an engagement party to ask God’s blessing on the couple or can be used in your own private prayers for the future of an engaged couple.

Engagement Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father, we come to you with joy and thanksgiving as we celebrate the engagement of this couple and the commitment they have made to each other to be joined together in marriage.   We thank you for all of the time they have shared together and for the many joys and challenges that have given them the opportunity to know each other more deeply.  Thank you for the love that has grown between them.  Help their love to continue to grow daily as it encompasses all of the many wonderful aspects of love including compassion, a sense of belonging to each other, friendship and unconditional love.

As they plan their wedding and begin charting the direction of their new life together give them the ability to communicate well and to laugh often.  Give them the grace to value each others’ opinions, hopes, gifts, faith and dreams.  Be with them in their times of disagreement that they might learn how to find common ground, how to give up personal control, how to talk over differences and how to express emotions in healthy ways.   Help them to learn how to trust each other.  Teach them how to deal with money issues, job demands, family obligations and personality differences.  And grant them the time they need together as a couple to stay focused on their relationship during the course of wedding plans and busyness of modern life.

Most of all, enable them to form a strong spiritual bond based on your eternal love that will last for a lifetime and beyond into eternity. May you bless them with your loving presence now and always.  Amen.

Copyright Karen Barber 2012.  All rights reserved.

prayerideas.org

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