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Baruch - Who /What is being blessed? 

02/14/2023 02:37:21 PM


     One of the common misunderstandings I have encountered is the confusion about who or what is being "blessed" when we utter a b'rachah. When we recite  the  blessing before lighting candles, are we blessing the candles? When we recite the kiddush  are we blessing the wine? The simple answer is no. The word "barukh" is followed by "atah Ado---ai". The word "baruch" is modifying God. So, what does it mean when we utter the words "Blessed are You, God"? Are WE blessing God? The simple answer, again is no. We are simply stating a fact. And the fact is that God is blessed, or as others have said, God is the source of blessing. The statement continues to articulate that God, who is the source of blessing, continually provides us with the fruit that grows on trees, or the fruit of the vine, etc...   t When we recite a b'rachah, we are making a statement of fact.

     When we recite a simple b'rachah, for instance the simple blessing we recite before drinking wine, we are taking a moment before enjoying the wine to acknowledge God as the source of the grapes from which we  about to enjoy was produced. We recite the b'rachah to bring awareness to our actions or to remember the source of that which we are about to enjoy or benefit from.     Rabbi Marcia Prager wrote in her book "The Path of Blessing", that Jewish tradition asks that we not say a brakha until we have quieted the mind and focused our attention on the blessing's purpose. Rashi (11th century commentator) says "A brakha should be said slowly and deliberately. Don't rush through as though you are carrying a heavy burden and cannot wait to be free of it!". Reciting a b'rachah over the foods we eat is a wonderful lesson in mindfulness. We think of the practice of mindfulness as being a modern notion, however we Jews have been practicing mindfulness for centuries, one b'rachah at a time.  

Thu, June 20 2024 14 Sivan 5784