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List of Jewish prayers and blessings

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Listed below are some Hebrew prayers and blessings that are part of Judaism that are recited by many Jews. This article addresses Jewish liturgical blessings, which generally begin with the formula:

ברוך אתה ה' א‑לוהינו מלך העולם...‏

Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu melekh ha‑olam...

Translation: "Blessed are You, LORD, our God, King of the universe..."

Prayers with their own articlesEdit

Birkathabait

Birkat HaBayit

Amidah עמידה The "standing [prayer]", also known as the Shemoneh Esreh ("The Eighteen") prayer, is the essential component of the Jewish services. It is said three times a day (four times on holidays, and five times on Yom Kipur).
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.
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.
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.
Birkat Cohanim 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.
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.

HolidaysEdit

ShabbatEdit

Shabbatcandles

Shabbat candles

The Jewish Sabbath is known as Shabbat in Hebrew.

Candle lighting blessings before ShabbatEdit

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

ברוך אתה ה' א‑לוהינו מלך העולם, אשר קדשנו במצותיו וצונו להדליק נר של שבת.‏

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[s]."

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." <div id="Havdalah" />

Havdalah ("Separation" ceremony)Edit

(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:

ברוך אתה ה' א‑לוהינו מלך העולם, בורא פרי הגפן.‏
Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu melekh ha‑olam, bo're p'ri hagafen.
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:

ברוך אתה ה' א‑לוהינו מלך העולם, בורא מיני בשמים.‏
 :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:

ברוך אתה ה' א‑לוהינו מלך העולם, בורא מאורי האש.‏
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:

ברוך אתה ה' א‑לוהינו מלך העולם, המבדיל בין קודש לחול, בין אור לחושך, בין ישראל לעמים, בין יום השביעי לששת ימי המעשה. ברוך אתה ה', המבדיל בין קודש לחול.‏
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."

HanukkahEdit

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

Blessing for lighting the candlesEdit

ברוך אתה ה' א‑לוהינו מלך העולם, אשר קדשנו במצותיו וצונו להדליק נר (של) חנוכה.‏

Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu melekh ha‑olam, asher kid'shanu b'mitzvotav v'tzivanu l'hadlik ner (shel) hanuka.

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[s]."

Blessing for the miracles of HanukkahEdit

ברוך אתה ה' א‑לוהינו מלך העולם, שעשה נסים לאבותינו בימים ההם בזמן הזה.‏

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)Edit

Candle lightingEdit

ברוך אתה ה' א‑לוהינו מלך העולם, אשר קדשנו במצותיו וצונו להדליק נר של יום טוב.‏

Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu melekh ha‑olam, asher kid'shanu b'mitzvotav v'tzivanu l'hadlik ner shel yom tov.

Translation: "Blessed are You, LORD, our God, King of the universe, Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to light the holiday candle[s]."

Over apples and honey on Rosh HashanahEdit

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:

ברוך אתה ה' א‑לוהינו מלך העולם, בורא פרי העץ.‏

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:

יהי רצון מלפניך, ה׳ א‑לוהינו וא‑לוהי אבותינו, שתחדש עלינו שנה טובה ומתוקה.‏

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)Edit

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."

MezuzahEdit

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 likbo'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")Edit

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 atah Adonai Eloheinu melekh ha‑olam, she‑hehiyanu 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."

Everyday prayers and blessingsEdit

Upon waking upEdit

מודה אני לפניך מלך חי וקיים שהחזרת בי נשמתי בחמלה, רבה אמונתך.‏

Transliteration: Modeh ani lifanekha melekh hai v'kayam shehehezarta bi nishmahti b'hemla, raba emunatekha.Shabat shalom. Mazel Tov. Modeh y'shaniyanu.

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

For putting on tzitzitEdit

For putting on a talit katanEdit

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.

ברוך אתה ה' א‑לוהינו מלך העולם, אשר קדשנו במצותיו וצונו על מצות ציצת.‏

Transliteration: Barukh atah Adonai Eloheinu melekh ha‑olam, asher kid'shanu b'mitzvotav, v'tzivanu al mitzvat tzitzit.

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:

יהי רצון מלפניך ה׳ א‑להי וא‑להי אבותי, שתהי חשובה מצות ציצת לפניך כאלו קימתיה בכל פרטיה ודקדוקי וכונותיה ותריג מצות התלוים בה, אמן סלה.‏

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)Edit

On inspection of the tzitzit Edit

Psalms 104:1–2 is traditionally read:

ברכי נפשי את ה׳ . ה׳ א‑להי, גדלת מאד; הוד והדר לבשת – עטה אור כשלמה, נוטה שמים כיריעה.‏

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 Edit
ברוך אתה ה' א‑לוהינו מלך העולם, אשר קדשנו במצותיו וצונו להתעטף בציצת.‏

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 Edit

Psalms 36:8–11 is traditionally recited:

מה יקר חסדך א‑להים, ובני אדם בצל כנפיך יחסיון. ירוין מדשן ביתך, ונחל עדניך תשקם. כי עמך מקור חיים, באורך נראה אור. משך חסדך לידעיך, וצדקתך לישרי לב.‏

Transliteration: Ma yakar hasd'kha Elohim, uvnei adam b'tzel k'nafekha yehesayun. Yirv'yun mi‑deshen 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 Barukh ata b'mitzvotaz..

Translation: "How precious is your kindness, [O] 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 tefillinEdit

On placement of the arm-tefillinEdit

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

ברוך אתה ה' א‑לוהינו מלך העולם אשר קדשנו במצותו וצונו להניח תפילין.‏

Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu melekh ha‑olam, asher kid'shanu b'mitzvotav v'tzivanu l'hani'ah t'filin.

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-tefillinEdit

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:

ברוך אתה ה' א‑לוהינו מלך העולם, אשר קדשנו במצותו וצונו על מצות תפילין.‏

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:

ברוך שם כבוד מלכותו לעולם ועד.‏

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 fingerEdit

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:

Tefillin-shel-yad

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

וארשתיך לי לעולם, וארשתיך לי בצדק ובמשפט ובחסד וברחמים, וארשתיך לי באמונה וידעת את 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 mealEdit

N'tilat Yadayim (Ritual washing of hands)Edit

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:

ברוך אתה ה' א‑לוהינו מלך העולם, אשר קדשנו במצותיו וצונו על נטילת ידים.‏

Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu melekh ha‑olam, asher kid'shanu b'mitzvotav v'tzivanu al n'tilat yadayim.

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

<div id="Hamotzi" />

Before eating breadEdit

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

ברוך אתה ה' א‑לוהינו מלך העולם, המוציא לחם מן הארץ.‏

Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu melekh ha‑olam, ha‑motzi lehem min ha‑aretz.

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

After the mealEdit

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 foodEdit

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

There are five halakhic "food groups:"

<div id="Mezonot" />

Before eating grain products – M'zonot Edit

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

ברוך אתה ה' א‑לוהינו מלך העולם, בורא מיני מזונות.‏

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."

<div id="Hagafen" />

Before drinking wine – Ha-Gafen Edit

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).

ברוך אתה ה' א‑לוהינו מלך העולם, בורא פרי הגפן.‏

Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu Melekh ha‑olam, bo're p'ri ha‑gafen.

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

<div id="Haetz" />

Before eating fruit – Ha-Etz Edit
ברוך אתה ה' א‑לוהינו מלך העולם, בורא פרי העץ.‏

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."

<div id="Haadama" />

Before eating non-fruit produce – Ha-Adama Edit

Before eating produce that grew directly from the earth:

ברוך אתה ה' א‑לוהינו מלך העולם, בורא פרי האדמה.‏

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."

<div id="Shehakol" />

Before eating other foods – She-HakolEdit

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

ברוך אתה ה' א‑לוהינו מלך העולם, שהכל נהיה בדברו.‏

Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu Melekh ha‑olam, she‑hakol nih'ye bidvaro.

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

On immersion in a MikvahEdit

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 dangerEdit

The Birkhat Ha‑Gomel blessing is said after surviving illness, childbirth, or danger.

Transliteration:

Blessing: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu melekh ha‑olam, ha‑gomel lahayavim tovot sheg'malani kol tov.
Congregational Response: Amen. Mi sheg'malkha (for a woman: sheg'malayikh) kol tov hu yigmalkha (yigmalayikh) kol tov. Selah.

Translation:

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

Note: Most halakhic authorities hold that the Ha‑Gomel 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. Many Orthodox authorities [1] hold that women are also obligated to say the Birchat Hagomel blessing. The blessing is not time‑dependent, and it substitutes in part for the todah (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 alsoEdit

External linksEdit


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