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Updated: 2013.09.29

Bᵊrâkh•âh; blessing, pl. בְּרָכוֹת, connective sing. בִּרְכַּת (bi•rᵊk•at…; blessing of…).

The passive present verb is בָּרוּךְ, from the trans. pi•eil בֵּרַך, which is, in turn, from the root בָּרַך. Thus, Bâ•rukh ha-Sheim means "Blessed is 'the Name'."

If I liken the practice of תּוֹרָה to martial skills, then implementation of ka•shᵊr•ut and properly keeping שַׁבָּת equate to a white belt, implementation of the practice of all of the remaining mi•tzᵊw•ot and learning to pray Tei•mân•i liturgy equate to a brown belt, and mastery of the בְּרָכוֹת, the code of Dâ•wid ha-Mëlëkh, equates to achievement of the black belt. The black belt cannot be earned without first earning a brown belt, and a brown belt cannot be earned without first earning a white belt.

Mastering the בְּרָכוֹת can also turn one's life around 180°. While we each must be cognizant of life's downs, losses and hardships, the one who can confess thanksgiving in the midst of "the valley of the shadow of death" is one who has developed the ability to focus on the positive; and to confess thanksgiving despite sometimes not understanding why; yet, knowing that the Creator has a bigger picture and created us in love and caring for our best interests though we, like children, often don't see or understand that bigger picture.

Further, as one develops this skill, we better appreciate the paradigm of Dâ•wid ha-Mëlëkh. Where we struggle to learn to confess a בְּרָכוֹת, especially from the valleys of loss and hardship, Dâ•wid ha-Mëlëkh would compose a Tᵊhil•âh! There's the paradigm of the eternal Nâ•si and Ko•hein in the heavens of Yᵊkhëz•qeil 34.20ff & 37.20ff.

Bᵊrâkh•ot are overt (not secretive or apologetic) confessions of thanksgiving and praise. Accordingly, they are recited aloud, as praise to י‑‑ה, and should be so routinely practiced, every day, that they become committed to, and recited from, memory; routine observations punctuating everyday conversation. (Such memorization is also a good brain exercise.) This is a core practice of Tor•âh. Yᵊhud•âh means "he who shall confess-thanks."

First & overriding rule: don't allow rabbinic excesses of pedantry to inhibit your confessions of praise and thanksgiving. Your heartfelt confessions of praise and thanksgiving, however "unrabbinic," are treasured by י--ה; and it is He, not rabbis, to Whom you confess them. While Hebrew is de rigueur, the paradigms below are models and are not any iron-clad, "only acceptable" blessing.

Bᵊrâkh•ōt Over Children

Every Ërëv Sha•bât and Ërëv Khag, Qi•dūsh is prefaced by the bᵊrâkh•ōt over children (followed by the Eish•ët Khayilmore

Popular Bᵊrâkh•ōt

A bᵊrâkh•âh is in order for every first or special event perceived by any of the five senses, and may be organized accordingly. The following bᵊrâkh•ōt are each introduced by the conventional praise:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה י--ה, אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם,
Rainbow Rule
Rainbow Rule
Rainbow Rule

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