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Jewish Guide


Jewish Blessings

Shabbat Evening Home Ritual

In this part of the Jewish Guide, you will find some Hebrew prayers and blessings, along with the English translation, that are recited on different occasions.

Candlelighting

At the beginning of Shabbat, candles are lit by the woman of the household. They are lit before Shabbat begins, at least 18 minutes before sunset. She lights two candles, passes her hands over the candles a few times, then covers her eyes and recites this blessing. After the blessing is complete, she uncovers her eyes and looks at the lit candles as if it is for the first time.


Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha'olam

Blessed are you, Lord, our God, sovereign of the universe



asher kidishanu b'mitz'votav v'tzivanu

Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us



l'had'lik neir shel Shabbat. (Amein)

to light the lights of Shabbat. (Amen)


Kiddush

Kiddush is a prayer recited while holding a cup of wine or other beverage. It should be no less than 3.3 ounces. The wine or other beverage is held in the right hand while standing when reciting the blessing. Drink the wine after the blessing is complete.


Vay'hi erev vay'hi voker yom hashishi

And there was evening and there was morning, a sixth day



vay'khulu hashamayim v'ha'aretz v'khol tz'va'am

The heavens and the earth were finished, the whole host of them



vay'khal elohim bayom hash'vi'i m'la'kh'to asher asah

And on the seventh day God completed his work that he had done



vayish'bot bayom hash'vi'i mikol m'la'kh'to asher asah

and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done



Vay'varekh Elohim et yom hash'vi'i vay'kadeish oto

And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it



ki vo shavat mikol m'la'kh'to asher bara Elohim la'asot

because in it he had rested from all his work that God had created to do



Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha-olam

Blessed are you, Lord, our God, sovereign of the universe


(if using wine or grape juice)


borei p'ri hagafen (Amein)

Who creates the fruit of the vine (Amen)


(if using other liquids)


shehakol nih'yeh bid'varo (Amein)

Who made all things exist through His word (Amen)



Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha-olam

Blessed are You, Lord, our God, King of the Universe



asher kid'shanu b'mitz'votav v'ratzah vanu

who sanctifies us with his commandments, and has been pleased with us



v'shabat kad'sho b'ahavah uv'ratzon hin'chilanu zikaron l'ma'aseih v'rei'shit

You have lovingly and willingly given us Your holy Shabbat as an inheritance, in memory of creation



ki hu yom t'chilah l'mik'ra'ei kodesh zeikher litzi'at Mitz'rayim

because it is the first day of our holy assemblies, in memory of the exodus from Egypt



ki vanu vachar'ta v'otanu kidash'ta mikol ha'amim

because You have chosen us and made us holy from all peoples



v'shabat kad'sh'kha b'ahavah uv'ratzon hin'chal'tanu

and have willingly and lovingly given us Your holy Shabbat for an inheritance



Barukh atah Adonai m'kadeish hashabat (Amein).

Blessed are You, who sanctifies Shabbat (Amen)

Netilat Yadayim: Washing Hands

After Kiddush and before the meal, each person in the household should wash hands by filling a cup with water and pouring it over the top and bottom of the right hand and then the left hand. Before wiping the hands, the following blessing should be recited:


Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha-olam

Blessed are You, Lord, our God, King of the Universe



asher kidishanu b'mitz'votav v'tzivanu

Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us



al n'tilat yadayim

concerning washing of hands.


Ha-Motzi: Bread

Immediately after washing hands and before eating, the head of the household removes the cover from the two challah loaves, lifting them while reciting the following blessing. The challah is then ripped into pieces or sliced and passed around the table, so that each person may have a piece. The family meal may then begin.


Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha-olam

Blessed are You, Lord, our God, King of the Universe



hamotzi lechem min ha'aretz. (Amein).

who brings forth bread from the earth. (Amen)


Havdalah Home Ritual

The Havdalah service marks the end of Shabbat. It should be performed no earlier than nightfall on Saturday night. Nightfall is the time when three stars can be seen in the sky. It is normally about 45 minutes to an hour after sundown, depending on your latitude.

You will need three things for this ritual: a glass of wine or other liquid, some fragrant spices, and a braided, multi-wick candle called a Havdalah (see also Eish:Fire in the Jewish Guide).

P'ri Hagafen: Wine

The first of the four havdalah blessings is made over wine or another liquid. If wine or grape juice is not available, you can substitute it with any other beverage.


Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha'olam

Blessed are you, Lord, our God, sovereign of the universe


(if using wine or grape juice)


borei p'ri hagafen (Amein)

Who creates the fruit of the vine (Amen)


(if using other liquids)


shehakol nih'yeh bid'varo (Amein)

Who made all things exist through His word (Amen)


B'samim: Spices

The second blessing is recited over fragrant spices. The spices represent a compensation for the loss of the special sabbath spirit. The spices commonly used are cloves, cinnamon or bay leaves. They are commonly kept in a special decorated holder called a b'samim box.


Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha'olam

Blessed are you, Lord, our God, sovereign of the universe



borei minei v'samim (Amein)

Who creates varieties of spices (Amen)


Eish: Fire

The third blessing is recited over a multi-wick special braided candle called a Havdalah candle, that can be obtained from Jewish gift stores. If you cannot obtain a Havdalah candle, you can hold two candles close together, so their flames overlap.

Lighting a flame is a vivid way of marking the distinction between the sabbath and the weekday, because we cannot kindle a flame on the sabbath.

After the blessing is recited, hold your hands up to the candle and gaze at the reflection of the light in your fingernails.


Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha'olam

Blessed are you, Lord, our God, sovereign of the universe



borei m'orei ha'eish (Amein)

Who creates the light of the fire (Amen)


Havdalah: Separation

The final blessing is the havdalah blessing itself, the blessing over the separation of different things. The blessing is recited over the wine. After the blessing is complete, drink the wine. A few drops of wine are used to extinguish the flame from the candle.


Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha'olam

Blessed are you, Lord, our God, sovereign of the universe



hamav'dil bein kodesh l'chol

Who separates between sacred and secular



bein or l'choshekh bein Yis'ra'eil la'amim

between light and darkness, between Israel and the nations



bein yom hash'vi'i l'sheishet y'mei hama'aseh

between the seventh day and the six days of labor



Barukh atah Adonai

Blessed are You, Lord



hamav'dil bein kodesh l'chol (Amein).

who separates between sacred and secular. (Amen)


Donning (Putting On) a Tallit and Tefillin

A tallit, known in English as a prayer shawl, is worn at morning services, both on weekdays and on Shabbat, and also on the night of Yom Kippur. The tallit has special twined and knotted fringes known as tzitzit attached to its four corners. Tefillin are worn at morning services on the weekdays only. Tallis and tefillin should be put on before you begin prayer, and tallis should be put on before tefillin.

Donning a Tallit

Inspect the tzitzit for tangling or torn strings. A garment cannot be worn if the tzitzit is torn. Stretch the tallit before you, holding it with both hands, and recite this blessing:


Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha'olam

Blessed are you, Lord, our God, sovereign of the universe



asher kidishanu b'mitz'votav v'tzivanu l'hit'ateif ba-tzitzit

Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to wrap ourselves in the tzitzit


After reciting the blessing, throw the tallit over your shoulders like a cape and bring your hands together in front of your face briefly, covering your head. Then adjust the tallit comfortably on your shoulders. The tallit should be draped over the shoulders like a shawl or a cape, not around the neck like a scarf.

The blessing above is often embroidered on the atarah of the tallit, that is, on the ornamental area at the neck of the garment. If you are planning to embroider this yourself, please take particular care to alter the Divine Names to avoid the risk that something disrespectful might happen to the tallit and thereby to the Names.

Laying Tefillin

Tefillin are two small black leather boxes containing scrolls of parchment inscribed with verses from the Torah. Jewish men are required to place one box on their head and tie the other one on their arm during weekday morning prayers.

Putting on tefillin, traditionally is described as "laying" tefillin. Ashkenazim put on and remove tefillin while standing and Sephardim do so while sitting. It is forbidden to speak or to be distracted while laying tefillin.

Roll up your sleeve and place the hand tefillin loosely around the bicep of your non-dominant arm (left arm if you are right-handed; right arm if you are left-handed) and recite this blessing:


Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha'olam

Blessed are you, Lord, our God, sovereign of the universe



asher kidishanu b'mitz'votav v'tzivanu

Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us



l'hani'ach t'filin

to put on tefillin

After reciting the blessing above, tighten the strap and wind it around the forearm. Wrap the rest of the strap temporarily around the palm of the hand (not around the fingers yet! That comes later).

Then take out the head tefillin and place it loosely on the head, above the hairline between the eyes. Recite the following blessing:


Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha'olam

Blessed are you, Lord, our God, sovereign of the universe



asher kidishanu b'mitz'votav v'tzivanu

Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us



al mitzvat t'filin

about the mitzvah of tefillin



Barukh Sheim k'vod mal'khuto l'olam va'ed

Blessed be the Name of His glorious kingdom for ever and ever


Tighten the straps and drape the excess straps forward over your shoulders, hanging loosely in front of your chest.

The excess hand strap is then unwrapped from around the palm and rewrapped around the fingers. Once it is properly wrapped around the fingers, recite this passage from the Biblical book of Hosea chapter 2:


v'eiras'tikh li l'olam

I will betroth you to me forever



v'eiras'tikh li b'tzedek

I will betroth you to me with righteousness



uv'mish'pat uv'chesed uv'rachamim

and with justice and with kindness and with mercy



v'eiras'tikh li be'emunah

I will betroth you to me with faithfulness



v'yada'at et Adonai

and you will know the Lord


Affixing a Mezuzah

The Mezuzah can be put up at any time of day or night, other than Shabbat or major Jewish holidays when work is prohibited. The Mezuzah should be permanently affixed to the doorpost. To do this, it is best to use nails or screws, but if necessary, you may also use glue or double-sided mounting tape, regular scotch tape or masking tape, which are temporary adhesives, should not be used.

Traditionally, a mezuzah is fastened to every doorpost and gate of the household except the bathroom or similar places. Even in non-observant homes, it is common to place a mezuzah on the doorpost of the main entry.

Before affixing the mezuzah to the doorpost, the following blessing should be recited:


Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha'olam

Blessed are you, Lord, our God, sovereign of the universe



asher kidishanu b'mitz'votav v'tzivanu

Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us



lik'bo'a m'zuzah

to affix a mezuzah


When putting up Mezuzahs for more than one doorway in a house, only say the blessing once. When reciting the blessing, keep in mind the other doorways and the blessing will include all those Mezuzahs. Refrain from talking, or other interruptions, until all the Mezuzahs are mounted.

Shema

The Shema is one of only two prayers that are specifically commanded in Torah (the other is Birkat Ha-Mazon -- grace after meals). It is the oldest fixed daily prayer in Judaism, recited morning and night since ancient times. It consists of three biblical passages, two of which specifically say to speak of these things "when you lie down and when you rise up." This commandment is fulfilled by including the Shema in the liturgy for Ma'ariv (evening services) and Shacharit (morning services). Traditional prayerbooks also include a Bedtime Shema, a series of passages including the Shema to be read at home before going to bed at night.

Part 1: Deuteronomy 6:4-9

The first part of the Shema begins with one of the most fundamental expressions of Jewish belief, and the one from which this prayer gets its name: Shema Yisra'el... (Hear, Israel). The second line of this part (Barukh sheim k'vod...) is actually not part of this passage from the Torah. It doesn't even appear anywhere in the Bible. It's a congregational response from the days of the Temple: whenever the High Priest would say the Divine Name, the people would respond with this line. Today, it is not said aloud except during Yom Kippur services.


Sh'ma Yisra'eil Adonai Eloheinu Adonai echad.

Hear, Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One.


In an undertone:


Barukh sheim k'vod malkhuto l'olam va'ed.

Blessed be the Name of His glorious kingdom for ever and ever.



V'ahav'ta eit Adonai Elohekha b'khol l'vav'kha uv'khol naf'sh'kha uv'khol m'odekha.

And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.



V'hayu had'varim ha'eileh asher anokhi m'tzav'kha hayom al l'vavekha.

And these words that I command you today shall be in your heart.



V'shinan'tam l'vanekha v'dibar'ta bam

And you shall teach them diligently to your children, and you shall speak of them



b'shiv't'kha b'veitekha uv'lekh't'kha vaderekh uv'shakh'b'kha uv'kumekha

when you sit at home, and when you walk along the way, and when you lie down and when you rise up.



Uk'shar'tam l'ot al yadekha v'hayu l'totafot bein einekha.

And you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be for frontlets between your eyes.



Ukh'tav'tam al m'zuzot beitekha uvish'arekha.

And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.


Part 2: Deuteronomy 11:13-21

The second part of the Shema repeats many of the themes from the first part, but adds promises of rewards and punishments.


V'hayah im shamo'a tish'm'u el mitz'votai

And it shall come to pass if you surely listen to the commandments



asher anokhi m'tzaveh et'khem hayom

that I command you today



l'ahavah et Adonai Eloheikhem ul'av'do b'khol l'vav'khem uv'khol naf'sh'khem

to love the Lord your God and to serve him with all your heart and all your soul,



V'natati m'tar ar'tz'khem b'ito yoreh umal'kosh v'asaf'ta d'ganekha v'tirosh'kha v'yitz'harekha.

That I will give rain to your land, the early and the late rains, that you may gather in your grain, your wine and your oil.



V'natati eisev b'sad'kha liv'hem'tekha v'akhal'ta v'sava'ta.

And I will give grass in your fields for your cattle and you will eat and you will be satisfied.



Hisham'ru lakhem pen yif'teh l'vav'khem v'sar'tem va'avad'tem Elohim acheirim v'hish'tachavitem lahem

Beware, lest your heart be deceived and you turn and serve other gods and worship them.



V'charah af Adonai bakhem v'atzar et hashamayim v'lo yih'yeh matar v'ha'adamah lo titein et y'vulah

And anger of the Lord will blaze against you, and he will close the heavens and there will not be rain, and the earth will not give you its fullness,



va'avad'tem m'heirah mei'al ha'aretz hatovah asher Adonai notein lakhem.

and you will perish quickly from the good land that the Lord gives you.



V'sam'tem et d'varai eileh al l'vav'khem v'al naf'sh'khem uk'shar'tem otam l'ot al yed'khem v'hayu l'totafot bein eineikhem.

So you shall put these, my words, on your heart and on your soul;

and you shall bind them for signs on your hands, and they shall be for frontlets between your eyes.



V'limad'tem otam et b'neikhem l'dabeir bam

And you shall teach them to your children, and you shall speak of them



b'shiv't'kha b'veitekha uv'lekh't'kha vaderekh uv'shakh'b'kha uv'kumekha

when you sit at home, and when you walk along the way, and when you lie down and when you rise up.



Ukh'tav'tam al m'zuzot beitekha uvish'arekha.

And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.



L'ma'an yirbu y'maychem vi-y'may v'naychem al ha-adamah asher nishba Adonai la-avotaychem latayt lahem ki-y'may ha-shamayim al ha-aretz.

In order to prolong your days and the days of your children on the land that the Lord promised your fathers that he would give them, as long as the days that the heavens are over the earth.


Part 3: Numbers 15:37-41

This third part of the Shema does not mention the need to speak of these things morning and night. It talks about the tzitzit(fringes) that are traditionally worn like a string around the finger as a reminder of the commandments, like the tefillin and mezuzot that are commanded in the first two paragraphs. The passage is also included to fulfill the mitzvah to remember the Exodus from Egypt every day of our lives.


Vayo'mer Adonai el mosheh lei'mor

And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying...



Dabeir el b'nei Yis'ra'eil v'amar'ta aleihem

Speak to the children of Israel and say to them



v'asu lahem tzitzit al kan'fei vig'deihem l'dorotam v'nat'nu al tzitzit hakanaf p'til t'kheilet

they should make themselves tzitzit (fringes) on the corners of their clothing throughout their generations, and give the tzitzit of each corner a thread of blue.



V'hayah lakhem l'tzitzit ur'item oto uz'khar'tem et kol mitz'vot Adonai va'asitem otam v'lo taturu acharei l'vav'khem v'acharei eineikhem asher atem zonim achareihem

And they shall be tzitzit for you, and when you look at them you will remember all of the Lord's commandments and do them and not follow after your heart and after your eyes which lead you astray.



L'ma'an tiz'k'ru va'asitem et kol mitz'votai viyitem k'doshim lei'loheikhem

In order to remember and do all My commandments, and be holy for your God.



Ani Adonai Eloheikhem

I am the Lord, your God,



asher hotzei'ti et'khem mei'eretz Mitz'rayim lih'yot lakhhem leilohim

who lead you from the land of Egypt to be a God to you.



Ani Adonai Eloheikhem

I am the Lord, your God.


Rosh Hashanah Evening Home Ritual

The home ceremony for Rosh Hashanah takes place at sundown. On the first night, candles should be lit no later than 18 minutes before sundown. On the second night, candles should be lit immediately after nightfall.

(See also "Holidays" in the Jewish Guide)

The words in [brackets] should be read only on the sabbath.


Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha'olam

Blessed are you, Lord, our God, sovereign of the universe



asher kidishanu b'mitz'votav v'tzivanu

Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us



l'had'lik neir shel [shabbat v'shel] yom tov (Amein)

to light the candles of [Shabbat and of] the holiday (Amen)


Evening Kiddush for Rosh Hashanah

Kiddush is recited while holding a cup of wine or other liquid, no less than 3.3 ounces. If wine or grape juice is not available, you should substitute shehakol nih'yeh bid'varo (by whose will all things come to be) for borei p'ri hagafen (who creates the fruit of the vine).

Drink the wine after completing Shechecheyanu


Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha'olam

Blessed are you, Lord, our God, sovereign of the universe


(if using wine or grape juice)


borei p'ri hagafen (Amein)

Who creates the fruit of the vine (Amen)


(if using other liquids)


shehakol nih'yeh bid'varo (Amein)

Who made all things exist through His word (Amen)



Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha'olam

Blessed are you, Lord, our God, sovereign of the universe



asher bachar banu mikol am v'rom'manu mikol lashon

who has chosen us from among all people, and exalted us above every tongue



v'kid'shanu b'mitz'votav vatiten lanu Adonai Eloheinu, b'ahavah

and sanctified us with His commandments,and you gave us, Lord our God, with love



et yom [hashabat hazeh v'et yom]

this day of [Sabbath and this day of]



hazikaron hazeh yom [zikh'ron] t'ru'ah

remembrance, a day of [remembrance of] shofar blowing



[b'ahavah] mik'ra kodesh zeikher litzi'at mitz'rayim

[with love] a holy convocation, a memorial of the exodus from Egypt



ki vanu vachar'ta v'otanu kidash'ta mikol ha'amim

Indeed, You have chosen us and made us holy from all peoples



ud'var'kha emet v'kayam la'ad

and Your word is true and established for ever.



Barukh atah Adonai melekh al kol ha'aretz

Blessed are You, Lord, our God, King over all the world,



m'kadeish [hashabat v]yisra'eil v'yom hazikaron. (Amein)

Who sanctifies [the sabbath] and Israel and the Day of Remembrance. (Amen)


Shehecheyanu: Who Has Kept Us Alive

Shehecheyanu, which is normally only recited on the first night of a holiday, is recited on both nights of Rosh Hashanah.



Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha'olam

Blessed are you, Lord, our God, sovereign of the universe



shehecheyanu v'kiyimanu v'higi'anu laz'man hazeh. (Amein)

who has kept us alive, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this season (Amen)


Apples and Honey

During Rosh Hashanah, it is traditional to eat apples dipped in honey, to symbolize our hopes for a "sweet" new year. The apple is dipped in honey, the blessing for eating tree fruits is recited, the apple is tasted, and then the apples and honey prayer is recited.


Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha'olam

Blessed are you, Lord, our God, king of the universe



borei p'ri ha'eitz (Amein).

who creates the fruit of the tree. (Amen)


Take a bite from the apple dipped in honey, then continue with the following:


y'hi ratzon mil'fanekha Adonai eloheinu vei'lohei avoteinu

May it be Your will, Lord our God and God of our ancestors



sh't'chadeish aleinu shanah tovah um'tukah.

that you renew for us a good and sweet year.


Sukkot Blessings

On the first two nights of Sukkot, kiddush, the blessing for dwelling in the sukkah, and shehecheyanu should be recited over a cup of wine in the sukkah, if possible.

Sukkot Kiddush

Kiddush is recited while holding a cup of wine or other liquid, no less than 3.3 ounces. If wine or grape juice is not used, you should substitute shehakol nih'yeh bid'varo (by whose will all things come to be) for borei p'ri hagafen (who creates the fruit of the vine).


Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha-olam

Blessed are you, Lord, our God, sovereign of the universe


(if using wine or grape juice)


borei p'ri hagafen (Amein)

Who creates the fruit of the vine (Amen)


(if using other liquids)


shehakol nih'yeh bid'varo (Amein)

Who made all things exist through His word (Amen)



Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha-olam

Blessed are you, Lord, our God, sovereign of the universe



asher bachar banu mikol am v'rom'manu mikol lashon

who has chosen us from among all people, and exalted us above every tongue



v'kid'shanu b'mitz'votav vatiten lanu Adonai eloheinu b'ahavah

and sanctified us with His commandments, and you gave us, Lord our God, with love



[shabatot lim'nuchah u]mo'adim l'sim'chah chagim uz'manim l'sason

[Sabbaths for rest, and] appointed festivals for gladness, festivals and times for joy



et yom [ha-shabbat hazeh v'et yom]

this day of [Sabbath and this day of]



chag hasukot hazeh z'man sim'chateinu

the festival of Sukkot, the time of our gladness



[b'ahavah] mik'ra kodesh zeikher litzi'at mitz'rayim

[with love] a holy convocation, a memorial of the exodus from Egypt



ki vanu vachar'ta v'otanu kidash'ta mikol ha'amim

because You have chosen us and made us holy from all peoples



[v'shabat] umo'adei kad'shekha [b'ahavah uv'ratzon]

and [the Sabbath and] your holy festivals [in love and favor]



b'simchah u-v'sason hin'chal'tanu

in gladness and in joy you have given us for an inheritance



Barukh atah Adonai, m'kadeish [hashabat v']Yis'ra'eil v'haz'manim. (Amein).

Blessed are you, Lord, who sanctifies [Shabbat and] Israel and the seasons. (Amen).


Don't drink the wine yet! There are two more blessings!

Blessing for Dwelling in the Sukkah

This blessing should be recited at any time you are fulfilling the mitzvah of dwelling in the sukkah, for example, before you eat a meal in the sukkah.


Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha-olam

Blessed are you, Lord, our God, sovereign of the universe



asher kidishanu b'mitz'votav v'tzivanu

Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us



leisheiv basukah (Amein).

to dwell in the sukkah (Amen)

Shehecheyanu: Who Has Kept Us Alive


Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha'olam

Blessed are you, Lord, our God, sovereign of the universe



shehecheyanu v'kiyimanu v'higi'anu laz'man hazeh. (Amein)

who has kept us alive, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this season (Amen)


Drink the Kiddush wine after the Shehecheyanu blessing.

Blessing over the Arba Minim (Four Species)

One of the commandments of Sukkot is to take the arba minim (four species) and wave them each day of the holiday (except Shabbat). This is normally done during morning services in synagogue, before the Hallel prayers. Some like to do it in their sukkah before going to the synagogue. Both customs are common and acceptable.

Stand facing the east (or whatever direction is toward Jerusalem from where you are).

Take the etrog in your left hand with the stem (green tip) up and the pitam (brown tip) down. Take the lulav (including the palm, myrtle and willow branches bound together) in your right hand. Bring your hands together and recite the blessing below.


Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha-olam

Blessed are you, Lord, our God, sovereign of the universe



asher kidishanu b'mitz'votav v'tzivanu

Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us



al n'tilat lulav (Amein)

to take up the lulav (Amen)


After you recite the blessing, turn the etrog so the stem is down and the pitam is up. Be careful not to damage the pitam! With the lulav and etrog together, gently shake forward (East) three times, then pull the lulav and etrog back in front of your chest. Repeat this to the right (South), then over your right shoulder (West), then to the left (North), then up, then down.

Farewell to the Sukkah

Some explanation of this blessing is in order: The Talmud teaches that when the messiah comes, the righteous will come to Jerusalem and the Leviathan (a giant sea creature created on the fifth day) will be slain. Its skin will be used to make the walls of a giant sukkah, and the righteous will dine on the flesh of the Leviathan in that sukkah. Thus, the essence of this farewell prayer is the hope that the messiah will come within the next year.


Y'hi ratzon mil'fanekha Adonai Eloheinu vei'lohei avoteinu

May it be Your will, Lord, our God and God of our ancestors



k'sheim shekiyam'ti v'yashav'ti basukah zu

that just as I have stood up and dwelled in this sukkah



kein ez'keh l'shanah haba'ah leisheiv b'sukat oro shel Liv'yatan.

so may I merit next year to dwell in the sukkah of the hide of the Leviathan.



l'shanah haba'ah birushalayim

Next year in Jerusalem!


Chanukkah Candlelighting Blessings

Lighting the Hanukkah Menorah (also known as a Hanukkiyah) is one of the most important parts of celebrating the Jewish festival of Hanukkah (See also "Holidays" in the Jewish Guide). The Hanukkah menorah is usually lit after nightfall, when stars appear in the sky.

One candle is added to the menorah each night. The first night, you light only the shammus (the one at a different height) and one Chanukkah candle. By the eighth night, you light all of the candles.

During Hanukkah candles are added to the menorah from right to left. The shammus candle is lit first. While holding the shammus candle, recite or sing the following blessings.

Blessing over Candles

Light the shammus candle first, then recite the blessings while holding the candle. Do not light the other candles until the blessings are done!


Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha'olam

Blessed are you, Lord, our God, sovereign of the universe



asher kidishanu b'mitz'votav v'tzivanu

Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us



l'had'lik neir shel Chanukah. (Amein)

to light the lights of Chanukkah. (Amen)


Blessing for the Chanukkah Miracle


Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha'olam

Blessed are you, Lord, our God, sovereign of the universe



she'asah nisim la'avoteinu bayamim haheim baziman hazeh. (Amein)

Who performed miracles for our ancestors in those days at this time


Shehecheyanu (Who Has Kept Us Alive)

This blessing is recited only on the first night of Chanukkah.



Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha'olam

Blessed are you, Lord, our God, sovereign of the universe



shehecheyanu v'kiyimanu v'higi'anu laz'man hazeh. (Amein)

who has kept us alive, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this season (Amen)


Lighting the Candles

After reciting the blessings, use the shammus to light the Chanukkah candles from left to right (newest to oldest).

Candles should be left burning until they go out on their own. They must burn for more than half an hour. Standard Chanukkah candles burn for about an hour.

Mourner's Kaddish

The Kaddish prayer is mostly Aramaic, not Hebrew, but the alphabet is the same. There are several forms of the Kaddish prayer recited at different times during religious services. This one is reserved specifically for mourners, and is recited daily for 11 months after a parent's death, then annually on the anniversary of the parent's death on the Hebrew calendar.

Kaddish


Yit'gadal v'yit'kadash sh'mei raba (Cong: Amein).

May His great Name grow exalted and sanctified (Cong: Amen.)



b'al'ma di v'ra khir'utei

in the world that He created as He willed.



v'yam'likh mal'khutei b'chayeikhon uv'yomeikhon

May He give reign to His kingship in your lifetimes and in your days,



uv'chayei d'khol beit yis'ra'eil

and in the lifetimes of the entire Family of Israel,



ba'agala uviz'man kariv v'im'ru:

swiftly and soon. Now say:


(Mourners and Congregation:)


Amein. Y'hei sh'mei raba m'varakh l'alam ul'al'mei al'maya

(Amen. May His great Name be blessed forever and ever.)



Yit'barakh v'yish'tabach v'yit'pa'ar v'yit'romam v'yit'nasei

Blessed, praised, glorified, exalted, extolled,



v'yit'hadar v'yit'aleh v'yit'halal sh'mei d'kud'sha

mighty, upraised, and lauded be the Name of the Holy One


(Mourners and Congregation:)


B'rikh hu.

Blessed is He.



l'eila min kol bir'khata v'shirata

beyond any blessing and song,



toosh'b'chatah v'nechematah, da'ameeran b'al'mah, v'eemru:

praise and consolation that are uttered in the world. Now say:


(Mourners and Congregation:)


Amein

Amen



Y'hei sh'lama raba min sh'maya

May there be abundant peace from Heaven



v'chayim aleinu v'al kol yis'ra'eil v'im'ru

and life upon us and upon all Israel. Now say:


(Mourners and Congregation:)


Amein

Amen



Oseh shalom bim'romav hu ya'aseh shalom

He Who makes peace in His heights, may He make peace,



aleinu v'al kol Yis'ra'eil v'im'ru

upon us and upon all Israel. Now say:


(Mourners and Congregation:)


Amein

Amen


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