Week 1 - Hebrew Blessings
In our first session we looked at 7 different Hebrew Blessings that can be used throughout the course of the day or week to recognize that God is present in all things, great and small. With the use of the Hebrew language, which is the language of most of the Old Testament, we connect ourselves in a very tangible way to the deep traditions of our faith. We also learn in these Hebrew Blessing a certain rhythm to life that Hebrews engaged in, where everything that they did in the course of their daily lives was a recognition of what it means to be God's people.
We are God's people still today and we often forget what that means in our busy, on-to-the-next-thing culture. It is my hope that in engaging these blessings this week, you will find a way to remember that indeed you are a beloved child of God.
Below you will find videos of me saying the Hebrew Blessings for the week. Your goal for this week is to pick one to engage with deeply and then to branch out as you feel more and more comfortable. It is my hope that you might find 3-4 of these meaningful in your week. Also, the website www.hebrew4christians.net has many resources to help you engage these more fully.
This blessing is used to mark special moments, occasions, and gatherings. It is a beautiful blessing that reminds us that God is our sustainer and that the goodness of our lives together in community is a goodness that God truly wants us to experience. The closing, "laz'man ha'ze" can be literally translated as "to touch this moment," reminding us that in these special times, given to us by God, we are called by God to be fully present, even to the point of physically touching this shared time. We will open each class with this blessing.
Yotzeir Or Blessing
This blessing reminds us that God is the sovereign ruler of "the everything." God creates light, dark, peace, and "the everything." A good blessing to use in the morning or before bed.
The Blessing for God's Creation
Another wonderful way to recognize that God's works surround us always. We live in a world that is literally soaked in God's creative spirit. All that is is what it is because God has caused it to be so. This blessing reminds us of that truth.
This is the blessing on the bread. Wonderful to use at meal times, this blessing reminds us that our sustenance is directly linked to God's good works of creation. That it is indeed God who "brings forth food from the Earth."
Borei Pri Blessing
This is the blessing on the fruit of the vine. Usually intended for grapes or for communion wine, this blessing can be used for any food that is a fruit that grows on a vine. Tomatoes, squash, pumpkins, watermelons, and cucumbers are all "pri ha'gaffin." And we remember in this blessing that God's providence is truly why we have these good gifts.
Blessing For "All Kinds of Food"
This is a great general blessing to use when you're not sure if the ha'motsi or borei pri will be suitable. Once again, what's important here is taking the time to slow down and remember that God is at work in the blessing of nourishment and good meals together.
Blessing When Smelling Spices
This is a blessing to be used when smelling fragrant spices or other nice aromas. What I particularly appreciate about this is how we recognize in this blessing that God is at work is something as simple as a pleasant aroma. God truly is at work in everything.
A Fun Outake
Lilia got to me with this one...