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Blessings

Upon waking up

Modeh ani

מוֹדֶה אֲנִי לְפָנֶיךָ מֶלֶךְ חַי וְקַיָּם שֶׁהֶחֱזַרְתָּ בִּי נִשְׁמָתִי בְּחֶמְלָה, רַבָּה אֱמוּנָתֶךָ.‬

Transliteration: Modeh ani lifanekha melekh ḥai v'kayam sheheḥezarta bi nishmahti b'ḥemla, raba emunatekha.

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!"

Morning

Elohai Neshamah

אֱ-לֹהַי, נְשָׁמָה שֶׁנָּתַתָּ בִּי טְהוֹרָה הִיא. אַתָּה בְרָאתָהּ, אַתָּה יְצַרְתָּהּ, אַתָּה נְפַחְתָּהּ בִּי, [ וְאַתָּה מְשַׁמְּרָהּ בְּקִרְבִּי, וְאַתָּה עָתִיד לִטְּלָהּ מִמֶּנִּי, וּלְהַחֲזִירָהּ בִּי לֶעָתִיד לָבוֹא. כָּל זְמַן שֶׁהַנְּשָׁמָה בְּקִרְבִּי מוֹדֶה אֲנִי לְפָנֶיךָ ה' אֱ-לֹהַי וֵא-לֹהֵי אֲבוֹתַי. רִבּוֹן כָּל הַמַּעֲשִׂים אֲדוֹן כָּל הַנְּשָׁמוֹת. בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', הַמַּחֲזִיר נְשָׁמוֹת לִפְגָרִים מֵתִים: ]‬

Transliteration: "Elohai neshama shenatata bi t'horah hi. Ata b'ratah, ata y'tzartah, ata n'fachtah bi [v'ata m’shamrah b'kirbi v'ata atid litelah mimeni ulehachazirah bi leatid lavo. Kol z'man shehaneshaman b'kirbi modeh/ah ani lefaneicha, Adonai Elohai v'lohei avotai, Ribon kol hamasim, Adon kol haneshamot. Baruch ata Adonai, hamachazir neshamot lifgarim metim]."

Translation: "My God, the soul You have given me is pure. You created it, You formed it, and You breathed it into me. [and You guard it while it is within me, and one day You will take it from me, and restore it to me in the time to come. As long as the soul is within me, I will thank You, HaShem my God and God of my ancestors, Master of all works, Lord of all souls. Blessed are You, LORD, who restores souls to lifeless bodies]."

Po'ke'ah Ivrim

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ, מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם. פּוֹקֵחַ עִוְרִים.‬

Transliteration: Baruch ata Adonai Eloheinu, melekh ha'olam po'ke'ah ivrim.

Translation: Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the universe, who restores the eyes of the blind. 

 

For putting on tzitzi

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.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ, מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם. אֲשֶר קִדְּשָנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וִצִוָּנוּ עַל מִצְוַת צִיצִת.‬

Transliteration: Barukh ata 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:

יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְּפָנֶיךָ ה׳ אֱ-לֹהי וֵא-לֹהֵי אֲבוֹתַי, שֶׁתְּהֵא חֲשׁוּבָה מִצְוַת צִיצִית לְפָנֶיךָ כְּאִלּוּ קִיַּמְתִּיהָ בְּכָל פְּרָטֶיהָ וְדִקְדּוּקֶיהָ וְכַוָּנוֹתֶיהָ, וְתַרְיַ"ג מִצְוֹת הַתְּלוּיִם בָּהּ, אָמֵן סֶלָה.‬

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)

Tallit

On inspection of the tzitzit

Psalms 104:1–2 is traditionally read:

בָּרְכִי נַפְשִׁי אֶת ה', ה' אֱ-לֹהַי גָּדַלְתָּ מְּאֹד הוֹד וְהָדָר לָבָשְׁתָּ: עֹטֶה אוֹר כַּשַּׂלְמָה נוֹטֶה שָׁמַיִם כַּיְרִיעָה‬

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

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ לְהִתְעַטֵּף בַּצִיצִית‬

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

Psalms 36:8–11 is traditionally recited:

מַה יָּקָר חַסְדְּךָ אֱ-לֹהִים. וּבְנֵי אָדָם בְּצֵל כְּנָפֶיךָ יֶחֱסָיוּן: יִרְוְיֻן מִדֶּשֶׁן בֵּיתֶךָ וְנַחַל עֲדָנֶיךָ תַשְׁקֵם: כִּי עִמְּךָ מְקוֹר חַיִּים. בְּאוֹרְךָ נִרְאֶה אוֹר: מְשׁוֹךְ חַסְדְּךָ לְיֹדְעֶיךָ וְצִדְקָתְךָ לְיִשְׁרֵי לֵב.‬

Transliteration: Ma yakar hasd'kha Elohim, uvnei adam b'tzel k'nafekha yehesayun. Yirv'yun mideshen 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

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 tefillin

Tefillin

 

On placement of the arm-tefillin

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

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ לְהָנִיחַ תְּפִלִּין.‬

Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, melekh ha`olam, asher kid'shanu b'mitzvotav v'tzivanu l'hani'aḥ t'filin. (The "l" in t'filin is geminated.)

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-tefillin

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:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ עַל מִצְוַת תְּפִלִּין.‬

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:

בָּרוּךְ שֵׁם כְּבוֹד מַלְכוּתוֹ לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד.‬

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 finger

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:

Arm-tefillin with ש (shin) pattern, according to one of the Ashkenazi opinions

וְאֵרַשְׂתִּיךְ לִי לְעוֹלָם: וְאֵרַשְׂתִּיךְ לִי בְּצֶדֶק וּבְמִשְׁפָּט וּבְחֶסֶד וּבְרַחֲמִים: וְאֵרַשְׂתִּיךְ לִי בֶּאֱמוּנָה. וְיָדַעְתְּ אֶת 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 meal

N'tilat Yadayim (Ritual washing of hands)

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:

After washing but before drying the hands, the blessing below is said.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בּמִצְוֹתָיו, וצִוָּנוּ עַל נְטִילַת יָדָיִם.‬

Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Elohenu, melekh ha`olam, asher kid'shanu b'mitzvotav v'tzivanu `al netilat yadayim.

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

Blessing over the bread

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

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, הַמּוֹצִיא לֶחֶם מִן הָאָרֶץ.‬

Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, melekh ha'olam, hamotzi lehem min ha'aretz.

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

After the meal

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 food

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

There are five halakhic "food groups:"

Before eating grain products – M'zonot

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

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא מִינֵי מְזוֹנוֹת.‬

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."

 

Before drinking wine – HaGefen

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 Shehakolblessing (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).

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגֶּפֶן.‬

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

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

 

Before eating fruit – HaEtz

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הָעֵץ.‬

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."

 

Before eating non-fruit produce – HaAdama

Before eating produce that grew directly from the earth:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הָאֲדָמָה.‬

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." 

 

Before eating other foods – SheHakol

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

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם שֶׁהַכֹּל נִהְיָה בִּדְבָרוֹ.‬

Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, Melekh ha'olam, shehakol nih'ye bidvaro.

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

 

Holiday prayers and blessings

 

Shabbat

 

Candle lighting blessings before Shabbat

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

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו, וְצִוָּנוּ לְהַדְלִיק נֵר שֶׁל שַׁבָּת.‬

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." 

 

Havdalah ("Separation" ceremony)

(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:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגֶּפֶן.‬

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

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:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא מִינֵי בְשָׂמִים.‬

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:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם. בּוֹרֵא מְאוֹרֵי הָאֵשׁ.‬

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:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם.‬

הַמַּבְדִּיל בֵּין קֹדֶשׁ לְחוֹל.‬

בֵּין אוֹר לְחשֶׁךְ. בֵּין יִשְׂרָאֵל לָעַמִּים.‬

בֵּין יוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי לְשֵׁשֶׁת יְמֵי הַמַּעֲשֶׂה: ‬

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', הַמַבְדִּיל בֵּין קֹדֶשׁ לְחוֹל: ‬

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."

 

Hanukkah

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

Blessing for lighting the candles

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו, וְצִוָּנוּ לְהַדְלִיק נֵר חֲנֻכָּה.‬

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

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 Hanukkah

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, שֶׁעָשָׂה נִסִּים לַאֲבוֹתֵֽינוּ בַּיָּמִים הָהֵם בַּזְּמַן הַזֶּה.‬

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 

Candle lighting

On yom tov (when it falls on a weekday), it is permissible to transfer a flame (but not to create a new flame).

The festival candles should preferably be lit before sunset on erev yom tov (the afternoon before the holiday), but if they were not lit before sunset, they may (and should) be lit after sunset from a pre-existing flame.

 

Over apples and honey on Rosh Hashanah

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:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הָעֵץ.‬

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:

יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְפָנֶיךָ, ה׳ אֱלֹהֵינוּ וא‑לֹהַי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ, שֶׁתְּחַדֵשׁ עָלֵינוּ שָׁנָה טוֹבָה וּמְתוּקָה‬

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)

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."

 

Blessings on special occasions

Mezuzah

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 likvo'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")

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 ata Adonai Eloheinu, melekh ha'olam, she'heheyanu 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."

 

On immersion in a Mikvah

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."

Tue, November 12 2019 14 Cheshvan 5780