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Blessing Before Eating

Bracha Rishona 

The blessing that one says before eating or drinking is known as a Bracha rishona (literally, "first blessing").

 

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."

 

Hamotzi

(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."

 

Bracha Acharona

(After the meal)

While most of the food blessings were instituted by the Sages, one food-related blessing is a Torah-level obligation: Grace After Meals (Birkat Hamazon). The obligation is based on Deut. 8:10: "You shall eat, and be satisfied, and bless."

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 in Ladino 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:"

 

 Mezonot

(Before eating grain products)

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."

 

HaGefen

(Before drinking wine)

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."

 

HaEtz

(Before eating fruit)

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."

 

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." 

 

SheHakol

(Before eating other foods)

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."

 

Wed, September 30 2020 12 Tishrei 5781