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בִּרְכָּת הָבָּיִת | Birkat haBayit (Blessing for the Home)

https://opensiddur.org/?p=11419 בִּרְכָּת הָבָּיִת | Birkat haBayit (Blessing for the Home) 2015-11-18 11:06:37 The <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birkat_HaBayit">Birkat Habayit</a> is perhaps the most popular blessing in the Jewish world, appearing as a hanging amulet inside the entrance of many houses of Jews of all streams. I have added <em>niqud</em> to the blessing and I am very grateful to Gabriel Wasserman for his corrections to my vocalization. Text the Open Siddur Project Aharon N. Varady (transcription) Aharon N. Varady (transcription) Unknown Author(s) https://opensiddur.org/copyright-policy/ Aharon N. Varady (transcription) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/ Incantations, Adjurations, &amp; Amulets Homes &amp; Community Centers Theurgy 19th century C.E. קמעות ḳame'ot 56th century A.M. Epidemic Asiatic Cholera dedications and consecrations Pandemic ברכת הבית birkat habayit קמעות qame'ot (amulets) Needing Attribution
Source (Hebrew)Translation (English)
בְּזֶה הַשַּׁעַר לֹא יָבוֹא צַעַר.
בְּזֹאת הַדִּירָה לֹא תָבוֹא צָרָה.
בְּזֹאת הַדֶּלֶת לֺא תָבוֹא בֶּהָלָה.
בְּזֹאת הַמַּחְלָקָה לֺא תָבוֹא מַחְלוֹקֶת.
בְּזֶה הַמָּקוֹם תְּהִי בְרָכָה וְשָׁלוֹם.
Let no sadness come through this gate.
Let no trouble come to this dwelling.
Let no fear come through this door.
Let no conflict be in this place.
Let this home be filled with blessing and peace.
וְעָ֥שׂוּ לִ֖י מִקְדָּ֑שׁ
וְשָׁכַנְתִּ֖י בְּתוֹכָֽם׃ (שמות כה:ח)
And let them make Me a sanctuary,
that I may dwell among them. (Exodus 25:8)
בְּ֭חָכְמָה יִבָּ֣נֶה בָּ֑יִת
וּ֝בִתְבוּנָ֗ה יִתְכּוֹנָֽן׃
וּ֭בְדַעַת חֲדָרִ֣ים יִמָּלְא֑וּ
כָּל־ה֖וֹן יָקָ֣ר וְנָעִֽים׃ (משלי כד:ג-ד)
Through Ḥokhma (Wisdom) is a house built;
And with Binah (Understanding) it is established;
And with Da’at (Knowledge) are its chambers filled
With all precious and pleasant riches. (Proverbs 24:3-4)
מַה טֹּבוּ אֹהָלֶיךָ יַעֲקֹב
מִשְׁכְּנֹתֶיךָ יִשְׂרָאֵל. (במדבר כד:ה)
How excellent are your tents, O Ya’aqov,
your dwellings, Yisrael! (Numbers 24:5)

The Birkat Habayit (home blessing) is perhaps the most popular supplication in the Jewish world, appearing as a hanging amulet inside the entrance of many houses of Jews of all streams. Numerous variations appear today. The provenance and original authorship of the formula is unknown. I have not been able to locate its earliest attestation in a qameya (amulet) although a variation of it appears in a printed amulet for protection against plague, dated from 1925 in Hungary and attributed to Rabbi Moshe Teitelbaum (1759-1841).

I have appended several biblical verses to the prayer. The theurgical power of scriptural verse is one very significant element that distinguishes Jewish prayer from other literary prayer praxes. At least three verses seems apropos to me. The first two are suggested by Ilene Winn-Lederer. Exodus 25:8 associates ones own house with the archetypal mishkan, the dwelling place intended for the shekhina (Divine Presence). The second verse, from Proverbs 24:3-4, is prescriptive. When I asked for an accompanying verse from the TaNaKh to the popular Blessing for the Home on the Open Siddur Project Discussion Group on Facebook, Rabbi Alona Lisista offered the verse of blessing given by Bilaam the prophet in Numbers 24:5 upon seeing with his own eyes the wandering camp of the Israelites. These three verses, I think, help to ground the intention of the blessing in the context of the Jewish imagination.

I have also added niqud to the prayer. (Many thanks to Gabriel Wasserman for his proofreading and corrections.) –Aharon Varady


Ḥamsa qame’a with Birkat haBayit

Amulet for Protection Against Plagues, attributed to Rabbi Moshe Teitelbaum (1759-1841) Hungary, 1925

Amulet for Protection Against Plagues, attributed to Rabbi Moshe Teitelbaum (1759-1841) Hungary, 1925



5 comments to בִּרְכָּת הָבָּיִת | Birkat haBayit (Blessing for the Home)

  • Avatar photo Pia

    Shalom, I found a plate with this blessing and would like to send you a foto. I also found an app with prayers but I’m missing a proper work with story, explanation and liturgical texts. Do you think this could be the right place to post it?

  • Avatar photo Ashley

    Hi. I brought my mom home a Birkat haBayit from Israel and sadly her home burned down recently. While we were looking through the rubble, I found it – I know you are supped to leave a mezuzah in place when you move, I’m curious if the same goes for the Birkat haBayit or if it’s ok to rescue it and bring it to her new home?

    • If the new occupant is not Jewish and had no understanding of it’s significance and purpose then there is no reason, as far as I know, to leave a mezuzah in place. An amulet with the birkat habayit is not obligated for any residence, but likewise, I would not leave it, and if I found it in a ruin of someone I knew, I would rescue and return it under the mitsvah of returning lost property.

  • What is “Birkat HaBayit”?

    Birkat HaBayit means Blessing for the Home. You can often see wall art or smaller plaques near the entrance or windows with Hebrew or Hebrew and English text praying for the prosperity of all how live there.The tradition of placing blessings in our homes is surprisingly not that old. Through the ages, there always have been a variety of amulets used among the Jewish people, but a blessing for the home seems to be a pretty recent phenomenon. As such, there isn’t one set text, but rather many versions of prayers and supplications for the well being of people who live there. Quite often, they use Jewish symbolism related to good luck and abundance, like hamsas, the seven species of Israel (especially pomegranates and grapevine), or images of Jerusalem. You can also find that some incorporate quotes from the Tanach (Hebrew Bible).We don’t know exactly when the tradition started. Some say it originated from amulets against plagues and other dangers. Some see it as an idea that started within folk religiosity and beliefs in evil spirits and demons.

    Amulet for Protection Against Plagues, attributed to Rabbi Moshe Teitelbaum (1759-1841) Hungary, 1925

    Birkat HaBayit as a gift

    Birkat habayit is a wonderful idea for a gift. Be it a wedding, buying a new house, or any other occasion. It’s pretty common to have a few (I do!) so there shouldn’t be much worry that the maybe the person already has one. I’ve created a collection of designs and products that can fit many needs and artistic preferences. Simple, or more ornate, Hebrew-only or Hebrew and English, for deep pockets and on a budget. I am sure you can find something to fits your needs.If you would like a customized design (for example with the family name) – contact me!

    Birkat HaBayit Designs

    Birkat HaBayit: Sample Items

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